Dr. J?

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OK, I know this has been addressed ad nauseum on this site, but could anyone/everyone, please, help a brotha out who's trying to prepare for an interview in 3 weeks. The www.interviewfeedback.com website seems to be down. My interview is at Indiana Univ. It's my first and I would like to be as prepared as I can be. All advice is welcomed. I would especially like to hear from anyone who interviewed at IU last year. All 2002 applicants, please help out the 2003 applicants! List any helpful websites, books or tips.
 

longhorn

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Here are my personal tips. i am applying this year so I don't know how much help they will be. Here goes:

1. Know your application very well. Can't stress this enough. If you did research know what you did, how you did it, and read up on others work in your field. Also, any activity, medical or non-medical beable to disucss what you did in detail.

2. Know why you want to be a doctor and give supporting evidence.

3. Make sure you understand some of the hot ethical topics in medicine ie euthanasia, eugenics, stem cell research, gene anything, healthcare.

4. Give reasons why you want to attend a school specifically.

5. Easy One: Know yourself, be able to talk about your family and life.
Hope that helps!
 
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Dr. J?

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Longhorn and SMW, thanks for the tips. Let's keep the advice coming for the new applicants this year!
 
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Dr. J?

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OK, this is good. Let's make a list of websites, books, etc. that relate to preparation for med school interviews. These could be related to topics in medicine (HIV/AIDS, Nat'l Healthcare, Ethics) or just info on how to prepare for an interview. Keep it coming people, I see that many people are viewing this thread and they're searching for answers.
 

dr kevin40

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should a guy shave completely? i'm not talking going in there looking like a bum, but i'm wondering if its necessary to be absolutely clean-shaven or can i go in w/ a goatee?mustache...just wondering.
thanks for any input
 
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Dr. J?

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Here's a Bioethics site that looks pretty tight.

www.med.upenn.edu/bioethic/index.shtml

I think Univ of Washington has a site, as well. Could someone help me out and add it to my nascent list.

PS -- Dr. K, I think facial hair is fine, as long as, it is well groomed. The interviewers want to see the real you, if you normally wear facial hair, by all means go ahead.
 

AlternateSome1

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I agree...don't shave it if you are used to it. When you change something so major about your appearance, I think you might feel subconcious about it. That would look worse during an interview than if you just went in as you normally are.

~AS1~
 

souljah1

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I think most importantly you should make sure that you appear comfortable with yourself, confident not cocky, and articulate without being long winded. I wouldn't suggest that you rehearse your answers ad nauseaum b/c you might appear a bit staged.

Things to keep in mind when answers questions...patient autonomy is always a good thing to prioritize when thinking about patient rights, ethical scenarios, and issues concerning the management of health care. Do not ramble on for 5 minutes at a clip. If you are asked a question that you could answer verbosely and at length..bust out a nice intro and then pause..the interviewer might want to ask you a question about what you have just said. if you go on and on..they might not get a chance to ask you or it may get lost in the conversation. Attention spans are short. Also, I highly recommend maintaining eye contact and if you are ever asked a question that requires a little thought...say something like, "that is a really good question" and then think to yourself for 5 or 10 seconds. you don't want to seem rash with your words. If you keep these things in mind..I think your interviews will be more like conversations rather than grill sessions. Your answers should be honest and they should be consistent. Knowing your application well should really be common sense and pretty easy, considering that your application is a paper resume of your accomplishments, etc..Most of all, have fun. I went into my interviews ready to show my interviewers that I am down to earth, independent, and absolutely ready for the rigors of medical school. There is no time for nervousness and timidness. Leave all that crap at the door.
 

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I recommend reading the book Understanding Health Policy by Dr. Thomas Bodenheimer. It's a very understandable book which gives a lot of insight into the way health care is structured in this country.
 

Bikini Princess

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Originally posted by Wahoo07
I recommend reading the book Understanding Health Policy by Dr. Thomas Bodenheimer. It's a very understandable book which gives a lot of insight into the way health care is structured in this country.
i almost never read books, but i like this one, even though it sounded boring at first. here's a review of it:

Reviews
From Judith A. Cooksey
This new book provides a well-written and practical survey of current health policy issues. The authors are primary care physicians who provide relevant background information in a readily understandable format. The purpose is to explain how the current healthcare system works, describing its organization and financing and covering issues such as prevention, quality, access, and cost containment. The authors try to show how health policy decisions have affected daily healthcare practice. They successfully interpret and explain the complexities of the healthcare system in a language that is understandable to students and practitioners. Although targeted to medical students, residents, and practicing physicians, it will be useful to any interested student or health professional. It can also be a guide to those in health care administration and the lay public. The coverage of each topic is timely, includes all of the basics, and provides the reader with a clinician's practical perspective on problems. Each chapter has 10 to 30 brief clinical vignettes that describe how problems with the healthcare systems affect individuals. There are study questions for each chapter that can be used for student-directed discussions. This book fills a need for a primer on health policy and the healthcare system. Although its focus is on the medical aspects of health care, it will be useful to any health professional or student interested in an explanation of how and why the healthcare system works the way it does. It also illustrates how weaknesses in the system affect individuals. The book provides a rich context to consider and better understand current health policy issues.
 

phinicky

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Longhorn summed up most of what I did... But also read NY Times (which has a decent section related to health and science) and the Economist (which does a great job of presenting both views on most current events).

Also, find out beforehand if you're interview is closed or open file. Either way, think of things you want to stress about yourself and your application.

Also, be prepared to ask specific questions about the school that you're interviewing at
 

beanbean

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As a nontraditional (ie: older) applicant I have had experience as both an interviewee and interviewer in the healthcare/technical field. I have also had two med school interviews. So here's some advice:

1) When greeting anyone (students, other applicants, interviewers, administrative assistants, etc.) give a firm, strong handshake (not a death grip) and SMILE. First impressions are the most important. The major purpose of the interview is to judge a candidates interpersonal skill, confidence, and those intangible qualities that can not be found in a paper application. The simple act of greeting people can show them that you are a friendly, confident person who will get along well with falculty, students and patients.

2) Practice small talk before you go. Often during interviews there is time spent walking from one office to another and being given a tour. There can be moments of uncomfrotable silence when you feel like you should say something but have no idea what. Don't chatter nonstop, but feel comfortable initiating a conversation if the moment feels right.

3) Practice good manners. Hold the door for someone, offer to pass the salt at lunch, say please and thank you, and be a kind person.

4) You will almost always be asked if you have any questions. Figure some out beforehand. If all of your questions were already answered its okay to say "so far I think you have addressed any questions I had" I also asked my interviewer questions about their own field and position. "Do you do research here in addition to patient care, etc.

5) Take small bites of food if lunch is part of your interview. I hate trying to eat and answer questions at the same time. The last thing you want is a big mouthful of sandwich when being asked an important question.

These things may seem obvious, but its amazing how when under the stress of an interview we sometimes become very unfocused and awkward. Best of luck to all!!
 

drumming207

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Originally posted by dr kevin40
should a guy shave completely? i'm not talking going in there looking like a bum, but i'm wondering if its necessary to be absolutely clean-shaven or can i go in w/ a goatee?mustache...just wondering.
thanks for any input
I left my goatee this year... it makes me look older. Just keep your goatee well trimmed for your interviews.
 

DrSal

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For closed file interviews, its crucial that you have a quick 3-5 minute intro of yourself highlighting all major accomplishments, talents, interests and characteristics that make you a good candidate for med school.

Also, be ready to answer this question "Is there anything else i need know about you?"
 

Penguin Poptart

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I really hated the interview process so I sympathize with those of you that are about to do it. Some of you will have no problem with the interviews. Some of you will "look forward to the opportunity." My advice is not for you. For the rest of you, this is some of what I can share....


Some people who think they rocked the interviewers' world get rejected two weeks later.

You can still get into some schools without knowing much about any healthcare issue. (I didn't even pretend to care too much.)

You can get into schools by being yourself, even a bit quirky and not being a big self promotor. (But if you're not into talking about yourself, be prepared to suffer extra during this interview season.)

Some interviews really are unpleasant and some are pleasant. I don't think there's all that high a correlation between pleasantness and whether or not you get in, so do not either rest on your laurels, or panic during/after your interview.

In the same vein, do not trust that people that scowl at you really don't like you, or alternatively, that people who tell you that you're an amazing candidate really are going to recommend you for their particular school for this particular year. There is a lot of game in this process.

Everyone tells you to relax and be yourself. Yes. Altho, Being too "relaxed" can be a problem, especially when you're friendly interviewer starts asking difficult questions that for some reason you haven't thought about much.

There will be some people who try to stand out and become ring leaders and best friends with everybody during the fruit/coffee breakfast. Don't let them put you in a bad mood because it might show.

IF things start to go bad, take a deep breath and stay true to yourself.

Lastly, don't try too hard because if you do, and you're interviewer still isn't nice, it'll sap too much of your strength and you may need to keep that strenght to make it through to the next interview and the one after that and god forbid you get wait listed,... Pace yourself.

Take yourself and the process seriously, but not tooo seriously. It'll most likely all work out eventually.

Good luck everybody.
 
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