The University of Buckingham Medicine Interview Questions
General Interview Information
As it stands, the university has not made publicly available its ratio of applicants to interviews or offers.
Standard Interview Format
The university will invite applicants who meet the entry requirements to a selection day. There are numerous selection days held throughout each admissions cycle. They run from March through to November, with the majority from May to September.
At the selection day, each applicant will be assessed using an MMI (Multiple Mini Interview). At Buckingham, this is specifically entitled the Objective, Structured Selection Examination (OSSE), and it is carefully composed from a series of tasks that are designed to correspond to the abilities detailed in ‘Good Medical Practice,’ published by the UK General Medical Council. There will be between 10 and 12 stations, and each will last for seven minutes. The stations will include some combination of the following:
Firstly, a test of the applicant’s ability to arrive at the selection location on time (with due allowance for validated travel disruption), bearing a full set of pre-defined documents.
Secondly, tests of their ability to communicate with, and empathise with, simulated patients. The patients will have complex life histories.
Thirdly, tests of the ability to reflect on their own life events, including those described in the applicant’s personal statement.
Four – testing of comprehension ability and ability in the verbal explanation of ideas presented in writing
Five – testing of numerical skills – this will be related to common tasks that will be encountered during a career in Medicine.
Six – testing of the ability to observe and summarise information. This will use a video interview that has been recorded, featuring a patient and doctor.
Seven – testing of the ability to identify strengths and weaknesses of communication skills exhibited during a simulated consultation between a doctor and a patient.
Eight – testing of the ability to follow instructions for a practical task involving physical interaction with a simulated patient. Additionally, assessment of the capacity to interact sensitively and safely with the patient when undertaking the task.
Nine – testing of the ability to communicate and work collaboratively with colleagues through set collaborative tasks.
Ten – testing of the applicant’s ability to establish a partnership with individuals through negotiation.
Buckingham explains that the time pressure of the OSSE should be seen as testing your resilience, although efforts are made to ensure that the tasks can be completed within the allotted time. However, they state that ‘it is explicitly recognised that the capacity to maintain such focus is an essential attribute of a person who intends to work as a doctor in the future.’
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Before the Interview
You should base your preparation for this interview on the handbook that Buckhingham provides, that we have outlined above. They provide far more information than most medical schools on the exact way in which their interview will be run, and what it will be assessing. Make sure that you also read the GMC’s Good Medical Practice documents, and ensure that you know them well enough to reflect on them in a high pressure environment.
Exemplar & Recent Interview Questions
Why is it so important that doctors are able to communicate with a wide range of people easily?
Can you think of a situation when your ability to communicate well helped your or your team?
Are you good at understanding information and then simplifying it for others? When have you demonstrated this ability?
Who do doctors have to communicate with when they’re at work, other than patients?
What are the most important personal attributes that will make someone a good communicator?
Optimise Your Interview Performance
Learn the best interview strategies and practice with past interview questions & model answers.
Were you in a pastoral care role at school?
How have you shown empathy to others in your day-to-day life so far?
What does empathy mean?
Why is empathy seen as more important than sympathy?
Tell me about someone that you have helped through a challenging situation, or through a challenging time of their life.
Tell me about a patient that you have met during your work experience who you truly empathised with.
Tell me about a time when your leadership skills were challenged.
What makes a good team player? How do these attributes differ to those that a good leader might need?
Are you a better leader or team player?
Tell me about a time that you struggled to work with someone else.
Tell me how you would motivate a team member that wasn’t pulling their weight.