Personal qualities, character traits, life experience, and adaptive capacities are all associated with effective professional life and work. Despite widespread acknowledgment that qualitative factors are crucial for success as a medical student and physician, the variables are rarely measured or considered when medical schools reach decisions about student admission. This essay examines the qualitative variables that medical school admission committees might consider when filling their classes, and it offers recommendations about using qualitative data for admission decisions. It concludes with an agenda for research on medical school admission.
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