Evaluation and validation of the interview process, Admissions, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Wanda Parsons, Janet McHugh, Paul Dancey, Boluwaji Ogunyemi, Theresa Lee

Abstract


Background/Objectives The interview process is an integral component of medical school admission consideration at Canadian medical schools. Most medical schools across the country have changed from the traditional interview to the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI). Memorial University of Newfoundland retains the traditional panel interview and this studys purpose was to solicit opinions on the current interview process. Methods In 2010/2011, over 1000 questionnaires were circulated to faculty, current and prospective medical students and members of the interview committee soliciting feedback. Over 650 questionnaires were completed with response rates ranging from 30% for current medical students to 97% for prospective medical students. Topics covered in the questionnaire included those relating to preference of the MMI or traditional panel interview, pros and cons of the interview, strengths and limitations of the interview. Data was a combination of binary choices and open- ended questions. Results Benefits of the current traditional panel interview format were felt to be the approachability of the interviewers, overall fairness to a diverse applicant base, and the freedom of expression it allowed students. Challenges of the current traditional panel interview format were felt to be excessive subjectivity, variability of a semi-standardized interview, and a general bias towards extroverted applicants. Further, an increase in interviewer panel from two and more gender-balanced was suggested. Conclusions Overall, there was more opposition to the MMI than support for switching to this interview method. Among all groups surveyed, only the faculty members differed significantly from other groups in pattern of responses.

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