University of Exeter Medicine Interview Questions

Past Interview Questions & Tips

Exeter Medicine Interview Format

Exeter Medical School uses Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) to determine whether applicants possess the non-academic qualities they are looking for such as:

  • Good communication skills,
  • Evidence of reflectiveness (insight into their own strengths and weakness)
  • Decision-making skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Evidence of the empathy required to become a successful doctor.

The MMI normally has seven stations, each lasting three minutes, with three questions per station. There are three minutes in between stations which allows candidates time to move to the next station. There is no group work or written test, as this is not an academic interview. Candidates may be required to complete one role play station, which has one question. Each candidate is awarded a Yes / No judgement at each station based on the assessor’s judgement of whether the candidate has the necessary personal qualities and attributes to be a medical student at Exeter Medical School. 

Interviews take place from December to March.

Exeter Medicine Key Application & Interview Statistics

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

Before the Interview

As with any interview, it is all about managing the interviewer’s perception of you and painting yourself in the best light possible. With MMI’s you have multiple chances to impress/manage the perceptions of the interviewers. Therefore, it is essential that you treat each station as a new opportunity to showcase your skills, irrespective of how well the previous stations have gone. 

  • Practice verbalising the reasons for you studying medicine and why you have chosen Exeter over other universities.
  • Consider any work experience you have undertaken. While Exeter University does not deem this essential to your entry, the skills you have learnt from it may assist your interview responses and help you to illustrate your answers in a mature way.
  • Keep up-to-date with current health, NHS and scientific issues in the media.
  • At Exeter Medical School, they focus on four key areas for research: Diabetes, Cardiovascular Risk and Ageing, Environment and Human Health, Health Services Research, Neuroscience and Mental Health, ensure that you are familiar with each of these domains.

University of Exeter Medicine Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions

Communication Station: Many of the stations in the MMI aim to test your communication skills. This may include questions such as:

  • How would you explain the rules of noughts and crosses to someone who has never played the game before?
  • How would you tell a patient that they have been diagnosed with a serious illness?

General/Personal Statement Stations: A station assessing your ‘reflectiveness’ could come in a number of forms. For instance, it could be one talking about the work placements you have mentioned in your personal statement. Remember to use your own experiences and try to genuinely reflect on what you saw. For example:

  • What did you learn while shadowing the GP?  (eg. “I saw a memorable case of a doctor breaking bad news to a patient, and I learnt the importance of body language, empathy, and the building of relationships in a medical career”)

Role play Station: This is an appropriate station to test your empathy as well as your communications skills again (both verbal and non-verbal). Examples of recent tasks include:

  • Demonstrate how you would break bad news to a person
  • Talk to someone who has experienced emotional pain or stress
  • Talk to someone who has lost a close relative.
  • Further role play scenarios as well as an overview of the 6 Stages of MMI Role Play can be found in the MMI Question Bank.

Motivation & Insight into Medicine: This station may investigate your genuine interest in the medical field as well as the qualities doctors should possess. Questions may include:

  • Identify some of the most significant problems faced by the NHS at present.
  • What are the skills needed to become a successful doctor?

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University of Exeter Medicine Historical Interview Questions

The following interview questions have been used in Exeter Medical School panel interviews before their change to the current MMI format and are useful for practice purposes.

Why medicine/Exeter?

  1. Why do you want to gain acceptance to this particular medical school?
  2. Why do you want to be a doctor?
  3. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Background/Personal Statement

  1. Tell me about a challenge in your life and how you overcame it?
  2. What would you do if you were not accepted to medical school?
  3. How do your peers describe you?
  4. How do you handle stress?
  5. What do you do in your spare time?
  6. What book have you recently read? What did you learn?
  7. Looking over your application, I see you have received an under performing grade? Explain?
  8. Who is the most influential person in your life? And why?

Work Experience

  1. Tell me about your volunteering experience?
  2. What exposure do you have to medicine? Tell me about a clinical experience

Attributes of a Good Doctor

  1. What are the qualities that make a good doctor and do you have them?

Science/Medical Questions

  1. What is the Hippocratic Oath?
  2. What do you like most/ least about medicine?
  3. What role does research play in medicine? Have you engaged in any research projects? Tell me about them?

Ethical Questions

  1. What do you do in a situation where a 15-year-old teenager is asking for birth control?
  2. Tell me about the Terri Schiavo case and what do you think about it?
  3. What is your stance on euthanasia, abortion, stem cell research or Jehovah Witness?

NHS/Topical Issues

  1. What are the current challenges in current health care and what can we do to improve it?
  2. How do you feel about ‘Doctor Compensation’?

Exeter Medicine Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to study Medicine at the University of Exeter?

I am driven to study Medicine at the University of Exeter due to its innovative curriculum and strong focus on patient-centred care. Exeter’s approach to medical education, which emphasises the integration of scientific knowledge with clinical skills from the beginning, aligns perfectly with my aspirations to be a doctor who excels in both theoretical and practical aspects of medicine. The school’s commitment to research, particularly in areas like diabetes, genomics, and mental health, aligns with my interest in being involved in cutting-edge medical advancements. Moreover, Exeter’s close-knit community and the opportunities for early patient interaction are particularly appealing, providing a supportive and engaging learning environment. The beautiful and historic setting of Exeter, combined with its vibrant student life, further adds to the allure for me of studying medicine at this institution.

What do you know about the Medicine course structure at the University of Exeter?

The Medicine course at the University of Exeter is structured to provide a comprehensive and engaging medical education. It begins with a solid foundation in medical sciences, integrating this with clinical skills development through simulation and patient interactions. What stands out to me about Exeter’s program is the early and continuous clinical exposure, which begins in the first year, allowing students to apply their learning in real-world settings immediately. The course employs a problem-based learning approach, promoting active learning and critical thinking. Clinical placements in later years cover a range of specialties, providing a broad understanding of different aspects of medicine. Additionally, Exeter’s focus on developing personal and professional skills throughout the course is something I find invaluable for a future career in medicine.

How does the University of Exeter incorporate mental health and wellbeing into its medical program?

The University of Exeter places a significant emphasis on mental health and wellbeing, both in its curriculum and student support systems. The medical program includes comprehensive modules on mental health, recognising its importance in overall healthcare. These modules are designed to equip students with the necessary skills to address mental health issues effectively and empathetically. Additionally, Exeter provides robust support for student wellbeing, with services like counseling, stress management workshops, and peer support networks. This dual focus on mental health in the curriculum and student wellbeing reflects Exeter’s commitment to producing well-rounded medical professionals who are adept at managing their own health and that of their patients.

Discuss the opportunities for rural medicine experience at Exeter.

The University of Exeter offers unique opportunities for experiencing rural medicine, which is a significant aspect of its medical program. Students have the chance to undertake placements in rural and remote areas in the South West, providing exposure to healthcare challenges and practices in these settings. These experiences are invaluable for understanding the specific health needs of rural populations, including issues of accessibility and the management of healthcare resources. The rural medicine experience at Exeter is not only crucial for students interested in practicing outside urban centres but also provides a broader perspective on healthcare delivery, enhancing the versatility and adaptability of its graduates.

What role does interdisciplinary learning play in Exeter's medical education?

Interdisciplinary learning plays a pivotal role in medical education at the University of Exeter. The medical program encourages collaboration and learning alongside students from other health disciplines, such as nursing, medical imaging, and healthcare science. This approach fosters an understanding of the different roles within healthcare teams and the importance of collaborative practice. Interdisciplinary learning experiences at Exeter, such as joint seminars and shared projects, are designed to prepare students for the multidisciplinary nature of modern healthcare, ensuring they possess the communication and teamwork skills necessary for effective patient care. As someone who values the importance of holistic healthcare, I am particularly excited about the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary learning at Exeter.

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