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  • Amy van Dongen

GUIDE: Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) Interview Explained - 2023

You’ve secured an interview with Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) – congratulations! Now, let’s turn this interview into an offer. It’s important that you do some general preparation for all your interviews, however, it’s even more vital to understand the format of each specific medical interview you will face. The better you know the format, the better you can prepare for the questions you will face, and the better your chances of securing that place.

Brighton and Sussex Medical School Selection Criteria

BSMS has three parts to its selection criteria:

  1. Academic requirements (GCSEs and A-Levels)

  2. BMAT score

  3. Interview

If applicants meet the GCSE requirements, they will then be ranked according to their BMAT score, with the top-ranking candidates being invited to interview.

30% of interview invitations for interviews are based on contextual data flags. Applicants with contextual data will be ranked separately when deciding who will be interviewed.

For more details about the selection criteria, click HERE

Brighton and Sussex Interview format

They will hold the BSMS interviews in January 2023, and will once again run online via Zoom, as they did in both 2021 and 2022. The interview will be in MMI format and will be composed of 5 separate discussions between you and the interviewer.

Each discussion will be 10 minutes long, with a 1-minute break between each. While still a format interview process, in the BSMS MMIs, each will be more relaxed than other MMIs. The discussion-based approach is designed to put students at ease, so if your interviewer seems to ask lots of questions, don’t panic!

BSMS has released a YouTube video with an example of a discussion that could happen in your interview. They describe this discussion as being what they would expect from an “Excellent” candidate.

Brighton and Sussex Medical School Interview Questions; What do They Assess?

BSMS specifically recommend that applicants read the Medical Schools Council (MSC) “Core Values and Attributes” document to prepare for their interview. They also suggest that applicants give the MSC “Work Experience Guidelines” a read.

Although BSMS don’t say specifically what you will encounter during your interview, highlighting these documents would suggest that they will focus on 2 things:

  1. Reflecting on what attributes you have that will make you a good medical student/doctor, and why these are important in practice

  2. Reflecting on work experience

Core values and attributes – BSMS

BSMS may ask you what attributes you have that you believe will make you a good medical student and future doctor. It is important that whatever attribute you pick, you are able to articulate WHY that quality is so important in medicine, but also try to give an example of HOW you have demonstrated that quality in real life.

You might also be asked to discuss a specific quality, rather than choose one. A similar structure will apply here, by explaining why that value is important, and then how you have shown it in your life.

As well as reading the Core Values and Attributes document laid out by the MSC, I would also recommend giving the GMC “Good Medical Practice” guidelines a read, as this is the document that all doctors will follow to ensure they are always doing the best for their patients. There’s no need to read the entire thing, however, look at the four domains outlined in the guidance and reflect on why they are important in practice. These are good domains to reference in your interview, as it shows you have taken a real interest in which qualities you need to develop to be the best doctor you can be!

Work experience – Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS)

BSMS will likely ask you about any work experience or volunteering that you have completed in the run-up to your interview. To prepare for your interview, it would be useful for you to write down any experiences you have had that were meaningful for some reason – did you witness a doctor show good problem-solving skills, effective teamwork, and empathy towards a patient? Any small interaction you have witnessed or had will have something important to reflect on.

As well as thinking about positive things you have seen in work experience, also try and reflect on any shortcomings. As a medical student and doctor, it is equally important to reflect on negative experiences and interactions as well as positive ones. In your interview, you could try and reflect on what could have been done better in a certain scenario, and why it would be important to improve in that case.

Ethical Questions: BSMS

Presenting ethical cases may be another way that BSMS could test you on your knowledge of the values expected of a doctor. Remember to think about the domains in Good Medical Practice and ensure you are clued up on key ethical principles so that you can answer effectively.

To sum up…

The most important thing in a medical school interview is that you reflect on what you have seen and the interactions you have had. Try to write these down to make a comprehensive list of things you want to talk about, and then practice articulating them to someone else. Try not to over-rehearse though – you’re best off just practicing how you will say something once, and then trusting yourself. The discussion format of the BSMS interview will mean you can’t just recite your answers anyway!

To further strengthen your application book interview tutoring with us to make your application the strongest it can be. To test yourself in a simulation of the real thing, book a 1-1 Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) mock interview with us today. We have built this using the information published by the university online.


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