Medical schools in Israel have come to the conclusion that in addition to a high psychometric score, it is important for a doctor to feel compassion. To this end, the schools recently decided to alter their admissions procedures to start examining qualities such as sensitivity, integrity and interpersonal communication. The new test was developed by the National Institute for Testing and Evaluation (NITE), the body responsible for psychometric testing, and the National Center for Medical Simulation, which charge NIS 600 to administer the test. The medical schools have not given up on the psychometric test, which is still the decisive factor in acceptance, but have now added interviews, personal questionnaires and situation simulation games involving dilemmas faced by doctors. This method is not perfect. It turns out that it works to the detriment of Arab applicants (see box). In addition, it raises fundamental questions, including whether stressing the human side of the physician has filtered down to the curriculum and training sessions, or whether it stops with the admission exams; and whether it is even possible to predict who will be a good doctor. Taking initiative Tel Aviv University has been using the new evaluation method […]

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