How to Get Ready for Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) with Questions
You may have to go through a series of short interviews if you want to go to medical or dental school (MMI). Like with other interviews, you can improve your chances of success by doing research on the kinds of questions you might be asked and coming up with answers ahead of time. We explain what an MMI is and how to answer MMI questions in this article. How to Get Ready for Multiple Mini Interviews
What is a group of short interviews?
MMI means “several short interviews.” This kind of interview is used by a lot of medical and dental schools to decide who gets in. This kind of interview sets up up to 10 stations to test a candidate’s soft skills. Each station has a different problem or task to test your communication, teamwork, and social skills, which are all important if you want to be a good health care provider.
On average, an MMI can take up to two hours. The applicants have two minutes to prepare for each task or question, and then they have between five and eight minutes to finish the task or answer the question. Even though 10 interviews might seem like a lot, both admissions officers and applicants agree that it helps to learn more about the person being interviewed.
Multiple mini-interviews cover different topics depending on what the school or institution’s main focus is, so you should learn about the program before your interview. The MMI was made to test a candidate’s critical thinking and soft skills, so a good way to get ready is to practice clear and concise communication in a timed setting.
Possible MMI stations
Even though you won’t know the exact questions until the interview, you can prepare for the kinds of questions you’ll be asked. In a multiple mini-interview, these are some of the things that often come up:
- Playing games with a “patient”
- Essay writing (more time is allotted for this type of station)
- Questions that are typical for an interview
- Collaborative scenarios (candidates work together to solve a problem or complete a task)
- Questions that make it hard to decide what to do
- How to answer the MMI questions
- Follow these steps to answer each MMI question in full:
Get it: It’s best not to ask the question again. Your answer should instead show that you understood the question. The interviewer wants to know that you understood the question and have something to say about it.
Clarify: If you want to make a good decision, you should say out loud any assumptions you have or questions you need answered. Think about the problem from both sides and try out different solutions. This will show how well you can analyze and think about things.
Show that you understand by showing that you can look at the situation from all sides. Put yourself in each imaginary person’s shoes to understand where they’re coming from.
Do the right thing: Draw people’s attention to the problem. You don’t have to use technical terms; you just need to know that there are two different points of view.
Answer: You should always come to a conclusion, no matter what. Make sure you know which choice you would pick.
Sample MMI interview questions
In a multiple mini-interview, you might be asked some of the following:
- A 13-year-old patient asks for birth control pills, but she doesn’t want her parents to know. How do you feel?
- A doctor told a teenage boy that he has a disease that will kill him, so he went to see what his prognosis is. The boy’s parents asked the doctor not to tell him what was wrong. What should the doctor do?
- What is your favorite quote, and why?
- Bacterial meningitis has been found in an 18-year-old man. He didn’t want to go to therapy, so he went back to his college dorm. What does the doctor do?
- A close friend tells you that his mother just found out she has breast cancer. He feels like he has too much on his plate between her diagnosis and school, so he is thinking about dropping out to be with his mother. What would you say to your friend?
- Tell me about an experience that taught you something powerful and important about yourself. How will this move your career forward?
- What’s the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?
- One of your patients is considering seeing an acupuncturist or a chiropractor. What advice would you give them?
- Mark, one of your teenage patients, missed an important test in one of his classes. You are a family doctor. He has asked you for a note from the doctor saying he was sick and couldn’t go to class. He will get a 0 if he doesn’t have the note. Mark has no sickness at all. How would you deal with this? What would you tell Mark?
- Why do you want to go to medical school?
Example MMI question and answer
Using all five steps will help you make sure that your answer to this question is complete and well-thought-out. Here’s how the above five-step plan was used to answer a multiple mini-interview question:
MMI example question
“You’re a medical student doing a rotation in general surgery, and your staff doctor has asked her chief resident to teach you what you need to know. The chief is a well-known surgeon who does most of his work with little or no help. On your first day, he tells you, “Do what you want as long as you don’t get in my way. What would you do if you were in this situation?”
Example of an MMI answer with steps
“I’m in a rotation where I need to learn a lot, but I don’t have a teacher. That could hurt my plans to go to school and become a doctor.”
Clarification: “I would have to do some research to find out if this general surgery service has a bad reputation for teaching or if anyone else has had this problem. I’d also like to know if I’m the only student who has to do this service or if other students have to do it, too. I could try to shadow one of the junior residents instead, if there are any, so I can get the most out of this rotation. I would also have to find out who I could talk to at the medical school for help if I decided I needed it.
“It isn’t easy to be the chief resident. He probably doesn’t get enough sleep and is probably studying for his last certification tests. Alternatively, he might just be having a bad day. Or maybe this is how all medical students are treated in this hospital, and he’s just going along with the crowd. I have to do something, no matter what, because I don’t know if I can pass my tests or meet the requirements for my rotations if I don’t see patients or surgeries.
Get the point: “I know that if I try to be better than my boss, I could get a bad review and get in trouble at work. I might not be able to pass this rotation if I don’t. So I have to decide if I want to stay out of trouble or stand up for myself and maybe the education of others.
Answer: “I know what the chief is going through, but part of his job is to teach medical students. I’ll get there early to get lab results, check on patients, and talk to the nurses about how they’re doing to show the chief that I can do my job and am there to help. I want to show him that I’m trying hard to learn. If none of this works, I’ll call the medical school and ask what I should do or who I should talk to to make things better.
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