Best way to prepare for Med School Interviews?

(23 Posts)
FiveHoursSleep Fri 25-Oct-19 20:31:36

DD1 is hopeful about getting at least one interview for the two Med Schools she has applied for and is researching the best way to prepare for these.
There are lots of courses advertised IRL and online. Are any of these worth doing?
Does anyone have any recommendations- we are in NW London and the two Med Schools both run MMI interviews.

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SirTobyBelch Fri 25-Oct-19 23:23:56

1 - Ask a friendly RE/philosophy teacher to arrange out-of-hours sessions for prospective medics to discuss ethical issues relevant to medicine

2 - Read a proper newspaper or visit proper news sites, taking particular notice of stories about current developments in health and issues relating to public health, the NHS, social care, etc.

3 - Visit and get a realistic idea of the roles of different members of a healthcare team

4 - Write reflective summaries of significant incidents from her voluntary/caring/other experience: where was she? what was she there to do? how did she go about doing it? how did someone benefit from what she did? what important personal characteristics did she demonstrate?

5 - If she has spent any time in settings where healthcare professionals were engaging directly with patients, write down what happened in an engagement that she thought went particularly well or not very well; what did she think was good/bad about it?

6 - Practise possible role-play scenarios: explain something to someone who is angry or upset, doesn't want to listen, is distracted by something that's just happened, etc.

7 - Explain to someone who doesn't know about it why that particular medical school's course especially appeals to her

8 - Describe something (e.g. a piece of fruit) to someone who is looking in the opposite direction, without naming the thing or comparing it to something else; alternatively, give someone step-by-step instructions how to do something (e.g. remove a watch from one wrist and put it onto the other) using words only (i.e. she shouldn't point at things or make other hand gestures)

9 - Ask a science teacher to find a graph from a book or journal and ask her questions to test whether she can interpret it; perhaps also do some reasonably simple calculations from clinically relevant scenarios, e.g. percentage weight loss/gain, number of

10 - Answer any questions that she has to think about the answers to, under time pressure

11 - Read the NHS constitution, or at least learn the six core values

It's worth looking at web pages like They might be slightly out of date but they'll still give a good idea. They will also be trying to sell her something, which she should resist. I only picked Leicester because their interview includes (or included, I don't know what they're doing this year) a calculation station and a discussion of a video-recorded consultation.

SirTobyBelch Fri 25-Oct-19 23:25:54

Sorry, forgot to finish number 9. She can fill in the gaps herself.

HostessTrolley Sat 26-Oct-19 00:12:41

Can I ask why she’s applying for two? Medicine applications are so competitive, most applicants will apply to four places to maximise their chances of getting an interview or offer x

FiveHoursSleep Sat 26-Oct-19 00:21:11

@HostessTrolley She's still not sure if she wants to do medicine or nursing.
Maybe the interviews will help her make up her mind? Who knows?!

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HostessTrolley Sat 26-Oct-19 00:47:21

Did she write her personal statement for nursing or medicine? Although having said that, med schools seem to be paying less and less attention to the PS, which is gratifying to know when they’ve slaved over and endlessly tweaked them lol x

TrickOrTreaty Sat 26-Oct-19 07:18:02

place marking


SurpriseSparDay Sat 26-Oct-19 07:27:36

Goodness, SirTobyBelch, I feel sorry I can’t take up medicine just to be able to follow all your advice.

Really stupendous post.

FiveHoursSleep Sat 26-Oct-19 08:37:28

Sorry @SirTobyBelch, I thought I'd posted to say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. Amazing advice far beyond what I expected.

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FiveHoursSleep Sat 26-Oct-19 08:39:01

@HostessTrolley She wrote her PS for medicine, then contacted the nursing schools and arranged to email a separate nursing one to them. It's a thing apparently and they are used to it.

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DialANumber Sat 26-Oct-19 08:44:35

A word of caution here - medicine and nursing are very different. It's a very different training experience and a completely different career pathway.

I would do everything I could to get her some work experience so that she could be clearer about what she actually wants to do as this lack of clarity is likely to come across at interview.

FiveHoursSleep Sat 26-Oct-19 09:03:45

@DialANumber Yes, we know they are different and she's done a load of different WE but she remains undecided.
DD is very independent and doesn't want parental advice, she does everything herself and we didn't even get to see her final PS until she'd submitted it.
I find it quite frustrating as I'd love to 'help' but she's almost 18, what can you do? She has asked me to ask on here about interviews so I have.
It's her life and it's a big choice. No one will ever accuse her of going into any career blindly :D

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alreadytaken Sat 26-Oct-19 12:09:36

Ethics can be a weak spot - try

As for medical re nursing - did she not do any work experience? As a medic she would be in charge of the team, responsible for the diagnosis and treatment, as a nurse not so much. However she would have more of an ongoing relationship with the patient as a nurse, doing more of the caring role. She may be asked why she wants to be a doctor and not another health professional so she does need to think through the different roles to give an answer.

FiveHoursSleep Sat 26-Oct-19 12:24:44

@alreadytaken Yes plenty of different work experience.
I think she is drawn more to nursing but I'm not sure she's got a realistic idea of what is involved.
She has been encouraged to do medicine instead by her school and society in general, including some members of our family who are GPS.
I'm sitting on the fence as I'm not sure either are ideal for her.
I agree that this indecision will show up during an interview.

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mapleleafshiba Sat 26-Oct-19 12:33:59

If she's applied for a mix of both medicine and nursing I imagine that's tricky re her personal statement. Expect a lot of quizzing on that!

There's a good book called something like 1000 medical school interview questions and possible ways to answer. It's green and white and extremely helpful for general interview advice as well as specific Med school questions. I'm out of the loop as I've now graduated but all my interviews back in 2011/2012 were MMI and all I can say is keep calm, clear my head of whatever happened in the last one and think before you speak.

They might get simulated patients in. Be kind, offer a tissue if they cry and be super sympathetic.

If they ask about how you'd cope with stress, say you'd seek help. University counselling, BMA counselling if you're a doctor. So important and one they very keen on asking! Play sports, music, sing, read books whatever, also weave your personal interests into this.

The classic why don't you want to be a dentist/nurse/radiographer - tricky for your DD when she isn't fully decided. Nurses and radiographers have less autonomy over making patient decisions (although some are extremely well qualified and can prescribe/do all sorts). Dentists don't have as many career options and generally practice independently, just alongside their dental nurse. Doctors work in massive teams everyday

Expect to answer any question on any books / interests that's she's mentioned in her PS.

Know about the med school. I was asked what year mine opened. Why there? What intercalation options are there? Any specific strengths? Mine had a good medics hockey club and I loved hockey both in and out school.

I might be able to think of more later!

mapleleafshiba Sat 26-Oct-19 12:35:15

Also get on studentroom and see what was asked at her med schools previously. There is SO much info on there. Also use contacts, school/friends/family to contact people who are either at the medical school or have just got in and started in first year. They know more than anyone what she needs to do!

FiveHoursSleep Sat 26-Oct-19 12:39:03

@mapleleafshiba DD tells me that the Unis don't know what else they have applied for now so the PS she has used is for medical school.
For the nursing schools, she has emailed and asked to send in a separate PS. Apparently this happens all the time.
Very good advice re the interviews- thank you for taking the time to reply.

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alreadytaken Sat 26-Oct-19 13:02:33

obviously the professions have a lot in common, including anti-social working hours and being treated badly by your employers. Nursing is often harder on the back and more poorly paid so I can understand why those who are thinking of both are encouraged towards medicine.

Interview courses can help build confidence and may identify weak spots where they need to do more research. However a book of interview questions is better value, it's doubtful if courses are value for money. Sometimes there have been inexpensive courses run by medical students.

FiveHoursSleep Sat 26-Oct-19 13:08:25

This book?

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MedSchoolRat Sat 26-Oct-19 20:00:17

I've done a lot of MMIs. STB is involved with admissions & their suggestions are solid... but I kind of doubt few prepped that much.

Asking when medical school opened is a silly question, imho. I'd be peeved if our school was asking candidates to describe fruit, too.

(in contrast) Fair questions are... why THIS course, what appeals to you about it? How do you know that you'll stay motivated on bad days? Anything on the personal statement is fair game, too.

I sometimes apologise to interviewees for being horrid to them... but it's my job. Everyone who gets offered interview looks like, on paper, they could do well on our course. Interview is when when we get to test if they can listen, if their motives are reasonable, if they can engage, if they can debate ethics dispassionately, and if they can stay positive under pressure. If you can't handle grumpy interviewers for 40 minutes then you just do not want to deal daily with hospital consultants in future.

Our simulated patients are £100/hour RADA actors. We aren't paid anything like that to do MMIs.

alreadytaken Sun 03-Nov-19 08:16:20

For some random reason I woke up thinking that the solution to your child's dilemma might be to aim at becoming a gp. She would have more of an ongoing relationship with patients and still have the higher salary of a gp. Saying that she is interested in being a gp (whether she meant it or not) should also play well with interviewers, who should be well aware of the need for more gps. Of course she also needs to make the right noises about how she knows that this is something that may change as she goes through her training.

FiveHoursSleep Sun 03-Nov-19 12:04:04

@alreadytaken Thanks for thinking of my DD. She is now talking about rejecting any medicine interviews she gets as she already has a nursing interview.
I'd prefer her to at least go to the interviews but it'll save money if she doesn't go.

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alreadytaken Sun 03-Nov-19 13:03:08

sounds like she may have already decided she'd prefer nursing then but feels pushed towards medicine, although she may just be worried about "failing" an interview.

A quarter of nurses drop out before completing their training, google cant tell me quickly what the rate is for doctors but a great deal less. Trainee nurses get to experience the reality of NHS staff shortages before trainee doctors.

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