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Re-engineering the Resident Applicant Selection Process in Ophthalmology: A Literature Review and Recommendations for Improvement.

Authors: Andrew G. Lee, Karl C. Golnik, Thomas A. Oetting, Hilary A. Beaver, et al.

Surv Ophthalmol 2008. 53(2):164-76.

The current resident selection process of ophthalmology has undergone little change over the last several years, and remains highly dependent on cognitive selection factors (i.e. medical knowledge). Unfortunately, these selection factors have not been shown to be consistently predictive of future resident performance. The current selection process does not recruit for other required fundamental competencies, such as professionalism, interpersonal and communication skills, or professional development.
Authors propose an implementation strategy to re-engineer and improve the resident selection process in ophthalmology (and potentially develop assessments that would be predictive of resident performance) that would encompass cognitive and non-cognitive competencies. After reviewing literature regarding resident selection, they gleaned selected ‘‘good practices’’ from the literature review and summarized the results. Specific recommendations were reviewed for topicality to ophthalmology and where possible for feasibility, reliability, and validity.
Authors finally propose an implementation matrix for aligning the resident application process with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies that might include:

  • using a standardized and consolidated academic score for the cognitive domains;
  • converting the letter of recommendation into a letter of evaluation;
  • standardizing the letters of evaluation;
  • using behaviour specific interview techniques with standardized questions; and
  • developing a specialty based consensus for the selection of traits specific to ophthalmology that might predict success.

You can order it online at Survey of Ophthalmology (U$S 31.50), or get it free if you have access to the ONE network.

I have no financial interests related to this recommendation (GP)

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