The University of Auckland Medicine Interview Questions
Past Interview Questions & Tips
Auckland Medicine Interview Format (Historically)
The interview consists of eight Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) stations. Each station has one interviewer and takes eight minutes to complete. This includes two minutes for the applicant to read and think over the given scenario and six minutes to complete it. The interviewers include faculty staff members and invited members of the wider community. The MMI assesses non-academic qualities that are important for those pursuing a career in healthcare, including:
- Social responsibility
- A strong commitment to the study and practice of medicine
- Humanistic qualities such as empathy and sensitivity
- Communication skills
- Fluency in English
- A strong academic background in sciences
- An enthusiasm for life-long learning
- A wide knowledge of New Zealand’s multifaceted communities and cultures
- Awareness of prevailing health needs and community issues
- Awareness of the nature of the health profession
- Certainty about career choice
- Enthusiasm for people and their well-being
- All round abilities and interests across a wide variety of activities
The majority of interviews take place in November and December, although exact dates may vary.
Auckland Medicine Key Application & Interview Statistics
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Percentage of Candidates Interviewed
Interviewee Success Rate
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The University of Auckland Medicine Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions
General/Personal Statement – This will be related mainly to your background and work experience, as well as your reasons for wanting to study at Auckland University. Questions may be as such:
- Describe a time where an old solution to a problem didn’t work and you had to come up with a new one.
- Describe a time where you were in a leadership role and had to resolve a conflict.
- What is one of your extra-curricular activities, and how would it help/hinder you in a medical career?
- Recall a time you were incorrectly judged or wrongly accused of something. Discuss this with the interviewer.
- How are you creative?
- What are things you’ve learned that have helped you to cope with this year?
- What is an important life lesson that you have learned and how will this impact your career as a health professional?
- What is professionalism? What traits do you have that align with this?
- Tell me about a volunteer position you have held and how you will use what you have learnt as a health professional
- What are some personal weaknesses of yours, how will these impact your career as a health professional and what will you do to combat these?
- Do you think non-health related hobbies can have a positive impact on your career as a health professional and say why using examples
- Describe a time where you worked with people who were very different from yourself, how did you deal with this?
- What do you do for fun/to relax?
- What goals do you have outside of medicine
Role Play Scenarios – This may involve interactions with a trained actor, as well as an observer. The role-play itself usually lasts four minutes with an additional two minutes allocated to reflect on your performance with the interviewer. For effective ways to navigate this type of station review BlackStone Tutors “6 Stages of MMI Role Play”. This may include scenarios similar to the following:
- Your team gave the wrong medication to your five-year-old patient. Although you know it was not your fault, you must explain the situation to his parents and assure them that your team is doing the best to ensure this does not happen again.
- Your friend who is a law student is trying to convince you to give him access to the med library to study, which was only meant to be accessed by med students and doctors. She has an exam soon and all the other libraries are full and/or noisy. She wants access to the hospital library because it’s quiet and it’s not full. What do you do?
- You are a pharmacist with access to prescription drugs. A friend (with some medical condition) wants a prescription drug because she knows the drug works, and she’s too busy to see a doctor. What do you do?
- You are a Rural GP interviewing a student from the city applying for a placement in your practice. What questions do you ask? Would you accept this student into your practice based on the interview?
- A father of a 16-year old girl has just found his daughter oral contraceptive pills and has seen that you have prescribed them for her. He has come in for a consultation with you.
- Your new neighbour has just moved to NZ from overseas. She hears that you are a medical student and wants to talk to you about the medical system in NZ and how to get help for her young daughter who has a fever.
- Your cousin has epilepsy and wants to stop the medication that he’s been taking and wants to stop going to the doctor. He wants to try alternative medicine and he feels that the doctor is only there to prescribe medicine and not listening to him.
- Your neighbour Sam invited you along to his six-year-old child’s soccer match. Sam got very into it and began yelling and swearing at his child when he wasn’t performing well, his child was getting visibly upset. What should you say to Sam?
- You have a meeting with a drug rep and he is trying to get you to buy his drug and give it to your patients and he is offering you $500 travel voucher to do this.
- You are a GP and your elderly patients failing eyesight means she is having her license taken off her. She has come to see you.
Communication Stations – The essential skills required to help you manage stations aimed to examine your communication can be reviewed on the BlackStone Tutors 7 Stages of MMI Communication Stations.
- Your patient, who has cancer, wants to try traditional Maori medicine. How do you respond?
- One of your patients has looked you up online and sent you an email of social/unprofessional nature. How do you respond?
- Children are coming to school in the morning hungry. If you were in charge, how would you go about finding a solution to this?
- A patient has come into your practice and has told you she has heard great things about a herbal remedy for her migraines. So far, western medicine hasn’t worked, but research has not found any effective qualities of the remedy. What would you say to her?
- Binge drinking is a big issue in NZ. What are ways you would suggest that would be effective in managing it?
- Discuss alcohol advertising in sport. Give your opinion.
- How could we make Maori/Pasifika and students from other minority groups feel more comfortable at university?
- Life-long learning is such an important aspect of being a health professional. Discuss the implications of a commitment to life-long learning both personally and professionally.
- Your 14-year-old sibling is being cyber-bullied by someone at their school. How do you think the school should deal with this?
- As a leader, sometimes you delegate tasks to other team members, and other times it is better to take on the task yourself. Discuss the pros and cons of each scenario.
- What does it mean to be a team member?
- Transgender women take medication which reduces their testosterone levels when competing in the Olympics. What is your opinion on this?
Follow up questions may include:
- Should transgender people be allowed to compete in the gender category in which they identify?
- Should a separate category be made for transgender people?
- What are your thoughts on the testosterone regulations for male to female transgender people, and lack of regulations for female to male transgender people?
- The decision making for water fluoridation has recently shifted from the local board to the district health boards. This has lead to some opposition from the public. What is your opinion on this shift?
- What public health measures would you take to reduce the prevalence of smoking and associated lung cancer rates in Maori?
- Prisoners used to be allowed to vote if they were serving a sentence of fewer than three years. In 2010 that changed to no one in prison was allowed to vote. What are your thoughts on this change?
Motivation and Insight into Medicine – This station examines your knowledge of the challenges of a medical career and asks about any topics which are currently in the media.
- Discuss a health issue you would prioritise if you were the Minister of Health, and what strategies you would use.
- What do you want to achieve/difference would you like to make in your career as a health professional?
- What changes would you make to the MBChB entry criteria?
- Discuss how you would make a change affecting your career.
- The University is proposing to give priority entry to Medicine applicants who agree to work in a rural area for 2 years after graduation. What do you think of this?
- Women have to sit in the second row during Powhiri (welcome to Marae). What do you think of this?
- What are you looking forward to the most about being a medical professional?
- Some med students do not know what they want to specialise in when they graduate. What do you think of this?
- Indigenous and minority students, as well as those from low socio-economic backgrounds often struggle in tertiary settings. This has lead to entry categories being made for these populations. In your opinion is this fair? Are there any problems with this method? What are the solutions?
- What makes being a medical professional unattractive?
- What challenges do you think a health career will have for you and what are you able to do to address these?
- The incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is associated with co-sleeping with parents. A Maori led health initiative has argued for the funding of Pepi-pods, a protected sleep space to allow for safer co-sleeping with babies. The ministry of health denied public funding for Pepi-pods on the basis that there was no good quality research on how well they worked. They have since reversed this decision. Discuss the need for Maori-led initiatives in New Zealand.
- There has been the suggestion that high sugar foods such as fizzy drinks should have a sugar tax. What are the pros and cons of this? How you would enforce it?
- There is a housing crisis for Maori and some are sleeping in their cars. What do you think are the causes of this?
- Would you sign a petition to raise the driving age to 18 and why?
- Should there be restrictions on junk food advertising to children, why/why not and what would you implement?
- Universities are failing to graduate as Maori compared to Non-Maori students. Why do you think this inequity is occurring?
- Reality TV shows have become increasingly popular. Do you think these shows do more good or harm to society?
- A program that pays women a couple hundred dollars for not smoking during each trimester of their pregnancy has been found to be cost-effective. If you were a politician would you support this? What are the implications?
- Past examples include being given a page of inequality statistics, and asked to discuss inequality and what can be done about it.
- Review an info-graphic on life expectancy after 65 years old of New Zealanders, broken down into female/male, over time from 1996-2013, non-dependant or dependant on assistance either daily or non-daily (i.e. 3 different colours on the bar to represent these categories). How accurate do you think this information is? What do you think this info-graphic shows about things that need to be considered from a public health viewpoint?
- Review a list of NZ’s ranking in a number of factors for the Social Progress Index, e.g. housing, suicide, greenhouse emissions, obesity. What are your thoughts on our ranking? Should we be satisfied?
- You work in a cattery and a friend has noticed a rash on your leg and said it looks like a ringworm infection. Your manager has clearly stated in the past that any ringworm needs to be reported as it can be easily passed on to animals and other humans. You know you wouldn’t be able to work while you are infected and desperately need money for rent. What do you do?
- Describe a time where you witnessed someone do something unethical/immoral. What did you do and what would you do differently?
- Should people be able to choose the sex of their baby via IVF, why/why not?
- What is your opinion on the Euthanasia “end of life” bill as it currently stands – how you would vote for in a referendum?
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