Dr Day responds

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 53 , No. 10 , December 2011 , Pages 518 Letters

The intent of my editorial was not to elicit a defensive response from the architects or supporters of the admission process. Nor did I anticipate that they would refer to an interview pro­cess carried out by physicians as a “lottery.” Sensitive physicians might consider that an insult to their professional abilities and judgment. 

I am always suspicious of writers who quote their own work as auth­oritative and providing evidence of reliability. I tediously checked out the references quoted above, and they pro­vide absolutely no evidence that the selection process that Eva and Finkler promote identifies candidates who will make better doctors. I find their bibliography to be selective, and others refute their claims.[1

Further, they do not address the plight of candidates such as the outstanding female student, who worked nights and weekends to help support her single mother and siblings (while paying her own undergraduate tuition fees), being marked down and rejected for a lack of volunteer work. The UBC privacy policy that prevents such information being available to interviewers is a misguided example of bureaucracy trumping common sense.

If the current interview process is based on sound research why, having now analyzed it, will they no longer ask candidates to play with building blocks? What happened to the “published evidence” that validated it? Will they still ask candidates to pretend to be an animal, and where is the data that those who have a preference for being a particular animal make better doctors?

I am confident that few, if any, of the current UBC professors or deans would get through the current admission process. I have never, as Eva and Finkler suggest, questioned the ethics and principles of those involved in the current process. I simply question the validity of the testing method.

Our current crop of medical students is excellent. The reality is that with almost seven qualified applicants for each space, even an unfair process could deliver 288 good candidates. And it does.
—BD

Brian Day, MB. Dr Day responds. BCMJ, Vol. 53, No. 10, December, 2011, Page(s) 518 - Letters.



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Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

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