University of Bristol Medicine Interview Questions

Past Interview Questions & Tips

Bristol Medicine Interview Format

This year, interviews will take place online using a ‘formal online interview system.’ This is further outlined as followed: 
– Expect to use Zoom 
– Expect a formal 30 minute interview in a structured format, with four assessors, each of whom will assess your responses separately 
– This should therefore be seen as a structured panel interview


Historical Interview Information

Bristol typically adopted a multiple mini interview (MMI) model where applicants progressed through seven interview stations, with one or two interviewers as appropriate. One of the interviewers was a recruitment specialist, while the other is a member of the medical admissions committee.
The applicant was given six minutes at each station, one minute to read or listen to instructions and then five minutes to complete the task/questions.

The purpose of the interview is to provide the applicant with an opportunity to demonstrate evidence of skills and attributes that are appropriate to a career in medicine and to display insight into a range of topics related to a career in medicine. You should therefore consider this information as still being pertinent.

Key aspects that the interviewers would look for are:
·         Realistic interest in medicine
·         Relevant life skills
·         A wide range of interests
·         Acts of altruism and voluntary work
·         Communication and interaction skills

Bristol Medicine Key Application & Interview Statistics

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

Before the Interview

  • Familiarise yourself with important Medicine Interview Techniques
  • Reflect on your work experience and extracurricular activities. Bristol will want to know that you can use what you’ve already learnt and apply it to new situations, whether that’s regarding skills such as confidence or knowledge itself in scientific scenarios
  • Know why you want to study medicine at Bristol and be able to articulate this clearly.
  • Keep up to date with news affecting the medical community, NHS, as well as any significant medical advances as these, may come up in your interview.
  • Reflect on your relevant work experience, volunteer work and personal interests – what have you learnt from these, how can you relate this to medicine?

Optimise Your Interview Performance

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

University of Bristol Medicine Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions

Interviews are designed to test your thought processes and are not necessarily about getting the correct answer. If one station does not go as well as you hope, try not to let it affect any subsequent stations. You’re naturally going to be weaker on certain questions than others, and that’s okay because everyone else will be in the same situation.

Expect these stations to include some, if not all of the following:

Motivation and Insight into Medicine: The assessors will want to know why you would like to pursue a career in medicine and that you are enthusiastic. This has also come up in the form of “why not Nursing?” In this case, knowledge and respect of nursing as a career as well as how it differs to being a doctor is essential!

  • Why Bristol? Outline the good points about the course, for example, early clinical experience? Case-based and small-group teaching? Full body dissection? The choice to intercalate? It is also good to talk about the university itself, for example, the campus and the student union.

Role play Station: Universities like to see what you are like in “real-life” situations. For instance, how would you break bad news to a patient? Fundamental skills here are empathy, open body language and non-verbal cues to show that you are actively listening to the patient, for example, nodding and appropriate eye contact. A number of role play scenarios as well as an overview of the 6 Stages of MMI Role Play can be found in the MMI Question Bank.

Calculation Station: You may be required to work out a dose of medication for a patient. Ensure that you are confident converting units and with mental maths as you will likely only have paper for showing your working, no calculators are provided. A range of recent calculation tasks with worked solutions can be found in the MMI Question Bank.

Case/Article Reviews: You will be presented with a short introduction to a topic relevant to health care and be expected to identify the issues that are of particular relevance to this topic. A range of recent case reviews can be found in the MMI Question Bank.
Ethical DilemmaThis station provides candidates with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to consider and communicate about ethical issues in a balanced manner. Knowledge of the four key principles of ethics and the GMC guidelines will be particularly useful for this station as well as being able to support your position with well-considered reasons. Examples of previous dilemmas include:

  • One liver transplant has been made available and there are two suitable patients who require the transplant. Patient A has………….and Patient B has…………Which of these two patients, would you allocate an organ to and why?
  • Further example MMI Ethical Stations can be found in the MMI Question Bank.

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

  1. Can you think of any strategies to improve A&E departments?
  2. Do you think doctors should be involved in rationing patient care?
  3. What medical advances have you come across recently?
  4. Tell me about an article that you have read recently
  5. What changes do you envisage in the NHS in the coming years?
  6. What could be done to improve healthcare delivery?
  7. How long does it take to become a GP after medical school?
  8. How long does it take to become a Paediatrician after medical school?

Observation Tasks: You may be given a patient-based scenario to evaluate, or an image to describe. A systematic and comprehensive approach for succeeding in Observation Tasks can be found in the MMI Question Bank (Outside-In Approach to Observation Tasks).

Teamwork Station: This may be taken from your personal statement for example “tell us about an example of when you worked as part of a team and why teamwork is important in a medical setting”.  Try to pick an example where you can highlight your role within the team and explain how that is relevant to being a doctor. For instance, medicine is a multi-disciplinary setting, so effective communication with other staff members is essential so that you can help deliver the best care possible for patients. In contrast, this may also involve you working alongside other applicants to complete a team based scenario/task. Examples of team based tasks can be found in our MMI Question Bank.
Dexterity Task: This usually involves you doing a mini procedure eg.threading a large needle in sterile conditions. Such stations are difficult to predict and practice, and the most important factor is to try and remain calm; the reason medical school is 5/6 years is because the knowledge base and skill set are not developed overnight. The interviewers are not expecting perfect suturing or dexterity; instead they are searching for a candidate who can manage pressure and work systematically.
Prioristisation Tasks: This may include for example a scenario where you could only offer a life-saving treatment (e.g. an organ transplant) to one patient out of a few — this tests your judgement skills. Try to think out of the box and get more information about the patients (more context). Explore other options, for example, medications that can prolong life, whether it’s possible to get resources from another hospital, transfer patients to other hospitals, etc. Try to come up with several options, if possible. A range of prioritisation tasks can be found in the MMI Question Bank as well as the BlackStone Tutors 5 Step Approach to Prioritisation Tasks.

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