Secondary question on what you would do if you couldn't be a physician. What do adcoms want?

LuluLovesMe

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U Cincinnati asks a question about what you would do if you lived in a world without disease or injury and no doctors are needed.

What are adcoms looking for out of this question?

My honest answer would probably be politics so I could try and fix our broken political system. But I'm not sure if politics is a good thing to write about in a secondary.

My other answer would be psychology since a world without mental illness doesn't preclude grief, stress and anger. Is this a cop out?
 

typhoonegator

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I think they're looking for an honest and well-reasoned response. Write about something you are enthusiastic about and it will come through. This is the kind of thing there could be follow-up questions about in your interview, so if you craft some fake response you think others would want to hear, you'd better be able to hold an enthusiastic conversation about it.

I'd steer clear of the health sciences in general in your response, personally. It's not a cop out, technically, but it sort of feels like one.

I'd say I would be a heroin-addicted cliff diver, since apparently there is no chance of injury or disease. Or say that you would quit working and start hoarding food in an underground bunker for the inevitable societal apocalypse that would follow when the death rate drops to 0. They love it when you throw their scenarios back at them :)
 
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LuluLovesMe

LuluLovesMe

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I think they're looking for an honest and well-reasoned response. Write about something you are enthusiastic about and it will come through. This is the kind of thing there could be follow-up questions about in your interview, so if you craft some fake response you think others would want to hear, you'd better be able to hold an enthusiastic conversation about it.

I'd steer clear of the health sciences in general in your response, personally. It's not a cop out, technically, but it sort of feels like one.

I'd say I would be a heroin-addicted cliff diver, since apparently there is no chance of injury or disease. Or say that you would quit working and start hoarding food in an underground bunker for the inevitable societal apocalypse that would follow when the death rate drops to 0. They love it when you throw their scenarios back at them :)
Haha I thought about giving this sort of answer. You don't think I might get the wrong adcom member reading this and they wouldn't appreciate the lighthearted answer?

Edit: Just noticed you're in Boston too! Care to share which hospital?
 
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So nothing like what typhoonegator suggested right?
I am nearly 100% sure he's joking. No. Nothing like that. Sincere response about what career you would pursue. If you haven't thought about that, well, you should have, but now is as fine a time as any i suppose
 

Questionerrrrrrrrrrr

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Is "teacher" or "professor a good response?
adcoms are going to hate me!
my brain is going to burst!
 
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Is "teacher" or "professor a good response?
adcoms are going to hate me!
my brain is going to burst!
If all healthcare jobs were taken off the table, that would likely be my career choice. Just be able to provide a well thought out 'why' and, ideally, be able to tie some shared traits between your alternative career and medicine
 

Questionerrrrrrrrrrr

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If all healthcare jobs were taken off the table, that would likely be my career choice. Just be able to provide a well thought out 'why' and, ideally, be able to tie some shared traits between your alternative career and medicine
Do adcoms not like it if someone says "physician's assistant" "nurse" or "paramedic" instead?

I would say Teacher or Professor either way
 
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Do adcoms not like it if someone says "physician's assistant" "nurse" or "paramedic" instead?

I would say Teacher or Professor either way
If you can give a good explanation for why you would pursue a given career and you can relate how that would compare / contrast with your decision to pursue medicine, I think there are very few unacceptable answers. If you can't do that or aren't candid, it may show and reflect poorly
 

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[QUOTE="LuluLovesMe, post: 16881490, member: 650916"Edit: Just noticed you're in Boston too! Care to share which hospital?[/QUOTE]
How'd you know he works at a hospital? Or are you just assuming? (Legitimately wondering)
 
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[QUOTE="LuluLovesMe, post: 16881490, member: 650916"Edit: Just noticed you're in Boston too! Care to share which hospital?[/UOTE]
How'd you know he works at a hospital? Or are you just assuming? (Legitimately wondering)
There isn't a big outpatient neurointensivist scene
 
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LuluLovesMe

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If all healthcare jobs were taken off the table, that would likely be my career choice. Just be able to provide a well thought out 'why' and, ideally, be able to tie some shared traits between your alternative career and medicine
Would being a politician or civil servant be an acceptable answer here? Or should I not get into politics?
 
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You should say teacher, although if they're a very science heavy school push some kind of scientist.

The point is secondaries is to push the "caring/compassionate" angle and "interpersonal skills" rhetoric. Moreover, teachers are underpayed almost by definition which makes it look like you don't care about income.

I'm sure there are a few other good answers.

politician or civil servant
That sounds like a poor idea.
 
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how do you write about this without sounding like you'd rather be doing it and care more about it than being a doctor? to not come across as if you're being forced to pursue medicine rather than what you really want to do
 

gonnif

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how do you write about this without sounding like you'd rather be doing it and care more about it than being a doctor? to not come across as if you're being forced to pursue medicine rather than what you really want to do
A decade or so ago it was almost required to have a solid answer to a Plan B. It was either asked at interviews or on secondaries at a good 25% to 40% of medical schools. The worst answer to this, which I have seen, is something along the lines "I cant imagine being anything but a physician" or even "since I will be undoubtedly be accepted, I dont need to make other plans."

So answer this question as either 1) what you would do to enhance your application and reapply or, and preferably, 2) that you have tried multiple times to get into medical school and obviously wont. Be honest, concise, coherent, and compelling that you have thought it out and your motivations and commitment to what you may pursue
 
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Goro

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It's a really straightforward question.

Stop trying to answer what you think we want to hear with what's in your own heart.

This will cause you less grief and damage to your app this way.

If you want to be a truck driver, write that!


U Cincinnati asks a question about what you would do if you lived in a world without disease or injury and no doctors are needed.

What are adcoms looking for out of this question?

My honest answer would probably be politics so I could try and fix our broken political system. But I'm not sure if politics is a good thing to write about in a secondary.

My other answer would be psychology since a world without mental illness doesn't preclude grief, stress and anger. Is this a cop out?
 

gonnif

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goldy490

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I think fixing the broken political system would actually be an awesome thing to write about...shows your knowledgable and care about societal issues outside of medicine
 
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