How to answer (MMI) broad ethical questions? (not relating to Medicine) Watch

Username1502
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Hi all,

I've got a Medicine interview (MMI format) tomorrow, and have been particularly struggling with answering broad ethical questions often unrelated to Medicine. These questions may be about encountering a difficult colleague, and courses of action, or even about running into something on the street or in a shop - and what to do?

I can answer medical ethics questions fine (by referring to the 4 pillars that hold medical ethics up) however these more day-to-day situations throw me off as I can't refer to a 'patient's autonomy' for example.

An example of a question i would struggle with:

Joe is a pizza delivery worker. The pizza shop he works for has a 30 minutes or less delivery guarantee or else the customer does not have to pay. On Joe’s most recent delivery, he spots a woman bleeding on the street. There is no one else around and the woman seems to be unable to move by herself. However, Joe knows that if he returns empty handed again, he will be fired from this job which he most desperately needs. What do you think Joe should do? Justify your solution in terms of practical and ethical considerations.

or something like....

You see a colleague on the ward doing something wrong [insert wrongdoings here]. What do you do? Do you report him? How do you approach the situation?

Thanks!
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StationToStation
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Imo it's best to start by just talking the scenario through and saying what the issues are. In the first scenario, the key dilemma is that Joe really needs his job, this woman really needs help and Joe loses his job if he helps her. Joe could just ignore the situation but that wouldn't be a very ethical thing to do as the woman would probably die, or he could stop to help her but that would be really bad for him personally - he might even be unable to feed his kids or something. After talking through the alternatives I'd say that I think Joe should definitely help the woman because even though his job is important we're talking about an actual life-or-death matter here and the woman's need of help should be prioritized. Joe can get another job but the woman would never get another chance. (Plus, you know, it's nice to at least sound like you have some respect for human life at a med school interview.) You could add that after helping the woman (checking her state and calling an ambulance or whatever) Joe should start thinking about ways of keeping his job. He could call his employer, take a picture of the situation to show him or even ask for some proof from the ambulance people. It could be that if the employer understands that the situation actually happened and was serious Joe wouldn't even be fired.

So I'd say that with any scenario you should
1. Talk it through and identify the key issues
2. Identify different options and briefly discuss their pros and cons
3. Choose your option and tell them why you chose it
4. Come up with ways of dealing with the remaining problems.

To be fair I'm not an MMI expert so maybe take this with a pinch of salt - I do have an offer from an MMI uni though so I can't be that bad lol.
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Username1502
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(Original post by StationToStation)
Imo it's best to start by just talking the scenario through and saying what the issues are. In the first scenario, the key dilemma is that Joe really needs his job, this woman really needs help and Joe loses his job if he helps her. Joe could just ignore the situation but that wouldn't be a very ethical thing to do as the woman would probably die, or he could stop to help her but that would be really bad for him personally - he might even be unable to feed his kids or something. After talking through the alternatives I'd say that I think Joe should definitely help the woman because even though his job is important we're talking about an actual life-or-death matter here and the woman's need of help should be prioritized. Joe can get another job but the woman would never get another chance. (Plus, you know, it's nice to at least sound like you have some respect for human life at a med school interview.) You could add that after helping the woman (checking her state and calling an ambulance or whatever) Joe should start thinking about ways of keeping his job. He could call his employer, take a picture of the situation to show him or even ask for some proof from the ambulance people. It could be that if the employer understands that the situation actually happened and was serious Joe wouldn't even be fired.

So I'd say that with any scenario you should
1. Talk it through and identify the key issues
2. Identify different options and briefly discuss their pros and cons
3. Choose your option and tell them why you chose it
4. Come up with ways of dealing with the remaining problems.

To be fair I'm not an MMI expert so maybe take this with a pinch of salt - I do have an offer from an MMI uni though so I can't be that bad lol.
Fab! I'll let you know how it goes!!!
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Username1502
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Also in regards to reporting a colleague - is this a no go?
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StationToStation
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(Original post by Username1502)
Fab! I'll let you know how it goes!!!
Good luck, I'm sure you'll do well! Hmm no I wouldn't mention colleagues in scenarios like this, just the people who happen to be relevant to the particular situation. In this one the only relevant person work-wise seems to be Joe's boss.
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Username1502
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(Original post by StationToStation)
Good luck, I'm sure you'll do well! Hmm no I wouldn't mention colleagues in scenarios like this, just the people who happen to be relevant to the particular situation. In this one the only relevant person work-wise seems to be Joe's boss.
No as in, in another scenario....

So say there was a scenario where you see a fellow employee breach rules, or do something wrong... what should you do?

Steer clear away from reporting them to supervisor right?
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StationToStation
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(Original post by Username1502)
No as in, in another scenario....

So say there was a scenario where you see a fellow employee breach rules, or do something wrong... what should you do?

Steer clear away from reporting them to supervisor right?
It would depend on the situation. Generally speaking you want to get as few people involved as possible but sometimes you'd have to report the person. If it's not that serious (like a fellow junior doctor not taking enough responsibility and making the rest work harder) you'd first talk with them separately and then if it doesn't stop you'd go to eg a senior member of the team. If it's more serious (like a pediatrician looking at child pornography) you'd go report it to someone senior straight away.

// realised that you were probably still talking about non-medicine scenarios. Anyway try solving the issue with the person in question first, and if things don't improve/it's something really serious then go straight to the supervisor. If it's not necessary you should avoid talking about the problem with eg colleagues that are equal in rank to you and can't help with solving the problem.
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