Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, Volume 11 No. 1 Spring 2005, 3-14
DEVELOPMENT OF THE PERSONAL QUALITIES ASSESSMENT AS A TOOL FOR SELECTING MEDICAL STUDENTS
David Powis, Miles Bore, Donald Munro and Mary Ann Lumsden
University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia and University of Glasgow
A review of the medical student selection literature and our own past research (Lowe, Kerridge, Bore, Munro and Powis (2001) has indicated that competent and ethical practice of medicine requires doctors to possess a range of personal qualities in addition to high-level academic ability. A three-part test battery called the Personal Qualities Assessment (PQA) has been developed as a measure of some of these qualities: it consists of the Mental Agility Test MAT), which measures cognitive skills, the Mojac scale, which measures moral orientation, and the NACE scale, which measures Narcissism, Aloofness, Confidence and Empathy. Five hundred and seven applicants for entry in October 2003 to the Scottish medical schools volunteered to complete the MAT, Mojac and NACE tests in January 2003. The test results played no part in making or informing selection decisions. The scores obtained by the candidates on each test covered a wide range, indicating that each test component has good discriminating power. Correlations between the test components were low (-0.02 to +0.17), indicating that they each measure different attributes. Since the test results were not used in making selection decisions it will be possible to relate outcome indices (e.g., examination and professional performance as the students progress through medical school) to the test component scores to seek evidence for the predictive validity of the PQA battery and thereby indicate its potential usefulness as a selection tool.