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Teamwork Station 6
As a group, discuss the following:
'The Secretary of State for Health should always be a present or past healthcare professional'
How to succeed in the teamwork station
- Refer to colleagues by their name – At the start of the session, take a minute to remember each (or as many as possible) of your colleagues names. Referring to your colleague by their preferred name will not only build rapport and respect, but will also demonstrate a professional approach to examiners and interviewers.
- Demonstrate ‘active listening’ – The best candidates will not only offer good suggestions, but will also acknowledge suitable input from others eg. ‘That’s a really good point Simon and I can see that working very well, especially if……’
- Think before you speak – It is common for students to feel pressure to offer input and thus speak before considering what they are suggesting. Before offering input, ask yourself ‘Will this point add to what has already been said?’ and ‘Would I approve if another student mentioned this point? If the answer to either question is no, take a deep breath…and think of your next point
- Remember you are in an interview – In contrast to other interview stations, the interviewers often take a back seat in these stations in an attempt to offer candidates a false sense of relaxation. It is essential that you do not lower your guard and act in a way that you would not deem suitable for a medical student or medical professional. Interviewers are often paying closer attention to verbal and non-verbal behaviour in these stations than they are in one-to-one MMI settings.
- Avoid confrontation – However much you disagree with a point made by a colleague, it is essential to avoid confrontation in the team interview task. You are welcome to offer opposing input, however ensure that you avoid raising your voice or aggressive posturing as this will reflect badly on you.
Arguments in favour:
- Having previously worked in healthcare, they would likely have a better understanding of the challenges being faced and the changes required, compared to the majority of politicians who have non-healthcare backgrounds.
- Health professionals may be more motivated to implement changes recommended by a fellow health professional compared to those recommended by a long-term politician
- In general, society are more trusting of healthcare professionals than politicians, hence they may be more likely to trust the policies implemented by the Health Minister who is a former healthcare professional.
Arguments to the contrary
- The implementation of such a policy limits the number of people who are eligible to take on the role, thus potentially missing out on a large number of candidates.
- Where do you draw the line? Should the Agricultural Minister have to be a former farmer? Should the Education Minister have to be a former teacher?
- Implementing policy in an area is very different to working in that sector. Whilst many healthcare professionals are very aware of the challenges faced in healthcare provision, implementing policies to address these challenges on a national scale requires a wider financial and political awareness, which many healthcare professionals do not presently have.