St George's - Med School Interview Tips

St. George’s, University of London’s medicine interview is a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) that consists of eight stations each lasting for five minutes. The stations are extremely varied, including answering questions, solving problems, and engaging in role-play or scenario-based tasks.

They MMIs primarily aim to look at how good of a fit you are for medicine at the school. In doing so, they will assess your skills and qualities, including empathy, communication, organisation, and teamwork.

The school regularly updates their website with official information on the interview process, linked here. St George’s will be running online, rather than face-to-face interviews for 2021 entry.

Keeping this in mind, here are my three top tips for your interview at St. George’s, be it online or face to face.

Preparing for your St George’s medicine interview:

1. Read up on various topics in medicine

Aside from being able to answer some of the more typical medical school interview questions, it is worthwhile to learn more about different topics in medicine – both key events in the past and current developments.

For the past, what were some of the most notable achievements in the medical field for you and why? Currently, what do you think is the biggest issue in medicine? How do you think the role of a doctor might change in the future?

A lot of these are “big” questions that ask for your opinion on broad issues in medicine, however, to be able to answer them well, you would need to know some current developments in the field. If you are interested in a certain area of medicine, this would be a great opportunity to mention your interests in your answer.

2. Prepare your problem-solving skills

It’s near impossible to correctly predict what types of problems they might pose, however, you can prepare effective problem-solving skills to handle any type of problem that may come your way in your St George’s medicine interview.

First and foremost, take the time to read the problem and understand what is being asked. It can be all too easy, especially with the given time limit for each station, to simply skim over the brief and immediately attempt to answer, however, this risks missing crucial details.

After clearly identifying the problem and any sub-problems that may arise, it is important to recognise the priorities in the issue, for example, are there any non-negotiable points that the solution must include? This leads to the actual examination of potential solutions, and their strengths and weaknesses, ultimately resulting in a final decision of the most suitable solution. Familiarising yourself with a logical process to arrive at an answer, and practising the application of this process to various problems can definitely help for the interview.

There may not be a straightforward, correct answer to the problem; in that case, justifying your decision, with reference to the given information in the problem, is key. In fact, explaining your thought process along the way can be a useful strategy to not only organise your thoughts but to also show the interviewer that you are solving the problem in an organised and rational manner.

3. Practise immersing yourself in role-play or scenario tasks

The St George’s medicine interview usually includes at least one role-play station, where you are given a situation to attend to, such as your neighbour’s cat ran away while you were cat-sitting for them. In a face-to-face interview, you may be interacting with an actor and while this may not occur during an online interview you may be asked how you would respond in such a situation.

Consider how you would handle various scenarios. For example, if you were to comfort your distraught neighbour, how would you attempt to calm them down? What would you say? Aside from just using words, how might you show your care through body language?

It may be helpful to think about the scenario from various perspectives: if you were the distraught neighbour, what might you want to hear that would make the situation better?

These types of stations are there to gauge how well you respond spontaneously under pressure, so it’s important to remain calm and to stay on track in addressing the key issue of the scenario, whether it be comforting or persuading someone else.

Ultimately, my biggest piece of advice is to stay calm during your St George’s medicine interview. By remaining level-headed and not letting the pressure and stress get to you, you will be able to think more clearly and to show the interviewers that you have the skills and qualities to make a great future doctor.

Best of luck!

Words: Margaret Ho

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