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Different MMI interview systems between Australian medical schools

How the MMI differs between Australian medical schools

by , 29 April, 2016



Updated 10th May 2018 

Now that almost all Australian medical schools use the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) for admission to study medicine, you may think that the process just got a bit more streamlined.  Unfortunately though, each medical school uses a slightly different format and as you Medical School Admissions Seminarcould be offered an interview at any of your 6 GEMSAS preferences (plus USyd), it’s worth familiarising yourself with the various incarnations of the MMI. 


What types of stations can I expect on the MMIEthical scenarios – These stations present you with a scenario and ask you what you would do in that situation.  The scenario may specify that you are a doctor, a medical student, or just yourself and the situation can seem run-of-the-mill (eg. a friend in need) or have a clinical flavor (eg. a doctor/patient interaction).
  • Motivation to study medicine – You know this one: why do you want to be a doctor?  Try explaining that in 5 minutes while sounding genuine, informed, intelligent and motivated but not arrogant, naive, boring or flippant.  You also need to be able to tackle tricky follow-up questions that generally aim to challenge stereotypes and test that you have actually thought a lot about this decision (while not sounding too rehearsed!). 
  • Science knowledge – These are the stations that ask you to explain a scientific word or concept in lay terms.  Note that UMelb incorporated this prior to 2013 so it might be something that pops up.
  • Health knowledge – These stations are designed to test your understanding of (often complex) health issues in Australia.  You’re not expected to solve all of the nation’s problems but you are expected to demonstrate insight into the issues and this is impossible without some background knowledge.  So start reading – theconversation.com is a great online resource that will help with this one. 
MMI interview Australian medical school
 
  • Behavioural questions – Anyone who has gone for a job interview will be familiar with these.  They are best answered with the STAR technique (situation, task, action, response) so add this to your list of things to google.
  • Practical tasks/puzzles – You either love these or hate them.  The candidate is asked to give instructions to either the interviewer or another candidate (if it’s the latter, the roles are reversed so that this forms a 2 part station) and have them complete a task (eg. origami folding, rope tying, arranging blocks).  It sounds easy but if you come across one of these stations unexpectedly it can be incredibly unnerving.   
  • Group work – This one is an ANU special that precedes the MMI.  Candidates are divided into groups and given a problem to solve (eg. resource allocation, public policy proposal).  So ask your ANU friends (or find anyone who has done an assessment centre interview for a Big 4) and they will be a fountain of knowledge!
  

 

Logistics

Question types

Medical school

No. of stations

Time per station

Time between stations

Ethical scenarios

Why medicine?

Health knowledge (eg. public health, Indigenous/rural health)?

Behavioural question

Actors/role-playing; watching a video

Practical task (eg. actors, origami folding, rope tying)

USyd

 5

 7 mins

 2 mins

 ✓

 ✓

 

 

 

 

UNDS

 No data as 2014 is first year of MMI

UOW

 10 

 8 mins

 2 minsu

 ✓

 

 ✓

 ✓

 

 

ANU*

 6

 6 mins

 ^

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

UMelb

 8

 5 mins

 1 minu

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 

Monash

 8

 10   mins

 2 minsw

 ✓

 ✓

 

 

 

 

Deakin

 10

 5  mins

 2 minsw

 ✓ 

 ✓

 ✓

 

 ✓

 ✓

Griffith

 8

 5  mins

 7 minsw

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 

 ✓

Flinders

 Traditional panel interview (with some ethical scenarios)

UNDF

 No data as 2014 is first year of MMI

UWA

 Traditional panel interview (with some ethical scenarios)






































So, anything goes, right?  The answer is – kind of.  It depends on where you expect to interview, as different medical schools have adopted different types of stations for their MMI.  That’s where this table comes in handy – it might look like a dog’s breakfast but all the important information is there so hopefully it points you in the right direction and gives you a better idea of what to expect come interview season! 

w Break between stations includes the reading time for the next station.

♯   There is also an 11th (rest) station at UOW.

*     ANU also has a 1 hour group task that’s done just before the MMI.

^    Depending on the numbers per group, there may be a rest station at ANU.

 

Erica Danieletto is currently in her first year of medicine at the University of Sydney.