Scientific article
Open access

Personal profile of medical students selected through a knowledge-based exam only: are we missing suitable students?

Published inMedical education online, vol. 21, 10
Publication date2016

Introduction A consistent body of literature highlights the importance of a broader approach to select medical school candidates both assessing cognitive capacity and individual characteristics. However, selection in a great number of medical schools worldwide is still based on knowledge exams, a procedure that might neglect students with needed personal characteristics for future medical practice. We investigated whether the personal profile of students selected through a knowledge-based exam differed from those not selected. Methods Students applying for medical school (N=311) completed questionnaires assessing motivations for becoming a doctor, learning approaches, personality traits, empathy, and coping styles. Selection was based on the results of MCQ tests. Principal component analysis was used to draw a profile of the students. Differences between selected and non-selected students were examined by Multivariate ANOVAs, and their impact on selection by logistic regression analysis. Results Students demonstrating a profile of diligence with higher conscientiousness, deep learning approach, and task-focused coping were more frequently selected (p=0.01). Other personal characteristics such as motivation, sociability, and empathy did not significantly differ, comparing selected and non-selected students. Conclusion Selection through a knowledge-based exam privileged diligent students. It did neither advantage nor preclude candidates with a more humane profile.

  • Selection
  • Profile
  • Medical students
  • Undergraduate
  • Personal characteristics
  • Assessment
Citation (ISO format)
ABBIATI, Milena, BAROFFIO BARBIER, Anne, GERBASE, Margaret. Personal profile of medical students selected through a knowledge-based exam only: are we missing suitable students? In: Medical education online, 2016, vol. 21, p. 10. doi: 10.3402/meo.v21.29705
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1087-2981

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