MMI Professional Judgement
MMI stations assessing your professional judgement may involve a variety of scenarios. For example, you may be faced with a role-play scenario in which you need to speak to a colleague who is acting unprofessionally.
These stations are assessing your ability to make professional judgements in pressured situations, your communication skills, empathy and ability to judge patient safety. This page will guide you through how to tackle these stations.
If you are presented with a role play, at the beginning of the station make sure you spend some time making conversation. For example, if you are faced with a situation where you need to confront a colleague about taking painkillers from a drug cabinet in the hospital, make sure you politely make conversation first, perhaps asking them about their day, before asking them about the painkillers.
Jumping straight to the difficult discussion with direct questions will make them feel judged, so spend some time making them feel comfortable first. This will demonstrate your ability to judge a potentially volatile situation and put others at ease. If they’re comfortable, they’ll be far more likely to open up to you about the situation and talk to you honestly; this scenario is all about communication skills and building trust while making professional decisions.
This is one of the most important aspects of professional judgement. Many scenarios may involve taking a colleague to one side and asking them about sensitive topics, so it’s important to demonstrate empathy – one of the key skills needed to be a good doctor.
If the station is a role play, the person acting as your colleague may become defensive, embarrassed or upset, and you’ll need to make sure you show sensitivity. Remember to ask them how they’re feeling and if you can help. Make sure your tone is understanding and kind, rather than accusatory. This will show your examiners you’re able to handle difficult and emotive situations sensitively and sympathetically.
Prioritise patient safety
When presented with a professional judgement scenario, make sure you prioritise patient safety. Remember that, despite your relationship to your colleague in the scenario, patient safety is crucial so you’ll need to show that you understand this. For example, if you’re approaching a scenario where you have seen a fellow junior doctor drinking alcohol on shift, and they are adamant that they’re capable of continuing work, it’s important to prioritise patient safety above all else.
In this scenario, make sure you demonstrate that you know the situation is unsafe – and come to an agreement with your colleague whereby they take the rest of the day off, and offer a private talk the next day to discuss any issues they may be having. This will show that you understand the emotive nature of the situation, that you are able to show empathy, and that you also prioritise patient safety.
MMI Professional Judgement Example Scenario
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- You are told that you are entering a hospital staff room 10 minutes prior to performing surgery with Dr ‘X’. As you enter, you see Dr ‘X’ take a swig of a clear drink from a bottle and quickly close their locker, which you suspect is alcohol. Over the course of the conversation, the doctor beings to forget things and slur their words. You have 5 minutes to speak to Dr ‘X’.