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This article is the author’s final published version in International Journal of Medical Education, Volume 5, January 2014, Pages 7-10.

The published version is available at Copyright © Hojat


The Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) sponsored a symposium on the theme of Examin-ing the Evidence with Regard to Character, Personality and Values in Medical School Selection which was held on October 14, 2013 at the University of Sheffield Medical School in the United Kingdom. I was invited to speak about credibility issues related to personality assessments in health profession educations. To my pleasant surprise, I found the European audience receptive (more than their counterparts in the United States) to the idea of using personality assess-ments in admission decisions. There seems to be a hesita-tion among leaders in medical education in the United States to use personality assessments for selection purposes. They argue that convincing evidence is needed to support using personality assessments in medical school admission. In my presentation, I provided evidence to refute the argument against using personality assessments in admis-sion decisions. Because of our extensive research at Jeffer-son Medical College on the topic of empathy in medical education and patient care, I placed the emphasis on credibility of evidence for using assessments of empathy, as a personality attribute, in the selection of applicants and professional development of students in any academic health profession institution. The editor of this journal who has a keen interest in medical education issues attended the symposium and suggested that I write an opinion piece about the issue for international audience of the journal. This editorial is based, in part, on my presentation at that symposium.

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