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GAMSAT, single interview has AMA support

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The AMA has called on the competition watchdog to remain vigilant that the selection processes used for graduate-entry medical schools, particularly single interview screening, are operating fairly.

The Australian National University and the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admissions Test Consortium (GAMSAT) have applied for renewed authority from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for the use of the common test and the single interview process for graduate applicants.

The GAMSAT test, developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research in conjunction with the Consortium, is designed to assess the capacity of applicants to undertake “high-level intellectual studies in the medical and health professional programs”.

In addition, applicants undergo a single test at their preferred institution, the score from which may be passed on lower preference schools if their application is unsuccessful.

In a letter to the ACCC, AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler said the Association supported the application from the ANU and the GAMSAT Consortium for a new authorisation following the expiry of the authorisation granted in 2009.

A/Professor Owler said the Consortium’s assessment was that the single interview process did not add to the risk that an applicant was unsuccessful – a conclusion supported by the fact that there had been “very few” appeals lodged.

But he asked the competition watchdog to monitor the arrangements closely to ensure they did not lead to any unintended outcomes.

“The AMA would encourage the ACCC to remain vigilant with respect to the single interview process by ensuring that the Consortium provides publicly accessible information about its operation so that it remains transparent, and we continue to see the most meritorious students gain entry to medical school,” A/Professor Owler wrote.

Adrian Rollins