Michigan State University Medicine Interview Questions
Past Interview Questions & Tips
Michigan State Medicine Interview Format (Historically)
The College of Human Medicine uses two types of interview assessments: a one-on-one, 30-minute structured interview with a current medical student and a multiple mini-interview (MMI).
The non-academic factors considered for entry include:
- Community service/volunteer work – medical/clinical
- Community service/volunteer work – non-medical/non-clinical
- Physician shadowing
- Leadership roles
- Experience with people different from themselves
- Paid employment
- Military service
Each station in the MMI consists of eight, eight-minute, highly-structured interview scenarios, with a two-minute break in between. In total, the MMI session lasts approximately 100 minutes. Each station has its own interviewer and interview scenario.
Interviewers are administrators, faculty, staff, and students who have been trained specifically for the MMI process at the College of Human Medicine.
Candidates will receive a prompt before entering each station in the form of a question, scenario, or task to be addressed. There is a two minute time frame in which candidates may consider their response prior to entering the room. Interview scenarios include:
- Addressing standard MMI questions
- Collaborating with a fellow applicant on a project, and
- Engaging in role-play with a standardized actor.
Interviews generally take place between October and March.
Michigan State Medicine Key Application & Interview Statistics
Overall Success Rate (Total Applicants : Total Spaces)
Percentage of Candidates Interviewed
Interviewee Success Rate
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Michigan State University Medicine Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions
General/Personal Statement – With interviewers having access to the candidate’s application, a great deal of emphasis is placed on their background and work experience. Many interviewers begin with the open-ended question “tell me about yourself”. Applicants should expect to be asked to elaborate on any and every aspect of their personal statement and provide examples to support their answers.
- Tell me about you? What kind of things are you interested in.
- What would be different if you had not handled [a difficult situation] well and you had let it drag you down?
- Describe a time when you were in a conflict situation and how you resolved the conflict.
- What is something unique about you?
- Describe a time when you worked with individuals of different backgrounds. What was the result? What did you learn?
- Ideally, what your life be like in 10-15 years?
- Have you ever tried to be helpful, only to have it end in conflict?
- When was a time you let someone down? How did you handle it? What would you do differently next time?
- What has been your favourite extracurricular, and how has it impacted you?
- Tell me about your research
- Tell me about (fill in the blank college activity).
- Why are you better than all the other applicants?
- Is there something you’d like the interview committee to know about you.
- What is the strongest aspect of your application?
- Tell me about X experience.
- If you could have three people directly speak on your behave to the admissions committee, who would you pick and what three words would each of them use to describe you?
- Who is a role model of yours and why?
- What books are you currently reading?
- What is your favourite movie?
- What is your favourite book?
- Where all have you travelled?
- How have I made the world a better place so far?
- How would you as a leader inspire those within an organization who are less than passionate about the organization’s mission?
- Being a person that tends to be a leader, how will you handle these years when it is not always about being a leader?
- Tell me about what you’ve learned about your own learning style and how it fits with the College of Human Medicine.
- Describe a time when you saw someone act in an unprofessional manner, and describe how you responded to the situation
- How did you prepare for the MCAT?
- How are you a good fit for our school?
Motivation and Insight into Medicine – These questions examine both your desire to study medicine as well as your general interest in the issues facing the medical community. While an in-depth knowledge is not expected, an awareness of topical issues, particularly those in the media is highly recommended. Questions may include:
- Where do you see the future of healthcare going?
- What is your ideal setting for serving the under-served in medicine?
- What recent changes in the medical field have negatively affected doctors?
- Research and patient care…how are the two linked?
- Do you think good looks are essential to the practice of medicine?
- Name a specific city in the state of Michigan you’d like to practice in and explain why.
- How is treating a family member or friend different from treating a person who have no prior relationship with?
- How is your major related to medicine?
- If you were on a rotation with 12 patients in emergency and your family called to request for you to come because a family member was close to dying, what would you do?
- Would you perform a procedure or treatment for a patient that goes against your personal values even if it is within the scope of medical practice.
- What will HMOs do as they see diminishing profits?
- What are three qualities that as a patient, you would look for in a physician?
- Do you think Medicaid patients get worse treatment than those with private insurance?
- Do you think that doctors should be held to a higher standard than other professionals?
- Describe how you have prepared to enter medical school.
- What would you do if you had to choose a field completely outside of medicine?
- Why have you chosen to study medicine? How do you think your experiences have helped you decide that medicine is right for you?
- How would a deal with a patient who was not communicative?
- What if they closed all of the medical schools for the next 15 years, what would you do with your life?
- Have you ever considered another career before considering becoming a physician and if so, what was it and why did you change your career path?
- What about your personality agrees with medicine and what doesn’t?
- What do you think the relationship is between research and clinical practice?
- What qualities make a good physician?
- What kind of patient would be difficult for you to treat?
- What do you think are some of the difficulties that you will face in a medical career?
- What other schools have you applied to?
- Why do you want to work with under-served communities/why medicine in general?
- Tell me what you think about diversity.
- What are some things that will change in medicine?
- What are the responsibilities of a doctor?
- How is being a physician different than other professions?
Ethical Scenarios – These stations may provide the candidate with a specific scenario or invite them to discuss one in which they have observed/encountered. Ensure that you are aware of the ‘2 Sorts, 2 Sides’ Approach to MMI Ethical Stations. Scenarios can be of a medical or non-medical nature and may include questions such as:
- If a patient requested a procedure or action that does not align with your values, how would you respond?
- Your 16-year old patient with haemophilia is also HIV positive. However, he doesn’t know he is HIV positive because his parents refuse to tell him. What would you do?
- Your 5-year-old patient on chemotherapy wishes to discontinue treatment entirely, what would you do?
- You saw your classmate cheat on an exam. What would you do? Would you tell your fellow classmates or professor? If because of his cheating, he was able to get ahead of you or win a position over you, what would you do?
- Discuss a current ethical dilemma within medicine.
- Tell me about an ethical dilemma you have faced, and how you handled it.
- Describe an ethical dilemma you could have in the future as a physician and how you would deal with it.
- Describe an ethical situation, your feelings on that topic, and what you would do if your patient disagreed with you.
- Explain an ethical situation to me and what makes it ethical.
- Name an ethical dilemma where a non-medical person has the power to make a medical decision.
- Additional MMI Ethical Scenarios with Model Answers can be found in the MMI Question Bank.
Communication/Role Play Stations – These scenarios may present themselves as a question in which the candidate may be required to discuss, or, alternatively interact with a trained actor. For effective ways to navigate this type of station review BlackStone Tutors “6 Stages of MMI Role Play” and the “7 Stages of MMI Communication Stations”. Examples of these types of questions/scenarios may include:
- Explain your research to me as if I have no scientific or medical background.
- The parking garage at your place of employment has assigned parking spots. As you leave your spot, you back into a BMW, knocking out the left front headlight and denting the left front fender. The garage attendant witnesses this and calls the owner of the BMW. The attendant gives you the BMW owner’s name and office number and states that Tim is expecting your visit. Enter Tim’s office.
- Additional Communication Stations with model answers can be found in the MMI Question Bank
30-minute Interview – This one-on-one interview is conducted by a current Michigan State University medical student. It is a highly structured interview consisting of two questions. This interview has been known to include:
- What aspects of the school’s mission do your agree with?
- What qualities do you bring to the diversity of Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine?
- Additional Questions with model answers can be found in the MMI Question Bank
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