- Tell me about a time you’ve had to show resilience to achieve a goal.
- Please describe a time when you were unsure whether what you were being told represented the patient’s true thoughts or feelings. How did you recognise this? What did you do about it?
- All Doctors need strong communication skills. Can you give me an example of when you have used your communication skills in a difficult situation?
Communication in an ebola context – I could write a book about this! Just trying to take an accurate history from a suspect patient in the screening tent has been one of the hardest things I’ve done since leaving medical school. Firstly and most obviously there is a language barrier. Krio is a really cool language. It’s relatively easy to understand maybe 70% of it is actually English in a ‘slang, kind of sloppy accent’ with the odd ‘nah’ and ‘de’ thrown in between words… “Ah da go nah beach” for example. I’m getting quite good at asking a history in Krio, “you de bodi wam?”, “you de vomit?”, and my favourite… “you de toilet fast fast?” But even having mastered the lingo, it’s rare that you get a straight answer. It feels like there are about a hundred and one ways to ask if someone has a fever. They will often completely deny it, “no bodi not de warm, no, I not get no fever… but I get feel fo malaria and I de sweat beaucoup” and the person is obviously sitting there in a thick coat, dripping in sweat and shivering. You check their temperature and it’s 39 deg C.