Students Versus Faculty Members as Admissions Interviewers: Comparisons of Ratings Data and Admissions Decisions

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Abstract

Purpose

To explore variations both in interview ratings data and in medical school admissions decisions when current medical students do and do not participate in interviewing applicants.

Method

The research team conducted this randomized controlled trial by performing identical analyses for each of six independent cohorts of applicants (n = 3,868) to Baylor College of Medicine for the academic years 2005–2006 through 2010–2011. A pair of randomly selected interviewers—either two faculty members or a faculty member and a student—interviewed each applicant in a one-on-one interview.

Results

Interviewer pairs randomly structured to include either two faculty members (n = 1,523) or one faculty member and one student (n = 2,345) produced ratings of similar means as well as homogeneity across ratings. The structure of the rater pairs, as expected, was not predictive of the final admissions decisions after the authors took into account Medical College Admission Test scores and grade point average.

Conclusions

These results, showing that student involvement does not compromise the ratings of interviewed applicants, support the continued involvement of students in medical school admissions interviews.

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