Factors associated with dropout in medical education: a literature review

Lotte Dyhrberg O'Neill, Birgitta Wallstedt, Berit Eika, Jan Hartvigsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

CONTEXT Medical school dropout may have negative consequences for society, patients, the profession, schools and dropouts. To our knowledge, the literature dealing with dropout from medical school has never been systematically and critically appraised.

OBJECTIVES This review aimed to systematically and critically review studies dealing with factors found to be associated with dropping out of medical school.

METHODS A systematic critical literature review of the international peer-reviewed
research literature on medical education was performed. A primary search was conducted and subsequently supplemented with ancestry and descendancy searches. The population of interest was medical students and the outcome
was dropout. Abstract⁄title screening and quality assessment were performed by two independent researchers. Studies were assessed on six domains of quality: study participation; study attrition; predictor measurement; measurement of and accounting for confounders; outcome measurement, and analysis. Only studies that accounted for confounding were included in the final analysis.

RESULTS Of 625 studies found, 48 were quality-assessed and 13 of these were eventually included based on their fulfilment of our quality-related criteria. A range of entry qualifications seemed to be associated with greater chances of a student dropping out (odds ratio [OR] = 1.65–4.00). Struggling academically in medical school may be strongly associated with dropout. By contrast, no specific pattern of demographic variables was particularly important in relation to
dropout. The effects of socio-economic, psychological and educational variables on dropout were not well investigated.

CONCLUSIONS More research into causal models and theory testing, which considers the effects of education, organisation and institution, is necessary if we are to learn more about how we can actively prevent medical student withdrawal.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Education
Volume45
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)440-454
ISSN0308-0110
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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Cite this

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title = "Factors associated with dropout in medical education: a literature review",
abstract = "CONTEXT Medical school dropout may have negative consequences for society, patients, the profession, schools and dropouts. To our knowledge, the literature dealing with dropout from medical school has never been systematically and critically appraised.OBJECTIVES This review aimed to systematically and critically review studies dealing with factors found to be associated with dropping out of medical school.METHODS A systematic critical literature review of the international peer-reviewedresearch literature on medical education was performed. A primary search was conducted and subsequently supplemented with ancestry and descendancy searches. The population of interest was medical students and the outcomewas dropout. Abstract⁄title screening and quality assessment were performed by two independent researchers. Studies were assessed on six domains of quality: study participation; study attrition; predictor measurement; measurement of and accounting for confounders; outcome measurement, and analysis. Only studies that accounted for confounding were included in the final analysis.RESULTS Of 625 studies found, 48 were quality-assessed and 13 of these were eventually included based on their fulfilment of our quality-related criteria. A range of entry qualifications seemed to be associated with greater chances of a student dropping out (odds ratio [OR] = 1.65–4.00). Struggling academically in medical school may be strongly associated with dropout. By contrast, no specific pattern of demographic variables was particularly important in relation todropout. The effects of socio-economic, psychological and educational variables on dropout were not well investigated.CONCLUSIONS More research into causal models and theory testing, which considers the effects of education, organisation and institution, is necessary if we are to learn more about how we can actively prevent medical student withdrawal.",
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author = "O'Neill, {Lotte Dyhrberg} and Birgitta Wallstedt and Berit Eika and Jan Hartvigsen",
note = "{\circledC} Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2011.",
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language = "English",
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Factors associated with dropout in medical education: a literature review. / O'Neill, Lotte Dyhrberg; Wallstedt, Birgitta; Eika, Berit; Hartvigsen, Jan.

In: Medical Education, Vol. 45, No. 5, 2011, p. 440-454.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Factors associated with dropout in medical education: a literature review

AU - O'Neill, Lotte Dyhrberg

AU - Wallstedt, Birgitta

AU - Eika, Berit

AU - Hartvigsen, Jan

N1 - © Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2011.

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - CONTEXT Medical school dropout may have negative consequences for society, patients, the profession, schools and dropouts. To our knowledge, the literature dealing with dropout from medical school has never been systematically and critically appraised.OBJECTIVES This review aimed to systematically and critically review studies dealing with factors found to be associated with dropping out of medical school.METHODS A systematic critical literature review of the international peer-reviewedresearch literature on medical education was performed. A primary search was conducted and subsequently supplemented with ancestry and descendancy searches. The population of interest was medical students and the outcomewas dropout. Abstract⁄title screening and quality assessment were performed by two independent researchers. Studies were assessed on six domains of quality: study participation; study attrition; predictor measurement; measurement of and accounting for confounders; outcome measurement, and analysis. Only studies that accounted for confounding were included in the final analysis.RESULTS Of 625 studies found, 48 were quality-assessed and 13 of these were eventually included based on their fulfilment of our quality-related criteria. A range of entry qualifications seemed to be associated with greater chances of a student dropping out (odds ratio [OR] = 1.65–4.00). Struggling academically in medical school may be strongly associated with dropout. By contrast, no specific pattern of demographic variables was particularly important in relation todropout. The effects of socio-economic, psychological and educational variables on dropout were not well investigated.CONCLUSIONS More research into causal models and theory testing, which considers the effects of education, organisation and institution, is necessary if we are to learn more about how we can actively prevent medical student withdrawal.

AB - CONTEXT Medical school dropout may have negative consequences for society, patients, the profession, schools and dropouts. To our knowledge, the literature dealing with dropout from medical school has never been systematically and critically appraised.OBJECTIVES This review aimed to systematically and critically review studies dealing with factors found to be associated with dropping out of medical school.METHODS A systematic critical literature review of the international peer-reviewedresearch literature on medical education was performed. A primary search was conducted and subsequently supplemented with ancestry and descendancy searches. The population of interest was medical students and the outcomewas dropout. Abstract⁄title screening and quality assessment were performed by two independent researchers. Studies were assessed on six domains of quality: study participation; study attrition; predictor measurement; measurement of and accounting for confounders; outcome measurement, and analysis. Only studies that accounted for confounding were included in the final analysis.RESULTS Of 625 studies found, 48 were quality-assessed and 13 of these were eventually included based on their fulfilment of our quality-related criteria. A range of entry qualifications seemed to be associated with greater chances of a student dropping out (odds ratio [OR] = 1.65–4.00). Struggling academically in medical school may be strongly associated with dropout. By contrast, no specific pattern of demographic variables was particularly important in relation todropout. The effects of socio-economic, psychological and educational variables on dropout were not well investigated.CONCLUSIONS More research into causal models and theory testing, which considers the effects of education, organisation and institution, is necessary if we are to learn more about how we can actively prevent medical student withdrawal.

KW - Systematic literature review

KW - Drop out

KW - Attrition

KW - Medical Education

U2 - 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2010.03898.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2010.03898.x

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 21426375

VL - 45

SP - 440

EP - 454

JO - Medical Education

JF - Medical Education

SN - 0308-0110

IS - 5

ER -