Medical school interviews may be stressful, but they are a chance to show off your skills and explain to the interviewing committee why you are the best choice for their school. Everyone’s goal is to ace the interview, but the key to this is proper preparation. Luckily for you, MasterMedPrep has compiled everything you need to know for your interview for the University of Birmingham Medical School.
University of Birmingham Medical School Interview Format
According to the Birmingham Medical School’s website, they will be conducting all interviews online for this year. This is an interview format that might be slightly different from what you expected, but you can still shine and leave a lasting impression without being there in person.
Preparing for Birmingham Medical School’s Online Interview
The online format requires some additional preparation from you to ensure that your interview goes according to plan. You need to check that your webcam, microphone, and internet connection work well, and be sure to use a device other than your cell phone. You will receive information regarding your Zoom call, so make sure that they are saved somewhere. If you do not have an account with Zoom, create one and become familiar with the interface.
You will want to do all of this before the day of your interview. Having all of this checked and ready beforehand will ensure that you do not have any stressful situations that can throw off your confidence.
Birmingham Medical School and Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs)
Birmingham Medical School will still be utilizing the Multiple Mini Interview format for the online interview, which consists of multiple stations that allow them to analyze various aspects of your character. While there are typically seven stations with their MMIs, Birmingham Medical School will only be using two for their interviews, Resilience and Probity and Role Play, with either station being the first one you see.
The timing is as follows: you will spend 10 minutes in each station; 2 minutes readings, 6 minutes in the interview, and 2 minutes in preparation for the next station to start.
Now let’s get into the preparation for the two stations you will experience. The good news is that you only have two stations to prepare for, but with only two stations, you really need to make sure that you nail them.
We’ll go through the two types, what to expect, how the questions may look, and how to ace it.
Resilience and Probity Station
This section evaluates how you cope with challenges and respond when faced with certain ethical problems. This station is incredibly important because it allows the interviewing team to determine your character, look at how you problem solve, and see the kind of doctor you will become.
In preparation for this station, be sure to read GMC’s ‘Achieving Good Medical Practice Document,’ which emphasizes how graduating medical students are expected to behave professionally. It also discusses what to do regarding patient safety, which is an excellent point to bring up if the prompt touches upon that.
Let’s walk through an example problem.
Example Scenario: You are about to begin your ward round, but a nurse comes to you with concerns that your superior is drunk. What would you do?
For these questions, you always want to obtain more information first. Ask the nurse what made them think that the doctor was drunk. Did they see the doctor drink, did they see concerning behavior themselves, or did they hear it from someone else? It’s crucial to obtain as much information as possible before moving on.
As mentioned before, patient safety is one of the primary driving forces of what your actions should be. Always mention how the patients can be affected, both past patients the doctor has already worked with and those they would work with in the future. In situations where patient safety may have already been compromised or could quickly be in harm’s way, it is important to emphasize the urgency of the situation and how promptly action must be taken.
The biggest thing to remember when answering these questions is that your answer should be well thought out, not just a single sentence. The interviewer doesn’t just want you to give them an answer; they want you to walk them through your problem-solving process. Layout the pros and cons of each side of the coin, but always make a very clear decision in the end.
The role-playing station allows the interviewing team to see how you handle certain situations, not just how you say you would. You may complete the interactions with a trained actor or medical school student, and there will also be an observer there.
One of the most common focuses for this station is how well you can show empathy, and a common prompt involves breaking bad news to someone.
Example Scenario: Your patient’s biopsy results came back as cancerous. Let them know the results of the biopsy.
You will be given the scenario beforehand, so make sure to read it in detail. Consider what role you play in the scenario and the part of the person acting with you. Are they your superior, inferior, peer, or patient? This information will influence the way you converse with them.
It’s also important to fully immerse yourself in the scenario. If you are breaking bad news, you need to ensure that your facial reactions match what is going on around you. Be sure to practice multiple scenarios so that you can become more comfortable with this format.
Make sure that there is some lead up to the bad news and a warning that it is coming. Something as simple as “I’m sorry to say” provides a heads up that bad news is coming. Once you have shared the bad news, in this case the biopsy results, pause and allow time for them to react to the information.
Breaking bad news is a particularly challenging scenario and we here at MasterMedPrep have devised a structure to make you succeed in delivering bad news no matter what the scenario.
A virtual interview might have you concerned about your Birmingham Medical School interview, but don’t let this format throw you. Make sure to practice various scenarios ahead of time and have your entire interview station set up to avoid any last minutes stressors. With the proper preparation, you will be ready for whatever may come your way on your interview day.
Put all that you have learned in this guide to the Birmingham Medicine Interview into practice with a MasterMedPrep Mock Interview!