MMI Interview Questions at Birmingham Medical School

What are the Birmingham MMI Interview Questions on?

Author: Zayra Morales

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What are the Birmingham MMI Interview Questions on?

Firstly, how does the MMI system work at Birmingham?

MMI interviews use a series of very short interviews in succession to get a broader image of the candidate applying. Each mini-interview or ‘station’ that the applicant is sent to will have a different set of questions or challenge to deal with.

The number of stations with at MMI sessions vary from university to university. At the Birmingham MMI interview, there will be 7 stations in total, and each mini-interview will last 6 minutes.

For each section, students will be given 2 minutes to prepare beforehand before going in. This makes Birmingham MMI interview questions and process one of the shorter MMI session universities. Each year they interview 1,200 students for the 5-year Medicine course, and 100 students for the 4-year course.


What does Birmingham University say about its selection process?

While official statements from universities can be vague at the best of times, the University of Birmingham itself states that the best candidates will demonstrate:


  • Motivation for medicine
  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Self-insight
  • Ethical reasoning
  • Data interpretation
  • Ability to evaluate information

In addition to this, they also state that:

Whilst it’s not possible to ‘revise’ for MMIs, preparation for interview should include keeping abreast of medical issues appearing in the news and media and discussing and debating them with friends and family. Relevant work experience can also offer great insight into the demands placed on staff, the strategies staff employ to handle difficult situations and the benefits they obtain from caring for people and working in teams.”

The University of Birmingham on Medicine Interviews

It can be difficult to know how to take all of these different criterions into account when going in for an interview. For example, it can be difficult knowing how to go into an interview with the intention of showing ‘self-insight’! For this reason, it is helpful to look more closely at the style of questions actually asked at the MMI stations at Birmingham Medical School.


Understanding the different Birmingham MMI interview questions will give candidates more time to get acquainted with the style of the interviews and know what sort of thing to expect, rather than being caught off guard by the unorthodox method that the MMIs use.


It is definitively worth thinking about the emphasis that Birmingham puts on medical experience, however. If applicants are lacking in this before applying for medical school, they should be thinking about how they can get relevant experience that they can use and talk about in their interviews. Personal experience has become very important in the process of a medical student selection these days.


Why are MMI interviews used by medical schools? Find out here >>>


Do we know anything specific about the Birmingham MMI interview questions during each session?

While the stations in MMI sessions are often quite random, Birmingham offers a very specific set of stations with pre-selected roles that you can get to know in advance. These seven stations are as follows:


Students will be given an ethical dilemma and asked to describe how they would go about solving the problem. They must do so with reference to the patients’ rights, whilst also keeping their best interest in mind, and trying to reach a solution that is in keeping with general medical codes of conduct. No prior knowledge of the specific situation will be required, but the student will instead be assessed on their ability to think reasonably and carefully.

A good point to make is that your child should be aware of the four pillars of ethics and how they can use this understanding in answer to the ethics interview questions.


Motivation and Insight into Medicine: (Challenges faced by practitioners)

Students will be asked to discuss the difficulties that face practitioners today. They may also be asked about their past experience in medical care, and how this has helped them to understand the challenges of modern medicine today.


Data Interpretation:

The student will be given some data relating to a doctor/patient scenario. They will then be asked to analyse and interpret this data in relation to the particular scenario they are given. This station will likely include some simple calculation. It aims to test the student’s numerical accuracy and understanding of the importance of mathematics in the medical field.


Interpretive Task: (Engagement with a student)

At this station, the student will be asked to have a short conversation with a 4th or 5th-year medical student. The conversation will be on a pre-set topic and will have some sort of objective to reach. The topics themselves are typically on ethical or philosophical matters, but revision of the topic is not necessary.


This station is primarily designed to assess the student’s communication skills, especially in situations where they are meeting someone totally new. This is a common part of the medical practice, and so interviewers will be looking out for clarity, etiquette, respect, and engagement.


Motivation and Insight into Medicine: Personal qualities

Here the student will be asked about their past work experience in medicine, and what they have learned about people working professionally in this field. This station assesses the student’s ideas about professional conduct and their understanding of doctor/patient relationships.


Dealing with Personal and Ethical Challenges:

The student will be given a difficult doctor/patient scenario and will be assessed on their personal qualities in their response, and their insight into how they deal with an ethical dilemma


Interactive Task: Role play

At this station, the student will be given a situation and a role to assume prior to the interview, which will take place with an actor. Typically the actor takes on the role of a patient, and the student takes on the role of a doctor with something difficult to explain to them, or bad news to tell them. This assesses the student’s communication, professionalism, and compassion in a much more realistic way.

If your child is aware and prepares for these types of Birmingham MMI interview questions they’ll do just fine. If they need further guidance, support and practice from medical experts who can provide the skills and strategies to do well in an interview then look below at our MMI programme.

Personalised MMI Tutoring Programmes

MMIs are different from your usual interviews… it’s not just about sitting down in front of the same people while you continually get asked the standard interview questions. No, MMIs are slightly different whereby there are different scenarios targeting different aspects of your child’s knowledge, skills, and aptitudes to be a doctor. It’s why it’s important your child is given the best tutoring on how to prepare for this type of interview. We’ve got a dedicated MMI programme for this very reason which helps students build their interview strategies and ensure they are given the best chances of impressing the interviewers and securing their place at University.

Want to know more? Check it out or get in touch for more tutoring options for your child.

Does your Child know the Different Medical School Interview Questions and Scenarios?

If your child is behind on their interview preparations and they want to look at some example interview questions before they walk into that interview room, then you’ve both come to the right place. We’ve listed the types of medical school interview questions and scenarios you can expect in an MMI medical school interview.

You can also find further interview information and top tips on perfecting your interview strategy (or even tips just to calm your nerves!) in our blogs. See for yourself…

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