Curricular Decision Making in the 1st Year of Medical Education: What Can It Tell Us?

Dorothy H. Evensen, Jill D. Salisbury, Bonnie J.F. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: An increasing number of medical colleges offer curricular options typically in the form of problem-based learning (PBL) and conventional curriculum (CC). Purpose: Because these curricula represent radically different theoretical orientations, factors that affect the student's curriculum decision are important to note. Methods: A questionnaire constructed to indirectly assess properties of decision making was completed by 66 students accepted into the 1st-year class at a dual-track college of medicine. Results: Analyses indicated 2 distinct groups of decision-making types. Both groups employed social means to inform decisions, but they varied in terms of activeness, comprehensiveness, and time spent on the decision. More PBL students than CC students engaged in the preferred decision-making style and used more sources to inform their decision. Among all respondents, information received from current medical students and beliefs about personal learning styles were deemed most important to the decision. In general, however, students tended to underutilize available information and services related to the decision. Conclusion: This information could be useful to those advising incoming students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-110
Number of pages8
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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