British Psychological Society critical of ‘unsophisticated’ doctor recruitment

Traditional interview processes currently used by health authorities to recruit doctors are unsophisticated and lack scientific rigour, according to new research.

A study by the British Psychological Society shows that key, such as ’empathy and sensitivity’ and ‘coping with pressure’ are difficult to spot via a CV or in a typical interview setting.

The UK’s chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, highlighted the problem with traditional recruitment methods as far back as August 2002. He said: “Reform must take account of… weak selection and appointment procedures: these are not standardised and are frequently not informed by core competencies.”

The study recommends these skills need to be captured by more sophisticated selection procedures, such as assessment centres, where a series of tests assesses all aspects of the person and the job.

The project forms part of a larger research programme to develop a national model for the selection and assessment of doctors.

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