Miss Giulia Bankov • January 14th, 2020
Giulia is a graduate medical student at the University of Glasgow. She previously studied Neuroscience at King's College London and completed her Cognitive Neurobiology and Clinical Neurophysiology at the University of Amsterdam
You have received an invitation to attend an interview at Newcastle and you are not sure how to proceed or what to do to start your preparation. Don’t panic, as we have created this blog to break down Newcastle medical school’s interview process and give you an insight into what you can expect from the interview day, with some suggestions on how to prepare, so make sure you familiarise yourself with these.
Newcastle university interviews its candidates in the form of a multiple-mini interview (MMI). The format is a fairly standard one, in that the MMI consists of 7 stations, each 7 minutes long. Your interview will thus take approximately one hour in total, factoring the time between stations. The questions can vary in topics they can cover, for example, asking general personal statement questions, in which you will be asked to elaborate on a certain aspect of your statement, such as work experience or a particular trait you listed. They could also include ethical questions, in which you will be asked an opinion on a challenging question, by weighing the advantages and disadvantages of the question at hand. Lastly, there will likely be some interactive stations, whether a role play with a patient, giving instructions or reading an unfamiliar piece of information, such as a graph or a picture.
Regardless of the actual questions and station types you will encounter, which can change each academic cycle, the stations involved in the MMI will be focused on assessing the following eight qualities in its prospective medical students:
Honesty is a highly valued quality that is of utmost importance in the medical profession, as it has laid the foundation of the doctor-patient relationship, in which trust plays a leading part. Being able to come forward when you have made a mistake or admit that you don’t know something is extremely valuable for your career as a doctor and it is important that you already apply this in your current life as well. Consider important famous cases in which a doctor’s integrity and honesty has been put in question and how that has affected the public’s trust in the medical profession for an even more insightful answer.
Having the knowledge to treat patients is paramount, but so is the ability to be able to relay information to patients and colleagues in order to ensure delivery of high quality care, which can be tested in role play stations in a medical or non-medical setting. Consider not only verbal aspects of communication, but also body language and the effect it has on the delivery of your answers. Important component to always remember and think of when attending an interview are posture, eye contact, and intonation.
The ability to empathise with others and the understanding of the importance of being aware of one’s limitations is a very important skill to develop and hone throughout your time at medical school. You can expect questions on this in the form of ethical dilemmas and scenarios, so make sure you have read up on some typical ethical questions and be able to weigh the pros and cons, allowing you to reach an informed and balanced decision.
As you will be spending no less than four years in a high-stress environment that won’t get much easier after graduation, the most important requirement you need to be able to cover is to have genuine passion and motivation to pursue such a challenging career. Questions into your motivation and commitment to medicine can take the form of discussing your personal statement, asking you for particular examples in which you portrayed and important skill for a doctor or simply asking you Why do you want to study medicine?
There is no single best programme in medicine, as they ultimately all offer you the same medical education and the same graduating qualifications, though the road to get there might be slightly different for each. What is important to keep in mind though, is that those subtle differences match each individual to a different extent and what might be a perfect fit for you, might not be ideal for someone else. Therefore, it is important to consider what the medical school of choice has to offer and how you can fit in and benefit from its course structure in order to develop into a successful professional and be able to outline the ways in which you are compatible with them and their requirements from their students.
Another crucial quality to assess is teamwork, as you will be spending the majority of your time working in teams, discussing cases and treatments with other doctors and members of the health care profession, as this will give you the chance to appreciate the different aspects of a person’s condition and its effect on their quality of life. Consider the importance of teamwork and leadership and be able to give an example of when you witnessed these qualities in a doctor, for example, during your work experience.
Your timetable in medical school will be quite busy starting from day one, and you will be expected to juggle many balls in the air. The ability to prioritise correctly and keep organised even during high levels of stress is key to your success not only in medical school, but in practice later on as well, so make sure you have this covered and are able to show tangible examples for it.
You will make mistakes and you will have tough times during your time as a medical student and a doctor. Entering the field of medicine is about lasting in the long run, so having resilience even in the most adverse situations is key to your success. Be able to show you understand the importance of this quality and ideally how you have started developing this in your life with an example.
We hope this information was useful and you now feel confident answering questions at your Newcastle medicine interview. Should you have any further questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck in your preparation!
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