Chair’s message – Medical School Selection Process

Family doctors who are preceptors for medical students and residents contribute significantly to the knowledge, skills and attitudes of future family doctors.

Did you know that you can also influence the future of healthcare by playing a role in the selection of students who enter medical school? Many of you are already engaged in this process here at Western, but there is always a need for more.

For admission to Canadian medical schools there is evidence that the Medical College Admission Test, (MCAT), cut off for choosing students to interview doesn’t need to be as high as it has been. Students who apply to medical school are generally very knowledgeable and score well on the MCAT, and any score over the 50th percentile will be acceptable. A lower MCAT cut off therefore still produces well-qualified candidates from a knowledge perspective and increases the pool from which to choose. The challenge is how to select from this group the candidates with the right communication skills and attitudes to be the doctors of tomorrow.

At Western, the process for selecting medical students is being revised to try and choose the most suitable students. The new process will include file reviews, interviews and written responses to select questions. More doctors than ever are necessary for the file review process.

Since Family Medicine is a large department at Schulich, at least 30 more file reviewers from our department will be necessary. File reviewers will be required to review 10 to 15 files over a two-week period, generally one or two files per day. This is a critically important and satisfying way for one to contribute to the medical education process.

If you are potentially interested and want more information, please fill out the online survey by June 1, 2019, or contact us in the Family Medicine office.

As always I welcome your feedback at or on Twitter @DOCSJW.