Entrance Into UC Medical School Based on New Guidelines
A recent article in the New York Times, titled "New for Aspiring Doctors, the People Skills Test”, July 2011, cites the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine as one eight medical schools in the country that use the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) as a screening tool for medical school admission.
Below, Steve Manuel, PhD, assistant dean of admissions at UC’s College of Medicine, explains the relatively new admissions process.
What is the MMI? "The Multiple Mini Interview (MMI), modeled after the objective standardized clinical examination (OSCE), uses several 5-8 minute interview stations (normally 6-8), each with a different evaluator and scenario. Each interview is typically focused on an issue that medical school students will likely encounter in medical school or as a physician. We have shifted away from the traditional, one-on-one interview format to increase the number of interviewers who meet the applicants and can provide feedback to the Admissions Committee. The MMI also allows us to invite current medical school students and community members to interview prospective students."
What kinds of characteristics does the MMI identify in a potential a medical student? "The overarching purpose of the MMI is to measure communication, critical thinking, and teamwork skills. One of our MMI interview stations asks applicants to "role play” by acting out a scenario with a trained actor; this allows our MMI raters to see how an applicant reacts to and resolves a particular scenario. We also use a teamwork scenario that requires applicants to work together to solve a problem or issue. Because physicians need good communication, critical thinking, and teamwork skills, we are very interested in evaluating these characteristics in our applicants."
When did UC start using the MMI? "We conducted a pilot program in the spring of 2008, and then fully implemented the MMI in the fall of 2008. Since we were one of the first U.S. medical schools to adopt the MMI, we have had 10-15 other medical schools visit us to observe our process. Therefore, we have served a model for several medical schools hoping to implement the MMI."
Are you able to see a difference in medical students since the MMI was employed? "At this time, we do not have enough data for conclusive evidence but we do have anecdotal evidence from many of our faculty. We are currently conducting many studies to evaluate the differences between students admitted using the traditional interview versus students admitted using the MMI."
What would you like people at the Academic Health Center to know about the MMI? "The College of Medicine uses a holistic approach in our admissions process, and the MMI helps us to evaluate applicants’ characteristics beyond merely academics. We welcome members of the Academic Health Center to help our Admissions Committee select new students by serving as an MMI rater. If you would like to participate, please contact the admission office (contact person) for more information. We also have forms available if you would like to refer other colleagues to us."
**This story was originally published in the August 2011 edition of Connected.