Answer to "How to plan a selection process?"

In many countries the desired values, attributes and knowledge are defined at a national level by high level regulations/policies.  However, our own research has shown that precisely how these policies are enacted is typically left to individual medical schools to decide (Cleland et al. Medical Education, 2015; 49 (1): 25-35).  Once you have decided, or know, what attributes, values and knowledge you want in your graduates, you can work backwards from this to design a selection process that assesses the capacity of medical school applicants to achieve the desired competencies by graduation. You should map your selection process onto your outcomes and the mission of your medical school (see Question 1), then identify the best selection tools for these outcomes (see Question 2).  The study below is one of the few that describes the impacts of selection strategies on outcomes (specifically student practice intentions):

  • Larkins S, Michielsen K, Iputo J. Derese A, Neusy A.-J. Impact of selection strategies on representation of underserved populations and intention to practise: International findings. Medical Education 2015: 49(1): 60-72.

The next review highlights the lack of empirical evidence for connections between social missions and admissions was often implied but rarely considered or evaluated directly.

  • Ellaway RH, Malhi R, Bajaj S, Walker I, Myhre D. A critical scoping review of the connections between social mission and medical school admissions: BEME Guide No. 47, Medical Teacher 2017, 40:3, 219-226.

This is an area that merits further research.  Until there is more selection-specific empirical evidence, and with the view that selection is the first assessment in medicine, it is also useful to draw on the field of selection here.  With this in mind, the principles outlined in this paper are important and relevant to planning a selection process:

  • Van Der Vleuten CPM, Schuwirth LWT, Driessen EW, Govaerts MJB, Heeneman S. Twelve Tips for programmatic assessment, Medical Teacher 2014: 37:7: 641-646.