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Published on 30th November 2016 by lauram

This is a new ‘Interview Guide’ blog series, where each post will be focusing on a different aspect of a medical school interview. This guide collects a range of our resources on NHS Hot Topics, from topic-specific blog posts to Hot Topics Interview Questions.

What are NHS Hot Topics?

Hot topics are a key part of any medical school interview. Your interviewers want to see that you’re up to date on medical news and current affairs, and that you’re aware of recent changes or debates in the NHS. Before you can keep on top of this, though, it’s important you have a basic understanding of how the UK’s health service operates, so check out our NHS page – it has details on its history, structure and challenges.

Our page on NHS Hot Topics 2016 details some of the biggest medical news stories this year that may feature in your MMI stations or at a stage in your panel interview. These include the junior doctors’ contract, Zika virus, 7-Day NHS and mental health. The page provides a good overview of these news topics – as well as potential questions you may be asked.

Key resource: NHS Hot Topics 2016

What kinds of questions might I be asked on NHS Hot Topics?

You may be asked a range of questions on NHS Hot Topics – these will usually appear in the form of asking your opinion on a specific topic – here are three example questions:

  • What is your opinion on the junior doctors’ contract?
  • Do you think the NHS should fund the prescription of PrEP?
  • What do you think are the major challenges in implementing a 7-Day NHS?

As with all questions on NHS Hot Topics, simply answering ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is not a good idea – you need to show that you can weigh up both sides of a debate. For example, a question on the 7-Day NHS requires you to consider the benefits or disadvantages of this proposal to patients and doctors. On one hand, providing quality weekend healthcare is a positive for patients – but it would also require a huge amount of extra funding from the government, and NHS services are already struggling to stay afloat. It’s important to try to communicate the nuances of the debate as best you can.

Our NHS Hot Topics Interview Question Bank suggests some of the questions you may be asked – as well as providing detailed answer guides.

Key resource: NHS Hot Topics Interview Question Bank

How can I prepare for questions on NHS Hot Topics?

Still not really sure what the latest developments are in the junior doctor strikes? Not clear on what the Sugar Tax or 7-Day NHS is? Now is a great time to fix gaps in your knowledge of current medical affairs.

Keep your eyes open for new NHS public health campaigns. Download a news app onto your phone and check it every morning or evening for the latest stories, or any recent developments in vaccinations, treatment or medical studies. You can also check our Medical News Summary blogs, which we publish every week – filter these by ‘Medical News’.

A good way of practising is speaking about news topics with your friends or family – try discussing the junior doctors’ contract or PrEP. Ask each other questions and remember to weigh up both sides of the debate. This is a great way to familiarise yourself with vocalising your opinions in a familiar environment – so by the time your interview comes, you’ll feel much more comfortable. Good luck!

Key resource: Medical News Summaries

Other key NHS Hot Topics resources:

How we can help:

  • MMI Circuits – practice your NHS Hot Topics answers (as well as Empathy, Personal Insight and more) at different MMI stations and receive feedback on your performance.
  • Interview Tutoring – sessions are tailored to suit you, so you could focus on discussing NHS Hot Topics with your tutor, or you could request a mock interview focusing on Hot Topics.

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