By Preman Rajalingam
In the spirit of innovation, in April this year, LKCMedicine will be introducing the Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) here in Singapore, as part of its student selection process. We have chosen to replace the
traditional interview with the MMI in order to have a transparent and unbiased selection process, as it’s lauded to be when used by other medical schools in Canada and the US. But I must say that questions and skepticism abound whenever I talk about it with others outside the School.
“Wouldn’t doctors who are on the interview panel have a preference for the children of doctors?”, “Isn’t there a race quota?”, “Do students from a top JC have a better chance?” and “It’s harder for women to get a place, right?” were just some of the less contentious questions. The skepticism is understandable. From an outsider’s perspective, admissions criteria of interview panels have long been shrouded in mystery, and the interview process is often an extremely stressful one for students who often leave the interview with vague ideas of what they are being judged on.
At LKCMedicine we intend to do better. Our selection process has been carefully designed to take into account multiple sources of data, such as the BioMedical Admissions Test, previous academic performance and the MMI. The MMI in particular has been shown to be a robust and reliable way to pick the best students. However the process is only as good as the judgment of the interviewers. For this reason every interviewer on the panel will undergo training before the interviews in April. There will be two parts to this training.
While this extensive training cannot guarantee absolutely prefect decision making in every case, the
evidence shows that training does have a huge impact on the fairness and reliability of MMI process.