Traditional selection of clinicians (nurses, paramedics and doctors) relies upon standard assessments. Or does it?
Many clinicians are selected on the basis of their curriculum vitae, plus an interview and reference check. Is this the best approach to selecting high-performing clinicians to work in austere settings?
Performance equals capability plus behaviour. If we are to select clinicians to perform in a high-stakes, high-hazard environment, then what criteria should we use?
What individual mental and physical attributes predict reliable performance?
Should we perform psychological testing?
If so, should we select for a specific personality? Or is there strength in diversity?
Given we provide health care in interdisciplinary teams, how might we select clinicians for their performance within a team? Are we selecting for leadership? Or followership? Or both?
Resilience is important. We think. So how might we select resilient clinicians?
Some describe this process as ‘weeding out the dreamers.’ Yet might we require dreamers?
And as our services grow and develop, do our teams have the agility to adapt to complexity and uncertainty?
What are the barriers to selection? And are we the best selectors; is there a role for external human resource support?
We will explore techniques used in the selection of other high-performing groups, ranging from astronauts to bankers to the All Blacks.
Christopher is a Canadian now living and working in New Zealand. He serves as the Medical Director for the Auckland Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS). He says it is a privilege to work with amazing people in such a beautiful part of the world.