The MMI: Everything You Need to Know About the Multiple Mini Interview

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Session 152

The Medical School MMI: Everything You Need to Know

Today I welcome back Dr. Rivera from NYU who previously talked to us about the university’s 3-year medical school program. Dr. Rafael Rivera is the Associate Dean for Admission and Financial Aid and the Director of Admissions at NYU School of Medicine.

In today’s episode, Dr. Rivera hopes to demystify the process of the MMI or Multiple Mini Interview, which has become a stressful part of medical school admissions for many students.

NYU has a unique interview process that combines the traditional interview and the multiple mini-interview (MMI).

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

The NYU School of Medicine’s 3-Year MD Program

  • It’s a popular pathway for students.
  • Started with an opt-in option: students had to apply before medical school and identify what residency they wanted to pursue.
  • Now it has an additional option for currently matriculating students to enter the pathway after their first year.

Previous Application process of NYU’s 3-year MD program:

  • Apply through the standard AMCAS application system.
  • Apply to NYU’s 4-year MD pathway first.
  • Once accepted, then you have the option to apply to the 3-year MD pathway.
  • Interview with residency program directors in the field you’re interested in.

Current application process of the 3-year MD program:

  • Students may now defer their decision until after they’ve completed their first year of medical school at NYU.

The Benefits of NYU’s 3-Year MD Pathway:

The standard medical school interview process

  • Focused on individual experiences: What have you done to shape who you are?
  • Assessed your personal attributes to predict if you’re going to be a great physician.
  • Includes consideration of your metrics: How have you done academically in terms of coursework, GPA, MCAT exam?
  • GPA and MCAT are said to be good predictors for academic performance in the preclinical years, but they can’t tell you how applicants are in other areas.

A twist to the interview process with the MMI:

Increasing interview reliability in two ways:

  • Adding structure to the interview through standardized questions
  • Increasing the number of encounters

The Medical School MMI: Multiple Mini Interview

  • The MMI started at McMaster University in Canada in 2012.
  • It’s like “speed dating” for interviews, where you go from station to station for short, discrete intervals.
  • Each station looks at a particular quality or competency expected of students.
  • Students rotate to each station until completing them all.
The MMI is like 'speed dating' for interviews, where you go from station to station for short, discrete intervals.Click To Tweet

NYU’s interview process: Mixing the MMI and standard interview

  • NYU’s MMI component: Seven 8 minute-long individual stations looking at various attributes including communication, ethics, moral decision making, resolution, teamwork, etc.
  • The standard interview component: An open, 15-minute, free-flowing interview station which allows you to:
    • discuss why NYU would be a good fit for you
    • discuss aspects of your application that you want admissions to know more about
    • provide clarification on various points of your application
    • exchange additional information between the admissions and the applicants

[Check out my book on the medical school interview: The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Interview.]

What admissions are looking for in the medical school MMI:

  • If you don’t do well in one station, you can still do better in other stations.
  • They’re looking for your interpersonal communication skills
  • You should be able to adequately review the scenario at hand.
  • You should be able to come up with a standardized approach for looking at things.
  • They’re looking for competencies essential for medical school applicants.
  • You should be able to coherently express your views in a culturally sensitive, understandable, and well-organized manner
  • Flexibility: You should be able to take in various sources of information and incorporate new ideas into your decision-making process.

[Related episode: What Are the Different Types of MMI Stations?]

Dealing with anxiety about the medical school MMI

  • Familiarity is key.
  • Prepare for it!

How do you prepare for the medical school MMI?

  • I offer 1-0n-1 Mock Interview Prep.
  • Google “how to practice MMI,” and practice with a list of different scenarios.
  • Find MMI example questions using our Medical School Interview Question Generator.
  • Dr. Rivera recommends this site.
  • Research the schools you’re interviewing at.
  • Identify if the school is a good fit for you.
    • See if their mission and values jive with who you are and who you want to be.
  • Be familiar with all aspects of your application, so you can expand on anything they ask about.
  • Be aware of the current health care and bioethical issues being debated in the present medical landscape.

[Related episode: 5 Common Med School Interview Questions and How to Answer Them.]

Additional steps to prepare for the medical school MMI

  • Practice with somebody else.
  • Practice under timed conditions.
    • Most MMIs give you 2 minutes to read and gather your thoughts.
    • After that, you have 6-10 minutes to discuss the scenario.
  • Make sure that when the timer goes off, you stop and move on to the next scenario.
  • Develop a strategy for some stations out there.
  • Do not get too caught up in the details of particular scenarios.
  • Do not memorize your response to a specific scenario.
  • Come up with an algorithm you can use to address a specific scenario.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Familiarity will be your friend!

[Related episode: Common Medical School Interview Mistakes and How to Fix Them.]

Some pieces of advice for premed students

  • Go to a medical school that fits your vision of who you are and who you want to be.
  • If you don’t do well in one station of your MMI, all is not lost. You still have plenty of opportunities to do better.
  • Make everyone feel that they’re valued members of society.
If you don't do well in one station of your MMI, all is not lost. You still have plenty of opportunities to do better.Click To Tweet

Links and Other Resources: