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Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by pvnguyen1, Dec 25, 2008.
Do you know what they ask when interviewing applicants to Med Schools?
A great place to start is to click on "Interview Feedback" at the top of this web page. This is a great resource - students post information about their recent interviews at specific med schools, including actual questions that they were asked at the interview. You can check out the schools you are thinking of applying to! While the specific questions will vary somewhat due to the school and the individual personality of the interviewer, etc., you can expect to be asked about 1) why you applied to their school and 2) why you want to be a doctor.
The questions that FuturePittMed mentioned (Why medicine? Why this med school?) will almost certainly be asked at every school. His/her advice to look at the interview feedback for each school is also good; many of those same questions tend to be asked of future applicants. Other common questions that you should be prepared to answer include the following:
Tell me about yourself.
What is your biggest weakness?
What questions do you have for me?
Tell me about your research (if you've done any).
Tell me about X and Y ECs.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
How would you add to the diversity of our school?
You may also get some more general questions about ethics or your readiness for coping with the demands of med school.
One of the most amazing things to me when I interviewed as a Southerner at Northern schools is that I constantly was asked how I would deal with the winters. I was amazed by that question for two reasons: I wouldn't not attend a school just because of the colder climate, and it's not like the fact that it gets cold up north was a big surprise to me! I have to wonder if you Northerners who interview down South get asked how you'll deal with our hot, humid summers.
Hope this helps, and best of luck.
One asked me why I wouldnt rather be a PA. They do many of the things that MD's do etc.
There are lots of questions one can prepare for, and plenty of posts on this as referenced by posters above; school interview feedback forums are among the best.
The questions that were toughest for me involved reading the interviewers, understanding that their opinion differed from mine regarding health issues (universal care came up 2x), and answering the questions so as to be agreeable to the interviewers rather than being candid as to my true opinions.
Feel free to take this as you'd like, but if an interviewer fully and inherently disagrees with you, a 20-30 minute interview in which you're trying to sell your abilities and "fit" with a med school is not the place to try to change their mind.
Other question type that threw me was of a sort that I'd not prepared for at all - 'what one thing would you change about your past and why, how would this have changed your life'. I'd chalk this up to a 'we want candidates who can think fast on their feet'.
Third area to consider, per a premed advisor at my school, is that med school and being a physician at times is very stressful - therefore, some interviews will be stressful to see how you handle this, others will ask questions regarding how you've handled stressful situations in the past.
And as a nontraditional student, in addition to why medicine and why this school is why now? I must have been asked about 10 different ways (in the same interview) about why I am pursuing medicine now (isn't it a big leap from what you're already doing? How do we know it's not just a whim and that you're serious about it? Have you thought about the sacrifices you'll have to make? etc.)
While I had expected the why now question, I had not really expected to be thoroughly grilled about it. I felt they were asking me the same questions over and over again, just in a different form.
And don't forget to completely review your application before your interview. One of my interviewers told me she had not reviewed it and proceeded to ask me questions that she could have easily read the answers to (like what extracurriculars I was involved in during my undergraduate years - 10+ years ago)....I'm still trying to figure out if she did it just to rattle me or if she really had not looked at all.
It's possible that she didn't read it; she could have been busy, or a lot of interviewers don't want to have preconceived notions about the applicants before meeting them. For those who do read your app and ask about your ECs anyway, I think this is mainly to evaluate your oral communication abilities.
This was a big one I got drilled on. Followed by a "What made you decide on (vet) medicine? Did you just roll out of bed one day saying 'I want to be a doctor?' "