I'm getting really nervous; how bad is my situation right now? For example, tell yourself that you were invited to interview because the medical school screened applications and determined you have promise for medicine and many of the characteristics and experiences they seek. What have you done since then to investigate the field and confirm your choice? Why this school? Some ideas include: Did you always want to practice X specialty? Today, I’ll offer insights for successfully answering some of the most common medical school interview questions encountered during the medical school interview. Mention a few key aspects about the school that make it one of your top choices. How did you handle the situation? 1-on-1 mock interviews with me. 940 25th St. NW Suite 103 Washington, DC 20037, Sign up for the The Admissions Strategist newsletter to get the latest information on college and career success, Greek Life & Extracurriculars in College: 6 Key Benefits, The Best Pre-Med Schools: 16+ Schools for Future Doctors, How Many Medical Schools Should I Apply To? What do you feel are the social responsibilities of a doctor? If you haven’t thought about this before, now is the perfect time. How would you handle working with a terminally ill patient? Do you have role models or family members in the medical field? What was the situation and how did you handle it? You may find more research or clinical experiences, retake the MCAT, etc. Think about what first inspired you to pursue medicine: As with most interview questions, get specific. Simply helping others can’t be your sole motivation for becoming a doctor, because there are many other helping professions. If you are not part of a minority group, how do you plan to meet the needs of a diverse patient population? Students often panic when asked for their opinion on controversial issues like medically assisted suicide/euthanasia, abortion, cloning, or stem cell research. Depending on how you define “harm” or “suffering,” your answer may vary, but the interviewer is especially interested in seeing how you think critically and arrive at a decision. Provide examples from your recent past. Tell me about a time you were disappointed in a coworker or teammate. The only thing more uncomfortable than talking about your strengths is talking about your weaknesses. This was a one-time failure that you’ve learned from, and you’ve taken steps to prevent similar mistakes from happening again in the future. If you are a minority, how do you feel your background uniquely prepares you to be a physician? Whether you are preparing for a multi-mini interview (MMI) or a traditional one, a lot of the questions can be quite similar. Read over these questions and bullet points in the weeks leading up to the interview, and even give the cards to a friend or family member to conduct a mock interview. – Interviewer: What type of books do you like to read? Why should we offer you a spot at our medical school? Don't forget … If you’re sitting across from an interviewer, you’ve successfully completed two application rounds. If you have not dealt with someone in crisis, how do you think you would handle this situation? Its perfectly OK to be honest with the interviewer and tell them you don’t know. What would you do if you got in everywhere? The interviewers want to find out more about you and whether you are suited for their medical school. Again, specifics are key. Write common interview questions that you find complicated or challenging on index cards. As a member of the medical school admissions committee, I’ve interviewed many amazing applicants. Brainstorming potential responses to this question now will keep you from panicking and drawing a blank during the interview. To help make your interview day a success, here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you prepare. Whatever weakness you choose, you will also need to explain how you’re actively working to better yourself in this area and have made some improvement. By following the steps below, you can answer this question confidently and avoid offending your interviewer, regardless of his or her beliefs. What would you discuss at the dinner? Using the previous example, find good transitions between your Mexico mobile clinic, research, and your interests (both clinical and non-clinical) in medical school. Discuss a book that you’ve read for pleasure. Explain your guiding principles and how they relate to the dilemma, discuss the pros and cons of both issues, arrive somewhere in the middle, and explain that you would observe the law, regardless of your personal beliefs. And unfortunately, saying that you don’t have any questions about the school can make you appear uninterested. This question is deceptively simple. Most of us do not have a preference in which medical school we want to go to as long as we get accepted. After sending in the primary application, secondary application, letters of recommendation, and transcripts, there is not much to do except to wait.And if you did everything right so far, you will receive a call asking you to set up an interview with the school. The key is to choose 2-3 strengths (unless you’re only asked to name one) that will help you be successful in the medical field. Medical School Warning Signs Lack of wellness services and crowded clinical rotations are among things to watch out for when evaluating options. Now they want to learn more about you, evaluate your communication skills, and get a better sense of your personality. However, if you’re good at wording things carefully under pressure, you could say that being too much of a perfectionist is common amongst students applying for competitive areas such as medicine and has advantages but you’ve recognised that there is a downside. Using an anecdote is a great approach to this question. See upcoming events, webinars, deadlines, and MCAT test dates. What would your best friends say about you? In that case, why not nursing, social work, education, or psychology?”. If you’ve visited campus before, mention your experience. This isn’t some big secret you’re exposing. Although you should describe what interests you about the school, make sure you don’t sound like a brochure. When asked, “Why medicine?” start by sharing these uniquely personal stories. You might have been fine, but the other people interviewing were better. One of the most important phases of the application process is your interview. It is important to treat the interview process as any other part of your application, just as … These interviewers likely have as much influence on your admission as faculty members. What new opportunities will this present to your students? 655 K Street, NW, Suite 100, Washington, DC, 20001-2399. The best way to do so is by emphasizing what appeals to you about being a physician more than anything else. Best Journalism Schools: 20+ Schools for Media Pros! What are some current controversies in the area of medical ethics? Can you think of a physician who embodies these qualities? I am just wasting my time trying to prove that I can be a doctor. Discuss some of these. If you were given one million dollars to help improve society/your community, what would you work on and why? Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC leads and serves America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their more than 179,000 full-time faculty members, 92,000 medical students, 140,000 resident physicians, and 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences. As interviewers, we’re amazed by the quality of today’s applicants. Focus on some of your good qualities and how they are related to medical school and a career in medicine. Perhaps you’ve taken multiple personal development workshops annually, or you’ve taken advantage of any chance to gain exposure to other cultures and backgrounds. What do you think you might lose by having to make this choice? What do you think is the most important social problem facing the United States today? What made you decide? I received a total of 3 interview invites when applying to medical school (which, considering I applied way … The interviewer already knows you’re not perfect. Find out here! If you’re truly stumped by a question, don’t panic or throw out a random (and potentially disastrous) answer. The interviewer wants to see you think through an ethical dilemma and make a choice. For example, a guiding principle might be, “Do no harm,” or, “Minimize the suffering of patients.”. Is there anything we have not covered in this interview that you would like to share with us? If you could have dinner with any four people, who would you choose? Make sure it’s a professional or academic scenario and not something too personal. As in the previous question, it’s important to avoid criticizing other candidates when you answer this question. If you are being interviewed by a medical student or other non-faculty staff, don’t let down your guard and say something ill-advised. Tell me about a time when you were angry with another person or faced a conflict. Have you ever encountered a moral dilemma? Share an honest experience you’ve had with failure (but not an extreme mistake that might make a school hesitant to admit you). Why do you want to attend medical school… Getting specific eliminates the possibility of being cliché, because specific details are unique to you. Describe how you deal with someone in crisis. Before going to your interview, think through a few specialties that intrigue you and why you find them interesting. Why? What do you do for fun? Is business administration a good major? How did you handle it? What did they share with you that got you excited to attend? I really liked the question you asked earlier about X. It’s a complex topic, and I was interested in hearing your ideas and learning from someone with more experience or I heard at the interview dinner that your school plans to start X program next year. What are your ultimate goals as a physician (advancing medicine, contributing to the improvement of global health, making patients and their loved ones as comfortable as possible)? Throughout the medical school interview, you should insert these activities as talking points. What is your typical decision-making process? Women do not have to wear suits but they must dress professionally. Practice saying, “That’s a great question. Its members are all 155 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; more than 400 teaching hospitals and health systems, including Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 70 academic societies. How do you feel about medically assisted suicide/euthanasia? It also means the school would much prefer … Is there anything else you would like to share about you or your interest in. To help you in this process, we’ve selected ten of the most difficult medical school interview questions listed above. Emphasize that you’re certain medicine is the career for you and that you will reapply if you don’t get into medical school this year. After 20 years in the medical field, what sort of “success” would you like to have achieved? Effective physicians are reflective in their practice and able to learn and grow from mistakes. Note that this list is unlikely to include. Dwelling too much on the stress of it all or … As you answer this question, be sure that your excitement and passion for the school resonate with the interviewer. Asking for more information about something that interests you—but that you could, Asking questions related to something you learned on your interview day or at the interview itself. This question often stumps students because they don’t want to sound cliché. Some of these questions may belong in multiple categories, but this list will give you an idea of what to expect. Like asking about weaknesses, this question is designed to give the interviewer insight on your ability to reflect and learn from mistakes. Adding supporting evidence to your response will strengthen your answer and help you stand out. Say you will ask for feedback and use your initial experiences to strengthen your application and make it more competitive for next time. What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid? Remember, when you get invited to interview, be confident since you’ve already impressed the medical school with your application. For instance, you wouldn’t want to say that you struggle with empathy or that you freak out in stressful situations. Remember, when you get invited to interview, be confident since you’ve already impressed the medical school with your application. By brainstorming other questions or topics related to these categories, you’ll cover all your bases and enter your interview feeling confident and prepared. What qualities do you look for in a physician? For questions that you find challenging or that are especially complex, create a notecard. However, it is a good idea to be aware of the points you would like to mention. What are some of today’s most pressing health issues, in your opinion? Ultimately, it is not your stance on the issue that’s important. Traditional, open-ended Tell me about yourself. Now, what about discussing your weaknesses? See articles and resources that will help you navigate toward a career in medicine. What are some ethical issues that our society considers in relation to teenage pregnancy? Creating notecards with bullet points can help you avoid this fate. How will it impact your practice? 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