Published on 21st November 2018 by lauram

Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) probity stations will be based on your sense of integrity, honesty and your morals. Probity is extremely important in medicine for many reasons.

As a student doctor, if you are able to have strong morals it will lead to you having better relationships with fellow students, and as a doctor, it can lead to increased patient safety and outcomes.

At my university, some of the first lectures and seminars were based on this very topic. Medical schools will be looking to see that you have an appreciation for its importance and as such many will create an MMI station surrounding it. In this post I’ll be giving you my top tips to tackle these stations!

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1. Read the GMC’s ‘Achieving Good Medical Practice’ document

From my experience, scenarios in this station are typically in the form of a fellow student acting unprofessionally – for example, cheating in a test or asking you to sign them in for a seminar. Usually, you must come up with the most appropriate response, very similar to that of the Situational Judgement section of the UKCAT.

I would highly recommend reading the GMC’s ‘Achieving Good Medical Practice’ for clear instructions on how the GMC expects of graduating medical students to behave professionally.

2. Be aware of whistleblowing and its importance

Whistleblowing is the reporting of unethical or unlawful behavior. I think an awareness of some real-life scenarios could demonstrate a good understanding of the importance of probity and integrity.

For example, the Francis Report based on the Mid-Staffordshire Trust showed that many staff were not highlighting their concerns about the care being delivered to patients. Ultimately, between 400 to 1200 deaths were caused from 2005 to 2009.

Since, the NHS has worked hard to stamp out poor whistleblowing procedures. As a student, it would be good to show an understanding of this, and that you would know how to act appropriately in situations that break regulation.

Reading up on cases such as The Francis Report will help you to appreciate the significance of good professional judgement in the face of adversity.  

3. Don’t forget to show empathy

One of the difficulties with these stations is that your answer cannot be in the form of a single sentence, such as those found in the UKCAT. I personally found it quite difficult to think of what to say for extended periods of time.

I highly recommend that you do not forget about expressing your empathy to the situation. It’s necessary to show an understanding for regulation, but do not forget to attempt to understand your colleagues’ reasons for acting in that way.

For example, a friend cheating on a test could be a sign of them struggling to keep up. A way to show your empathy could be through asking what you can do to help them and offering support, joint revision sessions, emotional advice.

4. Show that you understand the consequences of not acting

If, for example, in your response, you deem it necessary to tell your colleague to report themselves to more senior members of staff, then you should explain your reasoning for this, likely in the form of what would have happened if you didn’t act.

Let’s take the case of a medical student turning up to a hospital placement smelling of alcohol. By advising them to report themselves you can prevent them from:

  • Being in more trouble if caught
  • Being dangerous for patients due to their reduced mental capacity

The student will also be able to learn from their mistakes, whilst potentially getting any support they need from the university.

That’s just a summary of the things that I learnt last year. I hope this helps the preparation process for you. Good luck!

Words: Jayden Gittens

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