Gender Difference in Academic Planning Activity among Medical Students

Nguyen, Huy Van; Giang, Thao Thach
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Background: In Vietnam, as doctor of medicine is socially considered a special career, both men and women who are enrolled in medical universities often study topics of medicine seriously. However, as culturally expected, women often perform better than men. Because of this, teaching leadership and management skill (LMS) to develop academic planning activity (APA) for female medical students would also be expected to be more effective than male counterparts. This research aimed to compare by gender the effect of teaching LMS on increasing APA, using propensity score matching (PSM). Methods: In a cross-sectional survey utilizing a self-reported structured questionnaire on a systematic random sample of 421 male and female medical students in Hanoi Medical University, this study adopted first regression techniques to construct a fit model, then PSM to create a matched control group in order to allow for evaluating the effect of LMS education. Results: There were several interesting gender differences. First, while for females LMS education had both direct and indirect effects on APA, it had only direct effect on males’ APA. Second, after PSM to adjust for the possible confounders to balance statistically two groups – with and without LMS education, there is statistically a significant difference in APA between male and female students, making a net difference of 11% (p<.01), equivalent to 173 students. The difference in APA between exposed and matched control group in males and females was 9% and 20%, respectively. These estimates of 9.0 and 20.0 percentage point increase can be translated into the practice of APA by 142 males and 315 females, respectively, in the population. These numbers of APA among male and female students can be explained by LMS education. Conclusions: Gender appears to be a factor explaining in part academic planning activity.


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