The Buckingham interview is a multiple mini interview (MMI). The circuit aims to test the skills required of a doctor, as laid out by the General Medical Council (GMC). There are therefore a wide variety of stations, with preparation vital to success. Here are some top tips on how to prepare…
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1. Be professional
One of the key values of the GMC is ensuring the professionalism of doctors is of the highest standard. By showing you are able to be professional even before you start medical school, this will be a big plus in your interview.
Professionalism will be assessed on all stations, regardless of the theme, meaning you can boost your performance on all stations. To start with, dressing smartly is important in making a good impression, but make sure you are comfortable as it will be very obvious if you are not!
When entering a station, introducing yourself to the interviewer(s) well is important, make good eye contact and smile, shaking hands is optional. If there is more than one interviewer, it is vital that you are speaking to everyone in the room, and remember the importance of eye contact.
Remember to sit up straight to appear engaged, and try to fidget as little as possible. By making all these small changes, you will be sure to come across as a professional individual.
Understanding the correct way to treat patients is also a core value of the GMC. Showing empathy, combined with a basic understanding of a few ethical principles, will help you to show your ability to care for patients to the highest standard.
A few examples of popular topics include confidentiality, ability to consent and always acting in the patient’s best interests. You may be presented with scenarios to work through, and preparing for these is important.
By practising speaking out loud and discussing dilemmas with friends/family, you will feel much more comfortable on the day of your interview!
As well as their role as a practitioner and professional, doctors are required to be competent scientists and scholars.
As part of this, the MMI circuit may test your ability to critically analyse data. By having a structure to go through, your response will be much more coherent and impress the examiners. It is always good to start by describing the type of data you have been presented first, so that the examiners know you understand what you are looking at.
For example, if you are given a graph showing the mortality rate over 10 years, tell them this! Only after you have explained what the data is should you try to interpret it. Using words such as positive/negative correlation, upwards/downwards trend will show you have understood the data well.
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