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  • Writer's pictureMegan Richardson

King's College London (KCL) Medicine Interview: A Guide to Specific KCL Questions

The King’s College London Medicine Interview can seem daunting but this tool is a really active way to prepare.

The best way to use this is to record yourself answering the following questions, then, use these model mark schemes and example answers to mark yourself.

I really do hope you find this helpful. If you did, let us know by emailing

1. Record your answer to these three questions:

Why might a medical team fail?

Should all doctors have to carry out research?

What did you learn on your work experience?

2. Mark using the mark schemes and model answers below:

Why might a medical team fail?

Positive Answer Traits

  • Candidate details a famous case from the media

  • Candidate details a personal example

  • GMC’s Good Medical Practice is discussed

Negative Answer Traits

  • Candidate gives no examples

  • Failure to link back to future career and how this affects the student themselves

Top Tip: Always link things back to you and your future practice - remember every question will have been asked for a reason so try and think about why you’ve been asked the question and link it back to medicine!

Example Answer

There are lots of integral skills detailed in the GMC’s Good Medical Practice that make a good medical team. Members of a working team communicate well, they work collaboratively in order to protect patients, they have leaders where needed, and they act with empathy, honesty and integrity. Finally, they speak up when patient safety is compromised or when something needs to be addressed within the team to ensure patient safety. Any one or multiple of these attributes not being present, can cause a team to fail.

One particular case in medicine where a team has failed is the issues within the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, 2005-2009 as detailed in The Francis Reports. There was poor communication between staff members, and lots of examples of poor care for example, unanswered call bells, something that compromised patient safety.

It’s really important that all the attributes of a working team detailed in the GMCs Good Medical Practice are met and in The Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust example, we see poor patient care being carried out. Sometimes teams do fail for any number of reasons and sometimes these are reasons external to the team members control, such as pressures within the NHS system, when these things happen it is really important to speak up as soon as there is a problem so that things can be addressed.

In my future as a clinician I will endeavour to contribute to teams with good communication, empathy, honesty, integrity and leadership. If things do not go to plan and a team begins to fail I will make sure I always speak up in order to keep my future patient’s safe. I know that from my first day of medical school I will be working in teams like CBL groups and I look forward to furthering my teamwork skills throughout my career.

Should all doctors have to carry out research?

Positive Answer Traits

  • Candidate explains what research encompasses beyond clinical academic medicine

  • Candidate has knowledge on the GMC’s guidelines

  • Examples of times candidate has demonstrated commitment to evidence based medicine

Negative Answer Traits

  • Doesn’t recognise importance of research

  • Unjustified argument

Example Answer

Research plays an imperative part of every doctor's career. In the GMC’s Normalising Research, it is detailed that “all doctors and other clinicians should have time protected in their job to carry out professional activities like leading research” but it then also goes on to explain that so many doctors/clinicians end up deprioritising this (understandably) due to the pressures of the job.

Research is really important, but it doesn’t just mean undertaking a clinical academic career so that you can carry out research yourself, although this is something I’m interested in. Research could encompass so many things; being able to help patients access clinical trials, consenting patients for research, coming up with new ideas for future research, keeping your knowledge, skills and performance up to date (as per GMC’s Good Medical Practice) by reading the latest research, in order to best help your patients.

I’m really committed to Evidence-Based Medicine; after meeting patients with Alzheimer’s Disease on work experience, I read Somebody I Used to Know by Wendy Mitchell which details her lived experience of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Dementia. I then went on to write an EPQ on Socially Assistive Robotics in the treatment of patients with Alzheimers. I find it really exciting that I can develop topics of interest and hopefully lead research in the future but, I also plan to consent patients for research that could help them and to keep myself up to date with the latest research. I am currently reading the Student BMJ but look forward to developing my medical knowledge so that medical journals are more accessible to me. Evidence-Based Medicine is something I would really love to learn more about at King’s College London, I’m really interested in your intercalation options such as Healthcare Genetics and Genomics and if I did an intercalation, I would really look to get involved in research opportunities.

So in answer to the question, I do think all doctors should carry out research and it’s a part of my career I am really excited about, but the term ‘research’ should be thoroughly explained as to everything that term encompasses, so that doctors do not perceive this as having to undertake a clinical academic career, and can instead find a way in which they enjoy research best. That said, this is only a possibility if there can be protected time in a clinicians schedule in which they can partake in research, this should not be something doctor’s have to do unless there is an allocated slot otherwise this would be unfair with the enormous pressure that doctors are under.

What did you learn on your work experience?

Positive Answer Traits

  • Candidate utilises STARR model

  • Candidate is reflective

  • Mention of the GMC’s Good Medical Practice

Negative Answer Traits

  • Unstructured

  • Lack of evidence of work experience/volunteering

Example Answer

My work experience was really enlightening; it not only allowed me to see the role of a doctor in action but also to reflect on the skills a doctor needs as detailed in the GMC’s Good Medical Practice. It was just such an interesting week all in all, and really solidified my decision to study medicine!

One thing that really struck me was the way that doctors combined their academic knowledge with adaptive communication skills. One patient was really struggling to adhere to her medication, so the doctor explored the patient’s concerns. The patient explained that she didn't want to take medication when she didn’t understand what it did. The doctor showed empathy by pulling up a chair so she was on the patient’s level and adapted an explanation to fit her understanding, checking in with her as she explained what the medication did in layperson terminology. This required academic knowledge of how the medication worked, empathy and communication adaptation. All in all I learnt that adapting your communication is really imperative to providing good patient care. I also just found the doctor really inspiring and I want to do as she did with my future patients.

There are many more examples but this is just one thing I learnt from work experience.

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