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Key Words and Phrases in Medical Interviews

Updated: May 5, 2020

By Hithin Noble

Documents to Read before the Interview

- GMC Good Medical Practice for Medical Students.

- GMC Tomorrow’s Doctor.

- Introducing the 6C’S- NHS England.

- NHS Behind the Headlines.

- Medical Ethics- A Very Short Introduction- Michael Dunn and Tony Hope.

- NHS Long-Term Plan

- Confidentiality Guidelines- Gillick Competence and Fraser Guidelines

- The Medical School website/ Local Health News- BBC (this can even be done on the morning of your interview).

Buzzwords and Phrases


Multi-Disciplinary Team


Manual Dexterity



Responsibility/ Probity

Duty of Candour

Cadaveric Dissection

Problem- Based Learning/ Integrated/ Traditional


Medical Elective

Critical Thinking

Work-life Balance

Intellectual Curiosity

Life-long Learning Potential





Confidentiality/ Informed Consent


Health- Care Inequalities

Public Health Campaigns

Patient Rapport


Multi-faceted Profession





Self- Improvement


Proficient Communication Skills(oral/written)

Primary/ Secondary Healthcare

Evidence- Based Medicine


Patient Dignity


‘Do no harm’ – Hippocrates



Maintain trust in the profession





Core Medical/ Surgical Training

Good Listener

Open-minded/objective thinking

This isn’t a conclusive list, but certainly something that you shouldn’t do is just regurgitate these words, because that won’t gain any marks from the interviewers. You need to really show you truly understand what each means to you, and why they are important to you as a medical student. To demonstrate this, you need to show that you have reflected upon your experiences: this doesn’t just have to be shadowing a clinical healthcare professional. Work alongside other members of the multidisciplinary team, volunteer at your hospice or local youth centre, or attend a medical awareness course. Try and do a large range of activities to truly show a wider appreciation to what it means to go to medical school, and demonstration of your commitment towards medicine.

These are the other things you should do before your interview:

- Have an understanding of the basic history and structure of the NHS, and awareness of terms such as Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

- Knowledge of the clinical training pathway that a doctor can go through. Appreciate that medical students don’t just have to be clinicians in the NHS, they can be academic researchers, lecturers, military medics just to name a few.

- Show that you have done research into the major medical advancements, such as the discovery of IVF, and where, in your opinion, the most exciting research is happening within the medical field. This could be from the use of gene therapy to cure HIV, or the applicability of embryonic stem cells to cure Type 1 Diabetes. The lists are endless and it is really a chance to show your enthusiasm.

- Show that you understand what the current topics are to affect the NHS/medicine and be able to discuss the views of different stakeholders, as well as your own.

- Understand the roles of the different organisations, such as the GMC, BMJ and NICE.

Good luck with your interviews and if you have any further questions, head over to the Scrubbed Up Forum!

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