"what would you do if you weren't accepted?"

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GoSpursGo

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I think in general that's fine; if you haven't been accepted, the answer is always "I would strengthen my application and re-apply." They want to see that you're committed to becoming a doctor. If they ask the question in a way that makes it where you will NEVER get into medicine, they want to see that you'd still go into a job where you help people.
 
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njbmd

How do you guys answer this? Is it reasonable to say that you were already accepted?


Why don't you just answer the question that you were asked? They didn't ask you if you had been accepted they asked you what you would do if you were NOT accepted. If you have been accepted, then you are answering a hypothetical question so give them a hypothetical answer. If you haven't been accepted, then you tell them about your Plan B.
 

Rabbit36

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Try try again! If accepted already, answer as you would have before your acceptance
 

Rutgers06

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Why don't you just answer the question that you were asked? They didn't ask you if you had been accepted they asked you what you would do if you were NOT accepted. If you have been accepted, then you are answering a hypothetical question so give them a hypothetical answer. If you haven't been accepted, then you tell them about your Plan B.

Agreed. From my experience, the question is asked to see if you have a Plan B.
 

drcarter77

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I had a family member who was on the admissions committee at USUHS, and while this school certainly could be different than others, they said that the "right" answer was to say that you would apply again next year and then just add in something about the mean time. They at least used the question sort of as a measure of how dedicated you were to becoming a doctor.
 

Kaydubz

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I think in general that's fine; if you haven't been accepted, the answer is always "I would strengthen my application and re-apply." They want to see that you're committed to becoming a doctor. If they ask the question in a way that makes it where you will NEVER get into medicine, they want to see that you'd still go into a job where you help people.

hmmm i don't think i ever said i'd reapply, i always assumed it was to see what other career options appealed to you. So naturally, I answered random stuff like high school prof and wedding DJ.
 

mmmcdowe

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How do you guys answer this? Is it reasonable to say that you were already accepted?

Chances are good that you won't be asked that question (unless you already have been). You're a very strong applicant, and I think that they would act accordingly.
 

Dissected

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Chances are good that you won't be asked that question (unless you already have been). You're a very strong applicant, and I think that they would act accordingly.

I got asked this 3 times. You've already been accepted though so you can just say it doesn't apply, thats what I did :D
 
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thegreenlight

Ugh. I got asked this at UCSF, and I thought that he meant what other career would I do. :(
 

JackInTheBox

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Why don't you just answer the question that you were asked? They didn't ask you if you had been accepted they asked you what you would do if you were NOT accepted. If you have been accepted, then you are answering a hypothetical question so give them a hypothetical answer. If you haven't been accepted, then you tell them about your Plan B.

Seriously. I've never tried to figure out what kind of sinister ulterior motive the interviewer had, so I've always just answered the question as (a) what I'd do if I didn't get accepted anywhere this cycle, and (b) what I'd do if I couldn't be a doctor period. It's worked well enough for me so far :shrug:
 

RoyBasch

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I think in general that's fine; if you haven't been accepted, the answer is always "I would strengthen my application and re-apply." They want to see that you're committed to becoming a doctor. If they ask the question in a way that makes it where you will NEVER get into medicine, they want to see that you'd still go into a job where you help people.

I agree 100%
-Roy
 
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I got asked this 3 times. You've already been accepted though so you can just say it doesn't apply, thats what I did :D

Refer to njbmd's post earlier; why not just answer the question? Your response above would rub me the wrong way; you risk coming across as arrogant.

Ugh. I got asked this at UCSF, and I thought that he meant what other career would I do. :(

This would be fine. As would describing how you'd strengthen your application. Admissions is looking for realistic expectations and plans should things not go your way. I think you're on the right track; good luck!
 

Chemist0157

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My interviewer asked this question but really in a way as if I NEVER got into medical school. I said I would run with my chemistry degree and go to graduate school so I could teach. She asked me if I would ever consider pharmacy school, and I said no because that's not something I really want. Even though it pertains to medicine, being a pharmacist just doesn't satisfy me. She appeared to like that attitude where I wasn't willing to just settle, but that I would do something that I would still enjoy, even if it didn't involve medicine.
 

shemarty

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I was asked this today, too. My first answer was to teach bio in a classroom setting, but then i was pressed "no, no, nothing related to medicine and science at all".

So I assumed he was essentially asking me what my other interests were, not a realistic fall-back career plan, so I said that I'd like to open up a bakery :)

Then went on to ramble about how I like to bake, decorate pastries, entrepreneurism, and told him about the oreo turkeys I made for thanksgiving (it was my avatar pic last week), haha.

I didn't mention that I had already gotten into some schools, because I figure that wasn't the point of the question.
 

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Refer to njbmd's post earlier; why not just answer the question? Your response above would rub me the wrong way; you risk coming across as arrogant.

ehh, maybe if you said it with a big stupid grin on your face haha. I just said it matter of fact. It worked for me...:rolleyes:
 

futureboy

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How do you guys answer this? Is it reasonable to say that you were already accepted?

Maybe they want to see if you are a well-rounded person with interests other than getting in to medical school...
 

shemarty

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Maybe they want to see if you are a well-rounded person with interests other than getting in to medical school...

I agree. Don't say you've already been accepted.

First, give a realistic back-up plan. Research at NIH, then re-apply. Postbac, then re-apply. Teach for America, then re-apply. Peace corps, then re-apply. Whatever it is you would really do.

Then if they really emphasize that re-applying was not an option (so you know the point of the question is "what are your other interests"), then just give an answer related to your hobbies. Concert pianist. Photographer. Soccer Player, Museum Curator, Stunt Person, Bakery Shop Owner, etc.

I think as long as you explain that your answer isn't an actual "realistic" option, it's just a hypothetical imaginary scenario, I think it's fine. I sure hope my interviewer didn't walk away thinking that I would drop out of med school to open up a bakery :)

Actually, he said that since I was interested in entrepreneurism, I should consider the MD/MBA program!
 

aznb0y129

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I agree. Don't say you've already been accepted.

Well I gave my pre-acceptance answer but mentioned in passing that I had already been accepted. I wasn't cocky or arrogant about it and I don't think it will hurt me at all in their decision.
 

alwaysaangel

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Why don't you just answer the question that you were asked? They didn't ask you if you had been accepted they asked you what you would do if you were NOT accepted. If you have been accepted, then you are answering a hypothetical question so give them a hypothetical answer. If you haven't been accepted, then you tell them about your Plan B.

Exactly!! Its clearly a hypothetical question. Its sounds very arrogant to respond "I've already been accepted." Tell them what you WOULD do if you weren't accepted.
 

poiuyt123

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tell them you would eat a poop hotdog to show them how dedicated you are.:laugh:
 
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JackInTheBox

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Its sounds very arrogant to respond "I've already been accepted." Tell them what you WOULD do if you weren't accepted.

Yeah, there's really no way to answer "what would you do if you weren't accepted?" with "well I've already been accepted" and not come off like a total tool.

Some people in this thread have said they answered it in a "non-arrogant" way, but I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that the interviewer was not thinking "wow, what a humble, non-arrogant answer."
 

aznb0y129

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Yeah, there's really no way to answer "what would you do if you weren't accepted?" with "well I've already been accepted" and not come off like a total tool.

Some people in this thread have said they answered it in a "non-arrogant" way, but I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that the interviewer was not thinking "wow, what a humble, non-arrogant answer."

I only did it in one interview, so I guess we'll see in 6 weeks whether or not it hurt my application.
 

luvumeanit

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I think in general that's fine; if you haven't been accepted, the answer is always "I would strengthen my application and re-apply." They want to see that you're committed to becoming a doctor. If they ask the question in a way that makes it where you will NEVER get into medicine, they want to see that you'd still go into a job where you help people.

This is a typical premed answer: "Reapply and/or help people." It is both boring and obviously self-serving and calculating. I agree with those who give interesting answers that help the interviewer get to know you a bit better. I like Schmarty's answer.

And do not say you were already accepted!!!! That is not why they ask this question. obvi.
 

ButImLETired

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I was asked this and answered "I would cry". She was a bit puzzled. I eventually realized that she was looking for more than that and I rallied, but there was definitely some awkward silence there...

maybe I should put this in the "worst interview answers" thread...
 

poiuyt123

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That was is in reference to other thread regarding eating poop hot dog to get into your first choice med school. One of the most entertaining threads ever.
 

futureboy

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That was is in reference to other thread regarding eating poop hot dog to get into your first choice med school. One of the most entertaining threads ever.

Poop Dogg -- the rapper!
 

katarina90

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I was asked this today, too. My first answer was to teach bio in a classroom setting, but then i was pressed "no, no, nothing related to medicine and science at all".

So I assumed he was essentially asking me what my other interests were, not a realistic fall-back career plan, so I said that I'd like to open up a bakery :)

Then went on to ramble about how I like to bake, decorate pastries, entrepreneurism, and told him about the oreo turkeys I made for thanksgiving (it was my avatar pic last week), haha.

I didn't mention that I had already gotten into some schools, because I figure that wasn't the point of the question.

I agree--it does seem like the point is to see what other interests you have.

I like your answer. Its not the typical pre-med alternate career response, but in a good way; it shows you have diverse interests. Plus the term 'oreo turkeys' is quite memorable : )

If I didn't get accepted, I would spend a year substitute teaching part-time while working at a coffee shop (which is something I am still hoping to do before med school. I don't know why, but I feel like it would be an enlightening experience.) Hypothetical alternate career would probably be piano instructor or concert pianist (helping w/ free piano lessons is actually one of my ECs as well), I enjoy piano immensely and its always been a part of my life.
 
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