Category Archives: Interview Scheduling

May 13, 2015

Medical School Curriculum Changes

Prospective students in upcoming classes for medical school are going to have a significant change in curriculum than their previous peers. Many medical schools are beginning to take into account the undeniable fact that medical training for doctors should change as the practice of medicine is changing.

Typical medical school curriculum usually involves teaching based around  Abraham Flexner‘s once-famous ’2 Plus 2 Model’, which involves two years in the classroom and two years shadowing in hospitals. The curriculum for medical school is now starting to include classes meant to build communication skills, teamwork, and adaptability to change. The new MCAT makeover released last month, April 2015, has included testing for similar qualities/traits as well. These medical school curriculum changes are going to be taking place at many medical schools, including the University of Michigan Medical School.

Dr. Raj Mangrulkar, the Associate Dean for medical student education at the University of Michigan Medical School states, “Flexner did a lot of great things, but we’ve learned a lot and now we’re absolutely ready for a new model.”


The University of Michigan Medical School is implementing many changes to adapt to a newer, more innovative model. They are including classes within their curriculum based solely on improving communication skills, by giving negotiation scenarios to students to compromise and decide upon solutions with their fellow peers.

“Listed with the new prerequisites is a group of Core Competencies. The four competencies are analytical thought and problem-solving skills, written and verbal communication, mathematical/statistical analysis and application of hypothesis-driven methods of research.” Mangrulkar states, “These competencies began as expectations for residents, but have now trickled down to the pre-medical level.”

Along with the University of Michigan Medical School, many other medical schools have already began to look for those qualities in students and incorporate the search into their admissions process. Medical schools are searching for students who can exhibit not only top grades in school and scores on their MCAT, but also for students who exhibit teamwork, compassion, and communication skills within their activities and experiences. A well-rounded student who has the ability to display intelligence and communication skills, among other traits, is ideally the type of applicant that medical schools would like to extend offers to.

Evaluating applicants based on multiple variables and qualities can become difficult for schools, especially when trying to keep information on each applicant in order. ZAP Solutions admissions software, AMP, has the ability to simplify the process for admissions offices, keeping all student information securely placed in one system. ZAP has been continuously innovating AMP to incorporate new ways to evaluate these changes. AMP has also given schools the capability to use standard interviewing, MMI interviewing, or a hybrid combination. Each step of the admissions process is within AMP, making it easier, faster, and more effective for admissions officers to go through the process from the initial/secondary application to screening, interviewing, reviewing, and matriculation with each applicant. The goal of AMP is to customize the software specifically to each school’s process, growing and innovating with the school through their changes.

How do you think medical schools will continue to incorporate the new changes into their admissions process and curriculum?

November 15, 2011

The Benefits of the MMI Process

Has your college started using MMI as part of the application process?  The MMI process is when groups of selected students meet with 9 to 12 interviewers to discuss various situational topics.  By using multiple interviewers, it eliminates random bias and gives applicants a better probability of being accurately judged. These benefits of the MMI process are just a few of the many benefits that can come from using this process.

Virginia Tech Carilion was in an article in the NY Times as one of the most recent schools to use the MMI process, along with eight medical schools in the United States and thirteen in Canada.  These schools will commonly use MMI in addition to MCAT scores, applications, and essays.  The purpose of MMI is to see how well candidates communicate, problem solve, and work in teams.  These qualities and attributes in a student are extremely important in the medical world where establishing trust with your colleagues and patients is vital.  Many people in the medical field are ‘book smart’ and qualified academically, but some may fall short when it comes to basic communication, social skills, and the ability to work in a team.

Over 100 of the nation’s medical schools still rely on MCATs and applications to accurately judge whether the applicant is a correct match for their school.  Without checking for proper communication skills, the applicant may only be partially qualified. Can you imagine a doctor or surgeon performing the wrong medical operation on a patient simply due to miscommunication?  It happens much more than you may think.  A New York study by the Joint Commission found minimal communication to be among the leading causes of medical errors, which cause as many as 98,000 deaths each year.  This shocking statistic helps to confirm that screening applicants for essential qualities and skills needed in the medical field is a must!

To view the entire article, please view New for Aspiring Doctors, the People Skills Test from the NY Times.

August 9, 2011

The 3 Keys to Interview Scheduling

Synchronizing schedules can be more than confusing when agendas continue to change and appointments keep popping up all over the calendar.  Interview scheduling can be frustrating and stressful, but there is a way around this: Communication, organization, & time management. Together, they will welcome you to a much simpler world.

Communication. Without communication, you will likely get lost when it comes to scheduling applicant interviews.  The first step is talking to the staff administering the interviews about their schedules compatibility.  Ask for a list of all available dates and times, and remind them to let you know in advance if something switches.  Instant Messenger, e-mail, and a synced calendar are key communication tools when it comes to sending reminders and updates to the admissions interview team and applicants.  There are available synced calendars on Google, Doodle, and Microsoft Outlook, where you can set reminders before appointments so you and everyone else will be on time.  If you are going to use a synced calendar, set a day each week to check the calendar for updates and new appointments, so you are prepared for the following weeks schedule.

Organization.  Stay organized by maintaining up-to-date calendars and planners with additional room for notes.  Instead of scribbling down a note every time you get a change in an appointment, you should keep it all in one place.  If you prefer writing, carry a planner with you.  If you prefer the computer, use an interactive calendar and remember to share it with all of the staff.

Time management. It may not be the most important of the three for scheduling applicant interviews but it still should be considered.  When scheduling interviews, make sure to give leeway time for both the applicant and staff in case either of them runs into an emergency where they are a few minutes late.  Expect the interview to run five or ten minutes long, because if it does happen to run shorter, then it will allow staff to have more time to prepare their questions for the next applicant coming in.  The staff member should also write down chart notes during the interview to keep thoughts and opinions clear for further documentation later.

Another way to keep interview scheduling stress-free and simple is to use ZAP’s interview scheduling module.  It has its own built-in dynamic calendar, which empowers staff to enter available free times and then applicants can self schedule themselves.  The interviewers can rank and write comments about the applicant in the system after the interview.  An interview scheduling module can improve your admissions process.