MMI Personal Questions
The following is a selection of personal questions for MMIs. Remember that these questions often rely on your ability to recall a past experience, or describe how your personal attributes would lead to you responding to a theoretical situation.
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MMI Personal Question 1:
What qualities do you think a good team player should have? Considering this, can you think about a time that you led a team to success?
Excellent Student Response:
I believe that a good team player should be able to listen to others, have the confidence to voice their own feedback, and be a strong communicator. Working with others relies on taking responsibility and avoiding hostility, and this in turn means understanding others’ points of views and taking them into consideration. A good team player should understand that they have a limited role and not try to do everything at once, or take on others’ roles as well as their own. A time when I led, rather than when I was just a team player, was when I led our school rugby team to win a national tournament. After I was chosen as captain, I had to learn how to manage the team during games, how to balance competing interests and personalities, and how to motivate every player through tough moments. I was one of the most social members of the squad, and knew each player very well, and I believe this was core to my – and our – success. I knew when players were down, when they had doubts, and when I needed to talk to them about something.
MMI Personal Question 2:
What do you believe determines, or shows, success? Considering this, how would you choose between a salary increase or more time with your family?
I believe that one’s success is best determined by the impact that you have on others. I believe that having a truly positive impact on others – such as that that one can have as a doctor – is the greatest reward possible and the greatest success possible. One can extrapolate that further, as one’s work can continue beyond one’s own career and continues to have a positive effect into the future. For example, if you were part of a team that was able to pioneer a new treatment modality, and this in turn continued to help people well into the future, then you could argue that this is a far greater success than simply earning money – which is likely to only help you and those immediately around you. If I had to make a choice like that, I would assess the benefits of both options in the long term and the short term. It might be that the salary increase would in fact permit me to spend more time with my family in just a few years’ time, for example. I would also consider the extent to which the salary increase could help my family, and balance that against the importance of me being there for them. I would ask my family – especially my partner – for their input, to understand which decision they thought to be the right one. I would want to make the best decision for my whole family.
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MMI Personal Question 3:
Describe a situation where you had to make a sacrifice. Considering it, are you content that you made that sacrifice?
As you know, I am a gap year applicant. In my final year of school, I was offered a part time job that would have provided me with a very good income and taking it would have enabled me to travel much more widely during my gap year. However, the number of hours required would have jeopardised my school work. I therefore weighed up the pros and cons of either decision, and whilst the job was appealing in the short term, in the long term I believed that my school work was more important. I therefore sacrificed the job in order to ensure that I could do my academic work to the utmost of my ability. In retrospect, I am happy that I made the sacrifice, as it enabled me to get the grades that I needed to apply to medical school, which had been my goal since my early teenage years. I have had to work much harder this year in due course in order to be able to afford gap year travel, but I know that it was the right decision, and that I had done the right thing for myself.