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dreamman

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I have heard mixed responses about the med school interview. Some people have told me that an interview is like an EC, it gets put in the file and they review your file with the interview in addition to your GPA and MCAT, etc. Other people have told me that you get an interview once the adcom has decided that the GPA, EC's and MCAT are good, and that you are acceptable should the interview prove that you are genuine. Anybody have any insight into the weight of the interview? If you have a great interview will it lead to an acceptance or will it just be like having a high MCAT and offsett a weakness in your applicaiton to give you a better chance at getting accepted?
 

bbabul01

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It varies from school to school. But typically, if you get an interview, you're qualified enough to go the school, they just want to meet you in person. But I do think they review your whole application after your interview before making a decision.
 

Tired Pigeon

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Importance of the interview: the interview alone will not get you in, but the interview alone can keep you out.
 
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Kfire326

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An MS3 at Stony Brook told me that the interview is to make sure you have the social and communication skills to be a doctor....
 

Law2Doc

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I have heard mixed responses about the med school interview. Some people have told me that an interview is like an EC, it gets put in the file and they review your file with the interview in addition to your GPA and MCAT, etc. Other people have told me that you get an interview once the adcom has decided that the GPA, EC's and MCAT are good, and that you are acceptable should the interview prove that you are genuine. Anybody have any insight into the weight of the interview? If you have a great interview will it lead to an acceptance or will it just be like having a high MCAT and offsett a weakness in your applicaiton to give you a better chance at getting accepted?

There are a range of approaches schools take, so a lot of what you have heard is true for various places, but the interview is rarely treated as insignificantly as an EC. At some places, I have been told that once you get an interview, it becomes THE deciding factor as to whether you get in (as the rest of your file already determined whether you got to that stage). At other schools where interviews are given out more liberally (i.e. to anyone with a high MCAT, to all state residents, to all XYZ grads), a further file screen occurs, as one has not been performed yet. In most cases, even when the file is revisited, the interview is at least one of the top three components of your application, as compared to ECs which are often further down the line, particularly if they are the standard premed volunteering type stuff. There are certainly high numerical stat folks who have not gotten into schools due to the way they interviewed. There are also many folks who had acceptable, but not so stellar stats who have gotten in over somewhat better numerical opponents thanks to the strength of their interview. I know many examples of both these groups. Contrary to statements you may see on SDN, it is not merely a formality or a means to weed out the crazies -- it is a portion of the application that can make or break you and something to take very seriously. If schools solely relied on numerical stats for admission, the GPA/MCAT scores of schools would be significantly higher than they currently are. In fact, when you get to med school, you will meet people with a fairly wide range of numerical stats and experiences, but the one commonality was that the folks are able to present themselves well. Medicine is a service profession, and it is important to schools to feel like their admittees know how to talk to people (if only for an hour:) ).

Practice. Be prepared. Take this phase of the application as serious as every other. Don't come off as arrogant, entitled; truth of the matter is if you interview poorly, you may not get into quite a few schools regardless of your stats, and if you interview well, it can help you past the ocaisonal dude who looks better on paper.
 
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