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1. Know how the Aston medicine interview works
Your Aston medicine interview will include 7-10 different MMI stations, each assessing something different. Aston are not testing your medical knowledge – instead they are looking for you to demonstrate qualities that a doctor needs. For example:
Oral and written communication skills
Empathy, compassion, respect and dignity
Being able to lead as well as follow
Knowing your limitations and knowing when to ask for help
Some of these attributes you may be able to demonstrate directly at interview through the questions/scenarios given to you. But it might also be useful to think of previous examples where you have shown these qualities, such as work experience.
The Aston medicine interview may involve actors to interact with in a roleplay scenario. You can see example role-play stations here. The best piece of advice for these stations is to pretend that the situation is real: how would you react in real life to this person? How would you show empathy?
The MMIs at Aston include a number of different stations based on the GMC’s Promoting Excellence and the NHS Constitution. It’s a good idea to have a brief read of these documents so you are aware of the types of thing you might be expected to demonstrate at interview and to give you a better understanding of the NHS. These can be found here and here.
4. Try to think about any experience you have had which may be relevant
Aston do not have set requirements on work experience – they recognise that it can be hard to secure medical experience and that you can get the same qualities from non-medical work experience.
Think of any examples of experiences in a caring environment you’ve had that can demonstrate your understanding of medicine and what characteristics a doctor requires. For example, this may be caring for an ill family member or volunteering in a care home.
Try to think about what you’ve learnt from these experiences, as you may well be asked to discuss these at interview.
5. Have an understanding of the course and use of clinical placements at Aston
The course at Aston has a large emphasis on clinical placements and gaining experience in primary, secondary and tertiary care. The amount of clinical experience you get increases as the course goes on, but even in first year you have two one-week placements in primary care, one being very early on.
It’s useful as a medical student to be able to get clinical experience early on and this is something that is not offered by all medical schools. Try to think how this would benefit you as this could be something you might be asked about at your MMI.
Words: Rachael Foulsham
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