As a result, residency programs feel forced to apply blind filters that generally cull out more than a third of the applications received. Dr. Grant-Kels decried the need for programs to impose arbitrary barriers to entering dermatology based on a score from a single examination or other criteria like membership in Alpha Omega Alpha or current location.
“Blanket screening methods run the risk of excluding genuinely interested and qualified candidates who do not fall above a threshold. This violates the principal of nonmaleficence,” she said. “Screens are unfair.”
Dr. Grant-Kels proposed a pair of potential remedies: putting a cap on the number of applications someone can make and – a more realistic approach – mentors’ giving guidance to prospective applicants.
“It’s a problem that kids are applying to dermatology programs who have no business applying, who really don’t have a chance,” she said.