MMI Practice Questions

Advice & Insight From Interview Specialists

The following is a list of MMI scenarios, based on real MMI cases used at UK medical schools. Try to practise the questions yourself before you read the answers. We’ve provided both an average answer and an excellent answer for each.

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MMI Practice Question 1:

Describe the importance of resilience to a doctor

Average Candidate Response

Resilience is important to a doctor because it means that they can come through stressful situations. Medicine is stressful – I have proven that I can handle stressful situations through my own experience in high-pressure team sports and am confident I will be able to continue to do so.

Excellent Candidate Response

Resilience is one’s ability to adapt to adversity, to withstand it, and to continue onwards. It is therefore of the utmost importance to everyone, not just doctors. All people will have to display resilience at some points of life – whether it be dealing with difficulties at work, failures in exams or in sport, the loss of someone dear to them, or any other of the myriad difficulties that an individual will face. Resilience will enable you to drive forward through challenges at work, to become a better version of yourself that is more able to succeed in the future – rather than having to fall back in the face of difficulty. As mentioned, resilience will also help you to succeed through personal challenges, allowing you to maintain a focus on your work. Medicine is challenging, Medicine involves adversity – resilience is a core attribute therefore.

MMI Practice Question 2:

One of your fellow medical students, who is on a dermatology rotation, has posted anonymous photos of a patient’s skin condition on social media, with an insulting caption.

How do you approach this situation?

Average Candidate Response

I would immediately alert the university and ensure that the student faced disciplinary action. This behaviour is entirely unacceptable and I would not wish to waste any time in ensuring that they were punished for it.

Excellent Candidate Response

I would approach the student and explain to them that I need to speak to them in private, urgently. I would then tell them that I had seen their post on social media. I would let them explain the situation if they wanted to, in order to get the best understanding. If they were not forthcoming, I would press them with polite but firm questions, in order to understand what their motivation for posting the picture was, and whether it was one of the patients on their ward. There might be a misunderstanding – perhaps it is not one of their patients. Nonetheless, I would explain that posting an insulting picture of someone’s skin is not behaviour befitting a medical student, and that they must remove the image. I would then base the rest of my actions on the appropriate guidelines, and the information I find – whether it is their patient or not, taking into account the fact that the information is anonymised. If in doubt, I would speak to a senior doctor for help, and be prepared to report to the university or hospital as needed.

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MMI Practice Question 3:

Whilst you are a medical student, a doctor comes to you and explains that, as they are rushed, they need you to tell a patient’s family that the patient has died.

What would you do in this situation, and what personal attributes are important when breaking bad news?

Average Candidate Response

I would empathetically and kindly speak to the patient’s family and break the information as best as I could. I would make sure to listen to them and answer any questions that they had. I would show them that I cared about the situation, and give non-verbal cues to show empathy as well.

Excellent Candidate Response

I would tell the doctor that I feel uncomfortable dealing with the situation. I would not hesitate to say this, as I do not believe it is the role of a medical student to break the news of a patient’s death. It would seem disrespectful to the patient’s family. They would expect that the death of a loved one would be reported by a doctor with a good knowledge of the case, and done so respectfully. I would ask the doctor if there was any way I could help with another part of their workload, to give them time to speak to the patient. In terms of attributes, I believe that in order to break bad news one must be empathic. You must be a good listener, and able to pick up cues both spoken and visual. You must be a good communicator, able to explain the situation succinctly and offer condolences in an appropriate way. You should seem trustworthy, and show integrity.

MMI Practice Questions

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