Faculty of Medicine launches unique admissions interview process

By Melissa Watton | Nov. 20, 2013

The Faculty of Medicine has launched a new, unique to Memorial University, medical school admissions interview process.

On Nov. 16 approximately 250 applicants, 150 interviewers, 50 medical students and 50 staff co-ordinators converged on the medical school to take part in this year’s interview process for admissions. The anticipation of applicants was matched by the excitement of the admissions and interview committees as TaMMI came to fruition. TaMMI is the name of the new interview process and reflects a hybrid of a traditional interview with multiple-mini interviews (MMI).

Most medical schools in Canada have replaced the traditional panel interview with the MMI developed by McMaster University. However, research at Memorial has shown benefits of the traditional panel interview so it was decided to do a hybrid of both the traditional admissions process and MMI and conduct research to compare how students do on the two parts.

TaMMI Interview prep“What is remarkable is that we are one of the first medical schools to combine the traditional interview and the MMI,” said Dr. James Rourke, dean, Faculty of medicine. “We are a leader in this way and recognize the importance of doing research to see how they compare. This research is at the forefront of medical school admissions around the world.”

Dr. Rourke said the launch of TaMMI is important to both the applicants and to the faculty.

“It is important to the candidates as they are choosing their career. It is important to us because we are picking the doctors of tomorrow. The people who will look after all of us in whatever stage of life we are. It is essential we apply the best methods to try and select the candidates that are best suited to be these doctors of tomorrow.”

The day took significant co-ordination and planning. At any one time, 94 interviews were ongoing (64 MMIs and 30 traditional interviews). By the end of the day, each applicant had participated in nine interviews (eight, eight-minute MMIs and one traditional panel 30-minute interview).

The launch of TaMMI was a well-organized process co-ordinated through the Clinical Learning and Development Centre. Interviewers came from throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island and included physicians, professors, community representatives, Aboriginal and rural representatives, medical students and residents. Community engagement was evident throughout the day as interviewers and staff gave their time and expertise to ensure the complex event ran smoothly.

“I would like to thank everyone involved in making the interview day a success,” said Dr. Wanda Parsons, assistant dean for admissions. ”It was a real team effort and everyone played a vital role.”

With the interviews completed, the admissions committee will now begin the holistic review and scoring of each applicant file. Successful candidates will be notified in spring 2014.

In addition to the new interview process, Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine is one of only 10 medical schools in North America (and the only one in Canada) doing research to develop and assess the next version of the MCAT.


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