Dr Dibah Jiva’s Blog
The biggest thank you
We have no doubt that it was thanks to your consulting sessions that J was able to perform confidently at his interviews (and actually, thanks to your invaluable initial advice, get the interviews too!). This definitely made the difference between last year's miss and this year's successes. Your interview practice was totally invaluable and will give my son skills for life.
Well worth every penny (and probably a few more!)
Dibah is amazing. She herself is incredibly inspiring but what she got out of me went above and beyond. I decided 18 months ago that I wanted to return to university and apply for graduate medicine. I studied hard for the GAMSAT and honestly thought that would be hardest part of the application process. Little did I know.... Three interviews, two rejections and 1 waiting list later my confidence and nerves were at an all time low and I'm not a nervous person! I decided that I needed to make one last attempt at securing a place for September 2014 and applied to St Georges course run at the University of Nicosia. They offered me an interview and I panicked. How was I going to get over the final hurdle this time? I'd purchased Dibah's book "Graduate Entry Medicine 2014-2015" earlier in the application cycle and had found this the most helpful in my previous preparation so I pulled this out again and visited her website looking for "inspiration". It wasn't that I hadn't prepared but re-reading Dibah's website I opened up to the truth that I hadn't "practised". I was afraid of saying my answers out loud in case they sounded stupid. Very nervously, I took the plunge and bought an hour of Dibah's time. Suffice to say I needed more than an hour but it is the best money I've spent to date. Dibah was friendly and warm and made me feel like she was on my side. She asked me questions so that she got a feel of the real me and helped me answer the questions based on what I had to say not on what some book said was the best way to answer the question. Dibah was brutally honest (but always in a nice way) which is what I needed. She enabled me to perform in the way that I needed to so that I could be successful at interview and gave me the confidence to ask those around me for help thereby giving me the interview exposure that I so desperately needed. I've learnt so many skills in the last couple of weeks that are not only useful in interview but will also benefit me during my career as a medical student and then as a doctor. Thank you!
Top admissions consulting
Dibah was a great help throughout my medical school application. She helped me pull apart my experiences to find the right stories to tell to the medical schools and the skills I had developed throughout my academic career. She asked me key questions that made me reflect upon my experiences in a deeper way. And hence, the personal statement I wrote, truly exposed my motivation for medicine, skills I have acquired and their application to the field of medicine. It is one thing to have had worthwhile experiences and some accomplishments, but without the right projection, I do not think you can really “sell yourself” to the admissions committees. Dibah has the insight and is very well informed into the selection processes of different medical schools. Her experience, editing skills and knowledge of the process are excellent and I would recommend her to anyone! This service is an excellent option for everyone looking for an edge in their medical school application.
Excellent course, especially for those who don't know how to prepare or who lack confidence
This course was very worthwhile for me. By answering questions and receiving feedback, and listening to our peers do the same, we were taught to recognise the sort of thing that interviewers want to (and don't want to) hear. This was helpful in two ways- firstly you realise that much of what you have been preparing prior to the course is in fact relevant, which gives you confidence that you are on the right lines. It also highlights things that you needed to learn and skills to improve upon before interview day. In addition to practising what you already know, you are also taught things that may come up, for example overviews of current medical issues, ethics, the role of a doctor etc (along with a framework of how to answer questions on them). This was great, as before the course I didn't know how to go about reducing the seemingly endless online information down to what was actually needed. The mock interview at the end allows you to put into practise the techniques you have learnt, and includes elements of mmi and standard panel interview - good for those applying for both. Some of the more unusual aspects of the mmi set up (such as role play, problem solving etc) weren't taught specifically, however you can apply the main principles of what we learnt to most of these situations. I especially liked the fact that we were given a hand out at the end that we could refer to afterwards. Everyone was very friendly and approachable, so were able to both ask questions about the interview process and find out about their own careers in medicine. All in all it was very informative and well done, and definitely contributed to my success at interview last year.
A brilliant course!
The MSAG interview course was a brilliant experience for me as I learnt key interview skills on it and was also able to practice these skills in the mock interviews. The MMI simulation was very authentic. I felt like I was in a real med school interview which gave me an opportunity to work through the questions in interview conditions and allowed me to realise how I needed to pace myself when answering questions. The doctors who ran the course each gave me individual and very honest feedback – it was brilliant to hear from multiple perspectives. Several areas where I could improve were highlighted to me which I had never considered before. This allowed me to hone my techniques. The whole course is very interactive and is designed to feel like an interview from the off. The facilitators may spring questions on you unexpectedly. This might sound daunting at first but you quickly realise how useful this method is as you develop the confidence to formulate answers under pressure in front of a group of other people- if you can do this you can certainly do so in front of a panel of 3-4 interviewers! This really helped me as it built up my confidence for the interviews. The course was very comprehensive- we covered topical medical issues in the news and the classic ethical scenarios. The interview advice you receive on the course is superb and you learn skills which you can translate to the wide range of questions that you may face at interviews. I highly recommend this course!
Fantastic course- really recommended!!
The first time I applied, I received one interview and no offers. The second time I applied, I received three interviews and three offers! The turnaround on the interview front was definitely due to preparation, and this course really set me off on the right lines and heavily contributed to my interview success! The student:doctor ratio was ideal as there were about 9 students on the day and three doctors! This meant that every student had to be heavily involved in each section of the course. I felt really on edge for most of the day because I knew I could be asked to answer an interview style question in front of the group at any minute...sounds really traumatic for anyone who is already nervous about interviews, but it reconstructed the same sort of pressure of a real interview. It was exactly what I needed! Also, after a question was attempted by one of the students, another student would be selected to critique their answer. I found this really useful as it made me really think about what I would like to hear if I was the interviewer, and it helped me to critique my answers more effectively to improve on my own performance. I found previously that my issue was that I would completely blank when asked some questions. The course really helped me to get over this as we were taught some basic structures in how to answer interview style questions, so that on the day, I had a framework in my head that I could work towards if I was struggling In order to do as much preparation and practice that I had on that one day, would have taken weeks on my own. As a student and a first time applicant, its difficult to know what sort of preparation will actually help you at interview so this course condenses a lot of the information you need, and sets you off on the right track for the rest of your preparation in the lead up to interview Great value for money, very happy with what I gained
A very helpful course!
There was a great ratio of students to doctors (6 students and 2 doctors). It was brilliant practice because answering questions in front of the whole group re-created the 'stress' of an interview. Being able to get feedback there and then as well as hearing other peoples answers was great as we soon learnt what sort of answers interviewers were looking for. Having the practice interviews in the afternoon were very helpful because they felt like the real thing. It allowed us to put into practice the techniques we had learnt during the day but it also showed me that I had to pace myself - because each station is time limited I felt like I had to rush into my answers rather than process the question and think about what I was going to say. It is a very interactive course and if you are shy this can seem a little daunting as they do spring questions on you but it will definitely help you to think under pressure. I highly recommend this course and hope I pull off what I've learnt at my interview in the next couple of weeks!
Incredibly helpful- would recommend to everyone.
This course was very well suited in giving people the best experience and hands on training in how to interview well. Having gone on the course as a first time medicine applicant I went on to recieve all 4 interviews and I now hold 2 offers!! I don't think my success would of been as good if i hadn't of gone on the course. The mixture of activites in the course really gave me a depth of skills that I needed in the real interviews. We practiced both how to answer questions in the best format and also how to answer under pressure during a mini practice MMI interview. Even being a little nervous it helped to push boundaries and to be able to be confident in front of a group of strangers, which I thought was really beneficial. Everyone was fully involved and as there was 3 doctors it was easier for each individual to get the chance to ask further questions. Although it is quite a tiring day it is 100% worth it for the results and the confidence you gain and if I was applying I for medicine I would definitely go.
I would highly recommend this course- especially if you are nervous about interviews! It was a small group of 6 students with 3 doctors to help give feedback and improve your answers. As well as being very informative, it was brilliant practise to identify where you are struggling most and work on that key area. Due to the small group, feedback was very personal and overall you were exposed to a variety of topics and scenarios. I came away feeling like I had developed more confidence and skills to help me answer anything that comes up at interview!
Excellent interview course.
I think the mock interview was especially beneficial, just at rehearsing the information. Thanks.
Very good practice
The course definitely contributed to my confidence. There was a theoretical study which basically gave us the outline for how to answer the questions. We were then able to put that knowledge into practice in the mock stations. I would definitely suggest to try out a mock station because it gives you a better feel of the interview environment. It also helps you feel less nervous on the interview day as you've been through the experience before. I picked up some valuable information from here and thank God I got a place at medical school.
Excellent job guys! It really helped me to find a place in university. The best thing about your course is that you give us the direction we need to go and then we can do it ourselves the journey to a perfect interview!
Great course to help you prepare for the interview!
This course was really great in helping me structure my answers to questions ranging from what are problems in the NHS to questions about myself. They really cover a wide range of possible interview questions to help you feel prepared for interview day! They have a crash course of hot topics/issues in the NHS in the morning as well typical interview questions for MMI and traditional. All of my course leaders were former interviewers themselves so they knew exactly what they were talking about, common interviewee mistakes, and excellent tips on how to respond to questions. There was then a great MMI practice round in the afternoon that they provided response sheets on to discuss your answers so you really got a lot of practice in before the interview! This was also recorded so you can take it home and analyse your performance as well as refresh yourself on what the feedback was. This course absolutely helped me get into medical school, and gave me the practice and confidence during interview to help me get the offer!!
The course was really helpful for the interviews as it gave useful tips and techniques that made it easier to structure answers. The practise interview was great experience for the real ones.
Well organised and efficient medical interview course
Whether you are extremely confident with your interview technique and delivery or extremely apprehensive, I highly recommend attending an MSAG interview course. The teachers are very knowledgable about medical interviews and will explain everything from basic structure of the NHS and how health is delivered in the UK, to personal statement questions and structuring your answers. Great course that I highly recommend!
I would advise any aspiring medical students to do this course, as it definitly maximises your chances at a successful application.
The themsag course was excellent. Although it is a medical course, I was actually applying for Dentistry, it didn't matter though, as the course is structured around the individual, so caters to your own personal weaknesses and strengths. The numbers doing the course are small, so it was quite intimate, therefore we got quite a lot of personalised feedback, and one to one time with the tutors. The recordings made of us during our mock interviews there, and the mock interview itself was particularly helpful, in allowing us to critically evaluate ourselves and hone our own interview performances. The generalised information on the NHS and similar current, and relevant medical topics ensured we had the background information necessary to confidently and effectively answer any questions thrown our way. The clever techniques, and helpful hints and tips provided, were key to ensuring our answers appeared structured, coherent and confident. To be honest the skills you learn at the themsag course carry over into any interview, whether that is for University applications or the job market in general, so you are essentially learning important life skills. It is thanks to the themsag team that I was successful in my application for Dentistry and for that I'm continually and immensely grateful.
Definitely worth the money
I took this course just before my medical school interviews and I feel without going on this course, I don't think I would be studying medicine today. The team are friendly, knowledgeable and make the day very worthwhile, Thanks again.
Great course, really helps develop technique and structure.
The course was really helpful, really helped me structure and perfect my technique when giving answers. The instructors were really helpful aswell.
Before the course, I hadn't done any proper interview preparation. It helped be become comfortable with the format of the MMI interview and taught me a lot about current NHS issues etc. which did come up in my actual interviews. I ended up getting into my first choice medical school, so I think this course was definitely worth it.
High quality personal feedback
The course was organised very well and helped develop my personal skills and attributes, and knowledge of current medical affairs. The methods helped me structure my answers and develop my technique. The group task was a great way of preparing for group interviews too and was great as I actually knew how to approach it during my real interview. I also got a lot of practice and personal feedback and advice on the MMI stations which was the best part of the course.
The course was extremely productive and definitely not a waste of time. I got into the medical school I wanted to and I'm sure I couldn't have done it without the help of the msag team. I would strongly recommend it. Best of luck to everyone:)
Excellent Course, very helpful
The MSAG interview course is one that will equip you to learn the appropriate skills and techniques to excel in your medical school interviews. I found it especially helpful to have the opportunity to test out the skills we had learnt at the end of the course. It is great that the course is suited towards the schools that you apply to and helped me to gain places at all the medical schools I interviewed. I would strongly recommend this to anyone who is preparing for medical school interviews.
Excellent course, extremely helpful
The MSAG interview course is one that will equip you to excel in your medical school interviews. I found it especially useful to be given the opportunity to test out the skills we had learned near the end of the course. It is great that the course is suited to help you with the specific schools you apply to and helped me receive offers at all three of the medical schools I interviewed at. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is preparing for a med school interview.
Top, top servuce
I wasn't quite sure about how the day would go and I was also sceptical about how helpful the course would actually be, but almost straight away, and afterwards, I realised what a great choice I had made attending the course. It fully equipped me for the interview, and although I had to do some practice on my own, as everyone should, the course really helped me expect what was going to come up, the type of questions I was asked, and also where I could personally improve
10/10 would recommend
I would seriously (and have been) recommend this course to anyone wanting to excel at medical interviews. I didn't know what to expect at all, and this course really pointed me in the right direction as to how much preparation I needed to do and how to format answers. Without this course I doubt I would have been given 4 offers! Thank you!
Thorough, personalised course
This course definitely helped me to accomplish my goal of getting into med school. It helped me to realise my weaknesses and showed me how to strengthen them. My favourite part was the personalisation of interview questions as it made each interview feel much more familiar and comfortable. Would highly recommend!
Got me into Medical School
Full day of intense interview preperation and practice. I was taught infomation about the NHS, medicine and most importantly, how to answer interview questions. The course was a great help towards my interview preparation and building confidence in my responses. I now have a place at medical school. I strongly recommend this course.
When I was researching interview courses, I was looking for a small group size, and course that offered a mixture of theory and practice. The MSAG course delivered all of this and more. With only 7 other people doing the course and 4 interviewers, I was impressed by the level of personalised feedback that I gained over the day. The theory we looked at was very relevant, with sessions covering medical ethics and the NHS. In particular, I found the session on structuring answers very helpful. But it's not just theory, and we were quickly able to put into practice what we had learned. This included a full mock MMI. Before the course I was asked to send my personal statement and a list of the medical schools I am applying to, which allowed the MMI to be tailored to each of us specifically. The support hasn't ended with the day, and all of the members of MSAG are available if you need more help. I would wholeheartedly recommend this course!
This course was absolutely amazing. I have never learnt so much in a day and all the tutors were incredibly helpful with very detailed feedback. The guidance on structuring answers and then implementing them was very useful and I would surely recommend this course. Thank you to each and every single one of you!
Best interview practise course / Highly recomnended
This is an ideal medicine entry interview practice course specially for those who are nervous about interviews! You get verbal and video feedback from each station. And also on how to improve your answers. In addition to practice it can also be used to identify your weekness and areas which needs more attention. Due to the small group, discussions and feedback was very useful. Highly recommended it,
Would definitely recommend
This course was really good and helped me a lot with my confidence. Having a smaller group definitely helped a lot, as we were all able to get personal feedback and also learn from each other's feedback. I think that it is 100% worth doing, as it made me feel a lot more confident about answering questions and caused me to not stress as much about interviews.
Brilliant Interview Course
I found interview really useful and informative, especially as we covered such a variety of topics in the time we were there. I was made aware of certain tips and tricks that I probably would never have thought of by myself and the small class size meant plenty of individual feedback was available from the doctors. Would definitely recommend!
Very worth the money
This service is a great way of confirming the style you should be writting your PS. It provided me a none bias opinion of my over all statement and also helped me to clarify which sections were worth mentioning and which sections should be condensed or removed. It also helped highlight areas which were lacking. The feedback provided very soon after submitting and I was given a text to confirm when I should expect the feedback by and a text when I had the feedback sent on. They are very easy to contact. My PS was compared to the mark criteria of each University I was applying to so I knew how to adapt it to score more highly. I would definitely recommend this service and if I needed to write another I would use the service again.
I liked how Dr Jiva was professional and responded to every message quickly and helped with my PS on short notice. She explained what the service offered and what other services I might benefit from. I got feedback from two doctors which gave me two people's views. I was shown the marking scheme to help me evaluate the content of my PS. This is a great service to use if you need guidance on your PS.
Feedback was really detailed, and identified key areas to improve on and what was already good. It was marked to specific criteria which meant that I knew exactly what skills to showcase. The feedback was given within 24 hours which was amazing, It would be very useful if you were approaching the deadline for application submissions. Overall a really great service which is also extremely efficient. I would definitely use this again.
This is an excellent high quality service provided by Dr Jiva & her team. Most edits are done directly on the personal statement using track changes. Two doctors review the personal statement. They have a global look for content and give feedback in details line by line about this. This is followed by personalised detailed comments and suggestions about what is good, what needs improvement and how to do this with examples of sentences. I would rate the service as five star and strongly recommend it to anyone who is striving to make themselves noticeable on the UCAS form.
Excellent, professional service.
The team gave exceptional advice in editing my personal statement. They were often very prompt. Would recommend this service to anyone thinking of applying to Medical School.
This was a great service and well worth the money. The feedback given was detailed and easy to follow, and very encouraging as well as rightfully critical. Any questions I had were answered very quickly and in detail. I recommend this service to all who is interested!
Quality Across the Globe
I highly recommend Dr. Jiva and the team of experts at MSAG. Constructing a personal statement is a challenging task but their extensive input, knowledge, experience and investment in the quality of their work was evident from day one. From across the globe, it was clear that they went out of their way to facilitate success. Thank you.
Professional and Personal Service
The comments given by the team were really useful and detailed. They guided my thinking towards the right direction. My original style of writing was ineffective and my word count was twice over the limit. I was given some very practical advice as a result of which I managed to change my style of writing and achieve a compact yet largely coherent and informative statement. I am also very impressed with the quick turn-around time and the marking scheme which gave me the confidence to do better. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve that on my own and I am very thankful for the help!
Dr. Jiva and the team have given me great and useful advice that has made my personal statement what it is now. Their detailed feedback and suggestions have helped me a lot, and they were quick to reply to my (often worried) emails. From more than double the character count to just under it, the team has helped me really see that quality beats quantity, and I would recommend their services.
Grateful International Mature Student
As an international mature student I was not familiar with the UCAS system and its' style of personal statement. Without any guidance that most students receive at their respective UK high schools I considered to "just submit" my UCAS applications as grades and UKCAT / BMAT shall speak for themselves and I believed nobody would ever even read the personal statement anyways. When researching this online it turned out that the personal statement could be the most important part of the application and "the way into" medical school. As English is not my first language I was also grateful to have a general spelling and grammar and cultural tone sensitivity check to assure perfection. The support was efficient and I felt well guided receiving immediate emails and responses to my questions. The support was also incredibly effective: there is a big difference between my initial draft and the final personal statement and I could not be more grateful for the team to assure to "get out the best in me". Thank you ! To anyone else I can only recommend- instead of buying expensive and potentially outdated and not customized personal statement books or lengthy weekly tutoring to instead research free online, write your individual statement, and work with this team. For me this was more cost effective with a fantastic result.
The service provided was excellent, the comments and feedback were great and made me look at my ps through another perspective. i was able to use it to improve my statement. Even though i had a very tight deadline they were able to fit me in at short notice. Would definitely recommend the use of msag as it was a very valuable service.
An excellent service that improved my personal statement beyond what I expected
fantastic service !
I am very happy with a service I have received. Before sending my PS for review I thought it was good as I have a background in medicine. How surprised I was to find out that I was writing about completely wrong things and didn't really show the skills university admissions were really interested in. I have received detailed feedback and advice what areas should be improved. I would say that Dr Jiva really knows the admission process inside out. It took 2 reviews to make my PS perfect but now I am confident submitting my UCAS. I definitely will be back for the interview preparation course!
Excellent Service, Prompt and Trustworthy
Iwould highly recommend MSAG to anyone wanting to study medicine. They provide exceptional advice and give their absolute best to get you the personal statement that you want.
Excellent Job! 100% Recommending it to future med applicants
I used the rushed 24 hours service. The team got back to my Keele R&R form request same day. They provided thorough feedback on my form. Knowing that a medic is assisting with my statement, gave me the confidence that the outcome will be positive. Their job is prompt, detailed and informative. They really care about the statement and go beyond their 9-5 working hours to get the statement back to me. 100% recommend it to all:)
By far a really good service! Really recommend. im really happy I picked these service. Their feedback was very invaluable, and I think it's the best one of the market. Well worth it and thanks a lot for your help!!
An essential book for prospective medical students!
The MSAG for Undergraduate Applicants was an invaluable and extremely comprehensive resource for me during my application to medical school and it helped me secure 3 med school offers. The book outlines the selection formulae and academic criteria for each medical school in the UK. This is highly useful as it allows you to clearly see which medical schools you personally may have a chance of getting an interview at avoiding unnecessary pre-interview rejections. Choosing which medical schools to apply to according to your strengths is a critical part of the application process and this book was of immense help in this respect. The student opinions of each medical school are brilliant as they give a student’s honest insight into the pros and cons of going to their medical school. The book also covers all the bases ranging from how to prepare for the UKCAT and the BMAT (directing you to brilliant preparation resources including courses, websites and books), the importance of work experience/ volunteering, ensuring that your referee has access to all the relevant information about you in order to support them in writing your UCAS reference (something that is often overlooked and its importance underestimated), different interview styles, interview technique and excellent advice on how to write your personal statement including extracts of real past applicants’ statements and the author’s critique on them. I highly recommend this book to any person wanting to greatly maximise their chances of gaining a place at medical school!