The Aberdeen interview is in the multiple-mini interview format (MMI) which consists of eight stations lasting seven minutes each.
The first two minutes are allocated as time to read the instructions and once this time is up, the remaining five minutes are allocated for discussion or completion of the task. There is a great deal of emphasis placed on communication skills, problem-solving and exploration of values and skills important in medicine.
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1. Be clued up on the medical career ladder
One of the domains that is assessed during the Aberdeen medicine interview is the understanding of the medical career ladder in addition to having a realistic idea of medicine. It is important to research the various career pathways after graduating from medical school.
Research what the foundation years involve and what core medical/surgical training is. Aberdeen place emphasis on knowing the realities of being a doctor and will ask you to reflect on some of the disadvantages and challenges of a career in medicine.
2. Be prepared to discuss your motivation for medicine
As with most medical schools, Aberdeen will gauge your motivation and commitment for a career in medicine. They will explore the quality of work experience you have carried out – and what you learned from your experiences.
In your Aberdeen medicine interview, pick out specific examples of situations where you demonstrated key qualities important for medicine, such as empathy or good communication skills – for example, if there was a scenario where you had to act in a sensitive situation, you could use this.
Let the interviewer know that you have been able to build up a realistic idea of medicine, make it clear that you understand the challenges of the career, the duration of training and intensity of the work life.
Aberdeen test your ability for lateral thinking by asking you to problem solve in a new situation. In these types of tasks, it is important you use the information given and justify your decision.
In these stations you will be marked on your justifications and ideas to create a solution for the problem.
There is an example on the Aberdeen website which asks the candidate what action they would take in a scenario where there is a clash between important academic and extracurricular activities.
The aim of this station is to determine how the candidate can prioritise their workload, be diplomatic in withdrawing from a commitment and justify the reasons for choosing the action they have. The best way to answer this question is to give priority to academic tasks, delegate roles where possible and minimise friction and clashes.
Words: Hassan Ahmed
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