About Sunderland Medical School
Sunderland University's Medical School is encompassing, innovative and modern.
It adopts Keele medical school's curriculum and introduces a highly integrated course and PBL centred learning, giving us early exposure to clinical scenarios.
As a very new medical school, cohorts are smaller than other established medical schools and therefore we have amazing and supportive staff across the medical school as well as smaller groups for classes to receive more focused learning during discussions.
MMI or Panel?
Sunderland conducts an MMI with 8 stations 5 minutes each. Numeracy test (30mins) may happen before or after (depends on group).
What to expect on interview day?
Some stations are interactive, some are 1-2-1 and 1 station is a video station. There are whistles blown to indicate when to enter/exit the room and when you have a minute or two left. The interview lasts around 1.5-2 hours in total. Dress smart.
Usually people residing in the North will have interviewers first/around December with everyone else in January/Feb.
Interviewers are very nice, and will prompt you as well as ask follow up questions. There were a few follow up questions but nothing threw me off guard. Every station was fairly typical and what you would have expected after reading the instructions before starting. There was a variety of both predetermined questions and more random questions
What to expect after the interview?
Some people hear back within a month but this varies between candidates.
Check out the MMI video on the website.
Look over your Roles and Responsibility form before your interview.
The questions for the numeracy test are harder than they will be in the actual exam.
Read the GMC guidelines and stay up to date with the news.
Remember they test for Motivation/experiences informing your decision to pursue a medical career, Empathy and insight, Responsibilities and challenges of being a doctor, Awareness of ethical issues in health and society, Resilience, Comprehension and Effective communication.
The interview will include discussing your personal statement so it’s vital you go through it before.
Example interview questions
You will most likely be asked about why you want to study medicine and more importantly why you would choose Sunderland.
There was a station on medical ethics and this will usually test ethical issues within the field and in society, sometimes will have a religious stance as well as a financial one for example with religion or the effect it may have on the NHS. Usually a video station.
At Sunderland there is a station assessing the Roles and Responsibilities aspect of your application where you may have spoken about how work experience has helped your decision in applying for medical school and the skills you have learnt.
Awareness of other staff within the NHS is important to appreciate, for example acknowledge the hard work and effort of nurses and therapists. Also be aware of financial implications and effects of that on the NHS, what may be the right thing may not be the most financially helpful
There was one station on current affairs and if anything is relevant to the current pandemic situation e.g. anti-vaxxers vs vaxxers
Alongside MMIs there is a numeracy test, testing your ability of drug calculation and maths. These range from simple calculation such as converting between % to fraction to decimals to calculating a dosage for a patient
There were a few roleplay stations that involved us interacting with a PCPI testing skills of empathy, listening, resilience and communication
Unique selling points of the university
Sunderland Medical School introduces clinical exposure very early on as a student from communication skills with PCPIs to GP placement right from 1st Year. This shapes medical students to be more well rounded and have a taste of what it is like practising as a clinician and as a scholar. Being a new medical school means there is the latest technology being used for teaching such as Anatomage for Anatomy, this helps us have a more 3D view of the human body without the need for dissection which is a different style of teaching we have all experienced.
Sunderland is a very quiet city but also has very good transportation links to bigger cities such as Durham and Newcastle (30mins on train). City Campus (where most to all of the medical course is taught) is located within the City Centre. Scotia Quay (which is where most/all medical students reside and is FREE for 1st Year Medics) is only a 15-minute walk from City Campus and sees over River Wear as well as Roker/Seaburn Beach a short distance from accommodation. There are so many societies that can be signed up to from Netball to American Football to Pole Dancing and even a MedSoc and newly found Surgical Soc. On City Campus you will also find Murray Library (open 24hrs) and CitySpace (gym) and the Studio (cafe).
With a small cohort and all medics being housed in Scotia Quay, you build great relationships with your peers and flatmates whilst being at accommodation, making it easier to knock on your flatmates door to ask a medical related question! Although you may not live with non-medics, you are surrounded by other medical students who understand and appreciate the work-life balance that you have, so it helps having supportive people to be around and live with too. Societies are an amazing way to meet people from other courses and build friendships - there are so many socials organised by societies there is always something going on around you!
Despite being in a pandemic, MedSoc arranged many events from educational talks by external speakers to the renowned Christmas Quiz, involving the staff too! You also have medic parents so making friends with the year above isn't as daunting and always have someone to go to if you need any advice. With the current cohort I am looking forward to what they have to bring to the table as things begin to ease with the pandemic. If you ever want to know more about the MedSoc at Sunderland you can check them out on Facebook and Instagram.