Multiple Mini Interview Scores of Underrepresented Minority Applicants to a Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
The purpose of this study was to assess differences in Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) scores between underrepresented minority (URM) and non-underrepresented minority (nonURM) applicants to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. Prior research suggests a highly structured interview process such as the MMI may be more reliable in assessing various noncognitive attributes in applicants as compared with traditional interview formats.
The sample consisted of 556 interviewed applicants to a DPT program from 2015-2018. Applicant demographics and scores from a 7-station MMI were collected. URM status was defined as applicants who self-identified as belonging to one or more of the following subgroups: minority racial/ethnic population(s), lower socioeconomic status, first generation student, or resident of medically underserved geographic area. MMI scores among URM and nonURM applicants were analyzed using descriptive statistics and independent t-tests. CohenÕs d effect sizes were used to investigate differences between individual URM subgroups and nonURM applicants. A SpearmanÕs rank correlation was utilized to explore the impact of multiple URM subgroup membership on MMI scores.
MMI scores were not different between URM (Mean=6.52, SD=1.19) and non-URM (Mean=6.64, SD=1.17) groups (p=0.35). Minimal effect sizes (range .06-.28) were observed between URM subgroups and nonURM MMI scores. The number of URM subgroups to which an applicant belonged exhibited a small negative correlation (_=-.144) with MMI scores (p=0.15).
Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme:
This study demonstrates that the MMI does not disadvantage URM applicants. There is also no disparate impact on MMI scores among applicants belonging to multiple underrepresented subgroups. Thus, use of the MMI may provide an unbiased assessment in the evaluation of applicants to physical therapy education programs, an important step toward improving minority representation in the PT profession. To address underrepresentation, further research investigating DPT admissions processes is necessary to better align the workforce with diverse populations served.