GP training interview: What to expect and how to prepare?

First of all, congratulations to all those who got shortlisted for the interviews for GP training by ICGP – Irish college of general practitioners!

The good news is that if you’ve made it so far then you only need to work a little harder and in the right direction and you’ll get through! However, the bad news is that it’s not a straight forward interview at all in which you can succeed without any preparation! So, don’t be over-confident and prepare well for it.

Having said that, what needs to be done?

Interview format:

Currently, due to COVID-19, interviews are done virtually. So, it’ll be a video call beginning with a question like your introduction; general talk about your workplace, work routine or even the weather! This is just a conversation opener and is not marked as such nevertheless it would set the tone of the interview therefore it’s best to have a few lines prepared in advance.

After that, the real questions would start appearing on your screen. There are three main domains which are addressed: your knowledge about the GP practice; ethical scenario and clinical scenario. Each question has further sub-questions.

GP practice:

Firstly, it would help greatly if you are familiar with the Irish healthcare system especially the GP practice. If you are currently working as an SHO or a registrar in a hospital then that would help with some of the ethical and clinical scenario questions. Also, if you’ve lived in Ireland for a few years especially with family and you’ve had quite a few interactions with your local GP then you would have a gist of what a GP does. Moreover, it would be best if you can get an observership with a GP practice for a few days as it would give you an overview and would help with this first question. You might be asked about how COVID pandemic has affected GPs and their practice. What’s the routine of a GP?

Medical ethics:

Next, comes the question which is the weakest point for most IMGs (international medical graduates) i.e. medical ethics. You will need to prepare this well. You may be given a scenario in which you’ve made a prescription error and now need to communicate this to the patient. Or there may be situation in which the consultant has ordered discharge of a patient but his family is unwilling for discharge. What would your approach be in this case? You may even be asked your course of action if a 16 year old girl asks you for contraception. Or your response if you discover that a colleague has come to work after alcohol overuse. There may also be a question that a woman comes to you to get abortion done without informing her husband so what would you do?

Some useful resources to prepare for medical ethics are:

Clinical scenarios:

Lastly, there is a clinical scenario like loss of consciousness, depression, emergency contraception, polymyalgia rheumatica, headache, chest pain, transient ischemic attack, menorrhagia, acute monoarthritis etc. For this, I would advise to watch You Tube videos on MRCGP CSA consultations. You would get a basic idea about history, examination, differential diagnosis and approach to patient. Also, there is a website, where you can write any disease and get its overview from history to management. You need to know the main points and not too much details.

I hope this short guide helps you prepare for the interview. Do let me know if this is the case.

Any further questions can be sent on my facebook page, Magic with medicine.

Best of luck!


Published by Farkhanda

A YLCian who's become an active citizen...!

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