Are Female Applicants Rated Higher Than Males on the Multiple Mini-Interview? Findings From the University of Calgary

Acad Med. 2017 Jun;92(6):841-846. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001466.


Purpose: The multiple mini-interview (MMI) improves reliability and validity of medical school interviews, and many schools have introduced this in an attempt to select individuals more skilled in communication, critical thinking, and ethical decision making. But every change in the admissions process may produce unintended consequences, such as changing intake demographics. In this article, two studies exploring gender differences in MMI ratings are reported.

Method: Cumulative meta-analysis was used to compare MMI ratings for female and male applicants to the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine between 2010 and 2014. Multiple linear regression was then performed to explore gender differences in MMI ratings after adjusting for other variables, followed by a sensitivity analysis of the impact of varying the weight given to MMI ratings on the odds of females being ranked in the top 150 applicants for 2014.

Results: Females were rated higher than male applicants (standardized mean difference 0.21, 95% CI [0.11, 0.30], P < .001). After adjusting for other explanatory variables, there was a positive association between female applicant and MMI rating (regression coefficient 0.23 [0.14, 0.33], P < .001). Increasing weight assigned to MMI ratings was associated with increased odds of females being ranked in the top 150 applicants.

Conclusions: In this single-center study, females were rated higher than males on the MMI, and the odds of a female applicant being offered a position increased as more weight was given to MMI ratings. Further studies are needed to confirm and explain gender differences in MMI ratings.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alberta
  • College Admission Test / statistics & numerical data*
  • Faculty, Medical / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prejudice*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • School Admission Criteria / statistics & numerical data*
  • Schools, Medical / standards*
  • Sex Factors*
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult