Should all prospective medical students be interviewed? Yes
Do interviews help or hinder in increasing the diversity of medical school uptake?
- By: Des Spence
- Published: 31 May 2012
- DOI: 10.1136/sbmj.e3596
- Cite this as: Student BMJ 2012;20:e3596
Have you ever bought something over the internet that looked fantastic only to find when it was in hand it was cheap rubbish? You can assess things in many ways, but seeing is believing. Three universities out of 31 UK medical schools do not interview prospective medical students: Belfast Queens, Edinburgh, and Southampton. The main arguments against interviewing are that the process is expensive and time consuming, and there is little evidence that interviews are good predictors of future academic and clinical success.1 But admission is competitive and training costs £100 000s2 per student, so common sense suggests that candidates should be vetted closely. Also, medicine is a high status, secure, and well paid profession, so some candidates consider medicine a trophy degree, not a life’s vocation. Intuitively, a face to face interview is a vital part of the assessment that would sift out those who want to do the job