5 Things to Research Before Your Medical School Interview

5 Things to Research Med School

In medical school interviews, most people will be able to answer questions about themselves or about medicine quite well.

However, regardless of whether you are preparing for an MMI or a panel interview, you will also be likely to be asked about why you chose to apply to their course specifically.

To stand out from the crowd, and persuade your interviewers of your desire to study medicine at the particular university you are interviewing for, here are some aspects of your medical school to read up on.

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1. PBL, Traditional, a bit of both?

While the actual content taught by each medical school might be somewhat consistent, the way in which the information is delivered to students varies greatly. This is perhaps one of the most important things to find out about in greater detail.

Courses can either be taught in the style of PBL (problem-based learning in smaller groups), traditional (lectures as a whole year group), or integrated (a combination of PBL and traditional teaching).

Taking the teaching of anatomy as an example, some schools use cadavers and allow students to carry out comprehensive dissections, some schools use prosections, done by experienced anatomists, and some schools use computer simulation instead. You can find out the course types used by each UK medical school on our Medical School Comparison Tool!

In addition, many medical schools now offer an integrated BSc year, which is worth exploring; What courses would you be able to take in that year? Is it compulsory? Would you be able to complete that year abroad?

Certain courses may especially appeal to you, and this would be brilliant to bring up in an interview. It is also the perfect opportunity to ask for further information at the end of the interview.

See how to answer questions about your medical school in our FREE Interview Question Bank>>

2. Current/most famous research

Apart from academic teaching, the medical faculty of your university will also be involved in both scientific and clinical research.

When the interviewer asks the question of “Why this university?”, briefly mentioning the university’s current research will definitely leave a great impression.

Don’t worry, this absolutely does not mean that you have to be an expert in that field, nor am I suggesting spending hours and hours reading papers that they have published.

The medical faculty website of the university is a great starting point as there will usually be a brief, easy-to-understand summary of their research.

Read our guide to NHS Hot Topics 2018-19>>

3. Affiliated hospitals

Throughout your five or six years of medical school, and particularly your final years, the clinical aspects of medicine will be taught at hospitals, or by consultants working in the affiliated hospitals. In an interview, it is often worth pointing out benefits unique to the particular hospitals.

For example, is it a tertiary hospital which specialises in an area that you are interested in? Or is it a district hospital covering a large catchment area, and would therefore exposes you to a wider variety of patients and illnesses?

Read our top 10 tips for a medical school interview>>

4. The City

Apart from the academic aspects, a huge part of university life is to do with the culture and atmosphere of the city it’s situated in: your experience at a university in London, for instance, would differ greatly from you experience at Edinburgh or Bristol.

This ultimately depends on your personal preference – just be prepared to talk about this, as you could be asked in both MMI or panel interviews.

Read our guide to MMI preparation>>

5. Clubs and societies

With the mental health of medical students in the UK being a huge topic of discussion at the moment, your interviewers would be interested in your hobbies and how you plan to de-stress at university.

This is the perfect opportunity to tie in your favourite pastimes with clubs and societies offered at the particular university. Whether this is a sports team, a drama production, or a music ensemble you would like to join, these are all worth mentioning in your interview to show how you could become a valuable asset to the university!

Words: Michele Chan

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