Was just curious as to what people would want to change about the whole application process - whether that be taking something out of it or adding something extra to make the process even more competitive!
I think I would take out how much emphasis some unis put on UKCAT, as is it really a true represenation of a good doctor? (only a way to differentiate between candidates) - also prevents you from applying to somewhere you might really want to go.
Perhaps all unis should use the MMI style (of 7-10 stations) - a true test of the individual's personal and intellectual capacity. Also helps to avoid bias of the interview panel.
Also, maybe add in a mock PBL session (even for unis that don't adopt this style) as this is an effective way to see how people interact with one another (dominant and passive characters etc...)
Not make UKCAT as important as I don't think it is a good way of seeing how qualified a person is to be a good doctor.
Have an OSCE-like interview where there are various stations. Maybe have a few stations with the standard interview questions, but extra stations with scenarios so interviewers can see how an applicant reacts to certain things or when put on the spot. It will prevent bias as well...and may help weed out a few more of those people who lack "people skills" aka cannot start or continue a conversation with another human-being.
I'm sure there are more things that need changing but I can't really think of anything at the moment.
Well in that case, scrap UKCAT and those other admissions exams because they seem pointless and irrelevant. A person can get 690 on their UKCAT and be the worst doctor imaginable. I don't think those admissions exams are necessary on determining whether to offer a student a place to study. I think Unis need to focus on character and determination rather than scores, yes grades are important but I think they should consider on both personality/character and grades..but mainly focus on character
Everyone should be interviewed to some extent, there is no other way to see how people are at talking to people and to assess their interpersonal skills. A candidate who seems perfect on paper could turn out to be awful at actually talking to people, and those who are rejected without interview could have been much better candidates.
(Original post by skylight17)
Although this would be ideal - they have already established it couldn't be done this way. I'm more referring to the current process
It is perfectly do-able and there have been discussions about it on a relatively serious level. Also, how is changing the time of application not relevant to the topic of the current process or the question:
"If you could change ONE thing about the application process - what would it be and why?"
I fully agree that applying with your results would be a lot better for both the students, who as mentioned earlier, will know where they 'can' and 'should' apply to, as well as the universities who will be able to, more fairly and objectively judge applications as the method for determining and setting predicted grades at different schools, not to mention different countries, varies considerably.
(Original post by IamBeowulf)
Make predicted grades/ AS UMS scores more important than GCSEs.
This is definitely true.
I agree with the whole UKCAT thing though (and this comes from someone who did okay last year, and well this year, so I'm not biased :P)
Not sure about MMI, because I haven't actually experienced it, but I still think traditional interviews will be better - its all about people skills, and working out how honest you are. The way I see it, the personal statement should get you the interview, the interview is just to prove that the stuff you wrote is true. Its obviously not in a lot of cases, but I'd like to see it that way. Give you the chance to expand on your personal statement and emphasise that you weren't exaggerating when you say you are good at X and Y, and better allow you to show a bit of passion and people skills.
Anyone care to explain the 'bias interviewers' point? Its just I can kind of see where that one comes from, but on the other hand, if a person is likeable, surely thats a plus for them to be a good doctor? I guess thats just my experience of doctors at work, the ones that are friendly and open and nice in general are the ones the staff and patients like best. Is that the kind of bias you mean?
I've experienced both types of interview and I would never have thought I'd say this before I did MMI at QUB, but MMI was by far a more enjoyable experience. Of course, I'm biased because QUB was my only offer despite what I thought were strong interviews at Aberdeen and St Andrews.
However, there has been quite a lot of work done on studying the merits of MMI, and it would appear that it is interesting more and more medical schools. With Dundee and St Georges producing a lot of the initial information and the likes of QUB, UEA, Edinburgh etc investing more and more time in testing the feasibility of MMI.
I don't agree with the MMI format of interviews to be honest, they are usually very short and its very hard to find out the personality of the candidate from the MMI format of interviews compared to the traditional but thats just my experience, if maybe they increased the time of the individual MMI interviews I could see how they might be more effective.
I would change the emphasis on GCSE's as in some schools gaining 5A*s can be amazing whereas gaining 7A*s in another can be average, whereas at least in the UKCAT nobody has a huge advantage due to their school or upbringing, plus is it fair to assess applicants from the age of 14-16 as some students mature later than others, and how does getting A*s in the GCSE's apart from maths, english and sciences make you a better doctor than someone who got A's, personally I think the AS performance and personal statement should account for more in the application process, with more interviews being handed out.
From a graduate's perspective, I would say that A level and GCSE results ought to be totally disregarded. And that medical schools should be more accommodating towards those with 2:2 degrees (that's not me, before anyone starts); perhaps a Masters at merit could make up for it.
I would have a standard entrance exam for medicine/veterinary along the lines of the old 11-plus, but obviously tailored for those who have undertaken a-level sciences. A-levels have consistently proved worthless for the most in-demand courses, and I would like to see them only considered in the most border-line of border-lined cases. After that I would simply filter through an interview.
The problem with the UKCAT is that it is a bit esoteric, but med schools seem to like it, so something must be going on there.
MMIs are a terrible idea overall, but, like the UKCAT, I suspect they're considered in vogue these days, so I don't expect to see the back of them soon.....