A systematic review of stakeholder views of selection methods for medical schools admission

Kelly, M. E.
Patterson, F.
O’Flynn, S.
Mulligan, J.
Murphy, A. W.
Kelly, M. E. Patterson, F.; O’Flynn, S.; Mulligan, J.; Murphy, A. W. (2018). A systematic review of stakeholder views of selection methods for medical schools admission. BMC Medical Education 18 ,
Background: The purpose of this paper is to systematically review the literature with respect to stakeholder views of selection methods for medical school admissions. Methods: An electronic search of nine databases was conducted between January 2000-July 2014. Two reviewers independently assessed all titles (n = 1017) and retained abstracts (n = 233) for relevance. Methodological quality of quantitative papers was assessed using the MERSQI instrument. The overall quality of evidence in this field was low. Evidence was synthesised in a narrative review. Results: Applicants support interviews, and multiple mini interviews (MMIs). There is emerging evidence that situational judgement tests (SJTs) and selection centres (SCs) are also well regarded, but aptitude tests less so. Selectors endorse the use of interviews in general and in particular MMIs judging them to be fair, relevant and appropriate, with emerging evidence of similarly positive reactions to SCs. Aptitude tests and academic records were valued in decisions of whom to call to interview. Medical students prefer interviews based selection to cognitive aptitude tests. They are unconvinced about the transparency and veracity of written applications. Perceptions of organisational justice, which describe views of fairness in organisational processes, appear to be highly influential on stakeholders' views of the acceptability of selection methods. In particular procedural justice (perceived fairness of selection tools in terms of job relevance and characteristics of the test) and distributive justice (perceived fairness of selection outcomes in terms of equal opportunity and equity), appear to be important considerations when deciding on acceptability of selection methods. There were significant gaps with respect to both key stakeholder groups and the range of selection tools assessed. Conclusions: Notwithstanding the observed limitations in the quality of research in this field, there appears to be broad concordance of views on the various selection methods, across the diverse stakeholders groups. This review highlights the need for better standards, more appropriate methodologies and for broadening the scope of stakeholder research.
Springer Nature
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland