expressing opinions in interviews

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by crazyA, Sep 27, 2002.

  1. crazyA

    crazyA Senior Member
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    This has been sort of touched upon by another thread about Stem Cells questions during interviews, but I thought it was important enough to merit its own thread.

    To what extent do you guys express controversial opinions in your interviews? Do you guys tone your answers down a notch if you think you might offend anyone?

    Also, how acceptable is it to say "I don't know" or "I can't make that decision" in response to tough interview ethics questions? For example, at my first (and only) interview, I was asked what I would do if I had two patients on the verge of dying, and had the therapy to save only one of them. Which one would I choose, and what criteria would I base my decision upon? I was really stumped, and tiold the interviewer the truth, that at this stage of my life, I am unable to make such a decision. He frowned, and tried to tease some more info out of me by offering me different criteria, such as if one had more family, or one was younger, or if one had taken better care of themselves. I really froze, and just mumbled out some answer (I don't even remember what) and that really tripped me up for the rest of the day.

    So what I'm getting at here is...do y'all think it's better to express a tentative opinion, or just admit that we don't know or can't decide (at the risk of looking indecisive and unknowledgeable)?
     
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  3. dpark74

    dpark74 Senior Member
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    Hey,

    I think they want a thoughtfully expressed opinion on the matter. Saying I don't know is somewhat of a cop-out, as I have talked to several of my friends (residents who interview in the Chicago area) who have told me that. They don't expect you to be experts on the subject matter, but it's general enough to form an opinion.

    As to your interview question, I believe he was hinting at a concept called social worth. Very touchy subject as it may be seen as an invasion of privacy to provide grounds for treatment. Say a smoker needs another lung and so does another patient, but the smoker already had a transplant years ago. Even though he had a transplant doesn't preclude him from getting another one because of his lifestyle. So long as you provide an answer with examples, you should be fine.

    Of course, if you honestly don't know anything about an issue (which I believe are few and far between) then 'I don't know" is okay.

    Sorry your interviewer frowned...
     
  4. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    I think the basic point is to state your opinion and say why. They want to hear your argument and your priorities for one case versus the other. The reason they're asking the question is to have you decide as you might have to do in a real situation as an MD, so saying "I don't know" isn't really an option. It's also better to pick one choice and stay with it, or else you might look indecisive.

    -RA
     
  5. abs39

    abs39 Member
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    I had a situation at one of my interviews where the interviewer was asking about euthenasia, and she let me know that she thought is was immoral. I think that if it were legal, there are some situations where I might not be against it. I felt uncomfortable about lying, but I also felt uncomfortable basically telling her that I disagreed with her very strong opinion. I ended up tempering my opinion a bit, but I didn't lie about how I felt.
     

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