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University of Sheffield Medicine Interview Questions Explained 2022 – Full guide.


Sheffield medical school releases the interview questions for their medicine interview before the interview. The questions for 2022 entry are the same as for 2021 entry. We have put together a guide going through each of the questions in the Sheffield Medicine Interview in detail to help you to prepare.


Preparation is key for success in the Sheffield medical school interview. After reading our guide, we strongly recommend that you book a mock interview with us to put this into practice and get some feedback from our medical interview experts!


Introduction to Sheffield Interview


Be ready for follow up questions.

  • People have found this tough. The key to success in follow up questions is to have good experience and to be well-prepped.

  • Fake the confidence if need be but do not show weakness in the interview. You have got this!

Aim for 3.5-minute responses.


General advice for Sheffield


You will likely be interviewed by one medical school admissions interviewer (+ one medical student).


You must be prepared to answer ALL the questions. You will only be asked these questions (+ follow up questions on your content). You may not be asked all questions.


You MUST be prepared to answer follow up questions.

  • You may be interrupted when giving your answer and asked to elaborate on a statement that you made. You may be asked follow-up questions after giving your answer. Do not bring anything into the answer that you are not confident answering further questions on.


Question 1 - If you are successful in your application, you may be spending 5 years living and studying in Sheffield. What can you tell me about the City of Sheffield and the University of Sheffield? What do you know about the Sheffield MBChB curriculum?


Generally, you want to come across as enthusiastic as possible in this answer. You want to show off the research that you have done as well as link it back to ‘why Sheffield’. Ensure that anything that you mention you can talk about, and answer follow up questions. I have written a lot for this question for a reason. It is this question and the follow up questions after it that have caught students off-guard, especially as it is the first question. I want you to be over-prepared for this question!


Resources


1. Sheffield MBChB undergraduate course homepage - https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/2022/medicine-mbchb

2. Day in the life of a Sheffield medical student - https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/medicine/news/blog-day-life-medic-what-placement-really

3. Sheffield Medical School News - https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/medicine/news


Structuring this answer


Opinion based structure from the MasterMedPrep interview course:


Introduction -> main part -> conclusion. Find an example of how to structure this answer below.


Introduction = “Sheffield is my first-choice medical school and city. I did a lot of research before applying to medical schools and I kept being drawn to Sheffield as somewhere that I not only want to live, but also as somewhere that I believe will help me become the best doctor that I can be. I will talk about the city of Sheffield and the university of Sheffield. Then I will talk about the Sheffield MBChB curriculum.”


City of Sheffield = “I believe that Sheffield as a city has everything that I want as a student. Sheffield is the 4th largest city in England… (ADD 1-2 from list below of GENUINE INTERESTS)”.


University of Sheffield = “There are 3 things that set Sheffield university out. That is its reputation, its extra-curricular opportunities, and its curriculum.”

  • Reputation = (ADD one sentence)

  • Extra-curricular Activities = (ADD one sentence).

  • Sheffield MBChB Curriculum= “As I said before, the Sheffield MBChB is one of the three things that made the university of Sheffield stand out to me when I was researching where to apply. I will talk about my favourite aspects of the Sheffield curriculum and then go on to explain the four phases that make up the Sheffield curriculum.


Sheffield MBChB Curriculum Part 1 = choose three things to talk about from Sheffield MBChB ‘first section’. I recommend integrated teaching, chance to intercalate and early clinical experience/exposure.


Sheffield MBChB Curriculum Part 2 = “There are four phases that make up the Sheffield MBChB curriculum. Phase 1…”


Conclusion = “Sheffield has a lot to offer its medical students. I could talk further about my research, but ultimately it comes down to the fact that Sheffield is somewhere that I want to call home for at least 5 years, and it is somewhere that I could see myself staying and working as a doctor.”

  • (They want you to stay in the local area. Even if you do not think you want to stay in Sheffield, I would say that you see yourself in Sheffield for the long term. I.e. you want to stay there after university and train as a doctor in the local hospitals).


City of Sheffield


Sheffield is a city university so most of your time as a medical student will be spent in and around the city. Split this into more manageable sections as you see fit.


Please DO: sound passionate and enthusiastic, list a variety of reasons both academic and extracurricular, and show that you’ve done your research.

Please DO NOT: list reasons without further development or thought or give generic answers. INSTEAD – make the example personal to you by describing real life experiences.

Geography = Sheffield is the 4th biggest city in England and is found in north-central England. It is a city in South Yorkshire. Sheffield is a green city – lots of parks, gardens, and trees! Sheffield is also very hilly. Living in the city, you will get used to walking up hills. The city is next to the Peak District National Park – a third of the city lies within the Peak District National Park. This attracts lots of tourism. It is the only UK city with a National Park within its boundary. I personally would link this to my love of hiking, as that is a genuine passion of mine.


Demographics = Racial composition fairly typical of the UK = 84% White, 2.4% mixed race, 8% Asian, 3.6% Black… these numbers are not important. The largest age group is ages 20 – 24 years old (9%) due to the large student population. Talk about how these appeals to you. The city’s students mainly come from = University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University.


History = Historically, Sheffield was a heavily industrial city. Innovations around steel manufacturing helped Sheffield grow as an industrial town. More recently, Sheffield city is rapidly changing and undergoing projects to regenerate some of the more run-down parts of the city.


Retail = Sheffield is a major retail centre (IF you are going to talk about this, please do your research). Meadowhall shopping centre, located to the north of Sheffield close to the boundary with Rotherham and next to the M1 motorway, is a major regional shopping destination.


Sport = Big on football! Sheffield United (The Blades) and Sheffield Wednesday (the Owls). Sheffield was the site of the deadliest sports venue disaster in the United Kingdom, the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, when 96 Liverpool supporters were killed in a stampede and crush during an FA Cup semi-final at the venue.


Transport = Sheffield railway station is nice and well connected (from personal experience!). Very easy to get to Manchester, Leeds, London, Nottingham, Derby etc. Sheffield has a decent tram network = you can get to Meadowhall. As expected in any major UK city, it has good road/bus links. This is important to help you get around as a medical student.


Hospitals

  • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Split into two campuses.

  • West Campus = Royal Hallamshire Hospital, the Jessop Wing (maternity wing), Weston Park Hospital, Weston Park Hospital (specialist cancer treatment) and Charles Clifford Dental Hospital.

  • The Northern General Hospital is the second 'campus' and is a large facility in the northern suburbs of Sheffield, containing the city's A&E department. The medical school has a large new clinical skill centre here.

  • Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust provides healthcare for children within the city of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, and the UK. Very well known – take about a third of their patients from outside of Sheffield.


University of Sheffield


Reputation

  • University of Sheffield is a prestigious, Russel Group, research university.

  • The University of Sheffield has a global reputation for its exceptional teaching, impactful research, international outlook and outstanding student experience.

  • No 1 Students' Union in the UK

  • A Top 100 university – QS world rankings.

  • 6 Nobel Prize winners

  • Sir Hans Krebs = You may know the ‘Krebs cycle’ from biology?


Learning facilities

  • Outstanding academic research library. Access to thousands of e-books, books, journals etc.

  • ‘The Diamond’ = super modern study facility.

  • West Bank library.

  • Health Sciences Library (HSL) is located at the heart of the medical school.


Extra-curricular

  • Please do specific research. Choose a sport and society to join (you do not have to commit to this, but please do for the purpose of your interview).

  • Over 350 clubs and societies to get involved in.

  • Volunteering = Sheffield Student Union are particularly good. You will have opportunities to help charities should you choose to get involved.

  • Sport = fully equipped gym + swimming + bouldering wall.


Sheffield MBChB curriculum


I would split this answer into two sections. First section = generally what you like about the curriculum. The key here is to relate the points you make to yourself. An example “Seeing patients is something that motivates and inspires you (from your work experience) and so you are happy that Sheffield integrates this right from the start”. Second section = go through the 4 phases of the Sheffield MBChB. I would do my research and keep this factual.


First section

Patient-centred approach. Unique to Sheffield clinical exposure begins in your first year. This exists as Early Years GP (EYGP) sessions. Here a group of 6 of you go to a local GP surgery and get taught about how the stuff you learnt in lectures applies to clinical practice.


Sheffield uses an Integrated teaching model. What that means is that they have a range of lectures for the whole year group and small group teaching (10 people). The small group teaching is used for Integrated Learning Activities (ILAs) these are sessions where you come together as a group to discuss a Clinical Case in relation to what you are learning in lectures at time. You will of course also have lectures and online material/private study.


Clinical skills focus. In your first year you are also taught clinical skills in small groups (up to 20 people). The type of clinical skills you learn are how to take vital signs such as: taking Manual Blood Pressure. These are fun!


Anatomy = In Sheffield you are taught anatomy via full body dissection. This means you and a group of 9 others work with the same cadaver through the year. Learning the anatomy of each body system on your cadaver. Each group of students has their own facilitator, so you are not left alone.


Chance to intercalate = Have a look at this website to see what you can intercalate in - https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/medicine/intercalation


Second section

Learn the course structure and phases – Be ready to answer follow up questions on the course structure. I would advise choosing 1-2 things that you like from each of the four phases. Examples below.


Phase 1 = “Introductory Clinical Competency”. (September Year 1 – June Year 1)


  • Most of this phase is spent at the Medical School – next to Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

  • NEW clinical skills unit near Northern General Hospital.

  • Early clinical experience! 10 GP visits. Two-week hospital-based professional experience. Introduction to doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

  • Do not be fooled. Most of phase 1 will be anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry! Talk about Sheffield’s integrated approach.


Phase 2 = “Basic Clinical Competencies” (September Year 2 – December Year 3)


  • Starts with a 6-week research project! Chance to develop research skills.

  • You will build on the basic science you learned in year 1. Symptoms, pathology, management of different conditions. Pathology, microbiology, immunology, and pharmacology.

  • Phase 2b = This is where you get to start being a ‘student doctor’! Three-week introduction to basic clinical skills. Then you will undertake a 12-week clinical placement in one of the hospitals around Sheffield.

  • You undertake a project in medical ethics.


Phase 3 = “Extended clinical competencies” (January Year 3 to August Year 4)


  • This is the majority of your ‘clinical experience’.

  • Primary and secondary care = emphasis on ‘hands-on medicine’.

  • Primary care = General Practice.

  • Secondary care = Hospital work: Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Psychiatry, Acute Medicine.

  • You will have the option to CHOOSE some rotations.


Phase 4 = “Final Preparation for clinical practice” (Year 5)


  • Prepare for clinical practice, ‘being a doctor’, after graduation.

  • Like phase 3 but you will be more integrated into the team.


Extra nuggets of information about Sheffield’s curriculum – exam formats

  • Phase 1 = Written paper (multiple choice + short answer questions) = focussed on anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry. Practical examination (anatomy (models and sections), communication skills, labs)

  • Phase 2 = Another written paper (multiple choice + short answer questions). OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) = common type of medical exam. It is a practical, real-world examination on real patients. Stations include = history-taking, examination skills, drug calculations, blood interpretation etc.

  • Phase 3 = As above + must pass placements and clinical procedures.

  • Phase 4 = As above (FINALS). As above + must pass placements and clinical procedures.


Question 2. Tell me about a patient that you saw during your work experience or volunteering who inspired you to find out more about what was wrong with them. What did you find out? Where did you find the information?


It is important to pick only one patient in your response and answer all parts of the question. It should be someone from your work experience or direct volunteering experience. The key to this question is realising that the interviewer is far more interested in what you have learned from this experience on reflection than the actual patient scenario itself. Therefore, you should not worry if you do not have the ‘most interesting’ patient case to discuss as most of your answer should be reflection.


The structure for this question = MasterMedPrep STARR technique


Situation – The first part of your answer should set the scene for the interviewer. This is known as the situation, and it consists of the context of the story. You should start by describing: “Where” your example occurred? “When” it occurred?


Task – What was your task/goal? The reasoning behind your actions?


Action – talk about exactly what you did. “I did X, Y, and Z…”


Results = What did you achieve? Overall outcome? What have you learned?


Reflection = most important part! Take your experience and link it back to medicine. Look at what you gained from your experience and draw comparisons to medicine or life in medical school. This is often given more weighting than the rest of your answer so make sure you do this properly. 1) Link experience to why you want to study medicine. 2) Link the experience to what it has taught you about medicine/being a doctor. 3) Link experience into why the skills you have demonstrated will make you a good doctor.



Question 3. What can you tell me about the General Medical Council’s code of conduct for doctors?


They key here is knowing the document well = “GMC: Good Medical Practice”.
https://www.gmc-uk.org/ethical-guidance/ethical-guidance-for-doctors/good-medical-practice

I would keep the structure simple: introduction, main body (go through each domain), and conclusion. This is NOT JUST a ‘tell me about’ question. You MUST relate the domains back to being a doctor and medical student AND YOURSELF.


I have written an example answer below to this question. I recommend that you read GMC Good Medical Practice yourself and write your own response. The response below needs fleshing out a bit and it is of course unprofessional to plagiarise interview answers.


Introduction

“The General Medical Council is a regulatory body that sets the standards for doctors and medical schools in the UK. The General Medical Council produced a document called “Good Medical Practice” which is a code of conduct for doctors. The document describes what it means to be a good doctor. Good Medical Practice is split up into four domains and I will discuss the key messages from each of the domains”.


Main body



Domain 1 = “The first domain is knowledge, skills and performance. This domain is all about developing and maintaining your skills. It is important that doctors keep up their skills and continually improve and keep up to date with the latest medical developments. The best example of this is the current COVID-19 pandemic. This is a new virus to all doctors, no matter how senior, and we are constantly learning how best to treat it and so all doctors must keep up to date with the latest developments during this current pandemic.”


Domain 2 = “The second domain is safety and quality. This domain is all about promoting a culture of patient safety and quality improvement. As a doctor or medical student this would involve taking part in audits and other quality improvement projects. On a more basic level, this would mean that you should take immediate action if you see that patient safety, dignity, or comfort is being compromised”.


Domain 3 = “The third domain is communication partnership and teamwork. This domain is all about teamwork and is essential for all doctors as no doctor can work alone. A doctor must work as part of a team of other healthcare professionals, porters, cleaners, receptionists to name just a few. I believe that I am a good team player, and I developed my teamwork skills … (ADD something about when you have showed that you can be part of a team). A huge part of medicine is teaching, and this is something that I hope to become involved in at medical school.”



Domain 4 = “The fourth and final domain is maintaining trust. This fundamentals of this are that you should treat your patients and colleagues fairly and with respect. As a medical student and doctor, it is important that you are always honest, especially when you make a mistake. If you make a mistake then you should try to put matters right, offer an apology and explain this to the patient. As doctors we have a “duty of candour” which means that we have a duty to be honest with our patients when mistakes are made.”


Conclusion


“I think that the GMC have an important role in regulating doctors and medical students. The main thing I take away from the guidance is that doctors and medical students should always put the patient first. This means ensuring that you keep up to date with your clinical skills and knowledge, working well as a team, and ensuring that mistakes are recognised and learned from.”



Question 4. I’d like to play a round of “20 Questions” to identify an object, creature, event or place that I have in mind. To determine the answer, you must ask me a series of questions. I will answer only YES or NO to your questions. You may ask up to 20 questions. All questions must be answerable by YES or NO. You are being scored on the logical approach to your questioning, and not on whether you identify the correct answer. It is expected that this section will last no more than 4 minutes – you will be penalised for long pauses.


With regards to the 20 questions, there is no ‘sure’ strategy out there. It requires that you can ask questions that are likely to yield a 50/50 chance of being yes or no. For example, “is it alive?”, “is it male?”, “is it found in England” are all good questions. It requires that you have a good understanding of assumptions. From my experience of medical school interview, it would be nice to get the correct answer, but it is unlikely to be that important. What is more important is that you use a methodical process and eliminate things as you go along.


Practice, practice, practice! We commonly teach this question at MasterMedPrep so if you want some real-life practice please do get in touch!

Firstly, you want to ask very general questions to rule out lots of things in one go. Then, once you have narrowed things down more then you can ask more specific questions. The specific questions will vary the most.


Top tip = if you want to rule to things out then you can. “Is it used in healthcare or education?”

Practice on this cool website - https://mysteryanimal.withgoogle.com/


Rules for this station


These are the instructions given to you and the interviewers for this station.

  • Rule 1 = The questioner (you) may only ask questions that can be answered with a yes or a no.

  • Rule 2 = The answerer (interviewer) may only respond with a yes or a no.

  • Exceptions to the rules

  • “I don’t know” = The answerer can say this if they do not know the answer.

  • “I can’t answer” = The answerer can say this if they decide to respond with this if they choose to or if the answer is not clear.


Three questions I always ask


Are you thinking of a unique thing in the world, or are you thinking of a class of things?

  • Research shows that this is one of the strongest first questions.

Is it bigger than a loaf of bread?

  • Research shows that this is the commonest second question – that is, asking for quantification.

Is it found within 50 miles of Sheffield?

  • I personally think that this is a good third question. I would ask a question like this just to show that you are thinking about Sheffield, and it could be quite helpful anyway.


Expand the menu below for general and specific questions for each type of 20 question station at Sheffield Medical School!


'Object' Example Questions

'Creature' Example Questions