Several medical schools include candidates’ extracurricular activities in their selection procedure, with promising results regarding their predictive value for achievement during the clinical years of medical school. This study aims to reveal whether the better achievement in clinical training of students selected on the basis of their extracurricular activities could be explained by persistent participation in extracurricular activities during medical school (msECAs). Lottery-admitted and selected student admission groups were compared on their participation in three types of msECAs: (1) research master, (2) important board positions or (3) additional degree programme. Logistic regression was used to measure the effect of admission group on participation in any msECA, adjusted for pre-university GPA. Two-way ANCOVA was used to examine the inter-relationships between admission group, participation in msECAs and clerkship grade, with pre-university GPA as covariate. Significantly more selected students compared to lottery-admitted students participated in any msECA. Participation in msECAs was associated with a higher pre-university GPA for lottery-admitted students only, whereas participation in msECAs was associated with higher clerkship grades for selected students only. These results suggest that persistent participation in extracurricular activities of selected students favours better clinical achievement, supporting the inclusion of ECAs in the selection procedure. More insight in the rationale behind participation in extracurricular activities during medical school may explain differences found between lottery-admitted and selected students.

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Advances in Health Sciences Education
The institute of Medical Education Research Rotterdam

Urlings-Strop, L., Themmen, A., & Stegers-Jager, K. (2017). The relationship between extracurricular activities assessed during selection and during medical school and performance. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 22(2), 287–298. doi:10.1007/s10459-016-9729-y