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Med Teach. 2006 Dec;28(8):e214-9.

Evaluation of selection criteria for graduate students in radiation therapy.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Imaging & Radiation Science, School of Biomedical Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia. michal.schneider-kolsky@med.monash.edu.au

Abstract

Selection of suitable students into graduate medical and specialist health professional courses can be difficult. Historically, selection of students was primarily based on prior academic performance. Recently, however, more emphasis has been placed on considering broader academic backgrounds and personal characteristics and attitudes of students, but no reliable measurement tool is available to predict student success and satisfaction with their choice of profession. The aim of this study was to survey practising radiation therapists in Australia to seek their opinions regarding suitable selection criteria for graduate entry radiation therapy (RT) students in order to optimize selection procedures for future applicants. Four hundred questionnaires were sent to nine RT centres in three states within Australia. All nine clinics participated in the survey and 189 questionnaires were returned. Results show that the majority of radiation therapists place a high level of importance upon a sound knowledge of physics and mathematics, as well as life experience, and agree that a visit to an RT clinic plus an interview comprise important components of the selection process. Humanities, psychology and a psychometric test were not viewed as essential entry requirements. Experienced radiation therapists placed less value on academic performance in the primary degree and were more likely to include an interview as a selection criterion than junior practitioners. Empathy for patients was identified as the most important personal attribute. It is thus recommended that not only cognitive but also personal skills be evaluated during the selection of prospective radiation therapists.

PMID:
17594574
DOI:
10.1080/01421590600969538
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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