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MMI Tips

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Multiple mini-interviews, or MMIs, involve between 6 and 10 timed stations that present different scenarios, questions or tasks. Developed in Canada, many U.S. medical schools include MMIs in the admissions process. Interviews focus on applicants' reactions, rather than their ability to identify one specific answer. Candidates must respond to a variety of common and unpredictable situations in order to demonstrate their potential in areas such as job performance and retention.

Understand the Format

All MMIs are designed to highlight topics such as diversity, ethics, teamwork and stress management. Typically, there's more than one correct answer because applicants are evaluated by how well they determine their positions, articulate their ideas and discuss potential pitfalls. Each station begins with a 2-minute time limit for candidates to read the prompt and gather their ideas. Depending on the location, each mini-interview lasts between 7 and 10 minutes once applicants enter the room. Notably, interviewers do not give feedback at any point during an MMI.

Know the Components

Each station presents unique challenges, such as requiring applicants to deliver bad news to actors playing patients or asking candidates' opinions regarding ethical dilemmas, policies and social issues. Some stations ask typical interview questions. For example, applicants may need to describe an obstacle they've faced or explain why they applied to that school. In other situations, two applicants arrive at the same station and must work together to complete a task. Stations may prompt candidates with essay topics, but time limits are often extended to allow applicants to thoroughly complete the assignment.

Practice and Prepare

Unlike most exams in the medical field, MMIs aren't testing clinical knowledge or scientific expertise. The University of Arizona notes that candidates should be up-to-date on current events, news and policies related to health care. Applicants must be professional and confident when speaking about themselves and their goals, setbacks or accomplishments. Candidates may practice for MMIs by researching different medical situations, adopting a firm approach and solving the problem under timed circumstances.

Stay Focused

According to the Duke University School of Medicine, candidates are evaluated during their interactions with interviewers and other members of the Duke community. Candidates must remember to listen carefully to prompts and not jump to conclusions before considering the entire scenario. Dartmouth College reports that additional emphasis is often placed on essays and mini essays regarding applicants' experiences. Applicants may prepare for essay portions by writing detailed answers to practice questions within 10 or 15 minutes.