The professional judgement MMI station is often a role play scenario, when you’re asked to act out a scenario with a colleague or patient. It’s designed to assess your ability to make professional judgements in pressured situations, your communication skills, empathy and ability to judge patient safety
You’re 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 five minutes to speak to Dr ‘X’.
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If your professional judgement station involves role play, make sure you spend some time making conversation at the start. 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, before asking them about the painkillers.
Doing this will demonstrate your ability to judge a potentially volatile situation and put others at ease. This scenario is all about communication skills and building trust while making professional decisions – and you can show this skill by making sure they’re comfortable.
Being sensitive 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.
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.
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.
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