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University of Aberdeen Medicine Interview Questions

Past Interview Questions & Tips

Aberdeen Medicine Interview Format

Aberdeen candidates will sit an in-person interview, in an MMI format. This means that you will rotate through a number of stations – each lasts five minutes and the entire interview lasts an hour, so expect as much as 10-12 stations in total. Each station has two interviewers who will rate you against pre-set criteria.  

Aberdeen provides the following examples that you should be ready for:

  • Discuss preparation for entry to Medicine e.g.
    • Research into undergraduate curricula and postgraduate training
    • Research and understanding of the implications of a medical career
    • Experience of caring or other environments
  • Consider a new situation and discuss your thoughts or suggest a solution to solve a problem
  • Outline any learning points from previous experiences
  • Reflect upon their own and others’ skills and abilities
  • Consider your potential contribution to the care of others

Communication and interpersonal skills are also scored at each station. 

Aberdeen Medicine Key Application & Interview Statistics

Overall Success Rate (Total Applicants : Total Spaces)
Overall Success Rate
Percentage of Candidates Interviewed
Percentage Interviewed
Interviewee Success Rate
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Before the Interview

The MMI format requires the candidate to impress a larger number of people in a short time frame. Therefore, it is essential that you approach each station as a fresh opportunity to impress the interviewer, even if the previous station did not go as well as it could have. Using the two minutes between each station to recollect your thoughts and compose yourself before you begin the next interview is highly recommended.
 

  • Research the unique aspects of Aberdeen, specifically their curriculum relating to remote and rural options and how this would suit you. There is a shortage of medical practitioners in rural settings, so if this type of career is appealing to you, plan to communicate this in your interview.
  • Review the General Medical Council’s role and the main points of the Good Medical Practice Guidance Book. This includes knowledge of the variety of career pathways available in medicine. Ensure that you can talk about potential career paths you would like to pursue as a doctor. 
  • Reflect on your work experience, the skills you have learnt and how these will relate your eventual career as a doctor.
  • Regularly read your personal statement and ensure that you know it well. You need to be able to summarise it, as well as highlight and elaborate on any point in it.
  • Be aware of any current medical issues in the media, as well as issues pertinent to NHS Scotland. 

During the Interview

Many of the questions that come up in the interview will not have a ‘correct’ answer. In these cases, the interviewers are often scrutinising your ability to reflect upon and discuss the diverse aspects of a problem. It is essential to verbalise your thought process by painting a picture of the issue, before making your position or opinion clear to the interviewer. In doing this, you are demonstrating that you can consider multiple viewpoints as well as your own (something that you will regularly face in medicine).


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Learn the best interview strategies and practice with past interview questions & model answers.

University of Aberdeen Medicine Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions

General/Personal Statement Station: This station will involve typical interview questions regarding the attributes you possess such as your ability to work as a member of a team, your ability to take responsibility for your actions, honesty and be self-reflective: 

  1. How do you cope with stressful situations/studying/exams?
  2. What do you think are your worst qualities/weaknesses?
  3. What do you think are your best qualities/strengths?
  4. How would you cope being older than your peers (for mature students)?
  5. How would your best friend/parents/colleagues describe you?
  6. What would you do if a member of your team wasn’t pulling their weight?
    1. What would you do if they did it again?
    2. Would you involve a 3rd party?
  7. What personal qualities do have you to offer?
  8. Are you a leader or a follower?
  9. Do you have any leadership experience?
  10. Is anyone else in your family a doctor?
  11. What careers do your parents have?
  12. Are you the 1st of your siblings to go to University?
  13. How are you going to finance medical school?
  14. How did your work experience make your choice to study medicine stronger?

Motivation and Insight into Medicine: This station will not only examine your motivation to study medicine but also your genuine interest in the medical profession and medical based topics. It may lead to questions along the lines of:

  1. Why medicine/why do you want to be a doctor?
  2. What first made you realise you wanted to be a doctor?
  3. Have you considered any other career paths prior to medicine?
  4. Why are you considering Aberdeen?
  5. What appeals to you about the course at Aberdeen?
  6. What would you do if you didn’t get into medical school this year?
  7. How will you adjust to University life?
  8. How did you go about finding out about a career in medicine?
  9. Have you considered a gap year/what are the advantages of having a gap year?
  10. What do you want out of life other than being a doctor/are you considering any other professions?
  11. What area of medicine do you see yourself in and how long will it take you to get there?
  12. What are the main qualities of a doctor/build your ideal doctor/what qualities do you have which means you would make a good candidate?
  13. What makes good teamwork/How do you fit into a medical team?
  14. Besides communication skills, what other skills must a doctor possess?
  15. Can you learn communication skills/how have you developed your communication skills?
  16. What would you prefer in a doctor – Good communication skills and bad clinical skills or good clinical skills and bad communication skills?
  17. How did your GP possess good communication skills?
  18. Should there be a leader in a team?
  19. How doctor should treat patients?
  20. What do patients expect from their doctor?
  21. How long do you think it takes to become a consultant surgeon?
  22. Where do you see medicine going in the future?

Role play Station: The candidate is given a scenario and is asked to work with the actor/helper to attempt to reach a solution. Specific Role Play Station examples and model answers can be found in the Online MMI Question Bank.  

The General Medical Council (GMC): This station involves questions around the role of the GMC, the Good Medical Practice Guidance Book and why there are standard regulations for medical schools. It may also require the candidate to have knowledge of specific career paths e.g. becoming a GP/Consultant.

The Remote and Rural option offered by the university: This station probes the candidate’s awareness of Aberdeen-specific aspects of the curriculum such as the remote and rural option offered by the university. This may include comparisons between rural and urban practice, issues faced by rural GP’s, and the Regent and Student Pairing Schemes offered by the university.  

Science/Medicine Station: A selection of recently asked questions in this station include:

  1. What problems exist in the NHS other than lack of funding/how could these issues be fixed?
  2. Why does one measure blood pressure, and what does it reflect?
  3. Have you ever measured blood pressure, how?
  4. A patient is lying in bed, his pulse is racing and his blood pressure is difficult to take, what’s wrong with him and how would you treat him?

Aberdeen Medicine Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to study Medicine at Aberdeen?

I am eager to study Medicine at the University of Aberdeen because of its remarkable integration of historic tradition and modern medical education. The Medical School, established in the 15th century, offers a curriculum that is deeply rooted in research and clinical relevance. I am particularly attracted to the patient-centred approach that is emphasised from the early stages of the course, blending theoretical knowledge with practical experience. Aberdeen’s diverse patient population and its focus on primary care provide an invaluable learning environment, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of a wide range of health issues. This, combined with the university’s global health perspective and advanced facilities, aligns perfectly with my aspiration to become a well-rounded, skilled medical professional, capable of addressing the complexities of contemporary healthcare.

What do you know about the Medicine course structure at Aberdeen?

The Medicine course at the University of Aberdeen is designed to be both rigorous and rewarding, offering a blend of theoretical and practical learning experiences. The course begins with a foundation in biomedical sciences, integrating anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology, taught through a combination of lectures, small group sessions, and lab work. Clinical skills are developed from the first year, with a focus on patient interaction and empathetic communication. As students progress, they are exposed to a wide range of clinical placements across various specialties, providing real-world experience in different healthcare settings. The curriculum also incorporates problem-based learning and interdisciplinary teaching, encouraging students to think critically and work collaboratively. This comprehensive approach ensures that graduates are not only knowledgeable but also adaptable to the evolving landscape of healthcare.

Can you tell me about the history of Aberdeen Medical School?

Aberdeen Medical School, with its inception in 1497, stands as one of the oldest and most prestigious medical schools in the UK. Over its centuries-long history, it has established a legacy of medical education and innovation. The school has been at the forefront of medical research, contributing significantly to the field, from the development of insulin therapy to pioneering studies in nutrition and health. Its curriculum has continually adapted to the changing demands of medical science and healthcare delivery. The school’s alumni include notable figures in medicine, and its faculty have been recognised for their contributions to medical research and education. This rich history imbues students with a sense of pride and responsibility, inspiring them to contribute to the school’s legacy of excellence in medicine.

Imagine you are a second year at Aberdeen and catch a student, from a different course, stealing from the library. How would you proceed?

Witnessing a fellow student engaging in theft poses an ethical dilemma. As a second-year medical student, it’s important to approach the situation with integrity and understanding. Initially, I would discreetly approach the student, ensuring not to escalate the situation. I would express my concerns and encourage them to reflect on the implications of their actions, emphasising the values of honesty and responsibility. If they are unresponsive, I would then report the incident to the library staff or university authorities, allowing them to handle the situation appropriately. This approach ensures that the incident is addressed while maintaining the dignity and privacy of all involved. It’s a learning opportunity to understand and uphold the ethical standards expected in the medical profession.

What health challenges do you think are particularly relevant to Aberdeen and its surrounding area?

Aberdeen, with its unique demographic and geographic characteristics, faces distinct health challenges. The aging population in the region means an increasing demand for managing chronic diseases like cardiovascular disorders and diabetes. Mental health issues are also a significant concern, particularly in remote and rural communities where access to mental health services is limited. Aberdeen’s socio-economic diversity leads to health inequalities, with lower-income groups often experiencing poorer health outcomes. Additionally, occupational health risks associated with the oil industry, such as exposure to hazardous substances, are specific to this area. Environmental factors like cold weather and limited sunlight during winter months also have implications for public health, including increased incidences of seasonal affective disorder. These challenges necessitate a healthcare approach that is multifaceted and responsive to the region’s specific needs.

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