At the start at the seminar we were told about the different types of interviews that could occur, this included the MMI – multiple mini interviews. Most universities are now implementing the multiple mini interviews. MMI’s include 5-10 stations, spending approximately 10 minutes on each station with some including role play. The role play station is mainly to show that you are caring and empathetic as person which to become a doctor is a must.
In addition to a-levels there are admission tests that you have to take to be able to do a medicine, dentistry or veterinary course. These tests are the UKCAT test and BMAT test. Which of these tests you take is dependent on which university you apply to. At this conference we were told about ‘kaplan’ a website which prepares you for these tests in various methods depending on what you choose. The main focus was the UKCAT test as this is what most universities require. So we were given a walk through some questions from the sections by a medical student. The medical student explained to us that with these test you can’t revise as much but rather prepare by doing practise questions with a time limit. This is because the main hurdle of these tests are finishing all the questions in the time given. Here’s the link to this resource:
After a break there was representatives from two universities outside of the UK which offers the medicine course. The two universities that was discussed about was St George’s University in Grenada and the Humanitas University in Italy, Milan. Listening to the representatives made me consider pursuing higher education outside of the UK and how it would be a great experience meeting people from all over the world, maybe learning a new language as well as fulfilling my wish of living outside the UK for some years.
Towards the end of the seminar we had an inspirational talk geared towards writing a personal statement that clearly displays your passion to do medicine. We were encouraged to think about three things that are interesting and different to why you want to become a doctor. Three things that will make your personal statement personal and unique. Once you have thought of those three things share it with your friend and family, see if it makes them intrigued and so when you go to an interview you’ll have something different to talk about that will make you ‘stand out’ from the rest of the applicants.
When mentioning any relevant work experience write more about what you have learned from the experience rather than what you did. Talk about how it made you feel, what it made you think and the skills you acquired. There’s no point in rattling on about what you did if you’re not showing how it has impacted you on decision to become a doctor, whether it be negative or positive!
Your interests and hobbies you do out of school is another factor that comes into play in the personal statement. Many of you would be thinking what’s the importance in this, but many medical schools want to see an all-round student, someone who can interact with people as in the medical field you would have a lot contact with people; be it patients or staff. Anything that shows from teamwork skills to just showing that you’re not just all work and no play is desirable but not compulsory.
This is also where I got the idea of starting a blog/website about my journey to becoming a doctor. By having a blog/website documenting it all it will show that you are dedicated to pursue the career and as I have found it also works as a motivator keeping track of all your progress. In your personal statement you could include the link to your blog/website so anything you weren’t able to include in your personal statement due to the word limit.