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Medical School Interview Questions
There are many different questions you may be asked at your medicine university interview, so we've provided a comprehensive list of those commonly asked by medicine admissions tutors at UK universities.
These questions should help you fully prepare so you can give your best performance on the day, and we have grouped them into categories so you can easily find the questions you're looking for.
Background and motivation
- Tell us about yourself.
- Talk us through your personal statement.
- Why do you want to be a doctor?
- What have you done to prepare yourself for a career in Medicine?
- What strengths do you have that will help you deal with all the work involved?
- Why do you want to be a doctor, rather than another profession that is caring or intellectually challenging?
- What do you think a doctor does, apart from treat patients?
- What branch of medicine interests you most and why?
- What are you looking forward to most about becoming a doctor?
- What contribution do you hope to make to the field of medicine?
- How do you think medicine differs from other health professions?
- What element of healthcare attracts you to medicine?
- If you were to become a doctor, how would you like your patients to describe you and why?
- How do you know whether you really do want to become a doctor?
- What do you think makes some students drop out of medical school?
- Do you have any life experiences that you think may help your career in medicine?
Medical school knowledge and teaching methods
- What interests you about our course?
- When you read our prospectus, what interested you most about the course here?
- What do you know about the course?
- How will you contribute to our medical school?
- What is your understanding of PBL, and why do you want to come to a PBL medical school?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of a PBL course?
- Why will a PBL course suit you? Tell us about 2 other aspects of the programme that appeal to you.
- Independent study makes up a large part of this course - tell us how have you managed this approach to learning in the past?
- What previous experiences have you had of learning in small groups?
- What ways of learning work best for you, and how does this fit with our course?
- Tell us about your extracurricular activities?
Interest and enthusiasm
- Do you read any medical publications?
- What do you know about Hippocrates?
- Tell us about a significant recent advance in medicine, and why do you find it interesting?
- What do you consider to be important advances in medicine over the last 100 years?
- Tell us about something in the history of medicine that interests you and why.
- Have you seen a film or read a book recently involving medicine? What did you think of it?
- What do you think is the most important medical discovery in the last 100 years, and why?
- If you could set up your own Medical Research Institute, what research area would you choose to focus on, and why?
- Can you tell us about a book, film or a person that has influenced you?
- What do you think was the greatest public health advance of the 20th century?
- Tell me about a non-academic project you were involved in and how it went?
- If you had to have a gap year, and could go anywhere in the world or do anything, what would you chose to do, and why?
- How do you think the rise in IT will influence the practice of medicine?
Empathy and patient care
- Give an example of a situation where you have supported a friend in a difficult social circumstance. What issues did they face and how did you help them?
- What does the word empathy mean to you. How do you differentiate empathy from sympathy?
- Is it right for doctors to 'feel for their patients'?
- How do doctors sometimes react negatively to stress?
- What thoughts and feelings might face someone offered alcohol to celebrate after receiving a liver transplant?
- A person with learning disabilities is regularly being teased by their neighbours. How might that affect them?
- What do you guess an overweight person might feel and think after being told their arthritis is due to their weight?
- A friend has asked your advice on how to tell her parents that she intends to drop out of university and go off travelling. How you respond?
- Give us an example of when you worked as part of a team?
- Can you think of a team situation where your communication skills have been essential? Tell us more about the situation and how you contributed.
- Tell us about a group activity you have organised. What went well and what went badly? What did you learn from it?
- What have you learned about yourself and successful team-working?
- Who do you think will be the most important people you will work with as a doctor?
- Who are the important members of a multi-disciplinary healthcare team? Why?
- How will you help your team (as a doctor) develop?
- Describe a time when you had to lead a team of people?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of being in a team? Do you believe teams need leaders?
- What do you think of nurses taking on tasks previously done by doctors?
- What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of nurses replacing doctors as the first contact person in primary care?
- Do you think humour can help a team? Give an example.
Medicine in society
- Describe 3 problems with the NHS?
- What relevance has the Hippocrates oath to modern-day medicine?
- Is medicine a science or an art, and why?
- How do politics influence health care provision? Can it be avoided?
- Why are doctors and the NHS so prolific in the media today?
- Do you think doctors should set a good example to their patients in their own lives? How or why might this be difficult?
- In what ways do you think doctors can promote good health, other than direct treatment of illness?
- Do you think doctors and the NHS get a bad press, and if so, why?
- From what you have read and found out, where do you see the health service going?
- What are the arguments for and against non-essential surgery being available on the NHS?
- What does the current government see as the national priorities in health care? Do you agree with these?
- How should the health service achieve a balance between promoting good health, and in treating ill health?
- What do you think are the similarities and differences between being a doctor today and being a doctor 50 years ago?
- Should doctors have a role in regulating contact sports, such as boxing?
- Do you think doctors should ever strike?
- Do you think patient’s treatments should be limited by the NHS budget or do they have the right to new therapies no matter what the cost?
- What does the term ‘inequalities in health’ mean to you?
- Do you think medicine should be more about changing behaviour to prevent disease or treating existing disease?
- What do you think is the purpose of the health service in the 21st century?
- What do you think are the chief difficulties faced by doctors in their work?
- Why do you think people in the north of England live, on average, 5 years less than those in the south? Do you think this should be a matter for government intervention?
- What are the arguments for and against people paying for their own health care as and when they need it?
- What do you understand by the term ‘holistic’ medicine? Do you think it falls within the remit of the NHS?
- How accurately do you think the media portrays the role of the doctor?
- Do you think the bulk of medical treatment takes place in hospital or in the community?
- What do you think is the greatest threat to the health of the British population today?
- Why do you think so few doctors now wear white coats?
- Animals that are thought to be suffering are ‘put down’. Should human suffering be treated in the same way?
- Do you think more doctors or more nurses would be of greatest benefit to the nation’s health?
- What are the arguments for and against banning the sale of tobacco?
- In the UK at present 60% of medical students are female. Do you think we should have equal quotas for medical school places for males and females? What do you think will be the consequences of having more female doctors than male doctors?
- What issues should be considered in deciding to terminate a patient's life-sustaining treatment?
- Medicine will bring you into contact with a vast range of different people, with different cultures. What experience have you had of different types of people?
- What are the consequences of obesity for health services?
- Can you tell us about a significant recent advance in medicine or science? Why is it significant? Why has this interested you?
- Tell us about something in the history of medicine that interests you. Why was it important?
- What do you think was the greatest public health advance in the 20th century?
- People are living longer and longer. Should doctors take credit for this?
- What lessons can be learnt from how the swine fly pandemic was handled? What would you have done differently?
- How do you think the rise of information technology has influenced and will influence the practice of medicine?
- What is the role of the General Medical Council (GMC)?
- What do you know about the career progression of doctors in the UK?
- What can you tell me about the structure of the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) training programme?
- Tell us about the role of the National Institute for Clinical Health and Excellence?
- What experiences have given you insight into the world of medicine? What have you learnt from these?
- What aspect of your work experience did you find the most challenging, and why?
- In your work experience, what skills have you learnt that you can apply to medicine?
- Can you give me an example of how you coped with a conflict with a colleague or friend; what strategy did you use and why?
- Reflect on what you have seen of hospitals or a health care environment. What would you most like to organise differently, and why?
- What aspect of your work experience would you recommend to a friend thinking about medicine, and why?
- What impressed you most about the doctors in your work experience?
- Can you think of a situation where good communication has saved the day and give a reason why?
- Thinking of your work experience, can you tell me about a difficult situation you have dealt with and what you learned from it?
- Have you visited any friends or family in hospital, or had work experience in a hospital? From these experiences, what did you see that you would like to change?
- Can you tell me the key things you learned from your work experience, in caring or other settings?
- What have you done on work experience/ in employment previously? What would you change about what you saw, if you could, and how would you set about this?
- What do you think would be the advantages, and difficulties, for a person with a major physical disability (e.g. blindness) wishing to become a doctor?
- Tell me about a project, or work experience, that you have organised, and what you learned from it?
- Is it better to give health care or aid to impoverished countries?
- Why can't doctors give a guarantee that a medical or surgical procedure will be successful?
- Should doctors have a role in contact sports such as boxing?
- Do you think doctors should ever go on strike?
- Do you think we should find out more about patients’ views of their doctors, their illness or their treatments? How would you set about this?
- What do you think are the major sorts of problems facing a person with a long-term health problem, such as difficulty breathing?
- What are the differences between length of life and quality of life?
- Is there a moral case against drug companies becoming as large and powerful as the market allows them to be?
- What are the arguments for and against the decriminalisation of drugs such as cocaine?
- Should alternative or complimentary medicine be funded by the NHS, and why?
- Should the NHS be involved in non-essential surgery?
- Should the NHS fund the treatment of self-inflicted diseases?
- With the growing problems of overpopulation should the NHS fund IVF treatment?
- How do you think doctors should treat injury or illness due to self-harm, smoking or excess alcohol consumption?
- Female infertility treatment is expensive, has a very low success rate and is even less successful in smokers. To whom do you think it should be available?
- Would you prescribe the oral contraceptive pill to a 14-year old girl who is sleeping with her boyfriend?
- What is your feeling about euthanasia?
- Would you perform abortions as a doctor?
- Is it right that Viagra should only be available to certain groups of men?
- Some Trusts are refusing to perform some elective operations on obese patients. Why do you think that it? Do you think it's right?
- What do you think about the use of animals for testing new drugs?
- How do you respond and what do you feel when you see a beggar in the street?
- Do you think that Class A drugs should be legalised?
- Would being religious, and therefore potentially having a more positive view to death, be detrimental in your role as a doctor?
- A man refuses treatment for a potentially life-threatening condition. What are the ethical issues involved?
- What would you do if you discovered a patient had been given a double dosage?
- A woman who is bleeding heavily refuses to receive a blood transfusion that you are proposing. Why do you think this might be? How would you handle the issue?
- You have one liver available for transplant, but two patients with equal medical need. One is an ex-alcoholic mother with two young children, the other a 13 year old with an inborn liver abnormality. How would you decide to whom it should be given?
- You have one dialysis machine to share between three patients with equal medical need. One is a 17-year-old drug addict who has just overdosed, one is a 40-year old woman with terminal breast cancer and only 6 months of life expectancy, the third one is a 70-year old marathon runner. Who gets the machine?
- Imagine you are on committee able to recommend only one of two new surgical treatments to be made available through the NHS. The treatments are: an artificial heart for babies born with heart defects, or a permanent replacement hip for people with severe arthritis. Both treatments are permanent, i.e. never need repeating, and are of equal cost. On what grounds would you make your arguments?
Innovation and the future of medicine
- Imagine a world in 200 years' time where doctors no longer exist. In what ways do you think they could be replaced?
- You are holding a party on a medical theme. How would you make it memorable?
- How many different ways can you improve the process of selecting students for this medical school?
- Your house catches fire in the night. You are told you can pick only object to take with you when escaping. What would it be and why?
- Can you think of something fun you'd like to invent?
- Fashion has changed hugely over the past 400 years. What do you think we'll be wearing in hospitals 200 years from now?
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