Edinburgh Medicine Interview Tips

Advice & Insight From Interview Specialists


Edinburgh hosts an ‘Assessment Day’ consisting of multiple short interviews, as well as information on studying at Edinburgh.

What Should I Expect?

Edinburgh have only recently started interviewing; as such, the interview process is something of an unknown. However, Edinburgh does stipulate that ‘assessments will be based on the core attributes of medical doctors,’ outlined here.

Therefore the stations are likely to consist of:

  • Knowledge & Problem Solving
  • Safety & Quality
  • Communication, Partnership & Teamwork
  • Maintaining Trust

Edinburgh places a very high emphasis on academic achievement – which is why their admissions process before went as far as skipping the interview stage. So expect to have to demonstrate your ability to think clearly and scientifically as much as your drive to be a doctor! As with other universities, it’s worth knowing the GMC’s Good Medical Practice and keeping up to date with medical news. 

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Knowledge & Problem Solving

Ensure that you’re able to show a dedication to self-improvement and independent learning. Think about times you’ve directed your own learning. Ensure also that your knowledge extends to understanding medicine, as a field and as a job. Expect questions in this sphere to range from relevant work experience to scientific problem solving. ‘Medical schools will be looking for academic ability and an aptitude for problem solving based on scientific principles at the point of selection.’  From my own experience of Edinburgh, it’s likely that they’ll be looking for evidence of academic excellence here. 

Safety & Quality​

This station is likely to focus on managing risk. You’ll be expected to discuss examples where you have ‘managed risk.’ Think about any situations where you’ve had to balance to commitments, dealt with difficult problems, or otherwise made tough decisions. You’ll also need to show that you take responsibility for your actions, and are honest.

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Communication, Partnership & Teamwork​

Expect your interviewer to look for examples of team-working. This is a fairly straightforward topic, and one that will come up at any medical interview! You’ll need to show that you understand the nature of the multi-disciplinary teams you’ll be working with in the future, and evidence your own ability to work in a team. You’ll also need to remember that doctors are expected to teach; so the interviewer will be checking your communication skills and ability to present information with this in mind. Maintaining partnerships, and effective relationships, will be key to your medical career. As such, expect your interviewer to look for evidence that you respect others, respect their feelings and views, and are able to empathise easily.

Maintaining Trust

This sphere has some overlap with the previous – again, you’ll need to show empathy, respect, and the ability to take responsibility for your actions. Expect also to show that you’ll treat patients based only on their clinical need, rather than any personal beliefs.

General Tips

Make sure that you’ve thoroughly researched Edinburgh’s course, and are able to pinpoint what exactly appeals to you about it. You’ll get the benefit of patient exposure from your first year, through GP placements where you interview patients, and through clinical skills workshops. Edinburgh uses Problem Based Learning to a high degree in the pre-clinical years, so think about how that plays to your strengths and how to illustrate it. Try to illustrate your group-working skills and learning with your peers. The Edinburgh course specification outlines that students will be ‘well well equipped to pursue an academic career in medicine, where on-going involvement in research, as a physician-scientist, is a feature.’

Edinburgh recently made intercalated degrees compulsory; it might be worth having a think about what you’d like to study during that year, and how it can add to your career as a doctor. Be ready for some tough questioning on the sciences, and any scientific content in your personal statement. Remember that you’ll be studying in Scotland’s capital city – it never goes amiss to make sure you know a bit about the city you’ll hopefully be calling home for six years!
And of course, good luck!
(Author – Tristram Lewis-Stempel)

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Edinburgh Medicine Interview Tips

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