Selection for Medical School

Because the number of applicants to medical school exceeds the number of places available, selection of students is internationally widespread. In the Netherlands, medical schools use a variety of selection tools.

From 2000-2013 medical school applicants were placed in three different ways:

  1. Direct placement on the basis of a pre-university point grade average (puGPA) of 8 or higher
  2. Through a puGPA-weighted national lottery
  3. By one of the medical schools through a local selection procedure

From 2014 onward all Dutch medical schools do not accept national lottery applicants. It is expected that the lottery will be phased out in 2017.

At Erasmus MC we have taken advantage of the presence of a lottery-admitted control group to study the validity of the Erasmus MC selection procedure. The results of these studies can be found in these papers:

  • Urlings-Strop LC, Stijnen T, Themmen AP, & Splinter TA (2009). Selection of medical students: a controlled experiment. Medical education, 43 (2), 175-83 PMID: 19161489
  • Urlings-Strop LC, Themmen AP, Stijnen T, & Splinter TA (2011). Selected medical students achieve better than lottery-admitted students during clerkships. Medical education, 45 (10), 1032-40 PMID: 21883405
  • Urlings-Strop LC, Stegers-Jager KM, Stijnen T, & Themmen AP (2013). Academic and non-academic selection criteria in predicting medical school performance. Medical teacher, 35 (6), 497-502 PMID: 23477469
  • Stegers-Jager KM, Steyerberg EW, Lucieer SM, & Themmen AP (2015). Ethnic and social disparities in performance on medical school selection criteria. Medical education, 49 (1), 124-33 PMID: 25545580
  • Lucieer SM, Stegers-Jager KM, Rikers RM, & Themmen AP (2015). Non-cognitive selected students do not outperform lottery-admitted students in the pre-clinical stage of medical school. Advances in health sciences education : theory and practice PMID: 25935203
  • Stegers-Jager KM, Steyerberg EW, Lucieer SM, & Themmen AP (2015). Ethnic and social disparities in performance on medical school selection criteria. Medical education, 49 (1), 124-33 PMID: 25545580