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Spencer Academies Trust hosts mock MMI day for Sixth Form students

Students from Arnold Hill Spencer Academy, Derby Moor Spencer Academy, George Spencer Academy, Heanor Gate Spencer Academy and John Port Spencer Academy sat for practice interviews in preparation for their medical school applications.

Twenty-two students from five sixth forms across Spencer Academies Trust attended a mock MMI event to help them prepare for their applications to medical school.

Event organisers set up six stations that reflect the types of multiple mini interviews (MMIs) which aspiring doctors sit as part of their application to medical schools. Students practised data interpretation, roleplaying exercises, verbal communication and exploring issues relating to the NHS to give them practical experience that will support their future endeavours.

“The day is designed to mimic the multi mini style interviews that Medical schools now use,” explained Susan Sharp, Executive Director of Post-16. “Our students faced 6 differing stations including role plays, all designed to test knowledge and skills including empathy and communication. Having a practising doctor to help us interview really added authenticity and genuine insight to the day. Students got the chance to practise and prepare for the real interviews, giving them extra support through a competitive process.”

Participants expressed great enthusiasm for and satisfaction with the experience. “You got to see what it’d actually be like instead of going in blind,” said Malaika, who attends Derby Moor Spencer Academy Sixth Form. Hassan, also from Derby Moor, echoed, “You can look at example interviews on YouTube but you can’t understand until you experience it yourself.”

Other students highlighted the importance of being put on the spot: “It was really nice to see how I’d react in that scenario,” Emilia, from Arnold Hill Spencer Academy, said of the roleplay exercise, in which interviewees were asked to roleplay a doctor explaining a difficult situation to their patient (played by Ms Sharp).

The mock MMIs offered the twin benefit of both helping students identify what they needed to work on, as well as building confidence ahead of the potentially nerve-wracking real-life interviews. By hosting a collaborative event with several Trust academies, organisers were able to pair students with staff members they didn’t already know from their own sixth forms, further contributing to the realism of the practice interviews.

“We are so proud to count these driven and empathetic young people among our students,” Ms Sharp said. “It’s our mission to provide the best possible opportunities for them, and today’s event was a great success to that end. We are pleased to be growing the doctors of the future.”