Medical student characteristics associated with time in study: Is spending more time always a good thing?
By Tim J. Wilkinson, Elisabeth J. Wells; Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Otago, New Zealand
John A. Bushnell, Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Otago, New Zealand
Published in Medical Teacher, Vol 29(2-3), Mar 2007. pp. 106-110.
Background: Time in study may reflect motivation, but may also reflect inefficient study habits. Purpose: To determine how time in study relates to motivation and study approaches.
Methods: A total of 173 fourth- and fifth-year students in a six-year curriculum completed diaries over seven consecutive days. Time studying was correlated with motivation and approaches to study.
Results: Time in study correlated with achieving motive, achieving strategy, deep strategy, motivation and planning/organisation. Deep motive correlated with time on assignments. Students who were less certain they wanted to work as a doctor undertook less study activity and spent less time with patients. Students who lacked confidence they would make a good doctor spent more time in non-time-tabled discretionary study but also spent less time with patients.
Conclusion: A desire to achieve, certainty of career choice and lack of confidence are associated with time in study. Unconfident students divert their time away from patients.