Super Saturday. That is what we called last Saturday when 32 applicants spent their day on the UNLV School of Medicine Shadow Lane campus interviewing. To date, we have interviewed 128 applicants - all Nevada residents or with strong ties to Nevada. We are meeting some exceptional and very qualified students.
All medical school applicants apply online through a standard application processing service called AMCAS, the American Medical College Application System. AMCAS collects information about the applicant, such as their MCAT scores, where they live, schools they have attended, transcripts and letters of recommendation. The system also provides a list of medical schools the applicant can select to receive their application. The UNLV School of Medicine showed up in AMCAS on Oct. 30, and since that time we have received more than 800 applications.
All of the applications we receive go through an initial screening. The associate dean of student affairs and admissions, Sam Parrish, MD, and the director of admissions, Ann Diggins, complete a basic academic assessment and look at the student's MCAT score. They also look at the applicant's state of residence. Anyone with ties to Nevada who has the academic requirements and passes the initial screening will be invited for an interview.
Standardized interview process
||UNLV School of Medicine faculty, Ann Diggins and Neil Haycocks, MD, PhD on Saturday
Since Nov. 14, UNLV School of Medicine has held six interview days. In addition to the interview, applicants receive a tour of the new educational facility and learn about the innovative aspects of our curriculum. Each applicant is interviewed by two people -- one from the medical school faculty and one from the community. The interviewers don't have access to applicant GPA or MCAT scores. Rather than academic achievement, the focus of the interview is the candidate's interpersonal characteristics, which the interviewer elicits by presenting a series of questions from a list of 50 that applicants receive in advance. We made the list of questions available to all applicants so they can develop thoughtful answers.
While one group is interviewing, the other applicants listen to presentations from our faculty on problem-based learning, financial wellness, integrated wellness, student life, virtual anatomy, and more.
We plan to hold 11 more interview days between now and mid-March.
The final step of the process is a full review by the admissions committee, comprised of UNLV School of Medicine faculty and community members. Here too, the focus is on interpersonal characteristics, as well as the applicant's dedication to community service. The committee will make the ultimate decision whether to invite the candidate for enrollment.
We are looking forward to selecting our charter class of students and to introduce them to their scholarship donors and the community.