A message for prospective applicants
At McGill, we are proud to welcome candidates from diverse backgrounds to submit applications to our Faculty of Medicine through an open, inclusive and bilingual system. All candidates who apply to our programs are assessed based on a standardized, rigorous selection process supported by current best practices and psychometrically valid tools.
As we embark on a new Admissions season, it is important that all applicants to McGill’s medical school are fully and accurately informed about the selection process, and that any misinformation is addressed at the outset:
- The number of positions is tightly controlled by the Government, as it is in all Canadian jurisdictions. Approximately 90% of the positions are reserved by decree for residents of Quebec, with approximately 10% of the positions available for out of province and international candidates. There is also a provincial program with 4 supernumerary positions for qualified First Nations and Inuit applicants, in which McGill participates together with the other three faculties of medicine in Quebec.
- In the regular contingent of positions, we have no quotas based upon any social designation such as language, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. An applicant who applies to any of our several medical programs (Med-P, MDCM, MD PhD, MD MBA, non-traditional pathway etc.) competes on a level playing field with the applicants in his or her cohort. Academic performance accounts for 70% of the score, and CV and personal narrative submissions for 30%. Different submissions in files are reviewed by different admissions officers and admissions committee members, each of whom score their respective parts, ultimately producing an overall numeric score for each applicant’s candidacy. Of approximately 3000 applicants last year, we invited the top 500 for our multiple mini interviews, based upon their rank in this numeric score.
- Our multiple mini interviews involve focused interactions with committee members, simulations with actors, and tasks, which result in each applicant having 10 scored interactions. This again produces a score contributed to by 10 admissions committee members, which creates a simple rank order list from which offers to medical school are generated (the MMI’s account for 80% of this score, and science prerequisites GPA accounts for 20%). Multiple mini interviews have been shown in our setting to correlate strongly with performance in the clinical years of medical school. They are thus the best predictors we have of the actual “business” of being a doctor.
- Our admissions committee consists of approximately 75% physicians (including some medical students and residents, and with the vast majority of physicians being faculty members), about 15% allied health professionals, and approximately 10% lay members.
- Our application process is fully bilingual and students may interact with us from first phone call or email to multiple mini-interviews in either English or French. We believe strongly in allowing applicants to put their best foot forward during the process. Our selection process aims at identifying the characteristics of an excellent future physician, and does not aim to be a language test.
- With respect to encouraging applicants from diverse groups, the approach has been to widen the pool of applicants so that we have many of the very best students from which to select. Any merit based selection system depends on healthy competition, and indeed this has been the case. With three times as many applicants in 2013 as in 2003, we have indeed succeeded in having a highly accomplished cohort of talented individuals from which to select.
With thorough assessments of academic performance by highly skilled admissions professionals, and the excellent predictive validity of the multiple mini-interviews for future performance in medicine, we assure you a selection process that is both rigorous and fair.
We wish you all the very best of luck in your applications!
Dr. Ana Sant'Anna, MD, MSc, FRCFC
Assistant Dean, Office of Admissions