Free Medical School Interview Circuit & Model Answers

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The following stations represent past medical school interview stations, with model answers written by medical school interviewers and interview specialists.

Medical School Interview: Station 1

Station 1 Excellent Candidate Approach

​You are a renal transplant specialist working in a hospital. A kidney becomes available for transplant, and there are 2 patients who require a transplant. The first is a 60 –year-old woman, who has developed renal failure as part of an autoimmune disease. The second is a 24-year-old man who has developed renal failure due to substance misuse. 

To ensure the decision was made fairly, many factors have to be considered. Firstly, I would estimate the increase in quality of life for both patients, and then compare them. I would try to calculate the QALYs to give a realistic estimate of the benefits of the transplant for each patient. I would also assess the potential compliance of each patient – to ensure that the future lifestyle is compatible with the transplant. Someone who is likely to abuse substances and use/continue to use drugs is unlikely to “look after” the new kidney as well as be take the necessary immunosuppressant medication.

From a biological perspective, considering the tissue matching of the organ is important; if the organ is not HLA compatible, the recipient will likely reject the transplanted organ. Finally, mechanical factors may also need to be considered with the organ needing to be appropriately sized for the patients abdominal cavity and capacity.

Medical School Interview: Station 2

Station 2 Excellent Candidate Approach

​What have you learnt from your work experience?

From my work experience, I recognised the importance of effective communication both within the MDT and between doctors and patents. I think that being able to adapt how you communicate, depending on the situation and to whom is very much an art form, for example, it can be difficult to obtain a full history from a patient but this is vital information as 80% of diagnosis are made from history taking.

My work experience also emphasised the importance of teamwork in the medical profession, as doctors work alongside a number of healthcare professionals who have very useful input especially at multidisciplinary meetings. There were also a number of challenges faced by doctors, primarily a consequence of limited resources resulting in a lack of bed space, long waiting lists, some treatments not licensed by NICE on the NHS.

Finally, I learnt how medicine can be considered an art as much as it can a science. Although the reasons for diagnosis primarily have a scientific background, the method with which patients are dealt with is very much an art.

Can you tell me about a particular patient you remember from your work experience and why you chose this patient?

Whilst shadowing a doctor in ENT, there was one particular gentlemen who had recently been diagnosed with laryngeal cancer and in this consultation, he was told that he would have to have his voicebox removed in order to remove the tumour. It was explained to him that following this procedure, he would no longer be able to talk.

I learnt a lot from this consultation as the patient was unable to speak English and I noticed the difficulties of the doctor in effectively communicating and ensuring that the patient fully understood the procedure before he could give consent. I also witnessed the importance of teamwork as there were numerous members responsible for the care of the patient as the doctor was not only working alongside the nurses, but also a speech and language therapist and a translator, without whom the consultation could not have been possible.

However, the most memorable factor for me was the gratitude of the patient at receiving this treatment as he explained through his translator how in the country that he was from, this could only have been accessed privately, reminding me of the beneficial nature of the NHS.

Medical School Interview: Station 3

Station 3 Excellent Candidate Approach

As a group, discuss whether there should be global coordination and consensus on organ donation rather than country specific policies?

How to succeed in the teamwork station

  1. Refer to colleagues by their name – At the start of the session, take a minute to remember each (or as many as possible) of your colleagues names. Referring to your colleague by their preferred name will not only build rapport and respect, but will also demonstrate a professional approach to examiners and interviewers.
  2. Demonstrate ‘active listening’ – The best candidates will not only offer good suggestions, but will also acknowledge suitable input from others eg. ‘That’s a really good point Simon and I can see that working very well, especially if……’
  3. Think before you speak – It is common for students to feel pressure to offer input and thus speak before considering what they are suggesting. Before offering input, ask yourself ‘Will this point add to what has already been said?’ and ‘Would I approve if another student mentioned this point? If the answer to either question is no, take a deep breath…and think of your next point
  4. Remember you are in an interview – In contrast to other interview stations, the interviewers often take a back seat in these stations in an attempt to offer candidates a false sense of relaxation. It is essential that you do not lower your guard and act in a way that you would not deem suitable for a medical student or medical professional. Interviewers are often paying closer attention to verbal and non-verbal behaviour in these stations than they are in one-to-one MMI settings.
  5. Avoid confrontation – However much you disagree with a point made by a colleague, it is essential to avoid confrontation in the team interview task. You are welcome to offer opposing input, however ensure that you avoid raising your voice or aggressive posturing as this will reflect badly on you.

Advantages of a global organ donation policy

  1. An overall greater supply of organs would enable better organ matching (size and genetics), thus reducing the likelihood of transplant rejection.
  2. Presently, some organs are being ‘wasted’ and global co-operation would help to reduce the waste of vital organs.

Disadvantages of a global organ donation policy

  1. One of the reasons for differing policies is variation in cultural and religious views. The thought of an opt-out/compulsory opt-in organ donation system would not be culturally/religiously acceptable for a number of countries. Hence, this may restrict individual autonomy
  2. Slippery slope – Should there also be a global healthcare fund, where people can travel to anywhere in the world for healthcare without additional charge? And would this be fair on those paying higher tax contributions towards healthcare?
  3. Logistically transporting organs around the world would be challenging and expensive.

Medical School Interview: Station 4

Station 4 Excellent Candidate Approach

​Name two medical conditions which have decreased in prevalence over the last 50-100 years?

Public health campaigns and medical research have allowed great progress to be made with reducing the prevalence of certain diseases. In 1988, the largest health initiative in history was begun to eradicate polio in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. It was greatly successful, and led to a tremendous decrease in polio prevalence across the world, particularly in Asia. Smallpox is another disease whose prevalence has been decreased so much that it was declared eradicated. In 1980, an immunisation campaign led by the World Health Organisation saw an aggressive approach to eradicating this viral disease, and ultimately was successful.

If you could be any medical instrument, which would you be?

I would consider myself like a stethoscope, because I believe that it is very important to listen to what each patient has to say, not only in making an accurate diagnosis, but also in ensuring that the investigation and management plan is properly understood. Also, many stethoscopes have two sides depending on the required purpose, similarly I believe that I can adapt my approach depending on the requirement, whether it be taking a history or breaking bad news.

Medical School Interview: Station 5

​Station 5 Excellent Candidate Approach

You are required to give a patient 1.2g of a new chemotherapy agent Co-Algonate. This comes as a 10% (w/v) solution in bags containing 500ml. What volume of the 500ml bag would you need to give?

​​​1% = 1g in 100ml
10% = 10g in 100ml

10g = 100ml
1.2g = 12ml

(The size of the bag in this case is irrelevant information)

Why did we ask you to complete this calculation task?

​Mathematic calculations are essential in medical practice with everything from calculating drug dosages to a patient’s BMI. Additionally, when calculating drug dosages, small calculating errors can have significant negative medical consequences ranging from excess side effects and complaints to significant morbidity and possible mortality.
Additionally, safe prescribing and calculations is the responsibility of all MDT professionals ranging from doctors and nurses to pharmacists and even medical students who may be present in an observatory capacity, but should still be qualified to highlight any medication errors observed.

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