Birmingham Medicine Interview Questions
Past Interview Questions & Tips
Interview Format (Historically)
Birmingham conducts Multiple Mini Interviews. There are seven stations, each six minutes long, with two minutes of preparation time outside the station to read information relating to the topic. There are one or two interviewers at each station, one will discuss the topics with you and assesses your performance, while the other (if present) is an observer and will not participate in the questioning.
Stations covered are likely to include the following:
2) Motivation and Insight into Medicine: Challenges faced by practitioners
3) Data Interpretation
4) Interactive Task: Engagement with Student
5) Motivation and Insight into Medicine: Personal Qualities
6) Dealing with personal and ethical challenges
7) Interactive Task: Role Play
Before the Interview
It is vitally important to keep in mind the following factors when preparing for your upcoming interview:
- Know your personal statement well and be prepared to discuss any aspect of it in detail.
- Reflect on the skills you have gained from your work experience.
- Use your time on work experience effectively by gaining insight into the demands placed on staff, the problems they encounter and the strategies that they employ to handle difficult situations as well as the benefits they obtain from caring for people and working in teams.
- Practice engaging in frequent discussions with friends and family about medical issues that appear in the news and media.
- Review the four principles of ethics and how they apply to clinical scenarios.
During the Interview
As with any interview, it is all about managing the interviewer’s perception of you and painting yourself in the best light possible. The MMI process means that you must impress a larger number of people over a shorter time period. The key to managing this form of interview is to ensure that your focus remains on the current station, rather than previous ones (which may or may not have gone as well as expected). There are two minutes between stations, in which to read the instructions/task and to refocus before the interview begins.
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Learn the best interview strategies and practice with past interview questions & model answers.
Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions
General/Personal Statement Station: You may be asked about anything in your personal statement. Assume that the interviewer has not read this prior to meeting you and that you will need to describe it to them in detail. Your volunteering activities and work experience are often of great interest to them, especially examples when they showcase the skills necessary for a medical career. Some of the questions which have come up in recent years include:
- Why would you like to study Medicine?
- Why would you like to study Medicine at the University of Birmingham?
- Have you always wanted to be a doctor?
- Why do you want to be a doctor, not a nurse?
- Give an example of where you have worked in a team.
- What role have you played in a team?
- Describe your leadership skills.
- How would your friends describe you?
- Do you have any hobbies?
- So I see in your work experience, you watched CT scans….tell me, what does CT stand for?
Motivation and Insight into Medicine: This station can be a discussion based on specific aspects of your work experience; in particular, those experiences where you had some role in providing care or support to vulnerable individuals. Questions at this station may include:
- What have you learnt from your work experience in…?
- Tell us about your volunteer activities. Did you encounter any obstacles or challenges in these activities? How did you overcome them?
- What have you struggled with? What do you think you will struggle with at medical school?
- What are the demands placed on doctors?
- What makes a good doctor?
- Give an example when you saw a doctor using good communication skills.
Role play Station: This station gives you a chance to show how comfortable and confident you are at meeting a new person and having a short conversation with them. You may be provided with a brief paragraph to explain the context of the conversation, and then allowed to run it however you deem most appropriate. The station is primarily about communication and confidence instead of about testing your knowledge.
- A prospective medical student has requested your advice on whether to apply to study Medicine and in particular whether s/he should apply to Birmingham Medical School. Over the next 6 minutes, discuss with the student their plans and whether they should apply to Birmingham Medical School.
- Further example MMI Role Play Stations can be found in the MMI Question Bank.
Data Analysis Station: You may be presented with data relating to a patient scenario (for example, a table or graph), a pencil and paper. There are often a number of questions to work through in the six minute time constraint (in some instances this has been as high as 12 questions) and is designed to assess how you cope under pressure. Questions may include:
- What is the percentage of patients who had knee problems after undergoing the surgery based on the table?
- Review the table/graph enclosed and explain your findings.
- Further examples of data analysis stations including the BlackStone Tutors Six Point Approach to MMI Data Analysis can be found in the MMI Question Bank.
Case/Article Reviews: Whilst not being tested every year, previously this station has presented students with a short introduction to a topic relevant to health care and be expected to identify the issues that are of particular relevance to this topic. A range of recent case reviews can be found in the MMI Question Bank.
Ethical Dilemma: This station provides candidates with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to consider and communicate about ethical issues in a balanced manner. Knowledge of the four key principles of ethics and the GMC guidelines will be particularly useful for this station as well as being able to support your position with well-considered reasons. Examples of previous dilemmas include:
- One liver transplant has been made available and there are two suitable patients who require the transplant. Patient A has………….and Patient B has…………Which of these two patients, would you allocate an organ to and why?
- Further example MMI Ethical Stations can be found in the MMI Question Bank.
Science/Medicine Station: Examples of previously asked questions in this station include:
- Tell us about the GMC?
- What health issues do you think doctors cannot control in our area?
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