MD Program Admissions

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Interview Invites Have Been Made

January 19th, 2018 by Dr Ian Walker

By now, everyone should have received an interview notification, either invitation or regrets.  If you have not, please check your SPAM filter and then your status directly in UCAN.

A bit of information, and some words for both groups of applicants.  This year we had 1560 completed applications, and 498 interview spots, meaning that for the first time, we are interviewing fewer than a third of all applicants, slightly less than 32% to be precise.  In keeping with our primary mandate to train residents of Alberta, and our 15% cap on non-Albertan students, the rate was lower for non-Albertans.  We have sent interviews to 81 non-Albertans out of 356 total non-Albertan applicants, or slightly less than 23%.   Overall, then, about 16% of interview spots went to non-Albertans.  The net effect of all this is that the score required for non-Albertan’s was significantly higher than that required for Albertans (~110 vs ~102).

For those of you lucky enough to get an interview invite, I offer you congratulations, but also encourage you to reflect on your good fortune.  There is definitely an element of luck involved in this process, as anyone who has gotten one interview and failed to get another will tell you.  We look forward to meeting you in the coming weeks.  The interview format has changed a bit this year.  It is still a “multiple assessment” set up, but in addition to the 7-8 min MMI circuit we are also conducting semi-structured two-interviewer, one-applicant 20 min interviews, and a 20 min group activity assessment.  The net effect is the the interview day will be a bit longer, but there will be a wider variety of assessment tools used, which we think is fairer to a wider variety of applicants with diverse skill sets.  We are currently in the process of trying to set up a Q&A session for interviewees next week which we will inform you about, and which will subsequently be posted on our website.  Lastly, the interview scheduler will open Monday at 10 am.  Based on past experience, 95% of spots will be taken within about 60-90 seconds, so if you are constrained in terms of the date or time of your interview, make sure you clear your schedule and be sitting on the refresh button.  There is a confidentiality disclosure that you have to chick off first, so go in an do that ahead of time so that you don’t get delayed on Monday.

For those of you who were not successful, I would encourage you to view this through a bit of a realist lens.  Your chances of getting an interview if you are an average applicant are one in three, so not getting one should probably be the expected outcome.  I have said this to many groups over the years, but if you are serious about pursuing a career in medicine you should think of it as a 5 year project.  If, after 5 years, you have not succeeded in securing an admission, it MIGHT be time to at least consider the possibility that there is something about your application that puts you in a weaker starting position than the average applicant.  Giving up before that is probably premature.  It is unfortunate that our system has come to this, but as demand continues to far outstrip supply for medical school positions, it is what we have to work with at the moment.

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6 responses so far ↓

  • Hi Dr Walker – will the semi structured interview with 2 people an open file or closed file interview? Will they have access to our pre- MMI application data?

  • Hi, Dr. Walker. I listened to your podcast back from 2014 about the MMI. It was very helpful, but since you’re introducing new elements this year, would you consider doing another session like that? It will really help first time applicants/interviewees who are also first generation college students such as myself have a sense of the process and the evaluation tools you’re using. But most importantly, it will reiterate your message at the beginning of your podcast regarding equal opportunity for medical school, as an updated version/live session can provide a map for us who won’t have the financial resources to seek “coaching.” Alternatively, you can just update us here on your reflections on the key distinctions between what will happen this year vs. previous years; and the rationale/med Ed research that prompted this shift. Respectfully yours, A

    • PS. One of the reasons why I’m requesting a new session is because the podcast’s audio quality was really bad and while your speech is 100% Clear. I can’t hear anything especially during the cases and I imagine students who have hearing difficulties will have accessibility issues with the podcast. Thanks again.

    • Ironically, in the post that you are responding to, I indicated that we are planning on doing just that.
      The time has been set for 12:30 at the Libin Theatre this Thursday, Jan 25th. We’ll talk about format, what to expect, etc… Should get it loaded to our website within a week or 10 days, if all goes well.

  • Hello Dr. Walker,

    Do you know when the pre-interview/full file review scores are released?

    Warm Regards,