A qualitative study of medical school choice in the UK

Celia Taylor

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    BACKGROUND: Examining the factors that make a medical school attractive (or otherwise) to potential students is particularly important but there is little empirical evidence that explores this issue. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 24 prospective medical students at six schools and colleges in England. The interviews aimed to elicit detailed information on the why and how of medical school choice, in students' application and acceptance decisions. RESULTS: Three categories of medical school attributes stood out as positive determinants of choice: academic factors (with reputation considered the most important), location factors (specifically preferences for particular cities) and intangibles (gut feelings and personal contacts and recommendations). Most of students' decision-making activity was undertaken during the admissions stage of the application process. CONCLUSIONS: The results are important in explaining why the students in the sample did not rate the new medical schools highly and also suggest that few of the important attributes can be manipulated by the schools themselves.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-32
    Number of pages6
    JournalMedical Teacher
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


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