Here's a list of practice medical interview questions I've devised for you, very typical of the types of things you might be asked at either a traditional interview or an MMI. Writing structure guides for these questions is going to be a long-term project for me, but I'll link each one to my thoughts on it as each article is completed.
They are sorted very roughly by theme, but at this point are intended as prompts, interesting ideas that you might want to think about. If you end up writing your answers down (which I suggest), I'd love to hear from you so I can add new ideas to the existing articles so more people can make use of them. Enjoy!
MOTIVATION & BACKGROUND
What will you do if you are unsuccessful in gaining a place at medical school during this application cycle?
Talk about a time in your life when you experienced an academic failure, and then what you did to overcome it.
How have your current studies (be it A levels or university education) prepared you for medical school?
Where would you like to practice medicine after you qualify?
Do you have any personal experience with the death of friends or family members? What was it like to deal with that loss?
Medical school requires a lot of revision and independent study outside the classroom. Do you feel that you would be able to cope with this?
Have you overcome any biases in your life?
Who are your heroes and why?
If you were not successful in gaining a place at medical school this year, would you apply again, and if so how many more times?
We have received 3,000 applicants for 150 places at this medical school. Why should we pick you?
What area of medicine or medical specialty interests you the most, and why?
What elements beyond simply providing healthcare to patients do you think the role of a doctor in society holds?
If you could watch any medical procedure being performed, what would it be and why?
Medicine has a reputation for being a stressful career. What will you do as a medical student to relax and reduce your stress when things get difficult?
What is your greatest strength, and why does it make you suitable for a career in medicine?
What traits or qualities would you look for in a doctor if they were treating you?
Why do you want to be a doctor?
What would you do if you couldn’t go to medical school and had to pick another career?
Why do you not want to be a nurse, paramedic or another form of healthcare practitioner?
Give an example (based on your work experience) where you had to solve a conflict, and explain how you did so.
Give an example (based on your work experience) where you displayed useful initiative.
Give an example of when you demonstrated leadership skills during your work experience.
What do the terms ‘empathy’ and ‘sympathy’ mean, and how do they differ?
Give an example (based on your work experience) when you had to work as part of a team and were not the leader.
Give an example of a time during your work experience where you handled a stressful situation.
How has the public perception of doctors changed over the last 50 years?
“Lawyers say if you never get sued, you’re not a good doctor” - Dr Ranjana Srivastava
Do you think this is true?
Discuss what is meant by Autonomy, and give an example of it in a healthcare scenario.
Discuss what is meant by Beneficence, and give an example of it in a healthcare scenario.
Discuss what is meant by Non-maleficence, and give an example of it in a healthcare scenario.
Discuss what is meant by Justice, and give an example of it in a healthcare scenario.
What are the consequences of an ageing population for the NHS?
Should doctors or politicians be in charge of running the NHS?
What do you think about the recent doctors’ strikes, particularly when emergency care was withdrawn?
Why might the practise of medicine be different in the UK and developing countries?
What do you think about the ethics of private healthcare?
You have recently qualified as a doctor, and your friend asks you to take a look at a rash they have developed over the last week. Do you agree to do this?
Is it correct that people can be detained under the Mental Capacity Act?
Is it more important for a doctor to be highly knowledgeable, or to be able to communicate well with their patients?
Should surgeons get to know their patients before operating on them?
Talk about a medical case in the news recently that interested you.
What do you think about the phenomenon of the ‘postcode lottery’, and is it fair?
Do you think we need more nurses or doctors?
If you became a doctor, do you think your friends or family would be okay with you treating them, and would this be acceptable?
Do you think that newly qualified junior doctors should have a minimum term of service in the NHS, and if so how long should it be?
What is the placebo effect, and should NHS doctors be allowed to use it on their patients?
As of 2016, only 52% of junior doctors that finished their two years of foundation training proceeded straight into GP or specialist training programmes with NHS England. Why do you think this is?
If you could change one thing about healthcare in the UK, what would it be?
Why do some medical students drop out before finishing their course?
Is there an area of medicine that you know for certain does not appeal to you, and if so why is that?
Do you have a favourite medical-themed TV series or book? What do you think about the representation of doctors in the media?
Why is ‘bedside manner’ important for doctors?
Should euthanasia be available through the NHS for all patients?
Do you think that the lives and social responsibilities of a GP and a heart surgeon are very different?
Should cosmetic surgery be available through the NHS, such as breast implants or nose alterations?
Do you think doctors are overpaid?
Why is doctor-patient confidentiality important?
If you were one day placed in charge of the NHS, how would you allocate the budget for the coming year?
Doctors display a higher prevalence of mental illnesses than the background rate in the general population, particularly among young members of the profession. Why do you think this might be?
Do you think that teamwork is important for the NHS to function properly?
With increasingly accurate anatomical models and computer simulations, do you think that cadavers are still necessary for medical education?
What is the difference between a junior doctor and a consultant?
How many attempts at in-vitro-fertilisation (IVF) treatment should women receive on the NHS, and should we continue to offer it for free?
Should homeopathic treatments and alternative therapies be provided by the NHS?
Give an issue that is important to the NHS today and discuss it.
What are the four pillars of medical ethics, and how do they relate to healthcare?
What is blood for?
Why is Huntington’s disease maintained in the general population, when it kills those who suffer from it?
How does antibiotic resistance work and why is it a problem for the NHS?
Tell me about the MMR controversy and what the subsequent effects on public wellbeing were like.
What are the limitations of medical research?
Which are more dangerous, bacteria or viruses?
What is pain?
What consequences does the practice of medicine have in terms of human evolution?
Why are stem cells useful for medical treatments, and why might their use be controversial?
How do vaccines work, and should they be compulsory in the UK for children?
You are a surgeon in charge of assigning organs to transplant patients. A donor heart has become available, but there are two patients that need it. One is a 20 year old homeless man who is a regular drug user, and the other is a 40 year old woman with two children. Who gets the heart?
You are a second year medical student and have just finished your final exam of the term. On your way out of the venue, you hear several classmates talking and it becomes clear that they are writing down the questions and answers to give to the students taking the exam next year. What do you do?
You are working as a junior doctor on a hospital ward, and you hear shouting from the next room. Upon further investigation, you learn that a patient was shouting at one of your colleagues, who is a foreign doctor and trained in India. The patient is using racial slurs and demanding to see an English doctor. How do you approach this situation?
Imagine you’re a doctor and a parent brings their child into A&E. The current waiting time is more than an hour, and they are angry that the wait is so long. How do you deal with this situation to calm them down?
You are a medical student shadowing a consultant surgeon, and you are both scrubbing up to enter the operating theatre. You are ready to go inside, but catch a glimpse of the surgeon taking a swig from a bottle in his locker, which he hastily returns when he sees you looking. What do you do?
Place your hands by your sides or in your pockets. Without moving them, explain to someone how to tie their shoelaces.
You are a doctor treating a young child who has suffered damage to the insides of their ears and has lost most of their hearing. The ward consultant recommends they be fitted with a cochlear implant, but the child’s mother is also deaf and does not want the child to have the implant. What do you do?
While backing your car out of the driveway, you accidentally ran over your neighbour, Mr Collins’ new puppy which had gotten into the road. You have 5 minutes in which to break the news to Mr Collins.
Imagine that two parents have asked that their son be given a genetic scan for Huntington’s disease, as the father has recently begun to suffer from symptoms of it. The test returns positive, but the parents decide that they will never tell the child. Do you intervene and tell the child yourself?
Imagine that you and your best friend have both applied for the medical course at this university. We have one place left to allocate, for which the two of you are competing. You have been offered the place, which you may accept or reject. Your best friend will be devastated if they do not gain entry. What do you do?
Imagine that you’re a medical student on placement or junior doctor on a hospital ward. A patient’s blood sample has gone missing, and you need to explain to them that another one needs to be taken.
What should the penalty be for falsely impersonating a doctor in the UK?
If you could change one aspect of yourself, what would it be and why?
The development of new genetic engineering tools such as the CRISPR-Cas system could potentially allow for genetic abnormalities to be fixed before a baby is born. Is this ethically right, and should we continue research into this area?
With the rise of automation, could all doctors one day be replaced by robots?
Should previously convicted criminals be allowed to become doctors?
Do you think that entrance exams like the UKCAT and BMAT ensure that the best people become doctors, and should we continue to use them?
How would your life change if you suddenly became unable to read?
What risks do doctors pose to the public?
Is it wrong for doctors to be smokers?
Is it better (in terms of ethics) to provide healthcare to foreign nations that need aid, or simply send them money?
Medical doctors, dentists and veterinarians can all use the title ‘Dr’, as can those who hold PhDs. What do you think about this, and should the situation be changed?
Tell me about one of your friends that you think would make a good doctor, regardless of their interest (or lack thereof) in a medical career.
Do you think there should be an upper limit on the number of times one person can apply to medical school?
Do males or females make better doctors?
Can you tolerate the sight of blood or wounds? Why do you think they make some people uncomfortable?
It is widely accepted that ‘everyone makes mistakes’, but sometimes when doctors and surgeons make mistakes, people can get hurt. Should doctors be immune to prosecution in the UK when this happens?
Why is medicine sometimes referred to as an ‘art’?
Should doctors get involved in politics?
Who was Hippocrates and why was he important?
Why is entry to medical school so competitive?
If you could instantly cure one illness all across the world in all people suffering from it, what illness would you choose?
Should military doctors have to treat enemy combatants?
Should you give money to beggars?
Do doctors make good life partners?
How would you describe what medicine was to an alien that knew nothing about it?
Why are bandages usually white?
If you could choose a way in which to die, what would it be?
What are the most important elements of communication?
If you had to write the questions for medical school interviews, what would you ask the candidates and why?
What invention or discovery from history do you think changed medicine the most?
Why do so many people find the Abstract Reasoning section of the UKCAT difficult?
What excites you the most about gaining a place at medical school, and equally what frightens you the most?
Is it okay for doctors to diagnose and treat themselves?
Do you think that cannabis should be legalised in the UK?
Should the sale of cigarettes be banned in the UK?
Should the religious convictions of patients be taken into account when delivering their healthcare?
In the USA, the primary medical qualification is the MD, which can only be taken as a graduate student. In the UK, medicine is an undergraduate course that can be taken at 18. What are the advantages and disadvantages to medicine being a graduate-only course?
Do you think that people with major disabilities such as deafness or blindness have any unique advantages or disadvantages when practicing medicine?
How do the healthcare systems differ when comparing the USA and the UK?
Would you prefer to practice medicine in a rural area or in a city?
Why are doctors and dentists different?
If we were to contact one of your teachers/lecturers other than your UCAS referee, what do you think they would say about you?
Should doctors be re-tested after qualification to ensure they are still fit to practise?
How do surgeons differ from doctors?
How does your family feel about your decision to attend medical school and become a doctor?
Why are medical degrees longer than standard undergraduate degrees in the UK? To combat the shortage of doctors we should simply reduce this to four or even three years. Discuss.
When you have personal problems, who do you talk to about them?
Medical interviews and entrance tests are intended to select for positive traits associated with good doctors. What negative traits might the same tests also select for?
How has your upbringing and background prepared you for a career in medicine?
Should experimental treatments be available through the NHS to patients when all other potential options have been explored?
Should doctors or nurses be the first point of contact in primary care?
If you could ask a medical consultant who was about to retire after thirty years service in the NHS one question, what would it be?
Sponsored Link: MMI Interview Question Bank & Answers from Blackstone Tutors