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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 75-78

Comparing the academic performance of graduate-entry and undergraduate medical students at a UK medical school

Department of Medicine, St. George's University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
James Knight
St. George's University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_157_15

Background: The aim of the study was to assess whether graduate-entry (GE) medicine is a valid route to medical school in the United Kingdom. We set out to analyze the academic performance of GE students when compared with undergraduate (UG) students by assessing the representation of high achievers and students with fail grades within the two cohorts. Methods: Using the Freedom of Information Act, we requested examination result data for the academic year 2013–2014 at St. George's Medical School, London, UK. We analyzed the number of students gaining distinction (top 7.5%) and those in the first two deciles. Results: There were 389 GE and 548 UG students in the clinical years. A total of 61.3% of the first or second decile places were awarded to GEs, with 38.7% going to UGs (P < 0.0005). The proportion of GEs achieving the first or second decile was 30.1% compared to 12.8% of UGs (P < 0.01). The proportion of GEs awarded distinction was 12.3% compared to 2.9% of UGs (P < 0.02). The total number of students failing a year at the first attempt was 103. The failure rate within each group was 12.1% for GE and 10.2% for UG. Discussion: Our study found that GE students were overrepresented in the high-achieving groups when compared to UG students. GE students were significantly more likely to be placed in the first or second decile or attain a distinction award. However, GE and UG have a similar failure rate. This study shows that GE programs are a valid entry route to medical courses in the UK.

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