Goro’s guide to YOUR interview questions

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

Goro

Full Member
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2010
Messages
72,881
Reaction score
116,127
Many thanks to my pal Rachiie03 for prompting this.

With interviews coming up, I know a lot of you are focused on doing well and getting accepted. But keep in mind that the interview process is a two-way street. You need to interview the school as much as they need to interview you. You’re going to dump what, $200K-300K into this school…are they deserving of your money and four years of your life? I’m thinking like a dad...I'd want to know all this stuff if my kids were off to an interview!

Here are some things to consider asking when you interview. I can’t begin to stress enough that you especially ask these questions of the students, since they made the choice already. You’ll want to hear something other than “it’s the only school that accepted me!”

Consider asking about cost of living; curriculum, your gut feelings with each school; what the current students feel about their schools; the localities the schools are in.

Where do their graduates go? For example, How many PCOM grads do residencies in MA??? Or Drexel grads in FL? Keep in mind that match lists are like reading tea leaves.

Step I scores and pass rates? Are they posted anywhere? The DO schools are now mandated to post their 1st time pass rates for COMLEX, FYI.

Board prep time? If you can dig up the school's academic calendar, you can figure out the time for Board prep by looking at when their MS2 class schedule ends. My own students get about 4-6 weeks, depending upon when they schedule their exams. Weaker students take longer.

People say location is everything. You should find out how easy it would be to get a place to live, where do most students live? Any places to avoid? Do students have time to do research? Volunteer with community? See patients? Any resources for finding a place to live? For help with studying? Tutoring available?

If the current students turned down other acceptances, why?

How tight are the students? Do they lose the gunner mentality? (Mine lose theirs as soon as they set foot on campus).

Are lectures videotaped?

Are the Admissions folks nice? Helpful?

Is it hard to get loans? Easy? Help with the process available? (probably!) How about scholarships???

When are exams scheduled? Every week? In blocks? Once or twice a semester?

How's the anatomy lab? Stink of formaldehyde??? (Ours is great, BTW)

Faculty have open door policy? Why are the Faculty there and not at some other med school (or college)? Is teaching a nuisance that they have to get out of the way before they can run back to their labs?

I'll probably think of more...but search through the forums........plenty of people have been through this already! And trust your gut first and foremost.

Members don't see this ad.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 39 users
Where do their graduates go? For example, How many PCOM grads do residencies in MA??? Or Drexel grads in FL? Keep in mind that match lists are like reading tea leaves.

Two questions in my mind right now...

1. Why did you bring up PCOM in the pre-allo forum?
2. Why do we even have two separate forums?
 
Members don't see this ad :)
Two questions in my mind right now...

1. Why did you bring up PCOM in the pre-allo forum?

It's called using an analogy, or an example (for something to think about when interviewing).
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users
2. Why do we even have two separate forums?

DO schools have some different requirements and pre-DO students have some different challenges than pre-MD students.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users
Ummm, I'm gonna guess that I do. And IF we accepted your critique of Goro's use of a DO school as an example, then that would then qualify as an analogy.

I will be very honest, though, and admit that I have no clue about what a 'Noomm' is. But in the absence of knowing I have decided what it means to me.
Maybe this will help you see what an analogy is?
http://literarydevices.net/analogy/
 
Maybe this will help you see what an analogy is?
http://literarydevices.net/analogy/

I don't see where I asked for your assistance. And with all due respect, I hope you won't resort to "reporting" for schooling you on this.

From your first link..."an analogy is used to demonstrate how two seemingly different things are actually quite similar."

You seemed to be suggesting that Goro should not have used his PCOM example in this thread, a pre-allo thread. That yields the conclusion that DO and MD interviews are different things, according to you. The analogy then would be that what might be a good interview question for PCOM would by analogy also be a good question at a pre-allo school, thereby making Goro's use of PCOM as an example still relevant.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Are people really fussing over the presence of "like/and" in calling something an analogy vs a metaphor? We're actually derailing an incredibly useful thread by Goro over that?

Anyway, I'm hoping my student host will be able to give me an idea of how the class materials are presented. I hear a lot of students in the Allo forums talk about how they use note packets from their classes rather than the textbooks, and it'd be nice to know how true that is at a given school/the quality and/or format there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 13 users
Are people really fussing over the presence of "like/and" in calling something an analogy vs a metaphor? We're actually derailing an incredibly useful thread by Goro over that?

Anyway, I'm hoping my student host will be able to give me an idea of how the class materials are presented. I hear a lot of students in the Allo forums talk about how they use note packets from their classes rather than the textbooks, and it'd be nice to know how true that is at a given school/the quality and/or format there.

It's preallo, home of derailing. :angelic:

But yeah seriously. Nietzsche and Noom, take the argument of semantics elsewhere. I'm more curious about any additional questions that applicants should ask
 
  • Like
Reactions: 6 users
Members don't see this ad :)
classic SDN
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Which questions make the applicant look uninformed?
Should we ask about grading, for instance, or should we already know if its P/F or whatever?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
and should we really ask what the clinical rotations are like -- more shadowing or more hands on? would that come off weird
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Which questions make the applicant look uninformed?
Should we ask about grading, for instance, or should we already know if its P/F or whatever?

I find that the most important part about asking questions in an interview is just to be engaged, interested and to know what you AND the program want to hear.

For example, I may ask a program that emphasizes research in their mission statement about how many students do productive research in the class. Then after they give me their answer, I would follow that up with my research experiences and how I would be able to contribute to this mission statement of their school. If it happens that research is very important to me, and their answer to my question isn't satisfactory, then I know that I will not be considering that school highly.

and should we really ask what the clinical rotations are like -- more shadowing or more hands on? would that come off weird

This wouldn't come off as weird. You can ask what the greatest weaknesses and strengths their students say about clinical rotations. At the end of the day though, this question would be better off going towards the med students you'll meet during the day (and your interviews with them) because they will likely know better about the true nature of the rotations than the faculty. For example, we have faculty interviewers at our school that focus mostly on the first two years and may not be qualified to answer a question like this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
An uninformed question would be one that could easily be answered by looking over the first page of the school's website. Anything that requires digging deep is OK.

Which questions make the applicant look uninformed?
Should we ask about grading, for instance, or should we already know if its P/F or whatever?


Perfectly OK as my learned young colleague snowpea has mentioned.

and should we really ask what the clinical rotations are like -- more shadowing or more hands on? would that come off weird
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Rachiee, that's a perfectly good answer, and the point behind the whole question.
I think it brings something to the table. As our pal Rachiee can attest....
Many thanks to my pal Rachiie03 for prompting this.
One day you'll get it right :rofl:

Thanks again for all of your amazing advice! Incredibly helpful and very much appreciated.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
One day you'll get it right :rofl:

Thanks again for all of your amazing advice! Incredibly helpful and very much appreciated.

LOL. I've never heard the name RachIIe in my life, and there are multiple Rachiie's here? You're the same one who changes her avatar, right?
 
LOL. I've never heard the name RachIIe in my life, and there are multiple Rachiie's here? You're the same one who changes her avatar, right?
The "ii" comes from an inside joke from when I was 12!
Yep, I am the only Rachiie on the forum and yes, I changed my avatar ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
The "ii" comes from an inside joke from when I was 12!
Yep, I am the only Rachiie on the forum and yes, I changed my avatar ;)

Am I the only one who saw this and just assumed it had something to do with II as in interview invites?

I've been spending too much time on here apparently lol
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
how much time is offered to study for step 1?
does the administration listen to student concerns and complaints to improve the curriculum?
how much autonomy do students get in the clinical years?
how much career counseling does your school offer?
do students get to see patients independently, write notes and be a real part of the team or are they mostly shadowing the residents?
how many procedures do students typically get to do?
are students allowed to make orders co-signed by residents?
are students scrubbed into the OR just to spectate or do they let you participate and to what extent?
how involved are attendings in teaching students?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 6 users
how much time is offered to study for step 1?
does the administration listen to student concerns and complaints to improve the curriculum?
how much autonomy do students get in the clinical years?
how much career counseling does your school offer?
do students get to write notes and be a real part of the team or are they mostly shadowing the residents?
how many procedures do students get to do?

are students allowed to make orders co-signed by residents?
are students scrubbed into the OR just to spectate or do they let you participate and to what extent?
how involved are attendings in teaching students?

Would be a damn shame especially if the bolded didn't have good outcomes.
 
Would be a damn shame especially if the bolded didn't have good outcomes.

It's getting worse and worse as the years go by unfortunately. I had a resident tell me off for saying that I could put in a line. Apparently I was being arrogant or something
 
It's getting worse and worse as the years go by unfortunately. I had a resident tell me off for saying that I could put in a line. Apparently I was being arrogant or something

Maybe he's new at it and needs his practice too? But geez that's kind of weird.
 
It's getting worse and worse as the years go by unfortunately. I had a resident tell me off for saying that I could put in a line. Apparently I was being arrogant or something
I do research in orthopedic surgery and have been in the OR a few times to watch some hip and knee replacements. The only thing the surgeon let 4th year residents do was hold instruments and close the incision. When I asked why he said it's because if something goes wrong, he's the one who gets sued. I wonder how residents ever learn if they can't do anything...
 
I do research in orthopedic surgery and have been in the OR a few times to watch some hip and knee replacements. The only thing the surgeon let 4th year residents do was hold instruments and close the incision. When I asked why he said it's because if something goes wrong, he's the one who gets sued. I wonder how residents ever learn if they can't do anything...

Well, we can blame hungry tort attorneys for that.

Used to be a man died, you thanked the doc for doin' all he could. Nowadays....no morals. Just greed. *spits in tobacco spittin' cup next to rocking chair*
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
I do research in orthopedic surgery and have been in the OR a few times to watch some hip and knee replacements. The only thing the surgeon let 4th year residents do was hold instruments and close the incision. When I asked why he said it's because if something goes wrong, he's the one who gets sued. I wonder how residents ever learn if they can't do anything...

From what I've observed, slowly, increases with time as they build up trust w/attending.
 
Though there are instances where I'll have a particular question, I usually like to play it by ear (questions arise organically through conversation). I do enjoy asking (of anyone who will entertain it) "why did you pick this school; given your experiences, would you do it again (why)", and "what's the best/worst about X". You can glean more from open-ended Qs (usually, IMO).
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Thanks goro!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Top