Background: The increasing significance of didactic aspects in medical education has also led to the development of special postgraduate programs. Completion rates represent an important outcome criterion for these programs of study. Up to today, detailed studies on what factors influence these completion rates have been lacking. Methods: Within the framework of outcomes research, a semi-structured online survey of students was conducted in the Master of Medical Education Germany program. Of the 90 items, 21 referred to the masterxxxs thesis that is required for graduation. Results: 157 out of 246 (63.8%) of students from classes 1-10 of the program (study period 2004-2014) participated in the survey. 109 participants had submitted a masterxxxs thesis, whereas 45 participants had not completed their studies by submitting a masterxxxs thesis. Influencing factors of successful completion were, among other things, little difficulty in choosing the topic, retention of the originally chosen topic, general support by the program administration in the modules and ensuring timely feedback from the advisor, and the provision of temporal, staff and financial resources by the home faculty. The failure to turn in the project report and a lengthy interruption of master thesixxxs work could be identified as critical parameters. Conclusion: Taking into account these results can contribute to increasing completion rates in medical education graduate programs. Systematic outcomes research leads, moreover, to quality assurance. Such studies should be conducted in a standardized manner in the future, in order to facilitate comparisons between medical education programs.
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