Feb 11, 2013
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I have an interview for medical school this week and am having trouble answering the Why Med School question. I thought that I could answer the question by talking about how I think I will be able to combine my hobbies and interests. My hobby being cooking and my interest being human physiology. I think that I would like to go into some field of internal medicine with a sub specialty in something along the lines of gastroenterology, endocrinology, or some other field where food/nutrition/digestion plays a role. Also, I think that getting a medical degree is right for me because I think it opens a lot of opportunities for me to do things outside of one on one patient care. For example, I will always have the option of going into clinical research or even hospital administration if that is something that I wanted to do in the future.

I am having trouble with the responding question of "Why do you not want to be a dietician instead?" What else can I say to make the interviewer sure that I want to go to medical school?
 

MedPR

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I have an interview for medical school this week and am having trouble answering the Why Med School question. I thought that I could answer the question by talking about how I think I will be able to combine my hobbies and interests. My hobby being cooking and my interest being human physiology. I think that I would like to go into some field of internal medicine with a sub specialty in something along the lines of gastroenterology, endocrinology, or some other field where food/nutrition/digestion plays a role. Also, I think that getting a medical degree is right for me because I think it opens a lot of opportunities for me to do things outside of one on one patient care. For example, I will always have the option of going into clinical research or even hospital administration if that is something that I wanted to do in the future.

I am having trouble with the responding question of "Why do you not want to be a dietician instead?" What else can I say to make the interviewer sure that I want to go to medical school?
If liking cooking and thinking the human body is cool were good enough reasons to go to med school there would probably be a lot more applicants. Also, saying that you want to be a physician because you might want to ditch patient care and do clinical research or administration instead is not helping your case at all.
 

dsoz

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Because going to med school is the only way to earn an MD or a DO degree...

You may need to dig a little deeper than I like to cook and play with people.

Someone on here has a quote in his/her signature about "if you can't tell them why you deserve to be here, then you don't deserve it." (Or something like that)

You need to tell them why you deserve to fill that seat in their class. They have hundreds of people that want to sit in that seat next year, and you need to step up and convince them that you are the best one for it. They are interested enough in you to extend an interview. Now you need to show them that you will be the best.

dsoz
 
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Feb 11, 2013
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Ok so I've re-thought about this... my new answer (I just wrote it like I was talking):

From the time that I was 4 to 17 years old I followed my Dad everywhere. I went to Hospital Board meetings at least once a week and did hospital rounds before and after school. I mostly remember the patient reactions when they received good news and how grateful they were to my Dad for helping them. I also remember times when patients received bad news and how they looked to him for guidance in what to do next. These experiences showed me how rewarding and important a physician's role is I began to think at a very early age that this was a career I wanted to be a part of. It wasn't until college where I took upper level biology classes such as histology, physiology, and now gross anatomy (which I'm enrolled in right now) where I realized that not only did I like the idea of being a part of the medical field but I also really enjoy the study of the human body. And now that I have succeeded and continue to succeed in these classes I feel that I have confirmation that medical school is right for me.

What I think motivates me even further to want to study medicine is that I really have an interest in the processes of digestion and metabolism and everything in between. I really enjoyed my biochemistry class last semester when we got into purine and pyrimidine metabolism and I can't wait to delve into the digestive organs of gross anatomy in the upcoming weeks. I think that as an internist I could do a lot of preventative care with these interests as well as find self satisfaction in my everyday work as I will not only enjoy and be interested in what I do as a medical doctor but I will always feel that I am giving back to my community, which is important to me.
 

Arbor Vitae

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These are some quotes from r/medicine on reddit that I found helpful when somebody asked the same question as you:

"I used to be on an adcom. We want to hear the truth. We have seen every answer that tries to provide "what the adcoms want to hear" and it is always a disappointment.
Be confident and just answer the question. It is understood that your motives may be somewhat selfish or naive, and that you have not been exposed to every thing that different physicians do."

"They want you to show them that you've put enough thought into this decision to move beyond the standard "I want to help people" response, especially since medicine is far from the only profession that can help people. Your answer should be rich and not hollow, meaning that you should be able to elaborate your response for at least a few minutes. The best way to do this to be genuine in your answer, and an excellent way to support this is to draw from your own experiences; your essays, extracurriculars, and personal experiences should certainly help with this. Be very careful with the personal one though because going overboard on the emotional aspect of that can actually hurt you rather than help you, in some cases.
When a candidate receives an interview invitation, it means that they are admissable and that the committee wants to make sure that they really are a good fit for the school. Ever wonder why you occasionally hear stories of people not getting in, despite having a ridiculous MCAT, a perfect GPA, and then some? It's because they blew the interview. So except for the "Why do you want to attend our school?" (and by that I mean you should at least know something about the place), don't be spout out what you think they want to hear because interviewers can see through bull****. Basically, be respectful, be articulate, and be real. Even though this process can seem like a real crapshoot at times, doing the aforementioned should give you a good shot."
 

OCDOCDOCD

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These are some quotes from r/medicine on reddit that I found helpful when somebody asked the same question as you:

"I used to be on an adcom. We want to hear the truth. We have seen every answer that tries to provide "what the adcoms want to hear" and it is always a disappointment.
Be confident and just answer the question. It is understood that your motives may be somewhat selfish or naive, and that you have not been exposed to every thing that different physicians do."

"They want you to show them that you've put enough thought into this decision to move beyond the standard "I want to help people" response, especially since medicine is far from the only profession that can help people. Your answer should be rich and not hollow, meaning that you should be able to elaborate your response for at least a few minutes. The best way to do this to be genuine in your answer, and an excellent way to support this is to draw from your own experiences; your essays, extracurriculars, and personal experiences should certainly help with this. Be very careful with the personal one though because going overboard on the emotional aspect of that can actually hurt you rather than help you, in some cases.
When a candidate receives an interview invitation, it means that they are admissable and that the committee wants to make sure that they really are a good fit for the school. Ever wonder why you occasionally hear stories of people not getting in, despite having a ridiculous MCAT, a perfect GPA, and then some? It's because they blew the interview. So except for the "Why do you want to attend our school?" (and by that I mean you should at least know something about the place), don't be spout out what you think they want to hear because interviewers can see through bull****. Basically, be respectful, be articulate, and be real. Even though this process can seem like a real crapshoot at times, doing the aforementioned should give you a good shot."
I'm dubious about that last bit. If you look at school statistics for number applied/number interviewed/number accepted, the number accepted is usually 1/3rd to 1/4th that of the number interviewed. I seriously doubt that 3/4 of interviewees blow the interview. Obviously it plays a greater role than just "make sure they aren't weird/naive" seeing as how every school interviews far more applicants than they could ever admit. Furthermore, depending on the school, many or even most people who are rejected are going to have near-perfect GPAs and ridiculous MCAT scores (see: Harvard, Johns Hopkins, or really any top 10 to 20).
 

VictorAlpha

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I'm dubious about that last bit. If you look at school statistics for number applied/number interviewed/number accepted, the number accepted is usually 1/3rd to 1/4th that of the number interviewed. I seriously doubt that 3/4 of interviewees blow the interview. Obviously it plays a greater role than just "make sure they aren't weird/naive" seeing as how every school interviews far more applicants than they could ever admit. Furthermore, depending on the school, many or even most people who are rejected are going to have near-perfect GPAs and ridiculous MCAT scores (see: Harvard, Johns Hopkins, or really any top 10 to 20).
It's a mix of both of what you guys said. The interview is not something that can only hurt. It can help or hurt. In general though, they aren't going to send out interview invites to just anyone. But they will send out secondaries to pretty much anyone. I mean no part of the application process is that sure until you get an acceptance....then you can only blow it from there.

To the OP: The reasons should come from your personal convictions on the matter. I am not surprised that many traditionals don't have these (btw many do because they have built these experiences...I was not one of them). I had to think very hard for a long time about what it is about medicine and spent a lot of time shadowing and volunteering to have a real first-hand trove of experiences I can point to and use the specifics to relate to my convictions.

Your revised answer sounds better but it still sounds like you are looking for a "better" or "right" answer; which you kind of are...I mean you want to go to med school so you have to get past this hurdle. The previous statement is not a slam btw. I would suggest spending more time shadowing and volunteering, hear the patients experiences with the healthcare system, listen to the doctors speak about why they do what they do and what fulfillment they get. And then really be honest with yourself about what it is that excites you. You'll have a great answer (whether it has to do with medicine or dietary counseling or health care admin or anything else) and you'll be that much closer to finding your personal fulfillment. Good luck!!
 

circulus vitios

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If liking cooking and thinking the human body is cool were good enough reasons to go to med school there would probably be a lot more applicants. Also, saying that you want to be a physician because you might want to ditch patient care and do clinical research or administration instead is not helping your case at all.
I want to help people. Then be a social worker, cop, fireman, psychologist, etc.
I like science. Then get a PhD.
I want to help people with science. Then do applied research.
etc.

I don't know why people -- not you in particular -- point out that our reasons are shallow or stupid. All reasons are shallow, stupid, and played out. I'm guessing the point of these types of question is how you deliver your answer, and not the actual answer itself. That is, can you at least say why you want to help people or in what way you want to help people...or are you going to puke out a load of incoherent garbage when the interviewer asks you to elaborate on why you want to help people and how being a physician will help facilitate this.