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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-26

Assessing metacognitive abilities of postgraduate medical students

1 Department of Psychiatry, Seth GSMC and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, LTMMC and LTMGH, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Neena S Sawant
Department of Psychiatry, Seth GSMC and KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_46_17

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Background: Metacognition is essential to successful learning, especially in the field of medicine because it enables individuals to better manage their cognitive skills and determine weaknesses that can be corrected by constructing new cognitive skills. This study was undertaken to study the difference in the metacognitive abilities toward learning in the clinical and nonclinical disciplines of medicine. Methods: Four hundred and sixty-eight residents were contacted, 442 consented, 373 completely filled pro formas were received, and two groups, namely, clinical (n = 275) and nonclinical (n = 128) were formed. Data were collected with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the metacognitive assessment inventory. It has two broad domains-knowledge about cognition and regulation of cognition with each having 3 and 5 subdomains, respectively. Results: The two broad domains of MAI revealed a highly significant difference with the students of nonclinical disciplines having higher knowledge about cognition (t = 1.46, P < 0.014) and regulation of cognition (t = 3.13, P < 0.0019) as compared to their clinical peers. All subdomains of knowledge about cognition showed highly significant differences. Planning and evaluation subdomains of regulation of cognition were significant in the nonclinical group. The other subdomains of information management, debugging strategies, and comprehension monitoring were not significant. Discussion: The nonclinical disciplines showed better ability for factual knowledge, use of critical thinking, knowledge about how to implement and when, and why to use learning procedures as compared to their clinical counterparts. Planning, goal setting, with an analysis of performance was also much better in the students of nonclinical disciplines. Conclusion: This study highlights the need to inculcate in medical postgraduates self-learning using their metacognitive abilities so that learning would become more focused and improvement in skills would take place.

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