Lines in the sand: pre-interview rank and probability of receiving admission to medical school

  • Raquel Burgess Department of Family Medicine & Undergraduate Medical Education Program, McMaster University https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3131-366X
  • Meredith Vanstone Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University Undergraduate Medical Education Program, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University McMaster Education Research, Innovation and Theory (MERIT) program, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University
  • Margo Mountjoy Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University Undergraduate Medical Education Program, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University
  • Lawrence Grierson Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University Undergraduate Medical Education Program, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University McMaster Education Research, Innovation and Theory (MERIT) program, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University

Abstract

Background: We provide an examination of one medical school’s attempt to determine whether their cut-off point for number of interviews offered is congruent with the probability these applicants’ have for admission post-interview.

Methods: Offer probability was determined by organizing pre-interview rankings from 2013-2017 (n = 2,659) applicant cohorts into bins of 50 applicants and finding the quotient of successful and total applicants in each bin.A linear-by-linear association Chi-square test and adjusted standardized residuals with an applied Bonferroni correction were used to determine if the observed frequencies in each bin were different than expected by chance. A Spearman Correlation analysis between pre- and post-interview ranks was conducted.

Results: All applicants have between a 50.0% and 76.4% chance of admission. Observed frequencies are different than chance (χ(1)=50.835, p<.001), with a significantly greater number of offers seen in the bins between 1 and 100 (p<.001 for both bins). There is a weak positive relationship between pre- and post-rank, rs(2657)= 0.258, p<.001.

Conclusion: The results indicate the number of interviews conducted does not exceed a threshold wherein individuals with a relatively low chance of admission are interviewed. Findings are interpreted with respect to ethical resource allocation for both programs and applicants.

Author Biographies

Raquel Burgess, Department of Family Medicine & Undergraduate Medical Education Program, McMaster University
Raquel Burgess, MSc is a Research Assistant for the Department of Family Medicine and Undergraduate Medical Education Program at McMaster University.
Meredith Vanstone, Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University Undergraduate Medical Education Program, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University McMaster Education Research, Innovation and Theory (MERIT) program, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University
Meredith Vanstone, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University and a Senior Scientist of the McMaster Education Research, Innovation and Theory (MERIT) program. 
Margo Mountjoy, Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University Undergraduate Medical Education Program, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University
Margo Mountjoy, MD PhD is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University and Regional Assistant Dean of the Waterloo Regional Campus,  Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University. At the time this research was conducted, Dr. Mountjoy was also the Chair of Admissions of the Undergraduate Medical Education Program at McMaster University.
Lawrence Grierson, Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University Undergraduate Medical Education Program, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University McMaster Education Research, Innovation and Theory (MERIT) program, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University
Lawrence Grierson, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University and a Senior Scientist of the McMaster Education Research, Innovation and Theory (MERIT) program.
Published
2019-07-21
Section
Major Contributions