Future Doctors Tested for People Skills

Medical schools are finally seeing the importance of a good "bedside manner" and are testing applicants for people skills. The "M.M.I." or multiple mini interview is now in place in at least eight medical schools in the United States and 13 in Canada. Applicants face ethical questions, such as circumcision and alternative remedies, and have to discuss their views in nine brief interviews. A New York Times article explains:

"Candidates who jump to improper conclusions, fail to listen or are overly opinionated fare poorly because such behavior undermines teams. Those who respond appropriately to the emotional tenor of the interviewer or ask for more information do well in the new admissions process because such tendencies are helpful not only with colleagues but also with patients."

MMI for aspiring doctors

Discussion Starters:

  • What is your opinion about the new selection technique? In what ways is this similar to employment interviews for corporate jobs?
  • What do you think about the emphasis on people skills for medical school students? Is this important, or should doctors just be good scientists?
  • What is your experience with doctors and their people skills? Do you see room for improvement that this selection process might help?