A critical perspective on the modified personal interview

Dilshan Pieris
Soort article
Eye Opener
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Medical school interviews are critical for screening candidates for admission. Traditionally, the panel format is used for this process, although its drastically low reliabilities sparked the creation of the highly reliable multiple mini-interview (MMI). However, the multiple mini-interview’s feasibility issues made it unappealing to some institutions, like the University of Toronto, who created the modified personal interview (MPI) as a more feasible alternative. The lack of literature about the MPI, however, prevents the medical community from determining whether this interview format achieves this goal. Therefore, evidence was compiled and critically appraised for the MPI using Kane’s validity framework, which enables analysis of four levels of inference (Scoring, Generalization, Extrapolation, Implication). Upon examining each level, it was concluded that assumptions made at the ‘Scoring’ and ‘Generalization’ levels had the least support. Based on these findings, it was recommended that in-person rater training become mandatory and the number of stations increase twofold from four to eight. Moreover, the following research initiatives were suggested to improve understanding of and evidence for the modified personal interview: (1) formally blueprint each station; (2) conduct predictive validity studies for the modified personal interview, and (3) relate admission to medical school on the basis of the MPI with medical error rates. By making these changes and studying these initiatives, the MPI can become a more feasible and equally effective alternative to the MMI with more evidence to justify its implementation at other medical schools.


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