Core Surgery Interview Clinical Scenario Station


There are 2 clinical scenario questions. The first is given to you outside of the interview room and you have time to read it and then 5 minutes to give your answer. A second question is then given to you following this, assessing your ability to think on your feet.

Scoring is done independently by two assessors.


While waiting outside the room, you will be given a clinical scenario to prepare. The scenarios cover situations that a core surgical trainee may be expected to deal with on any given day. On entering the room, you will be asked structured questions by the interviewers, testing not only knowledge on common topics but also general, non-technical skills. After five minutes, there will be a knock on the door, and the interviewers will ask a different question (even if they have to interrupt you to do so), and this will require you to think “on your feet.”

It is possible to be unsuccessful at interview on this station alone; it is therefore important to prepare thoroughly with a structure in mind as to how to answer questions methodically and safely.

Preparation for this station is key and it is important that you test yourself under pressure together with learning key topics.

Topics and Preparation

Scenarios are fair and will cover a range of management topics. Scenarios may involve acute, emergent cases such as trauma calls or calls to ED. They may also involve management of the post-operative patient and common post-operative complications.

The level of questions will be that expected of a core surgical trainee. You will not be required to deal with every aspect of the scenario yourself and should know when to escalate to a senior. A sensible, safe and methodical assessment should be used. ALS, ATLS, CRrISP and MRCS topics and protocols should be studied and it is vital that you practise giving answers under pressure in a safe and clear way.

Our popular interview course and question bank cover all the commonly asked scenarios and provide you with the latest evidence and immediate feedback to maximise your chances of scoring as highly as possible.

Top Tips

  • default_titleThe clinical station tests your understanding of common surgical emergencies and post-operative complications
  • default_titleInterviewers will ask questions quickly to test how you perform under pressure
  • default_titlePatient safety is key and safe assessment, diagnosis and management of the patient in any given scenario will score you points
  • default_titleEmergencies and post-operative complications might come from general surgery, orthopaedics, ENT or any sub-specialty but will be aimed at the level expected of a core trainee
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