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January 24, 1966

Birth Order Among Medical Students

JAMA. 1966;195(4):312-313. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100040118037

THE FACT that here are biases in the selection of medical students should distress no one, for everyone wants his physician to possess very special qualities of ability, responsibility, and personality. However, the qualities of our medical students are the outcome of a process of self-selection by the applicants followed by further selection by an admissions committee. This article attempts to clarify some of the factors that contribute to these selection processes, and thus aims to make progress toward the much-desired objective of getting the most appropriate students into medical school.

Recently, Rosinski1 pointed out that only 12% of medical students appear to come from the lower half of the socioeconomic scale, a bias which probably reflects mainly the effects of self-selection. The present contribution confirms this finding and examines in more detail the effects of two components of socioeconomic status, occupation and education, which are thought to be

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