7 Ethics Terms You Must Know for an MMI
Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)
Biomedical ethics stations do not have to be scary if you know some basic ethics concepts. Understanding the following 5 principles and 2 models will help you to succeed in your medical school interviews and to make ethical decisions as a doctor.
“Everyone has a duty to advance the good of others if it is possible to do so without undue risk to oneself.”1 This is what doctors aim to do – provide beneficial treatment to help each individual. It is important to note what counts as “advancing the good of an individual” is always relative to that individual’s values, not the treating physician’s.
Following beneficence, the principle of non-maleficence states everyone has a duty to prevent harm to others. Often this is abbreviated to: Do no harm. Again, what counts as harm is subjective and relative to the values of the recipient, not those of the health care professionals.
Justice and Equality
These ethical principles state persons who have similar circumstances and conditions should be treated alike. Equality may not necessarily mean two people should be treated exactly the same – it means people should be treated equitably, taking into account ethically relevant differences. In healthcare, these concepts are often applied to scarce resource distribution.
“All persons are autonomous beings worthy of respect, and as such have a fundamental right to self-determination that is limited only by unjust infringement on the rights of others.”1
In a healthcare sense, autonomy means all competent patients are self-determining decision-makers. Accordingly, they have the right to accept or decline any health care intervention. This concept is absent in paternalistic health care models, which will be discussed next.
In a paternalistic health care system, expertise confers authority, meaning doctors have ultimate power to make all treatment decisions for patients. While these decisions are made in the best interest of the patient, this model violates autonomy and ignores the requirement for informed consent. The paternalistic model was prevalent historically and is still used in some countries; It is not how modern medicine is practiced in North America.
Fiduciary is Latin for trust. In the fiduciary model, the physician and patient trust each other and the autonomy of patients is balanced against the expertise of physicians.1 What this means is this model respects the physician-patient power differential yet allows the patient’s values to direct any health care intervention. This model is the contemporary standard for ethical health care.
Once you have an understanding of these principles, it is essential to practice applying them to practice scenarios. Note I purposefully directed you to understand these 7 terms instead of just know them. It is less important to use these actual terms in your answers than to properly apply their concepts to the station’s prompt.
At MedApplications, our expert MMI coaches are doctors who face real-life ethical decisions daily. They are the ultimate resource in preparing you for the toughest MMI scenarios. Check out our packages that include full length mock MMIs and comprehensive feedback here.
1Kluge, Eike-Henner W. 2013. Ethics in Health Care: A Canadian Focus. Ed. 1. Pearson, Toronto.
START YOUR APPLICATION TODAY!
Our Application Consultants
Our Consultants specialize in your medical school application.
We work with you every step of the way as your personal medical coach. With first-hand experience as practicing medical doctors we know what it takes to achieve success in the medical school admissions process. During application crunch time, we work round the clock to ensure your application is completed to the highest of competitive standards. Find Out More About MedApplications
Our Medical Coaches pride ourselves on offering a premium service by leading physicians in medical school preparation. However, if you do not find your consultation useful, or feel that the consultant is not a great fit, you must let your consultant know at the conclusion of your first consultation or review, prior to finishing and we will contact you to arrange another complimentary session or review with a new consultant. See Terms and Conditions
Get On The Inside Track
Jess B (2018)
Accepted to UWO Medicine (MD/PhD)
I enrolled with Med Applications one month before my first interview. I had been preparing for interviews by reading books and discussing questions with friends and family, but I was still nervous and didn’t really know what to expect. I felt so much more comfortable after my session with MedApplications. My instructor was very knowledgeable and catered the session to what I needed work on (as I had both panel and MMI interviews, this was particularly beneficial). It was very useful to cover topics with someone who knew what to expect from an interview and could comment on the quality of my answers. All together the experience was extremely helpful and very reassuring; it significantly calmed my nerves during my interviews. There weren’t any questions I was surprised by in my interviews. I would definitely recommend a session for future students.
McGill Medicine (MD)
“MedApplications helped me with both my essay preparation which brought me to the big interview and with interview preparation. MedApplication's services provided me with not only an insight of how to tailor an application to bring out the best of my ability but it also gave me the confidence I needed to survive the MMIs.
O uf T, UBC, McMaster
"I used MedApplications mock interview service because I wanted to practice and receive feedback from a current medical student. I found the mock interview helpful in identifying weaknesses in my answers and improving on them to make them stand out. I would recommend MedApplications to anyone who wants extra preparation to gain confidence for medical school interviews."
U of A
"I went into my first MedApplications session without a clue about what MMI's were or how to prepare for them. After meeting and practising with Eric and Kent, however, I learned all of the tips and skills I needed to ace the interview. They were incredibly knowledgeable and encouraging and their help gave me that extra boost of confidence on interview day. Thanks MedApplications!"
University of Ottawa Medicine
“I was accepted at Ottawa which was my ideal school and my only interview. Josh was absolutely wonderful and definitely part of my success! He was very helpful throughout the entire process 🙂
Mother of a High School student for a Pre-Med program
“Hi MedApplications, just to let you know that Isabelle got an offer from University of London St. George’s College. The competition this year was quite challenging. We would like to thank you and Sarah for your contribution to this achievement. Your services are excellent. Please count us among satisfied clients.”
Matthew L. (Class of 2018)
McMaster University Medicine
"I used the MedApplications seminar and mock interview services before I had my interviews at Queen's and McMaster medical schools, and I couldn't be happier with my decision. Their seminars were incredibly helpful in providing information about the interview process and ways to truly emphasize your best qualities in an interview. Their mock interview session was great as well as it gave me an opportunity to practice my interviewing style with a current medical student! If you are looking for a way to prepare for an interview as important as the ones for medical school, I would definitely recommend MedApplications."