Participation in college laboratory research apprenticeships among students considering careers in medicine

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Abstract

Objective: We sought to determine the prevalence of college laboratory research apprenticeship (CLRA) participation among students considering medical careers and to examine the relationship between CLRA participation and medical-school acceptance among students who applied to medical school. Methods: We used multivariate logistic regression to identify predictors of: 1) CLRA participation in a national cohort of 2001-2006 Pre-Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) Questionnaire (PMQ) respondents and 2) among those PMQ respondents who subsequently applied to medical school, medicalschool acceptance by June 2013, reporting adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Results: Of 213,497 PMQ respondents in the study sample (81.2% of all 262,813 PMQ respondents in 2001-2006), 72,797 (34.1%) reported CLRA participation. Each of under-represented minorities in medicine (URM) race/ethnicity (vs. white, aOR: 1.04; 95% CI: 1.01-1.06), Asian/Pacific Islander race/ethnicity (vs. white, aOR: 1.20; 95% CI: 1.17-1.22), and high school summer laboratory research apprenticeship (HSLRA) participation (aOR: 3.95; 95% CI: 3.84-4.07) predicted a greater likelihood of CLRA participation. Of the 213,497 PMQ respondents in the study sample, 144,473 (67.7%) had applied to medical school and 87,368 (60.5% of 144,473 medical-school applicants) had been accepted to medical school. Each of female gender (vs. male, aOR: 1.19; 95% CI: 1.16-1.22), URM race/ethnicity (vs. white, aOR: 3.91; 95% CI: 3.75-4.08), HSLRA participation (aOR: 1.11; 95% CI: 1.03-1.19), CLRA participation (aOR: 1.12; 95% CI: 1.09-1.15), college summer academic enrichment program participation (aOR: 1.26; 95% CI: 1.21-1.31), and higher MCAT score (per point increase, aOR: 1.31; 95% CI: 1.30-1.31) predicted a greater likelihood of medical-school acceptance. Conclusions: About one-third of all PMQ respondents had participated in CLRAs prior to taking the MCAT, and such participation was one of the several variables identified that were independently associated with medical-school acceptance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27231
JournalMedical Education Online
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Medical-school admissions
  • Medical-student diversity
  • Medical-student selection criteria
  • Pre-medical education
  • Student research apprenticeships

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