Learning and career specialty preferences of medical school applicants

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9 Scopus citations


The present research examined relationships among medical school applicants' preferred approaches to learning, methods of instruction, and specialty areas (n = 912). Based on confidential responses to a progressive series of paired comparisons, applicants' preferences for lecture (L), self-study (SS), group discussion (GD), and computers (C) were assessed across three dimensions: (1) comfort; (2) effectiveness; and (3) interest. Using cluster analysis to generate four instructional "profiles," participants' comparative preferences for self-study/lecture versus group discussion/computers (+SS, L/-GD, C) were positively associated with interests in surgery and neurology, whereas opposing preferences (+GD, C/-L, SS) corresponded with the practice of family medicine. Using a matriculant subset (N = 160), analyses indicated that these relationships remained after controlling for sex and psychological type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-50
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number1 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Instructional method
  • Learning style
  • Medical specialty
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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