Medical Education


Birmingham Cohorts 1977 to 1981

This was a complex study carried out in the University of Birmingham Medical School. It could not have been carried out without the assistance of Diana Lockwood (now Professor Lockwood). The study was described in detail in my MD thesis, and it used a design (shown below) in which there was a transverse study of all the students in each years of the medical school in 1977 (the solid black squares), followed by studies of new entrants in 1978, 1979 and 1980 (the solid black circles), and then a further transverse study of all students in the medical school in 1981(the solid black circles),   of whom all except the 1981 entrants, had been studied previously). The design therefore was partially longitudinal and allowed the separation of cohort and year effects. More details can be found in the thesis.

It should be noted that when the study was carried out there was a small pre-medical course which was Year 1, two pre-clinical years which were years 2 and 3, and three clinical years which were years 4, 5 and 6. The pre-medical students were not studied, and for simplicity in the diagram below years 1 to 5 refer to what actually were called years 2 to 6 but were indeed the first to fifth years in the medical school (excluding intercalating years).

Data collection. The questionnaire looked mainly at attitudes and cultural behaviours, as well as educational background.  No further questionnaire follow-ups have been carried out of these participants.

Birmingham Study Design