We Should Rethink How We Recruit Medical Students

We Should Rethink How We Recruit Medical Students

US medical schools face 5 big issues. One of them is recruiting the right talent resulting in a diverse talent pipeline with the knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies they will need to win the 4th industrial revolution. The present system of recruiting and interviewing applicants is rife with bias, expensive and time consuming and does not correlate with the eventual performance of a doctor. In addition, the faculty who do the interviewing lack formal training in how to conduct the interview and how to score the results using a rubric with clearly identified metrics.

Medical education is not alone, as noted in a recent HBR article describing how Goldman Sachs changed how they recruited new hires. Perhaps it is time for medical schools to adopt three new ways of recruiting and accepting medical students:

  1. Asynchronous video interviews. Candidates are asked to submit their answers to interview questions. Recruiters record standardized questions to applicants who have three days to return videos of their answers. Selected applicants are invited for a subsequent face to face interview.

  2. Structured questioning and assessments. Candidates are asked about specific experiences they have had that are similar to situations they are likely to experience in the practice of medicine. Interviewers are provided training and a rubric how to rate responses on a five point scale.

  3. Eliminating the MCATs.

In addition to meeting diversity goals and casting a wider net of applicants, the process creates a "learning lab" to better understand what applicants want and how to better measure competencies. 

Here's the case for diversity and inclusion. Curriculum reform and design starts with a market based needs assessment, information that can be derived from the video interviews.

Here is the case for replacing or supplementing MD/MBA programs with MD/MBE programs

Medical schools need to rethink how they are recruiting applicants. Being complacent because the number of applicants vastly exceeds the number of slots is another part of the craniorectal inversion syndrome.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD.

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  • Daniel Allen

    Good advice

  • Keith Richardson

    It's time to overhaul medical school entrance tests.

  • Chris Lambert

    I want my son or daughter to become a doctor.

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org. He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at www.bridgehealth.com and www.cliexa.com and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at www.globalminded.org, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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