Shadowing a DoctorNovember 19, 2014
Your medical school interview is the last and most important stage before you finally get into medical school. The original written application allowed the school a look into your life on paper. Now that you’ve passed that round, it is time for the admissions authorities to get a peek into your personality and decide whether you will be right for their school. Getting rejected at this stage – when you can almost see the finish line – can be devastating. To avoid the disappointment, it is important to be prepared for the medical school interview. One of the things you can do is practice your replies to some of the more commonly asked questions at medical school interviews.
Although all schools will generally ask a different set of questions, there are several ‘traditional’ questions that you can almost count on being asked at your interview. These questions give interviewers a pretty good idea about the applicant’s personality, which is the main goal of the interview itself.
Here are six of the more commonly asked questions and tips on how to answer them.
Why do you want to get into the medical field? When did you make that decision?
When answering this question, it is most important to remember to be honest. Do not steal someone else’s story just because you think it sounds impressive and there’s no chance the interviewers will ever find out. The problem could arise if the interviewers question you further about certain aspects of your story. If you forget or recant an important detail in the story, you will get found out and the consequences could be very harsh. Tell them the truth about what made you decide to become a doctor, no matter how bland the story.
However, while trying to be honest, take care not to come across as shallow. Don’t say something to the effect that you want to get into the field because you heard it pays a lot. Nobody wants a doctor who is more interested in money than in healing the sick and helping others.
Why did you choose our particular school? Why do you think it is the best option for you?
Perhaps the truth is that this was the only good medical school in the area or maybe it was the only school that invited you for an interview. While honesty is really the best policy, there’s certainly no need to be brutally honest. After all you did apply to the school, which means you’ve done the research and you did find something about the school that appealed to you. Use that something as your reason.
Take it one step further and before the interview date go through the school’s website again and glean all information you can get on them. Talk to students who are already in the school and ask them about the positive features of the school. See if the school is affiliated with any hospitals or master’s programs that will suit the kind of work you want to get in to.
Even if you have been called to multiple schools for interviews, it won’t take you more than an hour to learn enough about each school to give a good interview. This little bit of work will allow you to give specific answers and mention departments, awards, classes etc. which will show them that you are truly interested in their course and you’ve done your homework.
Part 2 of this article discusses a few more questions that are commonly asked at medical school interviews.