Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Development and Assessment of the Multiple Mini-Interview in a School of Pharmacy Admissions Model

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Development and Assessment of the Multiple Mini-Interview in a School of Pharmacy Admissions Model

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

In addition to cognitive skills and academic ability, noncognitive attributes are vital to the success of health care providers. Noncognitive attributes, also referred to as professional attributes or skills, generally include nonacademic indicators such as empathy, collaboration, leadership, and integrity. A growing body of literature demonstrates the need for health care providers to possess these noncognitive skills, including the ability to work collaboratively on interdisciplinary health care teams and to communicate effectively. (1-7) The success of pharmacists during ongoing health care reform is likely to depend on the development of these skills as they take on expanded roles.

The evolving health care environment and growing importance of noncognitive skills in the workplace has prompted numerous calls for curricular reform in the health professions. (4-7) The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy is in the midst of redesigning its PharmD curriculum to transform education, and ultimately advance health care. (8) Desired outcomes of the new curriculum include: exemplary practitioners who provide high-quality, team-based, patient-centered care; leaders and innovators who recognize the health care needs of patients and society and who lead teams toward improvement and change for the betterment of patient care; and lifelong learners who continually strive for positive impact. (8) The new curriculum places a renewed emphasis on noncognitive attributes that will help student pharmacists prepare for and participate in class, contribute to innovative problem solving, adapt to a changing health care system, and work as part of a health care team to solve complex problems.

As pharmacists take on more responsibility in the care of patients and curricula are redesigned to meet this evolving role, pharmacy educators must be prepared to design and implement strategies for identifying and developing these professional attributes in student pharmacists. (7,9) To assess the noncognitive attributes of prospective student pharmacists, colleges and schools have traditionally used the structured interview. This approach typically consists of 1-2 interviewers spending time with a single candidate, asking pre-established questions and engaging in discussion about the candidate's experiences, opinions, and/or beliefs. However, research suggests that the subjectivity and bias associated with this approach can compromise the validity and reliability of interview results. (10,11) In addition, evidence of a correlation between structured interview scores and success as a student or practitioner is lacking. (12,13) To address the shortcomings of the structured interview, the multiple mini-interview (MMI) was developed and implemented as an admissions tool in Michael DeGroote Medical School at McMaster University. (14) The logistics of the MMI are similar to those of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), which consists of approximately 5-10 stations. The candidate generally has 5-10 minutes at each station to respond to a situational prompt or case. Unlike structured interviews, the MMI allows the candidate to independently interact with multiple interviewers, which can reduce bias in assessing candidates. (14)

The MMI was developed to differentiate among prospective students based on noncognitive abilities and ideally better predict which applicants would be the most successful practitioners. (14) Since its first description in the literature, the MMI has been replicated in medical schools and, more recently, in pharmacy schools, pharmacy and medical residency programs, and veterinary schools. (14-21) Across these settings, the MMI seems to be a useful admissions tool for measuring professional attributes. In a systematic review of studies exploring MMI use for student selection in health professions training, Pau et al concluded that candidates and interviewers found the process acceptable and fair. …

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