A Shoaib. Psychological testing as part of selection procedure for healthcare professional ?. The Internet Journal of Healthcare Administration. 2006 Volume 4 Number 2.
Selection procedures for any type of service (government or otherwise) are serious policy matters and have the potential to make or mar the process of nation development. For example, the Ministry of Defence, Govt. of India conducts service selection board (SSB) interviews as part of selection procedure for induction of officers in the uniformed services in India. The events in SSB interview can be broadly categorized into three parts namely; Psychological Testing (PT), Group Testing (GT) and Personal Interview (PI). PT is basically aimed at looking into the psychology, GT at physical fitness and PI at interpersonal skills of the candidate. This procedure is adopted for selections in several military forces in the world. The SSB interviews ensure the induction of right type of candidates which become commissioned officers after training and take leadership roles in respective services of the nation. (I myself faced SSB interview for National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla - India way back in Feb, 1995. I entered the pharmacy profession and presently hold a University Lectureship in Pharmacy. Going through the various basic psychology texts which hold my fascination for silent incorporation into teaching practice, I wonder the development of such an elaborate procedure and amazing results). The procedures are effective and have been time-tested for decades.
In the light of the above mentioned facts, it is proposed that at least, PT is included in the selection of the healthcare professionals. It will ensure that only the professionals with real aptitude for community service enter into respective jobs in the various types of healthcare settings as not all the academically brilliant students may have the interest in serving the community at grass-root level and thereby, contribute to service of the nation. Adopting such procedures will affect the health care services particularly in the rural and semi-urban areas. This will assume greater importance in the developing countries where certain established biases regarding the practice of healthcare professions in remote or rural areas exist.
The detailed modalities of the PT procedure can be deliberated by consulting psychologists, health care professions and the recruitment agencies. To begin with, small scale studies can be conducted for first degree health care professionals at select location/s. Anticipating the success of the study may not be an Utopian dream. The success of study may bring an altogether change in the public health scenario on which the government and non-government organizations are spending huge amounts of money.