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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 29th April 2019 Free GAMSAT Section 3 Reasoning Fundamentals Online Webinar

Now that almost every Australian medical school 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 could be offered an interview at any of your 6 GEMSAS preferences (plus USyd or Flinders), it’s worth familiarising yourself with the various incarnations of the MMI. 

What types of stations can I expect on the MMI? 

 

Ethical 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). You are usually provided with an initial question followed up by a series of additional ones that ask you to look at the situation in a different way or alter the information provided. You can an example below:
 
A friend has told you that she is pregnant and that she hasn’t told anyone else and will possibly seek a termination. One day in class she becomes unwell and your tutor asks you if she is pregnant. What do you respond?

i) What issues are involved in this situation?
ii) A paramedic attending to her asks you if she is pregnant, do you tell him?
iii) The girl’s mother calls you the day after the incident and asks if her daughter is pregnant, what do you answer?
iv) The girl has decided upon a termination, how do you respond to her?



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!).   


De-tech questions 

These are the stations that ask you to explain a scientific word or concept in lay terms - e.g. cell, nucleus. 
 

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. 
 
What are some of the biggest challenges in “Closing the Gap” in healthcare outcomes between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians?

 

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.

When was the last time you displayed leadership?



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)

De-tech Questions

USyd

 5

 7 mins

 2 mins

 ✓

 

 

 

 

 

UNDS/UNDF 

 8

6
mins

 2 mins

 

 

UOW

 10

 8 mins

 2 mins

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 

 

 

ANUw

 6^

 6 mins

 2 mins

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 

UMelb

 8

 5 mins

 1 min

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 

Monash

 8

 10   mins

 2 mins

 ✓

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deakin

 10

 5  mins

 2 mins

 ✓ 

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 

Griffith

 8

 5  mins

 7 mins

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 ✓

 

Flinders


45 minute Traditional panel interview (With some ethical scenarios)
 

 

UWA&

 8

8
mins

 2 mins

 

 













 

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 medical school entry requirements and what to expect come interview season! 

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

♯   Extra rest stations.

*   Break between stations includes the reading time for the next station (except USyd)

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

&   The practical task for UWA involves a Graduate Presentation Exercise - A short presentation.
 

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