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How to answer the "why medicine" question

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by lady in red, Dec 16, 2001.

  1. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member
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    ok, I am not interested in the content since its different for everybody, but the 'process' of anwering this. I mean--when they ask you this, do you just blurt it out pre-rehearsed (I want to be a doctor because 1, 2, 3)or do you sort of don't give a direct answer right away and 'discuss' it (say, through my experiences at...i came to decision...so on). I was practicing this question, but my answer is not direct enough e.g. i can't pinpoint the exact reasons.
     
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  3. amonkeybutt

    amonkeybutt Senior Member
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    i went with the former during my interview, although i tried to come off as conversational as i could. in my mind there are the bullet points i want to make sure i bring up and emphasize but i never have it word for word every time. try to switch it around every time you give it so that it's fresh. however, i really don't think there are that many different reasons for going into medicine and after listening to every single premed tell you their reasons, i'm sure it's kind of in one ear out of the other for every interviewer. i actually made a crack at this during my interview and asked if she got bored of hearing the same things. she said that the interviews themselves are not boring but the personal statement sure gets old. so much for all of us spending weeks on making it interesting :)
     
  4. Jessica

    Jessica Senior Member
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    I personally went with the second option, basing my decision on my life experiences. I decided that explaining my career choice and backing up my logic with some speific reasons would not only show my motivation for wanting to be a doc, but would also open up discussion for more questions about the expereinces that led me to medicine (plus it lets the interviewer know a little about how you make decisions) I didn't make it too long though, I was succinct but gave enough info so that it didn't just sound like a laundry list. Hope this helps. Are you gearing up for your UCSF interview? If so, don't worry. Eveyone there was very, very, nice. My interviews were so relaxed it was almost scary. Good luck!
     
  5. brandonite

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    I think the conversational approach is probably the better idea. I have a tendency to slide into the rehersed answer. I've done a bunch of scholarship interviews so far this year, and the first couple times people remarked that I sounded too logical, and not passionate enough. So the last couple of times, I've been really relaxed, smiled a whole lot, and really tried to have fun. Things have gone much better. :)

    They see lots of interviewees every year. Giving off a rehersed answer will just tell them the things that they've already hear. Try to be conversational.

    But remember, I'm still interviewless, so this isn't med advice. :( You probably shouldn't listen to me too seriously!

    Good luck, and let us know how things go! :D
     
  6. Col_4:14

    Col_4:14 Senior Member
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    I don't really have time for this but I saw this and I had to relpy. The correct answer is ....
    FULFILLMENT!!
    You feel fulfilled in your volunteer clinical experiences. You can't imagine doing anything else. If you don't get in this year, you will try again next year.
    I found this out directly from an adcom member.
     
  7. paisley1

    paisley1 Senior Member
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    Whichever strategy you choose, I think it is most important to sound sincere and passionate when you are explaining to someone why you want to go into medicine. Of course, you have to really mean what you say in order to pull it off but I don't think that's a problem for many people here.
     
  8. md2be06

    md2be06 Senior Member
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    Uh, "I want to help people."
     
  9. I definately agree with Col_4:14. I used this approach and it becomes very conversational. You are able to discuss everthing that has been fulfilling of all of your life experiences which has also drawn you to medicine. In the end, you'll probably be able to conclude with several things (bullet points) that you find fulfilling that are also present in a career as a physician.
     
  10. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member
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    wow, this is a great discussion, thanks everybody for contributing! I guess its a useful topic for not only me but others on this board dreading this question.
     
  11. Mystique

    Mystique The Procrastinator
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    "I want money...lots and lots of money. I wanna be rich...."
    j/k

    I definitely prefer the second approach. The first will sound too rehearsed. The second is more likely to catch the interviewer's interest...and it'll be more heartfelt. The truth of the matter is they can see right through us. They've been doing this for a long time. You can think out answers to questions, but they want to see how well you communicate. Are you too abrupt and impersonal OR are you engaging? Do you understand what I'm trying to say? I can't write coherently right now, but hopefully you know what I mean.

    Good luck!
    :)
     
  12. none

    none 1K Member
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    I tend to oscillate. If I think the interviewer wants memorized bullet points, that's what I give them. If from the direction of the interview up until that point, they seem interested in conversation, I give them that. You really need to be ready for both. Some interviewers are extremely direct and staccato. They want answers, not meandering around the question. Others don't seem to care in the least about what you're saying and really seem to be judging your ability to say it. With these, it's often best to keep things conversational. And of course, an interviewer may not neccessarily want the same sort of answers for each question. Some may be conversational, others may be direct and may benefit from a rehearsed answer.
     

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