Virtual Mentor

Virtual Mentor. December 2012, Volume 14, Number 12: 925-1039.

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December 2012 Contents

Getting into Medical School and Residency

Ethics Poll

As pointed out in this month's medical education article, many European medical schools admit students on the basis of admissions exam scores and grade point average only. Such quantitative admission systems can be defended as being fully transparent, merit-based, and without subjectivity. Which of the following best describes what you think about this system versus the American system, which allows student interviews, character references, personality traits, and demographic information to influence admissions?
The American system is better because it produces a more diverse student body.
The American system is better because honesty and compassion are as important as academic excellence in physicians.
The American system is better because people without the best secondary education get a chance to see whether they can succeed in medical school.
The European system is better because, ultimately, the best physicians are those who can think well, learn and retain information, and analyze new situations, all measurable cognitive skills.
The European system is better because the American system is highly subjective and subjective ratings of candidates are not reliable predictors of success in medical school.
The European system is better because it is less vulnerable to favoritism, prejudice, and “gaming.”

Many colleges and universities, including medical schools and law schools, give special consideration to applicants whose parents or grandparents graduated from that school. These “legacy” applicants get an even greater admission boost, so to speak, if their forbears were donors to the institution. All things considered, do you think such a system is justifiable?
Yes.
No.
Don’t know.

One subjective component to admission to medical school and residency training in the U.S. is the personal letter of recommendation (medical school) and the dean's letter or medical student performance evaluation (residency training). Studies have shown that writers of these letters use different terms when describing similar traits in male and female students and that the sex of the writer also influences the adjectives used. Which of the following best describes what you think about these of “gender-correlated differences in language”?
Nothing wrong with it; men and women are different.
Studies should be done to identify which pairs of words refer to the same characteristics in men and women, respectively, and that information should be available to those who evaluate applicants.
Writers and readers of such letters should have mandatory sensitivity training so that they can write in gender-neutral terms and interpret the letters of those who do not write in gender-neutral terms.
Don’t know.

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From the Editor

On Choosing the “Perfect” Doctor
Stephanie K. Fabbro
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:928-931.

Educating for Professionalism

Ethics Cases

National Resident Matching Program Violations
Commentary by Jennifer A. Sbicca, Katherine Gordon, and Stefani Takahashi
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:932-936.

Personality Testing in Resident Selection
Commentary by Asher Tulsky, Julie M. Aultman, and Matthew J. Zirwas
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:937-945.

Legacy Admissions in Medical School
Commentary by Carol L. Elam and Norma E. Wagoner
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:946-949.

Conley Essay Contest

2011 Winning Essay
Is Anything Wrong Here? State University's Scholarship Case

William Smith
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:950-957.

2011 Runner-Up Essay
The Purpose of a Medical School

Elizabeth Joe
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:958-962.

2011 Runner-Up Essay
"Social Engineering" versus "Medical Patriotism": What Flexner Can Teach Us about Solving the Primary Care Crisis

Eliza C. Miller
Full Text
| PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:963-969.

2011 Runner-Up Essay
Incentives for Medical School Students to Practice Primary Care through the Lens of John Rawls

Mariya Rozenblit
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:970-976.

2011 Runner-Up Essay
Stuffing Mouths with Gold: Equitable Solutions to the Primary Care Shortage

Bilal A. Siddiqui
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:977-983.

Medical Education

Becoming a Doctor in Europe: Objective Selection Systems
Andreia Martins Martinho
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:984-988.

Journal Discussion

Expectations of Gender in Medical Education
Kevin McMullen, Matthew Janko, and Kelley Wittbold
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:989-992.

State of the Art and Science

Assessing Noncognitive Attributes: The Primary Care Orientation Scale
Erik Porfeli and Stephanie K. Fabbro
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:993-997.

Bias in Assessment of Noncognitive Attributes
Rick D. Axelson and Kristi J. Ferguson
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:998-1002.

Law, Policy, and Society

Health Law

Affirmative Action and Medical School Admissions
Valarie Blake
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:1003-1007.

Policy Forum

The National Resident Matching Program All-In Policy: Potential Consequences and Ethical Questions
Jennifer Saultz and Nathan Wright
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:1008-1010.

Medicine and Society

Honesty and Fairness in the Residency Match
Justin M. List
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:1011-1015.

History, Art, and Narrative

Medical Narrative

Selecting Medical Students, Then and Now
Samuel Shem
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:1016-1020.

Op-Ed and Correspondence

Op-Ed

Standardizing and Improving the Content of the Dean’s Letter
Marianne M. Green, Sandra M. Sanguino, and John X. Thomas, Jr.
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:1021-1026.

Resources

Suggested Readings and Resources
PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:1027-1035.

About the Contributors
Full Text | PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2012; 14:1036-1039.