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Approaches to Learning

A study of Canadian medical students found that males and females had different approaches to learning. The students’ effort scores, monitoring of their understanding, and organization of studying varied by gender [1].




 approach to studying



 areas of confidence

 listening skills, ability to be compassionate, motivational skills [2]

 leadership abilities, confidence, tolerance of uncertainty [2]

Medical graduates also feel they have certain personal characteristics which were found to vary by gender [2].

1.Are these differences related to biology (sex) or social and cultural factors (gender)?
2.Does the medical curriculum recognize a variety of personal attributes, learning styles and personality types?
3.How could schools be better at this?


1. K. Mattick, I. Dennis, and J. Bligh. Approaches to learning and studying in medical students: validation of a revised inventory and its relation to student characteristics and performance. Medical Education 2004;38: 535-543.

2. G.B. Clack, and J.O. Head. Gender differences in medical graduates' assessment of their personal attributes. Medical Education 1999;33: 101-105.

All references for this section