The Multiple Mini Interview – a speed-dating type of interview!

A growing number of UK universities are now using the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) for their Medicine and Dentistry applications. St. George’s Medical School was the first UK institution to adopt this system in 2010 and it has spread quickly ever since.

The advantage that an MMI has for you is that if you have problems in one scenario or you feel that your answer has not been up to par, you can recover and give an excellent performance in a different situation, where you will be interacting with a different interviewer. It also gives you more opportunities to shine!

The test

When you go for an MMI, you move around an average of 10 interview stations.

handshake-2056023_960_720Each station lasts around 8-10 minutes and can include role-play activities, data analysis, traditional interview questions as well as questions on a given situation. You will be given time to prepare your answer and then you will interact with or be observed by an interviewer. The situations deal with a wide range of issues but they will normally focus on:

  • Ethical decision making
  • Critical Thinking skills
  • Communication skills
  • Contemporary healthcare issues

It is important to remember that you will NOT be assessed on your scientific knowledge.

Continue reading


Guest blog: Practical advice on gaining medical work experience

Beginning the journey of applying to medical school is daunting. One of the most important things on your journey is arranging medical work experience – but where to start?

The Medic Portal engages with over 500,000 aspiring medical students each year – and here they provide some top tips on how to gain medical work experience!

  1. Work experience programmes

Find out if your local hospital has a work experience programme; if this is the case then it will be much easier to apply. Examples include Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital work experience programmeSome programmes have entry requirements, so make sure you read the instructions on the application forms carefully.

The programmes may allow you to choose a department, or allocate you to one that is suitable. They usually provide a structured timetable too, which can be very reassuring as you know what to expect.

  1. Hospitals, GP surgeries and beyond

Hospitals and GP surgeries can be notoriously difficult for securing placements. If there are no programmes available, you can try to contact them directly. The NHS recommends that you contact “human resources, voluntary services or education and training departments”, so have a look on the internet for the contact details for your local hospital. For a GP placement, you should address a letter or email to the Practice Manager.

Continue reading

Guest Blog: The Good, The Bad and The Healthy: Routes Into Medicine

Susanna, Inspiring Interns

doctor-1228627_960_720There’s more to the medical profession than GPs and surgeons. You don’t have to look like Meredith Grey to do the good work in a hospital; in fact, you don’t even need a medical degree. Check out these five non-doctor jobs that will have you tending the sickly in no time.

Music, drama or art therapist

Love the arts? Think spreading your passion can only do good? Well, you’re not wrong. Art therapies have been proven effective in the treatment of both physical and mental conditions, and trained professionals are always needed.

You’ll need to have good qualifications in your chosen field, as well as additional training to be a therapist. For example, a music therapist must have a three-year BA in music from university or a music college; then, they are required to complete the BAMT MA. You can take the latter as a full-time course over two years, or on a part-time basis for three or four. Entry from an education or psychology background is also acceptable, if a high musical capability is also demonstrated.

And music isn’t the only relevant field. You can provide therapy through visual art, drama and even dance. Why not use your artistic skills for the common good?


Those who enjoy science and/or mathematics might consider a career as a radiographer. This is a highly technical job that can expand into computing tomography, mammography or ultrasound.

Continue reading

Exploring Graduate Entry Into Medicine

Are you a university student or graduate thinking of applying to medicine?

Curious about the career paths after your degree?

Wondering whether the work experience you have will be enough?

Unsure of what to write in your personal statement?

Worried about the interviews?

Considering your finances for the degree?

Deciding what colleges to put in your application?

This event is for you!

Wednesday, 23 September, 2015

1 – 5pm

This event will be held in Room 349, South Block, Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU. If you require any special assistance (including induction loops or large print materials) please let us know in advance and we will do our utmost to facilitate your access to this event. Contact us at or on 020 7863 6042 to discuss arrangements.

How To ApplySTEP 1: Pay online

Current students from colleges within The Careers Group, University of London and members of GradClub – Early bird discount of £18 before 1st September (otherwise £23). Pay here.

Other participants – £46. Pay here.

You will receive an email from WorldPay confirming your transaction has been successful.

STEP 2: When you have paid, email (put Medicine in the subject line), with the following information:

  • Name
  • College
  • Subject
  • Graduation year
  • Do we have permission to pass your details on to medical schools participating in the event? Yes / No
  • Include the completed equal opportunities form (download here)

If you have any questions, please email


1.00 – 1.05pm Welcome

Dr Maya Mendiratta, Coordinator of the Medicine and STEM Cross-College Group, The Careers Group

1.05 – 1.35pm What Happens After Your Medical Degree

Katie Dallison, Medical Careers Consultant, British Medical Association

1.35 – 2.20pm Work Experience and Personal Statements Panelmedicine 3

Assistant Director of Medical Education, University of Nottingham

Admission Officer, UCL Medical School

Admission Officer, St George’s University of London

2.20 – 3.05pm Interviews Panel

Head of Graduate Entry Medicine, Imperial College

Director of Graduate Entry Medicine, University of Oxford

Head of the Graduate Entry Programme, Barts and the London School of Medicine & Dentistry

3.05 – 3.15pm Break

3.15 – 3.45pm Funding Your Medicine Degree

Student Advice Service, King’s College London

3.45 – 4.30pm Graduate Medical Student Panel

Medical students from Barts, St George’s, UCL and Nottingham

4.30 – 5.00pm Informal Networking Session with Panel Speakers

PLEASE NOTE: There is an administration charge of 10% of the total booking on all cancellations and refunds cannot be given after 5pm on 16 September 2015.

Exploring Graduate Entry to Medicine

Are you a university student or graduate thinking about applying to study medicine? Come and find out about the requirements and different options, and how to increase your chances of a successful application.

Speakers will include:

  • Medicine Admissions Tutors from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, UCL, University of Oxford, St George’s, University of London, Imperial College and University of Nottingham
  • British Medical Association
  • Current medical students who applied from another degree
  • Expert careers consultants
  • And more…

Topics will include:

  • What are medical schools looking for in a prospective student?
  • Work experience – what is needed and how to talk about in in your personal statement
  • Understanding different interview formats
  • Studying medicine after a different degree
  • Funding




 23 September 2015, 1pm – 5.30pm

Visit for further information and to register.

Email with any queries.

Want to leave the world of medicine?

This post originally appeared on the Careers Group blog.

Whether you’re a medical student or a foundation trainee, the prospect of divorcing yourself from a world you’ve (heavily) invested in is a huge one.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at

In order to be sure of making the right decision in the first place, Year 11 and 12 students spend time finding and completing work experience to test their assumptions about becoming a doctor. Once at medical school, the question of which specialty they see themselves in begins to loom. Then in Foundation training, the pressure is really on to decide which of the 60+ specialties is the right one.

So, after all this intense decision-making in the direction of Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, what should you do if you begin to think, as a student or as a trainee, that it might not be for you?

Know yourself, know your reasons for leaving

Be clear on the specific reasons for leaving: is it stress, working hours, the pull of
another profession? If you’re finding it hard to specify what your reasons are, perhaps try writing a reflective journal including the highs and lows of each day. Write down questions that occur to you about your uncertainties. Try the reflective exercises in this resource on Career Change Toolkit (this will be more helpful to trainees).

Talk to someone

  • in the profession – a supportive tutor, a friendly peer in the year above (at medical school or in Foundation training) or a more senior doctor. Their insights might help you establish what it is you’re unsure about, and what you need to do to confirm or allay your fears. This is all about selecting the right person; if you feel someone might frown upon your thinking then they may not be the best counsellor.
  • in your family – this is a difficult one. Often the biggest investors in our futures are our families, especially parents or guardians. This may put you under extra pressure if they’re following your studies/career excitedly. However, if you have really thought about your options and are certain about leaving medicine then try to be brave and talk with them; show them you’ve researched your options and explain your reasons for moving on.
  • neutral – speaking with a careers consultant will bring you an impartial, neutral space to house your discussions. Careers professionals are trained in helping people establish what’s important to them and making decisions that are right for them as an individual. Check your university’s careers service if you’re studying or check the services from your Local Education and Training Board (LETB) if you’re an F1/2.

Test your reasons for leaving

If you are interested in another profession, then could you arrange to do some work shadowing? If you’re concerned with the idea of taking exams until you’re 30+ then (as above) talk to people further down the line than you in different specialties;
find out how onerous it is and how they cope with it.

Research your options

If you’re an F1/F2, firstly remember to explore specialties that might minimise or even avoid the areas of medicine you aren’t enjoying (for example consider public health if the clinical work isn’t for you). If you’re not already familiar with them, visit the NHS Medical Careers specialty pages.

Beyond that, being trained medically is a huge asset to a number of jobs. The skills and knowledge lend themselves to a wide variety of roles: medical journalism, publishing, medical law, NHS management to name a few. Additionally, think beyond the medical sphere: management consultancy, civil service etc.

Resources, career ideas and case studies

NHS Medical Careers – Alternative career options for doctors. Great list of options with descriptions.

BMJ Careers – Moving on from Clinical Practice. Article about why people leave medicine and a diverse set of case studies of doctors who have left practice.

Medical Success – Alternative medical careers. Information on medical careers beyond the hospital and GP settings.

Medical Success – When can I leave medicine? An interesting case study about an F1 trainee who embarked on a new career path.

Careers Tagged – Options and Career Choice. Resources on choosing careers, employers, and options with your degree.

Vicki Tipton

Careers Consultant, QMUL Careers & Enterprise Centre

Writing Your Personal Statement for Medicine

Queen Mary University of London

For final-year students wanting to apply to medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine, now is the time that you should be completing your personal statements. If you’re not sure where to start or how to structure it, here are my tips. And if you’re still early on in your degree but thinking about applying for medicine/dentistry/veterinary medicine it’s well worth you reading on and getting some ideas on what you can do to prepare for a successful application in the coming years.

There are several ways of thinking about the content of your personal statement, but one way I find easy to use is in terms of answering three questions:

  • Why do I want to be a doctor?

This part shows not only your personal motivation, but also your knowledge of the profession and its rewards and challenges. Make sure it passes the “not-other-healthcare-careers” test – if your motivations could be equally valid to be a nurse or a healthcare scientific researcher then you haven’t shown you understand the role of a doctor, or dentist, well enough. For veterinary medicine this is where you show your passion for animals.

  • What skills does a doctor need?

This is where you reflect on your observations of professionals, and what you have learnt from that. Remember – listing your observation experiences is not enough, you have to explain what you took from them.

  • How did I develop those same skills?

This is where you can draw on all your extra-curricular activities and non-specialist work experience. Some of the skills commonly required by medical schools are: empathy, communication skills, organisation and teamwork. For dentistry, manual dexterity is also a requirement. Most activities will give you these skills but it is important to describe, or give evidence, of how you developed them.

The order in which you address these questions in your statement doesn’t have to be the same as above – some applicants prefer to divide it up by skill for example. This website will give you some examples. So the three points above function more as a check-list for you to fit into a structure that works for you, and more importantly doesn’t go over the character limit. Happy writing!

Maya Mendiratta

Careers Consultant, QMUL Careers & Enterprise Centre