How Medical School Applicant Race, Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Status Relate to Multiple Mini-Interview-Based Admissions Outcomes: Findings From One Medical School

Acad Med. 2015 Dec;90(12):1667-74. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000766.


Purpose: To examine associations of medical school applicant underrepresented minority (URM) status and socioeconomic status (SES) with Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) invitation and performance and acceptance recommendation.

Method: The authors conducted a correlational study of applicants submitting secondary applications to the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, 2011-2013. URM applicants were black, Southeast Asian, Native American, Pacific Islander, and/or Hispanic. SES from eight application variables was modeled (0-1 score, higher score = lower SES). Regression analyses examined associations of URM status and SES with MMI invitation (yes/no), MMI score (mean of 10 station ratings, range 0-3), and admission committee recommendation (accept versus not), adjusting for age, sex, and academic performance.

Results: Of 7,964 secondary-application applicants, 19.7% were URM and 15.1% self-designated disadvantaged; 1,420 (17.8%) participated in the MMI and were evaluated for acceptance. URM status was not associated with MMI invitation (OR 1.14; 95% CI 0.98 to 1.33), MMI score (0.00-point difference, CI -0.08 to 0.08), or acceptance recommendation (OR 1.08; CI 0.69 to 1.68). Lower SES applicants were more likely to be invited to an MMI (OR 5.95; CI 4.76 to 7.44) and recommended for acceptance (OR 3.28; CI 1.79 to 6.00), but had lower MMI scores (-0.12 points, CI -0.23 to -0.01).

Conclusions: MMI-based admissions did not disfavor URM applicants. Lower SES applicants had lower MMI scores but were more likely to be invited to an MMI and recommended for acceptance. Multischool collaborations should examine how MMI-based admissions affect URM and lower SES applicants.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • California
  • College Admission Test / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic / methods*
  • Male
  • Minority Groups / education*
  • Racial Groups
  • Risk Assessment
  • School Admission Criteria*
  • Schools, Medical / standards*
  • Social Class
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult