MD Program Admissions

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Applicant Update

January 11th, 2018 by Dr Ian Walker

So, we are approaching that fun point in the cycle where we make interview offers.  We still have a handful of reviews outstanding, but now 90% or more of the applicants are ready for an interview decision. Once we have all the reviews complete, we need to do a bit of a careful look at a few things that have been flagged, hold a committee meeting and produce some lists.  We are hoping that the offers will go out in that last week of January, which would give people 4 weeks to plan their lives.

Interviews this year are going to be a bit different.  There are going to be three different types of stations, and they will take place in two different circuits.  There will be a 7 station, traditional MMI, but also a second circuit that will consist of two longer format, semi structured interviewers with two assessors and one applicant, as well a 20 min group activity station, similar to what we have done the last couple of years.  Our feeling is that greater variety of types of assessments is fairer to a wider variety of applicants.  More details will be forthcoming for those invited to interview.

 

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11 responses so far ↓

  • Speaking of fairness Dr. Walker, don’t you think it would be fairer for applicants to have acting MMI stations in which you can observe the actual traits of interest instead of traditional MMI in which applicants are asked to assume a position and tell you what they would do ? …arguably a quiet good number of applicants have already developed effective strategy to answer such traditional MMI questions! A growing data from many schools across the country and south of the border suggesting that acting MMI stations tend to be more reliable and accurate in measuring traits of interest and thus, many schools have already switched to acting stations. I know that it might be expensive for the school, however, given the significant weight of the MMI in the admission equation, don’t you think it’s worth investing in this approach and the incremental cost will provide lots of value for both the school and applicants? Many thanks.

  • Speaking of fairness Dr. Walker, don’t you think it would be fairer for applicants to have acting MMI stations in which you can observe the actual traits of interest instead of traditional MMI in which applicants are asked to assume a position and tell you what they would do ? …arguably a quiet good number of applicants have already developed effective strategy to answer such traditional MMI questions! A growing data from many schools across the country and south of the border suggesting that acting MMI stations tend to be more reliable and accurate in measuring traits of interest and thus, many schools have already switched to acting stations. I know that it might be expensive for the school, however, given the significant weight of the MMI in the admission equation, don’t you think it’s worth investing in this approach and the incremental cost will provide lots of value for both the school and applicants? Many thanks.

    • Our view is that variety in assessment types is more important that trying to find the “right” type of assessment Acting stations allow us to assess some things, but the criticism is that they evaluate, amongst other things, acting skill. I have yet to see any data to suggest that people who can act more empathetic in a simulated environment actually demonstrate more empathy in clinical practice.
      I agree with you about the traditional hypothetical scenarios. There is a skill set there that can be learned, and it is largely for that reason that we have moved away from these kinds of scenarios to other types of mini-assessments. There is no doubt that they give us some useful information, so we have not abandoned them completely, but they are only part of the assessment strategy we use.
      Historically we have used one actor station for the past few years, and anticipate continuing to do so going forward, but I don’t see any reason to adopt an exclusively or even predominantly “acting driven” MMI format. If you are aware of literature to suggest that such assessments more predictive, I would be happy to see it, however.

  • Thank you for this post and for the information. Can you give any further insight as to what the semi-structured interview will be? Will this be more similar to a panel interview?

    Thank you!

  • Will the interview invites go through email and then applicants can pick their choice for the interview date (out of Feb 24, 25 and March 4)? Will be given a heads up through this blog the day before the interview invites are sent so we can be prepared to check our emails and choose our choice of date before they are all selected? Thanks.

    • Hi Ahmad, Based on previous years those fortunate to receive an interview will be sent an email with instructions on how and when to sign up for interview dates. Usually (unless different this year), the date to sign up comes several days after the initial invitation is sent out. However, those spots fill up pretty quickly on the day of so make sure you don’t sleep in if you’re looking for a particular date/time 🙂

      -Best Wishes

    • We use an interview scheduler that doesn’t open for a few days. That way everyone has equal ability to go in and scramble for the spot they want. And it is a mad scramble to be sure.

  • Which kinds of flagged items will the committee be looking at prior to interview offers?