The MMI (Multiple Mini Interview) is a crucial part of the Aston Medical School application process.
UPDATE: MMIs during COVID
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all MMIs for 2021 entry year will take place online using a suitable platform. Details for MMIs for 2022 entry are yet to be determined.
An overview of the MMI process and why we believe it is the best way to select tomorrow's doctors from Dr Afshan Ahmad, Aston Medical School Admissions Lead.
What is an MMI and why do medical schools use them?
MMI stands for Multiple Mini Interviews. Medical Schools have traditionally used formal panel interviews as part of their selection process. This would involve a panel of three or four people asking the candidate questions about their personal statement, motivation for studying medicine and so on. It was felt that this method of selecting students did not assess the candidate’s full range of abilities and so many Medical Schools have begun to use MMIs instead. MMIs allow us Medical Schools to see if a candidate has the personal attributes to become a safe, competent and caring doctor who is able to play a full role in whichever health system they choose. We are looking for applicants who are well rounded individuals with the ability to cope with an intensive course and a demanding career.
How does the MMI process work at Aston Medical School?
During an MMI you will encounter a number of different stations. This may be between seven and ten. Each station will test a different aspects of you (see the section below on “what does Aston Medical School look for at the MMI”).
Some stations may involve actors which you will interact with, or you may be given a scenario to read and then discuss with the assessor. You will be scored on each station and then the score will be added up. As a number of different people have assessed you and they are assessing your qualities, we feel that this makes it fairer than a panel interview. It also means that if for example you panic during one station and do not do so well, it can be compensated by doing well in other stations.
We have consulted doctors, other healthcare workers, academics, students and patients to work out the qualities that we should be looking for and so we believe that our MMIs will enable us to select candidates who will become great doctors. These qualities also map to the General Medical Council’s guidelines for the qualities in a doctor.
What does Aston Medical School look for at the MMI?
The kind of things that we will be looking for in the MMI are qualities such as:
- Oral and written communication skills
- Listening skill
- Empathy, compassion, respect and dignity
- Emotional intelligence
- Problem solving
- Team working
- Being able to lead as well as follow
- Knowing your limitations and knowing when to ask for help.
You will not be tested on medical knowledge. When writing the scenarios for the MMIs we take in to consideration the typical ages and situations of our applicants, so we would not expect you to have detailed medical knowledge.
Where will the MMI take place?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all our MMIs will take place online using a suitable platform. The format of the interviews will be the same as face to face MMIs where candidates will complete a circuit of 8 to 9 stations, each testing different qualities. There will be stations where the assessor will discuss a scenario, observe the candidate’s interaction with an actor or ask a number of questions around a given topic.
We are aware that some candidates may not have a quiet space or appropriate equipment to undertake an MMI and we would like to reassure these applicants that we will work with them to find alternative space, possibly at Aston University, COVID-19 permitting.
When will the MMI take place?
The MMIs normally take place between December and March in your year of application. Applicants who rank high enough to be called for interview will receive an invitation with a number of dates to select from. A time for the MMI to take place will then be allocated for the applicant.
What other resources are available?
The Medical School Council, the council body representatives for UK medical schools, have put together more information on preparing for medical school interviews. To access you will need to register with the council, which is a free service.