A new study from the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine has found that the more uninhibited and sociable you are, the better you’ll perform during the Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) process.
While past studies have shown that conscientious individuals possess many of the attributes widely regarded as core attributes of effective physicians, the end result, as the study authors noted, is that being extroverted helps applicants perform better during interviews. And along with interview performance, those with higher levels of agreeableness are more likely to be offered admission to medical school.
Extroversion: Most influential on interview
“Our results suggest that applicant personality influences aspects of the medical school admissions process, including performance on the MMI,” the authors wrote. And to get more technical, being somewhat extroverted won’t help – those who were considered “lower-level” extroverts did not perform as well as “higher-level” extroverts.
Conscientiousness: No biggie, already accounted for
Agreeableness: Linked to acceptance offers
“Our findings suggest that applicant personality influences both MMI performance and the medical school admissions process,” the authors concluded. “They also raise the concern that the widespread adoption of the MMI could result in a narrower range of student personalities in medical schools, possibly reducing diversity of thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors among medical students.”
Additional Study Findings:
- Women, older applicants, and individuals with higher MCAT Verbal Reasoning scores had significantly higher MMI scores compared with other applicants. Authors wrote: “MCAT Verbal Reasoning scores have been positively associated with interpersonal communication ratings in medical school, and women are more likely than men to communicate in ways that foster rapport building in new social situations.”
- Older applicants had better MMI performance than younger applicants. Specifically, younger applicants, 19 to 21 years old, had significantly lower mean total MMI score compared with older applicants who were 25 to 39 years old. Authors wrote: “This makes sense because they are more likely to have had prior life experiences requiring effective communication in high-stakes situations.”
- Higher MMI scores, California residence, and higher MCAT Biological Sciences scores were significantly associated with acceptance offers.
The study titled “Does Applicant Personality Influence Multiple Mini-Interview Performance and Medical School Acceptance Offers” was published online ahead of print.