State schools’ medical students outperform private school peers, study finds

The Telegraph reports that state schools students are more likely to become high-flying doctors because they are used to battling against the odds, a study has found. 

Medical students are  nearly twice as likely to graduate top of their class if they were educated in the state sector rather than at fee-paying schools, according to research by the University of Aberdeen.  It comes despite the fact students from private institutions score slightly higher in the entry tests.

Professor Jen Cleland, lead author of the paper, said that state school students tend to be more motivated and resilient than their privately educated counterparts, which means they are better equipped for the challenges of medical school. 

The University of Aberdeen study is the first in the UK to look at the relationship between students’ secondary school grades, the school they attended and their performance through medical school.

All other things being equal, those from state schools are likely to outperform those from independent schools once studying medicine at university, researchers said.  It considered candidates’ demographics including pre-entry grades and pre-admission test scores to medical school.

The score each student achieved in their Educational Performance Measure on completion of medical school was then used as the overall measurement of success. Students from independent schools scored significantly higher in pre-admission tests compared to those from state schools, despite there being no significant difference between Ucas scores.

However, over the course of studying medicine at university, those from state school were more likely to outperform their private schooled peers. They were shown to be almost twice as likely to finish in the top 10% of class, compared with independently educated classmates.

Read more State schools’ medical students outperform private school peers, study finds

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