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Natl Med J India. 2018 Nov-Dec;31(6):356-363. doi: 10.4103/0970-258X.262905.

Medical aptitude and its assessment.

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Department of Chemistry, Christ Junior College, Christ University, Hosur Road, Bengaluru 560029, Karnataka, India.
Centre for Education Beyond Curriculum, Christ (Deemed-to-be) University, Hosur Road, Bengaluru 560029, Karnataka, India.


The assessment of the suitability of an individual for the profession of medical science is carried out worldwide on the basis of several yardsticks. While a few methods assess domain knowledge of sciences, others focus on evaluating the cognitive aptitude skills of the candidate, while few others assess communicative skills. Though it has been considered that the possession of an aptitude for the profession is a prerequisite, considering its strenuous demands from the candidate, a comprehensive assessment of these areas under the construct of medical aptitude has not been analysed so far, though medical aptitude has been socially defined. This article attempts to develop a comprehensive construct to 'Medical aptitude', meant for the pre-medical student, which has been encapsulated with respect to the areas of its assessment. We did an extensive survey of the literature pertaining to the mode of selection of students towards medical profession and analysed their areas of assessments for admittance. This enabled to identify similarities in the areas of assessment which were then classified under several domains of assessment. Special reference to the keywords involving 'Aptitude' and 'Medical Aptitude' was made. We analysed the definitions to the construct of aptitude from the literature with respect to its relevance in the profession of medical science to be possessed by the pre-medical aspirant-in context. From this, a new construct of medical aptitude was formulated incorporating the existing construct of medical aptitude. Medical aptitude is a comprehensive construct that encompasses the dimensions of a consistent core, a peripheral content and the support of a scaffold. Each of these dimensions have their importance and distinct objective in being assessed in the pre-medical student. A perfect intertwining of these 3 dimensions can prove beneficial in assessing individuals to be fit for the profession of medical science.

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