University of Toronto Medicine Interview Questions
General Interview Information
The University of Toronto, School of Medicine uses the Modified Personal Interview (MPI). The MPI consists of four one-to-one interviews assessed by four different, independent interviewers who have a close affiliation with the University’s medical community. These include but are not limited to current medical faculty staff, postgraduate resident trainees, 4th-year medical students and other members of the health profession. Each interview is approximately 12 minutes in length with a break between each. Some parts of the interview are open file, while others are not.
Note: This is not an MMI. Though there are four separate small interviews, there are no prompts on the doors and no role-play scenarios.
The MPI aims to learn more about each applicant and to assess whether or not they possess the competencies necessary to be successful in the University of Toronto’s medical school.
Interviews generally take place in February and March
Recent Interview Questions
Ethical Dilemmas – Interviews which have an ethical focus will require the candidate to assess the broader picture and weigh up the many different aspects of the scenario. They may be of a clinical or non-clinical nature and may be posed as a complete scenario or as a single question, which then leads further into a discussion. Examples which have been used in previous years are as follows:
- You receive the test results for two of your patients, a husband and wife. The test shows that the husband has an STD which you know from a prior consult with him is from an affair. He doesn't want his wife to know of the STD. What do you do?
- You are in your surgical clerkship. A patient expresses (in writing) his wish that his surgery is performed only by the certified surgeon (no residents). In the surgical room preparing for the operation (patient is under anaesthetic at this point), the surgeon arrives and says that he talked with the patient and its ok for the resident to do the work. The resident operates, and in the end, the surgeon asks you to suture the patient. What do you do? After the patient wakes up, you are in his room and he asks you "did Doctor X do the operation all by himself as I asked?" What do you tell the patient? Follow on question: Assume that doctor X (the surgeon) is the physician evaluating you for this clerkship. What would you do now?
- You are assisting in a surgery on a young Jehovah’s Witness patient who does not wish to receive blood products. She is in desperate need of a blood transfusion. What do you do?
- What is your opinion on euthanasia in pets and in people?
- What would you do if you caught someone cheating?
- If I were to give you the final exam before the exam to study from would you take it knowing that you are failing the course and need to pass?
- Describe one past experience where you faced an ethical dilemma and how you dealt with it.
- How do you rationalize concerns about animal rights with an interest in research (i.e. animal testing)?
- What are the ethical issues surrounding carrying out AIDS vaccine trials in Africa?
- How do you feel about Abortion?
Communication Skills – While communication is tested in nearly all interviews that you encounter, one station may be a dedicated interview, which solely assesses this skill. The questions in these interviews may or may not be tied to information in your application. Past questions have included:
- Explain the rules of a sport to me with which you are familiar.
- Can you teach me something?
- If your house was on fire and all your family members were safe, what 3 things would you take with you?
- Explain the difference between a job and a profession.
- You have applied for a grant to do medical work in Africa to combat AIDS. You receive the grant of $5000 and are about to leave. What are your concerns and how will you spend the money?
- Your patient is terminally ill with colon cancer. Demonstrate how you would inform them that they were terminally ill and that their only option was palliative care.
Personal Statement/General – These questions are tailored to the candidate’s application and may seek to clarify aspects of your essay. Know your application file well, as anything from it can be used to form the basis of this interview, regardless of how small or insignificant the item may seem. Examples of past questions have included:
- What is your proudest accomplishment?
- Tell me about yourself
- Who is your role model?
- Why are all the female applicants wearing black suits?
- Why did you choose to wear a colourful scarf?
- Who is one of your mentors and why?
- What is your favourite food?
- Tell me about your travels.
- Give an example of a failure in your life.
- Tell me three strengths and three weaknesses
- What is your favourite book?
- How do you reconcile your very broad range of interests with a career in medicine?
- What would be your greatest gift to your child, if you were to have one?
- Tell us about how you envision your career in the future.
- How did you contribute “X” clubs, both in high school and in university?
- Describe a typical day in your life.
- What is your special talent?
- How will your background in “X” influence you in the future?
- How did you learn to manage your time?
- Are you active on any athletic teams?
- If you weren’t applying to medical school, what would you have placed greater emphasis on in your application?
- How do you deal with stress?
- Describe yourself in one word.
- How do you deal with conflict? Give an example.
- How will you contribute to the program?
- Do you consider yourself to be competitive?
- If you could pick your future med school classmates, what characteristics would they have?
- What led you to the labs you've worked in?
- What is one thing that someone who doesn't like you would say about you?
- What's one thing you would change about yourself?
Motivation and Insight into Medicine – Questions in this topic will investigate the desire of the candidate to pursue medicine and whether this has been a well-considered decision. They will also examine the level of interest and knowledge a candidate has on the issues currently being faced by the medical community, both domestically and internationally. While applicants are not expected to have an in-depth knowledge of these issues, being aware of hot-topics in the media and being to discuss them and suggest potential solutions is highly recommended.
- Why pursue a career in medicine?
- Why study medicine at the University of Toronto?
- What unique contribution can you make to medicine? Why not law, or social work?
- What is your backup plan if you don’t get into medicine?
- If you had to choose between medical school and graduate school, which one would you choose? Why?
- What is your opinion of evidence-based medicine?"
- What role do you see clinical trials playing in your research?
- What makes you think that you are the right candidate for medicine?
- Which professors (especially in this faculty) have influenced you to pursue medical research in this faculty?
- What is wrong with the health care system in Canada today? If you were the minister of health, what would you do to fix one of them?
- What are some flaws in the Canadian health care system? Do you think we should adopt an American-style system?
- How can we recruit physicians to rural areas? Should we reserve some spots in med school for applicants from rural areas?
- Compare the American and Canadian healthcare systems.
- Tell us about a recent Canadian healthcare policy you have been following in the news.
- Is it possible for a general practitioner running a small neighbourhood practice to have access to up-to-date medical technologies?
- How do you think research will help you be a good doctor and vice versa?
- How will you deal with being around unhealthy people all the time?
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