Alex | Founder of Medfully
13 Jan 13 min read

250 Common Medicine Interview Questions | Medical School Interview

We’ve collected over 250 common medical school interview questions that you can use to practise for your interviews. These apply both to Panel interviews and MMI interviews.

Although the list below is not exhaustive, it will take you a while to go through them all.

Remember it’s not possible to predict every single question that can come up in your interviews. So if you struggle with any of the questions, rather than focusing on the individual question, focus on the topic.

Good luck with your interview preparation!


Motivations for Medicine:

Why Medicine?

Why would you make a good doctor?

Why are you a good candidate for medicine?

Why do you prefer medicine over nursing?

Why don't you want to become a researcher?

Why do you prefer medicine over a pharmacy?

What distinguishes doctors from vets apart from patients?

Why should we choose you to join our university?

What would you do if you don't get in?

Is there a particular person, book or event which inspired you to pursue a career in the medical field?


Personality Questions:

What's your greatest strength?

What is your greatest weakness?

What will hold you back at medical school?

What are the three adjectives that best describe you?

How would your friends describe you?

What are your home duties?

What would you like to have written on your gravestone?

Why would you make a good doctor

Are you a leader or a follower?

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

How will your extracurriculars help you become a better doctor?

What is the non-academic achievement you are most proud of?

What do you do to develop as a person?

What do you do to calm yourself down?

Do you take care of your sleep quality?

What would you do in life if you had unlimited time and money?

What did you do during your gap year?

Who’s a good teacher to you? Who is/was your best teacher?


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Scenario-based Questions:

How do you cope with stress?

Tell me about a situation when you had to work in a team.

How would you rate your leadership skills?

Tell me about a situation when you had to overcome a challenge.

Tell us about a situation that you could have handled better.

Tell us about a time when you had difficulties working as a part of a group and how you overcame them.

Tell us about an instance when you had to rely on your communication skills.

Can you think of an instance that made you understand what empathy means?

Tell us about a situation that made you aware of the challenges related to being a doctor.


Work Experience Questions:

What was the most important thing you learned through your work experience?

What was the most memorable aspect of your work experience?

What was the most challenging aspect of your work experience?

Did you see any examples of teamwork during your work experience?

What did your work experience teach you about the role of teamwork in medicine?

During your work experience, have you witnessed any instances of strong leadership?

Can you think of any examples from your work experience when doctors showed empathy?

Tell us about a situation from your work experience, which demonstrated to you the importance of good communication.

Have you witnessed any examples of improper behaviour during your work experience?

🚀 TOP Tip: Have trouble answering any of the above questions? Check out our Medicine Interview Preparation Tool, which is guaranteed to answer your questions!


Insight Into Medicine Questions:

Has there been anything or anyone that discouraged you from becoming a doctor?

What are the three largest challenges doctors face?

What appeals to you the most in medicine, besides treating patients?

What are the three most important qualities of a physician?

What is empathy and why is it important in medicine?

What has been the greatest medical achievement in the last 10 years?

What has been the greatest medical achievement in the last 50 years?

What has been the greatest medical advancement EVER

What would you like to achieve as a doctor?

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

What medical speciality would you like to pursue?

How should trainees be supported to choose specialities based on interests rather than length of training?

What steps have you taken to determine what being a doctor entails?

What is empathy and why is it important in medicine?

Can empathy be taught at medical school? If so, how can it be taught?

What's more important in medicine: sympathy or empathy?

What is the role of scientific research in medicine?

Have you read any research articles recently?

Do you need different qualities to become a good dentist than a good doctor?

How is being a doctor different to being a nurse?

What are some ways that help doctors survive a night shift?

What are the most important values that all healthcare professionals should abide by?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of surgical specialities?

Why do some doctors prefer to become GPs and some prefer being hospital specialists?

How do the responsibilities of a surgeon and a GP differ?

Take us through the training pathway of a physician in the UK.

Have you recently read any interesting news stories related to medicine?

What do you understand by the term Multidisciplinary Team (MDT)?

Who can be a part of the MDT?

Why do doctors need to work in MDTs?

What is the importance of teaching in medicine and what forms does teaching take?


Insight Into Medical School Questions:

Why would you like to study at our university?

How will you contribute to our medical school?

What are some ways you can contribute to university life?

Why would you make a good medical student?

What qualities characterise a good medical student?

Are there any societies you would like to join or establish?

What do you know about our course and why would it suit you?

What makes the course at our medical school different?

What are some of the most challenging aspects of medical school? How will you deal with them?

What aspects of medical school appeal the least to you?

Why would you like to become a medical student?

What do you know about our research facilities/teaching hospitals?

Why do you want to study in insert city of the medical school?


Questions About The NHS:

What do you know about the NHS?

What do you know about the history of the founding of the NHS? When was the NHS founded and why?

What were the three founding principles of the NHS? Do they still hold?

What was healthcare like in the UK before the NHS was founded?

Outline the current structure of the NHS.

What are the values that underlie the NHS?

How is the NHS funded?

Why is the budget of the NHS increased annually?

Currently, around 9.6% of the UK’s GDP goes to funding the NHS. Should the UK spend a larger percentage of the GDP on healthcare?

How do you see the future of the NHS?

If you were to make a change in the NHS budget, how would you allocate the funds?

If you could choose to allocate an additional £20 million to either of the following areas of healthcare, which one would you choose and why? Cancer research, mental health, Covid-19 research, palliative care, prolonging life research.

It’s often said the NHS is currently underfunded. How could the financial issues of the NHS be resolved?

If you could decrease the funding in one area of the NHS to give a boost in another, which two areas of healthcare would you choose and why?

What do you know about the NHS Long-term plan? How will benefit the NHS and its patients?

What challenges will the NHS face in 20 years that aren’t as significant now?

What is the role of GPs in the NHS

What are the primary and secondary levels of care? How do they differ?

What are the differences and similarities between the healthcare systems in the US and the UK?

What are the advantages of the US healthcare system over the NHS? What are the disadvantages?

Should the NHS be privatised?

What are the most significant challenges currently facing the NHS

How has Covid-19 impacted the NHS, its staff and patients?

What will be the long-term impact of the pandemic on the NHS?

How has Brexit impacted the NHS?

What are some of the factors leading to the staffing crisis in the NHS?

How could foreign healthcare workers be attracted to work in the NHS?

How can Brexit benefit the NHS?

Explain the term universal healthcare.

Nearly all medical interventions are free on the NHS, but only a limited number of dental procedures are. Can you think of any reasons why this is?

What is the role of the GMC (General Medical Council)?

Have you heard of the GMC’s Good Medical Practice guidelines? Why do you think such guidelines are issued? Aren’t doctors taught how to be a “good doctor” at medical school?

The NHS loses 216 million pounds for missed appointments per year. Should patients be fined if they fail to show up to their appointment?


Questions About NHS Hot Topics:

Did the UK handle the beginning Covid-19 pandemic well? What could have been done better?

How did/could the UK government increase the capacity of hospitals and work through the backlog of cases caused by the pandemic?

Should Covid -19 vaccinations be mandatory?

Why do some people object to vaccinations?

How the UK tackles the spread of misinformation around vaccines?

How could the uptake of vaccinations be increased, without making them mandatory?

What do you know about the A&E crisis and how it could be resolved?

Explain why the 4-hour waiting time target is used and whether it’s an efficient indicator.

Should we rely on the 4-hour A&E waiting time target, or are there better indicators of how well an A&E department performs?

How is the ageing population posing a challenge to the NHS?

What are the common health challenges among elderly patients?

How could we tackle the challenges that come along with the ageing crisis?

Should the NHS endorse and give access to alternative medicines?

What novel technologies are being currently implemented in the NHS?

Have you ever heard the term "winter pressures"? What is the cause of larger pressures in winter?

Have you read about any breakthroughs, recent technologies being introduced/used in the NHS?

Could you give some examples of how technology revolutionises healthcare?

How is technology used in healthcare?

How can we use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) in healthcare?

What are the risks associated with being heavily dependent on technology in the NHS?

What are the risks involved in the usage of AI technology in healthcare?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the use of technology in healthcare?

If you could introduce new measures to tackle obesity in the UK, what would those be?

Explain the impact of obesity on the NHS.

Why do you think the UK has one of the highest numbers of obese individuals in the world?

Is tackling childhood obesity more important than obesity in adults?

What is the Sugar Tax and why has it been introduced?

What’s your understanding of mental health conditions? How would you define them? Can you give a few examples of mental health conditions?

Have you heard of any effective treatments for any mental health condition?

What has been the impact of Covid-19 on the mental health of our population in the UK?

How has the pandemic impacted the mental health of the NHS staff?

Why is it important that doctors (and those around them) take care of their mental health?

Why are doctors more prone to suffer from depression or commit suicide (compared with most other professions)?

How will you take care of your mental health as a medical student and later as a doctor?

What do you understand by the term ‘mental health crisis?’ How can the UK tackle the mental health crisis?

How would you support a colleague at work that feels discriminated against due to their ethnic background?

What are some valuable lessons that Covid-19 taught us?

How can the inequalities among the NHS workforce be tackled?

How do antibiotics work and how can bacteria develop resistance to them?

Developing antibiotic resistance is a natural process. How do our actions impact the process of developing antibiotic resistance then?

What are the dangers associated with antibiotic resistance?

What is your understanding of dementia?

What’s the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s?

How is the increasing number of dementia cases posing a challenge to healthcare systems worldwide?

You’ve written in your personal statement about working with care home residents who had dementia: How were you able to tell if a patient had dementia?

What do you understand by the term dementia? How does it differ from Alzheimer’s disease?

Would you approach a patient with dementia any different from a 30-year old with a sports injury? If yes, how?


Medical Ethics:

Please explain the term "4 pillars of medical ethics".

How is beneficence different from non-maleficence?

Do all patients have autonomy?

What do you understand by the following terms: confidentiality, consent, capacity?

When can doctors breach confidentiality, if ever? Can you give a specific example of such a scenario?

What do you understand by the term “Gillick’s competence”?

What are the underpinning values of modern medicine?

What is the Hippocratic oath? What place does it have in modern medicine?

What are the ethical considerations regarding abortion?

Should euthanasia be legal in the UK?

What's the difference between euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide?


Ethical Scenarios:

Liver allocation: “Imagine you are the head of the surgical department in a hospital. There are two patients, A and B, both requiring an urgent liver transplant, but there is only one viable liver. Patient A is a 32-year old social activist, with a drug abuse history. Patient B is a 78-year old woman, who takes care of 3 children, whose parents died in a car accident. How would you allocate the liver and why?"

Explaining a mistake/Breaking bad news:  You are an FY2 doctor, currently working on a paediatrics ward. You have been taking care of a 5-year old child with suspected leukaemia. As you are walking through the hospital hallway, you stumble across the child's parents, who have been waiting there for hours and look very distressed. As they ask you about the blood results, you realise you forgot to take the samples to the lab. How would you explain to the parents they have to wait another few hours because of your mistake?

Anxious patient: A young mother comes with their 3-years old child to your GP practice as a part of the routine immunisation schedule. However, the mother reveals that she decided not to vaccinate their child against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and appears to be anxious. What would you do?

Illegal practice: a 19-year old patient comes to your GP practice and discloses they regularly engage in the use of illicit drugs. They ask you not to tell anyone, including the police. What factors should you consider in such a scenario, and who would you inform about the situation?

Refusing treatment14-year old boy is rushed into A&E after a car crash. The patient is unconscious and has sustained huge blood loss as a result of the accident. Together with your team, you decide the boy requires an urgent blood transfusion. As you are about to take the boy into the OR, his parents arrive and forbid you to carry on with the blood transfusion on religious grounds. How would you proceed, and what factors should you consider?

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Role-play Stations (MMI):

Friend's cat: You were supposed to take care of your friend's cat, while they were on holiday. A few hours before your friend was meant to come back, you realised you forgot to close the front door and the cat went missing. You tried looking around the house but to no avail. Your friend (Max), just arrived home. Break the news to them."

Lost blood sample: You are a fresh FY1, 2-weeks into your oncology. You are responsible for a 12-year old patient, who is suspected to have leukaemia. The patient's father, who is visibly anxious and stressed, stops you in the hospital hallway to ask you if the boy's results are available already. They say they are tired of the waiting and uncertainty. At this point, you realise you forgot to bring the blood sample to the lab and need to take the bloods again. Explain your mistake to the patient's father.

Friend's party: One of your best friends is hosting her 18th birthday party on Friday evening. It's Thursday evening now. As you advise her on the outfit for tomorrow you realise you are responsible for interviewing with a professor of cardiovascular surgery for members of your medical school's surgical society on Friday at 6 pm. Tell your best friend that you won't be able to attend their party tomorrow.

Shattered window: You are playing basketball in front of your house with a friend. You wanted to pass the ball to them, but they made a dodge and it hit your neighbour's new car instead. As you approach the car you see that the ball caused one of the windows to shatter. You don't know your neighbour very well but heard rumours about him being grumpy and rude. Break the news to your neighbour.

Group presentation: You are a 3rd-year medical student. Together with a group of your classmates you've been working on a presentation on the impact of different calcium sources on hip fractures in older adults. As you prepare the setup you realise you forgot to save your part of the presentation. In turn, your group's presentation is incomplete. Approach your group leader and discuss the issue with them.


Calculations:

A patient weighing 72kg requires a 75mg dose of Ibunapratosan via an IV drip. You have a 0.1L bag with an Ibunapratosan concentration of 5mg/mL. What volume of fluid from the bag should you give to the patient?

You are required to calculate the volume of the syringe, expressed as a percentage of the total volume, that the patient requires. The label of the syringe containing the drug states the recommended dose is 1.25mL/kg, and the syringe contains 80mL. The paediatric patient weighs 24kg.

How would you calculate the number of water molecules in a glass of water? (Oxbridge style)

You have 50ml of a 10% solution of H2SO4. What volume of distilled water do you need to add to create an 8% solution?

You went to a local pharmacy to purchase a few drugs for your ill husband. You had to get 3 350ml bottles of syrup, which costs £0.30 per 100ml and 2 packs of pain medication tablets, each containing 3 leaves for £2.50 per leaf. How much did you pay?


Communication:

Please describe what you can see on the following picture (you can also use other images from the internet):


Describe the way you took to get here from your home.

How would you describe how to make tea to an alien who has never heard about water, cups or tea bags?


Prioritisation Questions:

Imagine you are on a raft and swimming towards a deserted island. Luckily you have a backpack with a few necessary items for survival. Suddenly your raft starts to sink. You need to get rid of five out of the ten items listed below. Which one's would you choose and why?"

  1. Box of matches
  2. Water repellent jacket
  3. Hammock
  4. Sunscreen
  5. Box of sardines
  6. Mirror
  7. Cell phone
  8. Encyclopedia
  9. Flip flops
  10. Knife

There are only 10 seats on a lifeboat, but 11 passengers on a sinking boat. What criteria would you use to decide who to leave behind?

You are an FY1 doctor about to end your shift. You look at your watch and realise you'll be late for a date this evening, but you still have a few tasks to deal with. Talk us through the order in which you'd do each of the following tasks:"

  1. Call the restaurant to postpone your reservation.
  2. A nurse has bleeped you to help you clog a haemorrhage in the A&E.
  3. A 7-year-old patient is waiting for a discharge and complains about missing home.
  4. A 77-year old patient with arthritis sits in the corridor waiting for a recurring prescription for pain medication.
  5. Your parking ticket has expired 5 minutes ago. You need to get a new one or you'll be fined.
  6. Reply to an email from an aspiring medical student about organising work experience.

🚀 TOP Tip: Have trouble answering any of the above questions? Check out our Medicine Interview Preparation Tool, which is guaranteed to answer your questions!

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