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Mentioning TV show at Interview?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by pooley55, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. pooley55

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    I was just wondering what everyone's opinions are on mentioning medically related TV shows at an interview? The reason I am asking is that at one of my interviews I saw a copy of scrubs dvds (I think season one :)) on my interviewer's desk and when I mentioned that I really like that show, my interviewer kind of gave me a weird look and told me that the dvds weren't theirs and that in general tv shows like that horribly misportray the medical profession. Ive been waitlisted at this school even though the rest of my interview seemed to go really well and for some reason I just cant shake the idea that this may have been part of the reason why I have not been accepted yet.
     
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  3. cheesegirl

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    it seems more like THIS PERSON was rude--you shouldn't worry about it. it was reasonable for you to think they were theirs and try to connect over it. don't sweat it--maybe that's part of the reason, but there is no reason you should feel bad about it.
     
  4. TheAmazingGOB

    TheAmazingGOB It ain't easy bein' white
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    I'm not a fan of medical shows, so I wouldn't be mentioning them anyway. But, in one of my interviews my interviewer (an MS4) and I talked about The Office and Arrested Development for a good 10 minutes. In another interview, I told the interviewer (a cardiac surgeon) to go see Casino Royale. Both ended up being acceptances. At another school (TAMU) I talked smack on the Houston Rockets to my interviewer (an MS2) and got waitlisted. So, TV shows and movies = good. Sports teams = bad.
     
  5. yepiminthere

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    I've always been told it's a bad idea, but it seems like you were just making conservation, not basing your whole reason for wanting to enter medicine on a tv sitcom.
     
  6. aynrand

    aynrand New Member
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    geez...your interviewer must have been some miserable person. sure, scrubs probably doesnt portray medicine in the most greatest of manners but thats not the point of the show. i mean, its on comedy central for pete's sake!
     
  7. kypdurron5

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    Lol, good question. I don't want to hijack your thread, but let me add medical documentaries into the mix (rather than just medical dramas)....What do you folks think about treating medical reality shows as observational clinical experience? I fully realize that "being there" counts for a lot, but I must say, I've seen far more detail with brain surgeries on the Discovery Channel than I was able to observe from the sidelines in the OR. Thanks to good 'ol TV I've seen knee replacements, all sorts of cosmetic procedures, tumor excisions, organ replacements, etc., etc. Now, I also fully recognize that 20-30 minutes of actual surgical footage as part of an hour long documentary doesn't do justice to these 4+ hour procedures. But still...do you think I would look like a complete idiot by mentioning that my interest in medicine also extends to being interested in this type of television?

    I'm mainly thinking about the personal statement, but this could apply to an interview as well. Anyway, I'm considering a statement such as: <<Certainly there are things I've done dating back to my first year of undergraduate study that don't count: I can't exactly list [even though I'm doing it right now, hehe] how many hours of surgical observation I've had thanks to the Discovery channel, or how many physician blogs I've read....>>

    PS... Panda Bear (an ER resident) thinks rather highly of how medicine (residency) is portrayed in Scrubs. http://pandabearmd.com/blog/2007/04/11/medicine-in-the-media-more-reviews/
     
  8. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I see no benefit in talking about TV shows in an interview, unless you were in an episode. Lots of people consider TV medical shows the absolute worst reason that some people go into medicine, and so you want to stay away from that stereotype as much as possible.
     
  9. schooltill30

    schooltill30 Doctor Acula
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    Scrubs may not be the most accurate portrayal of medicine out there, but it is a great show nonetheless, with characters you can connect with (see my avatar:D). I thought med schools wanted real people in their ranks. Watching scrubs and enjoying it means you have a sense of humor, not a disrespect for medicine. Now, if you said that was your motivation for being a doctor, well that's just a whole different ballgame.
     
  10. typhoonegator

    typhoonegator Neurointensivist
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    Interviewers, for the most part, are VERY interested in your social development. They don't want robo-doctors, but they also don't want sociopaths. There is nothing wrong with acting like a human being in your interview. TV shows exist because people watch them. If you can sound intelligent and also bring aspects of your life, like TV, into your conversation, it shows you are a personable human being. You should not, however, talk about your obsession with "One Tree Hill" and how you have all the episodes on your TiVO and watch them each night while you cry yourself to sleep.

    I'm a resident, and the last time I checked, my patients watch TV and read magazines. If you act like a snob when your patient brings up "Dancing with the Stars", how likely do you think they will be to listen to you when you ask them to quit smoking?

    In being a good doctor, your ability to connect with your patients is absolutely critical. A good interviewer will be looking for such qualities in you. If they aren't, then you don't want what they're selling.
     
  11. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Med schools want people who have no time for TV because they have a zillion other things going on. Or more precisely, they want people for whom the couple of hours of TV they watch are the couple of hours they feel aren't important enough to talk about in their one chance to impress. I promise you when schools say they want well rounded people, they aren't saying they want more show viewers represented.:)

    It's not an accident that TV has the nickname the "idiot box". A lot of people feel this way about it.
     
  12. kypdurron5

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    Interesting....two completely opposite viewpoints, both valid. During a recent surgery observation the surgeon spent a decent amount of time talking with the nurses about American Idol (this supports typhoonegator- being able to relate to your patients and staff on pop culture topics), however, from the conversation I could tell he didn't watch it (which supports Law2Doc- clearly this neurosurgeon didn't have that kind of time on his hands). I think you're both right, and I think there's a balance there. Just because you don't have time to watch American Idol or listen to Howard Stern doesn't mean you can't be up on who Sanjaya is and what the controversies surrounding him are. These things might not be important in the grand scheme of things...but I really don't think medical schools are looking for people who ignore society completely. However, I think Law2Doc is jumping ahead a little bit....just because residents or super-fantastic surgeons might not have time to watch TV doesn't mean that college students are supposed to be so busy that they can't Tivo a few shows every week. I admit that at times I've been THAT busy, but not for the most part. ::shurg::
     
  13. Law2Doc

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    While most college students watch some TV, I mainly meant that, at least for the purposes of the interview, it should not come across as a significant (or even mention-worthy) portion of your life. You are there to talk about all the volunteering, research, academics, sports and other ECs you do. Some interviewers will ask you what the last book you read was -- but they will never ask you what the next TV show you saw was. That should tell you something about how they value spare time endeavors.
     
  14. kypdurron5

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    True, but that could also be the result of the effort involved in each activity. Asking what book you read last requires that you say something, which means you are indeed reading. What the book is I don't think matters quite as much as the fact that you can give a quick response. Don't you have a right to read a romance novel, a fiction book, or something else just for "fun?" I think the difference is that you might watch a few TV shows every day, as where choosing a book is a more significant decision, as it may take you a month to get through it depending on your reading speed and schedule. If asked about the last TV show you saw your answer may be "Little House on the Prairie" just because you couldn't sleep the night before your interview and it was the only thing on. A book is different in that it shows a more long-term interest. But again, I don't think this completely invalidates TV as a reasonable thing to talk about during an interview. That said, let me add that TV would not have been an appropriate subject during any of the interviews I've had...I think it's completely case by case and not necessarily a universal faux pas.
     
  15. typhoonegator

    typhoonegator Neurointensivist
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    Good point, L2D. I totally agree that you should not fill your time on an interview with a treatise on the last epiosode of 24. Sell yourself as best you can. However, don't be afraid to be a real person. That's all I was trying to say.

    BTW, when I was interviewing medical students, I did ask them about "mundane" things like TV. It gets them to let their guard down a bit.
     
  16. schooltill30

    schooltill30 Doctor Acula
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  17. schooltill30

    schooltill30 Doctor Acula
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    Yessss! One point for the Normal-Doctor Team!!
    My last post was misquoted, I meant to quote this guy.:oops: Sorry
     
  18. Lorienne7

    Lorienne7 Austenophile
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    Actually, at almost every interview I got asked about what I like to do in my spare time. I always said reading, other stuff, watching tv (in that order) and for some reason, many of them would ask me not what I like to read but what I like to watch. Often, talking about TV shows was the most relaxed, memorable, and fun part of those interviews. At one interview we talked about Lost, another Project Runway, and another Grey's Anatomy and 24 (the latter is a show I don't watch but my interviewer spent a good deal of time convincing me why I should watch it).

    I agree with the previous poster who said watching TV is a normal part of life. Everyone does it, so everyone can relate to it. The interviewer wants to get a sense of what your life outside your AMCAS application is and asking about what TV shows you like is an easy way to do that.
     

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