Medical school interview questions, whether asked in a traditional/panel, multiple mini interview (MMI) or modified personal interview (MPI) format can be divided into distinct categories.
These categories include moral and ethical dilemmas, bioethical dilemmas, dilemmas of cooperation and collaboration, non-judgmental approach to healthcare, interpersonal skills, medico-legal understanding, professional and social responsibility, knowledge of problem based learning, knowledge of global and national health issues, patient-centered and multi-disciplinary healthcare, informed consent, patient autonomy, and evidence-based decision making.
Regardless of the type or category of question, your answer will be evaluated based on its overall thoughtfulness, maturity and how clearly, coherently and creatively the answer was provided.
In essence, it is your approach to answering the question rather than your actual answer that matters.
The most important aspect of answering such questions is having the ability to approach the scenario from as many different perspectives as possible. This means, in answering your question you have to consider the ripple effect that your decision will have on all the parties involved in the scenario. Furthermore, the admissions committee wants to see if you have considered all social, legal, ethical and moral aspects prior to formulating a response.
In answering interview questions consider the following:
Have you placed the scenario into one of the above-mentioned categories (i.e. Is this an ethical or moral dilemma, a patient autonomy scenario, or a situation where one is required to provide informed consent to the patient, etc.)?
Have you identified all the parties involved in the scenario and those who can be affected by the overall picture?
Have you considered the perspective of all the parties involved in the scenario? Have you considered all ethical, legal, moral, scientific, etc. arguments in the scenario?
- Identify how your decision will affect not only the parties involved (e.g. patient and his/her family, the doctor, the nurse, other colleagues, etc.) but also your profession and society as a whole.
Once you have considered all the available information, take a stance, based on the best evidence provided and make a strong, ethical, creative and mindful argument for or against.
Prove to the committee members that your decision or solution will solve the problem at hand. Be practical, professional, and ETHICAL.
The admissions committee simply wants to know if you have the maturity of mind to make sound decisions.
In other words, can you be placed in a complex situation, be able to gather all the required information, weigh the varying scientific, ethical, moral, etc., arguments and perspective, AND come to a decision that is practical while keeping the best interest of all parties in mind. And more importantly, can you be friendly, open-minded, approachable, personable, warm and empathetic?
At BeMo, our team of medical school admissions experts and researchers, including senior medical school students, practicing professionals and PhD holders, have designed an evidence-based approach to help you navigate through a mock interview so that you will be able to create a blue print for approaching the various categories of questions that you will encounter on your interview date. With BeMo’s approach you will be prepared for ANY possible question type and scenario!
To practice with sample MMI questions, click here.
To practice with sample panel/traditional interview questions, click here.