MMI Communication Questions & Scenarios

7 Stages of MMI Communication Stations

We have compiled a list of MMI Communication Questions & Scenarios from MMI interviews at Medical Schools in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

For additional MMI Interview Scenarios and model answers, review our Medical School Interviewer Approved MMI Question Bank.

When you enter the room there will be a sheet of paper that illustrates how to complete an origami (paper folding) project. On the other side of the room, there is another candidate who can’t look at you, but who has a blank piece of paper. Verbally guide your colleague to completion of the origami project. 
You have 5 minutes to complete the project after which you will be given 3 minutes to discuss with your colleague any difficulties that arise during your communication. 

Universities are commonly faced with the complicated task of balancing the educational needs of their students and the cost required to provide learning resources to a large number of individuals. As a result of this tension, there has been much debate regarding the optimal size of classes. One side argues that smaller classes provide a more educationally effective setting for students, while others argue that it makes no difference, so larger classes should be used to minimise the number of instructors required.
Discuss your opinion on this issue with the examiner

A message that recently appeared on the Web warned readers of the dangers of aspartame (artificial sweetener –Nutrasweet, Equal) as a cause of an epidemic of multiple sclerosis (a progressive chronic disease of the nervous system) and systemic lupus (a multisystem auto-immune disease). The biological explanation provided was that, at body temperature, aspartame releases wood alcohol (methanol), which turns into formic acid, which ‘is in the same class of drugs as cyanide and arsenic.’ Formic acid, they argued, causes metabolic acidosis. Clinically, aspartame poisoning was argued to be a cause of joint pain, numbness, cramps, vertigo, headaches, depression, anxiety, slurred speech and blurred vision. The authors claimed that aspartame remains on the market because the food and drug industries have powerful lobbies in Congress. They quoted Dr Russell Blaylock, who said, ‘The ingredients stimulate the neurons of the brain to death, causing brain damage of varying degrees.’
Critique this message, in terms of the strength of the arguments presented and their logical consistency. Your critique might include an indication of the issues that you would like to delve into further before assessing the validity of these claims.

As president of the University Medical Students Association, you have been asked to respond to a proposed bill which would require all citizens to vote in elections or face a £100/$100 fine. What will you include in your response?

​Follow Up Questions:
What general principles would you apply to justify your response?
What is more important – the rights of the individual or the needs of the society?
Is the balance between individual rights and societal needs different where the medical profession is concerned?
Do you have any additional comments before we end this discussion?

​You are a third-year medical student on an elective rotation. You are working with another medical student, resident and a staff physician, Dr Kerry. During rounds, Dr Kerry and the resident make several demeaning comments to the nurses. After rounds in the doctor’s lounge, the conversation continues. Several condescending comments were said by Dr Kerry and the resident about the patient management suggestions made by nursing staff. You are bothered by the comments. You know that Dr Kerry and the resident will be doing your evaluation at the end of the rotation. Other medical students tell you that you will get a better evaluation if you just fit in. However, you decide that it is necessary to speak to Dr Kerry about the situation.

Follow Up Questions:
In this case how important is it that you speak to the staff physician? Please rank the importance on a scale of 1-10 and justify your response.
What is your primary motivation in this case?
Do you see any potential risks and/or long-term implications of your decision to speak to the staff physician?
How does that decision contribute to your developing professionalism?
Do you have any additional comments before we end this discussion?

You have recently taken the initiative to volunteer at a homeless shelter. On this particular day, you meet a 42-year-old woman dying from alcohol-related liver disease. Her skin and her eyes are very yellow from a lifetime of alcohol abuse and she complains of significant generalised pain which worsens with movement. She confides in you that she hasn’t had a drink in two days and “wants to get hammered” before she dies, but cannot get the last bottle of vodka out of her locker. You know that alcohol is not allowed at the shelter. There is another woman lying on her side three beds away who is watching your interactions closely.
How will you respond to this request?

Follow Up Questions:
In medicine, there are often other options to be taken into consideration: what options can be considered and/or dismissed?
What attitudes does this situation raise?
In this situation, how might emotion and logic interact in your decision?
How can individuals demonstrate empathy without imposing your own values?
Do you have any additional comments before we end this discussion?

You are halfway through your first year of medical school. Your school has a peer professionalism assessment program that requires that six of your classmates assess you each year. You also do a self-assessment. The results of your performance evaluation done by yourself and your peers, as well as the class mean, are presented below. Discuss these results with the interviewer.

Follow Up Questions:
Based on these results, what would you do differently?
What other information might you seek to guide your professional development?
How would you create an action plan so that next year’s results will be different?
How will you monitor your performance to ensure that you are making progress?
Do you have any additional comments before we end this discussion?

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