Only the best: medical student selection in Australia

Dev A Kevat
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (7): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11697
Published online: 15 April 2013

To the Editor: I share Mahar’s concern regarding any future screening of prospective medical students for signs that they are likely to develop mental or physical impairment.1 Although Wilson and colleagues do acknowledge that screening may not be ethical, the separate issue of their seeming conflation of likelihood of illness with impaired ability to practise in the long term is problematic.2 Mental illness, and particularly depression and anxiety, are common disorders in medical students.3

  • School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

I have previously worked for Monash University in developing materials for use in medical student selection interviews and as a selection interviewer. I have also worked for the Centre for Medical Officer Recruitment and Education at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

  • 1. Mahar PD. Only the best: medical student selection in Australia [letter]. Med J Aust 2012; 197: 443. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Wilson IG, Roberts C, Flynn EM, Griffin B. Only the best: medical student selection in Australia [letter]. Med J Aust 2012; 196: 684. <MJA full text>
  • 3. Dyrbye LN, Thomas MR, Shanafelt TD. Systematic review of depression, anxiety, and other indicators of psychological distress among US and Canadian medical students. Acad Med 2006; 81: 354-373.


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