Medical Practice

Significance of Literacy in the Performance of Students in the First Year of the Nottingham Medical Course

Br Med J 1973; 1 doi: (Published 03 February 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;1:282
  1. I. A. Olson,
  2. H. Diack,
  3. Pamela J. Harrold


    The “literacy” of a fresh intake of medical students as measured by standardized vocabulary tests has been measured and correlated with examination performance during the first year. Although most students lacked an upper social class upbringing, medical parents, or a classical education, the group performed to a high standard in the tests, comparable with an English honours intake. On the other hand, there appears to be no correlation between an extensive working vocabulary and the ability to perform well in any aspect of the course, apart from the community studies. A qualification in Latin confers no advantage at all on the aspiring doctor.

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