MMIs are a contrast to the older and more traditional style of a “panel” Interviews. Understanding the format and what scenarios may come up is key for MMI success.
Many UK medical schools use them now so they can assess a candidate’s qualities and judge how they react to different situations. They are an effective way to test multiple skills, traits and insights that a traditional panel Interview probably could not. In this ultimate MMI guide, we will take you through what MMIs are, the scenarios that are used and how to prepare for them.
What Are MMIs?
An MMI, or Multiple Mini-Interview, is a style of Interview where the candidate undergoes a series of small Interviews in rapid succession. The Interviews are a series of stations with different scenarios that candidates have to engage with. This is good for many reasons including:
MMIs are so different to normal Interviews. This means it is vital to prepare for them to maximise your chances of receiving your Medicine offers.
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How do they work?
In an MMI, you have multiple stations that last around 10 minutes each. When that 10 minutes is up, you move on to a new station and a new interviewer. They also tend to be slightly more interactive with the tasks to perform in each station. Each mini Interview is different. It may be a series of questions or a role-play situation involving actors that the applicant needs to respond to.
Where in a panel Interview you could expect questions like “why Medicine and not nursing?” or “What style of teaching does this school use and why would it suit you?”; in an MMI you could expect a station such as discuss the pros and cons of an opt-out system for organ donation. At the same time, you could be expected to attempt to build a model from Lego!
Which Medical Schools Use MMIs?
Many different UK medical schools use MMIs and some, who usually use MMIs, decided to use panel Interviews over MMIs for online Interviews because of COVID, such as Sheffield Medical School and UCLan. Here are the med schools that used MMIs in 2021:
What are the MMI scenarios?
It can be difficult knowing how to tackle the MMI. The questions or scenarios that you will have to deal with will all be at separate stations, all with a very particular focus in mind. The following list of scenarios uses collected data and feedback from the experiences of various students:
At these stations, students will be given a difficult ethical situation to respond to. They must show consideration towards the patient and everyone involved, whilst also adhering to proper medical conduct, and trying to reach the most ethical and moral compromise possible in a difficult but very plausible real-life scenario. Here are some examples:
Breaking Bad News
At these stations, the student will be tested on their ability to show compassion and understanding in a ‘real life’ situation. These stations often involve actors, who will assume the role of a patient, friend, or neighbour. The student will assume the role of a doctor or a friend. They will be told that they have to tell the actor some bad news, which will likely make the actor react strongly.
Students should remember to be considerate, friendly, and compassionate to the person they are breaking the bad news too.
The style of this station simply subjects the applicant to a traditional style ‘question and answer’ Interview, which will focus on typical categories of questions relating to medicine, or the candidate’s suitability for the position. Some basic example questions you might expect include:
Data Analysis Stations
This style of station is based mostly on unseen material that the student will have looked at for a few minutes before the actual Interview. This tests the student’s ability to take in new information and analyse it in a meaningful and intelligent way. Some example data analysis stations are:
Teamwork Tasks With Other Applicants
This type of station may involve more than one student, or just a single student and an Interviewer/actor. They will be given a task as a group that needs to be solved using teamwork and strong clear communication skills. Here is an example MMI teamwork task:
Dealing With A Co-Worker
These stations are similar to those involving breaking bad news to an actor. Students are placed in a role-play situation involving them (acting as a doctor) and a co-worker of some description. In this scenario, the doctor needs to talk to their co-worker about something they might be doing wrong, whilst remaining compassionate and calm. Here are some example scenarios:
Explanation And Communication
Explanation and communication scenarios are integral skills for any future doctor; hence why these skills are tested. Here are some explanation scenarios:
How to Prepare
The most effective way to prepare for MMIs is by going through as many different scenarios as possible. The aim with MMI preparation is to have an understanding of the abstract-style questions such as the typical Interview questions and scenario-based questions such as empathy tests; knowledge stations such as what hospitals you could be placed at whilst studying but also knowledge of the healthcare system and laws in the UK.
When going through the different scenarios, ask a friend, parent or teacher to help you with role-play stations, and situational judgement. You could have them ask you how you’d react when you see a colleague drinking alcohol whilst on placement. Whenever you have a free second, get your friends and family to ask you questions and just keep practising.
If there’s more than one of you at your school who are applying for Medicine (or Dentistry), it would be worth considering that you could help each other and work together. Share resources, have practice sessions together and give each other constructive criticism. Even if you have only a couple of times a week when you’re both free, it can really help to just sit down with someone and discuss an issue such as organ donation – each takes a different stance, set a timer and see how you get on.
Final MMI Tips
It’s undeniable that the MMI is an effective way to assess multiple skills, traits and insights that a traditional panel Interview probably could not. To have the best experience during the MMI, make sure you put some time in to research the medical school’s MMI process, practise with friends and family, and on the day, try and keep calm!
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