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*MEGATHREAD* - The Official 2014 Medicine Interview Preparation Thread watch

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    So guys, I am not sure if I this is the correct place to post this, but how would you go about answering this interview question: Tell us about your work experience.

    Since I did a lot of work experience that is not entire medically related, but still in a caring environment, as well as lab work (just to see which I preferred), how should I answer this question. I don't want to ramble and drone on, so that it does not seem like I am wasting time. But how would you go about it.
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    (Original post by Atham)
    So guys, I am not sure if I this is the correct place to post this, but how would you go about answering this interview question: Tell us about your work experience.

    Since I did a lot of work experience that is not entire medically related, but still in a caring environment, as well as lab work (just to see which I preferred), how should I answer this question. I don't want to ramble and drone on, so that it does not seem like I am wasting time. But how would you go about it.
    Obviously it depends on which med school you are being interviewed by and their own 'policy'/attitude towards work experience (some see it as a right of passage and other seem to find it irrelevant). Try to think through some of the reasons why your specific med school might be asking this question. Generally you need to provide an honest reflective answer that demonstrates how your work experience helped you to develop some of the following:

    Understanding of the career of medicine
    Understanding of the MDT and/or NHS structure
    Professionalism
    Teamwork skills
    Leadership skills
    Fulfilment from a caring role
    An interest in further research
    Any specific skills that are relevant: public speaking, communication with impaired people, confidence working with children etc. etc...

    In the back of your mind you should remember that:

    Both research and caring are very important parts of medicine; just beware that caring per se doesn't make you right for being a doctor and that many graduates are draining away into research (and other) posts without ever working as a doctor. The government is putting med schools under increasing pressure to produce GPs as this is where the recruitment deficit is. If your med school uses a lot of self-directed learning (such as a high ratio of PBL) then you may have developed some of the prerequisite skills for that type of course during your work experience.

    Good luck!

    p.s. Several med schools ask for you to bring to interview a form completed giving dates and details of your most recent or substantial work experience or volunteering along with referee details from those posts
    p.p.s. Between now and interview there may still be time to gain more work exp if you wish to (sitting in with a GP for a couple of weekend or evening surgeries for instance)
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    (Original post by Dr Gin)
    Obviously it depends on which med school you are being interviewed by and their own 'policy'/attitude towards work experience (some see it as a right of passage and other seem to find it irrelevant). Try to think through some of the reasons why your specific med school might be asking this question. Generally you need to provide an honest reflective answer that demonstrates how your work experience helped you to develop some of the following:

    Understanding of the career of medicine
    Understanding of the MDT and/or NHS structure
    Professionalism
    Teamwork skills
    Leadership skills
    Fulfilment from a caring role
    An interest in further research
    Any specific skills that are relevant: public speaking, communication with impaired people, confidence working with children etc. etc...

    In the back of your mind you should remember that:

    Both research and caring are very important parts of medicine; just beware that caring per se doesn't make you right for being a doctor and that many graduates are draining away into research (and other) posts without ever working as a doctor. The government is putting med schools under increasing pressure to produce GPs as this is where the recruitment deficit is. If your med school uses a lot of self-directed learning (such as a high ratio of PBL) then you may have developed some of the prerequisite skills for that type of course during your work experience.

    Good luck!
    Yeah, I am an EU applicant, so I did not get to work in the NHS really.

    I am applying to Cardiff, Exeter, Queen's, Glasgow. Glasgow for example has a mixed PBL and incorporates most teaching methods. So what should I do target the PBL specifically? Give hitns and say how it will be good for me? I am doing the IB, so I could utilize that for PBL, since the teachign style is quite similar.
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    (Original post by Atham)
    Yeah, I am an EU applicant, so I did not get to work in the NHS really.

    I am applying to Cardiff, Exeter, Queen's, Glasgow. Glasgow for example has a mixed PBL and incorporates most teaching methods. So what should I do target the PBL specifically? Give hitns and say how it will be good for me? I am doing the IB, so I could utilize that for PBL, since the teachign style is quite similar.
    Of your med schools Exeter is the one that creates the highest PBL 'red alert' as it is so heavily PBL based.

    Make sure you throughly understand what PBL is so that you can talk around the relevance of your work experience at interview (sorry if you already know this):

    At Exeter your PBL group will usually meet 3 times over each fortnight and you will work together in a team to brainstorm on a case presented to you. The case will be relevant to the area of study the syllabus is currently covering starting from conception, covering normal healthy life and reaching death by the end of the first year (then repeating the cycle in the second year but with an illness/pathology theme). Someone from the group will act as scribe and the entire group will work as a team to develop a set of questions that need to be answered in order to develop a good enough understanding of the anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, sociology and psychology (plus the everythingelseology that I've missed off!) of the problem presented. They then go away and work either alone, in PBL subgroups (or with other med students if they prefer as they all do the same case at the same time) to research the answers to those questions. Sometimes they can choose to subdivide the workload and present back to the group, other times they will all cover anything individually. They feedback within their PBL group and, with the support and guidance of a group tutor, they try to establish whether there are any further questions that develop until, by the end of the fortnight they have covered the subject holistically and thoroughly enough to move-on. This is backed-up by lectures, clinical placements and relevant clinical skills learning happening over the same fortnight but the ability to work within a team and to become resourceful in self-directed study is essential. If it is the right learning style for you then it sets you up with many of the skills you need as a future doctor (medicine is obviously a career of teamwork, leadership, lifelong independent learning and fundamental to this is the ability to realise/analyse what you don't know and to understand how to find it out)…

    According to GMC research, students who come through the heaviest PBL med schools are often the ones who are most confident at graduation that they have been trained well and are prepared for the actual job of being a doctor (UEA, Exeter, Plymouth all in top 4 for this question) so the PBL med schools are very proud of this and want to make very sure that students are self-selected to suit the learning-style. Drop-out rates from med school are recorded (and are a waste for everyone concerned) and so all med schools want to be sure that students start the course with their eyes wide open to give them the best chance of completing it.

    My advice would be that in a PBL med school use any opportunity to show that your skills fit the learning method (and you wish to further develop those skills), that you understand how PBL works and that you appreciate its benefits to you as a future doctor. Obviously this is very different in a non-PBL med school so do your research thoroughly before you go to interview...
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    (Original post by Dr Gin)
    Of your med schools Exeter is the one that creates the highest PBL 'red alert' as it is so heavily PBL based.

    Make sure you throughly understand what PBL is so that you can talk around the relevance of your work experience at interview (sorry if you already know this):

    At Exeter your PBL group will usually meet 3 times over each fortnight and you will work together in a team to brainstorm on a case presented to you. The case will be relevant to the area of study the syllabus is currently covering starting from conception, covering normal healthy life and reaching death by the end of the first year (then repeating the cycle in the second year but with an illness/pathology theme). Someone from the group will act as scribe and the entire group will work as a team to develop a set of questions that need to be answered in order to develop a good enough understanding of the anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, sociology and psychology (plus the everythingelseology that I've missed off!) of the problem presented. They then go away and work either alone, in PBL subgroups (or with other med students if they prefer as they all do the same case at the same time) to research the answers to those questions. Sometimes they can choose to subdivide the workload and present back to the group, other times they will all cover anything individually. They feedback within their PBL group and, with the support and guidance of a group tutor, they try to establish whether there are any further questions that develop until, by the end of the fortnight they have covered the subject holistically and thoroughly enough to move-on. This is backed-up by lectures, clinical placements and relevant clinical skills learning happening over the same fortnight but the ability to work within a team and to become resourceful in self-directed study is essential. If it is the right learning style for you then it sets you up with many of the skills you need as a future doctor (medicine is obviously a career of teamwork, leadership, lifelong independent learning and fundamental to this is the ability to realise/analyse what you don't know and to understand how to find it out)…

    According to GMC research, students who come through the heaviest PBL med schools are often the ones who are most confident at graduation that they have been trained well and are prepared for the actual job of being a doctor (UEA, Exeter, Plymouth all in top 4 for this question) so the PBL med schools are very proud of this and want to make very sure that students are self-selected to suit the learning-style. Drop-out rates from med school are recorded (and are a waste for everyone concerned) and so all med schools want to be sure that students start the course with their eyes wide open to give them the best chance of completing it.

    My advice would be that in a PBL med school use any opportunity to show that your skills fit the learning method (and you wish to further develop those skills), that you understand how PBL works and that you appreciate its benefits to you as a future doctor. Obviously this is very different in a non-PBL med school so do your research thoroughly before you go to interview...
    Thanks a lot. For Exeter they have MMI now, and I have not yet looked into that interview method yet. So I guess for PBL just show how greatly you work in teams and how you like to self-study essentially, from what I have gathered from my research. Thanks alot again
 
 
 
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