Dalhousie University Medicine Interview Questions

Past Interview Questions & Tips

Dalhousie Medicine Interview Format

Dalhousie faculty of medicine uses the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format. At the time of writing, this takes place online. 

In the MMI, applicants progress their way through a ten-station circuit, each of which lasts eight minutes.  Between each station, there is a two-minute break. Non-academic proficiencies are the focus of the interview including:

  • Problem-solving
  • Thinking on your feet
  • Leadership
  • Work- life balance
  • Compassion
  • Motivation
  • Critical thinking
  • Awareness of societal health issues
  • Communication skills
  • Ethics

Scientific knowledge is not assessed during the interview.  At each station, the question or prompt is posted on the door outside giving candidates time to collect and organise their thoughts prior to entering the room once the buzzer sounds. Candidates interact or are observed by one interviewer at each station. Interviewers may be medical students, faculty members, or local physicians from the area. In situations where role-play is required, there will be an actor and an observer present for the station. In some instances, multiple candidates may be required to complete a station at once where teamwork or communication is being assessed. 

Key Dates

Interviews generally take place in November.

Dalhousie Medicine Key Application & Interview Statistics

Overall Success Rate (Total Applicants : Total Spaces)

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Dalhousie University Medicine Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions

Ethical Dilemmas – These dilemmas may come in the form of an open-ended question or as a clinical/non-clinical scenario. Ensure that you have a good understanding of the ‘Two Sorts, Two Side of MMI Ethical Scenarios’

Scenarios may include:

  • You are a doctor who has a pregnant teenage girl as your patient. What do you tell her to do? What were some ethical situations you may have to face?
  • You have a female patient who is refusing to undergo a c-section in order to save her baby. What are the ethical implications around this issue?
  • You are a family physician and a sixty-year-old woman comes to you – she would like to have a baby, and she would like for you to recommend her to a fertility clinic. How do you handle this situation?
  • You are a physician in a large teaching hospital and your colleague has a substance abuse problem. What do you do?
  • Follow up question: You are a resident and the substance abuser is your supervisor.
  • One of your patients has recently come back from a trip alone to Asia where he contracted an STD. He does not want to tell his wife, however, the disease has the potential to affect both her fertility and possibly even be life-threatening. What do you do?
  • You are a resident and your supervisor lies to a patient – what do you do?
  • One of your colleagues in the hospital isn’t doing their share of work. What do you do?
  • Additional Ethical Scenarios with model answers can be found in the MMI Question Bank

Questions may include:

  • How would you handle confidential information which would affect the treatment outcome of another patient?
  • Comment on quality of life.
  • How would you handle a 15-year-old patient wanting birth control? What about if she was pregnant and wanted an abortion?
  • Think of a situation in your past where you had to use ethics to reach a decision, and looking back would you still make the same decision?

Personal Statement/General – These stations address aspects of your application and background information. There is a strong emphasis on work experience and the attributes/skills you have learnt from these and how they will support you both in your study and practice of medicine. A broad range of questions may include:

  • Tell us how you got to this point.
  • What do you do to de-stress?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • Discuss your volunteer experience.
  • Describe your toughest experience in a recent job.
  • Describe a time when you used critical thinking in the past.
  • Describe a situation that you wish you had handled differently.
  • What would your friends say are some of your weaknesses/strengths?
  • If a friend who knew you very well came into this room when you were not, how would they describe you?
  • Explain an event in your life when you were heavily criticized. How did you deal with it and what was the outcome?
  • Talk about a leadership role, and give an example where you ran into problems with it.
  • Describe a situation when you have encountered difficulty working in a group.
  • What was the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in your life?
  • Describe a disappointing situation/circumstance and how you handled it?
  • What do you dislike most about the research process?
  • Why do you think you will do well at Dalhousie?
  • If you could sit down and chat over a coffee with anybody in all human history, who would they be?
  • Describe a non-medical book that you have read recently and why you liked/disliked it.

Motivation and Insight into Medicine – This station examines your reasons for studying medicine at Dalhousie as well as examining if you have a realistic view of a medical career. Further topics may extend to national and international health issues, both of which demonstrate your interest in current issues that the medical community is facing. Questions at these stations may include:

  • What personal quality do you think you will have to work the hardest to improve during your med school experience?
  • Why do you want to study at Dalhousie?
  • When did you decide that you wanted to be a doctor?      
  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  • What do you think of the curriculum at Dalhousie?
  • Why do you want to be a doctor?
  • Thinking ahead forty years, when you look back on your medical career, what do you want to see, or be known for?
  • Tell us about your experience doing ________ and what it taught you that could be useful in medicine.
  • How do you plan on managing a career and a family one day when you have children?
  • Discuss some of the negative aspects associated with being a doctor.
  • Imagine you are working as a resident in a hospital. What role do you see yourself fulfilling as a part of this kind of team?
  • Picture yourself working as the lone physician in a rural community from 8 am to 8 pm each day and the excess of patients frequently requires you to work a couple of extra hours. How would you react to this situation?
  • What do you want to specialise in and why?
  • As a female, how do you feel about going into a speciality that is so male-dominated?
  • What are the advantages/disadvantages of a two-tier health care system?
  • How can Canada play a role in developing and aiding medical care in third world countries?
  • The privatization of health care in Canada has become a big issue. What are the advantages and disadvantages of privatized health care?
  • What measures might ease the health care situation in NS (particularly ER wait-times)?
  • How would you propose to increase the compliance of a teen with a cystic fibrosis diagnosis?
  • What would you say is the role of research in the field of medicine?
  • Treating patients is only a part of a physicians work, what else do they have to do?
  • How would you address the increasing cost of the healthcare system?
  • How could you solve the problem of the lack of physicians in rural communities?
  • Would you recommend a naturopathic healer to a patient?
  • Would you consider medicine a science?
  • What Canada’s role should be in International Health Care?
  • If you came out of med school with a $120,000 debt, would you practice medicine in the public or private sector (assuming there is a private one)?
  • If you were in need of medical care and you had money, would you wait in line in the public system or pay for private health care?
  • What will you do if you don’t get into med school?
  • What is the biggest challenge facing health care in your province today? What do you think can be done to help solve it?
  • A recent survey of senior doctors suggests that they believe the younger generation of physicians is not as hard-working (i.e. wanting to leave right at 5 pm, not giving 60-70 hour weeks) – how do you feel about that?
  • Do you feel there is too much emphasis on prevention in medicine?
  • How do you think being a good communicator comes into play in medicine? Are you a good listener (elaborate)?
  • Why do applicants frequently tend to say they want to work in rural areas, but we still have a lack of physicians in these areas?
  • If you were a physician, what would you want your patients to say about you?

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