Medical Education


1981 Cohort

The first of the three cohort studies carried out from St Mary's. This study was somewhat more tentative than subsequent ones, not least because cohort studies such as this were unusual, and there was uncertainty as to how applicants would perceive it. A result was that applicants received two questionnaires, one through the post at the time of application, and a second one with psychometric measures, etc, which was only given to those students who were interviewed, on the day of the interview itself. Naming follows the standard UCCA / UCAS conventions, in terms of the year in which applicants wanted to enter medical school, which was October 1981. However, the candidates had applied a year previously to that, in Autumn 1980.

Participants. The participants consisted of all applicants to St. Mary's Hospital Medical School. Each of these applicants would typically have applied to five or six different UK medical schools, and hence the survey contained a reasonable number of applicants and entrants at each of the UK medical schools.

Data collection. The participants were studied at the following times, with the following instruments: 

Brief description
Applicants survey
Applicants were sent this questionnaire by post as soon as possible after the UCCA form had arrived at the medical school. The questionnaire consisted of 8 A4 sides (4 stapled pages), and mostly asked about demographics, educational background, and career interests.
Interview survey
This questionnaire was given only to applicants who were interviewed at St. Mary's, and were completed on the day of interview. The main questionnaire consisted of 8 A4 sides (4 stapled pages), and asked about a range of activities and attitudes.  In addition, interviewees completed the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ). 
Final Year questionnaire
Questionnaire sent to students in the middle of their final year at medical school. The questionnaire consisted of 18 A4 sides (9 stapled pages), and repeated some of the questions asked of applicants, and also asked about clinical experience and course perceptions.
 2009 questionnaire
Questionnaire (pdf 59kb) sent to all doctors registered with the General Medical Council and others for whom addresses were available. Four A4 pages, with a range of measures, some of which have been used in previous surveys. The survey which took place from March to December 2009 was part of a broader one sent to a number of different cohorts that we have studied.

Click here for a full list of research studies on medical education, many of which have included information about the 1981 cohort.