Pseudo Logic

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Jun 23, 2015
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During mock interviews and reading the interview feedback for several school the question "what area of medicine are you wanting to practice in" has been asked. I honestly am unsure what type of physician I want to be. No areas that I have shadowed have turned me off.

My question is... if I get asked this in one of my real interviews, should I say I am currently unsure? And give reasons why I am. Or if the school has a huge push and mission for primary care docs, should I say I am interested in Family practice or IM? Should I play the game?

Thanks
 

Goro

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The best answer to the question is "a good one"

It's perfectly OK to say you don't know. Hell, most of my OMSIIIs know only at this point what they DON'T want to do!



During mock interviews and reading the interview feedback for several school the question "what area of medicine are you wanting to practice in" has been asked. I honestly am unsure what type of physician I want to be. No areas that I have shadowed have turned me off.

My question is... if I get asked this in one of my real interviews, should I say I am currently unsure? And give reasons why I am. Or if the school has a huge push and mission for primary care docs, should I say I am interested in Family practice or IM? Should I play the game?

Thanks
 
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Pseudo Logic

Pseudo Logic

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The best answer to the question is "a good one"

It's perfectly OK to say you don't know. Hell, most of my OMSIIIs know only at this point what they DON'T want to do!
thank, once again, for your feedback, @Goro . I greatly appreciate it!
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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I like to break it down in another way.... do you look forward to short-term, intensive relationships with patients who have a specific problem to be solved (e.g. an injury that needs to be repaired), long-term relationships with patients who want to maintain or preserve their current state of health, or to be an expert in a specialized field so that you are the physician to whom particularly rare, challenging or puzzling cases are referred for short-term or long-term periods of care.

I think that people usually know what they don't like can narrow down what they do like to a broad category and then learn more through shadowing in medical school until they find what feels like the best fit.
 

Munty

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I had this question come up in an interview last week and I am in the same boat as you. Luckily the school I was at has a broad focus and likes to match all over the place. I talked about how I have shadowed a lot of specialties and haven't found one I dislike, but I did enjoy blank, blank, and blank a lot because of <insert reasons>. I finished by saying how I know I have medical school to figure it out but as of now I am open to just about anything. My interviewer seemed pretty satisfied with my answer.
 

LizzyM

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You're supposed to say family Medicine in am undeserved community.
Which is all well and good if you have the prior experiences in underserved communites to back it up but if your interests have been in labs and shadowing clinical subspecialists the adcom will smell the bull$hit and turn up their noses.
 

Goro

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We have interview questions specifically designed to trap the disingenuous on this topic.

We also know how to read your apps.

You're supposed to say family Medicine in am undeserved community.
 

ortnakas

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The adcoms have all answered your thread already, but still I'll chime in.

Nobody expects you to have a solid answer, and even if you do, they won't hold you to it in a few years (they're more likely to be surprised if it hasn't changed). I think the more important think is to have a thought-out reason why: do you like mechanical things? the chemistry side? problem-solving? urgent fixes? long-term relationships? etc.
 

beeboops

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I had this question asked at my interview today, and I blurted out "I have no idea". Luckily, the interviewer just laughed and told me he liked my answer. So long as you're genuine in your response, it's totally okay to say that you're unsure. I met an M4 today that was set on one specialty throughout med school but suddenly changed his mind in the middle of his M3 year. Adcoms know that you're likely to change your mind, and they understand that.
 

Law2Doc

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The right answer is to say that you are excited for third year clerkships to better explore each field, and suspect from your extensive shadowing experiences that there are several you think you might enjoy. (If you have specific experiences, insert here).

The wrong answer in to say you want to be a surgeon like Meredith Grey (or "The Todd") or a proctologist after seing that Seinfeld episode...
 
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Pseudo Logic

Pseudo Logic

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The right answer is to say that you are excited for third year clerkships to better explore each field, and suspect from your extensive shadowing experiences that there are several you think you might enjoy. (If you have specific experiences, insert here).

The wrong answer in to say you want to be a surgeon like Meredith Grey (or "The Todd") or a proctologist after seing that Seinfeld episode...
But... its the ass man!
 

ChrisMack390

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I plan to say that I am interested in X because I have experience in it that I have greatly enjoyed, but I am hoping to come in with a very open mind and explore what else I may like.
 
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GiveMeThatMD

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The right answer is to say that you are excited for third year clerkships to better explore each field, and suspect from your extensive shadowing experiences that there are several you think you might enjoy. (If you have specific experiences, insert here).

The wrong answer in to say you want to be a surgeon like Meredith Grey (or "The Todd") or a proctologist after seing that Seinfeld episode...
The Todd? Getting to eyeball that sexy piece of meat in the mirror and banana hammocking up for every surgery? Now, there's nothing wrong with THAT ;)
 

Psai

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"I am keeping my options open and I applied to your school because it has strong departments in various fields that I am interested in"
 
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nRomaleos

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I like to break it down in another way.... do you look forward to short-term, intensive relationships with patients who have a specific problem to be solved (e.g. an injury that needs to be repaired), long-term relationships with patients who want to maintain or preserve their current state of health, or to be an expert in a specialized field so that you are the physician to whom particularly rare, challenging or puzzling cases are referred for short-term or long-term periods of care.

I think that people usually know what they don't like can narrow down what they do like to a broad category and then learn more through shadowing in medical school until they find what feels like the best fit.
praise be.
 

Gastrapathy

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Interviewer is a surgeon of any kind, say you think you want to be a surgeon but you aren't sure what kind and want to make sure you can withstand the rigors of the OR. Anyone else, tell the truth (unless it's derm, we hate them).