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Predictors of Attrition and Academic Success of Medical Students: A 30-Year Retrospective Study
Published: Monday, June 18, 2012
Author: Silvija Maslov Kruzicevic et al.

by Silvija Maslov Kruzicevic, Katarina Josipa Barisic, Adriana Banozic, Carlos David Esteban, Damir Sapunar, Livia Puljak


To determine attrition and predictors of academic success among medical students at University of Split, Croatia.


We analysed academic records of 2054 students enrolled during 1979–2008 period.


We found that 26% (533/2054) of enrolled students did not graduate. The most common reasons for attrition were ‘personal’ (36.4%), transfer to another medical school (35.6%), and dismissal due to unsatisfactory academic record (21.2%). Grade point average (GPA) and study duration of attrition students were significantly associated with parental education. There were 1126 graduates, 395 men and 731 women. Their average graduation GPA was 3.67±0.53 and study duration 7.6±2.44 years. During 5-year curriculum only 6.4% (42/654) of students graduated in time, and 55% (240/472) of students graduated in time after curriculum was extended to 6 years. Variables predicting whether a student will graduate or not were high school grades, entrance exam score and year of enrollment. Significant predictors of graduation grades were high school grades and entrance exam score. Entrance exam score predicted length of studying.


Preadmission academic qualifications and year of enrollment predict academic success in medical school. More attention should be devoted to high attrition.