Introduction: Team-based learning (TBL) is an important curricular component of medical education. TBL sessions are evaluated based on individual readiness assurance test (IRAT) and group readiness assurance test (GRAT) scores. Previous research in non-medical professional settings has shown that group composition diversity is positively correlated with group outcomes. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis examining the relationship between TBL outcomes and group composition diversity in a class of first year medical students. Group composition diversity was quantified for age, gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status and correlated with TBL outcomes. A survey about perception of diversity was administered to the study cohort. Results: Racial heterogeneity was found to have a positive correlation with GRAT scores (p < 0.05). Group heterogeneity was not found to be associated with individual outcomes. Additionally, groups with higher racial and ethnic diversity reported a higher level of perceived diversity and were more likely to attribute positive group outcomes to diversity of their group. Discussion: These study findings suggest that greater racial diversity in a group is associated with higher group evaluation outcomes in the medical education TBL environment. These findings may have implications for TBL group design and medical school admissions.
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