Assessment of Socio-economic Status and Personality Traits on Academic Performance of Second Year MBBS Students: A Cross-sectional Study from a Teaching Hospital of Eastern India
16/H/4, Khanpur Road, Surya Kiran, P.O. Naktala, Kolkata-700047, West Bengal, India.
Introduction: The skill and quality of doctors largely depend on their academic performances. Examination scores of medical students can be impacted by their personality and Socio-economic Status (SES). Identification of the effects of different personality traits and socio-economic profile on the academic results of medical undergraduates can help to identify the vulnerable groups and consider possible support by counselling, financial aids and policy formulation.
Aim: To assess the correlation of personality traits and SES with the academic performances of undergraduate medical student based on the marks scored in the second professional Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) examination.
Materials and Methods: An observational cross-sectional study of 10 months duration from May 2017 to February 2018 was done on 143 students of sixth semester (Part I) of MBBS course, in a Government Medical College of Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Participants filled up the Big Five Inventory (BFI) questionnaire that evaluates dimensions like extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness, and the Kuppuswamy’s SES scale form which considers education of the head of family, occupation of head and monthly family income. The examination marks were collected from the student’s section of the institution. Demographic parameters of the population like age, gender and religion were considered. Data was tabulated in MS excel spreadsheet and a descriptive statistical analysis was performed. Any correlation of the study parameters with student’s academic performance was determined through statistical analysis using Spearman correlation coefficient and p≤0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Among the participants of the study (n=143), a mean age of 21.53 years was observed with male:female ratio of 2.04; about 87.41% of the students were Hindu while rest were Muslim. The results showed conscientiousness (r=0.1842) and neuroticism (r=0.1799) were correlated with total academic score as well as openness to pathology (r=0.1783) and forensic medicine (r=0.2362). Higher SES positively affected the results in microbiology (r=0.1698). Occupation of the head of the family was correlated positively with total marks (r=0.1677) and performances in microbiology (r=0.2256) and pathology (r=0.1919).
Conclusion: Conscientious behaviour, an attitude of openness and even neuroticism, can contribute to better grades. Higher occupation of the head of the family may also contribute positively. Appropriate counselling to nurture beneficial personality traits and adequate guidance by mentors may help students achieve better academically.