MMI Role Play: The Complete Guide
Advice & Insight From Interview Specialists
What is MMI Role Play?
MMI Role Play (also known as MMI acting stations) involve having a brief discussion with an actor or medical student about a pre-chosen medical or non-medical topic.
Medical schools will vary in the length of these scenarios, with the majority of medical schools having interview stations between five and eight minutes. Example scenarios include breaking bad news, explaining a result or outcome and demonstrating empathy when faced with personal challenges.
How To Prepare For Role Play Stations?
It is important to practice MMI Role Play tasks, however it is more important to practice the right techniques. The most important of these techniques is the 6 Stages of MMI Role Play; which is taught to students attending an MMI Interview Course. A range of past medical school role play scenarios can be found here with additional role play scenarios and model answers available in the MMI Question Bank.
With all practice, it’s essential to try and replicate the MMI environment; this means using strict timed conditions (5-8 minutes), previous MMI scenarios and preferably with an unfamiliar individual, rather than with a close friend or family member.
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MMI Role Play Tips
The 6 Stages of MMI Role Play – Having an awareness of and being able to implement the 6 Stage of MMI Role Play is absolutely essential to succeeding in MMI Interviews. For further information, attend an MMI Interview Course or review the MMI Question Bank.
Empathy v Medical Knowledge – Role play stations are not a test of medical knowledge so don’t try to learn Grey’s Anatomy (the book!) pre-interview or boast irrelevant medical knowledge in the interview. Instead focus on structured communication (eg. 6 Stage of MMI Role Play) and genuine empathy (eg. ‘I’m very sorry to hear that Mrs Jones…..that must be very difficult for you’)
Always Consider Additional Issues – The majority of role play scenarios will advise you of one key issue to address; it’s important to remember that this is unlikely to be the only issue that needs addressing. Excellent candidates will use open questions eg. ‘Is there anything else concerning you at present?’ in order to establish and address these additional issues.
Practice, Practice, Practice – Practice as many Role Play Scenarios with as many different people. The temptation is to practice with a close family member or friend; whilst this is beneficial, this won’t accurately represent the stressors of a role play scenario with an unfamiliar individual. As such, it’s important to practice with those you are less familiar and comfortable with (eg. strict school teachers or MMI specialists).
What Am I Being Assessed On In MMI Role Play Stations?
The MMI Role Play Stations are assessing structured communication, empathy and the ability to deal with unfamiliar challenges.
The BlackStone Tutors MMI Role Play Mark Scheme is available to candidates attending an MMI Interview Course with past medical school interview mark schemes also included in the MMI Course Guide.
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MMI Role Play Example Scenarios
You are a 3rd-year medical student completing hospital rotations. A fellow medical student who is doing ward rounds with you often shows up to these sessions tired, messy, hungover, or even drunk. One day you found him in the lunchroom unaccompanied, so you decided to talk to him. Please enter the lunch room.
The parking garage at your place of work has assigned parking spots. On leaving your spot, you are observed by the garage attendant as you back into a neighbouring car, a BMW, knocking out its left front headlight and denting the left front fender. The garage attendant gives you the name and office number of the owner of the neighbouring car, telling you that he is calling ahead to the car owner, Tim. The garage attendant tells you that Tim is expecting your visit. Enter Tim’s office.
Jonathan has come to see you requesting antibiotics for a suspected viral illness. Discuss with Jonathan whether antibiotics are necessary.
You are the captain of the school netball team and have an upcoming netball tour of New Zealand; you have arranged to meet your close friend Katie to advise that unfortunately she has not made the team.