A flexible, preclinical, medical school curriculum increases student academic productivity and the desire to conduct future research

Justin G. Peacock, Joseph Peter Grande

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


In 2006, small blocks of flexible curriculum time, termed selectives, were implemented in the Mayo Medical School preclinical curriculum. Selectives permitted students to pursue professional endeavors, such as research, service, and career exploration, in the preclinical years. The purpose of this study was to survey current and former Mayo medical students regarding the impact of selectives on their research interest and productivity. The authors surveyed 377 current and former Mayo Medical School students from the 2004 to 2014 graduating classes, 154 participants (41% response rate) responded to the survey. The classes were grouped into pre- and postselective groups for the comparison studies. Postselective students published significantly more (p=0.003) and gave significantly more presentations (p=0.0007) during medical school than preselective students. Thirty-four (72% of the postselective respondents) indicated that selectives had a strong or very strong impact on their current research interest. Respondents spent an average of 4.0 [3.0-5.0] weeks of Selective time on research, resulting in 1.8 [1.4-2.2] publications and 1.8 [1.4-2.2] presentations, which represented 52.5% [40.0-65.0%] and 47.3% [37.1-57.4%] of the students' total medical school publications and presentations, respectively. Flexible selective time during the preclinical years results in significantly more medical student academic productivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-390
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015



  • Academic productivity
  • Curricular flexibility
  • Medical student research
  • Undergraduate medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this