The the first personal aptitude test (PAP) in medicine in Spain, in detail. This October, a pilot test was carried out in medical schools in Catalonia for all students who started their medical career in this one course 2022-2023. The goal is to analyze the personal and intellectual abilities of students and see if they are in line with the profile of a medical student. This test was born in the horizon of extrapolation to other medical schools in Spain to make a first assessment of the student body interested in a medical career. Moreover, the most optimistic aspiration of the Dean of Medicine is that this exam can be connected with the actual EBAU and distinguish which students enter a medical career according to their abilities, as is the case in other European countries, such as Belgium, the Netherlands or Italy. Collected first impressions Medical writing show that, according to the students, the test was “fun, but a bit difficult to understand in certain statements”, while its promoters believe that “well designed, because it discriminates according to the results achieved”.
The professional values analysis test was voluntarily and anonymously. This initiative has broad consensus among deans medical schools, since it is an extended test in Europe, and the results of the pilot test will be shared for discussion and its subsequent establishment at other universities.
The test consisted of three sections. The first, the so-called CREPE -communication and relationship in a professional environment- consists of ten cases with four questions each. Other, June -judgement of specific situations- consists of fifteen cases with four questions each and, finally, the third, so-called CRACK -ability of reasoning and critical analysis-, which consists of four cases with four questions each. All questions have four answers, of which only one is valid, says the notice sent by the faculties to students, which this newspaper had access to.
According to the organizers of the personal aptitude test, “it is not a question of knowledge testing. CREP and Juesc ask for a personal opinion, while CRAC tries to find out if they have understood the texts of each case well”. The the time to answer each question is one minute. In addition, there is another topic where students find two sets of questions about the paths and scales they value “humanism” and “social responsibility”.
How do students rate the test?
Students explain that at some faculties, they are reminded twice about the possibility of taking the personal aptitude test because “few people took it” on the first day. A first-year medical student reports that “the first part was a bit ambiguous and it depended a lot on what you think,” while another colleague found the test “fun, but a little difficult to understand in certain sentences.” However, both claim that “trust me to serve”.
“It seems to us to be a well-designed test, because it discriminates based on the results. Not everyone has the same score”
As an example, CREP explained cases of the doctor’s actions in certain situations, and the students had to evaluate them: “How do you think the doctor behaves at this moment?” Why do you think the doctor does this?“.
The second part about judgments was more about ethics and how to behave in life situations. One example is what to do if you walk into the bathroom and your friend quickly hides the pill. Among some of the answers, “do nothing” or “talk to the teacher”. The last one revolved around reading comprehension.
What are the preliminary results?
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Rovira i Virgili (URV) and coordinator of the personal aptitude test for medicine in Catalonia, Antoni Castro Salomóassures us that after the first look at the tests conducted by the participants of their centers, “it seems that it is a well-designed test, since discriminate according to resultsNot everyone has the same note.
While Castro acknowledges that it is “still too early” to extrapolate these first results to other colleges, he stresses the importance of “trying to get the maximum number of students to draw reliable conclusions.” The dean hopes to reach 500 students.
“We always find one or two medical students per subject whose personal preferences make it difficult for them to do well in certain specialties”
“In general it was good reception among students“, explains Castro. The personal ability test seeks to find out the characteristics of students entering medicine, because “now we only have information about selectivity”.
Interest of other deans
More and more deans are showing interest in implementing personal ability testing for medical students. “Almost every country in the world has some other way of assessment to medical students, along the border among others: the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia”, recently described in detail the dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB). Miquel Ángel Roca Bennàsarin the Parliamentary Committee on Health.
In his speech, he asserted that “we discovered always one or two students per course whose personal characteristics and tendencies make it difficult for them to be good in certain specialties of medical practice in contact with the patient”.
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