Tracking Down the Ideal Military Physician: Preliminary Proposals for a Longitudinal Study at USUHS,
UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIV OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES BETHESDA MD
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Each year more than 40,000 individuals apply for entrance to the nations 116 medical schools, hoping to be among that select one-third of the applicant population that is ultimately successful in gaining admission. It is a frustrating, fatiguing, and arduous ordeal for the medical schools. Initially, they have to deal with the avalanche of applications that inundate their admissions offices annually, in numbers exceeding seven times the total applicant population, as each applicant applies to an average of seven plus medical schools. Naturally, this represents a heavy drain on the resources of these schools in terms of time, staff, and money. More importantly, however, the schools also have to cope with the uncertain and difficult task of selecting entrants. It is uncertain and difficult because, despite years of research, medical schools have been unable to delineate those factors which are reliable determinants, or predictors, of the successful physician. Schools, professional organizations, and scientific groups are responding affirmatively by looking for ways to ascertain the validity and reliability of selection criteria and techniques. Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences USUHS is presently formulating plans for a long-term study to validate andor improve its own unique admissions process--unique because USU is concerned not only with selecting persons for a career in medicine in the generally applied sense, but rather with identifying persons who will become good military physicians.