Medicine Interview Questions & Answers

Welcome to our series of Medicine interview guides. This specific guide is about Medicine interview questions and how to answer them. We start by briefly covering some general advice for answering Medicine interview questions. Then we move onto specific examples of real Medicine interview questions with answers updated for 2018. We will be updating this guide by adding new Medicine interview questions with answers throughout the year.

We explain what each Medicine interview question is looking for and break down how to answer each question. We provide examples of competent answers to these Medicine interview questions and advise on common mistakes to avoid. We also have a separate guide on MMI Medicine interview stations/questions. This guide is still important as MMI interview stations will still include traditional Medicine interview questions.

Medicine Interview Questions on Your Motivation to study Medicine and become a doctor

Common variations: Why do you want to be a doctor? What interests you about Medicine?

Note: If you are a graduate or mature student then see our blog on how to answer this interview question coming from these backgrounds

That your motivation to study Medicine is based on research and experience and not merely a strong desire to study Medicine. Medicine is a long degree and also a career which requires a lot of commitment, so it is important for the panel to select candidates that are well suited to study Medicine and are committed.
Your communication skills – all questions are assessing this, but this interview question specifically requires you to be able to form many different reasons and events into a single coherent answer. How well can you tell a story? How convincing and genuine is your answer? Do you come across as motivated and committed?

The first thing you must do is clarify in your own mind why you want to study Medicine. Only then can you think about preparing an answer to this question. There are likely many reasons. Your need to select a few of your reasons and build on them.

Common reasons people want to become a doctor include:

• An interest in Science, the human body, diseases etc.
• An interest in a particular condition, e.g. cancer or a speciality, e.g. psychiatry which then led to a wider interest in Medicine
• Wanting a job which helps people and makes a difference to their lives/ to society
• Wanting to contribute to science/research
• A dynamic profession, constantly evolving, requires constant life-long learning
• A career which means you will need and learn many skills and have knowledge from many disciplines, as well as working with many other disciplines
• A challenging, exciting, interesting, varied job. There are many careers within Medicine
• A stable, well respected, well-paid career with excellent career progression
• A degree (and later a profession) which incorporates elements from medicine, surgery, the sciences, pharmacology, psychology, sociology, epidemiology, communication skills, teaching, research and more
• A very interesting, challenging and varied undergraduate degree with excellent graduate prospects in the UK and internationally.

Your eventual answer to this common Medicine interview question should focus on several main reasons which you talk about in more detail instead of a huge list of reasons which you only spend a few seconds discussing. You also need to include examples of experiences which reaffirmed your ambition to study Medicine. Your answer should show why Medicine is a good fit for you.

Be smart about what you include in your answer, use it as an opportunity to sell yourself and bring up your strengths. Make sure you touch upon some of your work experience, your strengths and achievements in your answer. You will only get time to touch upon them in your answer. These can be explored in more depth later in your interview. Giving examples makes your statements sound more credible instead of sounding like unsubstantiated claims.

You should sound personal (i.e. do not just describe reasons or events, describe how they relate to you specifically). However, you do not need to find unique anecdotes or very original ideas for wanting to study Medicine. An excellent answer can include very typical reasons delivered well. If you have an early experience which made you want to study Medicine, then you can consider including it, and this is often a good way to start your answer, but do not force one. The main things you need convey in your interview answer is that you have solid reasons to study Medicine and are suited for it, and that you have confirmed your ambitions with experience and research. You need to show that you are motivated and committed to study Medicine.

Covering too many points – In your answer, you should cover several points in detail, instead of many little points. Remember, your aim in answering any Medicine interview question is to give an effective answer and not to simply state everything that you know about a topic. To give an effective answer, you must be selective.
Sounding rehearsed – this is inevitably an interview question that everyone rehearses for, and your interviewers know this. However, avoid sounding robotic, instead try to show your enthusiasm and passion. Remember, the content of your speech is only one component of an effective answer. How well you deliver it is the other.
Trying too hard to be original – You do not need to force a unique story or event which made you want to be a doctor. If you are going to use a personal story, make sure you can justify why it makes you want to be a doctor. Saying something like you had a relative with a condition or went to hospital once is only half a story, what specifically did it stir inside you? Why did a hospital experience make you want to be a doctor, but a visit to the dentist does not want to make you a dentist?