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Effect of Applicant Gender on Multiple Mini-Interview Admissions Score

Hegmann, Theresa, MPAS, PA-C

The Journal of Physician Assistant Education: March 2019 - Volume 30 - Issue 1 - p 54–56
doi: 10.1097/JPA.0000000000000234
Brief Report

Purpose Admissions criteria for physician assistant (PA) schools vary considerably, but they often involve a combination of academic measures, noncognitive “humanistic” qualities, and mission-related items. To address noncognitive attributes, some PA schools have implemented the multiple mini-interview (MMI) format developed at McMaster University in Canada. This research project looked at differences in interview scores by gender over 3 consecutive admissions cycles at one PA program.

Methods Three years of pre-existing de-identified data gathered as part of the routine admissions process were analyzed retrospectively using SPSS-v25.

Results Data were available for all interviewees for 2015, 2016, and 2017 (N = 350 total). Between-group differences were not statistically significant by gender. Reliability (Cronbach's α) was 0.865 for academic scoring and 0.694 for MMI scoring.

Discussion Analysis of 3 years of admissions data from a single program did not show evidence for gender bias in MMI scores. Although this result is reassuring, it requires continued monitoring and replication.

Theresa Hegmann, MPAS, PA-C, is a clinical professor and director of curriculum and evaluation in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies and Services, Carver College of Medicine, at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

Correspondence should be addressed to: Theresa Hegmann, MPAS, PA-C, Department of Physician Assistant Studies and Services, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, 1221 MERF, Iowa City, IA 52242. Telephone: (319) 335-6733; Email:

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2019 Physician Assistant Education Association
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