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How will medical and dental schools use interviews? Here’s a summary

How-will-Medical-Schools-use-Interviews1-NS

So, you’ve completed your UCAT and now you’re working hard to achieve high grades. But what about your medical interview? Medical interviews are perhaps the most under-recognised part of the medical entry admissions process. Highly able students who have excelled in their UCAT and ATAR have unfortunately missed out on a place in medicine due to failure to understand and prepare for interviews.

Each university uses medical interviews differently, and it can be confusing. Here is a summary:

Course

How are students selected for interview?

Type of interview

Interview themes

How are students selected for a place?

Adelaide University

(Medicine & Dentistry)

Based on UCAT

MMI

Personal skills and abilities Motivation and self-awareness

Critical thinking and problem solving

Attention to detail and professional behaviour

Interpersonal and communication skills

Prioritising, integrity and conscientiousness

Aptitude for group learning and teamwork

Compatibility and understanding of the degree and applicable health profession

20% UCAT

40% interview

40% ATAR

Auckland University

Medicine

Based on GPA

MMI

Personal skills and abilities Teamwork

Social responsibility

Commitment to the study and practice

Empathy and sensitivity

Communication skills

Fluency in English

A strong academic background in sciences

Knowledge of NZ's communities and cultures

Awareness of health needs and community issues

Awareness of the nature of the health profession

Variety of abilities and interests

15% UCAT

25% interview

GPA 60%

Curtin University

Medicine

Based on UCAT + ATAR

MMI

Personal skills and abilities Communication

Critical thinking and problem solving

Ethical decision making

Rural vs urban care

Professional behaviour

ATAR

Interview score

James Cook University

Medicine

Based on responses on written application

Panel

Personal skills and abilities Communication and critical analysis skills

Advocacy and ethical reasoning

Empathetic reasoning

Teamwork and collaboration skills

Tropical medicine knowledge

Motivation to study medicine

Understanding of rural and remote health issues

ATAR

Written application

Interview

Monash University

Medicine

Based on UCAT + ATAR

MMI

Personal skills and abilities Motivation

Communication skills

Critical thinking

Ethical reasoning

Empathic reasoning

Teamwork and collaboration

Advocacy

33% UCAT

33% Interview*

33% ATAR

Newcastle University

UNE

Medicine

100% UCAT

MMI

Personal skills and abilities Capacity to thrive within the Joint Medical Program learning environment

Ability to make every day and important decisions affecting yourself and others, often without certainty about the outcome

Interpersonal and communication skills

Degree of personal desire and driving force to be a doctor

Interview + PQA

University of New South Wales

Medicine

Based on UCAT + ATAR

Semi – structured panel

Communication skills

Motivation for medicine

Empathy

Personal skills and abilities

Self-awareness

Voluntary / work experience

Teamwork

Hobbies

33% UCAT

33% Interview

33% ATAR

University of

Queensland (including CQU pathway)

UCAT

MMI

Commitment to medicine

Teamwork

Personal skills and abilities

Communication skills

Your opinion on various healthcare policies

Ethical reasoning

ATAR 25%

UCAT 25%

Interview 50%

University of Western

Australia

(Medicine & Dentistry)

100% UCAT (once academic threshold met)

MMI

Commitment to medicine

Communication skills

Personal skills and abilities

Values and Ethics

Working with others

Providing and receiving assistance

Trustworthiness

Self-awareness

Cultural competence

33% UCAT

33% Interview

33% ATAR

Western Sydney 
University

/

Charles Sturt University

Medicine

100% UCAT (once academic threshold met)

MMI

Motivation for medicine

Decision making

Personal skills and abilities

Teamwork

Ethics

Cultural awareness

UCAT + Interview (greater emphasis on interview)

University of Sydney (Medicine & Dentistry) ATAR Panel discussion plus written component

Motivation to pursue double degree

Interest in research

Interview is used to 'select-out' rather than 'select-in'.

ATAR
Bond University GPA/ATAR and Psychometric assessment MMI

Motivation for studying at Bond

Knowledge and critical thinking

Leadership

Initiative

Teamwork

Communication skills

Responsibility

Interview score
Griffith University Dentistry UCAT MMI

Motivation for dentistry

Teamwork

Communication and empathy

Ethics and social awareness

Critical thinking.

20% UCAT, 40% each for ATAR/GPA and MMI score
Charles Sturt University Dentistry UCAT score (if not a CSU student) Panel

Motivation for a career in dentistry

Commitment to rural and regional dental practice

Problem solving

Decision making

Spatial awareness skills

Interview score

* At Monash, you only have one chance at the medical interview. That is, if you’re invited to an interview but are unsuccessful in obtaining a place, when you reapply the following year the same interview score will be used.

Note: Please ensure you check the relevant university website for the latest information, as changes occur frequently and without notice.

As you can see from the above table, interviews are vitally important, being weighted at between 25% and 100% when making the final decision regarding which students will be admitted into medicine!

Remember, universities are not just looking for academically bright students (as important as that is), they want students who can show they are highly motivated to be doctors, have good teamwork skills, excellent communication skills, are empathetic and understand wider healthcare issues. 

Have you developed strategies that will allow you to demonstrate your qualities effectively? Do you know the questions that will arise at your medical interview? Do you have a solid understanding of what the interviewers are looking for? If not, you need to start preparing!

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