University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

MMI Frequently Asked Question

Please note that the Admissions office is unable to answer questions about the MMI. The following is provided to help applicants invited for interview to prepare for their MMI day. 

Q:  Will I get confirmation of my MMI time and date from the Admissions office?
A:  No.  We use UCAN for scheduling purposes.  If UCAN says you have an interview spot at a particular date and time, we see the same thing, and will be expecting you then.

Q:  Who will be assessing me at the MMI?
A:  Our assessors are drawn from three groups of individuals: faculty members, allied-health, current students and members of the community at large.

Q: How can I prepare for the MMI?
A:  Preparing for the MMI can be difficult.  Since the MMI is akin to speed dating, one might ask oneself, “How can I prepare for this date?”.  Familiarity with the format is helpful for settling nervousness.  There is no specific knowledge that will helpful to you.  You might ask some friends or family members to create scenarios for you based on the examples available on this website.  This will at least allow you to get comfortable speaking on a topic for a few minutes and organizing your thoughts on the fly.

Q:  Are there “right answers”?
A:  No.  The scenarios are all sufficiently complex as to defy easy answers.  If a scenario deals with a controversial area or some topic of public debate, it is equally possible to do well taking one position as it is taking the opposite view.  Other than attitudes or beliefs that are inconsistent with the practice of modern medicine, we are much more concerned with how you think than what you think. 

Q:  What is the MMI trying to “get at”?
A:  Each scenario is designed to assess a particular non-cognitive trait, but it will not always be obvious to you which trait is being assessed.  Generally, applicants do better when they focus on the question and answer sincerely about what they would do / think / say or feel, rather than trying to figure out on the fly what an ideal answer might sound like.

Q:  Why don’t you have a station where I can tell you about why I want to be a doctor?
A:  We have explicitly chosen not to do that, since your reasons for being a doctor are usually evident in the file review (which applicants invited to interview have already undergone).  Furthermore, pretty much everyone applying to medical school has very good reasons for pursuing this career track.  Asking about them does not help us in distinguishing one great candidate from another.

Q:  What if I am sick or late?
A:  The MMI runs on a very tight schedule, and there is no ability to have someone join in the circuit after it has begun.  In the event that you are late, we will try our best to accommodate you, but will only be able to do so if there is an empty spot or no-show in a subsequent group.  The chances of this are small, although we are of course willing to try.

Q:  What if I don’t get through all the prompting questions from my assessor?
A:  There is no score for using or not using the prompts.  They are provided to the assessors to stimulate conversation.  Sometimes one or two will be used, sometimes more.  We do not keep track.

Q:  Are there stations where I will need to counsel a simulated patient, etc…?
A:  No.  There are also no stations where we pretend to be measuring something and are actually measuring something else.  What you see is what you get.

Q:  I have been told that I should try to use the MMI as an opportunity to tell some stories about myself that highlight some of my strengths.  Is this a good strategy?
A:  MMI scenarios and questions at the U of C will not ask you about yourself per se.  They will ask you about what you think or what you would do in a given situation and why.  Occasionally, past experience will be directly relevant, but applicants should be careful about trying to force pre-prepared speeches into places where they do not really belong.