Hull York Medical School Interview Guide
Hull York Medical School (HYMS) is a relatively new medical school, formed in partnership between the University of York and the University of Hull. It began the MB BS programme in 2003 and has an intake of 156 medical students per year, with half based at Hull and the other half at York.
The students are only separated for the first two years. The school prides itself on delivering ‘innovative and rigorous medical education and research’.
1. About your Hull York medicine interview
Multiple mini interviews, MMIs, are becoming increasingly common in medical schools, and the same occurs at HYMS. For 2019 entry, they will be interviewing 960 applicants, so the odds are around 6:1. As a result, preparation is crucial. The MMI involves two mini interviews, a group exercise and a scenario. There is no test of medical knowledge. The interviewers are testing your:
- Personal characteristics
- Ability to work collaboratively in a group
- Ability to think critically.
Each mini interview has two interviewers, and you will be asked two questions in each. The first mini-interview tests your general motivation for medicine and insight into the medical profession This also includes an assessment of your knowledge of the current issues in medicine. You can find out more about this by taking a look at our NHS Hot Topics Online Course. The second 10-minute interview assesses critical thinking skills and your personal qualities - empathy, tolerance of ambiguity and resilience.
This station lasts 20 minutes and involves a group discussion. Interviewers will be looking at your communication skills and ability to contribute relevant information to the group members.
A lot of the teaching at HYMS is in small groups, so this station is really important as the interviewers are essentially assessing how you will respond to the course material. The group interview is chaired by a PBL tutor and your assessors will also be in the room.
This station assesses a student’s ability to respond to a role-play situation. Outside the room, you will be introduced to the scenario. You are encouraged to relax, be yourself and respond as you would do normally. This may be a difficult situation, for example, an ethical dilemma. Make sure you consider some of the role-play situations that could come up beforehand.
2. About the course
Hull York Medical School adopts a three-phase programme:
- Phase I - Years 1 and 2
- Students are based in either Hull or York, but the course content is the same. It is delivered through lectures, laboratory work, small group PBL sessions, and clinical skills lessons.
- Phase II - Years 3 and 4
- The focus is much more clinical, as students rotate through placements throughout the region.
- Phase II - Year 5
- Beginning with an elective, students then become an assistant intern to a medical team. This phase encourages students to develop both their knowledge and personality in preparation for transition into full-time work in the NHS.
The timetable is quite full-on, with 9-5 teaching most days. The curriculum is formed of a series of blocks based on body systems, with students encouraged to apply their scientific knowledge to clinical scenarios. The integrated course involves a lot of problem-based learning, mainly during phase I. Students are split into small groups of 10, but each group covers the same cases. The case follows the material being taught in the course at the time.
HYMS prides itself on having 21% of the curriculum delivered in a primary/community care environment. This is compared to the national average of 13%. Clinical placements begin as early as week three, with students visiting healthcare environments in small groups. Initially, this is half a day a week, moving up to a whole day in the second year. Phase III occurs in the fifth year, where students rotate through general medicine, general surgery and general practice as an assistant intern. By third year, clinical placements constitute the majority of the course.
This is called ‘Phase II’ and is delivered at sites in Hull, York, Grimsby, Scarborough and Scunthorpe. Students alternate between primary and secondary care centres on a weekly basis. Students learn how to examine patients and specialist skills tutors teach clinical procedures.
Anatomy is taught through prosections, plastinated specimens, anatomical models, radiological imaging and clinical examination of living anatomy. This is alongside the material taught in the course. The anatomy facilities have been recently developed.
Intercalation and elective opportunities
Medical students are invited to intercalate at the end of year 2 (undergraduate) or 3 (undergraduate or masters). This can be in human anatomy, pharmacology, public health and sports health to name but a few.
The 6-week elective occurs at the start of year 5. Students are encouraged to spend time in an unfamiliar environment either at home or abroad.
Additionally, in each phase of the programme there are chances for students to explore around the subject:
- Phase I - students are attached to a research group, where they can develop laboratory skills. There is a certain element of choice, and many students select dependent on the speciality with which they expect to proceed.
- Phase II - students choose clinically-related projects to work on at the placement site. In the fourth year, students complete an extended project of their choice.
- Phase III - The 6-week elective occurs at the start of year 5. Students are encouraged to spend time in an unfamiliar environment either at home or abroad.
3. theMSAG tips for your interview
Think about how you would approach the group task
Both the interview itself and the course involve lots of group exercise tasks. You need to show that you can work collaboratively in a group, by ensuring that all members are involved, including you.
Consider volunteering to chair or scribe for the group discussion. This shows the interviewer that you are confident, keen and enthusiastic.
Reflect on your work experience
One of the mini-interviews is extremely focused on your motivation for medicine and understanding of the role of a doctor. When preparing for your interview, ensure you reflect on what you’ve seen and how this relates to the medical profession.
Keep up to date with current hot topics
One of the interview stations focuses on your knowledge of current issues in the NHS, so it is important you go over these beforehand. You can read about various issues in our NHS hot topics series, as well as our NHS Hot Topics online course.
Consider the role of the multi-disciplinary team (especially primary care)
Hull York Medical School prides itself on the opportunities that it gives students in primary care. It is important that in your interview you demonstrate enthusiasm for this aspect of the course, as it is something quite unique. From your work experience, think about how the role of the GP relates to the multi-disciplinary team working in the hospital.
4. Advice from a current student
“Prepare well for your interview by keeping up to date with any healthcare stories that are in the news throughout the year”.
We hope that you have found these Hull York medicine interview tips useful! As always, don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or need further advice.
More information on medical school interviews:
- A simple guide to the Oxford Medical School Interview
- Medical School Interview Book
- Medical School Interview Preparation Courses
- A simple guide to Cambridge medicine interview preparation