We've written before about medical schools' use of the Multi-Mini Interview, an applicant-screening process that involves a series of short interviews designed to measure character and critical-thinking skills rather than scientific knowledge. Stanford implemented the new process in 2010 and used it to help choose this year’s batch of new students.
For today's Inside Stanford Medicine, my colleague Tracie White talked with Charles Prober, MD, senior associate dean for medical education, about why the change was made and how the MMI was implemented. When she asked about the importance of strong interpersonal skills in the medical profession, Prober had this to say:
A physician’s interpersonal skills always have been critical to the most effective patient-centered interactions. A great deal of time in our curriculum is focused on optimizing communication with future patients. And... medical knowledge clearly is a critical characteristic of a successful physician, but this knowledge does not do patients much good if it cannot be communicated effectively. Thus we are simultaneously working on strategies to facilitate our students’ acquisition of medical knowledge, capacity to be effective lifelong learners and humanistic skills. Four years ago, we developed an entirely new program, Educators-4-CARE, specifically to help to support our students in the acquisition of the attributes of CARE: “Compassion, Advocacy, Responsibility and Empathy.” The 15 faculty recruited to constitute this program exemplify these characteristics and serve as role models for our students, beginning early in their medical education.