Medical School Admissions

The Necessity of Screening for Medical Schools

Screening for study in medical schools is necessary because of the huge demand for these courses and the limited supply of places, owing to the medical schools’ budgetary and logistic constraints and a lack of internship placings. The institutions of study screen applicants to courses in order to accept the candidates with the best chance of succeeding in their studies and with the talents required for functioning successfully as doctors.

Until about 15 years ago the medical schools in Israel would conduct an extended interview, usually of a single candidate, as part of the admissions process. The principal goal of the interview was to eliminate problematical candidates, and admission was chiefly based on bagrut (high school matriculation) scores and the Psychometric Test. Many studies have concluded that a non-structured interview is an unreliable measurement tool, and that it is also unfair, since it is not standardized and objective and is vulnerable to bias on the part of the assessors. Furthermore, one or two observations are not sufficiently reliable to be used as the basis of life-shaping decisions. In the light of these studies and the fact that medical schools in the western world began screening candidates through assessment centers, the decision was made to use assessment centers in the screening process for most of the medical schools in Israel. Assessment centers rely on many observations and assessments, on standardized measurements and a variety of measuring tools. These features improve the quality of measurement and its reliability and validity.