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Interview

Assessing your personal qualities

Your interview is scheduled on either a Saturday or a Sunday and will take place at either the Halifax or Saint John campus. The scheduled interview will run for approximately two hours.

All interviews are completed using the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format. In the MMI, applicants move between interview "stations" in a 10-station circuit. Each station lasts 8 minutes and there is a 2-minute break between stations.

At each station, applicants interact with or are observed by a single rater. The stations are designed to assess the applicant's personal qualities, such as problem solving, thinking on your feet, leading, balance, compassion, motivation, critical thinking, awareness of societal health issues, communication skills and ethics. Scientific knowledge is not assessed.

Practice makes perfect:

Use these practice MMI questions to help prepare for your interivew:

1. Placebo (ethical decision making)  

Dr. Cheung recommends homeopathic medicines to his patients. There is no scientific evidence or widely accepted theory to suggest that homeopathic medicines work, and Dr. Cheung doesn't believe them to. He recommends homeopathic medicine to people with mild and non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and muscle aches because he believes that it will do no harm, but will give them reassurance.

Consider the ethical problems that Dr. Cheung's behavior might pose. Discuss these issues with the interviewer.

2. Class Size (critical thinking)

Universities are commonly faced with the complicated task of balancing the educational needs of their students with the cost required to provide learning resources to a large number of individuals. As a result of this tension, there has been much debate regarding the optimal size of classes. One side argues that smaller classes provide a more educationally effective setting for students, while others argue that it makes no difference, so larger classes should be used to minimize the number of instructors required.

Discuss your opinion on this issue with the examiner.

3. Standard Interview (personal)

What experiences have you had (and what insights have you gained from these experiences) that lead you to believe you would be a good physician? Discuss this question with the interviewer.

4. Parking Garage (communication skills)

The parking garage at your place of work has assigned parking spots. On leaving your spot, you are observed by the garage attendant as you back into a neighbouring car, a BMW, knocking out its left front headlight and denting the left front fender. The garage attendant gives you the name and office number of the owner of the neighbouring car, telling you that he is calling ahead to the car owner Tim. The garage attendant tells you that Tim is expecting your visit.

Enter Tim's office. What would you say? How would you act?

5. Preferential Admission (knowledge of the health care system)

Due to the shortage of physicians in rural communities such as those in Northern Ontario, it has been suggested that medical programmes preferentially admit students who are willing to commit to a two or three year tenure in an under-serviced area upon graduation.

Consider the broad implications of this policy for health and health care costs. For example, do you think the approach will be effective? At what expense? Discuss this issue with the interviewer.