Comparison of performance of final-year students from three Australian medical schools

N. A. Saunders, J. McIntosh, R. L. Prince, G. I. Feletti, C. E. Engel, J. R. Lawrence, W. R. Pitney, J. L. Hughes, J. R. Marshall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Between 1984 and 1986, 888 final-year medical students from The University of Sydney, Western Australia and Newcastle took part in trial examinations that comprised multiple-choice questions, modified essay questions and a patient management problem. Differences in student performance among the schools were small. In 1984 and 1985, Newcastle students performed les well than did Sydney students on multiple-choice questions that were prepared by The University of Sydney, but there was no difference between the schools in 1986. Sydney students performed better than did Newcastle students on the multiple-choice question paper that was prepared by The University of New South Wales in 1984, but in the last two years no differences have been detected between the schools in performance on this paper. The performance on modified essay questions in 1984 suggested that Newcastle students were stronger in behavioural sciences and weaker in pathological sciences than were Sydney students. Sydney students performed less well than did Newcastle students in the patient management problem in 1985, particularly in the area of the use of clinical investigations. On the one occasion of testing that involved students from The University of Western Australia (in 1985), these students performed best of the three schools in the patient management problem, and roughly equally with students from Sydney and Newcastle in the multiple-choice question papers. Differences among the schools usually amounted to less than 10% and might have been accounted for by differences in familiarity with test instruments. We conclude that medical students are likely to graduate from The Universities of Sydney, Western Australia and Newcastle with similar levels of knowledge of internal medicine. Possible differences in problem-solving ability require further study, particularly in the clinical setting.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)385-388
    Number of pages4
    JournalMedical Journal of Australia
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 1987


    Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of performance of final-year students from three Australian medical schools'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this