It might seem obvious, but take some time to think about your answer to the question ‘Why do you want to go into Medicine?’ before you attend your interview. You may know your own reasons, but articulating them is different – and you don’t want to end up waffling or giving an unclear answer to what is a fairly standard question.
Don’t prepare a scripted answer to recite off-by-heart (the interviewers don’t want to hear rehearsed answers), but make sure you have some key points in mind to explain your motivation for Medicine. Try to be specific and avoid using generic or vague statements such as “I like helping people”.
Medical work experience shows that you have made an effort to explore what working in Medicine is really like. In your interview, it’s important that you don’t just give an overview of where you did your placement and what it involved – you need to discuss what you learned from it.
Take some time to reflect on your work experience and prepare some key learning points. What did it teach you about the day-to-day life of a Doctor? Was there a particular patient case that sparked your interest? Did you observe any significant examples of good leadership, teamwork or empathy that you found inspiring?
If you did any volunteering related to Medicine (e.g. volunteering in a care home or with St John Ambulance), you could also use this to answer motivation questions. What did your voluntary experience teach you about caring for people, working as part of a team, dealing with the public, etc?
Aside from work experience, there are other ways to explore what studying and working in Medicine is really like. If you can discuss any additional research during your Medical School interview, this will show further enthusiasm and motivation for Medicine.
For example, if you know anyone who is a medical student or medical professional, see if you can pick their brains and ask them some questions about their experiences. There are also plenty of books you can read to learn more about Medicine, TV shows such as This Is Going To Hurt, and online resources including video series.
Familiarise yourself with NHS hot topics, make sure you understand medical ethics and keep up with medical news. If you’re able to discuss current issues in Medicine with confidence, this will impress your interviewers and show that you have a real interest in the field.
You aren’t expected to be an expert (after all, you haven’t even started your first year of Medical School yet), but you should demonstrate an understanding of what is happening and changing in the medical world.
Check out our guide to common background & motivation questions, with model answers and mistakes to avoid.
As mentioned before, don’t script answers and learn them off-by-heart – but practice will help you reflect and feel ready to tackle any question!
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