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How do you answer these interview/secondary questions?

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Jay2910

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Hey everyone,

Couple of questions about these 2 essay prompts and/or potential interview questions:

1)What is the difference between these two?

Describe an experience outside your level of comfort and what lesson(s) you gained from the experience.

Discuss how you have coped with a setback.

When you cope with a situation, isn't it because you have learned a lesson from that experience?

2) Describe how you perceive physician interactions with other health care professionals in the care of patients and families.

All I can really say about this one, is that a physician, I will be responsible diagnosing the patient, establishing the method of treatment, monitoring patient conditions and adjusting the treatment as per patient response. That is, I am responsible for the complete care of the patient.
I would be instructing others . . .on the continuity of care.
How can I say that, without being too demeaning?
what are they expecting me to say if I am being asked this question?
 

familyaerospace

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1)

No, I would state they are very different questions. I could be incredibly comfortable in a situation dealing with a setback and an experience outside of my comfort level you might not have had a setback. Plus my coping with a setback could have been for other reasons and I might not have had a lesson to be learned.

I think I've had the first one twice. I know I've had the second but I cannot remember what the answer was.

Question A

I had one situation where I had to travel alone to a country where I didn't speak the language. I was there 2 weeks, trust me there were lessons learned.

Before that experience I talked about the fact 5 homeless people lived in my house for 6 months (I had 9 people in a week), there were also lessons learned there especially how I don't want to live with roommates ever again. ;)

Question B

I can talk about how hard it was when my business had to be put on hold due to the recession.

I can talk about being homeless, I was not uncomfortable with the situation it was a setback though.

I can talk about the fact I was diagnosed with a chronic illness at one point which completely changed how I viewed the world after treatment (before treatment I was struggling tremendously.)

2) Please G-d talk about teamwork. Physicians are not the be-all-end-all of the medical team. Nurses do a heck of a lot and their knowledge cannot be ignored.
 

claduva94

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For number 2 look up interprofessional programs. They really accentuate the teamwork that goes into healthcare. Here is something to start you off:
http://ipe.virginia.edu
 

mvenus929

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1)What is the difference between these two?

Yes, generally in the process of coping with a situation, you learn from the experience. However, you can have an experience outside your comfort zone that isn't a setback. For instance, traveling to a place where you don't speak the language, doing something in public speaking when you aren't comfortable talking in front of people, caring for people from a different socioeconomic status, etc. The question is trying to get at how you look at new situations.

A setback, on the other hand, is something that you attempted to go for, but missed--reapplicants have that one down pretty well, but you can have any number of setbacks. That one is more trying to get at how you deal with situations that don't go well.

2) Describe how you perceive physician interactions with other health care professionals in the care of patients and families.

You can take this question two different ways. First, you can describe what you see as the role of a physician on a patient care team. Alternatively, you can describe how you actually see these relationships play out, if you have enough experience to back it up.

Remember that other health care professionals include a wide range of different people. Nurses, obviously, but also respiratory therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists, social workers, pharmacists, nutritionists, even your receptionist. You (the physician) have a role in the patient's care, but so do they, and they often know far more about their area of expertise than you do.
 

Jay2910

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Thanks for all of the advice everyone!
I will defiantly look more into these questions.
 

masaraksh

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1)
Pretty obvious difference between "out of your comfort zone" and "setback"
 

Jay2910

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What about a question like this:

What medical specialty are you considering? What factors have influenced your decision?

When they ask . . ."what factors" . .what do they mean exactly?

Are they asking:
1) What things about the speciality do you like( or you have considered) and how you fit them?
2) What factors in your life, made you particularly "fit"/ decide on the particular speciality?

For example, if I say I want to become a pediatrician:
Can I say outright that, I like kids, like the wide variety of patients that I would be seeing, like the flexibility of treatment?( that is, I can treat both acute and chronic diseased patients)?

How would I support something like that with my experience, if I have not been in the doctor's shoes myself?
 

snowflakes

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What about a question like this:

What medical specialty are you considering? What factors have influenced your decision?

When they ask . . ."what factors" . .what do they mean exactly?

Are they asking:
1) What things about the speciality do you like( or you have considered) and how you fit them?
2) What factors in your life, made you particularly "fit"/ decide on the particular speciality?

For example, if I say I want to become a pediatrician:
Can I say outright that, I like kids, like the wide variety of patients that I would be seeing, like the flexibility of treatment?( that is, I can treat both acute and chronic diseased patients)?

How would I support something like that with my experience, if I have not been in the doctor's shoes myself?

Yes you can say that. But you should also qualify your statements with your past experiences. Like, have you worked with kids in the past? Have you shadowed in primary care? Do you have any research experiences with primary care or preventive medicine? Have you volunteered with a wide variety of population groups? Did you do volunteer work that allowed you to develop long-term relationships with people, and like that aspect of the speciality? Tie in the interests you claim with demonstrations like this to make a more compelling argument. Also, you can say that it's just an interest right now and you want to keep an open mind in med school when you're actually exposed more to the different specialties.

Oh and to answer your question they're asking about both. How have you come to the conclusion that this is a good specialty for you? Err on the side of uncertainty.
 
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persumas

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I think factors can also include any experiences you have that have confirmed your interest in the specialty... for example, have you shadowed a pediatrician. worked with children? have somehow proven you enjoy working with children and family and the dynamics that come along with that? (though that kind of applies to other specialties too).
 
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