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3rd December 2018
MMIs seem daunting if you’ve never done one before – but learning strategies for how to approach role-play stations will help you perform well.

It’s also a good idea to include MMI Circuits in your interview prep, as practice will help you to gain confidence ahead of your interview.

Act: Throw Yourself Into The Situation

One of the keys to doing well at your MMI role-play stations is to throw yourself into the situation and pretend it’s real. It’s really hard to role play, and this strategy will help you seem more comfortable and genuine.

For example, Med student Mariam Al-Attar told us that in one of their successful interviews, they had a station where they had to comfort someone. They offered them a cup of tea and when the actor accepted the offer, they actually mimed the pouring of a teapot!

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Think: What Is This Station Really About?

MMI role-play stations aren’t testing your drama skills – each is cleverly designed with an underlying theme that you need to tease out and react to. Think about what this could be, and what interviewers will want to see from you.

For example, if you’re asked to express your disapproval of something, you’re actually being tested on your ability to show compassion and empathy and to communicate clearly.

Remember: ICE

ICE is a great framework for approaching MMI role-play stations. It stands for ideas, concerns and expectations – and Medical Schools love to see it.

You should use ICE every time you speak to a patient to find out:

  • Ideas: does the patient have any ideas regarding their condition/ situation?
  • Concerns: what is worrying the patient?
  • Expectations: what is the patient expecting to gain from this consultation?

This may seem fairly simple – but it can be difficult to get patients/the actor to give you their personal thoughts.

Ask: Get The Actor To Open Up

The actor may have been briefed to be guarded about sharing information with you, which makes it more challenging to follow the ICE framework. If this happens, you have to balance being persistent without being pushy.

Tips for helping someone open up to you:

  • Ask open questions – these will encourage the person to talk
  • Pick up on the cues they give you. For example if the actor says they are concerned because they feel tired all the time, don’t just leave it at that. Probe further, ask why they feel tired and how long have they been feeling this way and so on
  • Keep the conversation on track so that you can complete ICE within the time limit of the station. Think of how you can steer the conversation without seeming rude or breaking the rapport you’ve built up with the actor.

Practice: MMI Questions

Practising MMI questions and stations is a great way to familiarise yourself with the format, and build your confidence. With interviews moving online this year, make sure you’ve practised remote MMIs and you’re comfortable doing these stations via your laptop.

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