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Do Medical Students in Their Fifth Year of Undergraduate Training Differ in Their Suitability to Become a “Good Doctor” Depending on Their Admission Criteria? A Pilot Study

Authors Kötter T, Rose SI, Waldmann A, Steinhäuser J

Received 21 October 2019

Accepted for publication 24 January 2020

Published 7 February 2020 Volume 2020:11 Pages 109—112


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Azim Majumder

Thomas Kötter, 1, 2 Silvia Isabelle Rose, 1, 2 Annika Waldmann, 2 Jost Steinhäuser 1

1Institute of Family Medicine, University Medical Centre Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany; 2Institute of Social Medicine and Epidemiology, University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany

Correspondence: Thomas Kötter
Institute of Family Medicine, University Medical Centre Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, Lübeck 23562, Germany
Tel +49 451 3101 8006
Fax +49 451 3101 8004

Background: In Germany, the pre-university grade point average (pu-GPA) has to be the main criterion for medical school applicant selection. This is also mandatory in the university-specific selection procedures (Auswahlverfahren der Hochschulen [AdH]). The admission framework has now been reworked following a judgement by the German Federal Constitutional Court. From 2020, more students will be admitted based solely on the pu-GPA and at least two selection criteria independent of the pu-GPA have to be considered in the AdH. However, the question whether an AdH (the core of the AdH at Lübeck Medical School [LMS], Germany, is a 30-mins panel interview led by two faculty members and one student) leads to better doctors as compared to pu-GPA-based selection, remains unanswered.
Objective: To compare students selected based either on their pu-GPA alone (“pu-GPA-students”) or based on the result of the AdH at LMS (“AdH-students”) regarding their suitability to become a good doctor.
Design: We conducted a cross-sectional observational pilot study at LMS. Students were judged regarding their overall suitability to become a good doctor by their supervising general practitioners after a two-week internship in their last year of theoretical medical education. The scores were matched to the selection procedure and compared between the pu-GPA-students and AdH-students.
Results: In all, 79% of the AdH-students were rated as “absolutely suitable” for the medical profession, as compared to 42% of the pu-GPA-students (p = 0.01, odds ratio 5.17, 95% confidence interval = 1.41, 18.99). We did not find any association between gender or age and the suitability rating.
Conclusion: Despite the small sample size, our results indicate that it could be favourable to select medical students not only based on their pu-GPA but also using additional selection criteria.

Keywords: medical education, medical students, students selection, educational assessment

Two Letters to the Editor have been received and published for this article
Bestetti et al

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