A major concern amongst final year medical students is that their performance on a totally new examination will have a major influence on where they will live and work for the first two years of their professional lives.
(PRWEB UK) 4 November 2012
Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) are psychological tests that assess how an individual is likely to respond to a specific situation. Since the early 90s they have been used by an increasing number of organisations to evaluate and predict employee performance. Interestingly, they will now be used in the UK for the recruitment of medical graduates and also to assess their potential for success in the workplace. According to SJTexam.com, an online revision resource for the exam, introduction of the SJT has been a growing cause for concern amongst the medical community.
Medical graduates are required to complete a two-year “foundation training programme”, which is a period of generic training aimed at equipping young doctors with the necessary skills for independent clinical practice. Acceptance into a strong foundation training post is highly coveted and there is immense competition amongst graduates for jobs that are based in reputable teaching hospitals and in popular geographical locations such as the major cities. For the first time ever in the history of medical education in the UK, medical school graduates will now be faced with the challenge of performing well in a Situational Judgement Test (SJT) in order to secure their first choice foundation year one (FY1) job.
The SJT will be a computer-marked, multiple-choice test taken under strict exam conditions. Candidates will be presented with a set of hypothetical work based scenarios and asked to make judgements about possible responses. The test is designed to assess professional attributes and behaviours expected of the Foundation Doctor.
Training jobs will be allocated based on the candidates overall score at the end of the application process. Performance in the SJT will contribute 50% to the overall application score whereas the other 50% will be largely derived from the candidates’ academic performance during the undergraduate years in medical school.
The medical student committee of the British Medical Association (BMA) has expressed serious concern that engagement in extra-curricular activities is not acknowledged in the SJT. The new application process may prove to be disadvantageous for students who actively participate in university life and whilst it is important to be a safe, responsible doctor, students should also be encouraged to nurture their interests outside of medicine. Student leaders say ‘The skills gained via extracurricular activities go beyond the academic ones of knowledge and learning skills, and culminate in the development of broader professional skills such as team work, social skills, team building, organisation, and motivation.’
Dr. Haque, a general practitioner in London, said: “Introduction of the new SJT has profoundly changed the playing field for medical graduates. A major concern amongst final year medical students is that their performance on a totally new examination will have a major influence on where they will live and work for the first two years of their professional lives. Many students feel that they have not been given sufficient training for this form of assessment during the undergraduate years”.
In order to ensure entry into desirable foundation programme training posts, students are now turning to resources that could aid them in preparing for the SJT. One resource in particular that has gained quite a bit of attention amongst medical students is SJTexam.com. SJTexam.com is an online revision resource that provides its users practice questions for the SJT. This helps not only to decrease the natural anxiety and stress associated with sitting an unfamiliar exam but it also helps users to anticipate the type of questions that may be asked on the official SJT. Dr. Abdi, developer of SJTexam.com, said: “Our tests were created and validated by clinicians with experience of situational judgement tests. We spent many months developing practice questions that accurately reflect real life scenarios faced by foundation doctors during their day-to-day work. Our goal is for medical graduates to see us as partners who are here to help ensure their success“.