Education Eye: Learn all about the NHS and ethics before medicine interviews

Following on from last week’s advice about preparing a strong application to study medicine, I thought a few tips on preparing for the interview might be useful.

By Catherine Stoker, director of The Independent Education Consultants
Sunday, 13th April 2014, 6:30 am
Catherine Stoker
Catherine Stoker

Ensure your background knowledge of the course is comprehensive.

You will not only need to show a passion for medicine and the motivation to work hard to stay the course, but also that you are familiar with the content of the course and how the learning is delivered-traditional or more problem based learning.

Showing you have experience assimilating with people from all walks of life with empathy and sensitivity is important.

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Be ready to share examples of how you have used communication and people skills to handle difficult situations, where others were angry or upset, for example as a result of bad news.

Ethics are critical to the medical profession. You need to demonstrate you have balanced opinions, can construct a logical argument, are open to cultural sensitivities and have an in-depth understanding of ethical principles. Your knowledge of current affairs will come into play here.

The structure and challenges of the NHS should be a subject on which you can show an in-depth knowledge. Medicine is a career and not a job.

You will need to show you understand the general direction of travel of UK healthcare and are committed to making a life-long contribution.

Learn to identify types of question so you can structure your answer.

Does the question require facts and knowledge or the construction of a balanced argument or opinion? Structure your answer accordingly.

In the introduction turn around and rephrase the question to give thinking time.

Then, create an argument by grouping positives and negatives together and finally summarise and reach a conclusion.

Do not be afraid to express personal opinion and be prepared to defend it!