Predicting medical school and internship success: Does the quality of the research and clinical experience matter?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Military Medicine








© Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S. All rights reserved. Objectives: This article explores specific aspects of self-reported clinical and research experience and their relationship to performance in medical training. Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study conducted at the Uniformed Services University. The American Medical College Application Service application was used to discern students’ self-reported clinical and research experience. Two authors applied a classification scheme for clinical and research experience to the self-reported experiences. Study outcomes included medical school grade point average (GPA), U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) scores, and intern expertise and professionalism scores. A linear regression analysis was conducted for each outcome while controlling for prematriculation GPA. Results: Data were retrieved on 1,020 matriculants. There were several statistically significant but small differences across outcomes when comparing the various categories of clinical experience with no clinical experience. The technician-level experience group had a decrease of 0.1 in cumulative GPA in comparison to students without self-reported clinical experience (p = 0.004). This group also performed 5 points lower on the USMLE Step 2 than students who did not report clinical experience (p = 0.013). The various levels of self-reported research experience were unrelated to success in medical school and graduate medical education. Discussion: These findings indicate that self-reported technician-level clinical experience is related to a small reduction in typically reported outcomes in medical school.

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