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J Med Educ. 1981 Nov;56(11):881-5.

Description of the interview process in selecting students for admission to U.S. medical schools.


A survey was made of the medical schools in the United States to obtain a description of the interview process used in the selection of first-year medical students. The following questions were the basis for the study: What is the role of the interview in the selection of medical students? What is the nature of the interview process? How is the interview administered? An 87 percent response rate was obtained. The results indicated that 99 percent of the responding medical schools use interviews in evaluating students for medical school admission, and the interview ranks second only to the grade-point average in importance among four selection factors. The interview is usually in a one to one setting, with each applicant having two separate interviews. All schools use faculty and staff members in interviewing, and usually at least one admissions committee member interviews each applicant. Usually interviews are conducted on the campus of the school. Implications drawn from the results indicate a need for a quantification of methods to incorporate the interview into the selection process.

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