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University of East Anglia

Each interview lasts approximately 50 minutes. Candidates will be invited to take part in an OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) style interview, also known as a Multiple Mini Interview. When candidates enter the interview section, they will find a series of booths, known as ‘stations’. There will be seven stations to circulate through, spending approximately 5 minutes at each station. There is one interviewer at each station. You will have a couple of minutes before each station when you are given a piece of paper with the question relating the next station. It is important to make use of this time and start planning your answer. There will be 6/7 other applicants rotating round the stations with you.

 One scenario is usually an empathy scenario which may involve role play for example;

One of your tutorial group has not attended any of the teaching sessions for a week. Members of the group have tried to make contact on the phone but have not been able to get through. There is no reply to text messages that you have sent. You decide to call round to your friend’s flat (I’ll name this friend ‘Sam’) where you find them staring at a blank television screen.
What are you going to do? 

  An ethical scenario is usually given remember it important to give a balanced answer mentioning all view points and arguments.

 There is usually a station regarding the course and why you may be suited or not to the UEA curriculum

 Why you rather than others interviewed should be chosen.

 Competence based questions relating to subjects such as your leadership skills/team working abilities

 Questions on work experience and motivation for medicine.

 Questions testing candidates on their knowledge of the pros and cons of medicine.

 Questions on extra curricular activities and evidence of caring and commitment to community.

 Questions relating to topical issues.

The interview comprises of seven individual stations, each with a different interviewer. Each interviewer also gives an “Overall Impression” score. The Overall Impression score is averaged over the seven interviewers and the mean score is added to the other station scores as an 8th Station. Each station score is out of 12.

 The advantage of MMIs is that you are scored separately for each station so that if one interviewer does not like you are say something silly at one station you have the possibility to make it up on the others. Remember as  soon as one station is over –forget it and start thinking about the next [you will be handed a piece of paper relating to the next station.] Timing is important – don’t waffle on and then run out of time so that you don’t get the major points across. [see my book Medical School Interviews All You Need To Know The Knowledge P94-101 re MMIs]

Why UEA

Modern medical school with modern facilities. The campus is supposed to be a fantastic, set in acres of Parkland with a large lake. Although some people love the Modern architecture such as the SainsburyBuilding designed by Norman Foster other dislike the concrete buildings. The beautiful Norfolk broads are adjacent  and NorfolkResearchPark and NorfolkHospital are set next to the University.

The sports park has just been refurbished and has a gymnastics centre  ‘You’d be crazy not to take advantage of the sports facilities at UEA’  The Sports park is a huge multi million pound complex which includes a huge sports hall, outdoor athletic track, tennis courts, hockey pitches, 4G 7-a-side football pitches, an Olympic swimming pool, gym, climbing wall and dance and martial arts studios. Prices are fairly good for students to hire any of the facilities. Sports clubs run at UEA include American Football, Athletics, Golf, Climbing, Kayak, Rugby, Netball, Squash, Sailing and Badminton. If intense sport isn’t your thing then there’s cheerleading, Tai Chi, Yoga and Riding.’

‘With over 150 clubs and societies to join, the biggest indoor sports centre in Britain, all the amenities you could need on campus, excellent accommodation, a consistently high quality of teaching across all schools, and a huge range of courses, we think UEA offers an amazing student experience.’

It was voted no 1 in the NSS student satisfaction survey 2011!

Entertainment and Area

The city of Norwich contains some lovely historical buildings including NorwichCastle and Norwich Cathedral. There is an ancient market place, and the two shopping malls provide most things you could possibly need. This is before you even make it on to the high street!

As for entertainment, the Norwich Theatre Royal is a great place to see comedians, performances, and pantomimes..

Meanwhile, there is a great selection of music venues ranging from the Norwich Arts Centre to the Waterfront and on-site UEA LCR.

The LCR events on Tuesday nights, fancy dress Tuesday is reasonably priced at £3.50 and normal Saturday nights at £4.50; however tickets can sell out very quickly and often gig tickets are all sold out by the beginning of the term.

A well established student run Facebook group entitled ‘The spare LCR ticket group’ provides reselling of sold out club night and gigs tickets between students; the union encourages prices at face value or very little above.

The campus is centred around the main square, a wonderful space for initiations and lazing about on a summers day on the steps, and according to legend, the campus was designed so that no one building is more than 5 minutes from another. Unfortunately this is no longer the case due to expansion and new residences, but it remains compact and practical, located in a wonderful environment, overlooking the Norfolk Broads.

The Course

The University writes ‘We offer a PBL (Problem Based Learning) integrated curriculum supported by a comprehensive programme of lectures and seminars, with early and regular patient centred teaching in both primary and secondary care starting in week two of the course’

 The course is much more practical than most medical schools. UEA will expect you to know about the advantages and disadvantages of PBL and why it would suit you. There is a lot of patient contact from the start and your learning is much more relevant although you may feel you at times lack the basic science grounding.

Glasgow Medical School Interviews

Applicants will be usually interviewed by two people, the interview lasts about 15-20 min. They are reasonably informal. The interviewers are looking to assess;

  • 1.candidate’s commitment to medicine.[work experience and reasons for wanting to be a doctor]
  • 2 Evidence of hobbies and charity work
  • 3. Evidence of team working
  • 4. Key qualities necessary to be a doctor
  • 5. Knowledge of GlasgowMedicalSchool and the type of course. .
  • 6. evidence of interest in medicine [ current topical issues]

Why Glasgow?

The MedicalSchool is one of the largest and oldest in Europe. Numerous famous doctors studied at Glasgow including Lister and the famous surgeon Hunter.  It is housed in a beautiful modern building and has excellent facilities. Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland and has a diverse population. There are many immigrants and a lot of poverty and inequality. Glasgow has high rates of heart disease, diabetes and cancer [those diseases associated with poverty]  – it is the home of the fabled deep fried Mars bar. It would be an interesting place to study and work in.

The Course

The course has a unique spiral structure. It is a systems based course using a lot of PBL but incorporating all methods of teaching including case based learning and  lectures where more appropriate. Dissections of cadavers is one of the methods used to teach anatomy.    Clinical and non clinical modules have been combined in the ‘spiral structure’ where core subjects are taught early on and as one progressing up the Medical School  there is the opportunity to revisit topics adding more clinical focus and depth

Leeds Medical School Interviews

Applicants invited to interview are given a tour of the medical school and meet other students.

The interviews have changed to a MMI format. The university writes

‘Each applicant will receive a similarly structured interview. The interview will be in a multiple mini-interview (MMI) format. The questions and tasks in the interview are designed to gain further insight into the applicant’s personal qualities and some cognitive skills. Scores from each station in the MMI will be collated to achieve an overall rating of the applicant.’

MMI s are becoming more popular because it is thought that they are better at predicting better students. It has been found that even if one interviewer takes a dislike to a candidate that this also affects the other interviewer’s rating of that candidate. Because MMI s are arranged as completely separate stations with different examiners at each station even if you answer one question badly it does not necessarily mean that you will not get an offer while a silly answer at a panel interview is much more likely to jeopardise your chances.

There are often stations regarding ethical scenarios, a station testing empathy and soft skills and others on more ‘normal questions’ such as ‘tell us what you did to find out about medicine’ [your work experience etc], your Personal Statement, ‘Why should we take you?’- your strengths and weaknesses, testing your knowledge about the MedicalSchool and the curriculum – Why Leeds?, about your voluntary work and what insights you gained. There may be questions that examine your ability to reason and think aloud.  You usually go from one station to the next with a few min in between [For further details and examples of MMIs see my book p94-101]

Why Leeds

Leeds has a large student population –about 30,000 students and the cost of living is low. The campus is only 5 min walk to the town centre which means an easy walk to shop, taxis and clubs. With so many students there are lots of clubs and activities – see on website http://www.leedsuniversityunion.org.uk/giag/. A Leeds student wrote;

‘The facilities great ‘more computer clusters than you could shake a stick at and two massive main libraries with other exclusive departmental ones as well. Another great thing about the uni is that once you’re on campus for the day the biggest walk you will have to a lecture/seminar is about 10 minutes’

Anatomy teaching is supposed to be very good and they still use dissection. The two main teaching hospitals are very close to the University.

The Course 

Leeds now offers a spiral, integrated course in which the all aspect of a system eg cardiovascular system are taught together [eg the the anatomy ,physiology and biochemistry are integrated and the system taught as a whole]. It is spiral because subjects are re visited in the 5 years with more detail added. The medical School has recently introduced the IDEALS course and states ‘IDEALS (Innovation, Development, Enterprise, Leadership, Safety),is a novel course that underpins the whole MBChB, recognising the challenges and requirements of modern postgraduate practice with a strong emphasis on professionalism and development.

 A variety of teaching styles are used. Lectures are backed up with group work and case based learning [similar to PBL]. There is regular tutor contact to ensure each medical student achieves their potential. There is early patient contact and practical skills are also taught early on to maintain interest and focus.

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