Puggsy: [to Tom and Jerry] You guys are fighting like a cat and a mouse.
Frankie da Flea: They are a cat and a mouse, Puggsy.
Puggsy: That's true, Frankie, but they gotta learn to be pals or they ain't gonna make it out here.
So the Irish do not trust the BMAT, or it's Irish equivelant the HP; Health Professions Admission Test! Recently introduced, they conducted a study on it's viability and here are the findings: "A NUMBER of the State’s consultant surgeons would be unlikely to get into medical school today if they had to sit the recently introduced aptitude test for medical school entry, a study has found.
Researchers from the departments of surgery at the Mater and Beaumont hospitals, Dublin, organised for 222 hospital consultants, junior doctors and medical students, including some who had taken the graduate entry route into medical school, to take a modified HPAT exam like the one introduced last year for school-leavers wanting places in medicine ...
“We would have expected that consultants, with years of experience accrued in the clinical, research and academic fields, would have outperformed students.
“The ability to interpret data along with the more intuitive ‘wait and see’ decisions, combined with the ability to make a decision based on suboptimal knowledge and change as the situation evolves, are critical determinants in the performance of a doctor.
“There are skills gained with time and experience and would be akin to the traits purported to be tested by the aptitude tests. If a true measure of these skills, consultants should clearly have scored higher,” it says.
It adds that while it has been suggested one cannot prepare for or use grinds to improve one’s performance in the HPAT, the fact that it was those medical students who previously prepared for and sat an aptitude who did best may cast doubt over this assertion.
Two of the nine consultant surgeons who sat the exam scored six out of 12 and one got a score of five. It is “unlikely these three would have been offered a place in medical school. Clearly in our test situation, our profession would have lost . . . valuable colleagues had this been the requirement 30 years ago,” the authors state.
They conclude that while the change in the selection criteria for medical school entry is a positive step, the HPAT “is not without its flaws”.
While the sample sizes were different, with just nine consultants compared to 29 junior doctors and 105 medical students taking part, the authors say the trends found are still interesting."
Well, clever Irish academics! Why didn't we think of that here?! But then a Dr O'Flynn, a man of great responsibility, had other views:
"Views on the HPAT vary widely. Dr Siun O’Flynn, a member of the national research group evaluating revised entry mechanisms to medicine, said earlier this year that it had resulted in a significant number of candidates getting into medicine who would not have otherwise secured places. This included candidates from lower socio-economic groups.
The exam has also restored gender balance to medical degree courses, with more males getting places in the past year."
... and here is what members of the Irish public have said in reply to Dr O'Flynn:"This is exactly the equivalent of saying that a significant number of candidates were excluded who otherwise would have secured admission on the basis of better school Leaving Certificate results. Why exactly is their exclusion to be welcomed?"
"The fact that many of the participants, including experienced consultants, did not perform well in the test led the research organisers to conclude “the scores achieved by consultant surgeons were surprising and suggest the HPat exam does not measure what it purports to measure.” There is, potentially, an alternative explanation for the results."
... and on that presumption that the BMAT helped those candidates of poorer backgrounds into medicine:
"I presume Dr O’Flynn has facts on which to base this last statement because research by Prof David James of Nottingham University on the influence of the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT), the UK equivalent of HPat, on entry to medical schools published in the British Medical Journal recently found that even when the same A-Level results had been achieved, the UKCAT test favoured males of white ethnicity from professional/managerial backgrounds who had independent or grammar schooling. Other studies have shown the “grind” school classes on HPat do help achieve good scores in the test. These cost €200-€300 and are less likely to be availed of by students from poorer backgrounds."
Oh! So we in England did some research on the 'test' afterall! ... and the 'test' is failing to deliver?! Except for rich male kids from higher socio backgrounds?! ... and what about Dr O'Flynn's claim that it addresses the gender balance then?! Is he saying that it is right that the 'test' finds young rich white males more intelligent, more logical and better at problem solving than females?! Of all social backgrounds?!
That very, frankly stupid notion, urges me to help 'convince' Dr O'Flynn, and his English counterparts, that those so called tests are nothing but discriminatory and a proper idiocy that has already killed ... and is bound to kill many hopes and talents ... if allowed to continue ...
Sooo, whishshsht! you there Cousin? ... we have some unfinished business to do! Let'sss go teach'm all these big cats and their rediculous aptitude-killer tests a lesson or two! .... Ditch it ya Drs O'Flynns of this world, orrr ... heeeere wee come! ... Beware! ....
And you young ones, Wremember! All ya have to dooooo ... is whistle! ....
Jerry: You okay, pal?
Tom: Yeah, but don't call me pal.
Puggsy: What's your names?
Tom : I'm Tom.
Jerry : I'm Jerry.
Jerry : [looks at puggsy then to Tom] You talk!
Tom : Well sure I talk, what do you think I am, a dummy?
Jerry : You said it, I didn't.