, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 437-445
Date: 25 Jan 2011

Asian medical students: quality of life and motivation to learn

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Issues linked with the notions of quality of life (QOL) and motivation to learn among Asian medical students have not been well documented. This is true in both the international and the New Zealand contexts. Our paper addresses this lack of research by focusing on the QOL of international and domestic Asian students studying in New Zealand, where Asian students form a significant proportion of tertiary students. Although there is evidence to suggest that Asian students do well academically, it was felt that an investigation into their QOL would be instructive as QOL will likely have an impact on cognition, behavior, general well-being, and motivation. The present study surveyed fourth- and fifth-year medical students to examine the relationship between QOL and motivation to learn and to consider how Asian medical students compare against European medical and non-medical student peers. The study utilized the World Health OrganizationQuality of Life questionnaire (BREF version) and a shortened version of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire. The results show that the Asian medical students in this study generated significantly lower scores in terms of their satisfaction with social relationships compared with their non-Asian peers. In addition, international Asian medical students appear to be more at risk than domestic Asian students with respect to test anxiety. The paper considers the findings and the implications for quality of life, motivation to learn, medical education, and the Asian student community.