As a crucial aspect of your medical school application, you should put a lot of effort into anticipating and answering your UCL Medicine interview questions. The interview gives you a chance to show yourself in a broad, holistic way and to humanise yourself for the admissions committee; you become a ‘face’ in the interview process.
In University College London’s MMI (multiple mini-interview) format, you should expect common medical school interview questions, such as ‘Why this medical school’, ‘Why should we choose you’, or ‘Tell us about a time you failed and how you recovered’. You can also expect questions specific to MMIs, which is why you will need MMI prep in particular.
If you shine during this process, you will fair far better than you would otherwise, so you need to really focus on the interview. In this article, we will give you every advantage by going over UCL Medicine interview questions and answers, the UCL format, strategies for dealing with answers, the test in general, and how to handle any setbacks on the day.
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What to Expect From UCL Medicine Interview Questions: Format and Values
In the MMI format, UCL’s interview will have several stations you will go through, each of which will present a scenario, question, or other challenge that you will work through. Every station will be different and will only last a short amount of time. Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) Tips, Sample Question + Detailed Answers can help you prepare for this format.
Trying to figure out how to prepare for your med school interview without memorizing answers?
Time management is key to how to prepare for your multiple mini-interview and complete your UCL MMI with flying colours. Some stations will present questions which you will need to answer. These might be open-ended questions or multiple-choice, but either way, you will need to elaborate on your answer. For instance, if you are presented with a multiple-choice question, it is not simply a matter of saying, ‘A’, or, ‘C’, but rather, saying which answers you favour and which you do not. You must say why you picked the answer that you did. If you have time, you can go into detail on the merits or demerits of each of the other answers presented to you as well.
UCL evaluates students based on their answers and how well they fit with UCL’s values:
Preparation for UCL Medicine Interview Questions
It is best to ready yourself for anything while performing your MMI prep, which means knowing content, but not words. You shouldn’t be memorising anything, as pre-memorised answers only apply to a narrow range of questions, and furthermore, they tend to be delivered in an unnatural, robotic way.
Instead, memorise content. You should know about medicine, generally, and be prepared to answer questions on medicine, your background, or why you want to be a physician or study at UCL. That way, regardless of the questions that come up, you will be ready. You can test yourself with sample MMI practice questions, but of course, the best way to prepare yourself is through a mock medical school interview, a facsimile of the actual event, in which professionals give you a sense of the timing, stress level, and types of questions you will need to answer. You will learn how to answer them and how to keep yourself under the time limit. You will even be required to simulate test conditions with your attire. In short, a mock interview provides you with the experiences you need to enter your MMI with confidence.
Types of UCL Medicine Interview Questions and Example Answers
UCL Medicine Interview Question – No.1
Imagine you’re a medical student on a GP placement. You’re seeing a patient. During the consultation, the patient complains that their GP always smells of cigarette smoke. They complain because the doctor is setting a bad example and because they (the patient) recently gave up smoking.
Decide which options are appropriate, very appropriate, inappropriate, or very inappropriate.
You must explain which answers are appropriate and inappropriate, but you do not need to rank them, just explain your reasoning. The why is more important than the answer.
I think that option B is the most appropriate of the options and what I would do in that scenario. The reason I would choose that option is because I could keep a patient from embarrassment by helping them through this. The problem can be resolved most smoothly with me as a mediator.
I might also choose option A, which settles the matter, although I would want to make sure that the doctor will take this criticism as intended and won’t become offended or otherwise compromise their relationship with the patient.
Option D is inappropriate, because that is passive-aggressive at best and likely won’t solve anything. Because it won’t promote understanding, health, or moving forward, it will be ineffective.
Option C is my least favourite of the options because it is rude to the patient and resolves nothing. They will feel hurt and unheard. This will jeopardise my relationship with that patient and possibly the GP’s relationship with their patient as well.
UCL Medicine Interview Question – No.2
You notice a colleague of yours in conversation with a patient. The tone of the conversation is, to you, clearly flirtatious. How would you approach this situation?
This is an ethical dilemma, and one in which you must navigate sensitive issues for patients and doctors alike. You have a lot to consider. You need to manage the workplace aspect, medical ethics, the personal aspect, and do so neatly and efficiently, but with empathy.
Empathy becomes easier to manage when you identify the vulnerable party in any scenario, which will help you prioritise what you need to do. Delicacy is still required to determine how to go about helping the vulnerable party, but it gives you a ‘true north” to follow.
First, I would be worried about the patient. They are in our care and are the vulnerable party here. Because of this, any relationship between a health care worker and a patient cannot occur because there is a power imbalance. However, a flirtation is not a relationship, and I should approach this with care.
The first thing I would do is speak with the patient, asking them if they like their health care team and if they have any complaints. This would give the patient an opportunity to identify any immediate danger or problems. If they did feel threatened or uncomfortable, I would have a colleague wait with the patient while I found the other party in the flirtation.
Either way, I would speak with my colleague about what I saw and let them know that I thought it was inappropriate. I would be careful to be non-judgemental and to make sure that I was seeing the flirtation correctly. Depending on how open they were to what I was saying, I could either switch them to a different patient team and record the incident, or I would be forced to seek out help from other staff members to address this issue. I would avoid aggressive confrontation if possible.
I would have to include what I saw in a report to make sure that everything was documented.
Want to learn the different types of med school interview questions? Check this out:
UCL Medicine Interview Question – No.3
Tell us about why you chose UCL’s medical program.
You must connect yourself to UCL in a specific way. Something of yourself and something of UCL must resonate together like sympathetic vibrations. This means that you should pick one or two specific aspects that drew you to apply to UCL and explain why you are the perfect person to engage with a school of those qualities.
UCL has a variety of teaching techniques folded into their learning. I learn better using alternating methods, partly because I am the sort of student who wants to keep challenging myself and evolving. This means that UCL’s mix of instructional styles will greatly benefit me and provide a learning environment in which I can thrive.
Furthermore, UCL is one of the only medical schools in the UK to offer full body dissection. This level of depth in anatomy is a foundational aspect of medicine. I currently intend to become an internal medicine specialist and starting with a practical knowledge of the body’s systems is important. However, even if I go into a different speciality, I know that such knowledge will always be useful. It keeps the focus on the holistic functioning and treatment of the body.
Finally, your Target Medicine program, aimed at increasing underrepresented persons’ involvement in your school, is a tangible step to creating equalised health care in the UK and around the world. I know that my own career must start from a place of understanding and inclusiveness. This promotes health across communities, and I love the idea of being part of something that makes the world a better place while simultaneously preparing new physicians for their careers.
UCL Medicine Interview Question – No.4
What do you think are the three biggest threats to public health today, on a national or international level?
This very open-ended question provides you with a lot of options and places to go. You will need to be well-read in current trends and ideas in global or national health . As part of your preparation, make sure you have read any current news of debates in health care. While you won’t be expected to have every detail and nuance, some discussions become extremely prevalent in the health care community. Ethics are always being debated in medicine.
When presented with a question like this, you can choose to focus on the national, international, or both. You will need to quickly consider which conversations and debates you are aware of and evaluate them in terms of importance. Don’t worry about being ‘right’. As long as you can back up your opinions with reason and logic, your answer will work. For example, if you consider misinformation to be more important in the health care debate than confidentiality, that’s not wrong, it’s your opinion. What makes your answer good or bad will be your reasoning.
Always pay attention to when questions give you the liberty to explore different areas of a subject. This is one of many reasons why a memorised answer is a bad answer.
In the world today, I believe that the three biggest problems affecting the health care field are, first, inequality between groups of people; second, a problematic lack of trust between health care as an institution and the general public; and third, a health care industry that is too slow or resistant to experimental changes.
The first problem: Inequality. Even in countries with socialised, single-payer health care systems, we still see wealth gaps that harm people. Not all medications can be covered under most systems. Even robust systems often leave some options off the table unless money is put up by the patient. For people in lower classes, this is a big problem. Worse, on a global scale, this problem is amplified from country to country. Developing nations often receive poor health care, and this should not happen in the modern world.
We need to recognise this problem and work towards a more equal system where anybody can be guaranteed health care, particularly for chronic or life-threatening problems. We need to recognise the importance of psychiatric care and fund more therapy, and we need to find plans and relief programs that equalise health care across nations and socioeconomic groups.
Next, misinformation – largely perpetrated over social media – is becoming a major problem for health care. Public trust has been eroded, which is exacerbated by politicians making medicine into an election issue. In the recent pandemic, we saw mask usage and vaccinations become politicised, seriously harming the public. Worse, due to unclear responses from medical professionals, we did not help fix or clarify these issues. Finally, the problem becomes more complicated when considering public good and the ethical issue of mandating certain health care measures.
I believe that the first order of business is to repair and build a better relationship with the public. With this accomplished, we can move on to other issues and, I hope, minimise the number of people who refuse certain treatments or who are hoodwinked by political bickering. This should be open, honest discussion with the public, with the creation of an oversight board that is not beholden to any companies – such as pharmaceutical companies – nor any political entities. This neutrality would lend credence to their information.
Finally, we should be more open, as health care providers and researchers, to alternative medicine. Too long a bad word, alternative medicine should be investigated and understood. Old Wives’ Tales might have some truth to them, but the efficacy of old cures for warts or a sore throat cannot be discovered without investigation into this folk wisdom. We should not be quick to dismiss techniques that originated outside of Western medicine. That is not to say we should be unscientific, but that we should be more scientific and allow the question of ‘why not?’ to aid our journey to the best health care possible.
Note the way that each answer is comprehensive and fully addresses the possibilities of each question. Make sure that you think about medical issues, ethics, and possibilities, that you are savvy about current data, and that you have a basic grounding in the scientific and academic aspects of health care.
Navigating an MMI can be a daunting task, particularly when your results might bar you entry to your dream school. On the other hand, if you are ready, with good knowledge, a great strategy, and lots of preparation, you give yourself the best chance of acceptance. Keep studying, keep going, and keep dreaming big.
1. Do the questions change year by year?
They might or might not. Questions tend to be mixed up every so often but always cover similar material.
2. How long should my answers take?
Typically, each answer should be between 2–3 minutes. MMI stations should never take you longer than 6 or 7 minutes to complete, although most run longer to provide you with ample time to answer.
3. Do other medical schools use similar questions?
Yes. Medical schools might differ slightly, but they are all looking for the same qualities in a future physician, so the questions tend to follow similar lines.
4. What if I get nervous?
Prevention is the best cure. Using practice, study, and, of course, mock interviews, you can build your confidence and experience and thereby dodge any nervousness – or at least, some of it.
5. What should I wear during my interview?
Business casual is appropriate, professional, comfortable, and acceptable for most interviews.
6. What do I do before my interview?
The day before, check to make sure your computer is functional and that there are no problems with the program – for a virtual interview. For an in-person interview, drive the route to the interview site, so you won’t be late. On the day of your interview, virtual or not, arrive punctually and early.
7. Who performs mock interviews?
Only get involved with professionals who know what they’re doing. Recruiting friends or peers risks them not knowing how to set up an interview or what questions to ask and you being underprepared.
8. Should I memorise my interview answers?
Absolutely not. You’ll sound like a robot and freeze up if the questions are different from what you anticipated. Content over exact words will get you through far better.
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