All interviews are by invitation from the Committee on Admissions and are arranged at a mutually convenient time. There are no regional interviews, and all interviews are conducted on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Normally 40 to 60 students are interviewed on any one interview day with each candidate receiving two 30 minute interviews. Most interviewers will see between two and three candidates in a morning session. For the entering class of 2011, 678 interviews were offered to applicants, 612 were completed for a total of 1,224 individual interviews.
There is an annual faculty development workshop for admissions committee members, directed toward topics that clarify and assist in ensuring that the selection criteria utilized achieves the goals set by the committee and in keeping with the mission of the School of Medicine.
A structured interview sheet is completed by each committee member. Six major areas are identified for comment: 1) capacity to think critically; 2) capacity for self-directed reflection and other personal attributes; 3) ability to communicate effectively; 4) capacity for flexibility; 5) personal experience that includes, but is not limited to, overcoming hardship, work history, multilingual and community service; and 6) knowledge of the profession which includes health care experience, research experience, success in prior careers and life experiences.
At the end of the interview and prior to convening in the committee room, admissions committee members are asked to score the candidates they interviewed in each of the six areas detailed above. That way, the interviewer is not biased by reading the applicant’s file that contains grades, MCATs and letters of recommendation. At the time of their review, members are asked to assess the following aspects of the student’s application: 1) quality of the undergraduate institution; 2) major/degree of difficulty; 3) coursework load; 4) strength of science background in required courses; 5) other academic interests; 6) quality of the AMCAS essay; 7) quality of the Colorado essay; and 8) enthusiasm of the recommenders.
Committee Decisions Following Interviews
The Admissions Committee meets concurrently with the interview process. Both interviewers who saw the applicant are present in the same room, and the first presenter provides details of the candidate and the second interviewer adds any additional details pertinent to the discussion. Should the scores of the two interviewers be widely divergent, the medical school calls upon a third interviewer, arranged at a different time. All members have assessment sheets and a score based on the hearing of the case, plus subsequent discussion contributes to each individual’s final committee evaluation. Compilation of data from all members occurs at the end of the meeting. After Oct. 15, acceptances are offered to candidates on a monthly basis until the class is filled.