What Influences the Decision to Interview a Candidate for Medical School?

Ting Dong, Jeffrey Hutchinson, Dario Torre, Steven J. Durning, Anthony R. Artino, Deanna Schreiber-Gregory, Jennifer Landoll, Matthew Pflipsen, Denise Anderson, Aaron Saguil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Holistic review, in which medical schools seek to balance applicant attributes and experiences alongside traditional academic metrics in making admissions decisions, has been in place for over a decade. Medical school applicants and the admissions' community are still trying to understand the impact of holistic review on the composition of those medical schools choose to interview and accept. Materials and Method: The study cohort included all candidates who applied to Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) in 2014, 2015, and 2016 (N = 8,920). We conducted logistic regression analysis to examine the associations between the sociodemographic, academic, and military service variables of applicants applying to the School of Medicine and offers for interview. Results: Medical College Admission Test scores and undergraduate grade point averages were important in predicting who would receive an interview. Having military experience, being a woman, and being self-reported African American race also predicted a higher likelihood of receiving an interview invitation. For example, controlling for all other variables in the model, if an applicant had previous military experience, the odds of being invited for interview was about 4 times that of an applicant who had no previous military experience. Leave this for the text and discussion. The resulting pool of interviewed and accepted students more increasingly represented the Military Health Service population served. Conclusions: The use of holistic review generated a class with a composition different from that which would be predicted by Medical College Admission Test and grade point average alone. Further, holistic review produced an interview pool and class more representative of the wider Military Health Service beneficiary population. In the case of USU, holistic review allowed the school to better meet its mission to create a representative class able to "care for those in harm's way."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1999-E2003
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


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