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A Mixed-Methods Case Study in One School: Do High Academic Scores Make a Good Physician?

By: Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Recent data have found out that often universities admit the wrong applicants. Eliciting non-cognitive attributes of medical school applicants using new methods has thus become a major challenge. We chose a group of 299 applicants aged 18−25 years. A set of six research tools was developed in addition to the two existing ones. The applicants gave written informed consent to participate in the study. Privacy was protected. The criteria-based methodology design used constant comparative analysis and grounded theory techniques to produce a personal attributes profile per participant, scored on a 5-point scale holistic rubric. Data from the portfolio came from other sources as well. This triangulation was used to ensure data collection validity. Data analysis was ensured by using member check when most applicants agreed with the researchers’ analysis. Also, an agreement was reached between the researchers and an external rater who checked 10% of the data. We used quantitative tests to strengthen our qualitative findings and found significant differences between groups. Arrogance was found in the sixth-year student group and did not exist in the applicant groups. The methodology we used differentiates between both individuals and groups, providing a personal attribute profile of applicants that might be useful for admission procedures. The qualitative procedures are cost-effective and can easily be taught and used by faculty members. The predictive validity of the presented model requires further research.

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