MMI Roleplay Question Example

The MMI roleplay station during a Multiple-min-interview (MMI) in a medical school admissions process is designed to determine if a candidate has particular skills that are required as a doctor such as: interpersonal skills, empathy, ethical reasoning, and problem-solving abilities. This will along with all the other performance scores determine if the medical school will offer the student a place to study medicine and become a doctor.   

During the MMI roleplay station, the student will interact with an actor (possibly a medical student or another admission’s officer) who plays a specific role (e.g., a patient, a patient’s family member, or a colleague). The scenario presented is rarely straightforward with a clear answer but rather a situation which allows the student to demonstrate skills in communication , empathy, and also the opportunity to showcase the ability to handle sensitive issues professionally. Some universities provide you with a brief beforehand, outlining the context of the scenario and your role in it.

Example Roleplay MMI Question:

You are a 3rd-year medical student working under the supervision of a senior. You are observing a patient who is suffering from end-stage cancer. These patients do not recover much, and death is almost inevitable in such cases. Treatment in such cases can only delay and prolong death. The doctor has advised the treatment, but the patient has asked to stop the treatment against the doctor’s advice. The patient’s daughter is here to meet with you because the senior doctor is busy with an emergency call. She says that the senior doctor should continue with the treatment during the meeting and not do what the patient has asked. Explain how to respond to the situation?


MMI Roleplay Response

A typical response which may be problematic is to jump into the situation and start explaining the solution without firstly trying to understand what the next of kin actually wants. Promising things and making statements that outside of the role may even raise a red flag with the assessor.

A much better response would take into consideration the daughter’s emotions which would also be given more importance that the patient’s illness, treatment and diagnosis. It’s clear the daughter accepts the imminent loss of her father and is going through a rough emotional patch. Being in the role the interviewee should show empathy and ask why she is making her request – through active listening and further questioning further information should be gleaned to produce a more effective interpersonal responses. Furthermore, the fact that you are a student should be conveyed and that it is not the student’s duty to make such decisions. Also you could say that the patient is autonomous and can make his own decisions. You may even suggest a meeting with a social or pallative care worker. It needs to be clear to the daughter that your primary duty is the patient’s welfare, and you are his well-wisher.

To do really well in the MMI Roleplay station during your medical school entrance interview, focus on demonstrating empathy, effective communication, and problem-solving skills. Always a good idea to carefully read the scenario to understand the context and objectives. If the scenario isn’t given before hand make sure you ask any clarification questions. Once the roleplay starts actively listen and respond to the actor’s concerns showing compassion and clarity. Use non-verbal cues to show empathy but at all times maintain a professional demeanor, and clearly explain any necessary information without using technical or medical jargon. The actor may be trying put you under pressure so stay calm at all times. Keep in mind ethical considerations, and understand where you limits lie referring action to a senior when appropriate for the role you are given. Once you’ve completed the role play make sure to reflect on your performance identifying strengths and areas for improvement which you need to work on. Taking this approach will showcase the interpersonal and professional skills that medical schools are looking for in future doctors.    


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