It is also an excellent way for medical schools to see how you think about new information and process scenarios. Questions will often come in the form of giving your opinion about a certain topic (for example, abortion or euthanasia). With that in mind, this blog will give you three top tips for dealing with medical ethics questions in an interview.
1. Give a balanced viewpoint but come to a conclusion with justification
There are several traps that are easy to fall into. The first is passionately defending one viewpoint, without giving much consideration to alternative answers.
This can be tempting if you feel particularly sure about the answer, or feel very strongly about your opinion. They may even ask you for your opinion specifically, but you should always give at least one other viewpoint, and end by stating your opinion and the justification for it.
The other trap that some fall into is never committing to a viewpoint at all. If they ask you for your opinion, please give it! There are usually no wrong answers in these situations, as long as you can sensibly justify what you have said.
There are several key ethical themes and principle that will give you frameworks for answering questions, and show that you have done some background reading, which will look impressive. Read about key principles such as:
3. Think about wider implications of the ethical dilemma at hand
Scenarios and questions are often just small snapshots of much wider issues at hand. When answering a question, try to think about how this can relate to wider problems.
For example, if you are asked to analyse a situation in which you consider that a doctor lying to a patient may be justified, then think about what would happen if you applied this rule to other scenarios. This is always a good way to test out the validity of your ethical viewpoint – you can even explain this to the interviewer.
Alternatively, questions may be posed in abstract and not seemingly healthcare related ways; try to think of a way to link it to healthcare and medicine, and what the implications of this might be in practice.