Tracking Indigenous Applicants Through the Admissions Process of a Socially Accountable Medical School

Oxana Mian, John C. Hogenbirk, David C. Marsh, Owen Prowse, Miriam Cain, Wayne Warry

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Abstract

PURPOSE: To describe the admissions process and outcomes for Indigenous applicants to the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), a Canadian medical school with the mandate to recruit students whose demographics reflect the service region's population. METHOD: The authors examined 10-year trends (2006-2015) for self-identified Indigenous applicants through major admission stages. Demographics (age, sex, northern and rural backgrounds) and admission scores (grade point average [GPA], preinterview, multiple mini-interview [MMI], final), along with score-based ranks, of Indigenous and non-Indigenous applicants were compared using Pearson chi-square and Mann-Whitney tests. Binary logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between Indigenous status and likelihood of admission outcomes (interviewed, received offer, admitted). RESULTS: Indigenous qualified applicants (338/17,060; 2.0%) were more likely to be female, mature (25 or older), or of northern or rural background than non-Indigenous applicants. They had lower GPA-based ranks than non-Indigenous applicants (P < .001) but had comparable preinterview-, MMI-, and final-score-based ranks across all admission stages. Indigenous applicants were 2.4 times more likely to be interviewed and 2.5 times more likely to receive an admission offer, but 3 times less likely to accept an offer than non-Indigenous applicants. Overall, 41/338 (12.1%) Indigenous qualified applicants were admitted compared with 569/16,722 (3.4%) non-Indigenous qualified applicants. CONCLUSIONS: Increased representation of Indigenous peoples among applicants admitted to medical school can be achieved through the use of socially accountable admissions. Further tracking of Indigenous students through medical education and practice may help assess the effectiveness of NOSM's social accountability admissions process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1211-1219
Number of pages9
JournalAcademic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
Volume94
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

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