20th June 2023
In previous years medical schools have tended to use the traditional interview format but in recent times more and more medical schools are favouring the MMI or multiple mini interview format for selecting who gets a place in their medical school. As if there wasnt enough to be aware of when applying to medical school, students should really take time to learn about the format of MMI interviews so they are as prepared as possible on the day. It has gained prominence due to its ability to assess a wide range of skills and attributes that are crucial for success in the medical profession.
Unlike traditional one-on-one interviews, the MMI format is structured around a series of stations. Each station is designed to evaluate a specific aspect of an applicant’s suitability for a career in medicine. These aspects can include communication skills, ethical reasoning, problem-solving abilities, critical thinking, empathy, teamwork, and professionalism.
Although not all schools have adopted the multiple mini interview format, it is becoming increasingly popular each year as more and more med schools favour using it. Medical schools want to determine if you have what it takes to become a competent and caring doctor. Good grades and strong UCAT scores do not tell the whole story, and med schools know that.
During an MMI, applicants rotate through these stations, spending a designated amount of time at each one. The exact number of stations can vary, but typically there are around eight to ten stations in total. Each station presents a unique scenario, question, or task that the applicant must respond to or complete within a specific time frame, usually ranging from 5 to 10 minutes.
The scenarios presented in the MMI stations are carefully crafted to simulate real-life situations that medical professionals may encounter. For example, a station may involve a role-play scenario with an actor portraying a patient, where the applicant must demonstrate effective communication and interpersonal skills. Another station might present an ethical dilemma or a case study, requiring the applicant to analyse the situation, consider different perspectives, and make informed decisions.
At each station, assessors evaluate the candidate’s performance based on predefined criteria. These criteria are typically focused on the specific skills and attributes being assessed at that station. The assessors may use a scoring system or provide qualitative feedback on the applicant’s performance.
The MMI format offers several advantages over traditional interviews. Firstly, it allows multiple assessors to evaluate different aspects of an applicant’s abilities. This reduces the impact of individual biases and provides a more holistic view of the candidate’s potential. Secondly, the stations are designed to reflect the challenges and demands of a medical career, providing a more realistic assessment of an applicant’s readiness for medical school. Lastly, the MMI format encourages applicants to think on their feet, adapt to different scenarios, and demonstrate their abilities in a structured and time-limited setting.
To prepare for an MMI, applicants should familiarise themselves with the format and practice scenarios that may be encountered. This can involve engaging in mock interviews with peers, participating in role-playing exercises, and researching current healthcare and ethical issues to develop a well-rounded perspective. Additionally, applicants should reflect on their own experiences, values, and motivations for pursuing a medical career, as these insights can be valuable when responding to various scenarios.
The Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format is an effective tool for evaluating a wide range of skills and attributes in medical school applicants. By incorporating various stations and scenarios, it provides a comprehensive assessment of an applicant’s interpersonal skills, ethical reasoning, problem-solving abilities, and more. With thorough preparation and a genuine understanding of the demands of the medical profession, applicants can confidently navigate the MMI format and showcase their suitability for a career in medicine.