Recruitment and Selection in Surgery

Subject MEDS90012 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2013:

February, Hawthorn - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Semester 2, Hawthorn - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Intensive Delivery

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 8 hours (intensive delivery)
Total Time Commitment:

Students should expect to undertake a minimum of 120 hours research, reading, writing and general study to complete this subject successfully

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


University of Melbourne Commercial
The University of Melbourne
Level 3, 442 Auburn Road
Hawthorn, Vic 3122 Australia


Subject Overview:

This subject introduces participants to recruitment and selection in medical and surgical education. Entry to surgical practice is highly competitive. The profession has a responsibility to ensure that those who enter surgical training are those who are best suited. Current approaches to selection have been challenged. Internationally, there has been significant shift in methods. There are tensions in recruitment that include the need to increase diversity of trainees.

In this subject, a broad range of recruitment and selection approaches will be explored highlighting their advantages and disadvantages. Best practice in human resource management will be explored. We draw on practices in business and management including a range of psychometric tests and their acceptability and suitability for entry to surgical training. Further, attention will be given to the history of dexterity, visuo-spatial and other abilities relevant for the unique nature of surgical practice.

The subject will review selections systems from around the world research findings on validation including candidate, surgeon and patient reactions. Where training panels are used, issues in their performance will be considered.

We will also investigate selection methods for medical school which vary widely and for which there is a substantial and growing body of evidence. The widespread introduction of graduate entry medicine may have implications for entry to speciality training. The subject also reviews the extensive literature on career intention.

The subject advances also students’ knowledge of assessment in designing and selecting appropriate tests for selection. Additionally, students will be able to locate selection in the spectrum of curriculum activity – that is, from selection, through curriculum implementation (including assessment) and evaluation.

Overall aims

  • To provide participants with an understanding of best practice in recruitment and selection
  • To provide an understanding of selection criteria and methods for measuring behaviours

After completing the subject participants will be able to:

  1. Describe principles of selection for professional training
  2. Outline and critically review processes of selection for medical school (e.g. UMAT, GAMSAT, multi mini interview etc)
  3. Outline and critically review recruitment and selection for speciality training drawing on local and international experiences
  4. Identify factors which influence trainees’ career choices
  5. Design a selection strategy for entry to surgical training
  • Skills – (Participate in a simulated selection panel) Hurdle assessment on study day. The aim of this assessment is for students to demonstrate fair and transparent practice in managing a selection panel and ‘candidates’.
  • Essay – 1500 words (mid semester) 30% The aim of this assessment is to promote critique of fair practice in selection strategies that involve interviews.
  • Reflective writing (Hurdle assessment) 1500 words (mid semester), Students are expected to reflect on a selection process that they have been involved in as either an applicant or a selector. They are to highlight what was helpful and what was unhelpful and relate this to the approaches used in other professions where competitive selection is critical.
  • Essay – 3000 words (end of semester) 70% The aim of this assessment is to provide students with an opportunity to design a strategy for selection (into surgical training, surgical craft group etc). There will be a choice of an overarching strategy or focus on a detailed element of selection methods. Students are expected to provide a rationale for their strategy supported by best evidence.
Prescribed Texts:

Reading materials online

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Understand student selection principles and their relationship to teaching outcomes
  • Understand the relationship between student selection and curriculum development
  • Study skills related to a range of educational methods
  • Academic reading skills
  • Academic writing
  • Applying theory to practice
  • Reference manager skills
  • Work effectively within a small group
Links to further information:

IT requirements:

Participants will require access to the internet with a minimum connection speed of 256Kbps to access course materials and to participate in on-line discussions and presentations forums. Faster connection speeds are preferred. Participants will also need to verify that their internet connection is configured to allow them to view streamed audio and video files. Test files will be made available for students to test their connections.

Participants are expected to have a headset and microphone connected to their computer for participation in on-line activities.

Participants will be expected to have access to the following Microsoft Office products to fully participate:

  • MS Word
  • MS Powerpoint

All online applications will be web-based and no special software is required.

Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Surgical Education
Master of Surgical Education

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