Top 5 MMI Tips
29 April, 2016
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- Do your research
Not all MMIs are created equal. Knowing which rabbit hole you’re going down helps you target your preparation and minimises the risk of any nasty surprises throwing you off your game. So do your research – start with official university resources (some are more tight-lipped than others), talk to anyone who has gone through the process before, and check out medical forums like Paging Dr.
For specific things to look out for, check out the blog post What you need to know about MMI Interviews.
- Use structured responses
Even though there is a big pool of questions from which they can draw, if your response is structured and methodical, you’re more likely to cover all the bases. Some good options are to consider the scenario from the perspective of each person and discuss possible actions and their pros/cons with reference to any relevant ethical principles. And don’t forget to acknowledge your role in the scenario – it may specify that you’re a medical student, a doctor, a parent etc. and this will help inform your answer.
- Be prepared
There’s a lot of talk about whether preparation enhances or inhibits performance in the MMI but given that structured responses are the idea way to score higher marks, you need to be fluent and confident to get everything out in a few minutes. So in this sense, practise really does make perfect.
- Dress appropriately
This one always stirs people up, mainly because someone will rely on the story of that friend of a friend who wore an orange tuxedo to their interview and got into med, and conclude that what you wear doesn’t matter. And I can go on and on about how you want to be noticed for your answers, not the colour of your shirt, but still, some of you will vehemently disagree. So I’ll note something that I found interesting when I started medicine – our university expressly and repeatedly educated us on what they consider to be appropriate dress for clinical days. They DO care. Medicine is a professional degree and what you wear to the interview gives them an idea of whether you understand that or not. So just stick to the following:
Gents – Just wear a suit. Yes, you don’t need a jacket or even a tie in most hospitals, but this is an interview so suck it up and suit up.
Ladies – Smart office appropriate clothing, so pants or a skirt + a shirt or a blouse or a ‘corporate-style’ dress. If your outfit feels too casual, add a black blazer. Make sure your hemlines/necklines/accessories are appropriate for a medical school interview.
Everyone - Even if you’ve got a shoe fetish, just keep it simple - dark, non-scuffed shoes.
- Be on time
You’ve already got enough to worry about, so don’t add flight delays, traffic, unfamiliar public transport systems, or giant campuses to navigate around to your list. If you’re coming from interstate, consider arriving the day before and staying close by. If you’re unfamiliar with the area or the campus, do a drive-by in advance to check you can find the building where your interviews will be held. And if you already know the campus like the back of your hand, just don’t be late! If you’ve got time to kill, you can always go for a walk or sit down and relax so that you’re in the right headspace.
Erica Danieletto is currently in her first year of medicine at the University of Sydney.