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Difficult MMI Questions

Advice & Insight From Interview Specialists

The most difficult MMI questions are likely to be those that probe you on difficult ethical issues, current medical hot topics, or that rely on you being able to draw upon your own past to address a difficult question or highlight a particular attribute.

Difficult MMI Question 1

Imagine that you are working at a large teaching hospital which has recently received a substantial donation from a prominent figure. That donation in turn has allowed for the construction of a new ward.  Just months later, the donor is hospitalised following a DUI, for which they were entirely responsible. Should we treat this patient any differently, given the circumstances?

Excellent student answer:
I believe that patients ought to be treated equally, no matter their race, religion, class, etc – or in this case even if they have donated to the hospital. Thus in theory, we can conclude that the individual ought to be treated with the same respect level as all other patients in the hospital. That ought to be the highest level of care we can provide – we should be respectful and kind to them, willing to listen to them, and do our utmost to help them. If managers or senior figures in the hospital dictated that they were somehow to be offered a superior standard of care, I would feel uncomfortable with this, as they would essentially have bought a different standard of treatment within the NHS. This would be more akin to private care than the principles of the NHS.

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Difficult MMI Question 2

During the summer holidays, you are working in a customer care role for a health tech company. The role involves answering phone calls from customers. A man calls and explains that the equipment he recently bought doesn’t work properly. However, it is just out of its 12 month warranty period. He becomes anxious and distressed and explains he can’t afford to buy a new version. What would you say to the man? What factors in particular might you need to consider here?

I would listen empathetically to the customer and ensure that I showed that I understood his position. I would express that I was sorry for him being in this situation and make sure that I came across as compassionate to his situation. I would do my best to work with him on the problem, so that we could come to a sensible solution together. I would ask him necessary questions that may have been provided for such a situation – e.g. how far out of warranty it is, what the circumstances of the machine breaking are, etc. This would be done in-line with the policy of the company. I would explain to him that I will do my best, within the limits of my role, to find a way of helping him. If needed I could explain that I would speak to a senior and see what could be done for him.

In terms of particular factors, I would need to consider my role and remit. As an example, I may be able to issue refunds or provide new products to customers outside of the warranty in certain situations. I would also need to consider how urgent it is that he gets a replacement for the device, and how vital it is for his health.

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Difficult MMI Question 3

Think about a time when you gave your all and helped someone else to succeed – but at your own expense. Describe what happened, and reflect on whether it was the right decision.

Last year, one of my friends was struggling with one of our classes (Chemistry), and I found the class to be relatively easy. Therefore I set a substantial amount of my revision time aside to help them, as I was confident that I didn’t need to revise myself. Together, we covered the content that they struggled with. They passed the exam with a good score. However, I missed out on getting a top mark; I had been complacent, and realised afterwards that I ought to have balanced my work with helping them. I secured an A, rather than an A*, which I knew did not fulfil my promise. Nonetheless, I believe that I made the right decision in helping them. I was able to learn from the experience and change the way that I focused in future; this resulted in a positive outcome for both of us in the end, as I was able get excellent scores in future exams, and they had had the help they needed to perform well in that exam.

Difficult MMI Questions

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