Becky S Carothers, MD - University of Louisville; Sara M Multerer, MD - University of Louisville; Pradip D Patel, MD - University of Louisville; Michael L Rowland, PhD - University of Louisville; Craig H Ziegler, MA - University of Louisville
Introduction: A residency interview plays an integral part in the program match process for medical residency positions. There are rare opportunities for medical student interview preparation while obtaining essential feedback. There has been little data regarding mock interviews provided in medical school for residency interview preparation and even less data regarding mock interviews for specific departments.
Program Development: The University of Louisville, School of Medicine offered a 20 minute mock interview by a Pediatrics faculty to fourth year medical students interested in matching in Pediatrics, Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics, or Pediatric Neurology. 20 students completed a mock interview with concomitant feedback in the month preceding the 2010-2011 interview season.
Methods: Pre and post mock interview surveys were completed regarding comfort levels and confidence specific to aspects of the interview process. The post survey was obtained after the residency interview season but prior to the match to compare the mock interview to the actual interviews. Likert-scaled data of the pre and post surveys were analyzed using the Mann–Whitney U test. Following the match, a focus group was held with 9 of the participating students to obtain qualitative data via paper blog. To analyze this qualitative data, the researchers followed the constant-comparative analysis method as outlined by Glaser and Strauss (1967) to identify themes that emerged in the student responses.
Results: Quantitative analysis indicates that students had statistically significant (p<0.01) improvements in comfort level and confidence in all aspects of the interview process. The qualitative data identifies five areas where the mock interviews helped students the most: preparation, stress reduction, interview process familiarity, confidence of skills, and receiving feedback. It also provided insight to interview question themes throughout the country.
Discussion: A mock interview program for senior medical students can improve students’ confidence in the residency interview process with reasonable faculty time commitment. Further research will be conducted to gather a greater number of participants as well as to provide an enhanced education in their training.