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Common Undergraduate Medical Interview Questions

Published on
May 13, 2024

What should I say in a medical school interview? 

The Undergraduate medical application season is right around the corner. We hope you have begun preferencing medical schools to enter Medicine at a university that best supports your goals.

There is no denying that applying to a medical school is a gruelling process. Sitting entrance exams like the UCAT, which tests your aptitude and mental faculties, requires strategic planning and preparation - but most importantly, determination. Once you surpass such crucial steps, you are a successful applicant invited to the medical school interview. You will be in the presence of an interviewer posing some of the hardest medical school interview questions to test your skills to ace it through medical school and in the subsequent years as a practitioner.

What about the UCAT?

When it comes to the UCAT, through undertaking preparation courses and attempting multiple mock exams, you are comparatively more in control of receiving a competitive UCAT score. However, medical school interviews are greatly influenced by external factors, such as the diverse list of medical school interview questions you may encounter and the type of medical interviewer conducting your interview.

The team at Fraser's has first-hand experience answering some of the most complex medical school interview questions. It's currently providing interview prep courses to guide you through some common medical school questions. This article will highlight medical school MMI questions and how different or similar they are to panel interview questions. Additionally, this article targets undergraduate medical interviews and themes around which commonly asked medical questions revolve. 

Let's start off with the most commonly asked med interview question:

'Why do you want to be a Doctor?'

Out of a range of medical interview questions, you most definitely can expect the iconic, 'Why do you want to study medicine?' question. These questions for medical students often translates to comprehending their commitment and sustainability to persevere in the medical profession. Though it looks as easy as it sounds, this medical interview question requires a ton of preparation in advance.

Assuming most of you invited for a medical interview are in the process of completing Year 12, this question may be slightly tricky to answer considering: 

1) You're still a premed student and; 

2) You haven't gotten an opportunity to gain real-life hospital experience in aged-care facilities or public health sectors. 

You must understand that the nature of your undergraduate medical interview will be slightly different compared to postgraduate med school interviews. Hence, you can compose an answer that revolves around your genuine interest in Medicine or any high school extra-curricular activity you were involved in that best demonstrates your qualities suitable for a doctor.

Remember whether you are invited for an MMI interview or a panel interview, or are required to submit a personal statement as per the University of Wollongong’s entry requirements, your answer must highlight the 'YOU' aspect of why 'YOU' wish to pursue Medicine and what makes 'YOU' a good doctor..

Having addressed the question about your motivation, let’s shift our focus to another commonly asked medical school interview question about medical ethics

How do you answer a Medical Interview question about Ethics?

While tackling MMI stations or panel interviews, answering questions on medical ethics becomes an essential component of the medical interview. But, first, you must understand why ethics is a crucial facet of Medicine.

For starters, medical ethics form moral codes that bind doctors to conduct themselves and perform unbiased patient care for all. Though you are not expected to be an expert, when questioned about medical ethics you should have a basic understanding of the concept and have conducted research in advance.

Your answers must be well-structured and refrain from using jargon terminologies, unless you are certain with the concept. The best way to deal with questions on medical ethics is staying relevant and highlighting how you would approach an ethical scenario. Remember the concept of ethics is ambiguous and may vary from person to person, but during a medical interview you can phrase your answers based on the four pillars of ethics :

  1. Autonomy - Respecting the patient’s choice regardless of the accuracy of the scientific approach.
  2. Beneficence - Actions towards the patient are performed under good intentions.
  3. Non-maleficence - Following the standard doctor's oath - 'First - do no harm.'
  4. Justice - Diagnosing patients regardless of their culture, nationality, social status, colour or creed.

Here's an excellent example to portray an ethical dilemma one may encounter during medical practice:

Imagine a patient requires a heart transplant, and the doctors firmly believe that surgery is vital. Technically, it is your responsibility to make an incision on the patient's skin. Still, it can be labelled as 'harm' to the patient in a literal context; however, operating with good intentions eliminates any future risks for the patient with a diseased heart. 

In this context, the patient will receive all the information regarding the surgery, including the risks. So now it is purely the patient's decision to make an informed choice, and you, as the doctor, cannot influence it as per your perspective. Hence, the four pillars of ethics form a solid principle to determine your behaviour within clinical environments.

What are common medical questions on Ethics?

Most often medical ethics questions can be distinguished between scenario-based questions or case-based questions. Here are a few examples to familiarise you with the medical interview questions in Australia:

  1. Are you aware of any current controversies within medical ethics? What is your take on it? Let's discuss.
  2. A 10-year-old girl is diagnosed with cancer (malignant). She requested the doctor to disclose the cause of the illness. However, the parents asked the doctor to refrain from sharing the information. So what should the doctor do?
  3. What would you do if your colleague, who happens to be your close friend, commits a mistake with a patient by providing the wrong diagnosis? Will you report or hide it from the hospital?
  4. Should the Covid-vaccine be made compulsory in Australia to eliminate the virus? If yes, explain.

While answering such tricky questions about medical ethics, avoid establishing any personal prejudices. It is imperative to construct a diverse perspective and a balanced overview of ethical issues. You can discuss both sides of the argument to depict your thought process in the interview and provide appropriate justification for why you believe a particular statement.

Also remember to apply the four pillars of medical ethics while answering ethics based questions!

Medical School Interview Questions: Public Health

Most people assume that Medicine is purely about clinical science and patient care. However, a doctor’s day-to-day life constitutes politics and regulations that play a crucial part within the hospital. If you are not fond of politics, the medical interview questions about public health in Australia may be challenging.

Once you are invited to the medical interview, begin preparing by studying the current chronic health issues in Australia. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, chronic health issues include arthritis, asthma, back pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, obesity and mental health conditions. We advise you to have an overall understanding of these conditions, the impact on the nation and the policies implemented to overcome the issues.

While answering a public health question, begin outlining issues associated with it. Be well-informed about the existing government strategies and schemes enforced to improve such health issues. For instance, an important scheme worth noting is the NDIS - the National Disability Insurance Scheme. This is a funding program to assist individuals with disabilities to address their lifestyle requirements, whether it is taxis or mobility, to developments to their home. Also, remember to address public health literacy schemes during multiple mini interview medical school questions.

What are common medical questions on Publich Health?

What are common medical questions on public health?

  1. List some of the public health campaigns you have come across.
  2. What is your opinion about (‘x’ insert health issue here) public health strategies?
  3. Do you think the NDIS fund scheme should support the day-to-day activities of individuals who use it?
  4. Should people with mental health conditions be granted paid leave at work?

Medical Interview Questions About Medicine In General

If you wish to become a successful doctor, general knowledge around medicinal discoveries and the latest news should interest you during med school and also during medical practice. It is optimal to understand current trends on the nation's healthcare system or persisting global health issues as a medical practitioner. However, to get the hang of it in your premed years, medical interviews explicitly test your ability to comprehend this type of information to analyse whether or not your perception aligns with the requisite characteristics of a doctor.  

The best way to answer medicine-related questions is to:

  • Actively read recent publications around medicinal advancements.
  • Keep up-to-date with the nation's health conditions
  • Learn relevant terminologies
  • And finally, have constructive ideas towards improving medicine locally and worldwide. 

Before attending your medical school interview, prepare around the following themes to provide a consolidated answer that highlights:

  •  your interest in medicine
  • your nature to improve the health standards of individuals and communities, 
  • your progressive mindset to implement new strategies towards pressing health issues.

Undergraduate Medical Questions About Medicine

  1. Talk about some of the medical advances and issues you have come across recently.
  2. What is Australia's biggest health issue at the moment? How would you tackle this?
  3. What are some negative aspects associated with medicine?
  4. What excites you the most about medicine?

Difficult Medical School Interview Questions On Rural Health

Amidst all the medical interview questions you’ll be asked, some of the most stressful are around Australia's rural health. Here the possibility of answering questions specifically about improving the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Hence, it is best to know fundamental cultural differences and logical explanations for increasing health support within rural regions and in Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander Peoples. A minimum knowledge around their core health issues, understanding the cause behind workforce shortage in rural clinical settings and taking the initiative to practice within rural regions can display your genuine interest in medicine.

Additionally, it is worth understanding university fees structures and schemes such as the Bonded Medical Program  (BMP) and the Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), undertaken by the Australian Government to support the education of domestic applicants. The BMP is a part of the CSP and is implemented to improve workforce shortage within regional and rural regions in Australia. Note that by enrolling in the BMP scheme, you commit to practicing medicine within rural areas after graduating from medical school. 

Where To From Here?

There are new applicants for medical school every year and the entry process is only getting tougher, but we at Fraser’s are here to help you stay ahead in your game with our FREE RESOURCES and industry leading interview prep courses. You can also enroll into our interview training courses to best answer some of the most commonly asked medical school questions. Alternatively, check out a range of FREE TOOLS available on our website!