Title

The Relationship Between Service Learning And Medical Student Academic And Professional Outcomes

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Winter 2006

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Little is known about the relationship between medical student participation in service and performance outcomes.

PURPOSE:

To examine relationships between involvement in required service learning and measures of academic and professional achievement and specialty choice.

METHODS:

Using preexisting, self-reported data for Tulane University School of Medicine's class of 2004, we categorized students as low, moderate, or high on commitment and involvement in service learning (CISL) and compared to multiple outcomes: class rank; election to the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Society; election to the Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society; total percent scores on 2 multistation, structured, clinical examinations; and specialty choice per 2004 residency match results.

RESULTS:

Service learning involvement was related to class rank. There was a marginal relationship between CISL and election to AOA but no association with election to the Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society, Year 2 or 3 clinical skills examination results, or specialty choice.

CONCLUSIONS:

High participation in service learning and service learning leadership identify a group of students less likely to be in the top quartile of their class yet who are making important contributions to the community and profession.

DOI

10.1207/s15328015tlm1801_3

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