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Interview Ethics Questions


Full Member
5+ Year Member
May 31, 2016
  1. Medical Student
    Hello all!

    I have recently been reviewing UW Bioethics topics to prepare for an interview (and because they are interesting, relevant, and seem important to have a grasp on). Unfortunately, I have been tripped up on some of the cases because they require a fair amount of medical knowledge (i.e. how to determine when certain treatments may be considered "futile" in certain patients.) This may seem like a dumb question (so I apologize)... but what level of medical knowledge am I expected to have prior to medical school interviews?

    My assumption was little to none (considering that is the purpose of medical school). But several SDNers have recommended this site, so I am a bit confused.



    Full Member
    5+ Year Member
    Feb 29, 2016
      You shouldn't be expected to have any medical knowledge beyond that of a well educated layperson unless you advertise some form of expertise in your application. Others here may have experiences to the contrary, but I think that is pretty standard. I just looked up the website you mentioned—it's for medical students. Many of the topics listed might be appropriate for discussion in an interview on a broader level, but I wouldn't expect anything detailed or esoteric. Ask for clarification if you don't understand part of a scenario that would affect your response. Good luck!


      Impossible is just an oppinion
      5+ Year Member
      Sep 4, 2012
      1. Pre-Medical
        You know, I have seen mock interviews on youtube which grill applicants on medical knowledge but I have never heard of anything remotely like that in real life. All the interviews that I have heard about were literally a conversation about the person and their interests with limited questions/questions back and forth.
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        Full Member
        7+ Year Member
        May 21, 2013
        Casterly Rock
        1. Medical Student
          The point of medical school is to learn how to practice medicine. Part of that is learning to understand medical ethics. So it makes no sense that schools would expect you to have a full grasp of medical ethics before even starting medical school.

          For interviews, just be a decent person with good morals and you'll do fine.

          Lost in Translation

          5+ Year Member
          Jul 1, 2015
          1. Resident [Any Field]
            Considering right now I'm learning how to treat Jehovah's Witnesses I'd say you don't need to worry about the specifics of this stuff OP. Just answer the question like "I'd do everything in my power to convince the patient to get treatment but at the end of the day it's their decision."


            kitty cat yin yang
            Staff member
            Volunteer Staff
            5+ Year Member
            Verified Expert
            Jan 11, 2016
            1. Medical Student
              They don't expect you to know the specifics of care or even the specifics of the law in their state (unless that's your state, in which case they may expect a little more knowledge). They expect you to be able to think through a situation logically and ethically, coming to a defensible position that is within the bounds of the law and ethics.
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