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Des Spence in his weekly column writes:
"Increasingly...medical schools are using psychometric modelling and questionnaires in screening applicants, in addition to triple A academic rating. These test the soft skills of emotional quotient (EQ). A number crunched from an ability to read emotions, agreeableness, openness, extraversion, self awareness, and ability to cope—skills that blunt, direct, robust, older generations of doctors might describe as drug induced hippy 1970s nonsense.
A few medical schools, however, rely only on these tick box tests, qualifications, and personal statements in selection. There is no interview. This is a bad idea. No employer would appoint a senior person without an interview. Interviews expose the dissonance between a sparkling résumé and the person; seeing is truly believing. And EQ is a two way street: the interviewers get an opportunity to read the candidate to see if they are genuine and plausible. Some universities use standardised structured multiple mini interviews in the name of fairness and consistency. But there is still a role for traditional, left field, free flowing interviews: EQ and IQ in motion. This allows candidates an opportunity to shine."
Where should the balance lie? Should it be compulsory for medical schools to interview the applicant in person? Or is psychometric testing and questionnaires an adequate means of testing applicants?