Medicine at Aberdeen
Medicine at Aberdeen

Introduction to Medicine at Aberdeen

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As a globally recognised institution, the University of Aberdeen offers one of the most prestigious medical programmes in the UK, attracting prospective doctors from around the world. The school’s 5-year MBChB Medicine degree employs a systems-based integrated curriculum, incorporating a variety of teaching methods, including problem-based learning (PBL). An essential aspect of the application process at Aberdeen is the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI), a rigorous and comprehensive format that seeks to assess a candidate’s suitability for medicine.

A Detailed List of Aberdeen Interview Questions

The Aberdeen MMIs comprise seven stations, each lasting six minutes, which cover a wide range of topics. Here, we categorise them to help you prepare (you can find more here):

Traditional Interview-Style Questions:

In this category, candidates may face questions that relate to their personal statement, work experience, or motivation to study medicine. These could include:

  • Why have you chosen to study medicine?
  • Tell us about your work experience and what you learned from it.
  • How has your personal statement prepared you for studying medicine?

Role-Play Stations:

These stations assess your communication skills, empathy, and ability to handle pressure in a real-life scenario. You may be asked to:

  • Console a friend who did not get into medical school.
  • Explain a medical condition or treatment to a patient.
  • A patient has been diagnosed with a chronic illness and is struggling to come to terms with the life changes this will entail. How would you offer support?
  • You are a junior doctor and you realise that you’ve made a mistake with a patient’s medication. What do you do?

Ethical Scenario Discussions:

These questions evaluate your understanding of medical ethics, your problem-solving skills, and your ability to remain balanced in a debate. You could be asked to:

  • Discuss the ethical implications of euthanasia.
  • What are your views on the allocation of NHS resources?
  • Discuss the ethical implications of genetic testing and gene editing. When, if ever, should these tools be used?
  • What are your views on patient confidentiality? When might it be ethically justifiable to break this confidentiality?
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of organ transplant lists. How should priority be determined?
  • How do you feel about the legalisation of medical cannabis? Discuss the ethical considerations that surround this issue.

Data Analysis Questions:

These stations test your critical thinking, data interpretation, and communication skills. You might be asked to:

  • Interpret a graph or chart about a health-related topic.
  • Discuss the implications of a piece of research.

Teamwork Exercise:

In this category, you are likely to participate in a group activity where your teamwork and leadership skills will be evaluated. The task can vary from logical puzzles to ethical discussions.

How to Prepare for Aberdeen’s Interview

Aberdeen’s medical interview process is thorough and comprehensive, but with careful preparation, candidates can approach it with confidence.

Firstly, candidates should familiarise themselves with the structure and format of Aberdeen’s MMIs. Understanding the types of questions and tasks that could be presented at each station can help applicants anticipate what will be expected of them.

Secondly, reflecting on personal experiences and motivations for studying medicine is crucial. Candidates should be prepared to discuss their work experience, extra-curricular activities, and key events that have influenced their decision to study medicine. When doing this, applicants should consider how these experiences have helped them develop the key skills that Aberdeen looks for in its medical students, such as empathy, teamwork, resilience, and a sense of vocation.

It’s also essential to understand and be able to discuss key healthcare and medical ethics issues. Candidates should stay up to date with current healthcare news and consider how these issues could affect their future careers as doctors.

Practising for the MMIs is another key aspect of preparation. This could involve participating in mock interviews, using online resources, or working with an MMI circuit like that offered by BlackStone Tutors. The more practice an applicant has under their belt, the more confident they will feel on the day of the interview.

Finally, remember that the interview is not only an opportunity for Aberdeen to assess your suitability for their medical programme, but it’s also a chance for you to determine if Aberdeen is the right fit for you. Spend some time learning about the University’s culture, teaching methods, and what life as a medical student in Aberdeen is like.

The journey to a successful Aberdeen medical interview might seem challenging, but with diligent preparation, a strong understanding of what’s expected, and a genuine passion for medicine, it is certainly attainable.

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