Are interviewers interested in your research and leisure?

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TigerSoup

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Hello! I've done about 2 years of bench research, one summer of which was medically-applicable at the NIH. I'm considering doing an NIH IRTA position during my year off. I know that research is somewhat of a plus for med schools, but I was wondering if people felt that interviewers were particularly interested in their research experience.

Additionally, how much do interviewers seem to care about your life outside of clinical, academic, or research activities? I don't mean in the sense that "oh look how busy you are, you must be smart to get those numbers anyway", I mean taking a genuine interest in your sport, art, dance, etc? It might be too much to want them to share my love of MMORPGS, but I would love do all those other things guilt-free.
 

Koch

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Hello! I've done about 2 years of bench research, one summer of which was medically-applicable at the NIH. I'm considering doing an NIH IRTA position during my year off. I know that research is somewhat of a plus for med schools, but I was wondering if people felt that interviewers were particularly interested in their research experience.

Additionally, how much do interviewers seem to care about your life outside of clinical, academic, or research activities? I don't mean in the sense that "oh look how busy you are, you must be smart to get those numbers anyway", I mean taking a genuine interest in your sport, art, dance, etc? It might be too much to want them to share my love of MMORPGS, but I would love do all those other things guilt-free.

It depends on the interviewer. Some ask about your research others just kind of skim over it. Almost all of them ask about you personal life though.
 
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kerplunk112

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only a few of my interviewers have brought up my research..but almost everyone asked what i do for fun...
 

OncoCaP

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Out of 10 interviewers, only one asked detailed questions about my research (what is it exactly, what did it mean, etc.). Most were more concerned with finding out about the person and motivations behind the application than learning about the research itself.
 
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I'd skip the part about what level your mage is in WoW, but otherwise, talking about your interests is certainly fair game.
 

crimsonkid85

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my entire interview with dean frantz at columbia consisted of my experiences playing the piano. he made me tell him why i liked lizst better than rachmaninoff. he laughed when i admitted that it was partly because i could play lizst better, since i have tiny hands and could never reach all the chords that rachmaninoff throws around...he laughed more when we both realized that we didn't like contemporary piano music very much, and i compared contemporary sheet music notes to rice being scattered on a sheet of paper. so yea, i would say they care what you do outside of studying. :D
 

TheMightyAngus

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I'm a student interviewer at a top 20 school. We are instructed to ask applicants about their research, but it doesn't have to be medically related. It's more to determine whether you are an academic type. We also ask what applicants do in their free time to figure out if we can relate to you as a potential classmate.

The best advice I can give to applicants is to be interesting to talk to. Nothing is worse than interviewing someone who is boring as hell.

If you're interesting, can speak intelligently on healthcare issues, and can carry a conversation, you'll probably get a recommendation for immediate acceptance from me.

If you're quiet, boring, and have no social skills, you'll get a recommendation for rejection.

This seems like obvious advice, but I'd say only about 10-20% of applicants I've interviewed can actually hold a conversation.
 

eekonomics

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I was asked about my leisure activities at literally every interview I attended. Many times, conversation about these activities lead to more in depth questions about my application or about my aspirations in general.

The one thing I was really surprised at is how rarely my research did come up. And it only came up at research intensive schools; other schools cared much more about who I was. I didn't believe it going into the process, but it's true!
 

acrunchyfrog

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Are the ADCOM questions about leisure when they ask you about how often you masturbate ?(referencing an earlier thread here)
 

greg1184

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I play a free MMO called FlyFF. On my interview I just mentioned I was into computers, which includes gaming. I didn't go into specifics. And frankly, I don't think they are interested in what games you play.
 

TPROrgoTutor2

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With most of my interviewers pretty long discussions came up regarding my basketball, tennis, boxing, and biking. Much more time was spent discussing these activities than was spent discussing healthcare. Cannot go into the research aspect, though, as I have done absolutely nada.
 

gotmeds?

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The reason for the leisure questions is pretty obvious. Being a doctor can be lonely work sometimes. Your interviewer just wants to hang out and have some beers with you or go rock-climbing, or whatever it is you do. They're just looking to make a new friend -- YOU! The best way to answer is just to give them a hug and tell them they can come hang out with you anytime and that you're sure you'll end up being BFF. Like, totally.
 

ryanl

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Research and my outside/non-academic activities came up in i think all of my interviews. Research definately wasn't the bulk of the conversation and isn't mandatory. But the research and outside activities were topics of conversation and kind of ice-breakers at the beginning of the interviews. It is something can talk about that leads to other interesting topics. So I'd say both these are important, it shows a well rounded applicant, and helps keep the conversation stimulating.

They also are good topics to discuss if you get the vague open ended question of "Tell me about yourself" You can talk about something other than just your grades and other boring things that they can read from your amcas. :)
 
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