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Robustness and empathy can give access to the degree programme in medicine in Aarhus

A new entrance examination is intended to select the most suitable quota 2 applicants when Aarhus University doubles its quota 2 admissions to medicine starting next year. The examination has been drawn up together with the people who will be employing the new medical doctors after they have completed their education.

Students who do not have sky-high marks but still dream of studying to become a medical doctor will in future have a new chance to get into Aarhus University's most popular degree programme, medicine. Next year, quota 2 admissions will be doubled to twenty per cent, so that around 90 young people will gain admission to the degree programme in medicine via this route.

In contrast to quota 1, the average mark requirements will be significantly lower. An average mark of 6.0, together with the right subjects, can help the applicant move forward in the process, while last year this required an average of 10.7 via quota 1. This first stage is followed by a multiple-choice test, which sends the two hundred applicants with the highest number of correct answers to a round of interviews. Here medical professionals use eight small interviews to test the applicants in areas including communication skills, collaborative skills, empathy and robustness.

"We have asked employers which skills are most important when it comes to being able to function in the job of medical doctor, so we could know, what areas to test the applicants in. We are very grateful for their contribution as it increases the chance of finding the most suitable people to fill the doctor role," says Charlotte Ringsted, vice-dean for education, Health, Aarhus University.

Doctors, hospital sector managers, the Danish Medical Association, Danish Patients and Novo Nordisk are among those who have provided advice during the development of the test.

Hoping for lower drop-out rates

The new admission procedures are a pilot project that will provide a chance for students who are motivated and who have the right competences, but lack the high marks. The test can also be of significance for the drop-out rate.

"Experience from the degree programme in medicine at the University of Southern Denmark shows that special admission procedures for quota 2 reduce the drop-out rate among the students. That would be an added benefit and we will, of course, keep an eye on whether this is the case here, as it is a resource-intensive admission procedure compared with admission solely on the basis of average marks as with quota 1," says Lotte O'Neill, assistant professor at the Centre for Health Sciences Education (CESU) at Aarhus University.

About the qualifying competences

  • Communication skills – the applicants are tested for their ability to listen, capture non-verbal communication and pass on information that is relevant and accurate.
  • Collaborative skills – tests whether the applicant can collaborate with others to solve a problem in the most efficient and optimal manner and is able to demonstrate respect for others in collaborative situations.
  • Empathy – tests the applicant's ability to read other people's feelings and to be empathetic.
  • Robustness – applicants are tested for their psychological resilience in negative situations.

Read more about the upcoming admission requirements for quota 2

Further information

Vice-dean for Education Charlotte Ringsted
Health, Aarhus University
Mobile: + 45 9350 8222