Relationship between admissions committee review and student performance in medical school and internship

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Military Medicine








Purpose: To investigate the association between tertiary reviewer (admissions committee member) comments and medical students' performance during medical school and into internship. Methods: We collected data from seven year-groups (1993-1999) and coded tertiary reviewer comments into 14 themes. We then conducted an exploratory factor analysis to reduce the dimensions of the themes (excluding the Overall impression theme). Subsequently, we performed Pearson correlation analyses and multiple linear regression analysis to examine the relationship between the factors and seven outcome measures: medical school preclinical grade point average (GPA), medical school clinical GPA, cumulative medical school GPA, U.S. Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 and 2 scores, and scores on a program director's evaluation measuring intern professionalism and expertise. Results: We extracted seven factors from the 13 themes and found small-to-moderate, significant correlations between the factors, the Overall impression theme, and the outcome measures. In particular, positive comments on Test and Maturity were associated with higher U.S. Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 and 2 scores. Negative comments on Interview and Recommendations were associated with lower ratings of professionalism during internship. Comments on Overall impression were significantly associated with all the outcome measures. Conclusions: Tertiary reviewer comments were weakly associated with performance in medical school and internship. Compared with positive comments, negative comments had stronger associations with medical school and internship performance measures. © Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S. All rights reserved.

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