Well they have started. The following Medical Schools have started to call applicants to interview.
St Georges Medical School
St Georges was one of the first medical schools to do the MMI [Mini Medical Interview] format. There are usually 7 stations each about 5 min long. Candidates move from one station to the next [a bell is rung at the beginning and end] There is usually about 2 min between each station when the candidate is given a slip of paper with the scenario to be acted out or the questions to be asked at the next station.
Past years have usually had one station which tests empathy and soft skills such as breaking bad news [e,g you have lost the pet your neighbour asked you to look after]. An actress/actor is used to play the part and may shout at you and cry real tears! There may be another station testing communication skills – describe this picture, explain how you tie a shoelace. There may be a question testing your ability to prioritise. Other stations tend to focus on more traditional questions such as those relating to your Personal Statement, work experience, challenges faced by the NHS, how the NHS compares to other health systems, What were the most important advances in medicine in the last 200yrs/100yrs/50 yrs/20 yrs. There also an ethical scenario [see p94 -100 in my book Medical School Interviews The Knowledge for more detailed information]
Why St Georges?
St Georges is one of the busiest hospitals in London. It is about 30 min by tube to Central London so you have easy access to central London but accommodation is cheaper. There is a large ethnic population so it is possible to see many diseases and gain much experience. It is quite small and has a ‘community’ atmosphere.
Many famous doctors are past alumni such as Edward Jenner [p28 my book] and Lister [p33]
The course is a systems based integrated course with a lot of PBL
Kings Medical Interviews
This is a panel interview for those applying for the 5 year course and MMIs for those applying for the 4 year graduate course. [see MMIs under St Georges interviews]. The panel interviews usually have about 3 interviewers. You are asked to fill in a detailed form before hand and given an ethical scenario while waiting for your interview. At the interview you will be asked questions about your work experience and commitment to medicine, your Personal Statement and charity work, competence based questions and questions testing your knowledge about medical matters. At the end of the interview you are usually asked to discuss your ethical scenario.
King’s College Medical School is the largest medical school in Europe and has facilities to match. As well as excellent research facilities it has a wide range of sports clubs. These include hockey, football, rugby, cricket, tennis and netball. Rowing takes place on the river Thames by Chiswick Bridge, 800m from the University of London boathouse. The Strand has a rifle range and Guy’s Campus has a swimming pool and
gym and many music, singing and dancing clubs. ‘I am very keen on contributing to student life and would like to join ————— club.’ is always a useful phrase to use.
There are many excellent libraries and the Hodgkin Library at Guys Campus is open twenty four hours a day As well as other medics you will be able to meet a diverse
group of students from many other countries studying many subjects – the humanities and arts as well as sciences. It is located in the heart of London – just under the new Shard, the tallest building in the UK. London is a varied, vibrant city
with many museums, galleries and shows to enjoy. There is a diverse population with lots of inequalities in health, with wealthy areas along the river but with a lot of poverty around the teaching hospitals. The high immigrant population means
you will be able to see many diseases such as sickle cell [Kings has the leading sickle cell unit in Europe] and TB. Having three campus sites increases this variety.
It uses mainly lecture base teaching with a strong emphasis on anatomy dissection and little PBL. PBL can be hit and miss with some PBL groups and facilitators being better than others. PBL often does not cover the whole syllabus and can leave
gaps in knowledge. Students do get the opportunity to see patients with first years making GP visits within the first couple of months so although learning is traditional your interest in patients and their stories is also catered for. It repeatedly features as one of the top 25 universities in the World (QS World Rankings) having placed 21st in 2010. Kings has had a proud record of 10 Nobel Laureates in the staff and alumni of King’s who made major contributions to 19th-century science, medicine and public life in general. They include:
.James Maxwell, one of the world’s greatest physicists
• Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) founded the world’sfirst professional school of nursing at St Thomas’
Hospital in 1860
• Joseph Lister, Professor of Clinical Surgery at Kings from 1877 to 1893, introduced an antiseptic system which changed the practice of medicine and drastically reduced mortality rates from major operations.
Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin at Kings, made crucial contributions to the discovery of DNA’s structure in 1953, which Watson and Crick found invaluable. In their honour, today KCL has the Franklin-Wilkins building, the main part of the Waterloo Campus.
This year Birmingham are organising interviews in a MMI format with 4 stations lasting 5-8 min each. There is likely to be a station assessing your motivation for medicine, communication skills and ability to empathise, an ethical scenario, logical reasoning, scientific understanding and interpreting a scientific problem. Your team working skill will be assessed at a role play.
Birmingham Medical School is one of the largest and oldest Medical Schools – it takes 320 British students a year. The national student survey showed an impressive 91% satisfaction rate. There is patient involvement even in the first year with community attachments in General Practice from the start. Birmingham is a vibrant multi cultural city with good opportunities to see a variety of diseases such as TB and HIV. There are many cultural opportunities such as theatres and living costs are cheaper compared with London.
Birmingham has a modular systems based programme with patient contact from year one. There is a small amount of PBL but teaching takes place in a variety of styles from lecture-based, seminars, tutorials, laboratory work, clinical practice and bedside demonstrations. Role plays are frequently used [OSCEs]. – check by reading the prospectus
Liverpool interviews consists of a 15 min -30 min panel interview with two people drawn from academic university staff, GPs and local NHS trusts. You will be tested on your knowledge of medicine, ethics, team work and the Liverpool course. You will probably be asked about your Personal Statement. They will often ask about recent ethical issues in the news so KNOW ABOUT THE LIVERPOOL CARE PATHWAY [see my recent blogs]
Medical students get to live on a University campus [quite rare] which is only ½ a mile away from the city centre. Liverpool is a lively, friendly and inexpensive city to live, work and study in – and was awarded the European City of Culture in 2008.
Liverpool medical school was the first in the UK to adopt a PBL approach to the curriculum and this is now well established into the modern, integrated medicine programme.
The main teaching hospital , the Old Liverpool Royal Infirmary has had £72m invested in it and has state of the art facilities for research
Cardiff holds panel interviews consisting of about 3 interviewers. One person is medically qualified and there may be one medical student who usually does not ask any questions. Usual questions on work experience and Personal Statement are common as are those testing your motivation and knowledge of medical matters.
It is worth knowing that there are slight differences between the Welsh NHS and English NHS – [the Welsh are a little more left wing] there is less privatisation and things such as prescription charges do not exist – prescriptions are free
The course is systems based, mainly traditional with only a little PBL but Cardiff are undertaking a major review – so check.
Cardiff University is one of the Russell Group of Universities and has strong research departments and great facilities. It is one of the largest medical schools in the UK and is rated among the top 10 medical schools in the UK and top 100 world wide.
The Brecon Beacons National Park is a 30 min drive away and there are beautiful beaches nearby. The city has great transport links –M4 , rail and Cardiff International Airport. As the capital of Wales it has many facilities such as theatres and the National Stadium but is small, compact and inexpensive
‘’Cardiff offers a compelling student
experience: Russell Group research
credentials, the full gamut of
traditional undergraduate degree
courses and relatively affordable
living with hot and cold running
nightlife on tap.”
Sunday Times University Guide
Barts and The London[Queen Mary’s]
Those applying for the 5 year course are likely to have a panel interview with 2 interviewers one of whom is likely to be medical. Last year candidates were given a newspaper cutting about a problem which raised ethical issues a week or so before the interview and were asked to discuss this at the start of the interview. Other commonly asked questions are about work experience, community work, team working, Personal Statement, the NHS and medical issues in the news.
Why Barts and The London [Queen Mary’s]?
Queen Mary’s School of Medicine formed when the Medical College of St Bartholomew’s Hospital and The London Hospital Medical College merged in 1995. Both schools are steeped in history and are proud of their reputation for educating some of the world’s most famous acclaimed doctors in the world. Eg Parkinson who described Parkinson’s disease a neurological disorder and John Hunter a famous surgeon.
Most of the teaching in the first two years takes place at Whitechapel, just behind the Royal London Hospital with the main Queen Mary campus situated in Mile End and St Bart’s Hospital in London. It is a cheaper part of London; accommodation does not cost as much as other areas and is very close to central London. The student accommodation is new and very nice and Queen Mary’s is the only university in London to have a proper student campus with accommodation and facilities on site. Students at Barts & The London will experience the hustle and bustle of London and will appreciate the wide range of patients they will encounter from studying in such a cosmopolitan and diverse city. Lots of immigrants therefore the chance to see diseases associated with immigrant populations such as TB, HIV. It covers many areas of deprivation [see inequalities section].
A massive £1 billion redevelopment project is currently under way in Barts & The London trust, with the rebuilding of the Royal London set to turn it into western Europe’s biggest hospital when it opens at full capacity in 2015 – so an exciting
time to be studying here.
Barts offers a problem-based learning (PBL) course, where basic lectures on patients and specialities are given and followed up by teaching on the wards in a patient-focussed manner. Students are expected to learn through curiosity, self-learning and motivation which can be a highly rewarding experience.
Rag week is awesome – always raises more money than other medical schools with lots of activities. Lots of student clubs. Tell them what you are interested in.