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.
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!
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 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.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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.
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.