Item Details

Trajectory of Medical Students' Research Interest by Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Research Experience, and Program: A Longitudinal Analysis

Kong, Xiaoqing
Format
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Author
Kong, Xiaoqing
Advisor
Tai, Robert
Abstract
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is considered critical to a nation’s economic competitiveness and national security (Congressional Research Service, 2012; National Academy of Sciences, 2007). A major concern in STEM education is students’ persistence in the STEM pipeline (National Science Board, 2012). This focus is a particular issue for the biomedical research community where more diverse and expert physician-scientists are needed (Ley & Rosenberg, 2005). Most previous studies focus on post-secondary students’ general program completion in the STEM related fields. This study seeks to address to some degree the paucity of research on the persistence of students’ research interest in the biomedical field based on a longitudinal design with a large sample size. The research questions addressed in this study were: (1) Does medical students’ reported research interest differ among students with different characteristics of gender, race/ethnicity, previous research experiences, or matriculated program prior to their entry to medical schools? (2) Does medical students’ reported research interest change in general across time from prior to their entry to medical schools, to when they are matriculated in medical schools, and to when they graduate from medical schools? (3) Are patterns of change in medical students’ reported research interest across time associated with gender, race/ethnicity, previous research experiences, or matriculated program?   The data used in this study were derived from three questionnaires taken by 39,839 medical school graduates and one student record system data set assembled through Project TrEMUR (Transitions in the Education of Minorities Underrepresented in Research) . After appropriate covariance structures and mean models were selected, longitudinal data analyses (Fitzmaurice, Laird, & Ware, 2004) were conducted to address the research questions. Results indicated that medical students’ reported research interest differed among students with different characteristics of gender, race/ethnicity, previous research experiences, and matriculated program prior to their entry to medical schools. After considering all the variables included in the models, medical students’ reported research interest decreased significantly from prior to their entry to medical schools to when they were matriculated in medical schools, and such decrease was significantly offset after their matriculation in medical schools until their graduation from medical schools. The patterns of change in medical students’ reported research interest across time were significantly associated with gender, race/ethnicity, previous research experiences, and matriculated program.
Language
English
Date Received
20140414
Published
University of Virginia, Curry School of Education, PHD (Doctor of Philosophy), 2014
Published Date
2014-04-10
Degree
PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Collection
Libra ETD Repository
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