240 Medicine Interview Questions

The questions to expect in a Medicine interview can come with uncertainty, which is why we have compiled a list of 240 example questions with 80 fully worked solutions!

Looking for guidance?

We know that preparing for a Medicine interview is an uncertain time which is why we have created this list of 240 example questions with 80 fully worked solutions.

Compiled with the help of our expert tutors, these Medicine interview questions will help you to ace your interview. 

Understanding Medicine Interview Questions

A Medicine interview is a vital step in the Medical School process, and it is an outstanding achievement to have been offered one. 

Knowing how to answer the questions you will be faced with is essential, and with the right preparation, there is every reason to be confident. 

The 80 worked solutions courtesy of our expert tutors are to demonstrate to you what the interviewer is looking for in your response, with the remaining 160 questions your chance to try it yourself. 

We have chosen the most popular categories of questions that you can be asked – with the calculation and MMI questions included so you can get some additional practice in. 

Keep in mind, this list is not exhaustive and there is many number of topics you can be asked but these examples will help you understand the sort of things interviewers are looking for. 

Just want to read the worked solutions? Click below to skip to the section you need…⬇️ 

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30 Why Medicine Interview Questions

For many Medical Schools these are their favourite questions to ask as it gives them insight into you and what your ambitions are, and you should expect to be grilled on the single question “why Medicine” for about five minutes!

1. Why do you want to study Medicine?

You are almost guaranteed to be asked this question in every Medical School Interview you attend. Hence it is essential that you have prepared a flawless answer for it.

The best way to approach this question is by being very honest and detailed in your answer. It can be difficult to know where to start when answering this question.

You could look at your Personal Statement and bullet point reasons you started there, or you could create a mind-map to help you reflect and drag out the deep-rooted motivation behind your decision to study Medicine.

“I am very interested in people. I love working as part of a team and forming personal and professional relationships with others. I find it exceptionally rewarding to learn about how other people view the world and believe medicine provides the opportunity to make uniquely trusting relationships between a patient and a doctor. I also have a great passion for science and scientific discovery. I am fascinated by scientific mechanisms and their complexities, and I greatly enjoy the process of learning about them. My work experience has also consolidated my belief that a career in the medical profession is right for me. I was confronted with the unglamorous reality of medicine for both the patient and the doctor, but I began to understand how rewarding the job of a doctor can be. I greatly admire the concept of making the care of the patient the doctor’s first concern.”

2. What are the pros and cons of Medicine?

This question is testing whether you understand what a career in medicine entails, both the good and the bad. ‘Medicine is a vocation’ is a little bit of a cliché, but it is certainly true that you are signing up to enter a career with many difficult challenges that some of your peers won’t necessarily face. The best candidates will show they have spoken to lots of people in the medical profession, to get a real sense of what a career in medicine entails, be able to appreciate this and show why think they would be able to cope with them.

“On my work experience I got to see the highs and lows of medicine. When patients got better and were so grateful for the work the team had done, I couldn’t not be excited by that. However, the doctors I spoke to were very clear about some of their frustrations with the system. One told me how she found it very difficult not being able to settle down as even up to registrar level she was rotating round lots of hospitals within a large catchment area. Until this placement I also didn’t know that doctors had to pay for their postgraduate exams, which puts them under a lot of financial stress.”

3. What do you want to be a doctor and not a nurse?

This question is often a follow-up for anyone who says ‘I want to help people’. The key to this question is clearly delineate the different roles of a doctor and a nurse, and explain why you feel better suited to being a doctor. Some of these differences include having to make more decisions/responsibilities, the ability to prescribe and the opportunity for further specialisation.

 It’s also important to not disparage what nurses do, which is extremely important (as you will find on work experience or if you become a doctor) and be aware that more nurses are now able to prescribe medications, or train to become specialists.

“Although doctors and nurses work very closely together, there are some differences, and I feel my qualities would suit being a doctor. For example, doctors have much more responsibility for clinical decisions, and solving the clinical problem a patient presents with. This aspect of medicine is what really appeals to me.”

4. If you want to save lives why not become a clinical research scientist?

Again, this is another of those slightly mean follow-up questions to a tiny slip-up. As with the doctor v nurse question, make sure to talk about the differences between the two roles. Clinical researchers are usually ‘in the background’ and focus on taking medicine from lab bench to patient, but don’t have as much patient contact.

Of course, lots of clinicians become clinical researchers, whether alongside being a doctor or leaving ‘medicine’.

“I want to interact with patients on a day-to-day basis, which is less common as a clinical research scientist. Of course, lots of doctors are also involved in medical research, and that is certainly something I would like to do during or after my medical degree.”

5. What makes this university and its Medical course right for you?

Make sure you have done your research on the university and the course. Every university has a different approach to their medical degree, whether that’s traditional, PBL or something else entirely. Show you have a rough idea of what you will cover in each year, and then link it to your learning style.

“The traditional style at Oxford would suit me, because I like the idea of having a full understanding of the science underpinning medicine before going onto the wards. The opportunity to do an intercalated degree will let me explore a topic I’m interested in in far more depth and help develop broader skills that will set me up well for my future career as a doctor.”

6. What do you know about the course structure here?

Very similar to the question above. Make sure you know what that structure of the course at the university is, and show you have spoken to people on the course to understand its benefits (and limitations…).

“This university uses PBL. This is where every week, we are given a clinical case and using that we learn about physiology etc. From speaking to current students, they spent a lot of time working in small groups, and I would enjoy this because I much prefer studying with others, and PBL also gives the opportunity to meet patients throughout the course will make the conditions feel more relevant.”

7. Tell me about an experience that has made you reflect on becoming a doctor.

This is more or less ‘why do you want to be a doctor’ in another form. The interviewers want to see a person who has been in and around medical environments and has had the opportunity to see the realities of being a doctor. The best candidates will be able to discuss an experience they had – and make it something you personally have seen – and reflect honestly about how it made them feel about becoming a doctor.

“On my work experience, I saw one of the F1 doctors burst into tears. They had just come back from apologising to a patient’s family about a mistake, and the family had got angry and shouted at him. I was taken aback by this, and it made me worry how I would respond if I got treated in the same way. However, I was reassured by how the team came together to support the doctor. The consultant took him aside and they had a long debrief, and the rest of his colleagues went out of their way to help him.”

8. Lots of people go into Medicine because of their family background – is that true for you?

This can be a tricky question – especially if you indeed have family in medicine! There’s no point trying to hide it, if having discussions of medicine and ethics round the dinner table got you interested in medicine say so. However, stick to the same principles as in all these ‘why medicine’ questions. Talk about your own experiences, and why they made you want to study medicine.

“Having a pharmacist and a doctor for parents meant I thought I understood what medicine would be like. However, on my work experience I got to see a different side to it. I got to speak to a wide variety of doctors at different stages of training, and also the patients themselves. Seeing the profound impact of hip replacements in elderly people with osteoarthritis, and the joy they felt at being able to play golf again (or just do the basics of getting out a chair), cemented my belief that this is what I wanted to do with my life.”

9. Where do you see yourself in 5/10/20 years’ time?

This is a chance to show you understand the general clinical training pathway – 5/6 years at medical school, 2 years foundation training and then up to 8 years of speciality training before qualifying as a consultant. Of course, medicine is an incredibly broad career, and it provides the opportunity to do so much it’s almost impossible to know where you’ll end up! So another side to this question might be a chance to introduce some of your values, and how they might guide whatever you end up doing.

“In 5 years, I hope to be doing well at medical school, settled, and enjoying it and looking forward to graduating. I would like to have contributed to student life, perhaps by being part of the paediatrics society, which is something I’m interested in at the moment. A medical degree gives you so many opportunities so I can’t know for sure what I will be doing, but if in 10 years, I have starting specialty training, doing something that I enjoy and find intellectually stimulating, I will be very happy.”

10. What do you think is the most important quality for a doctor to have?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this – there are lots of important qualities for a doctor. This is a test of how well you can argue a point, so pick one and explain why. If it’s a quality you can give an example to show you possess it, even better as that might pre-empt a follow-up question.

“I think empathy is the most important quality for a doctor, because it underpins everything. Explaining complex medicine in terms patients understand, appreciating that lots of things we do as doctors are actually quite painful, and being able to give time to patients even when busy ourselves.”

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11. What would you do on a gap year to strengthen your application?

12. What would you do if you didn’t get a place at any medical school?

13. Why do you think people leave the Medical profession?

14. What is a particular aspect of Medicine that interests you?

15. Tell me about a Medicine-related book that you’ve read.

16. How would you like your future patients to describe you as a doctor?

17. What makes you unique compared to other candidates?

18. Describe an interesting medical development in recent times.

19. When you think about becoming a doctor, what do you look forward to most and least?

20. What one question would you ask if you were interviewing others to study medicine? What would you most like us to ask you in this interview?

21. Medical School is very intense; how will you manage you time to deal with all of your work?

22. Why do doctors leave the NHS?

23. How does a medical student’s life differ from that of other students?

24. What else do doctors do apart from treating patients?

25. What do you expect to get out of this degree?

26. When you have time off, what do you like to do to relax?

27. What do you wish to achieve in your career in Medicine aside from clinical practice?

28. Describe some health professionals that work alongside doctors and explain what they do.

29. In the history of medicine, what has been the most important development?

30. Do you read any medical publications?

30 Personality Medicine Interview Questions

These are the questions where you will be expected to demonstrate your ability to show compassion and empathy, as well as other communication and organisational skills required to be a Doctor. 

31. What are your top three skills?

Don’t just say what skills you have, give examples to prove it.

“My three top skills are my communication skills, the ability to stay calm under pressure and my empathy. I worked as a tutor for children with English as a second language, which challenged me to explain difficult topics using a combination of English and sign language. Sometimes the children got very upset if they were struggling, and I had to learn how to support them and encourage them to continue. I also captained the U17 netball team at my club, which tested my ability to make decisions in close matches.”

32. Can you describe a time you showed leadership?

They’ve made it easier here by being explicit to use examples, but examples should be the backbone of any answer. Anyone can say I am a great leader, but if you can show it that speaks much louder, and an interviewer is more likely to remember you if they can link you to a story.

“I am captain of my school cricket team. We made it to the final of the county cup, where I had to drop someone. I had to front up and have a difficult discussion with him, but I learnt from it that being open and honest works much better than trying to hide the truth.”

33. In what way will you contribute to university life if you become a student here?

This is a chance to show you are a well-rounded individual, and also that you have an idea of what extra-curriculars are at the university you are applying to. Talk about your interests and hobbies, or things you would like to do for the first time at university.

“I play piano in a jazz band at college, and that is something I really want to continue. The Leeds university jazz band finished second in the nationals, and got to perform at all sorts of student events, so I would want to try and audition for them. There’s also the improving access society, which is something that I care about, as they came to my school and encouraged me to apply, so I would like to give back to them.”

34. How would you give another medical student criticism?

Dealing with conflict is an important part of medicine. We need to tell patients to make lifestyle changes or take their medication properly, as well as work with and teach other colleagues. When giving criticism, it’s important to be non-judgemental, try and understand why they’ve done something wrong (is it a simple misunderstanding or something more), and give feedback in a positive way. If you can bring in an example of a time you have given feedback that will lift your answer.

“Giving criticism is something I have had to do whilst playing for my hockey team. One of my teammates wasn’t passing, even when others were open and in better positions. I took them aside to speak to them quietly, and not to be seen as shouting at them in front of the group. I encouraged them to look up more, so they could see who was open, and in exchange I agreed to tell the rest of the team to call louder for the ball.”

35. How will you avoid burnout which doctors, and medical students often experience?

Burnout is an issue that has been brought to the forefront, especially following the Covid pandemic. Interviewers want to see a person who understands how to maintain a work-life balance, someone with interests outside of medicine, and someone who has a support group, and knows who to turn to if things are becoming difficult.

“It’s really important to manage my time, and ensure I do all things I enjoy outside of studying, like doing yoga and going for walks with friends. If I feel things are getting difficult, I have my friends to turn to for support, but if I am really struggling then I know I can turn to my tutor or educational supervisor.”

36. How will you overcome challenges within medicine?

You could talk about anything here. Whether challenging patients, having to revise for lots of exams, there’s certainly lots of challenges to a medical degree and career. Show the interviewer that you have a way of coping with stress, and you know when to escalate concerns to get more senior help.

“There are lots of challenges in medicine, but I would take a similar approach if I could. I would turn to my colleagues or friends for help, and I know that I always have the option to discuss with someone senior, like my consultant or educational supervisor.”

37. Do you think you will have time to continue your hobby when you start medical school?

This is another question aimed at showing a well-rounded individual, and one who can find that all important balance between studying and enjoying the university experience. Talk about how you can manage your time, with an appreciation that sometimes you will have to make sacrifices.

“It is really important for me that I keep doing the things I enjoy alongside my degree. I will need to plan and use my time carefully, which is something I have learnt to do this year. I have balanced studying for my A-levels, applying and preparing for medicine interviews, and continued to practise the saxophone and pass my Grade 6 exam.”

38. What about your personality would you change?

This is a nasty question that can throw a lot of applicants. Try and avoid saying things like “I’m too hard-working” or “I’m a perfectionist” – whilst it’s really tempting to pick something that doesn’t sound like a weakness, being honest and being able to show you can reflect inwards about yourself will come across far better. Show how you have been working on this weakness already. (It might go without saying, but don’t be too honest and say something like ‘I’m a pathological liar!”)

“In the past I have kept things bottled up, and not sought out help when I should have. This is something I have been working on, for example when I was feeling stressed around mock exams, I made sure to open up to my friends, who then helped me revise a topic I was really struggling with. I got my highest mark in that, which showed how much better it is to be open, and this is something I am continuing to practise.”

39. Do you think academic or social intelligence is more important as a doctor?

This is a question without a right or wrong answer, but a test to see how well you can argue a point, including if you can deal with criticism and counterarguments. As with any question of this style, give some reasons for and against (or, in this case, a reason why academic and social intelligence are important), then come to a conclusion choosing one side or the other – don’t sit on the fence!

“Academic intelligence is necessary in a doctor as medicine is inherently a complex science, with a lot of uncertainty that a good doctor will be able to unpick through their understanding of the mechanisms underpinning disease and treatment. Of course, social intelligence is also important, as doctors must be able to interact with patients, for example, picking up soft social cues that reveal lots of information about a patient. Overall, I think social intelligence is more important, as, without the ability to understand people, it will be very difficult to work with patients to treat them to the best of science’s ability.”

40. What do you think will be your greatest challenge in completing medical school?

Show the interviewer you understand what a medical degree entails, and that you have spoken to students and doctors to get a real understanding of what you are getting in for. You can then show you’ve thought about how this information is relevant to you, and how you will be proactive about dealing with this challenge.

“From speaking to other students, something that resonated with me was how difficult it could be balancing studying with having the university experience of many of their peers. There’s so much I want to do at university, that managing my time effectively will be my biggest challenge. However, I also got lots of advice about how to do this, such as good study tricks and blocking off times for rest and exercise.”

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41. Would you describe yourself as a leader or follower? Should doctors be leaders or followers?

42. Are you an empathetic person?

43. Who has had a major influence on you as a person?

44. Give three adjectives that describe you?

45. Could you think of a situation where your communication skills made a difference to the outcome of a situation?

46. Do you consider yourself a perfectionist? Why or why not?

47. What is the difference between empathy and sympathy?

48. What is the biggest challenge you faced, and how did you deal with it?

49. Do you think it is better to lead from the front or from the back?

50. Tell me something you are proud of?

51. How do you cope with failure?

52. Do you know when to seek help?

53. Give an example of a time when you were unsatisfied with your performance?

54. Do all teams need a leader?

55. How do you manage your time?

56. How do you tackle criticism?

57. What qualities do you think you need to improve on to be a good doctor?

58. What responsibilities do you have?

59. Why should we give you a place?

60. How will your experience of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award benefit your future studies?

30 Medicine Work Experience Interview Questions

The purpose of these questions is not to show what you have carried out work experience, but rather you are aware of the value you have gained from it. 

61. How did your work experience change your views of medicine?

This is an opportunity to show you have not just done work experience because you have been told to, but that you have reflected on what you have seen and how it has affected your views on medicine. Be specific with real examples of things you have seen or people you’ve spoken to.

“I didn’t think I would ever want to become a GP until I did a week of work experience at an inner-city GP surgery. There, I was amazed at the huge variety of complex cases that were presented every day and that the GPs had to know so much. I was also shocked at how hard they worked and that at the end of the working day, they would stay for a couple of hours to catch up on the paperwork for the day. This definitely changed my perception of GPs and is now something I would like to look into when I start at medical school.”

62. What did you see as part of your hospital shadowing?

As above, what you have seen is far less important than what you have learnt from it. Some applicants will have done lots, some less, but those who score highest at interview are the ones who show that self-awareness that medical schools are looking for.

“On my work experience with the orthopaedic team, I saw the important of good communication. Whether in the MDT, which brought together lots of people from different specialities to plan what was best for the patient, to how in theatre everyone had very clear roles, and how clear, simple instructions, especially in high pressure situations, enabled the best outcomes from the procedure.”

63. What did you learn from your work experience?

Just because they have explicitly asked you what you have learnt doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t approach the question any differently if they don’t. Reflect, reflect, reflect!

“On my work experience I got to see first-hand how a doctor can approach difficult patients who don’t want to engage in treatment. The GP took a lot of time to fully understand why the patient didn’t want to start HRT, even though they were really struggling with menopausal symptoms. By taking a really holistic approach, they were able to find out that the patient read an article in the news that said it increased the risk of breast cancer. The GP was then able to explain that there were lots of types of HRT, including ones that had no effect on cancer risk.”

64. You didn’t actually do a lot of work experience, why was this?

A particularly relevant question, with Covid preventing many applicants from doing the same sorts of work experience as previous cohorts. Show you have been proactive in trying to source work experience, and remember that quality is better than quantity.

“Covid made finding work experience very difficult. I emailed three of my local hospitals, but they were not able to accommodate me. I volunteered at a local care home, and I found out when the GP would come for ward rounds, and I was able to join him for these.”

65. Tell me one thing that you learnt about MDTs during your work experience.

There are two sides to this question. First, you need to define what an MDT (multi-disciplinary team) is – it is a way to organise and co-ordinate health and care services to meet the needs of an individual with complex care needs. The second part is to show you’ve seen MDTs in action, so give specific examples and reflect on them.

“MDTs are where the whole team looking after a patient, such as doctors, nurses, surgeons, occupational therapists, come together to discuss a complex patient and plan how they will look after them. I learnt how they dealt with uncertainty, for example I sat in a lung cancer MDT, and there was a patient where was a long discussion about whether surgery or chemotherapy was a better option. All members of the team were encouraged to share their expertise, including the MacMillan nurse who acted as the patient’s representative. After taking all this into consideration, the team decided to pursue surgery.”

66. Compare and contrast your experiences at the GP and the hospital.

Primary (GP) and secondary (hospital) care require different approaches, and if you’ve had the opportunity to witness both it’s an excellent opportunity to reflect on both.

“GPs had much less access to investigations – even things I thought were straightforward like bloods would take a few days to come back. As a result of this, it seemed to me the GPs took more of a ‘trial and error’ approach, starting a medication and then bringing the patient back in a few weeks to see how they were doing, and then by that point, they would have the bloods back and more information.”

67. What was something that you will take away from your voluntary work?

Voluntary work is a valuable opportunity to develop and show some of the many skills required by future doctors. Volunteering for a longer period of time shows you have commitment, and a willingness to help others not just for personal gain. As with work experience, it’s all about reflection on what you have done and seen – no one else will have done the same volunteering as you so let that stand out.

“I volunteered as an administrative assistant at a Covid vaccination clinic. To be involved in something so important and unique was something quite profound. I got to witness the ability of the NHS to set up a project from scratch, but also the frustrations of some of the bureaucracy. I got to interact with patients on a daily basis and learnt how to answer difficult queries and use my initiative to solve problems as they arose.”

68. Tell me about an experience from your voluntary work.

Pretty much the same question as the one above. Pick something unique to you and reflect on it.

“My work as a volunteer at a dementia care home showed me some of the harsher realities of long-term illness and gave me a practical understanding of the effects of degenerative brain disease. I spent time talking to residents and keeping them company, including one who was a former matron. She could remember how to diagnose illnesses but could not remember when she last had a cup of tea. When I asked her about her time as a matron, she cried. I found this upsetting, and it pushed me way out of my comfort zone. Initially, I felt uncomfortable and did not know how to approach my time at the home. However, I persevered and gained a new appreciation of the difficulties faced by both the elderly and those caring for them.”

69. Name one powerful moment you experienced during your shadowing.

A lot of students worry about this sort of question, and whether their experience has been suitably ‘powerful’ to stand out. The danger of course with this mindset is to then embellish, or even fabricate something. This puts you at risk though of being caught out under further questioning. The trick to standing out in every interview question is through your ability to reflect upon what you have seen. Something will have stuck with you – whether being blown away by brain surgery or being struck just by how a member of the team spoke to a relative – go with that, talk about how it really made you feel and you’ll be alright.

“I spent some time on CMU and was struck by the contrasting experience of two dementia patients. Both were proving very challenging, becoming very agitated on distressed. One was basically given lots of medicines to try and calm her down, however over the week this seemed to not work, and she became far more confused and distressed. However, the other had been a matron, and rather than trying to keep her restrained, they gave her some little jobs to do, like tidying a drawer, and I was amazed at how well that went.”

70. How did your work experience change your view of the NHS or medicine?

Very similar to previous questions, this is a chance to show you understand both the good and bad surrounding a career in medicine. That way, you can really show you understand what you are signing up for and are ready to commit 100%.

“My work experience showed me what the NHS does on a day-to-day basis. Shadowing my local GP, I saw how broad medicine is, and why that makes GPs specialists in their own way. I saw just how appreciative patients were when they received good care, but also how much pressure doctors put themselves under to deliver this. I got a sobering glimpse of how many hours doctors work, and they were very open about the difficulties shift work put on relationships with friends and family. I left with a far greater respect of this side of medicine, but with this understanding I am ready to apply and commit myself to a medical career.”

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71. Why is work experience mandatory for medical students? What do you gain?

72. Describe a moment in your volunteering where you made a positive impact on someone’s life.

73. What differences did you see between GPs and hospitals when it comes to patient care during your work experience?

74. How did your perspective of medical hierarchy change after your work experience?

75. Tell me about a time you felt sad when doing your work experience?

76. What do you feel about the telephone triage system used in many General Practices?

77. How did you find the fact that GPs only get 10 minutes per consultation?

78. Do you feel that the public’s perception of GPs is misrepresentative?

79. What did you notice about the doctors you were shadowing in their approach to patients?

80. What did you like the most about the work experience you undertook?

81. Did you learn or see anything that did not appeal to you about being a doctor?

82. What three skills did you observe, and could you rank their importance?

83. Tell me about the roles of the allied healthcare professionals that you met?

84. Apart from the operating theatre, did you shadow the surgeons in another setting such as a clinic?

85.  After an operation what is the role of the medical team in the patient’s care?

86. Is there anything about how hospitals are run that you would change?

87. Who inspired you the most during the work experience?

88. What is the most important skill needed to take a good history?

89. What did you find surprising whilst doing your work experience?

90. What did you hope to gain from your work experience?

30 Medical Ethics Interview Questions

Understanding medical ethics is essential. Every decision you will make as a doctor will be based on them. Showing you know the basic concepts in your interview is an important starting point. 

91. What are the main principles of medical ethics? Which one is most important?

 Ethics questions are really common, so it’s a topic you should have a basic understanding. There are four main pillars – autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice.

  • Autonomy: respect for the patient’s right to self-determination
  • Beneficence: the duty to ‘do good’
  • Non-maleficence: the duty to ‘not do bad’
  • Justice: to treat all people equally and equitably

There are four pillars to medical ethics: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice. I think beneficence is the most important, because our most important duty is to help people, and by acting with beneficence we are also contributing to the other ethical pillars.”

92. What do you understand by “confidentiality”?

Confidentiality is an important aspect of medicine. Patients put their trust in us when revealing very personal information and need the confidence that what they say won’t be told to anyone. A good answer here will define confidentiality and say why it is important. They may also consider whether confidentiality has any limits.

“Confidentiality is where the information patients give doctors in things like consultations are kept within the medical team on a need-to-know basis, and certainly not shared with other members of the public. It is important because doctors are in a very privileged position where patients trust us with very personal information, and in order to maintain this relationship, the patient needs to be confident that this won’t be shared unnecessarily.”

93. You are a junior doctor and, on your way, back from work after a busy night shift. At the car park, you find someone who has collapsed and requires CPR. You remember that you aren’t insured to do CPR outside the hospital. What do you do?

There are two aspects to this question. First is the legal side – doctors have no legal obligation to perform CPR when off duty, except for GPs in their practice catchment area. However, from an ethical point of view, one would certainly expect the right thing to do is to help.

“In this situation, I would perform CPR, because I believe it is the right thing to do to try and help this person, given the skills and training I have.”

94. Should the NHS fund IVF?

IVF and the NHS is a very interesting debate and one which is still under constant discussion. This is a classic example of the ‘postcode lottery’, which is where people can receive different care and services depending on where in the country they live – for IVF this is often how many cycles of treatment are funded by the trust. Structure an argument along the usual point for, point against and pick a side and argue why.

 “The NHS should fund IVF under the principles of beneficence. There are many medical conditions, such as endometriosis, that make it much more difficult for women to conceive naturally, and this can lead to a lot of mental health problems if these women want to have children. However, on the other hand IVF is very expensive, and often requires multiple cycles to work. In a healthcare system with limited funds, it could be argued that it isn’t just to spend so much on what isn’t a directly life-saving intervention. Overall, I think the NHS should fund IVF in a way that is fair across the country, that is the number of cycles set based on a cost-benefit analysis.”

95. Can confidentiality ever be broken? If so, when can I be?

There are clear situations where confidentiality can be broken. The most straightforward is where someone else in is immediate danger, for example if a patient says they are going to go and hurt someone. Other examples tend to revolve around where other people are in danger. For example, patients with seizures or epilepsy need to inform the DVLA and are then banned from driving for a defined period. If the patient refuses, then the doctor has a responsibility to disclose this information.

“Confidentiality can be broken, but only in specific circumstances which relate to other people being at risk. This can be direct, for example if a patient discloses that they are going to harm someone, or more indirect, for example if a patient with new epilepsy refuses to inform the DVLA of their diagnosis, as by continuing to drive they would put themselves and others at risk if they were to have a seizure whilst driving.”

96. What is the difference between euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide?

Whatever the question, start by briefly defining any terms. Euthanasia is where a doctor actively ends a patient’s life, whereas physician-assisted suicide is where a doctor provides a patient with the means to end their own life. Both are currently illegal in the UK, but there is certainly a grey area and a good topic for discussion is whether giving drugs to relieve patient’s symptoms but knowing that a side effect is that a patient will die quicker, can be considered euthanasia, and the legal and moral implications.

“Euthanasia is where a doctor actively ends a patient’s life, with them and their family’s consent, for example by prescribing and injecting certain drugs. Physician-assisted suicide is where a doctor gives the patient the ability to take their own life, for example by giving them access to the same sorts of drugs, but it is the patient themselves to takes them.”

97. Parents who withhold vaccines from their children commit a form of child abuse. Do you agree?

No matter what ethics question you get, whether it’s a common interview question or something more unexpected, if you base your arguments for and against around the four pillars you will be able to come up with a good, structured answer.

“Based on the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence, this statement could be true. We know vaccines protect children against many diseases with high rates of morbidity and mortality, and unnecessarily exposing children to these could be considered physical abuse. However, we must also respect parent’s right to autonomy. I disagree with this statement, because the statement is too simplistic, and doesn’t tell us whether the same parents would get their child proper medical attention is required.”

98. Should doctors be banned from smoking?

Trying to get patients to quit smoking is the responsibility of every doctor – every patient interaction is a chance to make a brief intervention that has been shown to help people make behaviour changes. Smoking puts a huge burden on the NHS and greatly increases the risk and severity of a whole host of diseases.

“Doctors should be acutely aware of the dangers of smoking and the burden it places on the NHS. Also, doctors have a responsibility as role models, and it would be hypocritical if doctors were to tell patients to quit smoking if they smoked themselves. However, there are many reasons why people, including doctors, smoke, and also reasons why they might find it hard to quit. Banning doctors from smoking may cause some doctors to leave the profession, which is already struggling to keep up with demand. Overall, I think doctors should be banned from smoking, as they have the education to know why they should not, and generally will have greater access and understanding of how to quit smoking themselves.”

99. You’re given £1 million to spend on either an MRI machine or on 50 liver transplants for patients with alcoholic liver disease. Which one would you choose?

There isn’t a right or wrong answer here, like many decisions about funding the NHS you could argue it from all sides. This is a good opportunity though to introduce the concept of QALYs (Quality-adjusted life years), which is one of the metrics used in the NHS to decide whether to fund treatments.

“Based on the principle of justice, one could argue that it wouldn’t be fair to use the money to fund liver transplants for what some may see as a self-inflicted disease. However, using the same principle those with alcoholic liver disease should be offered the same quality of care as any other person, especially as not receiving a liver transplant is likely to result in their death. A shortage of MRI scanners, and the very long waiting lists to get scans from primary care or outpatients, is a significant source of morbidity, however, would there be enough staff and radiographers to use the MRI machine to its full capability. Before deciding, I would like to find a more objective measure of the impact, for example comparing QALYs of the two, but I think I would choose the MRI scanner, as it has the potential to help many more people.”

100. A Jehovah’s Witness is brought in by an ambulance to A&E after being in a road traffic collision and suffering massive blood loss. They need an urgent blood transfusion, but the patient is refusing it. What do you do?

Decisions around refusing treatment are very complicated and made more so in this scenario by the emergency and life-threatening situation. This is an opportunity to talk about autonomy, beneficence and non-maleficence, and how doctors can assess a patient’s capacity to make decisions around their healthcare.

“Patients have the right to autonomy, that is to make decisions about their own care, even if they are different to the medical teams and even if they would be considered ‘bad decisions’. However, a doctor has a duty to help patients and do no harm, and not giving a blood transfusion that could mean the patient died would not meet this. In this situation, I think I would give them the blood transfusion, as it is a life-or-death emergency.”

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101. Do you agree with abortion?

102. Is it ever ethically acceptable for NHS doctors to go on strike?

103. Would you prescribe the oral contraceptive pill to a 14-year-old girl who is having sex with her boyfriend?

104. Organ donation in the UK is currently via an opt-out system. Discuss opt-out schemes and other methods to increase donations of organs in the UK.

105. Do you think the Hippocratic oath is outdated? 

106. What consequences might a doctor face from whistleblowing?

107. Should doctors complain about their employer or colleagues on social media?

108. What issues would you consider when deciding to allocate an organ to a patient?

109. A patient diagnosed with HIV reveals to their GP they have not disclosed this information to their partner. What ethical issues are involved?

110. Should doctors have a role in contact sports such as boxing?

111. Do you think we should find out more about patients’ views of their doctors, their illness or their treatments? How would you set about doing this?

112. Should alternative medicine be funded by the NHS?

113. Some Trusts are refusing to perform some elective operations on obese patients. Why do you think that is? Do you think it’s right?

114. You have one dialysis machine to share between three patients with equal medical need. One is a 17-year-old drug addict who has just overdosed, one is a 40-year-old woman with terminal breast cancer and only 6 months of life expectancy the third one is. 70-year-old marathon runner. Who gets the machine?

115. What are the arguments for and against the decriminalisation of drugs?

116. Is it right Viagra should only be available to certain groups of men?

117. A man refuses treatment for a potentially life-threatening condition. What are the ethical issues involved?

118. Do you think pharmaceutical companies should be able to advertise on merchandise?

119. Do you think people injured doing extreme sports should be treated by the NHS?

120. Are disabled lives worth saving?

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30 Current Affairs/NHS Hot Topics Interview Questions

These questions are your opportunity to show you are keeping aware of what is going on in the news – and taking an active interest in Medicine. 

121. Why are vaccinations falling?

Vaccinations have been one of the greatest public health successes and have completely revolutionised child health and mortality rates over the last 100 years. However, in recent years vaccination rates have been falling, and there have been several high-profile outbreaks of diseases like measles. The reasons for this are multi-factorial, and good candidates will be able to talk about this.

“The reasons behind this are complex and multi-factorial. The Andrew Wakefield paper falsely linking the MMR vaccine with autism damaged faith in the safety of vaccines, which is something that has come up again with the Covid vaccine. Secondly, there are structural problems within the NHS that have prevented vaccine uptake in some groups. For example, vaccination rates are lower in certain socio-economic and ethnic groups, who have more difficulties engaging with the health service.”

122. How has Brexit impacted the NHS?

Again, there are lots of current and potential future impacts, and showing a broad understanding of some of these will demonstrate a candidate who is keeping abreast of current news.

“I can think of a few examples. The NHS employs a large number of doctors and nurses from overseas, including Europe. Brexit has made recruiting these people more difficult, both through increased paperwork and the idea of a more hostile environment that discourages people from migrating to this country. Another example is the loss of EU funding for clinical research.”

123. What can you tell me about the Archie Battersbee case?

Archie Battersbee was a 12-year-old boy who suffered a severe brain injury and was then the centre of a legal battle between his parents and the medical team looking after him about whether it was right to turn off his life support. This is one of several high-profile cases in recent years, such as Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans, and candidates should certainly understand the details surrounding them.

“Archie Battersbee was a 12-year-old boy who was found unconscious by his mother, allegedly after taking part in a TikTok trend. He was taken to Barts hospital, where despite the best medical treatment, he was determined by the doctors there to be brain-dead, and only being kept alive by the ventilator. Archie’s parents and the medical team disagreed over what was in Archie’s best interests, and so this had to be settled in court. Despite appeals, eventually the court ruled that Archie’s life support could be withdrawn.”

124. Name an ethical dilemma that has been raised after this case?

Candidates could talk about almost anything here, as there is so much to unpick. For example, a parent’s right to autonomy vs a doctor’s duty of non-maleficence, or whether it is just in a healthcare system with limited funds to continue or try experimental treatments with low or unknown chances of success, to benevolence vs non-maleficence around withdrawing end-of-life care.

“Even after the court verdict, there was further arguments about whether Alfie could be moved to a hospice to pass away there. His parents argued that it would be kinder for him to die in a calm environment, surrounded by family. However, the doctors felt that moving him could cause more harm, for example if he was to die in a corridor or in the ambulance, and that would cause more distress to both him and the family.”

125. What do you know about the Junior Doctors contract dispute?

In 2015, the government wanted to introduce a new contract, which would affect all doctors below the level of consultant (who are all termed junior doctors). The BMA rejected this offer, and this led to strikes taking place for the first time. Reasons for the dispute included changes to unsocial hours pay. The proposed contract would see doctors paid a higher yearly rate, but they wouldn’t be paid extra for working evening or Saturday shifts. After more negotiations, strike action was halted, and a contract was signed. This is particularly relevant topic at the moment, as with the current cost-of living crisis the issue of pay and the possibility of strike action is rearing its head again.

“This was a dispute in 2015 between the government and the BMA, the doctors union, over the new contract for junior doctors, which affected every doctor below the level of consultant. The government wanted to create a ‘7 days a week NHS’, as they believed they had data to show that patients who were admitted over a weekend had worse outcomes. However, the BMA disagreed with this conclusion, and also were very unhappy about the changes to unsocial hours pay, which is were doctors working evenings or weekends receive more money. The BMA balloted to their members, who voted for industrial action for the first time in history. After two rounds of strikes, a compromise was reached, but that contract is now up for renewal.”

126. What do you think is going to be the long-term impact of coronavirus on the NHS?

There’s so much one could talk about here, there’s no right or wrong answer but show you have read around the hot topics of the day, such as news articles or columns in the student BMJ, where there will be lots of good resources for you to use at interview.

 “I can think of three main long-term impacts on the NHS. First is the waiting lists.  Second is the effect of burnout on medical staff, and third is the treatment of long Covid. During the pandemic, a lot of elective treatment was postponed. However, this has meant that many patients have been waiting much longer for things like hip and knee replacements, which cause patients significant distress. Catching up on these waiting lists will put more strain on doctors, which relates to my second point about burnout. Throughout the pandemic, doctors had to go above and beyond normal practise, and even putting themselves at risk. After two relentless years, doctors are struggling and tired, so to ask them to keep working just as hard to clear the waiting lists risks forcing many to leave the profession. Finally, long Covid is becoming a more pressing issue, as the long-term impacts of covid infection become clearer. The NHS will need to find ways to create services to deal with these patients, including funding research on treatments.”

127. Do you think the sugar tax has been effective?

The sugar tax is a policy to attempt to tackle rising levels obesity, one of the biggest public health challenges facing the NHS. By increasing the tax on foods with higher levels of sugar, the aim is to provide an incentive for people to buy healthier foods, as well as increase the amount of money that can be used to treat obesity-related conditions. Of course, there are several criticisms of the sugar tax, such as whether it is discriminatory to those who can’t afford it, or whether it actually makes any difference to individual’s behaviour.

“The sugar tax has encouraged companies to change recipes to lower the amount of sugar in foods. However, the policy can also be seen as discriminatory against those on lower incomes, who are unable to afford healthier options, and now are having to pay more just to eat at all.”

128. What are some issues that can be raised by PrEP only being available in England through the Impact Trail?

PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis, which is where patients at high risk of catching HIV, for example men who have sex with men, are able to access HIV drugs to take before engaging in sexual activity, which has been shown through the IMPACT trial to be very effective at preventing the transmission of HIV. This question allows you to discuss PrEP, but also some of the ethics around medical trials.

“PrEP being only available through a single trial goes against the ethical pillar of justice, as all high-risk groups should be able to access a safe and effective treatment. Furthermore, by only being available in England it creates a postcode lottery, where those in other parts of the UK are unable to access it.”

129. Should PrEP be freely and widely available? Why or why not?

Interviewers are there to help you, and would much rather give you a little information so you can have a proper discussion than watch someone try and blag it.

In terms of PrEP, think of some arguments for and against making it available on the NHS:

Arguments for:Arguments against:
It is safe and effectiveIt may encourage risky behaviour, such as not using condoms, that could increase the transmission of STIs
It is cheaper than a lifetime of HIV medication, and managing the complications

“PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is an anti-HIV medication that can be taken to prevent catching HIV. On the one hand, PrEP has been shown to be safe and effective at preventing HIV transmission. Furthermore, it is much cheaper than the overall cost of a lifetime of HIV medication if a person as to catch HIV. However, some people argue that PrEP would encourage more risky behaviour that could bring unintended consequences. For example, a reduction in condom use would lead to an increase in other STIs. To conclude, I think PrEP should be offered on the NHS, because it is a very cost-efficient way of preventing HIV transmission.”

130. What are some issues within the NHS that currently impact doctor-patient relationships?

This is another question that gives you a chance to show you have been reading about current issues affecting the NHS. A really good idea is to flag and save articles that you’ve read and found interesting, then when it gets closer to the interview you can go back and read over them to give you more things to talk about.

“Something that is getting a lot of attention is around access to GP services. Many patients are complaining that it is impossible to get GP appointments, from having to call in at 8 AM only to be told all the appointments for the day have already been filled to a perception that GPs are not seeing any patients face-to-face anymore – all of which are being amplified in the press. This is creating a much more hostile feeling from patients towards GPs, which is being seen in increased violence at GP surgeries. On the flipside, with an increase in ways for patients to contact GPs, for example, through online forms, it is becoming difficult for GPs themselves to switch off, as patients can and now expect to receive answers at any time of day.”

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131. What has happened to A&E waiting times?

132. Why are patients waiting longer?

133. Is it time to scrap the four-hour target?

134. Can you think of any strategies for reducing the strain on A&E departments?

135. Should doctors and nurses be allowed to refuse to work in A&E to protect themselves against Covid-19?

136. Give a two-line summary of the NHS and its role in society.

137. How does the NHS finance its services?

138. How do you think privatisation will impact the NHS?

139. Should there be a seven-day NHS?

140. What do you know about the Dr Bawa Garba case?

141. How do you think further cases like the Dr Bawa Garba case be prevented?

142. How would you tackle the current mental health crisis?

143. What are the challenges of having an ageing population?

144. How do cases such as the Shropshire Maternity Scandal impact doctor-patient trust?

145. What do you know about the Francis Reports and what impact did it have on UK healthcare?

146. What are the pros and cons of private healthcare?

147. What would you do to increase retainment of NHS staff?

148. What is the role of the General Medical Council and British Medical Association?

149. What do you think the government could have done more effectively to help reduce the spread of Covid-19?

150. How would you tackle the rise in vaccine misinformation?

30 Medicine Knowledge Interview Questions

You are not expected to be an expert in everything and anything Medicine related, so the purpose of these questions is to show that you are taking a genuine and active interest in Medicine. 

151. What differentiates the NHS from all other healthcare systems in the world?

The NHS is free at point of use, and completely funded by general taxation. There’s a lot of ways you can take this question, from comparing healthcare systems in other countries to weighing up the benefits and costs of our system.

“The NHS is different to anywhere else for two reasons. First, it is free at the point of use. This means that whenever a person accesses healthcare, they do not need to pay anything at all. Some countries, like France, use a system where people pay a small fee initially, which they can then claim back later through insurance or the public purse. However, this still means that some people will have to take finances into consideration when deciding to see a doctor. Second, it is completely funded by general taxation. This means that even if a treatment is very expensive, such as chemotherapy, the patient will not be made bankrupt, or have to decline treatment because they can’t afford it.”

152. What speciality are you interested in?

This is a chance to talk about your interests and experiences so far in medicine. Use this to show you’ve talked to doctors about what their speciality is like – what things do they see lots of, what is the training pathway, what are the pros and cons.

“I would like to become a surgeon. I play the piano, and just passed my Grade 7, so have dextrous hands which are important for surgery. When I organised a week on Plastic Surgery, I saw how much of surgery involved problem-solving, from planning the surgery to adapting if things went wrong. Finally, sitting in the cleft palate clinic showed me what an incredible impact surgery could have on patients.”

153. What is the “obesity epidemic”?

The obesity epidemic is a term for the public health emergency that is rising obesity rates and the link between obesity and almost every disease, from diabetes to cancer. Increasing obesity is making our population unhealthier, which is going to have a knock-on effect on the rising demand on healthcare services. This sort of question will probably lead to a bit of a debate around the causes and some ideas about what can be done.

“The obesity epidemic is a term to describe how the population of the UK is basically becoming fatter, with an ever-increasing proportion becoming overweight or obese. This is true across all age groups and brings with it lots of consequences. For example, more people are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at a younger age, which puts more pressure both on diabetes services and on managing the long-term complications.”

154. How do you think the role of a doctor has changed over time?

There are so many things you could talk about here, such as the shift from paternalism to patient-led care, more paperwork, increasing litigation etc. Of course, it’s quite easy to just to talk about the negatives, but don’t forget that some things have changed for the better – such as more women becoming doctors.

“Over the years there has been a big shift from doctors taking a very paternalistic approach, where the doctor made all the decisions about a patient’s care, to now where there is much more of an emphasis on involving the patient in decisions about their health. This has brought a lot of benefits, such as restoring patient’s autonomy, which then encourages patients to engage with treatment as they feel more involved. However, I read an interesting article recently that suggested that patients were more likely to choose to have surgery, even if the benefits were marginal compared to the risks, and this was leading to worse long-term morbidity outcomes.”

155. What health problems do doctors face?

Doctors are just like any other member of the population, at risk of all the same diseases (but are historically seen as too stubborn to seek help when they need it – like taking sick days). There is also an increasing incidence (or recognition) of mental health problems.

“Sometimes there is a perception that doctors don’t get sick or develop the same diseases as they treat. However, this is absolutely not true, and why it is important for doctors to look after themselves. A hot topic at the moment is mental health problems in doctors. We are seeing an increase in the number of doctors being diagnosed with depression and anxiety. It is really important to make sure there are good support networks in place that will allow medical staff to be open about the difficulties they are facing and feel confident that coming forward will not harm their career.”

156. Why is antibiotic overprescribing a problem?

Antibiotics are another medical marvel that has rendered once deadly diseases very manageable. However, despite only being around for 100 years, some antibiotics are losing their effectiveness as bacteria evolve to survive them. The classical model for this is through the inappropriate use of antibiotics. For example, not finishing a course of antibiotics means that not all the bacteria in the infection will be killed, and that allows those that survive to replicate. These bacteria are more likely to have some variant that allowed them to evade the antibiotic, so this variant will become more prominent until, eventually, all of the species are resistant. More recent research is adding more layers to this. For example, antibiotics also kill some of our natural gut flora. The bacteria in our gut can also develop resistance to antibiotics, and then through plasmid exchange, they can pass on the genes for antibiotic resistance to disease-causing bacteria. Increasing antibiotic resistance is a problem already and could be catastrophic in the future, so a really important issue to deal with.

“Antibiotic overprescribing is contributing to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This is things like giving antibiotics when they aren’t needed, such as for viral infections, or not finishing the course, which is relevant for diseases like TB, which require six months of antibiotics to clear the infection. If bacteria eventually develop that are resistant to all our antibiotics, we will be thrown back into the past, where even simple surgery carried huge risks of infection.”

157. What is a DNA-CPR? Why is it so important?

DNA-CPR stands for Do Not Attempt Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation. This is a document signed by the medical team looking after the patient that states that if a patient is to die (that is, their heart stops beating), they will not perform CPR to bring the patient back. DNA-CPRs are poorly understood by the general population and can lead to very emotive discussions to have with patients.

“A DNA-CPR is a form that states that if a patient is to die, then the medical team will not perform CPR on them. These forms are very important for several reasons. First, they mean that anyone looking after the patient will know what to do. The forms are purple and put at the front of a person’s medical notes, so for example, if a doctor on a night shift, who has never met the patient, is called to perform CPR, they will be able to see that a decision has already been made. Secondly, CPR is a very distressing act, both for the patient, their families and the medical staff doing it, and one that has a very low chance of success, especially in patients with co-morbidities. A DNA-CPR form will mean a person can die with dignity.”

158. Why not another healthcare profession?

This question is often a follow-up for anyone who says, ‘I want to help people’. The key to this question is to talk about what is special about doctors compared to other healthcare roles and why your skillset and personality will suit this more. Be careful not to talk down on what other healthcare professionals do, as you will be working with them for the rest of your career.

“Although doctors and nurses work very closely together, there are some differences, and I feel my qualities would suit being a doctor. For example, doctors have much more responsibility for clinical decisions and solving the clinical problem a patient presents with. This aspect of medicine is what really appeals to me.”

159. What do you think the most important development to medicine has been?

There’s no right or wrong answer here; pick one of anything and argue your case. Examples might include antibiotics, vaccinations, aseptic surgical techniques etc.

“I think antibiotics have been the most important development in medicine. From treating serious and common infections to paving the way for more complex surgery, antibiotics play a role in almost every aspect of medicine. That is why antibiotic resistance is such an issue.”

160. How important is evidence-based practice in medicine?

Evidence-based practice is about making decisions over which investigations or treatments doctors use based on high-quality clinical trials that produce data that supports that decision. This is important as, like all people, doctors have their own biases that may make them choose one over the other. Good, large-scale clinical trials will show what works and also, importantly, treatments that might actually be causing more harm to patients and allow dogmas to be challenged for the benefit of all.

“Evidence-based practice is very important. Medicine is rightly sometimes considered an art, and there are times when a doctor will need to take other factors into account, however, using clinical trials to find out what works for the majority of patients will lead to better outcomes.”

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161. What is the difference between ‘primary care’ and ‘secondary care’?

162. What is the ‘postcode lottery’?

163. What is a clinical trial?

164. How would you control the TB problem in the homeless population?

165. What is the EWTD? What is its significance?

166. Should the NHS be run by doctors?

167. How do you think the role of a doctor has changed over time?

168. What is public health and why is it important?

169. What is clinical governance and why is it important?

170. How have technological advances have changed medical practice?

171. What is the most important medical breakthrough of the 20th and 21st centuries and why?

172. What can you tell me about the current NHS reforms?

173. Name three famous doctors and their contributions to medicine.

174. In addition to well-known health professionals, can you suggest other industries which play a critical role in the delivery of a multidisciplinary healthcare system?

175. What would you consider the bigger challenge to the NHS – diabetes or smoking?

176. How is the nurse’s role in healthcare changing?

177. Why do we worry so much about hospital-acquired infections?

178. If you were in charge of the NHS, what would you do?

179. How would you approach the problem of low NHS funding?

180. What do you think about the role of GPs in the NHS?

30 Medicine Calculation Interview Questions

Calculation questions form part of an MMI circuit, so knowing how to answer these types of questions will help you to understand the techniques needed to solve them. 

181. You are required to give a patient 4.0g of a new chemotherapy agent Busapar. This comes as a 30% (w/v) solution in bags containing 750ml. What volume of the 750ml bag would you have remaining after preparing the required solution?

Asking you to calculate drug doses in a common MMI station, as it’s something that can very easily done in a six-minute station, and it’s completely fair to all candidates. Make sure you understand the concentration formula, and also how to quickly convert between common units (1g = 1000mg, 1ml = 1cm3)

“For this question, the concentration of the Busapar solution is 30% (w/v) solution, which is just another way of writing a solution with a concentration of 0.3g/ml. To calculate the volume required to give a dose of 4g, plug in the information you have into the concentration formula triangle. Volume = 4/0.3 = 13.3ml. Subtract this volume from the initial 750ml bag, and you will be left with 736.7ml.”

182. You are asked to assist the nursing staff in giving medication to a patient weighing 70kg. The recommended medication dose is 2.5mg/kg. A syringe is prepared containing 350mg in 2ml. What volume of the solution in the syringe do you need to administer?

“The required dose of medication is 70 (his weight) x 2.5 (the dose in mg needed per kilo) = 175mg. The concentration of the syringe is 350mg/2ml, which is 175mg/ml, so you need to administer 1ml.”

183. A 70 kg man is trapped alive in an air-tight coffin of dimensions 2m x 0.5m x 0.3m. Estimate the amount of time that he has before he runs out of oxygen.

At first this question seems really bizarre, but it is a test of your ability to create and solve problems, especially ones with incomplete information. The trick here is to show a method to your thinking, using realistic estimates where appropriate.

“70kg is about the average weight of a man, so I can presume he is an average height, say 175cm, I don’t know the average width or depth of a person, but I shall estimate 40cm and 30cm. This means the volume of the man is 1.75m x 0.4m x 0.3m, which is 0.21m3. The volume of the coffin is 2x.5x.3, which is 0.3m3. That leaves 0.09m3 of air. If the tidal volume of every breath is 500ml, and the rate of breathing is 15 a minute, then every minute the man will use 7500ml a minute, or 7.5l. 1 litre is 0.001m3, so there are 90l of air. 90/7.5 = 12, so I estimate they have 12 minutes.”

184. A 75-year-old woman has severe back pain; she needs a dose 675 mg Tramadol via IV infusion. Her weight is 85kg. The Tramadol IV infusion comes in 20ml vials of 10 mg/ml. How many vials do you need to use?

“Each vial of tramadol contains 10 x 20 mg of tramadol, so 200mg. 675/200 is 3.375, so that is how many vials you will need.”

185. A 20-month-old, 10kg baby is admitted with severe asthma. He needs urgent Salbutamol 1 mg/kg/hr by IV infusion. Your colleague helps you by diluting Salbutamol 500 mg in glucose 5% 500 ml. What rate should the infusion be given at?

“The infusion contains 500mg of salbutamol in 500ml of solution, which gives a concentration of 1mg/ml. The baby needs 10mg of salbutamol per hour, which is 10ml per hour. Therefore, the 500ml infusion should be run over 50 hours.”

186. A 65-year-old man is admitted with seizures and needs urgent Phenytoin delivered via IV infusion. The BNF states that the dose should be 10 mg/kg. This should be made up of sodium chloride 0.9% to yield an overall concentration of 25 mg/ml. He weighs 70 kg.

“As a 70kg man, he needs 700mg of Phenytoin. To calculate the volume needed, fill in the concentration formula with the information you have, so V = 700mg/(25mg/ml) = 28ml.”

187. You are asked to give a patient a 10mg intramuscular injection of the drug haloperidol. The syringe contains 0.05g in 1cl. What volume in millilitres of the solution do you need to give?

“Convert from g and cl into mg and ml – 0.05g = 50mg and 1cl = 10ml. This tells you the concentration of the haloperidol solution is 50mg/10ml, so you will need to give 2ml.”

188. You are asked by a specialist to assist a nurse giving a patient weighing 75 kg a 0.75 mg/kg IV injection of Mirclcur. The nurse has prepared a syringe containing 100 mg of the drug in 2 mL of saline. What volume of the solution in the syringe needs to be administered?

“The patient needs a dose of 75 x 0.75mg, which is 56.25mg. The concentration of the solution in the syringe is 50mg/ml, so fill in the concentration formula – V = 56.25/50 = 1.125ml.”

189. You are asked to give a patient 3 mL of the new flu treatment, Hard-n-Up, which is a 2% solution of the drug. How many milligrams of the drug are you administering?

“A 2% solution means a solution with a concentration of 20mg/ml. If you are giving 3ml, then multiply this concentration by 3, which gives you 60mg.”

190. A patient requires Risperidone 50 milligrams. The stock dose is 25mg / 10mL. What volume is required?

“At 25mg/10ml, the patient will require 20ml of the stock dose.”

Just want to read the worked solutions? Click below to skip to the section you need…⬇️ 

191. A patient has been prescribed 40 mg Ketamine. The stock available is 50mg / 5mL. What volume of Ketamine is required?

192. You prescribe a patient 1 g of paracetamol. How many milligrams is this?

193. You are asked to give a patient weighing 50 kg a 1 mg/kg IV injection. The syringe contains 100 mg in 2 ml. What volume of the solution in the syringe do you need to give?

194. You are asked to give a patient 10 g of the drug WondaDrug. This comes as a 5% solution in bags containing 1 L. What volume of the 1 L bag do you need to give?

195. You are asked to give a patient 1ml of 1% lidocaine. How many mg are you giving the patient?

196. How much is 500 mg in grams?

197. How much is 850 mcg (micrograms) in mg (milligrams)?

198. You are checking a prescription with a registered nurse for Peter who is 9 months old and weighs 10 kg. He is prescribed 25mg/kg/dose of Benzylpencillin Intravenously, 4 times a day. Each 600 mg vial is reconstituted to 2 mL. How much should be drawn up for each dose?

199. John, a young infant, requires 15 micrograms of atropine. There is 600 micrograms in 1 mL. How much do you give?

200. A patient requires 1000 milligrams. The stock dose is 400 mg / 3 mL. What volume is required?

201. A patient has been prescribed 80 milligrams. The stock available is 50 mg / 2 mL. What volume is required?

202. Please calculate the number of drops per minute that the following intravenous infusion would be set at. The drip rate of the infusion set is 20 drops per mL. 1000 mL 0.9% Sodium Chloride over 12 hours?

203. A unit of blood is to be transfused over 4 hours. The volume of blood is 250 mL. The drip rate of the infusion set is 15 drops per mL. Calculate the number of drops per minute the transfusion requires to be set at.

204. If 1 tablet contains 20 mg, how many mg are there in 2 tablets?

205. A suspension contains Carbamazepine 75 mg/5 ml. How many milligrams would be in a 25 ml bottle?

206. A patient is to receive 1500 mL over 8 hours. Calculate the rate in mL/hour.

207. A patient is prescribed 500 ml over 6 hours. What percentage would be administered after 3 hours?

208. A patient is prescribed 1000 ml over 5 hours. What percentage would be administered after 3 hours?

209. A patient has a daily fluid allowance of 1500 mL. The patient has taken 30%. How many mL is this?

210. Amoxicillin 1500 mg is to be given per day in 3 equally divided doses. Capsules are 250 mg. How many capsules should be given at each dose?

30 MMI Medicine Interview Questions

Any of the above question types can feature in either a panel interview or a MMI station. MMIs often involve roleplaying and responding to scenarios.

211. The ward nurse informs you that one of your FY1 colleagues is taking lots of morphine from the drug cabinet. What do you do?

With these sorts of questions, the interviewers want to see that you know right from wrong, and can take a common-sense approach, and knowing when to escalate concerns and who to. This is a very serious scenario, as morphine is a controlled drug, which means its use is tightly regulated and to steal it for personal use or to sell is a crime.

“I would first talk to my colleague, because there may be a reasonable explanation for this, such as he isn’t aware that all controlled drugs need to be signed out. I would also need to escalate this to my seniors, such as the consultant, because morphine is a controlled drug.”

212. You’re told that this weekend you’re going on a camping trip. In front of you is a table of random objects. You have 20 seconds to pick five objects that you deem to be of the most importance and value and explain why.

There’s no right or wrong answer, the question is about seeing how to respond under pressure and whether you can articulate your decisions. Go with your gut and be prepared to argue your decisions.

213. You are a second year medical student preparing for your end of year examinations. One week before your examinations, you have a Molecules, Cells and Diseases (MCD) coursework due. One of your friends has just emailed you a selection of coursework, completed by students in prior years for the same project. Explain your actions in this scenario.

Cheating is taken very seriously. First and foremost, be very clear that you would not cheat, copy or plagiarise the selection of coursework you have been sent. Second, you should tell your friend that they also shouldn’t try and cheat and try your best to convince them. Finally, you should escalate this to the medical school, as the GMC guidelines say that to not report cheating is itself poor practise. It would then be up to the medical school to investigate further.

214. You are a medical student in a GP surgery, shadowing one of the GP partners, who is also your supervisor. Your next patient is Mrs Collins, a 30 year old secretary who your supervisor states is a ‘typical hypochondriac…always coming in with new concerns, with no real medical problems’. Your GP supervisor advises you that placebo medications (sugar pills) are the best treatment for these patients, and ‘always do the trick’. Outline the main issues raised.

This raises a few issues. First, the GP partner has spoken ill of a patient under their care. Second, they have suggested that the patient will not receive proper care in this upcoming consultation. Patients who attend frequently without actual problems are a source of frustration to all doctors, however they should be treated equally every time they present, because that is clearly right, and this might be the time they present with a serious problem. This question can also lead to an interesting talking point about confronting and reporting senior staff. In an ideal world, everyone would feel comfortable to call out bad behaviour and practice when they see it. However, this is not always the case, but there are other ways. For example, you could talk to your tutors at medical school, who would be able to give you advice about who and how to raise the issue. Many medical schools have now introduced ways to report these sorts of instances anonymously, but that then allows them to take the lead in dealing with it.

“The main issue I see here is the patient is not getting the best care. The GP is entering the consultation with a pre-formed idea about what the patient is presenting with, and how they will treat it. This means they are less likely to take the patient’s symptoms seriously. Whether or not they are a hypochondriac, every patient has the right to the same medical care as any other.”

215. You are a third year medical student on a medical rotation, Your consultant requests your advice on deciding whether to utilise a liver transplant for a 65 year old retired solicitor or a 20 year old Hepatitis B positive intravenous drug user. How would you decide who to give the transplant to?

Weigh up some points for and against each patient, and what extra information you would like to help make that decision.

“There’s some more information I would like to find out before making my decision. Who is the sicker patient, who needs the transplant sooner? Do the patients have any co-morbidities that will make a liver transplant less likely to succeed? How long does a liver transplant last? Based on just the information I have been given though, I would give it to the retired solicitor, as if the 20-year-old is still injecting IV drugs, then he is at risk of seeding Hep B to the new liver or catching it again and damaging the transplanted liver.”

216. A member of your family decides to depend solely on alternative medicine for the treatment of his or her significant illness. What would you do?

Medical schools aren’t expecting you to be perfect communicators – they teach you that! But what they want to see is someone with good values who has some of the soft skills, like empathy, that they can build on to turn you into a top-class doctor. In a situation like this, try and put yourself in their shoes and understand why they are making this decision. Then you can gradually unpick that and if appropriate help persuade them of the merits of a different approach.

“I would spend a lot of time listening to them, to understand the reasons behind their decision. They may have been misinformed, or they might be really scared of something. By taking time to listen though, I can hopefully build a rapport that will allow them to open up, which may also give me a chance to explain and reassure them. However, I must always be aware that they have the right to make decisions that I or others might not agree with, and need to respect that.”

217. Your mother calls you and asks you to help with a major family decision. Your maternal grandfather is 70 years old and has been diagnosed with a condition that will kill him some time in the next five years. He can have a procedure that will correct the disease and not leave him with any long-term problems, but the procedure has a 10% mortality rate. He wants to have the procedure, but your mother does not want him to. How would you help mediate this issue?

Disagreements and conflict around the best treatment are common, and require a careful touch to mediate. Just like the previous question, the most important thing is to actively listen and understand where each person is coming from. They may have other fears that they are hiding, and won’t reveal until they feel comfortable with you and are asked about. This often comes from picking up non-verbal cues.

“I would speak to each of them separately first, to understand where they are both coming from, and also see whether they can appreciate where the other is coming from. I would take as much time as possible here, as it may not be immediately obvious what the real reason the mother doesn’t want the grandfather to have the operation. Then I would speak to them together, to try and help explain each others views, and hopefully allow them to reach an understanding.”

218. You are one of the senior consultants on a respiratory ward. You have to tell a patient’s family member that their lung cancer is terminal. The patient’s name is Mohammed and you are speaking to Mr Ahmed, their father.

Breaking bad news is one of the most difficult jobs for a doctor. Done poorly, it can be a very traumatic experience for patients; however, when done well, it can be a source of great relief. Again, medical schools are certainly not expecting you to be experts, but if you can show that you can be empathetic, you’ll be fine. Some general tips, introduce yourself, check their understanding of what has been happening and give them time to process what you have said.

“Hello Mr Ahmed, my name is Joe, and I’m the consultant looking after your father, Mohammed. To make sure we are on the same page, could you tell me why your father came to the hospital and what you understand has been going on? (wait for response) Thank you for telling me that, yes, your father was admitted after coughing up blood and weight loss. As part of our investigations, we did a scan to look for cancer, and I’m afraid it is not the results we were hoping for. (pause to let Mr Ahmed take this in). The scan showed he has cancer in the lung that has spread to other places in his body. This means we cannot cure it. (pause) I’m very sorry Mr Ahmed, and I know this is a lot to take in; when you are ready, I can answer any questions.”

219. You are advising a mother about having an important vaccination which her and her child needs to travel to Uganda. You will then have to speak to the child about the injection they are having.

Doctors need to adapt their language depending on who they are speaking to. How you converse with a colleague will be different to a patient, and how you explain things to an adult will be very different to a child.

To Mum – “in order to protect your child in Uganda, there are some vaccinations they shall need. These are very important, as they will protect him against serious diseases in Uganda that are not common here, such as typhoid and cholera. The vaccination will involve a small injection into the muscle of your child’s shoulder. There are some small risks to this, for example, bruising, and in very, very rare cases, your child may have an allergic reaction. Your child may feel under the weather for 24-48hrs, but this is normal and look after them with Calpol and water.”

To child – “before you go on your very exciting holiday to Uganda, I need to help protect you and stop you from getting very poorly on holiday. It will feel like a tiny scratch to your shoulder and will be over before you know it, and then you can get a sticker for being so brave.”

220. You are prime minister for the next 3 minutes. Outline what you would do to change the NHS. Name one specific area you would like to invest a greater proportion of the budget in.

You can pick anything you like here, then just argue your case!

“I would spend more money on social care. Whilst on my work experience, I was really surprised to see how many patients were medically fit but unable to be discharged from hospital because there wasn’t a care package or care home place for them to go. I did some more research on this when I finished, and if we were able to discharge patients more rapidly, then there would be a massive knock-on effect to A&E waiting times.”

Just want to read the worked solutions? Click below to skip to the section you need…⬇️ 

221. What is your opinion about stem cell research using foetal tissue?

222. A 70-year-old man comes to you as his GP, because he has just been diagnosed with Dementia. He wants advice on how he and his family should cope with the diagnosis, as he thinks there is a lot of stigma about the disease in the healthcare service. Whilst talking to you, he begins to cry.

223. An actor pretends to be your friend whose cat you have been looking after while they are away on holiday. Unfortunately, the cat has been run over, and when you tell your friend, they become angry and blame you.

224. You are just finishing a busy shift on the Acute Assessment Unit (AAU). Your FY1 colleague who is due to replace you for the evening shift leaves a message with the nurse in charge that she will be 15 to 30 minutes late. There is only a 30-minute overlap between your timetables to handover to your colleague. You need to leave on time as you have a social engagement to attend with your partner.

Rank the following actions in response to this situation in ascending order of appropriateness:

  1. Make a list of the patients under your care on the AAU, detailing their outstanding issues, leaving this on the doctor’s office notice board when your shift ends and then leave at the end of your shift.
  2. Quickly go around each of the patients on the AAU, leaving an entry in the notes highlighting the major outstanding issues relating to each patient and then leave at the end of your shift.
  3. Make a list of patients and outstanding investigations to give to your colleague as soon as she arrives.
  4. Ask your registrar if you can leave a list of your patients and their outstanding issues with him to give to your colleague when she arrives and then leave at the end of your shift.
  5. Leave a message for your partner explaining that you will be 30 minutes late.

225. The interviewer is sitting across from you, and on the table there’s a wrapped up box. You’re asked to instruct the interviewer on how to unwrap and open the box, without helping them or using your hands. It isn’t straightforward, because the examiner will be using no assumed knowledge and will be doing only what you tell them, e.g. ‘lift up that flap’¦ starts lifting up wrong flap, ‘Turn the box around’¦ turns box in wrong direction.

226. You are faced with an actor playing a 65-year-old man who has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He is coming to his GP for advice on how to cope with his diagnosis, as he has heard a lot of stigma over the years about dementia and its burden on both his family and the healthcare service. Whilst talking to you, he breaks down into tears.

227. You’re told that you are entering a hospital staff room prior to performing surgery with Dr ‘X’. As you enter, you see Dr X take a swig of a clear drink from a bottle, which you suspect is alcohol, and then quickly close their locker. Over the course of the conversation, Dr X begins to forget things and slur their words.

You have five minutes to speak to Dr X.

228. An actor hands you a card which states that you are playing the role of a GP and they are a 16-year-old girl who has come to ask for information about getting tested for STIs, but is worried about her parents finding out.

229. An actor hands you a card which states that you are playing the role of a surgeon and they are a patient on whom you recently performed a hip replacement. You must inform them that some nerve damage occurred during surgery, which means they may not regain full use of their leg.

230. The interviewer tells you that you have four minutes to explain the process/purpose of vaccination to them, speaking as you would to any competent adult. When you have finished, they give you another four minutes to explain the same thing as if you were speaking to a young child who is about to be vaccinated. This time, you may use a whiteboard and marker to support your explanation if you choose.

231. Four people need a liver and they all have an equal chance of success. One has only two weeks left to live without, one is the sole carer for their father, one is a pregnant lady who would otherwise only have a couple of months with her newborn, and one has taken a large Paracetamol overdose. Assuming there was nothing to medically differentiate the patients, and considering only the ethical aspects, who would you give the liver to?

232. You are a consultant at a hospital. Once a year, an IT security professional discusses changes to the IT security system and trains hospital staff in making use of any new system features. Esther, another consultant, does not want to attend the mandatory session, saying “It’s the same stuff every year.” How do you respond?

223. You are a medical student and a patient, Mrs. Khan, confesses to you that she is no longer taking her prescribed medication as she has read a lot about herbal remedies online and wants to try them instead. She mentions that she hasn’t informed any doctors about this yet. What would you do?

224. What do you understand about the phrase ‘informed consent?’ Why is it important to make sure patients are providing informed consent?

235. What are some of the issues raised if medical staff inappropriately obtain informed consent?

236. When might a patient not provide informed consent? Are there any instances in which medical staff may proceed with a particular action without obtaining informed consent?

237. You are a medical student and are attending a tutorial. Right before the tutorial begins, you receive a text message from your friend saying that he is very hungover and will not be attending the tutorial; he asks you to sign him in. What would you do in this scenario?

238. What is an ethical issue, currently or recently in the news, that interests you? Why?

239. You are a junior doctor and are taking care of a patient who has made a number of rude, personal comments to and about you. How do you behave in this scenario?

240. You are a GP and regular patient, Tommy, comes into your practice. He is 29 and has a learning disability and generally attends consultations with his carer, Ruth. You currently want to refer him to specialist services. What do you do? Do you do anything differently?


This list of questions is by no means definitive, and its purpose is only to provide an idea of what you may be asked in your Medical School interview. 

Make sure to remember that the purpose of an interview is to sell yourself. This is the only opportunity you have to be face-to-face with those making the admissions decisions, so you have got to make the most of it. 

It is important to know what the interviewer is looking for – that you have what it takes to succeed on a demanding course. Remember, medical knowledge and dexterity skills can be taught and developed – the ability to be a good listener and being able to show empathy cannot be. 

Hopefully, from this guide, you can identify the areas that you need to do additional preparation to ensure you ace your interview. 

Best of luck for your Medicine interview! 🙂

Applying to Dentistry? Check out our guide of 210 Dentistry Interview Questions which includes 70 worked solutions!

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