Pharmacy Faculty Publish Paper in Medical Education

Associate Professors Andrea Cameron and Linda MacKeigan of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto, Assistant Professor Nicholas Mitsakakis of U of T’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, and John Pugsley, Registrar-Treasurer from the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada, recently published “Multiple mini-interview predictive validity for performance on a pharmacy licensing examination” in Medical Education.

Prior to 2009, the multiple mini-interview (MMI) method had not been implemented in the faculty’s admissions process for the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) programme. This study sought to determine the predictive validity of the MMI for performance within a pharmacy programme and on the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) Qualifying Examination for licensure, and to compare the predictive validity of the MMI with that of pre-pharmacy grade point average (GPA) and Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) score.

During the MMI process, approximately 500 applicants to the U of T undergraduate Pharmacy program rotate through ten mini-stations, each with a different interviewer and scenario. The interviewers are made up of practicing pharmacists, university faculty and staff, and third and fourth-year Pharmacy students. Cameron said the MMIs are not only an effective tool for selecting the best candidates, but it also engages current students.

“The MMIs help the student body give back as soon as they get here,” said Cameron. “First-year students can volunteer their time to welcome prospective students, second-years are often actors in our scenarios, and the upper-year students are among those interviewing the applicants.”

Cameron adds that the MMI process is important as it ensures applicants have the communication skills, professionalism and empathy that are much needed in the pharmacy profession. Some of the non-academic attributes measured in the MMIs include emotional intelligence, ethical reasoning, problem solving and leadership. The MMI score is used along with an applicant’s GPA and PCAT to determine their admission.

The study concluded the MMI was the only admissions tool with significant predictive validity for performance on the PEBC–OSCE national pharmacy certification examination and in a final-year institutional/ambulatory practice rotation. These findings, from a single cohort of undergraduates, provide the first report of the predictive validity of the MMI for performance on pharmacy licensure examinations and thereby strengthen the evidence for its use in health professions selection. Prior university academic performance significantly predicted cumulative GPA and performance on the PEBC–MCQ. Performance on the PCAT also predicted PEBC–MCQ results.

To read the paper, please click here.