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  • Writer's pictureJessica Beresford

Mastering the MMI

Updated: Apr 17

Multiple Mini Interviews are used by most med schools, and typically involve 6-10 stations spanning a variety of tasks from calculations to role play to building animals out of lego. They sound intimidating, and we’d be lying if we said they weren’t a bit scary. But, they are totally do-able if you prepare well, stay calm, and take it as an opportunity to showcase your skills! Here’s our guide to tackling the MMI.

It’s super important to prepare for common stations and how you would like to answer them. Whilst you don’t want to be reciting off a script, it is useful to have an idea of what you want to say so you don’t get thrown off. Some common stations are:

  1. Role play: This could involve a simulated patient, explaining a task, discussing a diagnosis, or addressing a family member’s concerns. The key thing here is to show off communication skills, having open body language and showing active listening. It’s unlikely to be anything too complex but they want to see you can give information at an appropriate level and communicate sensitively. It does feel a bit strange but try to imagine you’re speaking to a real patient, or a friend, so that it looks as authentic as possible!

  2. Calculations/ interpreting data: These tend to be fairly simple. It could be a drug calculation (get familiar with working out concentrations, volumes etc) or it may be reading data off a graph and discussing what it shows. The hardest part is staying calm, so take your time and make sure to carefully read all the information before you start.

  3. Ethics: It’s really important to be aware of the four pillars of medical ethics and how these can be applied to real life situations. Even if they don’t directly ask for them, try to mention the pillars in your answer as it shows you have wider knowledge and helps give a structured response.

  4. Discussing motivation for medicine: Be careful to avoid stock responses here. They will have heard a hundred ‘i want to help people’ phrases - so try to frame it in a different way. Obviously helping others is a key element but try to think about what aspect of helping people is specific to medicine. It can also be good to show you acknowledge the challenges of the profession, and how you would cope with these.

  5. Discussing your work experience/volunteering: this is a really common one so have at least three learning points from work/volunteering experiences. Make it clear what you learnt and how this will enable you to be a good doctor.

  6. NHS knowledge: being aware of the current issues within the NHS is key. You won’t be expected to know the system inside out but do some research and have an idea of what you would do to improve certain areas. For example, increasing social care to reduce bed blocking.

  7. Current affairs in medicine: again, they’re not going to test you on niche medical research, but having at least one current topic to talk about will show you have a broader interest in medicine.

  8. Knowledge of the Uni/city: this one catches a lot of people off guard, as it may not have been your top choice and you might not know a lot about the uni. Do a bit of research on the area, what you like about it, and how the teaching style would suit you.

Remember, these interviews are about thinking on your feet and showing you have effective communication and critical thinking skills. It can be tempting to reel off pre-prepared answers but the most important thing is to think through exactly what they’re asking of you. Be confident, empathetic and take pride in the fact you’ve got this far!

Good luck, you’ll smash it!

Jess Beresford 5th year medic

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