MMI Interview Guide

MMI Interview Guide

Welcome to the MedCoach MMI Interview Guide!

Below you will find sample MMI scenarios as well as videos of students undergoing an MMI (with our commentary).

A few years ago, medical schools started switching from the standard interview format to the multiple mini interview format. Why? Because they realized that it’s much harder for candidates to fake their personality than to come up with a perfect answer to standard questions. The MMIs are so spontaneous and so unexpected, that candidates have no choice but to be themselves during the scenarios – and that is exactly what the medical school wants to see – they want to know you, the real you. How do you deal with conflict? How do you deal with stress? Are you a good teacher? Are you immature?  Are you empathetic? Do you have the skills of a great physician and will you represent us positively if we let you into our school?

The bottom line is this: If you are good with people and have experience interacting with people in the real world, you will be fine!

But of course, there is always benefit to practice and knowing what to expect 🙂

Different schools may have different setups, but the principle is the same: You have a certain amount of scenarios (lets say 10). You will be taken to a door and will have 1 minute to read the scenario posted on the door. You will then be told to enter the room – and then it’s showtime! You will be given a warning when you have a few minutes left and will be told when the scenario is over. Then you will be guided to your next door, and your next scenario. There is no time to think about how you did. The best advice is when the station is over, leave your thoughts in the room and move on to the next door. You need all of you energy to focus 100% on the next scenario – you can’t afford to be thinking about the last one.

There are different types of MMIs.

  • Acting stations – You are given a scenario and act it out with an actor.
  • Task station – You are given a task and asked to analyze or explain your decisions to listening evaluator
  • Critical Thinking Station – You are given an article or are told a statement and asked to give your opinion.
  • Ethical Scenario station – You are given either a situation and must give your opinion, or are presented with an ethical situation and must act it out.

Acting stations can be difficult because you are asked to place yourself in someone else’s shoes and look at the scenario from someone else’s perspective. For example, the scenario may be: “Go in and explain to your supervisor that you missed her meeting because you forgot about it and were volunteering at the SPCA instead.”

Here you are asked to pretend that you:

a) have a supervisor

b) you volunteer at the SPCA

c) you forgot about the meeting

In real life, you may have no supervisor, have never set foot in an SPCA and are not the type of person to forget important things! Nevertheless, you need to go in and explain yourself. This type of scenario would be evaluating you skills in empathy, conflict resolution and communication skills. When presented with a scenario – don’t think “why are they asking me to do this?” instead think “which skill are they testing me on?”. Those skills come directly from the CanMEDs roles (our old friend).

These are the CanMEDS roles – the skills deemed by the Royal Medical College of Canada to be the building blocks of a good physician.

Now that you know the building blocks of each scenario, it will be easy to understand what they are looking for when you enter the room. I bet you can even come up with your own!

Your friend since childhood has recently begun going out with another one of your friends. They wanted to be safe from the start and were both tested for STDs, and were both negative. They have been dating for over 6 months now and things seem to be going well. One of your friends approaches you and confides in you that she thinks she may have an STD. She does not want you to tell anyone, especially not her boyfriend. Her plan is to go to the local clinic and receive treatment and pretend that nothing happened.

What would be your approach in this situation?

Keep in mind that if your friend does in fact have an STD, she either got it from her partner or from someone else. If she did get it from her partner, he would have symptoms as well.

A friend who knows about your desire to become a doctor comes to you one day with an article headlined: “Vaccines linked to Austism”. She is convinced that vaccines do not prevent anything, and can cause serious side effects. After reading this article, she now is leaning towards not vaccinating her child.

Please discuss this with the interviewer.

If you have an interest in medicine, you should also be relatively familiar with current medical events or controversies. It is possible that you will be asked to comment on a current issue or you will be given a newspaper article, asked to read it and then give your opinion. In these types of scenarios, you are being evaluated on your critical thinking skills and your ability to formulate your own opinion.

In this case, we are being asked to comment on a long-standing “controversial” issue in medicine – the vaccine-autism association.

The reason this all started was because many years ago, a research paper was published linking vaccines to autism. There was a huge public scare and parents began refusing to vaccinate their children. To make a long story short, the paper was shown to have data that was improperly analyzed and the paper was retracted. But the damage had already been done (and still does damage today). Many studies have been done and have found no link of vaccines and autism, but without vaccines parents are risking the health of their children and the children around them.

You can read more about vaccine controversy here:

The key to these kinds of questions is to identify the opposing arguments, discuss them and if you want you can choose a side – but you aren’t required unless they ask you

The two sides of this argument are:

1. Vaccines prevent harmful diseases

2. Vaccines can cause serious side effects (like autism – even though this is not true)

Everything in medicine is a risk-benefit ratio. In the case of vaccines, the risk of being infected with polio, tetanus, measles, rubella, diptheria, rotavirus, etc. in my opinion outweighs the risk of having a sore arm or a runny nose.

If you are not sure about the issue or don’t know the sides of the argument, your first answer should be that you would go inform yourself of both sides of the argument. This shows that you don’t jump to conclusions and are willing to be objective and consider all arguments before formulating your own opinion. You are allowed to ask the interviewer about the situation if you are unsure.

Common issues will be in the news. So just glance at the newspaper every day. If you see a health article, read it and try to go through the process of critical thinking.

As the head of a volunteer organization, the mayor of your town wants to meet with you in order to discuss the possibility of organizing a community event to raise awareness on the transmission of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). 

Please go in and outline your plan.

Which skill are they testing here? Health advocate and manager, maybe communicator as well (see how clearly you can communicate your ideas).

You walk into the room, introduce yourself, sit down and the conversation begins.

What are your ideas for this kind of event?

What kind of booths would you organize?

Which population would you invite?

How would you advertise it?

What kind of help do you need?

These are all questions that should be going through your mind, and the interviewer can also ask you specific questions to get you back on track. They are looking to see if you can plan the event in your mind and take into consideration all the different challenges of planning an event of that size. If you can make the person “see” the event, then you are doing a good job.

Please go in and answer the following question:

How many chocolate bars could you fit inside an RV? (or something ridiculous like that).

Some people seem to get strange questions that seem to come out of nowhere. You may get one on your interview. Don’t get thrown off, just come back to the same question: Which skill are they trying to test?

This is another type of “scholar” or “critical thinking” station where they want to see your thought process. The purpose is not to get the actual number, but see how you would go about getting the most exact estimate. It is also impossible for you to solve the problem becuase you have to assume the size of the chocolate bar and the size of the RV, both of which are unknown. But there are ways to help you estimate and that is what they want to see you figure out. You also need to know your basic math skills – that is important for life not just for medicine. In medicine we use math to calculate doses, weights, proportions…so it’s important.

Assuming its a standard chocolate bar, how big do you think it is? Who cares! Just make it up. 3 pieces by 8 pieces..that sounds good. How big is a piece? Let’s say 1cm x 1cm to keep numbers simple. That means your chocolate bar is 3cm x 8cm for an area of 24cm^2.

Now we need the size of an RV. In an RV, you usually have a small bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and living room. Again, I have no idea how big an RV is and neither does the interviewer. As long as your estimate is reasonable, you will be fine. We know the RV is bigger than a car but smaller than a 1-bedroom apartment. I’m going to make a random guess and say that I could fit 5 couches into one RV. I’m using my couch because I know that when I lie straight on it, I go from end to end, and I know that I am 152cm, so lets use 150cm to keep things simple. If I can fit 5 couches, that is 750cm long and lets say 50 cm wide x 5 = 250. So my RV I am assuming to be 250cm x 750cm which is 187500cm^2.

Just on a side note, I know my apartment is 50m^2, and here when you do the conversion, you get 18.75m^2 which is 1/3 the size of my apartment, which could definitely work for the size of an RV. So now I have the area of the chocolate bar and the area of the RV. It is definitely possible you will run out of time before you have a chance to get near the end. But what have you learned from me in this answer? You have learned that I know how to use objects from my environment to come up with estimates to make an impossible problem somewhat solvable. They just want you to show them how you use your resources. They might not care about the actual number.


Sample Questions:

Need help with the answers to some of these questions?

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UBC Center for Student Involvement and Careers: 

1. A 14-year-old patient requests birth control pills from you and asks that you not tell her parents. What would you do?

2. A member of your family decides to depend solely on alternative medicine for treatment of his or her significant illness. What would you do?

3. If you have the choice of giving a transplant to a successful elderly member of the community and a 20-year-old drug addict – how do you choose?

4. An eighteen year-old female arrives in the emergency room with a profound nosebleed. You are the physician, and you have stopped the bleeding. She is now in a coma from blood loss and will die without a transfusion. A nurse finds a recent signed card from Jehovah’s Witnesses Church in the patient’s purse refusing blood transfusions under any circumstance. What would you do?

5. Your local Paediatric Association has recommended that circumcisions ‘not be routinely performed’. They base this recommendation on their determination that ‘the benefits have not been shown to clearly outweigh the risks and costs’. Doctors have no obligation to refer for, or provide, a circumcision, but many do, even when they are clearly not medically necessary. BC Medicare no longer pays for unnecessary circumcisions. Consider the ethical problems that exist in this case. Discuss these issues with the interviewer.

6. A biotech company was hired by the Military to develop a cure for Ebola. They successfully developed a vaccine to treat the symptoms of the virus and lowered the mortality rate for infected patients. Discuss the implications of this on a global scale.

7. Your mother calls you and asks you to help with a major family decision. Your maternal grandfather is 70 years old and has been diagnosed with a condition that will kill him some time in the next five years. He can have a procedure that will correct the disease and not leave him with any long-term problems, but the procedure has a 10% mortality rate. He wants to have the procedure, but your mother does not want him to. How would you help mediate this issue?

8.  You are a genetic counselor. One of your clients, Linda, had a boy with a genetic defect that may have a high recurrence risk, meaning her subsequent pregnancies has a high chance of being affected by the same defect. You offered genetic testing of Linda, her husband, and their son to find out more about their disease, to which everyone agreed. The result showed that neither Linda nor her husband carry the mutation, while the boy inherited the mutation on a paternal chromosome that did not come from Linda’s husband. In other words, the boy’s biological father is someone else, who is unaware that he carries the mutation. You suspect that Linda nor her husband are aware of this non-paternity. How would you disclose the results of this genetic analysis to Linda and her family? What principles and who do you have to take into consideration in this case?

9.  A woman enters the emergency room with stomach pain. She undergoes a CT scan and is diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The physicians inform her that the only way to fix the problem is surgically, and that the chances of survival are about 50/50. They also inform her that time is of the essence, and that should the aneurysm burst, she would be dead in a few short minutes. The woman is an exotic dancer; she worries that the surgery will leave a scar that will negatively affect her work; therefore, she refuses any surgical treatment. Even after much pressuring from the physicians, she adamantly refuses surgery. Feeling that the woman is not in her correct state of mind and knowing that time is of the essence, the surgeons decide to perform the procedure without consent. They anesthetize her and surgically repair the aneurysm. She survives, and sues the hospital for millions of dollars. Do you believe that the physician’s actions can be justified in any way? Is it ever right to take away someone’s autonomy?

10. You are a general practitioner and a mother comes into your office with her child who is complaining of flu-like symptoms. Upon entering the room, you ask the boy to remove his shirt and you notice a pattern of bruises on the boy’s torso. You ask the mother where the bruises came from, and she tells you that they are from a procedure she performed on him known as “cao gio,” which is also known as “coining.” The procedure involves rubbing warm oils or gels on a person’s skin with a coin or other flat metal object. The mother explains that cao gio is used to raise out bad blood, and improve circulation and healing. When you touch the boy’s back with your stethoscope, he winces in pain from the bruises. You debate whether or not you should call Child Protective Services and report the mother. When should a physician step in to stop a cultural practice? Should the physician be concerned about alienating the mother and other people of her ethnicity from modern medicine?

11. A patient with Downs Syndrome became pregnant. The patient does not want an abortion. Her mother and husband want the patient to have an abortion. What should a physician do in this situation?

12. A 12-year old boy is diagnosed with a terminal illness (e.g., malignancy). He asked the doctor about his prognosis. His parents requested the doctor not to tell him the bad news. What should the doctor do in this situation?

13. A couple has decided to have a child through artificial insemination. They asked the physician for sex selection of the child. What should a physician advise in this situation?

14. A physician became sexually involved with a current patient who initiated or consented to the contact. Is it ethical for a physician to become sexually involved?

15. A 17-year old boy lives independently. He is married and has one child. He wants to participate in a medical research study. Does he need his parents’ permission?

16. A physician went to vacation for 2 weeks. He did not find another physician to cover him. One of his patients with hypertension developed severe headache. The patient has an appointment with the doctor as soon as he comes back from vacation. The patient did not look for another physician and decided to wait. The patient suddenly collapses and was diagnosed to have intracranial haemorrhage. Is the physician responsible for this patient?

17. A 40-year old schizophrenic patient needs hernia repair. Surgeon discussed the procedure with the patient who understood the procedure. Can the patient give consent?

18. A physician picked up a car accident victim from the street and brought him to the ER in his car. He did not want to wait for an ambulance because the patient’s condition was critical. Physical examination in the ER reveals quadriplegia. Is the physician liable for this consequence?

19. As a physician at a local hospital you notice that there is a man with an alcohol dependency who keeps on consuming the hand sanitizer offered at the hand sanitizer stands throughout the hospital. He is not a patient at the hospital at present but has been many times in the past. Consequently, there is often no hand sanitizer for public use. What do you do? Do you remove/change location of hand sanitizer stands? Do you approach him?

20. A 18-year old man is diagnosed to have suspected bacterial meningitis. He refuses therapy and returns to the college dormitory. What should a physician do in this situation?

21. Is it ethical for doctors to strike? If so, under what conditions?

22. There is an outbreak of an incredibly contagious life-threatening disease. The disease is spreading across the country at a rapid rate and the survival rate is less than 50%. You are a senior health care administrator, and when the vaccine is developed, you have priority to receive the drug. Do you take the vaccine yourself or give it to another person? Why or why not?

23. You are a health researcher at an academic institution. You have been asked to work on a top-secret vaccine that would treat biomedical weapons or other communicable diseases. Before your break through, you are instructed by the government to stop all research and turn over all materials and copies of your work to be destroyed. You know you are very close to finding a cure. What do you do?

24. A patient requests needles and syringes at his/her local pharmacy. They do not present with a prescription, and based on the records you can access, they are not receiving treatment for diabetes. Do you sell the syringes or not?

25. Dr. Blair recommends homeopathic medicines to his patients. There is no scientific evidence or widely accepted theory to suggest that homeopathic medicines work, and Dr. Blair doesn’t believe them to. He recommends homeopathic medicine to people with mild and non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and muscle aches, because he believes that it will do no harm, but will give them reassurance. Consider the ethical problems that Dr. Blair’s behaviour might pose. Discuss.

26. The City of Vancouver has taken great measures to increase accessibility to alternative forms of transportation (Canada Line, Hornby and Dunsmuir Bike Lanes, Proposed Evergreen Line, and Burrard Street Bridge closures). Discuss the impacts (both positive and negative) of these decisions?

27. If the Prime Minister/President were to ask your advice on one change that could be applied to the healthcare system that would improve it enormously and have the greatest positive effect, how would you answer?

28. The man who lives next door to you often rides his bicycle in the company of his two young children but without a helmet. In fact, on several occasions you have seen him riding with his helmet hanging by its straps from the handlebars. His young children sometimes wear a helmet, sometimes not. If the man fell off his bicycle and hurt his head in a way that would have been prevented if he had worn a helmet, would it be reasonable to ask him to contribute towards the treatment costs for his injury?

29. Due to a shortage of physicians in rural communities, some policy-makers have suggested that medical programs preferentially admit students who are willing to commit to a 2 or 3 year tenure in rural areas after graduation. Consider the broad implications of this policy for health care and the costs associated. Will this policy be effective?

30. Recently, certain hospitals have been charging patients $29/day for their hospital fee on top of the fees charged to MSP. What are the implications of this policy? Discuss both positive and negative impacts with the interviewer.

31. Do you think general practitioners have an obligation to report their patients’ health status to a public health agency, if their patients have active infectious diseases?

32. Statistics have shown that effects of advanced age such as changes in vision and response time may adversely affect elderly drivers’ ability to drive safely. As a matter of fact, many doctors discuss the issue of stopping driving with their older patients as a precaution for the safety of theirs as well as the public’s. Do you think older drivers have to give up driving when they reach a certain age?

33. In recent years, there has been an increase in popularity of full contact sports, such as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and boxing. Should doctors have a role in regulating such sports?

34. Do you think medicine should be more about changing behaviour to prevent disease or treating existing disease?

35. Discuss the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana. How does this impact a physician’s present ability to write out prescription for ‘medical marijuana’? Would legalization cost the health care system more or less after it was passed?

36. Imagine your friend’s father is 70 years old and has lived in major North American City his whole life. He is taken to the emergency department at the local General Hospital. He has had good health until now and this is the first time he has been to hospital of any kind since he was 20 years old. What changes in the healthcare system and environment in the hospital do you think he would notice?

37. Discuss any topical health care issue that is unique to the region for Med School you are applying to?

38. Discuss one of these health care issues: human genome project, AIDS, abortion, the right to die, the cost of health care, and genetic engineering

39. How does Canadian health care system compare to that of Britain’s system vs. the American system?

40. What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid? (American Question)

41. Recently, the Prime Minister suggested the idea of deterrent fees (a small charge, say $10, which everyone who initiates a visit to a health professional would have to pay at the first contact) as a way to control health care costs. The assumption is that this will deter people from visiting their doctor for unnecessary reasons. Consider the broad implications of this policy for health and health care costs

42. What is your opinion about stem cell research using fetal tissue?

43. How would you advise patients who are interested in visiting an acupuncturist or a chiropractor?

44. When is it appropriate to participate in assisted suicide of a patient? Why or why not?

45. A Kootenay town runs a health-collective that provides various alternative and traditional forms of medicine. The physicians there encourage parents of small children not to vaccinate their children. Discuss the positive and negative impacts of this opinion.

46. In June 2011, the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup and riots broke out in Downtown Vancouver. Discuss the impact on the community and the range of health care professionals at St. Paul’s Hospital.

47. What is the difference between HMOs and PPOs? (American Question)

48. “Liberation Therapy” (LT), a vascular operation developed to potentially cure multiple sclerosis (MS) in certain patients, has recently come under very serious criticism – delaying its widespread use. Among other experimental flaws, critics cite a small sample size in the original evidence used to support LT. As a healthcare policy maker, your job is to weigh the pros and cons in approving novel drugs and therapies. Please discuss the issues you would consider during an approval process for LT.

49. In June 2011, the infamous Vancouver riots took place after their hockey team lost in the Stanley Cup Finals. Stores were ransacked and cars were burned. Hundreds of people were injured and sent to overcrowded hospitals. As the police chief in Vancouver, what measures or policies would you put in place to make sure this does not happen again?

50. You are a family physician. One of your patients, Mark, did not attend one of his classes and missed an important exam. He told you that his teacher would like a doctor’s note explaining his absence from class; otherwise, he will receive zero, and all hell will break loose. He wants to you write a note for him, indicating that he was not feeling well enough to write the exam. Not able to find any physical symptoms, explain how you would deal with this. Enter the room and talk to Mark.

51. You are a 3rd year medical student doing hospital rotations. A fellow medical student who is doing rounds with you often show up to these sessions tired, messy, hung over, or even drunk. One day you found him in the lunchroom unaccompanied, so you decided to talk to him. Please enter the lunchroom.

52. Your friend Jason hasn’t come to class for a few days. Being a hardworking pre-med student, he very seldom skips classes. You know that he is applying to medical school in the past several weeks. You called his house and he said you could visit him. You decided to pay him a visit after your classes. Enter the room and talk to Jason.

53. You are a cardiologist at a local hospital, who just finished a shift and has a tight run to your daughter’s high school graduation ceremony. As you headed off to the door, Jennifer, a patient who knew you well, saw you from the waiting room and grabbed your attention. “Doctor! I have a bad chest pain. Please stay for a bit. I’ll feel much better if you were here.” Enter the waiting room and talk to Jennifer.

54. You are a current undergraduate student. During the week of graduation, you attend a number of parties around the Lower Mainland with your best friend, Kelly. The last party is held at a campground in Squamish. The morning after the party, you receive a call from Kelly. She asks that you come over and talk. Kelly reveals that she left early and drove home despite drinking that night. Enter the room and talk to Kelly.

55. You are an emergency room physician at a local hospital. A patient comes in requesting painkillers for his back. Upon reviewing his file, you realize that he frequently comes to the hospital requesting painkillers and he has already capped his prescription for the month. Upon examination, you notice no new injuries to indicate an increase in painkillers. You politely tell patient that you will not increase his dosage or re-fill out another prescription for him. He tells you that he will go and inject himself with heroin right now if he does not get the painkillers. What do you say next? What do you do?

56. Your 5 year old nephew asks you, “Why is the sky blue?” How would you answer him using a series of simple scientific experiments?

57. Your company needs both you and a co-worker (Sara, a colleague from another branch of the company, who is gripped by fear of flying since one of her friends narrowly escaped being at the World Trade Centre when it was destroyed) to attend a critical business meeting in San Diego. You have just arrived to drive Sara to the airport. Sara is in the room.

58. Nursing workload is a significant problem that needs to be addressed. Often nurses find they do not have adequate time to complete the tasks that are required of them in the time given each shift. How does this impact patient care? What are the implications for the nurses and the work culture and environment? What are the potential policy changes that can help alleviate some of this workload pressure?

59. As a physiotherapist, you are referred a 16 year-old for treatment of severe burns that limit function on the patient’s arms and hands. Upon examination, you notice other burn marks and unexplained bruises on the patient. After working with the patient for a few weeks, you ask about the other marks on the patient’s body. The patient admits to being abused by their parents but begs you not to tell anyone. What do you do?

60. As an occupational therapist, you work with clients of all ages. One of your younger clients begins searching you on the Internet and contacts you through social media sites. In this age, it is common for people to have many various personal and professional web profiles through sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc. What measures would you take if this happened? What would you do if the client would not stop?

61. You are an occupational therapist that works with a population with complex psychiatric histories. One of your older clients has been recently diagnosed with neurodegenerative disease, and she has schizophrenia. There is a history of the client’s children neglecting her needs and taking advantage of the client financially. Nevertheless, the client has a relationship with her family and they want to be named the primary decision maker for the client. How do you work with the client and her family knowing the past history of neglect and present needs of your client?

University of Alberta – School of Dentistry 

62. In 2007 the Journal of Dental Education surveyed over 1000 dental students and found that 74.7% admitted to some form of cheating during their undergraduate career. The university has asked you to be part of a student focus group to determine how to reduce the incidence of cheating. You are well aware of this behavior as you have observed the reusing of old assignments on many occasions. What suggestions would you make to help reduce the incidence of cheating and improve the academic integrity of students?

63. The apartment next door is for rent. The previous tenants were nothing but trouble and have been evicted. Your landlord tells you about a new tenant he has found with more promising credentials. As he tells you about him, you realize that he is one of the drug addicts who was in treatment at a halfway house you volunteer at. You know that this person has a history of relapsing and may not have been completely honest on the application form. Do you warn your landlord about the person’s history or do you keep your knowledge confidential?

64. Your neighbor has a five-year-old child who has many decayed teeth. The mother asks you for advice because she knows you volunteer for a dental professional and her child is in pain. The mother needs a dentist who will accept monthly payment for treatment. You provide her with different options and coach her on how to seek dental care for a child. One week later you see the mother and ask if she was able to acquire care for the child. She says no. What do you do?

65. In healthcare professions like dental care, you will be required to establish good working relationships with people from all walks of life. Talk about what you think will be your strengths and challenges in establishing these relationships with your future clients. Will you have more success or challenges in relation to:

  • young versus old clients
  • clients from different cultures
  • clients at different levels of health

66. A YouTube video of a group of junior high-school boys verbally abusing bus monitor Karen Klein went viral this July. The abuse included taunts, profanity, physical ridicule, and even threats to Karen’s person and home, ultimately resulting in her breaking down and crying. The video prompted an investigation on the part of school officials and local police. They were suspended from school and given 50 hours of community service. Klein stated that she would not press charges, partly because of the flood of criticism aimed at the boys. Do you believe the boys’ punishments were just, or what could have been done differently?

University of Victoria – Co-operative Education Program and Career Services 

67. You are working alone in a convenience store as a cashier late at night. An older man comes in and buys a coffee. He is staggering, seems disoriented, and you smell alcohol on his breath. On the way out, he bumps into a shelf and knocks some cereal boxes off. He tries to put the boxes back, but cannot manage this task. What actions might you take in this situation? Provide reasons for your responses.

68. You are on holiday at a Mexican beach resort with some friends who are staying one floor down from you. In the middle of the night, a large earthquake takes place, and the building you are in is severely damaged. You have injured your leg, suspect it might be fractured, and you hear someone yelling for help near by. What would you do?

Tuft University – An Admissions OSCE: the multiple mini-interview

69. A message that recently appeared on the Web warned readers of the dangers of aspartame (artificial sweetener – Nutrasweet, Equal) as a cause of an epidemic of multiple sclerosis (a progressive chronic disease of the nervous system) and systemic lupus (a multisystem auto-immune disease). The biological explanation provided was that, at body temperature, aspartame releases wood alcohol (methanol), which turns into formic acid, which is in the same class of drugs as cyanide and arsenic.” Formic acid, they argued, causes metabolic acidosis. Clinically, aspartame poisoning was argued to be a cause of joint pain, numbness, cramps, vertigo, headaches, depression, anxiety, slurred speech and blurred vision. The authors claimed that aspartame remains on the market because the food and drug industries have powerful lobbies in Congress. They quoted Dr. Russell Blaylock, who said, “The ingredients stimulate the neurons of the brain to death, causing brain damage of varying degrees.” Critique this message, in terms of the strength of the arguments presented and their logical consistency. Your critique might include an indication of the issues that you would like to delve into further before assessing the validity of these claims.

70. Why do you want to be a physician? Discuss this question with the interviewer.

71. Universities are commonly faced with the complicated task of balancing the educational needs of their students and the cost required to provide learning resources to a large number of individuals. As a result of this tension, there has been much debate regarding the optimal size of classes. One side argues that smaller classes provide a more educationally effective setting for students, while others argue that it makes no difference, so larger classes should be used to minimise the number of instructors required. Discuss your opinion on this issue with the examiner.

72. The parking garage at your place of work has assigned parking spots. On leaving your spot, you are observed by the garage attendant as you back into a neighbouring car, a BMW, knocking out its left front headlight and denting the left front fender. The garage attendant gives you the name and office number of the owner of the neighbouring car, telling you that he is calling ahead to the car owner, Tim. The garage attendant tells you that Tim is expecting your visit. Enter Tim’s office.

73. What experiences have you had (and what insights have you gained from these experiences) that lead you to believe you would be a good physician? Discuss this question with the interviewer

74. Robert Collier stated: “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” Consider the quote you have just read. What does this quote mean to you in terms of how you live your life and how you will pursue your career?

University of Calgary

75. In 2007, the American Family Physician Journal published an article exploring the issue of physicians as role models, using a scenario in which an obese physician is offering nutrition and exercise counselling to his obese patient. According to the author’s research, patients have more confidence in health-counseling advice from non-obese versus obese physicians, and physicians with poor personal lifestyle habits are less likely to counsel patients about a healthy lifestyle. Based on these research findings do physicians have a responsibility to act as healthy role models to their patients? Please elaborate.

76. A proposed bill would require all individuals to vote in federal elections or face a $100 fine. What do you think about this bill?

77. You are the director of a financially struggling hospital. You have been unable to generate enough revenues to implement some very important initiatives at the hospital and are at risk of inevitable service cuts, if more funding is not secured immediately. The only secure source of funds that is being offered is by a cigarette company. They are willing to provide your hospital with all the resources required in exchange for advertisement at your facility. What will you and should you do as the hospital director?

78. You are a specialist who has just received lab results with regard to one of your patients. The results indicate that your patient, a single mother of two young boys, has been diagnosed with a terminal cancer and that she will only have 4-6 months to live. There are not many treatment options aside from a few experimental procedures that are still under study. There are some alternative treatments available in Europe; however, they have not been validated by scientific studies in North America. What would you say to your patient once they are in the office? If an alternative treatment, without scientific evidence for its efficacy, existed for a terminal illness would you recommend it to a patient?

79. You are the father of a 12-year-old boy. Your son’s friend, who is also your neighbour, is playing with your son in the backyard. As you approach them to ask them about lunch, you notice some severe bruises on the friend’s arm and upper neck. You are worried about these obvious signs and decide to approach your neighbour (the young boy’s father).

How would you approach this situation? What would you say to the father of the young boy? What are some potential concerns that you may have?

80. You enter the cafeteria at work. You sit down to eat with a group of male colleagues who are having a conversation about a female colleague of yours. The comments they make are not very professional and can be deemed rude and offensive. You feel very uncomfortable. What do you do? What do you say to your male colleagues? If this became a regular occurrence, even after you speaking to your colleagues, what other steps would you take to resolve the situation?

81. Your best friend, Jennifer, calls you to tell you that she has been rejected for the 3rd time from all medical schools that she had applied to during the previous application cycle. She invites you over to her house to have a chat about her future plans. Go inside the room and speak with Jennifer.

82. “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” – Socrates What does this quote mean to you? Go inside the room and discuss your thoughts with the interviewer.

83. Every week, your classmates gather at the local coffee house to review the lessons from that week. In the last month, everyone has been working on a major paper on Roman history, which accounts for 40% of the course grade. One of your classmates has copies of two of the papers that last years’ students wrote for the same course. Your classmate has e-mailed copies of the paper to you and the other people in the group. What would you do in this situation and explain why? Discuss what values and choices are relevant in this situation? What are the implications if you decide to read the paper from last year?

84. Please describe the object presented to you to the interviewer. The interviewer has never seen the image. Note you are only allowed to use your words to describe the image. (The image could be any abstract image that you may have never seen before)

85. You are the team leader of a group assignment and two of your group mates inform you that one of the group members, Tim, has a very strong body odor and they are unwilling to take part in any further group meetings until Tim addresses this issue and takes care of his personal hygiene. Tim is waiting inside the room, go inside and discuss this issue with him.

86. Some medical schools have a preference for selecting medical candidates from certain geographical locations. What are your views about such selection policies? Please discuss your answer with the interviewer inside the room.

87. In a class of 78 students 41 are taking French, 22 are taking German. Of the students taking French or German, 9 are taking both courses. How many students are not enrolled in either course?

88. If you could have any superpowers, what would it be and why?

89. You are a PhD student and your supervisor Prof. Harry, has recently published the results of his publicly funded research project with the intention to commercialize his discovery. What are your views about university professors that use public funding to create for-profit solo ventures?

90. You are the emergency doctor on duty when two patients are rushed in within 7 seconds of each other and both desperately need a heart transplant. You only have one donor organ available. And both patients are a match and both are equally medically fit for the operation. One patient is a 35-year old single dad with 3 children, while the other is a 35 year old single male, who’s an Olympic Gold medalist. Who would you give the heart to and why?

91. You are a research supervisor and you notice that one of your graduate students has been sleeping in the lounge area within the research facility, because your student is recent international student she cannot afford to rent a place of her own with her student stipend. You are aware that the facilities safety policies prohibit overnight stays. How do you approach the student about this?

92. You are the executive director of a law firm. You find out that your articling student has accidentally destroyed an important piece of evidence that would have cleared a wrongfully accused person. If you reveal this to the authorities, your student will not only lose her job, but will face jail time for destroying court evidence. What will you do in this situation? What if you had information that the accused person is indeed guilty of other unrelated but more serious crimes for which you do not have any evidence that would hold up in the court?

93. Regardless of what we do in life, there will be times when we will come into disagreement with an authority figure or a superior. Describe a time when you came into conflict with an authority figure and how you dealt with it.

94. What is your favorite quote? Discuss the quote and what it means to you with the interviewer inside the room.

95. You are the Dean of Admissions at a very competitive medical school. One day as you are leaving your office at the end of the day, you are approached by the mother of a student who was recently rejected from your school. The mother explains that her son has a 4.0 GPA, scored 98th percentile on the MCAT, and has numerous awards and many relevant accomplishments. She wants answers right now and she demands to see every applicants’ file. Go inside the room and talk to the parent.

96. A friend of yours has a cat named Jingles. One day your friend calls you and tells you that Jingles is very ill and in need of a vet. Unfortunately, Jingles does not have insurance and the cost of seeing a vet will be around $1500, which your friend has to pay out of pocket. She cannot afford the cost and asking you for help. What would you do and say in this situation?

97. What do you do for hobbies and on your spare time?

98. Tell me about yourself.

99. “The first task of the doctor is political: the struggle against disease must begin with a war against bad government. Man will be totally and definitively cured only if he is first liberated…” What are your thoughts about this quote by Michel Foucault?

100. It is well known that big Pharmaceutical companies along with their expansive lobby have a huge influence on the medical profession and its education. In your opinion what are the positives and negatives of having the Pharmaceutical companies play a role, if any, within medical educational institutions? If you do not think that Pharmaceutical companies should have any role within medical schools, what steps would you take to remove big interest groups such as Big Pharma out of the education system if given the opportunity?

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