A Hybrid Interview Model for Medical School Interviews: Combining Traditional and Multisampling Formats

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Abstract

Problem

Most medical schools have either retained a traditional admissions interview or fully adopted an innovative, multisampling format (e.g., the multiple mini-interview) despite there being advantages and disadvantages associated with each format.

Approach

The University of Michigan Medical School (UMMS) sought to maximize the strengths associated with both interview formats after recognizing that combining the two approaches had the potential to capture additional, unique information about an applicant. In September 2014, the UMMS implemented a hybrid interview model with six, 6-minute short-form interviews—highly structured scenario-based encounters—and two, 30-minute semistructured long-form interviews. Five core skills were assessed across both interview formats.

Outcomes

Overall, applicants and admissions committee members reported favorable reactions to the hybrid model, supporting continued use of the model. The generalizability coefficients for the six-station short-form and the two-interview long-form formats were estimated to be 0.470 and 0.176, respectively. Different skills were more reliably assessed by different interview formats. Scores from each format seemed to be operating independently as evidenced through moderate to low correlations (r = 0.100–0.403) for the same skills measured across different interview formats; however, after correcting for attenuation, these correlations were much higher.

Next Steps

This hybrid model will be revised and optimized to capture the skills most reliably assessed by each format. Future analysis will examine validity by determining whether short-form and long-form interview scores accurately measure the skills intended to be assessed. Additionally, data collected from both formats will be used to establish baselines for entering students’ competencies.

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