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How important is "reading" to medical schools?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by WaitingImpatiently, Feb 23, 2002.

  1. WaitingImpatiently

    WaitingImpatiently Long Member
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    I was thinking about "hard" interview questions, and I realized that there's another thing (besides strengths/weaknesses) that keeps coming up.

    "What kind of books do you read?"

    My answer (the honest one): "None. I do read a lot of magazines, though, mostly TIME and other general magazines."

    The fact that a lot of schools ask this question makes me think that it's important to be a reader. Is reading really THAT big of a deal?
     
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  3. none

    none 1K Member
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    That's an interesting answer... In general, I don't think this is an important question, but you need an actual answer to it. I'd suggest you start reading a book right about now. It's more of a technique that the interviewers use to move into more probing questions and you just aren't giving them much to go on. That said, your particular answer is almost definitely not one that would keep you out of medical school by itself.
     
  4. moo

    moo 1K Member
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    I was asked that at one of my interviews actually... the interviewer asked "Do you like to read?" And I was brutally honest, "No I do not."

    In retrospect that was probably not a good answer... I got promptly rejected.
     
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  5. Daredevil

    Daredevil Senior Member
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    I was asked about that during one of my interviews and I answered with a book that I had read months ago but had little recollection of the story. He then proceeded to ask me about what I remembered and I sorta BS my way out of it. Then he moved on to what Shakepeare work I have read.... grrr..

    Don't people realize that when you are in college, you have very little time for fictional reading??! Besides the textbooks, class notes, science papers, working part-time, community service, other extracurricular activities, TA-ing, we also need time for sleeping, eating, showering as well.. Reading is the least of my concern.

    Anyways, as it turned out, that interview got me my first and only acceptance. <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
  6. reesie0726

    reesie0726 Senior Member
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    Thank heavens I have not been asked that. I read romance novels. What would they think of that?
     
  7. DocBob2B

    DocBob2B Junior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by reesie0726:
    <strong>Thank heavens I have not been asked that. I read romance novels. What would they think of that?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">They'd think you are human, a good quality for a doctor!
     
  8. Coalboy

    Coalboy Senior Member
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    I was asked what I was reading, and I said "Tom Clancy." Turned out my interviewer was a fan, so it worked out well. :)
     
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  9. choker

    choker Senior Member
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    after a mostly humanities-based curriculum at school, i have no time/energy to read for pleasure. i watch tv. i watch A LOT of tv. in fact, i've been told it's in one of my LOR. i never read. ever. EXCEPT just before my plane trip across the country for an interview, i grabbed my friend's favorite book on a whim thinking the plane ride was a boring 7 hours. i read the book cover to cover. interview the next day: 3rd question_ "what do you read." i smiled, cracked up on the inside, and proceeded to tell him in great detail and enthusiasm about the only book i had read in around 1.5 years. phew! i got waitlisted, though.

    maybe it's not a good idea in a medical school interview to talk about your interest in futuristic sci-fi stories of a 6 year old starfighter-general that's man's only hope against legions of evil powerful alien bugs. maybe i should've read the friggin patch adams bio or something sappy like that.
     
  10. MorningLight2100

    MorningLight2100 Senior Member
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    If you really don't like to read, maybe then, instead of just digging a hole for yourself in an interview, you can be honest but also quickly follow with a hobby that you DO enjoy? For instance, do you love a particular kind of music, do you play a sport, do you go to museums, etc. I'm actually a pretty avid reader (best way to pass the time on the subway! :) ), but I'd imagine that the best way to handle that question otherwise might be to talk up an activity about which you're more enthusiastic.
     
  11. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member
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    I do like to read, and have been asked this question. I talked about one of my favorite books (Bad Science by Gary Taubes), but then followed up by admitting that when I'm in school, "I mostly read pop fiction crap--my mind needs time to relax!"

    I don't think they really care what you read.
     
  12. Meizy

    Meizy Member
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    I got asked this question a couple of times too.. one interviewer kind of hinted at why he wanted to know the answers... he was going on and on about how medicine today is not about having knowledge but about being able gather the relevant information... He goes on to tell me how he has to read X and and Y and Z on his own time in order to benefit his patients etc. Thus he feels that its important for physicians to be avid readers-- where reading is an enjoyment even when pressed for time in their lives..... he said much more but this was the jist i got...
    i don't know if it helps
     
  13. Papa Smurf

    Papa Smurf Thug 4 Life
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    I haven't read a book since 9th grade. :D I just don't find it very interesting. Well, I've read some biographies of some cool peeps, but no novels or anything. I read a lot of magazines, mainly SI, Business Week, The Economist (best magazine ever!). I really wish med schools wouldn't equate being well-read with being a good physician. What the hell does it matter? Different people like different things. Personally, I'd much rather spend 3 hours playing pickup ball, than reading a novel. That's just me.
     
  14. Aoshi

    Aoshi Member
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    When I was asked what the last book I had read was, I told my interview "Harry Potter". She seemed pleased with my honesty and not trying to impress her by pretending I was reading Tolstoy or something deep. =)
     
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  15. TechMan

    TechMan Dreams Stuff are Made of.
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    man. what is up with you people. don't like to read? I read like 1 book every couple of weeks.
     
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  16. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    I too am amazed at the number of people professing no love for reading here!! I love to read, and in several of my interviews the topic of what I've been reading has come up and led to interesting discussions that I felt really helped me in the interview. Plus, med schools love a high verbal score, which basically tests how well you read. And any doctor who wants to keep current is going to have to do a lot of reading.
     
  17. none

    none 1K Member
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    Liking reading and being good at it are too very different things. :) Don't assume a high verbal score correlates whatsoever with a passion for books.
     
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  18. altaskier

    altaskier Altaholics Anonymous 92'
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    It is pretty important. I've been asked it a lot.
     
  19. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by none:
    <strong>Liking reading and being good at it are too very different things. :) Don't assume a high verbal score correlates whatsoever with a passion for books.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">You got me there! :D It's just that I have a hard time imagining someone who's good at reading not liking it!! I tend to think they just haven't met the right book yet! :p
     
  20. Elysium

    Elysium Not Really An Old Beaver
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    I pray someone will ask me about books, since I love reading. I find that reading helps me relax and get my mind off the science stuff. I could read for hours (and do).
    But I'm sure I'll get the interview that asks me about Couloumb's law or some such crap. I'll be like "Hmm. Well, don't really know sh!t about physics, but if you'd like to talk about Philip Roth, Norman Mailer, or J.D. Salinger we might be in business"

    :rolleyes:
     
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  21. USeF

    USeF sunny L.A.
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by choker:
    <strong>
    maybe it's not a good idea in a medical school interview to talk about your interest in futuristic sci-fi stories of a 6 year old starfighter-general that's man's only hope against legions of evil powerful alien bugs. maybe i should've read the friggin patch adams bio or something sappy like that.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card?? Please tell me it is. that IS the greatest book. it got me to open my eyes to leisure reading all over again.
     
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  22. choker

    choker Senior Member
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    it WAS Ender's Game!!!
    yeah, that book was awesome.
     
  23. alphacentauri

    alphacentauri Member
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    At one of my interviews, I was asked if I regularly read a newspaper. Since I don't, I replied that I generally check the CNN webpage for news and read Newsweek--didn't seem too bad to me. My interviewer responded with about a 10 minute lecture on how I needed to get a subscription to a "quality" newspaper :mad: I mean, come on, who has the money for a NY Times subscription????

    Also, a heads up on books for those interviewing at Georgetown--Mrs. Sullivan goes around the room at the beginning of the day and asks everyone to list the last book they read, so be sure you can remember. . .
     
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  24. MonkeyArrow

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    This thread is a decade and a half old. OP's half way to retirement now.
     
  25. TelemarketingEnigma

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    @rodeoclown today:

    upload_2017-9-20_10-37-33.jpeg
     
  26. fourandtwo

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    I was asked at an osteopathic school!
     
  27. allantois

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    Shows you anyone could get into medical school back in the day.. :D
     
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  28. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Emailed your mum telling her how nice she is.
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    Shocked me to see how many people seemed proud that they don't read. That's not exactly something I would flaunt about.
     
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  29. CloverBale

    CloverBale SDN Gold Donor
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    Eh, I don't buy it. You want to go into a career that requires tons of reading but there isn't even *one* book that you wouldn't want to read? Even I have stack of books on my nightstands that are half-read.
     
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  30. SandP

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    Read while you have time in undergrad. I'm not kidding when I say that reading an extra 10-12 books a year can hugely impact your life (in terms of perspective, learning from others, and upping areas of your life). At least read 1 book real quick before interviews, one that you're likely to like--and there you go.
     
  31. WedgeDawg

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    Given all the "student needs to read more" comments I see on clinical evaluations, probably pretty important
     
  32. onceawolverine

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    "focus on basic management of basic presentations of basic conditions"
     
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