AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. December 2012, Volume 14, Number 12.

Ethics Poll

Who Gets To Be a Doctor

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

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?
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?
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”?
Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of Virtual Mentor readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.