Quantcast

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Selecting medical students : Need for a change

Do the medical entrance tests correctly measure a student's ability to become a good doctor? Research shows otherwise. Here are some excerpts from a recent article published in The Lancet.
'performance in the premedical sciences is inversely associated with many of the personal, non-cognitive qualities so central to the art of medicine.'...
students' undergraduate science grades and MCAT science scores were associated with grades in the first 2 years of medical school, but were, “almost completely unrelated to performance in the fourth year and to faculty rating of general and clinical competence”....
students who did better in science were, “narrower in interests, less adaptable, less articulate, and less comfortable in interpersonal relationships”....
students who were most successful in the sciences, “have an impersonal orientation: they are not very interested in others”. ...
students who did the best in the premedical sciences scored lower on standardised measures of empathy and tended to be “shy”, “submissive”, “withdrawn”, or “awkward and ill at ease socially”, characteristics the author suggested are, “the antithesis of what most of us would want in a clinician”....
In response to growing data that balancing cognitive and non-cognitive strengths of applicants does not compromise eventual medical quality, some medical schools in the UK and USA have either adopted, or are evaluating, alternative admission criteria. A leader in this area has been McMaster Medical School in Canada with its “Multiple Mini Interview” used to assess psychological and personality aspects of potential students. The Humanities and Medicine Program of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York offers another example.
Read more: 'Science as superstition: selecting medical students : The Lancet

Free Books, powerpoint presentations, teaching tools and resources and drug information