20 Nov 2019
With an increasing number of medical schools moving to the MMI (multiple mini interview) format for potential students, it is important that pupils have the opportunity to practise for this type of interview.
With this in mind, Downside has, for several years, hosted a ‘mock’ MMI event, as it can cost upwards of £130 to enrol for a practice morning with many companies. Invitations were sent to schools in the South West, both from the independent and maintained sectors, and the places quickly filled.
At each interview station, pupils are confronted with a different scenario or focus, with little or no time to prepare. In order to give the students as much exposure to different types of question and scenario, this year they were partnered with another student and went through two circuits of interviews, one as an observer, one as the candidate. Pupils thus faced questions ranging from predictable areas, asking about their work experience and motivation, to areas of ethics, the Mental Health Act, ‘hot’ topics within the NHS, teamwork and data analysis; they were also asked to deal with difficult situations, from instructing someone to complete an apparently routine task to telling a patient that they are obese and, therefore, are not suitable for surgery.
The feedback from pupils and interviewers alike has been immensely positive, and it was clear that the event afforded very realistic preparation for what students may face at their medical school interview. Pupils received immediate feedback, both verbally and written, from each interviewer, with advice on what they did well and where they could improve further.
The schools which took part were: Downside School; The Blue School, Wells; Clayesmore School; St Bede’s Catholic College, Bristol; King Edward’s School, Bath; Clifton College; St Gregory’s Catholic College, Bath; Prior Park College; Blandford School; Norton Hill School; Millfield School