Background: The Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) is a new interview process that Dundee Medical School has recently adopted to assess entrants into its undergraduate medicine course. This involves an 'Objective Structured Clinical Examination' like rotational approach in which candidates are assessed on specific attributes at a number of stations.
Aims: To present methodological, questionnaire and psychometric data on the transitional process from traditional interviews to MMIs over a 3-year period and discuss the implications for those considering making this transition.
Methods: To facilitate the transition, a four-station MMI was piloted in 2007. Success encouraged consideration of desirable attributes which were used to develop a full 10-station process which was implemented in 2009 with assessors being recruited from staff, students and simulated patients. A questionnaire was administered to all assessors and candidates who participated in the 2009 MMIs. Cronbach's alpha and Pearson's r and analysis of variances were used to determine the MMI's psychometric properties. Multi-faceted Rasch modelling (MFRM) was modelled to control for assessor leniency/stringency and the impact of using 'fair scores' determined. Analysis was conducted using SPSS 17 and FACETS 3.65.0.
Results: The questionnaire confirmed that the process was acceptable to all parties. Cronbach's alpha reliability was satisfactory and consistent. Graduates/mature candidates outperformed UK school-leavers and overseas candidates. Using MFRM fair scores would change the selection outcome of 6.2% and 9.6% of candidates in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Students were less lenient, made more use of the full range of the rating scales and were just as reliable as staff.
Conclusions: The strategy of generating institutional support through staged introduction proved effective. The MMI in Dundee was shown to be feasible and displayed sound psychometric properties. Student assessors appeared to perform at least as well as staff. Despite a considerable intellectual and logistical challenge MMIs were successfully introduced and deemed worthwhile.