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Multiple Mini Interviews

The multiple mini interview (MMI) is a newer style of interview that began at McMaster University in Canada, and is becoming more popular among medical, DO, dental, veterinary, and pharmacy schools.

Why are medical schools using the MMI?

The goal of the MMI interview is to place applicants in scenarios that can demonstrate a candidate's social and communication skills, how they handle unknown situations, how they respond to ethical questions, and to give Med Schools a more holistic "view" of a candidate in action. You are not expected to be an expert, but to show your ability to respond with creativity and engagement. Their hope is to build a strong pool of future doctors who are not only able to apply the science, problem solving, and technical skills of medicine but also able to communicate well with, and be in relationship to, patients and colleagues.

What is done during an MMI?

This style of interview has been likened to "speed dating." Candidates go through several stations throughout the interview time. For instance, they might set up 8 rooms, each with a different scenario and candidates rotate through those rooms. When the bell goes off, candidates read a scenario taped to each door, go inside the room and are now "IN" a mock scenario that they need to respond to for 6-8 minutes. Then they move onto the next.

Scenarios may reflect ethical dilemmas or social issues in which one or more "interviewers" will either speak with you or observe your task or role-play. Applicants might find themselves in an ethical situation they play out with an actor in the room, be given a task to do, or actually asked a more typical interview question.

Applicants may have to work with someone in a team, or even asked to do some writing, in which you have to come up with a response to something.

What have students said about the MMI?

Most people say these interviews are actually fun and while they may lack the depth of interacting with a particular interviewer, you are making an impression on several people, which gives a kind of fairness in its own right.

Though these may seem like they'd be easier for folks who are more naturally extroverted, if you are reading this and thinking, "I am too shy for this—I would need more time to figure stuff out"---- let that go! Some good preparation ahead of time, and the willingness to dive in is what you need. You may find you like it better than you thought. Many of our more introverted applicants found they really enjoyed the experience.

Preparing for an MMI

There is no one way to prepare for such an interview format, given the possible range of questions(many of them will be unrelated to health & medicine), but we would strongly advise that you keep up with what is going on in health and ethics related issues these days.

Tips

  • Do the same Preparation involved for the more traditional interviews and review the McMaster Training Manual for Multiple Mini Interviews.
  • If the school provides you with sample MMI questions ahead of time, use them! You will be asked different questions when the time comes, but you can use sample questions (you can even try making some up) to practice generating a thoughtful, cohesive response in a limited time frame. Have fun with it.
  • Examples of MMI scenarios can be found by simply Googling. However, be aware that those scenarios may be very different from the ones you will receive during your MMI. It's good to get a general sense from these examples.
  • Get a friend or family member involved. Create a scenario in which they are the actor. Play out questions you might ask them or approaches you might take to their situation.
  • Scenarios may or may not be medically related but you are very likely to have at least some scenarios that introduce ethics. Make sure to be up to date in current events. Read the OP ED pieces in places like the NY times regarding health related issues, along with general articles in the news.
  • Familiarize yourself with the different sides of current events issues.
  • Give yourself timed scenarios, so you can become somewhat accustomed to thinking on your feet and moving on.
  • Prepare and be playful. Take it seriously but know you can only prepare so much for these. Show up. Be present. Be willing to jump in.

MD/DO schools using MMIs

Last Updated: 8/18/16