Aimee Gardner On USMLE Step 1 & Choosing Residents


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Aimee Gardner has a PhD in Organizational Psychology and is Assistant Dean of Evaluation & Research at Baylor College of Medicine. She joins us for a provocative discussion of how residency programs select medical students. This is a fraught issue for our profession and the concepts around recruiting are generalizable across any organization.

Key Learnings

1. How we connected during the controversy surrounding standardized tests for medical students.

2. The major criteria that make a candidate attractive to a residency program

3. Defining Step 1 of the USMLE and the stakes and stress associated with it

4. How the exam moved from a standard pass-fail to a variety of purposes it is neither intended nor designed for.

5. The rational steps that should be taken when assessing whether a candidate is right for any type of organization

6. The implications that the mis-application of USMLE has on fairness and diversity as well as why other industries stay away from standardized tests

7. The risks and stresses that USMLE Step I puts medical students through

8. The challenges that programs making selections face in this same equation

9. A hard look at the unstructured way resident selection is done now

10. Building a selection process built around a fair, equitable and scientific manner

11. The components & metrics of a rigorous selection process that apply to medicine and across any industry

12. Facing the harsh reality around effectiveness of what is currently compiled by medical students in their applications

13. The search for new criteria and where to look, including a place you might not expect

14. How much enthusiasm is there to change the current processes

15. Ensuring proper attention is paid to socioeconomics, gender and racial equity in how residency classes are selected


Aimee’s Twitter feed: @aimeeGthePHD

AAMC Best Practices for Conducting Residency Program Interviews:

Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology:


#residency, #USMLE, #medicalschool, #education, #meded, #interviews

154 episodes