MMI Interview format

Has anyone been through an MMI interview format? This is an interview format developed at McMaster University and it consists of asking students questions on different probes such as ethics, communication, maturity etc.

They have 8 or 9 stations set up and you rotate between them and get asked a question at each station. You are given 2-3 minutes to formulate your answer and about 10-15 to present it.

Wow, no one? We don’t have any Canadian med students here?

Well, I’m a Canadian premed and I have heard of them used at McMaster, but as I haven’t really got any knowledge of them, didn’t feel I could offer much.

Here’s an article about them from the Mac Website:

McMaster medical students chosen by innovative bell-ringer interviews

Published: April 2, 2004

McMaster University has developed a new way to select its medical students that has the applicants doing 12 short successive interviews instead of a traditional panel interview.

This week, 384 potential students are at McMaster for bell-ringer interviews that have them attending individual 10 minute sessions with a consecutive series of interviewers over two hours. Each interviewer asks the same questions of each candidate on a topic in the areas of ethics, communications, collaborative work or critical thinking. A bell is sounded when students should rotate to the next interview.

The change is the result of three years of study on ways to improve the student selection process, and is unique among Canadian medical schools.

“This new process is far better than other methodologies for being able to differentiate between candidates on the basis of their personal qualities,” said Harold Reiter, chair of admissions for the medical school. “Research has found that the reliability of measuring those qualities through traditional interviews is weak.”

On the first day of the multi-mini interviews, prospective students found the new interview system gave them the opportunity to make a first impression many times, rather than once.

Marc Filion, 25, of Sudbury, said the McMaster multi-mini interviews were less stressful than the traditional panel interview he had at the University of Ottawa medical school a few weeks ago.

“We had an opportunity to express our opinions and personalities with many people, rather than having one small group decide on our futures,” he said.

Lianne Gerber, 22, a Toronto native and graduate of the University of Guelph in human kinetics and international development, also had traditional panel interviews at Toronto and Queen’s medical schools recently.

“This was very engaging,” she said after the multi-mini interview sessions. “It was certainly good in terms of breadth of assessment.”

The interview candidates were chosen from 4,150 applications to the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster, which traditionally receives more applications than any other Canadian medical school. The interviewees were chosen from all applicants based equally on their grade point average (GPA) and on an autobiographical submission based on five specific questions.

Reiter said the new process may allow McMaster to double the number of applicants who are interviewed each year.

The Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine has 138 places for first year medical students in its innovative three-year undergraduate medical program. The school, with more than 400 undergraduate medical students and 480 residents, is the third largest medical school in Canada. Acceptances will be sent to chosen applicants at the end of May.

Sounds like speed dating.

It’s my understanding that applicants who interview at MMI schools (e.g. U. Cincinnati) sign an honor code (or similar) indicating that they won’t share the questions that were asked.



Good grief Charlie Brown that was brutal. Ten stations and each one grills you on what you think and why you think the way you think!