Predicting who will choose a family medicine residency

Acad Med. 1997 Oct;72(10):908-12.


Purpose: To create and evaluate a screening instrument and a revised interview format for use in the selection of family medicine residents at the McGill University Faculty of Medicine.

Method: The screening tool consisted of two sections an assessment of academic performance (the TASS) and an evaluation of applicants' generalist versus specialist orientation (the GSSS); each applicant's file was assessed by two raters. The revised interview included specific questions and scenarios related to family medicine. All three parts were tested on 143 applicants from outside the region of Quebec in 1994-95. The results on both parts of the screening tool and the interview were compared with the students' first choices of residency and then were compared with the performances of the 24 accepted into the program as reflected in their first six-month summative evaluation forms. Data were analyzed through several statistical methods.

Results: Only the GSSS accurately predicted the applicants' first choices (for agreement between both raters: sensitivity, 81%; specificity, 70%; accuracy, 78%). No significant association was found when comparing matching applicants' scores obtained during the selection process with their scores on the six-month evaluation forms.

Conclusion: The GSSS may prove useful as a tool in the review of applicants' files. More studies are needed to reevaluate the use of the interview in the selection process and to help determine whether any selection instrument can accurately predict applicants' subsequent performances in a residency.

MeSH terms

  • Career Choice*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Quebec
  • Sensitivity and Specificity