Is there any value to MMI?

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karaya

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I was rejected at a school where I had a MMI. I have never been good at this format, but I'm not terrible either. I scored middle of the pack in both Casper and PREview. But at no point during any MMI or SJT did I feel like a fully realized person making myself heard. And I am left feeling lost: what is the point of this format? It seems that it selects for those who can present an idealized version of themselves in a 5-minute hypothetical scenario. Yes, I have heard it eliminates individual bias--but is a 5 minute spiel enough to present myself? The lowest I've felt throughout this entire process has to be when I sputtered for 20 seconds during a station, and the reviewer offered me nothing but a blank stare. I could've been talking to a wall.

I fared much better in 1-on-1 interviews, with 4 legitimately good ones and 1 mediocre. The 1-hour conversation seems so much more natural to me. There is a real person with which to develop rapport. Is that not closer to the kind of engagement I'd be having with a patient or a peer? Can any adcoms weigh in?

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I have a slide on it from the HPSA Situational Judgment Test workshop. It's like an OSCE without the clinical education. And you'll be doing a lot of OSCE's if you get admitted to medical school.

Adding:
Also not every MMI is run the same. Question difficulty can vary a lot depending on how the school decides to use MMI format.

Station one: Tell me about yourself.
Station two: Why do you want to be doctor?
Station three: What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Station four: Behold! The craziest questions NFL prospects have been asked leading up to the draft

[These questions are edited in accordance with non-disclosure agreements.]
 
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Can any adcoms weigh in?
Many schools just don't have enough good interviewers to evaluate the number needed to fill a class.
MMI is a poor substitute for talented interviewers, but it's probably better than bad ones...
 
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MMI limits (to some degree) the impact of "likability" as a metric for success in interviews. There are some folks who do better because of that, and some who do worse. But also, "likability" isn't the same thing as empathy, good bedside manner, etc. I do a lot of practice interviews with students, and in general there are a number of "generally charming" students who can do well in a typical interview but don't do as well in an MMI, while I find my students with significant healthcare experience (nurses, CNAs, etc.) do a *lot* better in MMIs, oftentimes.

One other benefit is that it broadens the pool of people interviewing, which means you're less dependent on how one or two interviewers feel about you. And oftentimes, they pull in and train interviewers not directly affiliated with the school: I volunteer as an interviewer for a med school I do not work at, and this school also brings in local practitioners as interviewers.

I'd also suggest that, given US averages, 5-6 minutes to make an impression is a lot better example of what patients will actually see when meeting a provider than an hour.
 
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I was rejected at a school where I had a MMI. I have never been good at this format, but I'm not terrible either. I scored middle of the pack in both Casper and PREview. But at no point during any MMI or SJT did I feel like a fully realized person making myself heard. And I am left feeling lost: what is the point of this format? It seems that it selects for those who can present an idealized version of themselves in a 5-minute hypothetical scenario. Yes, I have heard it eliminates individual bias--but is a 5 minute spiel enough to present myself? The lowest I've felt throughout this entire process has to be when I sputtered for 20 seconds during a station, and the reviewer offered me nothing but a blank stare. I could've been talking to a wall.

I fared much better in 1-on-1 interviews, with 4 legitimately good ones and 1 mediocre. The 1-hour conversation seems so much more natural to me. There is a real person with which to develop rapport. Is that not closer to the kind of engagement I'd be having with a patient or a peer? Can any adcoms weigh in?
But see, you’re not trying to give a spiel or sell yourself during an MMI question.
It’s meant to see how you respond to an unexpected situation. You’ll do fine if you talk through what you’re thinking and come to a common sense solution. You’ll crash and burn if you say “I don’t know what I would do, what is the right answer?”
Standardized tests might have one and only one answer, but dealing with human beings requires poise and responsiveness.
So that’s how I see it. Some schools really like them and others don’t.
If I were being interviewed I would prefer a 1:1 conversation.
 
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Recent applicant chiming in. After my first few traditional interviews, many of the questions I received were repeats. I could present a very polished version of myself because I had practiced most of my answers multiple times already. None of my MMI responses could have been pre-rehearsed. I felt that it was a much more accurate gauge of whether I would respond to real-world challenges appropriately.

Additionally, all of my MMI interviews included a traditional interview component. I think the hybrid format is best because it allows students to still pitch themselves and feel heard.
 
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Recent applicant chiming in. After my first few traditional interviews, many of the questions I received were repeats. I could present a very polished version of myself because I had practiced most of my answers multiple times already. None of my MMI responses could have been pre-rehearsed. I felt that it was a much more accurate gauge of whether I would respond to real-world challenges appropriately.

Additionally, all of my MMI interviews included a traditional interview component. I think the hybrid format is best because it allows students to still pitch themselves and feel heard.
I agree with this when resources are limited.
I can understand where @karaya is coming from about not feeling like (s)he made the right impression due to the format of the interview, but that's just how it goes sometimes and not everything is fair. TBH however one-on-one really is the best way to go.

It used to be that most interviews involved staying overnight with a med student, lunch with a med student (to see if you fit in w/the class), and then a one-on-one interview with faculty (a professor and/or doctor).

Try to learn from it and remember; the additude is gratitude! :D
 
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