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  • Writer's pictureMegan Richardson

Mastering the Imperial Asynchronous and Synchronous Interviews 2023

A tool for preparing for the Imperial Asynchronous and Synchronous Interview for Medicine



The Imperial asynchronous and synchronous interviews 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 mastermedprep@gmail.com



1. Record your answer to these four questions:



What are the duties of a doctor? (Understanding the role of a doctor)

Why do you want to go to Imperial Medical School specifically? (Imperial and contribution to school of medicine)

Are you a leader or a follower? (Teamwork and Leadership)

Define resilience. Are you a resilient person? (Resilience)





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


What are the duties of a doctor?




Positive Answer Traits

  • Frame’s answer around GMC guidelines and Good Medical Practice

  • Has relevant experience or can talk about these two resources (recommended by Imperial Medical School due to relaxed work experience rules, given the challenges and barriers to getting clinical experience) NHS Health Careers website & Working in Health YouTube Channel

  • Uses a STARR or PEE style reflection

  • Links everything back to their own future career

  • Candidate is enthusiastic

  • Candidate sets a good speaking space

  • Candidate sets a professional tone and avoids slang




Potential negative answer traits

  • Candidate has a loose idea of what a doctors duties are but does not relate back to GMC guidelines

  • Candidate struggles to recall what a doctor does

  • Candidate does not reflect on their own experiences



Example


Intro

I am going to answer this question referring to the GMC’s guidance of the ‘duties of a doctor in the workplace’ but also incorporating my own work experience, in which I feel I’ve really seen what doctors do in their day to day.

GMC guidance

The GMC states that doctors main duty is for the care and safety of their patients. They should also be engaging with their colleagues, contributing to discussions and taking action if patient safety is compromised. As per the GMC’s Good Medical Practice, doctors must keep their knowledge, skills and performance up to date, they must be good communicators, good team workers and finally, they should maintain trust in the profession by showing respect for patients and treating patients and colleagues without discrimination.

STARR style reflection on the candidate’s own experiences

In my own work experience I really felt that the doctors put the patient’s care and safety at the heart of everything they did. For example one particular doctor allayed a patient’s fears about their treatment by thoroughly explaining at a level the patient understood; the doctor made sure they sat down so they were on the level of the patient and used an empathetic tone. The doctor was thinking about the patient’s care, making sure the patient understood and felt comfortable in order to facilitate informed consent and to alleviate the patient’s worries through communication and empathy. In the future, I plan to utilise, reflect on and hone these skills so that I can also learn how to carry out the duties of a doctor in the best way possible.


Why do you want to go to Imperial Medical School specifically?



Model Mark Scheme

  • Candidate talks about teaching styles and the course structure

  • Candidate is aware of societies that they would like to join

  • Candidate comments on location in some way and why they would like to be in London specifically

  • Candidate demonstrates that they will engage with student life

  • Candidate is enthusiastic and excited about the prospect of being an Imperial medical student

  • Candidate sets a good speaking space

  • Candidate sets a professional tone and avoids slang


Potential negative answer traits

  • Candidate has very little idea of what the course entails

  • Candidate does not mention the area or the university itself

  • Candidate does not demonstrate that they will integrate into university life and focuses purely on the course


Example


The course

I know that Imperial integrates Case Based Learning into their course alongside early patient exposure. This greatly appeals to me as I think CBL is a great space to practise team working skills but also to bring context to lectures. Early patient exposure will allow me to develop my communication skills over time so that I can hone my consulting skills, ready for my clinical years.

University Life & Societies

I’m really looking forward to contributing to University life. One society that particularly interests me is the orchestra. I know that Imperial’s symphony orchestra is considered one of the best University orchestra’s - being involved in such a high performing society would be a really exciting and fun new challenge. I’ve been playing violin throughout school and really enjoy the social aspects of playing with others. I look forward to meeting others this way and getting involved!

The Area

Being a medical student in London is a really exciting prospect, especially given the diverse range of patients and conditions I will encounter. There are also countless research opportunities, with most of the NHS’ research coming from London. Having written my EPQ on global health, I’d be really keen to get involved in research and learn from those carrying out research in this topic. I know Imperial offers Global Health as an intercalation also, something I’d definitely be interested in but similarly I'm open and excited to explore new topics further. I know I would thrive as a medical student at Imperial and would be delighted to receive an offer.



Are you a leader or a follower?


Model Mark Scheme

  • Candidate explains they are skilled at being both a leader and a follower

  • Appropriate examples of leadership

  • Appropriate examples of following someone else's lead

  • STARR model used

  • Good reflection on why and how this links to medicine

  • Student is enthusiastic

  • Student sets a good speaking space

  • Student sets a professional tone and avoids slang

Potential negative answer traits

  • Candidate says they are a leader or a follower rather than both

Example


Leadership

I would say I can adapt to be either a leader or a follower, and enjoy being both. Leadership is really important in medicine and a skill that medical students and doctors utilise daily. Medical students might be leaders when being the chair of a CBL group for example, and doctors when making decisions on a patient's treatment. Leading those younger than me at St John’s Ambulance has taught me excellent leadership skills. For example, when leading our younger groups, I found that being encouraging and enthusiastic helped everyone engage and have fun. I felt I’d been a really good leader and look forward to implicating these skills in my future career and developing them further.


Following

When on work experience, I had to be a follower, listening to the healthcare professionals and engaging by asking questions. I learnt that being a good follower involves actively listening and taking on board feedback so that you can learn best. Throughout my experience on the ward, I thought about questions I could ask to expand my knowledge and learnt a lot from the medical students doing the same. One of the medical students said that a learning tool that helps them is to write down any thoughts or learning points as soon as they get home, so that they can take action on it later and not forget. I thought this was a really simple but productive way to learn and a trait of a good follower. I know in medical school and beyond I will need to utilise these skills as part of the lifelong learning process.


Define resilience. Are you a resilient person? (Resilience)



Model Mark Scheme

  • Candidate defines resilience

  • Candidate utilises the STARR structure, demonstrating a time they have shown resilience

  • Candidates links all of this back to medicine

Potential negative answer traits

  • Candidate does not link this question back to medicine

  • Candidate does not talk about a time they’ve shown resilience or explain that they are a resilient person



Example


Resilience, to me, is the ability to adapt and overcome adversity. I strongly believe I am a resilient person. There are plenty of examples of when I have had to show resilience in my medical application but I think I learnt a pertinent lesson that I will apply to my studies in medical school, when retaking my driving test. Driving was difficult for me, I felt it was a new skill and not one I felt naturally proficient in. On failing my first driving test I wrote down a list of ideas to actively improve my driving such as getting my family to take me driving, looking into strategies to calm nerves before a practical exam and making sure I was reflecting and writing goals after each driving lesson so I could go into the subsequent lesson with direction on what I wanted to improve. As a result of this active approach and growth mindset, I passed my second driving test! Resilience has really helped me to achieve my goals, and is imperative in a medical school when taking on a wide variety of difficult things such as preparing for exams and balancing a busy schedule. I’m sure I will utilise an active and reflective approach and continue to be a resilient person.


Do you want to go through this with a tutor? Book here

Have you got questions? Just enjoyed the blog and want us to make more like it? Let us know at: mastermedprep@gmail.com

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