A Medipathways student has compiled a guide to accommodation from their perspective. This is a handy guide to any student looking to study in London, and specifically if you wish to study at Medipathways College.
In regards to Medical and Dental school applications, multiple mini interviews are becoming an increasingly common interview technique in order to assess candidates and offer places on courses.
Multiple Mini Interviews are currently used by the following universities as a recruitment technique:
- University of Aberdeen
- University of Birmingham
- University of Bristol
- Cardiff University
- Dundee University
- University of East Anglia
- Keele University
- Kings College London
- Lancaster Medical School
- University of Leeds
- University of Leicester
- University of Manchester
- Queens University Belfast
- Royal Veterinary College, London
- St Georges University, London
Please note that these are subject to change and there may be additional universities so it would be advised to check with the university before preparing for and attending an interview.
What are multiple mini interviews?
Multiple mini interviews, like their name suggests, are a series of interviews, which are shorter in length and spilt between a numbers of different “stations”. These are brief one-on-one miniature interviews, solving problems and taking part in a number of role-plays as opposed to answering generalised questions about themselves and their interests. The stations are designed to assess qualities that are deemed important in relation to the successful progression.
It gives applicants the chance to demonstrate skills and qualities that are not always evident on a written application, and gives a fair chance to every applicant as they have an opportunity to demonstrate a broad range of skills.
When undertaking an MMI style interview, applicants spend a certain amount of time with each assessor. There they will undertake tasks ranging from scenarios, ethical dilemmas and role-play, for which they must think on their feet and demonstrate important skills
Each interviewer then scores the applicant independently, and is unaware of the applicant’s performance at different stations.
The purpose of multiple mini interviews is to show you can communicate and the importance you give it. It’s the explanation you give for your answer that’s important, showing you can explain and justify your reason. It is an opportunity for applications to show what they are capable of doing, rather than telling us.
How to prepare for multiple mini interviews?
Multiple mini interviews are difficult to prepare for due to the fact you are unsure of what situations and questions you are going to face, and in some situations there are no “right” answers, it just depends on how you justify it.
- Research before you get into the interview room.
- Look at information universities offer regarding their interviews and what they are looking for.
- Use MMI resources online.
- Revise your work experience beforehand and have examples prepared.
- Keep up to date on current affairs – interviews could use this as a base for questions or tasks.
- Don’t panic if you get a station that isn’t your best strength – this is one of a number of stations and you can make up for it elsewhere.
- Practise with someone – this can help with nerves.
- Be yourself – the MMIs are used to show personality and your views.
- Don’t rush your response – take time to think over the scenario so your answer is best prepared and relevant to what they are asking.
- If you are unsure – ask the interviewer to clarify.
- Relax – people just want an insight to you, there are no trick questions.
Examples of what an MMI can focus on:
- Compassion and empathy
- Initiative and resilience
- Interpersonal and communication skills
- Organisational and problem solving skills; decision making and critical thinking
- Team working
- Insight and integrity
Examples of MMI Questions
Have a think about what the question is asking you and what would be the appropriate response
Question: An actor plays the role of your elderly neighbour. You have just accidentally run over your neighbour’s cat whilst reversing your car. You have 5 minutes to break the bad news to her.
What it is testing: Insight, integrity, communication skills and empathy.
Question: You are given details of 15 individuals, including their age, sex and occupation. A nuclear attack is imminent and you are only allowed to save 5 of them from destruction. Which ones and why?
What is it testing: Prioritisation. The emphasis is on problem solving and rational thinking.
Question: Without using your hands, explain how to tie shoe laces.
What is it testing: Verbal communication skills, the ability to break down the task into a series of small steps and the interviews ability to check that the speaker is understanding what they are saying.
Its coming to the time of year of exams again, and with it, some students experience exam stress.
Do not let pressure or stress affect you and get on top of you. Find out how you learn things best and keep calm.
As well as studying, remember to:
- Be well prepared
- Plan your revision
- Schedule what you need to do and how long you have to study/revise it
- Draw up a revision timetable, include a break after every 20 minutes and try alternate your study subjects so you do not feel overwhelmed by a certain topic
- Know the format of the exam – is it written exams or multiple choice or both?
- How long is the exam, how long can you spend on each question?
- Where you can pick up marks – are there more questions requiring theories?
- Make sure you attempt to get a copy of a past paper and the mark scheme – check what the questions were and what they were looking for in the answers
- Take regular breaks
- Start revision in a morning – research shows you are more likely to stick to a schedule the earlier on in the day you start it, as there will be fewer distractions
- Find a quiet space – somewhere you will be uninterrupted and can focus and concentrate on your work. This could be your bedroom, school, library, coffee shop – you know what works best for you
- Make summary notes – it is the best way to memorise lots of information and you will be familiar with what you understand and what requires more study
- Get someone (a family member or friend) to test you on your summary notes
- Eat healthy food to keep you healthy and constant – red bull and pizza is not going to help you no matter how much better it makes you feel
- Drink lots of water – keep hydrated so your mind is at its best
- Do some exercise – physical activity increases heart rate, which makes the blood circulate faster. This in turn ensures that brain gets more oxygen which increases productivity whilst reducing tiredness and stress
- Sleep well – do not stay up to revise, you will learn less if you are tired
- If you cant sleep don’t panic, you will fall asleep eventually and will get through the exam just fine
- Stick to a routine
- Plan a celebration for after your exam, or even a treat at the end of every revision session. This will give you an aim to work towards and make it feel like it was all worth it
Remember: Whilst exams are important, they are not more important than your health. Make sure you look after yourself whilst revising and getting through your exams. If you don’t do as well as you like, its not the end of the world, move on or do them again!
Below is a guide Medipathways has compiled regarding applying for medical and dental school entry for 2015.
- Thinking about what universities apply for
- Have you checked course content and entry requirements?
- What admission exams do you have to undertake?
- League tables for 2014
- Dates, costs, locations of all admission tests applicable to UK entry (UKCAT/BMAT/GAMSAT)
- What style of interviews do the medical and dental schools use?
- Details regarding your personal statement
- Details regarding UCAS application, guidelines and deadlines
- Work experience and volunteering details
“Graduate Entry Medicine” by Simran Brar
First year BSc. student in Biomedical Sciences, Medipathways College
This article has been written by one of Medipathways first year BSc. students regarding her view on doing medicine as a graduate, coupled with attending an event on the subject by the Royal Society of Medicine (Doing medicine as a graduate: Examining all the options). The article aims to explain an overview of graduate medical entry and attributes and qualities of a potential applicant. It evaluates the questions you should have thought about if you wish to pursue your career further.
Please click the link below to view the article
Volunteering is a wonderful opportunity to undertake and you should certainly participate in a form of volunteering if you get the opportunity.
Volunteering allows you to build your experience of working with a wide range of people in a number of different work situations. If it is medical based it can prepare you for life as a medical student and is a talking point for experiences – you can explain how volunteering was beneficial, what skills you have learnt, how you will apply these in different situations.
Volunteering doesn’t always have to be medical based, and it is sometimes impossible due to skills required. Volunteers can provide the personal service for patients that may not be necessary for their medical care, but can add so much to their hospital stay, or visit to an outpatient clinic. Sometimes just being there can assist someone and make his or her day a better experience.
In case you were struggling for reasons. Here are the top 10 reasons for volunteering:
#10: Its good for you
Volunteering is very rewarding, it allows you to focus on someone else and you receive joy from improving someone else’s day
#9: It builds resources
Volunteering in the community is a valuable way to provide service to the community, and improve general aspects of everyday life for people.
#8: Gaining professional experience
You get the opportunity to work in your preferred career and experience professional experience that you otherwise may not have gained.
#7: You meet new people
You get to work with a range of different people all working towards a common goal. It builds teamwork and you can gain great friendships out of it.
#6: It allows for personal growth
Understanding different peoples needs and how your time and help can change their lives will promote your self-esteem and hopefully others.
#5: Volunteering strengthens community
You can support a wide range of projects and initiatives including supporting the community with projects, improving school life by providing mentoring and other tutoring. You can also support people from very young to very old with a range of activities.
#4: You learn a lot
You learn a different way of doing things, which could increase your skills and knowledge; you could even discover hidden talents you didn’t know you had.
You get to work with a number of different organisations including public, private and not for profit.
You are able to gain a range of knowledge of the local environment and resources available to solve community needs.
#3: You get to give back
People like to support community resources that they use themselves or that benefit people they care about.
#2: Volunteering encourages responsibility
Volunteering within the community and invests in the people you meet and the people who live in the surrounding community.
#1: You make a difference
Every person counts.
Graduate Medical Entry
Were you unsuccessful in your undergraduate attempt? Did you decide you wanted to study another subject beforehand and to further your knowledge and then apply for graduate medicine or have you done a completely different career and suddenly decided medicine was for you?
A graduate entry programme (GEP) is available for those who have already gained a degree.
A graduate entry programme for Medical school should take four years to complete as opposed to five due to your already well developed learning skills. You can however as a graduate apply for an undergraduate course for medicine as it will be less intensive. You can apply for a mixture of both four and five-year courses if you decide you want to apply for a graduate entry programme.
If you do not hold a degree in a science subject or a scientific area or unfortunately did not gain a 2:1 in your previous degree, it may be advisable to complete an access to medicine course prior to your application. It is best to check with the universities you wish to apply for, as some universities who offer a medical graduate programme do not specific that graduates should already hold a science degree, and instead hold a degree from any discipline.
It may be a requirement that students sit a GAMSAT/UKCAT examination before applying to graduate medical school; again it is advisable to check with the universities as they each have their own admission criteria.
Like with undergraduate medical schools, graduate entry programmes are very competitive and it is vital that candidates ensure their personal statement is to a high standard and they have an amount of extra curricular activities such as work experience or volunteering to improve their application.
Please see a list of universities with a graduate entry programme to medicine:
- Barts and The London Queen Mary’s School
- Imperial College London
- King’s College London
- St George’s London
How can an experience day help me?
Want to make sure you are making right decision regarding medicine and dentistry? Want to make an informed choice?
Application to medical school is a highly selective and competitive process. Many obstacles need to be overcome to achieve the goal of a place at a UK medical school.
Experience days are ideal for students who:
· Are considering a career in medicine and dentistry and need some more information
· Students who are going to apply for medicine and dentistry and need to further their exposure to medicine and gain work experience
· Students that have already applied and would like further experience – a great talking point for any interviews
They are usually held in respected NHS hospitals or local university campuses and aim to expose the reality of medical school and medical careers.
The aim of an experience day is to assist you as you embark on your journey to medical and dental school, and we will be with you every step of the way. Experience days do not promote or glamorise medicine, but they will expose and inform you of what a career in this area will entail.
They involve attending a conference, typically a one-day event to arm delegates with information regarding medicine so they can make their own informed choice. At the events/experience days there are good number of working doctors and dentists on site to give you an idea of what a career in this area is really like. Sessions are led by consultant surgeons and specialists to tell you what life is like at the top and in addition to this, you will also hear from junior FY1 and FY2 doctors who have recently graduated and starting seeing their first patients.
In addition to academic requirements, universities look for other factors which experience days can help you gain by a step-by-step approach to medicine and dental school application, these can include:
· Work experience – exposing you to real experiences to get an idea of if this is the right career choice.
· Interview practise – conducted by medical professionals.
· UCAS application preparation – ensuring your personal statement is a true reflection of yourself and highlights the key points medical and dental schools look for.
· Alternative routes to medicine – including studying medicine abroad.
· Exam revision courses – for those who need to make sure they make the grade!
Sessions on the above are also included at experience days to give you an all rounded view of what a career in medicine and dentistry will be like and how to make your application to best it can be!
What is the medipathways Pre-Med?
The Medipathways Pre-Med is a unique 1-year programme taught at the University of London’s Birkbeck campus, conveniently located in central London.
The University of Buckingham has validated this course, and successful course graduates will be granted a certificate of higher education (CertHe.)
It was developed to give students who have previously been unsuccessful at securing a medical or dental school place and wish to increase their chances of getting an offer, along with students who wish to explore the variety of opportunities available to their ambition of studying medicine or dentistry.
The course content is identical to the first stage of the Medipathways 2-year BSc. Students who do not secure a place into medical or dental school at the end of this year can then opt to transfer directly into the 2nd stage of the unique 2-year BSc. and then re-apply for medical or dental school in the UK or abroad.
This course offers a strong understanding of medical science taught at the first year of university degree level. Students will be taught through lectures, one-to-one training, seminars and practical experiments just to name a few. The course highlights incorporate: Chemistry and Biochemistry, Cell Science, Ethics, Endocrine and Reproductive System and Musculoskeletal System.
The Pre-Med is taught by remarkably gifted instructors in an environment committed to university entry with backing for UCAS, personal statements, work experience, interview planning and UKCAT. The course is taught in the heart of London, which is a great opportunity for students wishing to learn in an exciting, vibrant city. Scholars on the course also have access to a wide range of university facilities.
Why attend an experience day?
Progressive experience on your journey to medical or dental school..
Preparation Delivered lectures and workshops on a range of topics including but not limited too: view from a medical student, ethics, characteristics of a good doctor, how to successfully approach personal statements, UCAS applications, interviews and UKCAT, problem based learning and practical based learning such as life support, venepuncture and knot tying.
Experience As well as attending a series of lectures delivered by a wide range of the medical profession, an experience day includes practical workshops allowing an insight into the practical abilities required by doctors and dentists.
Small Groups Experience days allow for students to work in small groups, allowing more opportunity to ask questions, talk one to one with junior doctors and consultants and to get involved throughout the day.
Hospital or Local Campus Setting Attending an experience day within a local hospital setting is a very realistic way of seeing first hand, doctors and in their working capacity and having access to a range of medical equipment and possible patient involvement, or attending a local campus setting gives a realistic experience of what studying to become a doctor will be like in terms of lectures, workshops and tutorials.
Interview topics Building a rapport with local hospitals shows initiative on the students behalf and can be used as a talking point in interviews as members of the medical school interviews may very well have worked at the hospitals or be very familiar with them.
Interaction with Medical Professionals MDX Events ensures there a good number of working doctors and dentists on site to give you an idea of what a career in this area is really like. Sessions are led by consultant surgeons and specialists to tell you what life is like at the top and in addition to this, you will also hear from junior FY1 and FY2 doctors who have recently graduated and starting seeing their first patients.
To get more information on particular events, including programmes, times, locations and to book please see www.mdexperience.co.uk