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Multiple mini interview performance of repeat applicants to medical school admission

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To the Editor: As the use of the multiple mini interview (MMI) for selecting applicants for admission to health professional programs increases, so does the number of coaching classes assumed to help improve performance on the MMI.1 Moreover, applicants applying to several professional programs have multiple opportunities to gain experience in a high-stakes environment. These realities usher concerns about the influence of “practice effect” on subsequent MMI performance.2 While short-term prior access to MMI questions did not influence applicants’ performance in a Canadian medical school,3 in Australia, MMI participation in the year after the original attempt improved scores on stations (short, structured interviews to assess personal qualities such as communication, professionalism, ethics skills) that were the same or similar to original MMI stations.2

At the University of Manitoba, Canada, about 25% of 1151 unique applicants to the Faculty of Medicine’s Undergraduate Medical Education program from 2008 to 2012 were those unsuccessful at gaining medical school admission in previous years. While 856 applicants (74.4%) appeared once for the MMI, 208 (18.1%) appeared twice, 64 (5.6%) appeared thrice, 16 (1.4%) appeared four times and seven (0.6%) appeared five times. In the faculty’s…