Reviewing different MMI policy questions and answers is an essential part of your MMI prep. Contrary to popular belief, such as the are coachable, and preparing for them in advance can make a huge difference in your final results. It is not enough to know how to identify the different types of interview questions; you also need to understand how to approach them. Policy questions can be especially tricky, so in this blog, we'll share some MMI policy questions and answers to help you understand what a strong answer should look like, and we will also share some tips and strategies that'll help you learn how to come up with your own strong answers to MMI policy questions.
If you have been invited for a Multiple Mini Interview, it means that you have met most of your chosen school or program's quantifiable requirements. You likely have a solid academic background that fulfills their , submitted a compelling application, scored well on the MCAT and other standardized tests, or some other combination of the above. Now that you've made it this far, they want to ensure that you are the same strong candidate in person and that you have the soft skills required to succeed in their institution and your chosen field.
The MMI is a significant hurdle, and getting through it requires understanding its format, what it is designed to test, and preparing effectively. It is important to know that the MMI is not intended to test your pre-existing knowledge within the field you're pursuing. Instead, it tests your analytic and communications skills, problem-solving ability, and overall suitability for the profession. This is done through 8 to 12 stations, lasting 4 to 8 minutes each, where you will have prompts and that will put your communication skills, ethical reasoning, and critical thinking abilities to the test. While no one can predict the questions that you will face in an interview, there are still ways to prepare. In a traditional interview, you can almost always expect to be asked: "" or "" and other variations of some of the most common interview questions. When it comes to the MMI, it's way better to learn strategies for identifying and answering different .
Are you nervous about how to answer different types of MMI questions including the Policy Station? Check this video:
As mentioned earlier, there are several different types of questions that you can expect in a, and policy questions are one of them. The rest of the question types are listed below. Many of them can be pretty challenging if you do not know what to expect or how to prepare, so make sure you make some to review , for example.
- Scenario questions
- Ethical questions
- Acting Questions
- Personal Questions
- Quirky Questions
- Writing Questions
- Collaborative Questions
MMI policy questions ask you to address substantive matters of policy. For example, in medical school Multiple Mini Interviews, questions about health care coverage are common. You can also expect these questions to come up in interviews for veterinary medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, etc. These questions give you an opportunity to exercise your analytic skills while showcasing your prior knowledge and experience in the healthcare system. These questions are used to assess your awareness of the main issues facing your profession, as well as your ability to remain objective and non-critical of all sides of an issue.
Applicants often assume that their response to policy questions is evaluated based on the side of the issue that they choose, but this is not true. MMI policy questions are all about assessing your understanding of the policies and issues being discussed, your critical thinking skills, and your communication skills. The interviewer wants to know that you understand what the policy you've been asked about is and who it affects and that you can look at both sides of the issue, think about them critically and come to your own conclusions.
Identifying MMI policy questions can be relatively easy. You may get a prompt that asks specifically about a policy or a hot topic in the news. You may also get a follow-up question about policy. When you hear the question, simply consider the themes that the question is asking about. For example, if you are asked about a recent change in healthcare coverage, a new law that will be taking effect soon, or city vs. rural practice. In that case, you are dealing with a policy question, and you should tackle it accordingly. For context, these are some of the common topics that you may get policy questions about:
Keep up with the news & Research
You can't think critically and answer questions about an issue that you do not know about. That is why the best way to prepare for questions in the policy category is to familiarize yourself with current events, hot social and political topics, and the challenges facing your professional field in your town, state, province, or country.
We recommend keeping up with the news, especially in the months leading to your interview. You can learn about local and global issues by watching the news, reading the newspaper and magazines, and visiting the websites of global institutions. You can also visit the websites of your state/provincial and national/federal professional associations to read about the latest policies and news.
We also recommend taking the time to research the "hot topics" that you learn about in the news. Remember that you need to provide a nuanced and mature reflection of the issues, and to do so, you must be informed on every side of an issue. So, make sure you look out for biased articles and information, especially when you are researching highly partisan topics like access to healthcare. Make sure you read multiple articles from different sources about different aspects of the conversation, as this will help you see all the sides of the issue, and you can come to an informed conclusion for yourself.
Understand how the MMI is evaluated
There is a lot of confusing and misleading information about the MMI that can make it harder to prepare for it and do well. To do well, you need to know what the interviewers are actually evaluating and how they are doing it. For starters, you should know that while there are no right or wrong answers to MMI questions, there are strong and weak answers. Interviewees are scored via a Likert scale from 1-10, where 1 is designated as unsuitable, and 10 is considered outstanding. Their performance is relative to the pool of all applicants being rated.
Furthermore, students are not judged on their prior knowledge of any profession. Instead, evaluators will be looking to see how well students communicate their thoughts and if the argument they are presenting is strong. They will assess your answer to determine whether or not you identified the problem, considered it from multiple perspectives, and if your solution is strong and fair, accounting for any groups that may be affected, as well as ethical, moral, and professional obligations.
Check out this infographic for more MMI tips:
Practice your timing
While each MMI station can last up to 8 minutes, we highly recommend that you do not aim to use all 8 minutes. To avoid running out of time, we recommend that you practice as though you only have 4 minutes to provide strong answers. This will help you come up with more concise responses. Remember that one of the main things you are being evaluated on is your communication skills. Being able to provide an informative and straightforward answer will show the evaluators that you know how to communicate effectively because you were able to pick out the key points of the issue and leave out all the "fluff".
Now that you know what MMI policy questions are and how to prepare for them let's talk about how to actually answer them. We recommend that you stick to this simple 4 step process:
Question: You have recently begun working in the pediatrics department. You find out that the pediatrician refuses to continue to act as the child's physician unless the child's parents agree to fully vaccinate the child as per her recommendations. What are your views about childhood vaccination?
Answer: For kids between the ages of 0 and 6, the CDC recommends getting specific vaccines, and all states require certain vaccinations for children entering public schools, but there are no federal laws that mandate vaccination, and many states actually offer medical and religious exemptions.
I recently read an article about an increasing number of physicians who, when faced with parents who refuse immunization on behalf of their children, choose to dismiss these families from their practice, even though there are a number of complicated ethical and legal considerations. I am sure that these doctors do not come to this decision easily, and neither do the parents who decide not to vaccinate their children.
While vaccines protect children from various dangerous diseases, there is still a chance - however small - that their child could suffer a life-threatening allergic reaction or other side effects, and that's scary for parents. Furthermore, autonomy is also a factor. Most parents want the best for their children, and they want to be able to make their own informed decisions as to what that best is, especially when it comes to their child's wellness.
That said, there is enough evidence to show that the number of children who suffer from side effects is minimal. For example, the most common side effect of vaccines, anaphylaxis, occurs in one per several hundred thousand to one per million vaccinations. The evidence shows that vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect our kids and those around them. As physicians, we need to keep educating the populace and making sure that they have access to the most accurate facts and figures so that they make informed decisions, and we need to respect those decisions.
Question: You are on your stationary bike exercising and filling through the TV channels. You come across a news story that discusses the following: A recent report by the health authorities has revealed that there are more deaths due to preventable and common diseases in rural areas as compared to urban settings. In your opinion, what could be causing the observed difference, and how can we address this problem?
Answer: The health disparities between rural and urban settings have been a cause for concern for a few years now. Many different things contribute to the problem - from access to care to the quality of care available and community features like inadequate access to healthy foods and limited personal support systems. In my opinion, the biggest issue is that people who live in rural communities have limited access to primary health care services.
I actually grew up in a relatively remote community. I remember one of my friends in high school complaining about stomach pain for days but not being able to get it checked out because she was non-emergent and could therefore not go to the emergency clinic. On the other hand, one of her parents would have to take time off work to make the two-hour drive to the closest hospital. That wasn't an option for my friend's family, and I know that it is not an option for many other families that are living paycheck to paycheck. She was eventually rushed to the emergency clinic when her appendix burst.
When left unchecked and untreated, minor issues can become big ones, leading to worse health outcomes. In my opinion, many states have already started working on the solution by providing incentives for medical students to go work in rural areas. I think that if people in rural communities have access to continuous primary care, there will be a significant improvement.
Question: What are your views about the legalization of marijuana for recreational use?
Answer: The recreational use of marijuana has already been legalized in Canada and a few US states, but there is still much debate on the subject. Some states wonder if the legalization of marijuana is beneficial to the community as a whole, and others are watching to see if it's something they should adopt as well.
I can definitely understand why it people land on either side of the issue. On the one hand, we are talking about a drug that can have short-term effects, such as poisoning or overuse of marijuana, and long-term consequences like dependency. On the other hand, research shows that marijuana use has increased over the past few years and that when handled responsibly, the unpleasant side effects can be minimal.
I believe that we should treat it the same way we treat alcohol. We should do our very best to limit its access to adults who can use it responsibly and educate the masses on what marijuana actually is, how it can be used safely and what side effects it can have. This would allow us to teach more people about the right way to indulge in recreational marijuana. The legalization of recreational marijuana would also have a positive impact on both the crime rate and the economy of the country, as it would take money out of illegal drug dealers' pockets and put it in the hands of legal business owners who can be monitored by the government to ensure that they are following the rules.
1. How hard are Multiple Mini Interviews(MMI)?
2. What exactly is an MMI policy question?
Policy questions are a type of question typically included on the MMI and other situational judgment tests. They usually prompts or follow-up questions asking for your thoughts about a specific policy in your field.
3. What are the different types of MMI questions?
4. Do all medical schools use MMI?
No. While the MMI is a staple in the admissions processes to prestigious and competitive fields, such as medicine and dentistry, it is not used by all medical schools. You will need to check the interview information for your chosen school.
5. What do medical schools assess during MMIs?
MMIs are supposed to evaluate your soft skills, such as communication, social behavior, problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork.
6. How many stations are there in a MMI?
You should expect 8-12 stations, each 4-8 minutes long.
7. Is it true that you don't need to prepare for MMI?
This is a common belief, but it is untrue. Situational judgment tests such as the MMI are highly coachable.
8. How should I prepare for the Multiple Mini Interview?
You can prepare by learning how to identify the different question types and developing or learning strategies for tackling those questions. We also recommend using mock interviews and simulations to practice your strategies and timing for your answers. Ideally, you should get feedback from a professional to improve your performance.