One important part of the medical-school application process is the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI), designed to assess an applicant’s communication skills and their potential for communicating effectively with patients and colleagues.

Each Interview Scenario poses the kind of question a medical school applicant might be asked and offers suggestions for effective responses—as well as responses to avoid.

A close friend whom you met while on an internship at MGH last summer is in his first year of medical school. He called you today to share the heartbreaking news that his mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. He feels overwhelmed by his studies and is considering dropping out of medical school to spend more time with his mom. How do you counsel your friend?