Does College Major Influence Physicians' Communication & Interpersonal Skills, and Ultimately, Specialty Choice?
Medical schools use a variety of mechanisms to determine whom to admit to their programs and often emphasize demonstration of natural science aptitude and background. However, there is evidence that medical students with backgrounds in the humanities and social sciences may be equally well-suited for medical training. In fact, they may demonstrate stronger communication and empathic skill than their STEM-trained peers. There are also ongoing questions in the literature about the role of college major and residency selection. We will discuss the research evidence investigating these questions, as well as the implications for medical school admissions committees and residency preparedness programs.
Laura E. Hirshfield, PhD
The Dr. Georges Bordage Medical Education Faculty Scholar
Associate Professor of Medical Education & Sociology
PhD program Co-Director & Associate Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Medical Education, University of Illinois at Chicago
Co-Founder - Sociologists of Health Professions Education