Cardiff University Medicine Interview Questions

Past Interview Questions & Tips

Cardiff Medicine Interview Format

Cardiff bases their selection on multiple mini interviews (MMI). In a typical year, there are nine stations which applicants rotate around in turn. This year the interviews are being conducted online using Zoom, so this may be subject to change. Each station lasts 8 minutes. The interviews focus on exploring the applicant’s personal qualities and attributes which are vital to becoming a good doctor in the future. The attributes include:

  • Medical motivation and awareness of the career
  • Caring ethos and a sense of social awareness
  • Sense of responsibility
  • Evidence of a balanced approach to life
  • Evidence of self-directed learning and extracurricular activities
  • Referee’s report

Each station attracts one of four grades based on the performance of the applicant; these are poor, borderline, good and excellent.

You should also expect a written station.

Interviews take place in December and January.

Cardiff Medicine Key Application & Interview Statistics

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Before the Interview

  • You will receive an email with information about the Cardiff medicine interview, including an overview of the structure. This email often contains instructions such as ‘consider preparing for…’ These hints may form the basis of the questions, so ensure that you can discuss these topics comprehensively.
  • Annotate your personal statement and know it thoroughly, as this will form the basis of some of the questions.
  • Ensure that you have a good understanding of the Welsh NHS.
  • You will also need to keep up-to-date with any medical news and practice discussing its implications for the medical profession.
  • You need to know why you want to study at Cardiff, especially if you are not currently living in Wales.  
  • Research the course, especially the new C21 course that they offer. Make a note of any unique aspects that particularly interest you.
  • Practise systematically answering questions, structuring every answer like a little essay. The answers to the questions should take about three minutes. Have more than one point, explain each one and summarise at the end. 

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Cardiff University Medicine Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions

Motivation and Insight into Medicine – This includes knowledge of the course and evidence of your desire to study at Cardiff. Cardiff University is one of the very few universities that still do dissection – this fact, along with the structure of the new C21 course, are features you will be expected to know about. Interviewers will also be looking for ways in which you can contribute to Cardiff as a student and a potential ambassador. They will also be looking for evidence that you some insight into the career and pathway’s within medicine. It is essential to know the differences between the Welsh NHS and the NHS elsewhere in the UK, as well as issues facing each.

  • What made you choose medicine?
  • Why do you want to study at Cardiff in particular?
  • How are you able to contribute to Cardiff as a student and a potential student ambassador?
  • Will there be any difficulties you think you will face at Cardiff?
  • Why not study closer to home?
  • Why do you want to be a doctor rather than a nurse?
  • What makes a good doctor?
  • What are the qualities that doctors should have?
  • What is a doctor’s role in confidentiality of a patient?

Personal statement/ General station – this includes your hobbies and extracurricular interests. It also includes evidence of self-directed learning, this may not necessarily have a medical context, but you should be able to articulate what you learnt from it and skills that could make you are a better doctor as a result. 

  • What are your hobbies?
  • What country would you like to go to most? (Personal statement)
  • Tell us about your travel abroad
  • Why is your email address as it is?
  • What are your parents’ jobs?
  • Do you still sing/write music?
  • How will your sport be of benefit at medical school?
  • Give me an example of where you work in a team.
  • If a patient died due to your negligence, how would you cope?
  • How do you deal with difficult people in the workplace?
  • What did you do on work experience at hospital?
  • What work do you do in the community?
  • Tell me about one particular patient you have worked with, what did you learn about them?
  • In your personal statement you mention attending ethics conferences; can you give me an example of an ethical issue you encountered during your work experience?
  • What have you learnt from your volunteer work?
  • Did anyone from your work experience inspire you?

Ethical dilemmas – These are often scenarios which do not have a clear right or wrong answer. Instead the focus is on being able to communicate both sides of the issue in a cohesive and constructive way, before stating your opinion on the issue. 

  • What are your views on euthanasia (or other hot topic)?
  • What is your view on organ donation in Wales?
  • Could you perform an abortion? And if not, what would you do?
  • Do you think mapping the human genome is a good idea?
  • Further example MMI Stations with model answers can be found in the MMI Question Bank

Teamwork Stations – This may require you to work with someone else or discuss a time where you displayed skills which are necessary for operating as part of a team. These skills should be able to be related back to your career as a prospective doctor.  It is important not to underestimate the importance of this station; key tips on how to succeed in the teamwork station as well as common pitfalls can be found in the MMI Question Bank.

Case/Article Reviews – You will be given an article or case study to read and make notes on. From here you will be required to discuss the case and its outcomes with the interviewer. 

  • What do you think are the two major health issues in Wales at the moment?
  • What do you think of the NHS bed crisis?
  • What is your understanding of “bed blocking”?
  • How would you go about solving the problem of “bed blocking”?
  • Have you recently read any magazines/newspaper articles related to health issues?
  • Give me a current medical issue you find interesting and explain why?

Data Handling and CalculationTasks – these tasks may include simple dose calculations; expect to be given a piece of paper for calculations and no calculator.  A range of example questions and explained answers can be found in the MMI Quesion Bank.

Scientific/Medical Topics – while interviewers do not expect you to have a thorough knowledge of medical topics, a general ‘lay-persons’ understanding of common medical and scientific topics is expected.  

  • Why do people in Aeroplanes suffer from deep vein thrombosis from being still in one position, yet this doesn’t affect people when they are asleep despite being in the same position for hours?
  • How would you go about solving the problem of diabetes?
  • How does an MRI machine work?
  • Do you know who invented CT scans?

Cardiff Medicine Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to study Medicine at Cardiff University?

My desire to study Medicine at Cardiff University stems from its reputation for an innovative, student-centered medical program. Cardiff’s approach, which integrates scientific knowledge with clinical skills from the very beginning, deeply resonates with my learning philosophy. I am particularly impressed by the school’s emphasis on early patient contact and its problem-based learning methodology, which I believe are vital for developing practical medical skills. Additionally, Cardiff’s diverse and inclusive environment, combined with its strong focus on research and community engagement, aligns perfectly with my aspirations to become a doctor who is not only clinically proficient but also socially responsible. The opportunity to learn in such a dynamic and supportive environment, rich in cultural and clinical experiences, is precisely what I am looking for in a medical school.

What do you know about the Medicine course structure at Cardiff University?

The Medicine course at Cardiff University is structured to provide an integrated learning experience, combining foundational scientific knowledge with clinical practice. The program begins with a focus on biomedical sciences, taught through a mix of lectures, small group sessions, and practical laboratory work. What stands out to me is Cardiff’s early and sustained clinical exposure, which starts in the first year, allowing students to apply their theoretical knowledge in real-world settings. This is complemented by innovative teaching methods, including case-based learning and simulation training. The later years of the course emphasize clinical rotations in various specialties, offering a broad perspective on different aspects of medicine. Cardiff’s emphasis on reflective practice and professional development throughout the course is something I find particularly valuable for my future career.

How does Cardiff University integrate Welsh culture and health needs into its medical program?

Cardiff University’s medical program uniquely integrates Welsh culture and specific health needs into its curriculum, which is a significant factor in my decision to study here. The school acknowledges the importance of understanding the cultural context of healthcare, especially in a country with its own language and distinct health challenges. Courses include elements of Welsh language training and an understanding of local health issues, such as the impact of industrial heritage on public health. This focus ensures that graduates are well-equipped to serve the diverse communities in Wales effectively. As someone keen on practicing medicine in a culturally sensitive manner, I value Cardiff’s commitment to incorporating these regional aspects into its medical education.

Discuss the research opportunities available to students at Cardiff University's School of Medicine.

Cardiff University’s School of Medicine offers a wealth of research opportunities, reflecting its commitment to scientific excellence and innovation. Students have the chance to engage in cutting-edge research across various fields, including neuroscience, cancer biology, and population health. The opportunity to undertake an intercalated degree, allowing for a year of dedicated research, is particularly appealing to me. Cardiff’s strong links with the NHS and its numerous research centers provide a fertile ground for translational research, bridging the gap between laboratory discoveries and clinical application. This research-rich environment is not only exciting for a student like me with a keen interest in medical research but also crucial for developing the analytical and critical thinking skills necessary for a successful medical career.

What impact does Cardiff's location have on its medical program and student experience?

Cardiff’s location significantly enhances its medical program and the overall student experience. Situated in the capital city of Wales, the university offers a diverse clinical learning environment, from urban to rural healthcare settings. This geographical diversity allows students to experience a wide range of health issues and patient demographics, providing a comprehensive clinical education. Cardiff’s vibrant city life, combined with its proximity to areas of natural beauty, offers a balanced and enriching student life. The city’s cultural richness and friendly community also contribute to a supportive and enjoyable learning environment. For me, the prospect of studying in such a dynamic and diverse setting is a key aspect of choosing Cardiff for my medical education.

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