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Revista médica de Chile

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BITRAN C, Marcela et al. The influence of phychological features and learning styles on the academic performance of medical students. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2004, vol.132, n.9, pp.1127-1136. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: The degree of difficulty we experience while learning different concepts and skills depends, among other things, on our psychological features and learning style. This may be particularly true for medical students, whose formation involves the acquisition of multiple cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills. Aim: To assess whether the psychological features and learning styles of medical students are associated with their academic performance. Subjects and Methods: The psychological preferences and learning styles of 66 students of the 2001-graduating cohort were determined with the Myers Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) and the Kolb Learning Style Inventory (LSI), respectively. The academic performance was assessed by the Calificación Médica Nacional (CMN), Chile and by the marks obtained during the Basic (1st to 3th), Preclinical (4th y 5th) and Clinical (6th y 7th) years of undergraduate training. Results: The psychological features, together with the sex of students were found to be associated with the performance in the Preclinical and Clinical years, and to the CMN. In men, the interest and ability to communicate with people and the concern for harmony, and in women the tendency to function in a systematic and orderly way are the features associated to high academic performance. No associations were found between learning styles and academic performance. Conclusions: The finding that the psychological preferences of medical students are relevant to their academic performance opens a new perspective to analyze the medical education and to design programs aimed at improving learning (Rev Méd Chile 2004; 132: 1127-36)

Keywords : Education; medical; Learning; Students.

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