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Do changing medical admissions practices in the UK impact on who is admitted? An interrupted time series analysis
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    Representation in medicine will not change until interviews change
    • John H Ward, Final Year Medical Student St George's, University of London

    Dear Editor,

    I read with interest this article by Fielding et al regarding improving admissions to Medicine from under-represented groups. Neither low income background nor state schools applicants are proportionally represented by admissions currently, owing to the economic and social challenges of getting into medicine which disproportionately impact those from less affluent backgrounds (1).

    In recent years, the approach to remedy this problem has been to get more people into interviews, through various means such as lowering GCSE requirements, guaranteed interview schemes, as well as charities that offer personal statement advice, which Fielding et al have recognised. Despite these measures, Fielding et al have demonstrated that modulating entrance exam criteria produces no discernible effects on overall admissions from low income backgrounds (2). This should be a red flag to admissions officers, demonstrating that removing barriers to interview is not sufficient to fix this problem.

    To understand the problem better, consideration must be given to interview development. More medical schools are moving towards the use of multiple mini interviews (MMIs). Each MMI station is blueprinted to assess a few specific desirable skills and attributes. It is felt that this process eliminates bias and makes judgements more context specific (3). On principal, this should mean that socioeconomic advantage would not factor into MMI performance, as more affluent...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.