Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

James Lampley

Committee Members

Donald Good, Karen King, Jasmine Renner


Medical schools in the United States serve to train the next generation of physicians, admitting students who will continue to advance each school’s mission. Admission committees are tasked with identifying those candidates who will be successful academically and who promote the objectives of the school with respect to mission. The Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University in northeast Tennessee seeks to attract and retain physicians with an interest in rural and primary care medicine. A total of 630 students were included in this study representing classes from 2001 to 2011. This study examined admissions data including MCAT scores, undergraduate GPAs, admission interview scores, and admission committee rating scores along with USMLE Step 1 scores to determine if there is any correlation of these variables with graduates selecting a primary care career or a rural practice location.

With respect to data available at admission, only MCAT scores were shown to have a significant correlation to specialty choice. None of the admission data significantly correlated with practice location. USMLE Step 1 scores had a weak negative relationship with specialty choice and a negligible relationship with practice location.

This study provides the admission committee information that these variables are insufficient by themselves to predict whether a medical student applicant will select a primary care specialty or practice in a rural location. Other data, perhaps even subjective data, would need to be analyzed to predict how well the admissions committee is addressing the college’s mission with its selection of medical students.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.