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The best choice? Evidence on selection into the healthcare professions

Woolf, K; Potts, HW; Stott, J; McManus, IC; Williams, A; Scior, K; (2015) The best choice? Evidence on selection into the healthcare professions. The Psychologist Green open access

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Abstract

How do we select people to become healthcare professionals? Psychologists, medical doctors and other health care professionals have demanding jobs that significantly impact on the public. The professions, and academic psychologists, have a duty to produce evidence on who should fill these roles. Many of us are personally involved in choosing candidates and want to know if our choices are sound. It is now widely accepted that those choices must be carefully balanced with the mandate to better reflect the population by increasing demographic diversity (e.g. Medical Schools Council, 2014). In many professional courses such as clinical psychology and medicine, the validity of selection methods is especially important because nearly everyone accepted qualifies to practice. Training routes are heavily oversubscribed, with the applicant-to-place ratio for clinical psychology as high as 30:1. This has led to concerns that it seems next to impossible to gain a place and selection processes are opaque. This article provides an overview of selection methods, asking how well they predict later performance and how fair they are. We use examples from medicine, where there is considerable research evidence (cf. McManus, The Psychologist, 2005), and from clinical psychology, where there is less, but which is more relevant. Medicine and clinical psychology are interesting because they require selectors to consider candidates’ personal qualities such as empathy, warmth, and a commitment to best practice, as well as academic ability.

Type: Article
Title: The best choice? Evidence on selection into the healthcare professions
Location: UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/
Language: English
Additional information: This is a pre-publication version of the following article: Woolf, K; Potts, HW; McManus, IC; Williams, A; Stott, J; Scior, K; (2015) The best choice? Evidence on selection into the healthcare professions. The Psychologist
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > UCL Medical School
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care > CHIME
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1461543
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