Medicine interview questions about Medical topics

In your Medicine interview, your interviewers may ask you questions about common medical conditions (typically those that are hot topics in the media), current topics or relevant organisations. They may mention them in their abbreviated form as letters because this is how people usually refer to them. For example, you may be asked about MRSA, C.Diff, MMR etc. or what various organisations such as the BMA, GMC, NICE etc. do. They may even ask you if you know who certain people such as Jeremy Hunt or Simon Stevens are.

Why do I need to know about these things for my Medicine interview?

Interviewers are generally not asking you these questions just to test your knowledge per se. Firstly, this is because you will learn these things in medical school and throughout your career as a doctor anyway. Secondly, non-Oxbridge Medicine interviews are not designed to overly emphasise testing your knowledge or academic abilities because this is what your grades, UKCAT/BMAT/GAMSAT, Medicine personal statement and references are for. Instead, non-Oxbridge interviews are designed to focus more on assessing your personal attributes, e.g. communication skills, confidence, motivation and commitment to study Medicine etc.

The reason interviewers may ask you these types of questions is simple. Firstly, they want to see if you have done your research on what a career in Medicine entails. Secondly, to see if you have an interest in Medicine and are motivated to become a doctor.

This is because by having some basic knowledge of these organisations, topics or current issues in Medicine, you are showing that you have an interest in health and Medicine. You are demonstrating that you have done your research and that you keep up to date with things that are related to a career as a doctor. This knowledge then implies that you base your motivation to study Medicine on actual research and understanding rather than just a strong feeling or desire to study Medicine.

Are interviewers trying to catch you out with these questions?

Generally no. We have explained the reasons interviewers ask you these about these topics above. Understanding how the topics are relevant, what ethical or other issues arise from them and being able to have an intelligent discussion about them is more important than the exact details of the topics (which interviewers are less likely to ask about).

Interviewers may sometimes ask you a particularly challenging or provoking question, knowing that you are unlikely to actually know the answer. This is so they can assess your reaction. Your response and how you handle yourself in these situations is something that will determine your interview success. There may also be instances where you do not know the answer to a perfectly reasonable question which the panel would expect you to know. (See our article on how to respond to questions that you do not know the answer to for more information). Again how you handle yourself in these instances is an essential determinant of your Medicine interview success.

In our Medicine interview course, we teach you how to recognise, understand and manage the full range of thoughts and feelings you go through when you are put on the spot like this. We show you how to turn these often negative feelings on their head and actually use them to help you perform better and succeed (yes this is very possible!). We also teach you how to deal with the anxieties and fears before your Medicine interview so you can express yourself confidently and fluently when it comes to the actual moment of the Medicine interview.

Examples of Medical Abbreviations relevant to your medical school interview or medical school application

MRSA, C.Diff, MMR are examples of some medical abbreviations you should know about for your Medicine interview. We explain exactly what you need to know about these medical abbreviations for your Medicine interview in this free article


BUPA, BMA, NHS, NICE, MPS, MDU are all examples of abbreviations of medical organisations that you should know about. We cover all of these organisations and precisely what you need to know about them for your Medicine interview in this free article


Prepare for your Interview with Medicine Answered

At Medicine Answered we offer specialist medical school interview tutoring as well as our one-day Medical School Interview Course. Created by doctors our tutoring sessions and interview courses aim to ensure that you cover all the vital elements to help you excel in your medicine interview. Our Medicine Interview Course covers all the different interview types that are employed across the different medical schools. This includes the MMI and Oxbridge interviews, we believe that the key to succeeding in your interview is preparation.

You can book a place on our Medical School Interview Course, or our specialist tutoring sessions via our website. Alternatively, if you require any further information do not hesitate to contact us.