Many students search for MMI Questions: MMI sample questions, MMI practice questions, MMI interview questions, or common MMI questions and answers in order to help prepare.
Our goal is to help you learn WHY certain types of questions are asked so that you are ready to all of the types of MMI questions.
Why are MMI questions used?
MMI Questions are scenarios or role-playing questions that assess your “soft skills”.
This is in line with the competency-based assessment of pre-med students instead of the “grades-based” assessment that used to be the major determinant of who got into medical school.
How are MMI questions created?
MMI questions are created by healthcare professionals and trainees (such as students and residents). They are based mainly off of the CanMEDs Roles because these are the roles that medical schools are looking to assess in their interview process.
Think about this: If you were a medical student or a practicing physician, where would you draw on your inspiration for MMI scenarios?
That’s right! Real-life scenarios.
As healthcare professionals we are often faced with difficult or uncertain situations. These situations challenge our ability to communicate, establish rapport with patients, think critically and make ethically-correct decisions.
This is where the CanMEDs roles comes in. As a medical student or resident, your evaluations will be based on the CanMEDs roles, so it is easy to understand why schools might use them as “screening” criteria for their applicants.
Imagine you are a doctor and one of your patients is upset with your care. They feel you made a mistake, but you feel like you did the right thing…How do you express that to your patient in a professional way without allowing the situation to escalate?
Believe it or not, this can be a common situation in healthcare.
Now let’s edit this experience to create a student-relevant MMI:
Do you see how we can create an MMI based on a real-life clinical encounter?
So, with this in mind, let’s start exploring the different types of MMI questions that you might encounter.
Scenario questions are based on real situations like the one above where skills like communication and professionalism are tested.
You may be placed in a room with an actor and will be expected to act out a station in real time. The actor may challenge your decisions or opinions on the spot and you will need to be creative to come up with answers or alternative solutions.
Alternatively, you may be presented with a scenario in text form (like the scenario above) and then asked to describe what you would do and why (similar to the CASPer exam).
These types of questions are preferred for testing your ability to think on the spot and make appropriate decisions. Because sometimes they are with an actor, this is the most common type of question where students freeze. Based on our experience coaching students, if you do not have familiarity with these types of questions and if you have not practiced acting in real time, if will be much more difficult for you to come up with high-yield standout answers on the spot. Please make sure to practice scenarios with friends and especially try to practice with people who are objective. If you are interested in practicing with a coach, MedCoach offers mock MMIs!
Policy MMI questions focus more on current issues and events. They can be more general (based on issues that affect most people) or more specific to the field you are applying to.
Discuss the implications of legalizing marijuana
Discuss how to improve access to physicians in rural areas
To prepare for these types of questions, it is important for you to stay up to date with current events. It is important to note that this type of MMI question does not just assess what you think, but also why you think it, what kind of person you are, and your potential to lead or create policy in the future. Therefore, reflection on your own experiences is key!
Don’t forget you also will need to be able to explore both sides of the coin. This means that it is not enough just to have an opinion, but you also need to be able to explore the opposite opinion without judgement. This kind of critical thinking is key to being a great healthcare professional.
If you think back to the scenario we presented above, do you see why it is important to be able to see the scenario from Mary’s perspective?
Personal MMI questions are probably the most familiar to you if you have been writing your applications or prepping for CASPer.
The key to acing these types of questions is reflection and insight in your future as a healthcare professional.
Think of questions like “what is your greatest weakness” (don’t we all just love that one?) or “have you ever found yourself in an uncomfortable situation?”.
These types of questions are aimed exploring your personality and your individuality. You ability to reflect is also key.
Thinking back to our sample scenario above, a great personal version of that MMI would be “describe a time when you faced a conflict. How did you resolve it?”
In addition, to help your uniqueness and insight stand out even more, you can give a personal example of a situation where you demonstrated a skill and also relate what you learned from a scenario back to how it may help you in the future in the healthcare field.
You can go the extra mile and research the school you are applying to, and understand how your experiences and values fit in with theirs. Then don’t forget to say it in your interview!
Coming back to our original example, imagine as a physician that a patient was mad at you. How would you react? How would you maintain your calm? How would you respond to the patient’s concerns professionally and with excellent communication skills?
If you have any questions, as always, we are here! Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or chat with us below 🙂