PugsAndHugs

5+ Year Member
Oct 7, 2014
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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!
 
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PugsAndHugs

PugsAndHugs

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Oct 7, 2014
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Would it be better to swap steps 3 and 4 so you end on a strong note in backing your own opinions? Also, do you think you could provide a brief example and how you would reason through it with these steps?
I see what you're saying, but the reason I put step 3 before step 4 is because in step 2 when the applicant is talking about their responsibilities in a specific role, it will start to be more obvious to the interviewer which side the applicant is leaning towards. Consequently, it would make more sense and flow easier (to me) to continue with that strong train of thought. Here is a very brief example:

Common MMI Scenario:
You just purchase a condo. Part of this condo-complex includes the key to a RESIDENTS ONLY gym (you have to live there to be able to use the gym). You have a best friend, someone you have known for years. She is a single mother with financial issues and is over weight. She tells you that her physician says she is at a high risk for different health problems, and in order to prevent this she needs to start exercising immediately. She asks you to borrow your gym key so she can exercise in the resident's only condo since she cannot afford a gym membership. What do you do?

Step 1:
"I read the scenario outside, and I believe I have a good understanding of the situation. My friend needs to lose weight as she is on the verge of being diagnosed with diabetes (for ex.), and she wants to borrow my key for the residents only gym"

Step 2:
"As her best friend, it is my responsibility to help her as much as I can since she is a single mom and has financial issues. As a tenant in the condo, it is unfair to every other tenant if someone who is not a resident of the condo-complex uses the gym, and also it would probably breach the contract I signed when accepting the lease to this condo,"

Step 3:
"If I was dealt with this scenario, I would explain to her that it is not fair to the other tenants and I may face consequences if we are caught, thus I would not give her the key to gym. This does not mean I won't help her in another way. I will offer to exercise with her on a daily basis, go on runs with her, help her find affordable gym memberships in the area, watch her children while she exercises, etc."

Step 4:
"I understand why one would want to give a gym key to their best friend if she is struggling with her health and finances, however, it would be completely dishonest of me to give her the key if she is not a resident since I signed a contract saying that I wouldn't. This would also be unfair to the other tenants using the gym because if everyone did that, the gym would be packed."

This is a very brief example, but I hope it helps!
 

phuynh94

5+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2013
626
1,068
Lavender Town
Status
Medical Student
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!
This would've been so much more useful when I was interview...
 
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PsychoPass987

5+ Year Member
Aug 27, 2013
148
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This is a very nice and helpful MMI guide. I only wished I had it when I went to my only MMI interview... Out of curiosity, @PugsAndHugs did you feel you nailed every single MMI station for the NYMC interview?
 

NotaCop

2+ Year Member
Sep 29, 2015
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Won't let me watch the thread so posting to come back to this later.

Carry on.
 

Officer Farva

Gimme a liter of cola.
2+ Year Member
May 1, 2015
594
466
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
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!
Now it makes sense why every MMI rejected/WLed me post-II. I did not do number 4. ****
 

bearintraining

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May 20, 2011
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Just to add: I think it's important to discuss the consequences of your options. It shows that you can think beyond just making the initial decision. Follow through.

I also like to view the MMI stations as a doctor-patient interaction (please excuse my pre-med mindedness on this).
(1) You need some idea of what the issue is - this is step 1 (PROBLEM) above
(2) You need to discuss what the differentials could be, not super similar to step 2 (PRIORITIES), but conceptually along the same line of thinking
(3) Describe the course of action to take to finalize diagnosis and treatment, similar to step 3 (YOUR OPINION)
(4) Describe alternatives and why less likely, similar to step 4 (OTHERS)

But the MMI wants you to explicitly explain your internal thinking. And I think this is something people take for granted in day-to-day interactions where a lot of implicit communication occurs. Patients want clarity and certainty.
 

Cyberdyne 101

It's a dry heat
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Sep 16, 2013
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Thanks @PugsAndHugs!

@Lawper, you should link this to the OP in the SDN Wisdom sticky thread.
 

carpediem22

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Mar 12, 2015
791
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Medical Student
This is great, except for at the school where I did an MMI there were few stations where "responsibilities" would have been applicable because the scenarios were not asking you to step into any specific role. Frequently, the stations would ask about a current ethical problem in medicine, and you would have to give your opinion. In these scenarios, I found it useful to present both sides of the issue as my "Step 2", which in a way incorporated Step 4 because I was also presenting the side that I did not agree with. After doing this, I said something along the lines of "I tend to agree with X position because..." and ended with that. Worked out for me.

I would also say that presenting the opinion you do NOT agree with first can get you into trouble if you run out of time. It happened to me at one station. So if following Pug's format, present your opinion first.

Finally, I would advise everyone doing an MMI to review the principles of medical ethics if you have not taken a Bioethics course. This gives you much firmer ground to stand on and is the best preparation you can do. This is a good website: http://www.med.uottawa.ca/sim/data/Ethics_e.htm
 
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PugsAndHugs

PugsAndHugs

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Oct 7, 2014
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This is a very nice and helpful MMI guide. I only wished I had it when I went to my only MMI interview... Out of curiosity, @PugsAndHugs did you feel you nailed every single MMI station for the NYMC interview?
Hmm, to be honest when you leave one station, you automatically forget what happened in that station because you have to focus on the next scenario and not dwell on the previous station. It's a fast-paced thing, but I loved it.

I wouldn't say I thought I nailed every single MMI station, but I never came out of a station thinking I messed up (except one station where the interviewer was talking 70% of the time, but you have to remember that everyone has him as well).

The most important thing is to feel confident going into every station, and I was because I was using this structured guideline, but also because my previous jobs required me to talk to many different people all the time. Confidence is key.
 

catie_jane

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Jun 12, 2015
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I have my first MMI coming up so this is great! Is there a database of MMI type questions to try and practice your method on?
 
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PugsAndHugs

PugsAndHugs

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Oct 7, 2014
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I have my first MMI coming up so this is great! Is there a database of MMI type questions to try and practice your method on?
I would recommend this youtube channel:

He gives you like 10+ scenarios in the channel. He uses a different strategy, which I don't think is practical (at least for NYMC MMI) but I do like the way he weighs out his decisions at the end. Good luck on your MMI!
 

cristygen

2+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2015
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Thank you for this! I have an MMI interview next week (my first MMI) and this is perfect!


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile app
 

Monophasic

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Jul 5, 2015
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Pug I really like what you've done here, but I think some may take it too literally. In your residents only gym scenario the answers you gave seem very robotic. Maybe it's because I already knew the system you were using, but it just seems to have a scripted feel to it. IMO the MMI scenarios should just be a natural back-and-forth between the applicant and the interviewer, and in doing so the applicant is able to hit upon these points in a way that comes naturally in the conversation. Of course I have limited experience with MMI so I could be completely wrong -- maybe they're looking for you to just check the boxes and move to the next station?
 
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PugsAndHugs

PugsAndHugs

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Oct 7, 2014
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Pug I really like what you've done here, but I think some may take it too literally. In your residents only gym scenario the answers you gave seem very robotic. Maybe it's because I already knew the system you were using, but it just seems to have a scripted feel to it. IMO the MMI scenarios should just be a natural back-and-forth between the applicant and the interviewer, and in doing so the applicant is able to hit upon these points in a way the comes naturally in the conversation. Of course I have limited experience with MMI so I could be completely wrong -- maybe they're looking for you to just check the boxes and move to the next station?
That's why I was a little hesitant to post the gym example. That example was VERY VERY brief and minimal compared to how I would actually present it. It should have natural transitions and be a natural conversation. If an interviewer asks you a follow up before you made your entire case, you should definitely stop and answer. I understand what you mean, but you may be thinking too into it.

It obviously sounds scripted to everyone now when I laid out the steps, but I feel from the interviewer's perspective, it sounds like a logical, open-minded train of thought when assesing a dilemma. In reality, I go about all of my life dilemmas the same way: figure out the problem, brainstorm options to fix it, figure out which is the best option and do it. This definetly doesn't make me a robot, it's just that if a method works, why change it?

Keep in mind this isn't the same as memorizing a "Why Medicine?" or "Why NYMC?", as the answers to the latter questions tend to sound very scripted from those that tried to memorize it. The beauty of this strategy is that you are memorizing the steps, literally just PRYO. Every MMI scenario is SO unique that the conversations you have will all be so different. Also keep in mind every station has a different interviewer, so it's not like you are using this strategy 8 times with the same interviewer. Try a mock interview or record yourself doing a scenario you just saw for the first time (give yourself 2 minutes to read and think) and see how it goes.
 
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L

Lelelele1992

I see what you're saying, but the reason I put step 3 before step 4 is because in step 2 when the applicant is talking about their responsibilities in a specific role, it will start to be more obvious to the interviewer which side the applicant is leaning towards. Consequently, it would make more sense and flow easier (to me) to continue with that strong train of thought. Here is a very brief example:

Common MMI Scenario:
You just purchase a condo. Part of this condo-complex includes the key to a RESIDENTS ONLY gym (you have to live there to be able to use the gym). You have a best friend, someone you have known for years. She is a single mother with financial issues and is over weight. She tells you that her physician says she is at a high risk for different health problems, and in order to prevent this she needs to start exercising immediately. She asks you to borrow your gym key so she can exercise in the resident's only condo since she cannot afford a gym membership. What do you do?

Step 1:
"I read the scenario outside, and I believe I have a good understanding of the situation. My friend needs to lose weight as she is on the verge of being diagnosed with diabetes (for ex.), and she wants to borrow my key for the residents only gym"

Step 2:
"As her best friend, it is my responsibility to help her as much as I can since she is a single mom and has financial issues. As a tenant in the condo, it is unfair to every other tenant if someone who is not a resident of the condo-complex uses the gym, and also it would probably breach the contract I signed when accepting the lease to this condo,"

Step 3:
"If I was dealt with this scenario, I would explain to her that it is not fair to the other tenants and I may face consequences if we are caught, thus I would not give her the key to gym. This does not mean I won't help her in another way. I will offer to exercise with her on a daily basis, go on runs with her, help her find affordable gym memberships in the area, watch her children while she exercises, etc."

Step 4:
"I understand why one would want to give a gym key to their best friend if she is struggling with her health and finances, however, it would be completely dishonest of me to give her the key if she is not a resident since I signed a contract saying that I wouldn't. This would also be unfair to the other tenants using the gym because if everyone did that, the gym would be packed."

This is a very brief example, but I hope it helps!
This is so helpful, thank you! One question: do you just monologue this whole thing, or do you pause periodically for questions? Thanks!
 
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PugsAndHugs

PugsAndHugs

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Oct 7, 2014
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This is so helpful, thank you! One question: do you just monologue this whole thing, or do you pause periodically for questions? Thanks!
It's very conversational, so I would start with my reply to the scenario, sometimes they have follow up questions before I finish but sometimes they don't. The four steps take a lot less time then you would think, leaving plenty of time for questions and discussion.