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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

Association of American Medical Colleges evaluating situational judgement as indicator for medical school readiness

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has selected Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine as a test site for piloting its new Situational Judgement Test (SJT). Geisinger Commonwealth will ask medical school applicants in the 2022 cycle to complete an SJT along with standard application requirements. SJTs are designed to assess an applicant's judgment regarding a situation encountered in a specific setting. The assessment presents examinees with situations and a list of plausible courses of action. Examinees evaluate each course of action for either the likelihood that they would perform the action or the effectiveness of the action.

“Our school’s mission is to ‘educate physicians to serve society’ and to support Geisinger’s goal of making better health easy. That’s why Geisinger Commonwealth has always been committed to holistic review of each medical applicant. It is the only way to identify students who are not only bright, but also committed to service and to social responsibility,” said Michelle Schmude, EdD, associate dean for admissions, enrollment management and financial aid & associate professor. “Being selected as an SJT pilot site is validation of that approach. We believe the AAMC SJT provides an opportunity to assess these critical pre-professional competencies and may enhance our holistic process.”

AAMC and pilot medical schools together will analyze SJT results to determine if the assessment accurately provides insight into an applicant’s knowledge of effective and ineffective behaviors across eight core pre-professional competencies for entering medical students: 

  • Service orientation
  • Social skills
  • Cultural competence
  • Teamwork
  • Ethical responsibility to self and others
  • Reliability and dependability
  • Resilience and adaptability
  • Capacity for improvement

In addition to thinking, reasoning and science competencies, these eight areas are required for success in both medical school and residency and are necessary for the practice of medicine. The exam utilizes written scenario sets that present hypothetical dilemmas linked to the eight core competencies. The scenarios are based on real-world situations students may experience in medical school. The SJT was developed for pre-health students, so healthcare experience is not needed to perform well on the exam.

In addition to Geisinger Commonwealth, AAMC SJT pilot medical schools include University of Minnesota, Morehouse, the University of Alabama and the University of California, Davis.

For more information, MD applicants can visit our admissions webpages.


About Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) is a member of the Geisinger family. GCSOM offers a community-based model of medical education with campuses in Danville, Lewistown, Scranton, Sayre and Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger Commonwealth offers Doctor of Medicine (MD) and a portfolio of graduate degrees. The school’s innovative curriculum, focused on caring for people in the context of their lives and their community, attracts the next generation of physicians and scientists from within its region, as well as from across the state and the nation. Geisinger Commonwealth is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities. Visit

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the non-profit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 134 care sites - including 10 hospital campuses, and Geisinger Health Plan, with 600,000 members in commercial and government plans. The Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $14 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country.  Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

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Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Elizabeth Zygmunt
Director, Media and Public Relations 
Office: 570-504-9687
On Call: 570-687-9703
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