As far as medical schools go, there is something about St Andrews that renders it quite unique from the rest. I’m a recent graduate from the medical school and I can honestly say that its choice as my top medical school was worth every second of research, planning and stress to prepare for the interview.
In this article, I’m going to help prepare those of you who have successfully gained an interview, using both my own knowledge, as well as the knowledge of cohorts from recent years, some of which I know successfully gained a place at this top medical school.
1. Know the St Andrews medicine interview structure
St Andrews uses the MMI format. It is as follows:
There are usually 6 stations at the interview lasting six minutes each
Stations in the past have included (bear in mind however that these vary year on year!):
Aiming to complete a puzzle which appears to be impossible
Being given scenarios and choosing which you thought was the most appropriate action
Discussion of voluntary work/work experience
Discussion of motivation to become part of St Andrews medical school
Convincing an actor to take some prescription medication to help their condition
Helping a person pack their holiday luggage
2. Do the background work
There are certain features of each medical school in the UK which help it stand out from the rest. For St Andrews, the following points are essential when asked about your motivation to join this medical school.
Full body dissection – St Andrews is now one of only a handful of medical schools in the UK who practice full body dissection. They have a single cadaver between 6 medical students for a whole year and access to the dissection room most days during the week
A two-way split between pre-clinical and clinical years – St Andrews allows you to transfer to another medical for your clinical years
Compulsory intercalation – During second semester of third year, St Andrews offers you the opportunity to undertake a dissertation with one of the medical school’s leading experts
3. Be Confident in Your Ability!
The main thought you should take into your interview is the fact that the medical school wants to interview YOU for a reason. So don’t practise your answers off by heart, and be confident in what you’ve achieved!
Want more interview tips? Read the others in our series: