Selection for medical school: more than just excellence
Karen Stegers-Jager (Ph.D.) studied Educational Science and Technology (University of Twente, cum laude) and received her PhD in Medical Education from the Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2012. Currently, she is assistant professor at the Institute of Medical Education Research Rotterdam (iMERR). Her research focuses on selection, assessment and diversity in medical education. She aims to contribute to the creation of a level playing field for all future health professionals, regardless of their cultural or socio-economic backgrounds. In 2017 she received an NWO Veni grant to study the role of first impressions in rater-based assessments. Since 2017 she is coordinator of the local selection procedure at Erasmus MC. In 2019 she was the chair of the annual conference of the NVMO (Dutch organisation for Medical Education) which was dedicated to diversity and inclusion in medical education.
Selection for medical school
In the Netherlands, since 2000 until very recently, students were selected for medical school either on the basis of a national lottery system that was weighted for pre-university grades or on medical school-specific selection procedures. In 2017 the national lottery system was abolished and completely replaced by school-specific procedures. So far, research on selection has been mainly focused on the question whether selection leads to “better” students. However, the focus on selecting for excellence has two shortcomings:1) it fails to select for the different types of doctors that our society needs, 2) it might reduce the diversity of our student population.
Diverse student population
Previous research has revealed that a more diverse student population increases the educational quality of medical schools. In her CLI Fellowship, Karen focuses on the question: which measures before the start of medical school increase the diversity of the student population? Put differently, how do we ensure that we attract and select students with a variety of interests and backgrounds so that we can deliver the diversity of physicians that society needs.
Selecting for diversity to reach excellence
The overarching aim of this research project is to develop a selection procedure that leads to a diverse group of medical students who can optimally learn from each other in order to promote the quality of education. This goal is clearly in line with the vision of the EUR, which focuses on diversity and inclusivity, and is therefore also directly relevant for other EUR courses. The results of this research will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at (inter) national conferences and meetings on medical education and educational psychology. Knowledge distribution at EUR and Leiden-Delft-EUR (LDE) level is made possible through active participation (presentations, meetings) within CLI and LDE-CEL.