Shadowing a DoctorNovember 20, 2014
This article addresses more questions that are commonly asked in medical school interviews and offers suggestions on how to answer them well.
What do you feel are the most important personal traits a physician needs to have?
The best way to answer this is to think about what you would want to see in a medical practitioner who is treating one of your family members. Everybody wants a physician who cares for them and respects medicine but some may disagree as to what is more important – a friendly attitude with the personal touch or a more aloof and efficient attitude. There’s no right or wrong answer here but however you may choose to reply, it is important that you are able to back up your answer and give reasons for why you think that.
What do you think are the pressing problems in our country’s healthcare system?
This may not be the exact question that is asked but it is good to brush up on your general medical knowledge before you go for an interview. Find out about the latest medical news when it comes to discoveries and inventions as well as various problems that are being faced by people in your country and abroad too. If you interned in another country, you should read up as much as possible on healthcare policies and problems in that country as well.
The most important thing to remember when answering this question or any other is to make sure that you do not make this a politically right or wrong answer and try to avoid speaking against pharmaceutical companies or voice strong views against any particular sector. Instead, show them that you know what is going on and that you are up-to-date with all the important medical news.
A great talking point when replying to this question is discussing ideas on how you think certain failings in healthcare can be fixed.
What’s your plan if you do not get accepted into medical school?
Interviewers often comb through your original application and then point out the flaws and things that may prevent you from gaining admission. They ask these questions to see how you will react and also gain insights on whether your interest in medicine is strong enough to motivate you to apply again.
You should be familiar with the weak points in your application and have a good reason for every one of them. For example, if you have no clinical work experience, tell them that you will work for a year or try to get a good internship and try again the next year. If you have low grades in a subject tell them that you intend to take another class and try to improve your grades in that subject or improve your overall GPA. This will show that you are truly committed to trying to get into medical school. Your answer could also tip the results of the interview in your favour so take your time and answer carefully.
Ideally, do a few mock interviews with a friend or family member so that you get enough practice. Record the interview and watch yourself so you can correct your mistakes.
Part 3 of this article discusses one last but crucial question that is commonly asked at medical school interviews.