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January 2, 1987

Medical School Performance of Initially Rejected Students

JAMA. 1987;257(1):47-51. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390010051027

At the University of Texas Medical School at Houston we had a unique opportunity to examine performance through the medical curriculum and one year of postgraduate training of 50 students initially rejected for medical school. Each had been interviewed by the same Admissions Committee, which earlier had selected 150 students through the traditional process. In contrasting the initially accepted and initially rejected groups, academic and demographic variables accounted for only 28% of group difference. The 72% of group difference not accounted for by the variables examined was presumed to relate to Admissions Committee preference. In attrition and in both preclinical and clinical performance through medical school and one year of postgraduate training, there were no meaningful differences between the groups. The observations suggest that the traditional interview process probably does not enhance the ability to predict performance of medical school applicants.

(JAMA 1987;257:47-51)