Departmental Bulletin Paper How Medical Students are Learning: Freshmen trends at Hamamatsu University School of Medicine

O’Dowd, Gregory V. G.

31pp.23 - 37 , 2017-03-30 , 浜松医科大学
Purpose: This research study provides some novel insights into the study habits of freshmen Japanese medical university students after entering university, their general attitude to study (including English study), and their opinions/perceptions regarding their university studies. An integral element of this investigation is the on-going action research study undertaken by the author over the past fifteen years. Some of the data gathered in previous research investigations 1,2,3) has been used for comparison purposes to highlight trends. Methods: Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected for this 2016 study. Two survey instruments were distributed to two classes of first year medical students at Hamamatsu University School of Medicine in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, in the second semester of 2016. A small sample of students was also interviewed for their comments to illuminate their responses to the surveys. These results were then compared to data obtained in previous studies. Results: Although some similarities were noted, a general declining trend is evident in time spent on general study as well as a narrowing in focus of their study habits. Conclusions: The main finding of this study is that an increasing number of Japanese freshman medical students may be purposefully underperforming, their justification grounded in the concept of “costperformance”, when compared to students in years past. This trend does not augur well for the freshmen’s future achievement with the implementation of a revised curriculum and new grade point average system.

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