MMIWe are very excited this month to bring you our first ALiEM-Annals Resident’s Perspective discussion. Similar to the ALiEM-Annals Global EM Journal Club series, we will be discussing the most recent Resident’s Perspective piece on the role of Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) in the EM residency selection process. We hope you will participate in an online discussion based on the paper summary and questions below from now through May 11, 2014. Respond by commenting below or tweeting (#ALiEMRP).

Google Hangout on Air with Drs. Phillips and Garmel

On Friday, May 9, 2014 at 1100 EST, we will be hosting a 30-minute live Google Hangout with Dr. Andrew Phillips and Dr. Gus Garmel, the authors of the Annals of Emergency Medicine Resident’s Perspective paper on the MMI. Be sure to tune in! Later this year, a summary of this blog- and Twitter-based discussion will hopefully be published back into the journal.

  • 00:00  Introduction and Dr. Andrew Phillips (Stanford-Kaiser EM senior resident) discusses the featured paper
  • 03:47  Dr. Bill Soares (Baystate EM education fellow) discusses his team’s upcoming Academic Medicine paper about to come out on MMI
  • 08:16  Dr. Gus Garmel (Stanford-Kaiser Previous EM Residency Co-Program Director) discusses his perspective on the goals of interview day, the art of interviewing, and the 9 P’s that program directors are looking for (performance, productivity, professionalism, personality, preparation, persistence, punctuality, passion, potential)
  • 12:00  Dr. Lainie Yarris (Oregon Health Sciences EM Residency Program Director) discusses her perspective, why she’s so intrigued by the MMI, and being sure to cater to the applicant’s need to understand the authentic personality of the program
  • 13:54  Dr. Christopher Doty (University of Kentucky EM Residency Program Director) discusses his skepticism of completely converting interviews to MMI format
  • 15:55  Dr. Michelle Lin (UCSF-SFGH EM faculty) and Dr. Bill Soares talk about Dr. Laura Hopson’s 2014 JEM publication on MMI and the potential for a blended approach for traditional and MMI-type interview sessions to meet multiple needs.
  • 19:11  Closing thoughts from panel (Dr. Andrew Phillips, Dr. Nikita Joshi)

Annals of EM Resident Perspective Article Citation

Phillips AW, Garmel GM. Does the Multiple Mini-Interview Address Stakeholder Needs? An Applicant’s Perspective. Ann Emerg Med. 2014 Apr 14. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24743102. DOI.

What are Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI)?

The MMI is a structured interview format that aims to measure noncognitive characteristics in an objective, valid, and reliable manner in order to provide programs with predictive information about the applicant’s future clinical performance. The MMI has been studied in medical school admission processes, and has been well-received by programs, applicants, and interviewers. However, little is known about the application of MMI to the residency selection process, and there have been no studies published in either the U.S., or Emergency Medicine (EM). Studies performed in other fields and countries suggest that applicants find the MMI process to be “fair” and that the format has strong reliability in residency selection. However, little is known about how EM residency applicants would perceive the process, how it would influence their interview day experience, or the programs’ standing on their rank order list.


This Resident’s Perspective piece was inspired by the first author’s experience participating in the MMI process during an interview for an Emergency Medicine residency program.

Prior studies in the EM literature suggest that the interview day, and specifically the Program Director interview, is a factor that applicants weigh heavily when developing their rank lists. Moreover, this is one of the few influential factors that applicants value and that program directors can control. Therefore, programs considering whether or not to implement the MMI into their selection process may wish to weigh not only how the information will help them, but also how the process may influence their ability to recruit top candidates.

The MMI experience that prompted this paper left the author with a feeling of unfamiliarity with the program and its people, partly because of the perceived detached nature of the interviewers during the MMI, as compared with the engaging interviewers during traditional interviews. While the MMI may be able to measure noncognitive qualities associated with professionalism that are key to applicants’ future success as emergency physicians, its unknown effect on resident recruiting success warrants future exploration.

Helpful Online Resoures

Additional Reading

  • Hopson LR, Burkhardt JC, Stansfield RB, et al. The multiple mini-interview for emergency medicine resident selection. J Emerg Med. 2014 Apr;46(4):537-43. PMID: 24462031.
  • Oliver T, Hecker K, Hausdorf PA, Conlon P. Validating MMI scores: are we measuring multiple attributes? Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2014 Jan 22. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24449121.
  • Soares WE 3rd, Sohoni A, Hern HG, Wills CP, Alter HJ, Simon BC. Comparison of  the Multiple Mini-Interview With the Traditional Interview for U.S. Emergency Medicine Residency Applicants: A Single-Institution Experience. Acad Med. 2014 Oct 14. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25319173. [Added Oct 20, 2014]


Question Mark

Featured Questions

The ALiEM team poses the following questions to explore current practices with MMI, and perceptions about the benefits and drawbacks of this interview format. If you have additional questions, feel free to pose them!

  • Q1: Have you participated in a MMI as a medical student or resident applicant? Describe your experience. How did the MMI impact your rating of the program?
  • Q2: Have you participated as an interviewer in an MMI?  Describe your experience as an interviewer.  Did you feel you gleaned useful information from the exercise?
  • Q3: How would you predict the structured MMI process would impact the applicant’s ability to glean the information they want and need from the interview day process in order to determine where to rank programs on their rank order list?
  • Q4: Are there intrinsic benefits to an unstructured interview format that are not found in the MMI format?

Please participate in the discussion by answering either on the ALiEM blog comments below or by tweeting us using the hashtag #ALiEMRP. Please denote the question you are responding to by starting your reply with Q1, Q2, Q3, or Q4.

Disclaimer: We reserve the right to use any and all tweets to #ALiEMRP and comments below in a commentary piece for an Annals of Emergency Medicine publication as a curated conclusion piece for this Resident’s Perspective publication. Your comments will be attributed, and we thank-you in advance for your contributions.

Lalena Yarris, MD MCR

Lalena Yarris, MD MCR

Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
Co-Director, Education Section, Department of Emergency Medicine
Residency Program Director, Department of Emergency Medicine
Co-Director, Emergency Medicine Education Fellowship
Oregon Health Sciences University
Nikita Joshi, MD

Nikita Joshi, MD

ALiEM Chief People Officer and Associate Editor
Clinical Instructor
Department of Emergency Medicine
Stanford University
Nikita Joshi, MD


Emergency Medicine Doctor Associate Editor of ALiEM Gun Sense Advocate #FOAMed #Docs4GunSense #MomsDemandAction Tweets represent my own views and opinions