Implicit criteria of the medical student entry selection process at Witten/Herdecke University

Ehlers, Jan P; Hofmann, Marzellus; Fricke, Julia; Fischer, Martin R; Bauer, Daniel; Zupanic, Michaela (27 August 2018). Implicit criteria of the medical student entry selection process at Witten/Herdecke University. In: AMEE Conference. Dundee: Association for Medical Education in Europe

The entry selection process for medical students at Witten/Herdecke University (WHU) includes explicit and implicit criteria. This study’s objective is the description of implicit selection criteria of reviewers and further improvement of the process and contributes to the recurring national and international debates on the effectiveness of admission criteria for medical programs. Three qualitative studies on all phases of the selection process were conducted to determine reviewers’ implicit evaluation criteria: an extreme group comparison of motivation letter (20 pledges versus 20 rejections), semi-structured interviews (N=25) with raters and focus group wrap-up discussions closing a selection weekend (N=8, twice).
Content analysis revealed 14 main categories in the motivation letters. Significant differences between the extreme groups were found in these categories: school career, career aspiration as a physician, reasons to apply at WHU, GPA, and reflection. Analysis of interviews identified three main categories of intellectual ability, motivation and social skills. Reflection skills were unveiled as an overarching category of outstanding importance to reviewers. Focus group analysis revealed four main categories of performance, personality, viability, and reflectivity. Reflectivity was confirmed as the most commonly used evaluation criterion in both focus groups. Main categories are the motivation for the job and the choice for WHU; achievement and ability to study; personality, viability and social competence as well as reflection skills as the underlying competence and overarching category. The reviewers considered reflectiveness as f the key competence for medical education and professional medical practice and is a predictor of a lifelong professional development as physician.
These results shed light on the implicit selection criteria for medical students at WHU and contribute to a better understanding of its validity. The ability to reflect was identified as aspect leading to an increased likelihood of successfully passing the selection process.Implicitly, the selection process at WHU identifies candidates with both a broad scientific knowledge base and social skills and who are above all capable of self-reflection.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute for Medical Education
04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute for Medical Education > Education and Media Unit (AUM)

UniBE Contributor:

Bauer, Daniel


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health


Association for Medical Education in Europe




Daniel Bauer

Date Deposited:

29 Aug 2018 09:31

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:17

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