The association between reading time and students' performance in a surgery clerkship

Amy V. Blue, Michael B. Donnelly, Terry D. Stratton, Richard W. Schwartz, David A. Sloan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Medical students are expected to acquire a large amount of knowledge in both the basic and clinical sciences by reading. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between reading time and students' performance on various objective and subjective evaluative measures. Methods: The study examined the reading activities of 80 students in a third-year surgery clerkship. Students spent an average of 16 hours per week in reading activities. Results: A modest but statistically significant correlation was found between the total amount of time spent in reading and students' performance on an objective standardized clinical examination, a standardized patient encounter, a subjective rating by faculty members, and the total objective grade. Reading time did not correlate with performance on objective measures such as quizzes or the National Board of Medical Examiners examination. Conclusion: Although achievement in the clerkship is associated to a minor degree with reading time, reading time alone is not a sufficient influence on achievement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


  • Education (medical, undergraduate)
  • Licensure (medical)
  • Objective structured clinical examination
  • Problem-based learning
  • Reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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