This is a particularly challenging year for med school interviews, not least due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unavailability of testing in the spring. Now comes the newest change, entirely virtual interviews and in some cases a video interview: AAMC’s Video Tool for Admissions (VITA) program, which launched this year to supplement live virtual interviews.
Given all the anxiety and uncertainty around the new process, I sent a few questions to several med school admissions directors who have been on Admissions Straight Talk, and I asked them the following questions:
- Do you have any plans to use VITA?
- Are you planning to have virtual MMIs, traditional interviews, or both?
- If travel become possible mid-way through the cycle, will you return to inviting applicants to in-person interviews? Or would you rather not for the sake of consistency and equity?
All who responded said we can share their responses, and we are doing so below.
This is a fairly small sample of med schools. If your interviewing school isn’t listed below, please check with them when invited to interview. The situation is still quite fluid.
To learn more about what to expect and for answers to your questions, register for Med School Interviews During COVID-19, a live Q&A with two admissions experts.
Med interviews during COVID-19
|School||Q1: Do you plan to use the VITA?||Q2: Do you plan to have|
virtual MMIs, traditional interviews, or both?
|Q3: Will you return to in-person interviews mid-cycle if possible?|
|Carle Illinois College of Medicine||No, but VITA pilot project for possible use in future cycles.||N/A|
Interviews are not part of admissions process.
|University of Colorado School of Medicine||No||Virtual format – group exercise, group interview, individual interview||No, but virtual campus visit days for accepted applicants|
|Duke University School of Medicine||Undecided||Hybrid MMI/traditional format conducted via Zoom||No, entirely virtual|
|Geisinger Commonwealth||No||Virtual traditional interviews||No, entirely virtual|
|Hofstra/Northwell Zucker School of Medicine||Yes||VITA for scenarios plus two additional real-time behavioral-type, virtual interviews to simulate our MMI.||No, entirely virtual|
|Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine||No||Two virtual interviews||No, entirely virtual|
|Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine||No||Hybrid MMI/traditional format using AMP with Zoom||No, entirely virtual|
|Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine||No||Traditional, applying a virtual platform for 2021 cycle||No, entirely virtual|
|SUNY Upstate Medical University||Yes||Virtual MMIs in addition to VITA|
|University of Washington School of Medicine||No||Three-person panel interview process conducted via Zoom||No, entirely virtual|
Bottom line from this sample: There will be no in-person interviews this cycle. VITA will be used sparingly and usually in conjunction with some form of live, virtual interview or MMI. When invited to interview, make sure you know what approach your school is taking.
Now is the time to practice for this new approach. Check out Accepted’s medical school interview options for practical guidance on how to prepare for interviews, or book a mock interview (virtual) with one of our admissions experts. Get prepared, get Accepted.For 25 years, Accepted has helped applicants gain acceptance to their dream healthcare programs. Our outstanding team of admissions consultants features former admissions directors, admissions committee members, pre-health advisors, postbac program directors, and doctors. Our staff has guided applicants to acceptance at allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools, residencies and fellowships, dental school, veterinarian school, and physician assistant programs at top schools such as Harvard, Stanford, Penn, UCSF, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, and many more. Want an admissions expert to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!