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Here is some advice we have been forwarded by Dashi Alpion, Careers Adviser, Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, on how to prepare for the NHS STP (Scientist Training Programme). Our thanks to Dashi for this. 

The format of the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) includes: 4 stations; 4 questions at each station; 10 minutes per station and 2-minute rest in between each station.

  •  To prepare for General Science station, students need to read recent scientific news articles; subscribe to journals or scientific blogs; listen to podcasts and revise research methods.
  • For the Specialism Specific station, interviewees have to think about the role they would be going into; to look at the curricula for their specialism on the NSHCS website and demonstrate motivation and passion for the specialism they have chosen.

Having awareness of the following maybe helpful:

  • Scientific basis of techniques/procedures
  • Diseases and health conditions
  • What are the current developments, topical issues?
  • To prepare for the Values and Behaviour station, they must read the NHS constitution and have examples to demonstrate each value (improving lives; compassion; everyone counts; respect and dignity; commitment to quality of care; and working together for patients).

Please note that these examples do not have to be patient focused! They can use examples from University projects or work experience.

The following examples may help them understand the context and think about how to demonstrate the NHS values:

  • How would you explain the scientific aspects of your work- for example interpret test results- to an anxious patient, who has no background in science, on a busy ward?
  • Improving Lives – is a NHS value that emphasises a core function of the NHS and innovation is central to improvement.
  • Tell me about a time when you have found a new way to approach a task or made a suggestion that improved practice?
  • What are your expectations from the STP?
  •  To do well at the Leadership and Management station, they need to prepare examples to fit with the characteristics of leadership and management (empathy; consistency; communication; flexibility; direction; honesty and conviction): http://www.leadership-toolbox.com/characteristic-of-leadership.html.  For most specialisms, teamwork is very important, and as such, preparing examples of how to work well within a multidisciplinary healthcare team would be very helpful.

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