Which publications should I read?
Make sure you stick to authoritative publications, like New Scientist, Scientific Americanor the NHS website. To keep up to date with news regularly, we publish a weekly medical news summary blog – and BBC Health is a good resource.
Apart from articles, it’s crucial that you put aside some time to read the GMC’s Good Medical Practice and Tomorrow’s Doctors before your interview. Not only will this provide valuable insight into good practice (and inform your answers during your interview), it will also help you to speak with more authority on aspects of Medicine using key terms.
Which aspects of an article should I talk about?
When asked a question such as ‘Can you tell me about an interesting article you’ve read recently?’, you may be wondering which parts of the article you should tell your interviewers about – so here are a few pieces of advice!
Firstly, summarise the article – you should be able to do this in a few sentences. You should then be able to talk about why you find it interesting or exciting – so make sure your enthusiasm shows! For example, is it about an area of Medicine you’re especially interested in? Does the article tie into an NHS Hot Topic? Is it a huge development in Medicine with the potential to improve patients’ lives? Does it touch on the 7-Day NHS or does it detail new developments in PrEP provision?
If the article is about a new piece of research, you can summarise the article in the following way: what was the research? What was the method and what was the outcome? What interested you about it?
Your interviewers may also ask you follow up questions, so don’t worry about being excessively detailed. In the follow-up questions, you might want to talk about why the research is especially significant and how it may affect clinical practice and patients’ lives. When you’re doing your reading, it might also be a good idea to look up some research that the medical school itself has conducted.
Reading these kinds of medical articles will also help for other kinds of questions – for example, if you’re asked about the 7-Day NHS or mental health, you could mention an interesting article you’d recently read as part of your answer. Wider reading will help you throughout your interview!
Top 3 tips:
Have articles prepared
Before your interview, it’s crucial that you have a few articles ready to discuss, so pick these out beforehand and practice explaining them to a friend or family member. Read around them so you have an awareness of how the article fits into the wider debate or other research. For example, does the research follow on from previous studies? What were the key events that led up to the debate?
Discuss articles and research with friends
Practice talking about articles with your friends – and let them ask you questions about the topic! You should be able to explain research and articles in a few sentences, so practice doing this to consolidate your knowledge. If you find yourself stumbling, this might indicate you need to go over the piece again, or do some background reading.
Talk about what you’ve read
This may be obvious, but don’t say you’ve read something when you haven’t – follow-up questions on the intricacies of private healthcare will not be fun!