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MMI Interview

VampsMed

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Apr 14, 2020
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Hi guys! Do you have any tips on the MMI interview? I’ve been looking through scenarios and videos and i’m quite nervous. Any tips would be appreciated, thank you!


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TheDataKing

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Generally, you can approach many of the prompts like CASPer scenarios (especially ethical ones). Think 1) Problem - identify it and state it, 2) Perspectives - acknowledge how others may feel and that you might not know everything and want to learn more, 3) Responsibility - help tackle the issue head-on by helping find resources for someone who is struggling with X, etc., 4) Decision - make a decision about what you want to do and don't backtrack. Be confident in your answer at this point., 5) Justification - here is where you defend your decision

The main issues I see people have with MMIs is lack of confidence, people changing their answer when prompted with another question by an interviewer, and people arguing for something but lacking good support for it
 
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Chelseadagger

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I agree with what the previous commenter said. Based on my experiences last cycle I will say that you definitely should not be nervous! of the interviews I had, the MMIs were consistently more enjoyable than traditional interviews. I would even go so far as to say they were fun. Don't feel like you have to fill 5 minutes with a single answer, most interviewers have follow up questions once you give your initial answer. I also feel that your answer is not as important as how you reach your answer and your ability to explain your position (to a degree, there are wrong answers). If I had to give tips, I would encourage you to review common medical ethic topics and be able to clearly explain how you reached your opinion. Here is a good website for an overview on a lot of topics: Ethics in Medicine | UW Department of Bioethics & Humanities.
 
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deleted804295

You have a couple minutes to prepare before the interview. Most of my fellow interviewees used this time to keep things in their head but a problem they ran into was repeating themselves or ending early.

I'd recommend using this time to make an outline of what you will say on notepaper via the PRYO method.
In light of receiving an acceptance to NYMC recently, I decided to share the MMI strategy that I used in hopes that it can help you with your upcoming MMI interview. I created this strategy from reading over many different threads, posts, and websites to compile all of the things I thought were important and to make one general strategy. I have been through so many different sources, so I'm not sure which which helpful information I took from where and I apologize if something sounds familiar.

MMI stations are very different, not all of them have a "problem" or "issue", so this strategy does not apply to all scenarios, but it can guide you in many different scenarios.

There are 4 steps to answering an MMI scenario and the best way to remember it is PRYO.
P: Problem
R: Responsibilities
Y: Your Opinion
O: Other Opinion

1) State the PROBLEM.
Just like any issue you have in life, instead of just diving into formulating a resolution, it makes more sense to take a second and make sure you understand what the problem/scenario is. So I started with a very short intro of just what exactly the problem or controversy is in the scenario.

2) State your RESPONSIBILITIES.
This step is important because it sets the tone and prepares you for the last two steps. It's also important because this is where the interview evaluates how empathetic the applicant is, as well as the applicant's thought process in approaching/solving problems. In MMIs, they may ask you to put yourself in the shoes of a doctor, nurse, best friend, religious advocate or sibling, the list goes on. Every role has different responsibilities. You should almost always list at least two responsibilities, and be aware that the two responsibilities may contradict each other, and that's where the controversy comes in. For example, as a physician, your responsibilities include making the patient's best interest your priority, as well as respecting the patient's autonomy and decision making about their own health. If you have a cancer patient who refuses to undergo chemotherapy even though it is the best and only treatment option available for them, your responsibilities undoubtedly clash with each other. If this happens, you are on the right track! Now it is time to show your reasoning when approaching controversy.

3) Present YOUR Opinion.
The transition from Step 2 and 3 is important. You haven't made your case yet in Step 2, but you have presented enough information to back up your opinion. I notice a lot of other guides say that "you do not have to present your side to the controversy since that is not what the interviewers are looking for." I agree that the whole point of the MMI is to evaluate an applicant's thought process and in most cases there isn't even a "right" side to choose, however, to me at least, not choosing a side if the scenario explicitly asks you "what would you do in this situation?" is not answering the question and seems like a weak and scared approach to the interviewers (just my opinion). Whenever you present YOUR opinion, you NEED a Step 4.

4) Present OTHER Opinion(s).
They need to know you are an open-minded person and you have weighed out ALL the other options. The important thing to do when presenting the opposing case is to make sure that it is not stronger than your opinion. It isn't logical to side with the weaker argument. Although it may seem hard to choose between two solutions in a difficult scenario, choosing the solution isn't the purpose of an MMI, it is showing why you came to that decision and how you have evaluated other options. Thus, when you introduce the opposing case, say why you can UNDERSTAND why someone would want to use this approach, but then immediately after strike it as not the best approach for a good reason. Something similar to this oversimplified template: "I understand why someone would choose (Option B) because (one pro of Option B) BUT (biggest con of Option B).



This strategy should probably take about ~2-2.5 minutes. I never had any silence in my stations, since the follow up questions made it very conversational. With this strategy, the entire 6 minutes passed by fast and by the time the 6 minutes are up, I felt like I had a complete conversation addressing all the points in every station and I never felt like the conversation was dragging because there was too much time.

Please let me know what you think! I am open to suggestions in improving the strategy. I wish everyone the best of luck in their current and upcoming application cycles!
Then rehearse what you will say aloud in a whisper so that your fellow interviewees can't hear you.

Edit: I found that my richest conversations in MMI stations resulted from bringing in real life stories to substantiate my answers. I talked about books I read, experiences I've had, and it allowed the interviewers to ask me more personal questions. Stations where I brought in no personal stories seemed to be very curt, boring, and impersonal.
 
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deleted1032897

Hi! I have to admit I was extremely nervous for the MMIs haha. Anticipating something not even remotely close to what you've experienced before, something you really can't fully prepare for, is the worst part.

I won't say to not research and practice, because having your stances prepared on common ethical issues and modern medical dilemmas will save you a lot of time and worry. But my overarching advice is this:

- Don't let nerves get in the way of being yourself. Don't be uncomfortable taking time to think over your answer, instead of spewing rehearsed answers because autopilot is less stressful. Be IN the moment and react (calmly and thoughtfully) instead of clinging to some made-up prepared script. It is super easy to say something you don't mean just because you're nervous!! It's OK to take a breath.

- Instead of looking at the actor or professor as a test question or a code to crack, see them as a person. When in doubt in a made-up role play scenario, get them talking about themselves instead of dominating the conversation with nonsense because silence is nervewracking.

- Don't say anything or give advice that you're not qualified to. Even in a scenario that asks you to step into a physicians role, stick to what you know and use it as an opportunity to show empathy and humanity. You're not here to flex as if you're already a brilliant diagnostitian. One of my MMIs involved being in the room after a patient got a tough diagnosis and the physician had to step out before they could answer any questions. I tried to stick to uplifting the patient and putting them at ease by getting them to talk about their family, while dodging their medical questions because I wasn't qualified to answer them. i got great feedback from this strategy.

- Far and away above all: Always show respect for everything and everyone. Even in a scenario where you're trying to get a stubborn unhealthy person to adopt a better lifestyle, don't steamroll them if you can't sway them to your life. Respect their life, their choices, and let them know you're there for support and education whenever they're ready to consider something else. Don't make jokes about embarrassing medical conditions (I've heard about this happening!!!), or put down any subgroup of people whatsoever.

-If you don't know something or get corrected, own it and ask questions instead of getting defensive or embarrassed. I had a scenario about climate change, and I was knocked off my FEET because I felt like I didn't know nearly enough background info. But I turned it into a conversation I learned from instead of an interrogation, and offered connections once I started grasping the concept better. It's OK to not know! There's a good chance one scenario may specifically be about something you have a low chance of knowing about just to see how you respond out of your depth.

Best of luck! After the initial hurdle you'll setttle in and catch on quick.
 
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VampsMed

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Apr 14, 2020
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  1. Pre-Medical
Thank you everyone for your responses! You guys brought up things that I haven’t even thought about. I think my biggest hurdle would probably be calming myself down. I get quite nervous when talking to new people, especially those who are of higher authority than me (in this case, the interviewers and adcoms lol), so the idea of talking to multiple new people in a short time frame is nervewracking. How did you guys manage the stress of this?

I have been watching videos on medical ethics and they were also definitely helpful. However, I realized I didn’t know how to respond properly to many of them. I think I definitely need more practice :(

Also, do you guys think I should study and research all the information regarding COVID-19? I have a feeling this is going to be asked extensively, given that it has affected us on a global scale so much.

Thanks in advance everyone!! I really appreciate you all. Your advice made me feel a little bit better and I think I can better approach situations when practicing.


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Chelseadagger

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Sep 6, 2019
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Thank you everyone for your responses! You guys brought up things that I haven’t even thought about. I think my biggest hurdle would probably be calming myself down. I get quite nervous when talking to new people, especially those who are of higher authority than me (in this case, the interviewers and adcoms lol), so the idea of talking to multiple new people in a short time frame is nervewracking. How did you guys manage the stress of this?

I have been watching videos on medical ethics and they were also definitely helpful. However, I realized I didn’t know how to respond properly to many of them. I think I definitely need more practice :(

Also, do you guys think I should study and research all the information regarding COVID-19? I have a feeling this is going to be asked extensively, given that it has affected us on a global scale so much.

Thanks in advance everyone!! I really appreciate you all. Your advice made me feel a little bit better and I think I can better approach situations when practicing.


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The reason schools use MMIs is to give as many opportunities as possible to show your true self. I royally messed up 1/8 of the interview stations at one school and will be matriculating there in the fall. I think it will help your nerves to remember that even if you make a small mistake, you have many other opportunities to give a great impression. Nothing is permanent! Regarding COVID, it may come up but if anything they ask will be surface level. I would think it may be something they use to lead to larger issues that the pandemic touches on like racial inequalities. I wouldn't think you have to be a pandemic/public health expert to answer any questions, that's what MPHs are for.
 
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VampsMed

Full Member
Apr 14, 2020
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  1. Pre-Medical
The reason schools use MMIs is to give as many opportunities as possible to show your true self. I royally messed up 1/8 of the interview stations at one school and will be matriculating there in the fall. I think it will help your nerves to remember that even if you make a small mistake, you have many other opportunities to give a great impression. Nothing is permanent! Regarding COVID, it may come up but if anything they ask will be surface level. I would think it may be something they use to lead to larger issues that the pandemic touches on like racial inequalities. I wouldn't think you have to be a pandemic/public health expert to answer any questions, that's what MPHs are for.

Thank you for the insight and reassurance! I will keep these in mind as I go. I really do feel a little better now because I was really nervous, I feel like I didn’t know anything haha

Above all, congratulations on your acceptance and good luck in medical school! :)

Edit: also, thank you for the website! I went through it today and I think I have a better idea of how to approach different scenarios now. I will be using this a lot until my interview time. :)

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deleted1032897

I get it! During my very first interview day I was so nervous in anticipation for the MMI, I kept telling myself “You can always just leave if you want to” . You won’t be able to dispel all your nerves, but that’s OK and they anticipate that people will be nervous! It helped me to know that the people evaluating you aren’t trying to see if you come up with the “right” answer they’re looking for before you walk in. There really is no one right answer, so think about it like you have a lot of opportunities to do well. As long as you interact appropriately with the prompt and don’t disrespect anyone, you’re already in good shape.

I’m glad you’re starting to feel better! Learning how remain comfortable even when you don’t know anything will help you out many times on the road ahead.
 
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VampsMed

Full Member
Apr 14, 2020
14
13
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  1. Pre-Medical
I get it! During my very first interview day I was so nervous in anticipation for the MMI, I kept telling myself “You can always just leave if you want to” . You won’t be able to dispel all your nerves, but that’s OK and they anticipate that people will be nervous! It helped me to know that the people evaluating you aren’t trying to see if you come up with the “right” answer they’re looking for before you walk in. There really is no one right answer, so think about it like you have a lot of opportunities to do well. As long as you interact appropriately with the prompt and don’t disrespect anyone, you’re already in good shape.

I’m glad you’re starting to feel better! Learning how remain comfortable even when you don’t know anything will help you out many times on the road ahead.

Thank you! It’s always nice to know that someone has gone through the same thing and done well.

Everything is just so odd because of COVID. I got an interview invite from a program that I really have my heart set to and this is my very first interview, so I’m nervous. I have about 2 weeks to prepare and I’m hoping that’s enough time.

Are there any resources you recommend?


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deleted1032897

Congratulations! I know it can feel like a lot of pressure when you have your heart set but two weeks will be enough. I actually used the UW Bioethics page someone linked here earlier, as it was recommended to me by someone who had gotten into the school I’m attending now the year earlier. Print out the questions and then answer them out loud. After some initial practice, ask a partner or relative to help you by asking you the questions in random order. If you get totally stumped, mark it down and do some more research on that topic. And know your overall application well. In many of my MMI stations, we finished a little early and the interviewer would then ask me about myself or why medicine to fill the rest of the time (some schools might now do this but mine did!). It helped to have a good elevator pitch down.
 
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