What will I get asked in my medical school interview?

November 17, 2016

Like any interview in life, your medical school admissions panel may decide to throw you some weird and wacky questions. However, the likelihood is that many of them will be straightforward and, therefore, taking some time out to prepare should prove extremely useful.

Here are five questions you are likely to encounter:

Why do you want to study medicine?

There’s no doubt that you’ll have an answer to this – applying for medicine is a long and hard process, and there’s no way you’d do it without a hefty dose of motivation and drive. Be prepare to speak about what drew you to a medical career – but steer clear of overly emotional stories, focus on the facts and how your experiences will make you a great physician.

What do you believe the role of a doctor is?

By asking this question, the admissions panel want to know that you understand exactly what it means to be a doctor – the bad bits as well as the good. When you answer, don’t simply describe the bits you’ll like doing – but the nuts and bolts of the job too, from paperwork to night shifts.

Have you had any work experience?

As well as the above question, your future college might want to see evidence that you have had practical experience of healthcare. They won’t be expecting you to have first-hand medical experience (after all, you’re not qualified yet) but even shadowing a professional for a short time will reassure them that you understand the many aspects of being a physician.

What is your opinion on…

Medical ethics is something health professionals deal with as often as they take a patient’s temperature. That’s why your chosen college may want to see how you react to what might seem like a controversial question – for example, abortion or euthanasia. In truth, your answer does not really matter. You can be personally for or against something, but to excel in the medical profession you will need to be able to weigh up all sides of an argument and put patient safety first. These critical thinking skills will be what your admissions panel looks out for, not your personal view.

Do you have any questions?

At the end of your medical school interview, the panel will probably ask you if you have any questions for them. There is no need to make something up simply to fill the gap, but this is a great chance – perhaps your only chance – to ask college professionals anything that’s been concerning you about the course structure, modules, or assessment. You may like to know opportunities for specialising or whether you can intercalate. Remember to check on the school website before your interview to avoid asking anything that is glaringly obvious!

You can never predict exactly what will happen on the day, but if you prepare your answers to these most likely questions, you’ll have no problem if the panel throw you a curveball.

Good luck!