Selecting Medical Students for Academic and Attitudinal Outcomes in a Catholic Medical School

Document Type

Journal Article


Australasian Medical Publishing Company Pty. Ltd.


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine




Quinlivan, J., Lam, L., Wan, S., & Petersen, R. W. (2010). Selecting medical students for academic and attitudinal outcomes in a Catholic medical school. The Medical Journal of Australia, 193(6), 347-350. Available here.


Objectives: To evaluate whether the four criteria used by the University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA) to select medical students are successful in selecting for graduates with the desired outcomes of academic excellence and Catholic “mission fit”. Design, setting and participants: Prospective cohort study of medical students selected for 2008 and 2009 entry to UNDA in Sydney, New South Wales. Main outcome measures: The statistical association between the two academic selection criteria of the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) and grade point average (GPA) compared with the outcome of medical school examination performance, and the two mission selection criteria of a portfolio score and interview score compared with the outcome of a positive attitude towards serving underserved communities as measured using the Medical Student Attitudes Toward the Underserved (MSATU) test. Results: A total of 223 students were enrolled. GAMSAT section 3, GPA and the interview scores were significantly positively associated with academic performance (P <0.05). However, none of the selection variables were significantly associated with a positive attitude towards serving underserved communities, as measured by the MSATU score. Conclusion: None of the four selection tools used were significantly associated with medical students who had a positive attitude towards serving underserved communities.