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How to Assess Resident Applicants' Core Competencies

Julie McCoy, for HealthLeaders Media, January 7, 2011

The score sheet can be modified to give higher weight to those competencies or qualities that are most important to your institution, specialty, or program, Shuman says. If the USMLE is important to your program and you want to give it more weight, create a seven-point scale based on USMLE score ranges so that those who scored high receive more points. 

Defining the anchors is critical to making the score sheet meaningful. Get input from your program director and selection committee members on what they look for in a candidate and what red flags they search for in MSPEs or letters of recommendation. 

Collaborate with other coordinators in your specialty or institution to create score sheets that reflect qualities common to physicians in your specialty or that fit with your institution’s culture, Philp says. 

Make the score sheet work for you

Most programs receive several hundred applications which makes the thought of completing this evaluation sheet for each and every candidate very daunting. 

Shuman suggests using the scoring feature included with ERAS that allows reviewers to enter scores for each component of the application. 

“You can put scores on different parts of the application, if you want, and it manages the scores and does the calculation for you,” Shuman explains. 

If you want to add scores for items not preprogrammed into ERAS, such as evidence of leadership or publications, create a data field using the Manage Composite Score section. Specify that the new field should be included in the composite score, Shuman says. You can also give certain scores more weight than others in this section.

As you review the applications in ERAS, click in the application and enter the scores. Use the filter feature to sort candidates by their scores to see which scored the highest. 

Tip: If you’re not using ERAS to calculate the competency scores, create the competency score sheet using a spreadsheet program. Write formulas or functions so that the program will tally the scores for you.

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