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How to Assess Resident Applicants' Core Competencies

Julie McCoy, for HealthLeaders Media, January 7, 2011

Dig deeper into the ERAS application

The information candidates submit via ERAS contains many clues to their competency skills. 

“You can pull things out of ERAS if you just look,” Shuman says.

For example, you can evaluate the candidates’ professionalism by looking at the completeness and quality of their personal statement. 

You can also look at research experience listed on the CV as an indication of how well candidates will master practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice. The Medical School Performance Evaluation (MSPE) gives insight into all six of the core competencies, Philp says.

“This is like the 360-degree evaluation of the person before they come for the interview,” Shuman explains. “It doesn’t replace the interviews, but it may help you invite people you really want to meet so you don’t waste an interview slot.”

Score candidates on the competencies

Shuman, Philp, and their radiology coordinator colleagues Dora Thompson at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and Linda Galante at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit developed a competency score sheet to use when prescreening candidates for interviews or when ranking candidates before submitting the Match list.   

“This is something that’s customizable to each program,” Shuman says, adding that programs can place more emphasis on their most desired qualifications.  

Program coordinators should work with their program directors to develop a candidate score sheet that factors in the core competencies.

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