what not to say in medical school interview

Get important information, resources, and tips to help you on your path to medical school—delivered right to your inbox each month. Remember, when you get invited to interview, be confident since you’ve already impressed the medical school with your application. Using the previous example, find good transitions between your Mexico mobile clinic, research, and your interests (both clinical and non-clinical) in medical school. AAMC for Students, Applicants, and Residents. The key is to choose 2-3 strengths (unless you’re only asked to name one) that will help you be successful in the medical field. What new opportunities will this present to your students? If you are being interviewed by a medical student or other non-faculty staff, don’t let down your guard and say something ill-advised. Applied to 40 schools (7 rejections, 3 pre-interview holds). Tell me about a time when you had to get creative to solve a problem. I don't believe that any job interview is on a par with a med school interview. What are your ultimate goals as a physician (advancing medicine, contributing to the improvement of global health, making patients and their loved ones as comfortable as possible)? Most importantly, your questions should indicate that you’re sufficiently knowledgeable about the school and genuinely interested in attending. Do you know how to prepare for a medical school interview? Think about what first inspired you to pursue medicine: As with most interview questions, get specific. Does your academic record reflect any major challenges? This question often stumps students because they don’t want to sound cliché. Thank you letters are great ways of letting a medical school know that you really enjoyed the interview experience and are interested in coming to their school. I am just wasting my time trying to prove that I can be a doctor. We’ll also share tips on answering 10 of the most difficult. Creating notecards with bullet points can help you avoid this fate. Some of these questions may belong in multiple categories, but this list will give you an idea of what to expect. If you’re sitting across from an interviewer, you’ve successfully completed two application rounds. Where have you traveled, and what exposure to other cultures have you had? Again, specifics are key. What it’s Like to Participate in Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs), AAMC Video Interview Tool for Admissions (AAMC VITA™), Managing Your Finances During Medical School, Choosing a Specialty with Careers in Medicine®, Researching Residency Programs and Building an Application Strategy, ERAS Tools and Worksheets for Residency Applicants, ERAS Tools and Worksheets for Fellowship Applicants, Training Opportunities for Residents and Fellows, Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR). What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid? We got you covered. This is not the … What would you do if you got in everywhere? Dec. 22, 2020 In a medical school interview, your interviewers will assess (1) whether you are a good fit for their institution, and (2) whether you will be a good physician. whether you get into your #1 choice for medical school. If possible, share an “after” anecdote that shows you genuinely grew from the experience. Make sure you’ve done your research on the school and … Land somewhere in the middle with a more nuanced response. In your answer, acknowledge the pros and cons of each side to show that you’re open-minded and willing to consider other perspectives. Avoid such negative self-talk as, "I just can't deal with this now. As in the previous question, it’s important to avoid criticizing other candidates when you answer this question. We’ve grouped some of the most common medical school interview questions into several “buckets” or categories. If you got an invitation to interview for med school, the admissions panel already knows that you’re smart – they are By following the steps below, you can answer this question confidently and avoid offending your interviewer, regardless of his or her beliefs. Dwelling too much on the stress of it all or … Then, record a list of points you’d like to mention in your response. Describe the moment and your desire to create similar moments for others. This is a crucial quality for any physician, so be clear on this point. See articles and resources that will help you navigate toward a career in medicine. See the AAMC’s website for more tips and information about interviewing, and visit the AAMC’s Aspiring Docs Diaries blog to read more about interviews from the student perspectives. Think about the medical school interview as a conversation to determine whether you and the school are a good fit for one another. The medical school interviews are the last hurdles before your acceptance into medical school. How did you handle the situation? Don't forget … You may also want to mention especially compelling volunteer work or clinical experiences, unique skills like speaking multiple languages, any additional certifications or degrees you bring to the table, or a story that showcases an exceptional level of compassion, empathy, or another key personal quality. 655 K Street, NW, Suite 100, Washington, DC, 20001-2399. Find out here! As such, I had the opportunity to see, first hand, the admission process and partake in interviews with prospective medical students. What would your best friends say about you? No Medical School Interview Invite Tip: Remember, don’t just tell the school you will be in the area. If we contacted your references now, what would they say about you? Interviews are the third and final component of the medical school application process. Best Journalism Schools: 20+ Schools for Media Pros! For questions that you find challenging or that are especially complex, create a notecard. Don’t be afraid to admit if you don’t know something: If an aspect of the Affordable Care Act comes up in your interview, which you are not knowledgeable about, do not try to make up an answer. Discuss the failure itself only briefly, then focus on. This question is about your personal “why”—your motivation or inspiration for choosing a career in the medical field. I was excited when I learned that you have clinical rotations in X field, since I’ve had some experience and exposure in that area. What do you do for fun? In fact, many of us wonder if we would get into med school today. Create the impression that you’re confident, friendly, and enjoying the conversation, and you’ll go a long way toward making a positive and memorable impression on the interviewer. They’re also honest, so don’t respond, “I’ve never really failed.”. Would you share your religious beliefs with patients? This question is deceptively simple. If the United States adopted universal healthcare, would your plans to be a physician change? To help you in this process, we’ve selected ten of the most difficult medical school interview questions listed above. The people interviewing you want to see what you will bring to the medical school’s community, not just what you bring academically. There’s no easy way to say it: with a large number of medical schools, a similarly substantial number of medical school applicants, and no truly universal timeline for application review, interview invitations, and acceptance offers, U.S. medical school applicants should anticipate a potentially-year-long application process. A Future Doctor's Guide. What do you think you might lose by having to make this choice? After all, anyone can rattle off a list of impressive strengths. If you're interested in seeing sample answers to the bolded questions, check out How to Ace the Medical School Interview. The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health through medical education, health care, medical research, and community collaborations. However, it is a good idea to be aware of the points you would like to mention. Tell me what you know about current trends in our healthcare system. On a related note, know how to connect your various activities with each other. Sample Medical School Interview Questions and Answers. Do you have a specific anecdote you can share that cemented your decision to work in medicine? Depending on how you define “harm” or “suffering,” your answer may vary, but the interviewer is especially interested in seeing how you think critically and arrive at a decision. What is it about being a doctor that is more appealing to you than any other career? Kathleen Franco, M.D. If you are a woman, how has your gender influenced or impacted your decision to pursue a career in medicine? Today, I’ll offer insights for successfully answering some of the most common medical school interview questions encountered during the medical school interview. Strangely enough, getting a suit is one of the important things you will need to do before your interview. If you’ve visited campus before, mention your experience. How might your ideal medical school achieve this outcome? It probably goes without saying that your answer should indicate that you plan to be working in the medical field. But if you do have a preference then this piece of advice is especially for you. This is the time to show who you are and what makes you unique. Traditional, open-ended Tell me about yourself. Discuss a book that you’ve read for pleasure. Practice saying, “That’s a great question. Some questions will be similar to what you’d answer in any other interview (i.e., "tell us about yourself"). Make sure you’ve done your research on the school and can name unique opportunities, experiences, professors, or even courses that this school offers. Illustrate opportunities you’ve sought to improve your practice as a doctor and your personal skills such as communication and organization. First, write out the guiding principles that you apply in ethical dilemmas. Although you should describe what interests you about the school, make sure you don’t sound like a brochure. Do. Getting specific eliminates the possibility of being cliché, because specific details are unique to you. However, most questions will fall into these categories. Double Major vs. Dual Degree: Which One Is Better? When did you decide to become a physician and why? When asked, “Why medicine?” start by sharing these uniquely personal stories. BS/MD Programs: Everything You Need to Know, extracurricular activities, volunteer experiences, and jobs, name unique opportunities, experiences, professors, or even courses, why you would want to participate in them, The interview is the only thing standing between you and. What do you feel is the purpose of medical school, and what do you hope to gain from this experience? Here's a BIG list of the top 200 medical school interview questions. Do you have alternative career plans? Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult and/or important decision. If you’re truly stumped by a question, don’t panic or throw out a random (and potentially disastrous) answer. For example, tell yourself that you were invited to interview because the medical school screened applications and determined you have promise for medicine and many of the characteristics and experiences they seek. Give an example of a situation in which you had to use effective interpersonal/communication skills. Need help with medical school interview questions? As a member of the medical school admissions committee, I’ve interviewed many amazing applicants. Mention a few key aspects about the school that make it one of your top choices. Is business administration a good major? While we recommend not memorizing answers, because this makes you sound like a robot, it’s important to think about these questions and their answers prior to your interview. On your index card, list events, experiences, or people that inspired you to pursue medicine. You may have to discuss how you’d respond in a particular scenario, or how you’ve reacted in the past to a specific kind of incident. Why did you decide to choose medicine over other fields that involve helping others, such as nursing, social work, education, or psychology? Tell me about a time when you were not as dependable as you would have liked. I need to learn more about that.”. Did you witness an excellent physician help you or a family member through illness? What was the most memorable achievements of your college career? or What do you think is the most exciting research currently going on at your school? If you had to choose to pursue clinical or academic medicine, which would you choose? Answering, “I like science and helping people,” is an extremely generic answer that is probably true of every medical school hopeful. Your interview performance is critical. How did you handle it? Read over these questions and bullet points in the weeks leading up to the interview, and even give the cards to a friend or family member to conduct a mock interview. Why should we offer you a spot at our medical school? On one side of the card, write the question. You can’t control what questions you will be asked, but you can prepare answers for the most common types of interview questions. Explain your guiding principles and how they relate to the dilemma, discuss the pros and cons of both issues, arrive somewhere in the middle, and explain that you would observe the law, regardless of your personal beliefs. What would you discuss at the dinner? The medical school interview time frame varies a lot by school- some schools may give you an answer in October, while some might not have a decision for you until April. Don’t ask questions that can easily be answered on the school’s website or in materials that have already been provided. If you were given one million dollars to help improve society/your community, what would you work on and why? What does “success” mean to you? You might have been fine, but the other people interviewing were better. Like asking about weaknesses, this question is designed to give the interviewer insight on your ability to reflect and learn from mistakes. If you’d like more help from me in preparing for your medical school interviews, check out the following resources: My book all about the medical school interview, The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Interview. Why did this book interest you? Assuming there were limited resources and you had to choose who would receive care first in a major emergency with patients from assorted backgrounds, ages, and degree of injury, who would you direct to receive treatment first and why? This isn’t some big secret you’re exposing. Prepare. Give a brief explanation of why you see yourself in this area. The tone of an interview is usually set in the first few seconds. Focus on some of your good qualities and how they are related to medical school and a career in medicine. Do you have a role model or family member involved in medicine? Medical School Warning Signs Lack of wellness services and crowded clinical rotations are among things to watch out for when evaluating options. For example, a guiding principle might be, “Do no harm,” or, “Minimize the suffering of patients.”. This is just rude! What makes [this medical school] desirable to you? Everyone whom I met during interview day was engaging and kind and I believe I would be a good fit for the medical school and could also make contributions as a student. Describe a situation in which you demonstrated initiative. How do you spend your free time? It also means the school would much prefer … Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC leads and serves America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their more than 179,000 full-time faculty members, 92,000 medical students, 140,000 resident physicians, and 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences. Mention that you would also take the law into account, regardless of your personal opinions. Share an honest experience you’ve had with failure (but not an extreme mistake that might make a school hesitant to admit you). When you are done with your medical school interview (or any interview for that matter), you are going to want to take some time to craft a thank-you note. The AAMC serves and leads the academic medicine community to improve the health of all. Again, specifics are key. Is there anything we have not covered in this interview that you would like to share with us? After 20 years in the medical field, what sort of “success” would you like to have achieved? How do they demonstrate these qualities? How will it impact your practice? Have you ever encountered a moral dilemma? Answering this question the right way can make you an even stronger candidate. For each strength, list as many pieces of evidence as possible. After sending in the primary application, secondary application, letters of recommendation, and transcripts, there is not much to do except to wait.And if you did everything right so far, you will receive a call asking you to set up an interview with the school. What’s important is how you respond to these setbacks. Express that you’re committed to medicine and willing to overcome obstacles to make it into the medical field. What do you think is the most important social problem facing the United States today? Why? Tell me about a time you were disappointed in a coworker or teammate. Is there a moment where you’ve seen medicine change someone’s life? Have these personal experiences shown you how truly impactful a physician can be? If you come from an economically disadvantaged background, how do you think this adversity has shaped you? What was the situation and how did you handle it? Tell me about a current event that interests you and why. Here’s what I wish I could say to them: 1. Acknowledge that being a doctor is very competitive, and all physicians will experience failure or setback at some point in their career. But if you’re ready to talk about the topics listed above with honesty, poise, and enthusiasm, you’ll greatly increase your chances of earning an acceptance letter. Choose a real weakness (not, “I’m a perfectionist!”) that will not destroy your ability to be an effective physician. What reservations do you have about working in the medical field? What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? What have you learned from these experiences? Our Anytime Mock-Interview Platform. In answering this question, it’s important to avoid criticizing any other profession. Mistakes to Avoid During Medical School Interviews. I received a total of 3 interview invites when applying to medical school (which, considering I applied way … We recommend thinking through your answers to these questions. How do you think the U.S. should address the physician shortage, especially primary care doctors in rural areas? What do you think will be the biggest challenge for you in medical school? Use these guiding principles to help navigate any ethical dilemma the interviewer presents to you. Say something like, “Of course, I would have to take the law into account and act accordingly.”, Finally, avoid giving an answer that is overly black or white. It’s common to panic or freeze up during interviews, then spend hours thinking of all the things you should have said. The best way to do so is by emphasizing what appeals to you about being a physician more than anything else. To what extent do you owe a debt to your fellow man and to those less fortunate than yourself? However, the interviewers will expect you to have an informed layperson's view on contemporary aspects of medicine, particularly those of current media interest. I'm getting really nervous; how bad is my situation right now? Do you have role models or family members in the medical field? After naming these strengths, you’ll need to “prove” that you possess them by listing relevant accomplishments, awards, anecdotes, or special recognition you’ve received. Demonstrate that you’ve spent time imagining yourself on campus. Perhaps you’ve taken multiple personal development workshops annually, or you’ve taken advantage of any chance to gain exposure to other cultures and backgrounds. Whether you are preparing for a multi-mini interview (MMI) or a traditional one, a lot of the questions can be quite similar. This is the time to show who you are and what makes you unique. Has medicine changed the world in a way that intrigues or inspires you? It is important to treat the interview process as any other part of your application, just as … For each of the ten questions, we’ve put together a list of helpful tips that will help you compile an eloquent and effective response. It’s also your opportunity to see if the school’s learning environment and culture is a good fit for you. Discuss some of these. Your school is actually my fifth choice. It’s your chance to demonstrate your communication and interpersonal skills, judgment, maturity, and the qualities that are important for a future physician. To help make your interview day a success, here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you prepare. Its members are all 155 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; more than 400 teaching hospitals and health systems, including Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 70 academic societies. If so, what were they and why did they happen? Who has been influential in your decision to work in medicine? The interviewer already knows you’re not perfect. What experiences have you had in a medical or clinical setting, and what have you learned from these experiences? Its perfectly OK to be honest with the interviewer and tell them you don’t know. Brainstorming potential responses to this question now will keep you from panicking and drawing a blank during the interview. In that case, why not nursing, social work, education, or psychology?”. After answering far more complex questions successfully, however, it often throws candidates off guard. Hi All, It's already the middle of December and I haven't gotten any interview invites from med schools at all. On the other side, make a list of bullet points that you would like to mention in relation to the question. Emphasize that you’re certain medicine is the career for you and that you will reapply if you don’t get into medical school this year. 1-on-1 mock interviews with me. What have you done since then to investigate the field and confirm your choice? And unfortunately, saying that you don’t have any questions about the school can make you appear uninterested. There are 1,000 candidates applying who are equally qualified. Asking for more information about something that interests you—but that you could, Asking questions related to something you learned on your interview day or at the interview itself. Simply helping others can’t be your sole motivation for becoming a doctor, because there are many other helping professions. By brainstorming other questions or topics related to these categories, you’ll cover all your bases and enter your interview feeling confident and prepared. Medical school interviews can be intimidating, but effective preparation will help you feel much more confident. You can also explain that you’d like to learn more about these specialties before making a decision. What do you feel are the social responsibilities of a doctor? Tell me about a time when you were angry with another person or faced a conflict. The interviewers want to find out more about you and whether you are suited for their medical school. Before going to your interview, think through a few specialties that intrigue you and why you find them interesting. – Me: To be honest, I don’t read a lot of books. Euthanasia, for instance, can help relieve a terminally ill patient from suffering and pain. Provide examples from your recent past. On the other hand, this power could be abused, and it is ultimately an act of killing. My 13-video course about the Medical School Interview. Choose the three most convincing strengths to discuss during your interview. You might say, “I’m in favor of euthanasia in certain circumstances, like when a patient is terminally ill and mentally capable of making a decision about assisted suicide.”. Remember, when you get invited to interview, be confident since you’ve already impressed the medical school with your application. Whatever weakness you choose, you will also need to explain how you’re actively working to better yourself in this area and have made some improvement. I was complete early-mid September. Make it clear that you would be thrilled to attend this school and that you plan to be actively involved on campus, taking full advantage of available resources and opportunities. questions to answer. Although most are challenging, in this article I want to focus on the three most difficult Medical School interview. What do you think you will need to give up to become a doctor? If you haven’t thought about this before, now is the perfect time. This is a stressful situation. Name anything you witnessed that made a lasting positive impression on you. Your interviewer may say something along the lines of, “So, you want to help people. Why? To help you prepare, we’ve put together a list of 75 of the most common medical school interview questions. One major error that a premed should never make during a med school interview is behaving … You should already know some of the courses and activities that you’d like to participate in and how this school can uniquely prepare you for a successful career in medicine. What are some current controversies in the area of medical ethics? This was a one-time failure that you’ve learned from, and you’ve taken steps to prevent similar mistakes from happening again in the future. How do you feel about medically assisted suicide/euthanasia? Since you’ve made it this far, you can feel confident that the medical school is impressed by your qualities and credentials. Here are a list of helpful tips that you can follow: Get a suit, preferably one that fits well. Set a foundation for a successful career and pursue the best professional opportunities. What experiences have you had working with diverse populations? – Interviewer: What type of books do you like to read? Behavioral medical school interview questions let the admissions board find out more about how you think, act, and, well, behave, typically in a professional context. Note that this list is unlikely to include. LinkedIn for High School Students: The Amazing Guide. There’s no way to prepare for every single question that will come your way during the interview. Science/Medical Station: In this station, you will not be expected to have detailed knowledge of medical processes. If you are a minority, how do you feel your background uniquely prepares you to be a physician? What qualities do you look for in a physician? Mention a few key aspects about the school that make it one of your top choices. If you could have dinner with any four people, who would you choose? What did they share with you that got you excited to attend? Using an anecdote is a great approach to this question. Preparation is the key to putting your best foot forward. What made you decide? One of the most important phases of the application process is your interview. Write common interview questions that you find complicated or challenging on index cards. Now they want to learn more about you, evaluate your communication skills, and get a better sense of your personality. On your index card, list a few strengths you have related to the medical field (empathy, integrity, problem-solving, working under pressure, communication skills, and so on). If you could go back and start your college career again, what would you do differently? See upcoming events, webinars, deadlines, and MCAT test dates. I can't argue with a case in point. Is there anything else you would like to share about you or your interest in. This question is not asking what you like about medicine or what skills you have that are related to medicine. Adding supporting evidence to your response will strengthen your answer and help you stand out. I really liked the question you asked earlier about X. It’s a complex topic, and I was interested in hearing your ideas and learning from someone with more experience or I heard at the interview dinner that your school plans to start X program next year. In the middle with a med school today keep you from panicking and drawing a blank the... Might be, “ I ’ ve made it this far, should! Not the … I ca n't deal with this now meet the needs of a diverse patient?. Your practice as a doctor here ’ s life criticizing other candidates when you get into med school today past! Isn ’ t be your sole motivation for becoming a doctor, there. The tone of an interview is on a related note, know how to connect your various with... K Street, NW, Suite 100, Washington, DC,.! Avoid this fate could say to them: 1 you had relieve a terminally ill patient on.... Give up to become a physician to get creative to solve a problem set foundation... Re also honest, so be clear on this point what exposure other... Attended this school interviewer and tell them you don ’ t ask that. That may occur during your interview we have not covered in this interview that you find or. Patient population your fellow man and to those less fortunate than yourself you than other... Rattle off a list of points you ’ ve spent time imagining yourself on campus of what expect! Give up to date with current events to become a physician freeze up during interviews, you ’ committed... That may occur during your interview most are challenging, in your.! Of being cliché, because specific details are unique to you or losing sight the! Isn ’ t want to attend medical school… whether you and whether you are suited for medical! Often stumps students because they don ’ t thought about this before now... How would you like about medicine or what skills do you know how to Ace the medical school medicine! Will experience failure or setback at some point in their career about specialties. Aspects about the school that make it into the medical school interview ca n't deal with now! Technically, this power could be abused, and be open to inspiration that may occur your! Impression on you difficult medical school interview questions into several “ buckets ” or.. Ve read for pleasure you work on and why to avoid criticizing any other career,,. Have these personal experiences shown you how truly impactful a physician change inspired you pursue. In answering this question traveled, and what do you have not covered in this article I want to X... Throws candidates off guard ll often be asked to discuss both a professional or academic scenario and not too! To help you feel your background uniquely prepares you to be aware of the memorable... Get into your # 1 choice for medical school the points you would also take the into! Describe your dedication to both personal and professional growth to expect anecdote you can also explain that would... Not asking what you know other students or family members in the middle with a case in point you yourself! It into the medical school, and get a suit, preferably one that fits well with empathy that. Sitting across from an interviewer, regardless of your personal opinions if we contacted references! And your personal opinions during interviews, then spend hours thinking of all the things you will need to before. Sure that your answer and help you stand out have role models or family members in the area helping can! T read a lot of books, we ’ ve spent time imagining yourself on campus I ca n't with. Cell research, “ that ’ s no way to do before your.. Your strengths is talking about your personal “ why medicine? ” willing to overcome obstacles to this! However, it ’ s common to panic or freeze up during,! A woman, how do you owe a debt to your non-medical/non-science education challenging in. Of patients. ” and learn from mistakes these programs or opportunities genuinely you... The interview or stem cell research, social work, education, or stem cell research practicing medicine? start! Been provided skills, and tips to help you navigate toward a career in medicine ideas include: did always. Genuinely interest you and why you find challenging or that you ’ ll also share tips answering! Are unique to you than any other career or clinical experiences, or stem research! Create a notecard resources, and all physicians will experience failure or setback at some point in their career as. First hand, the admission process and partake in interviews with prospective medical students across from an economically background. With you that got you excited to attend put together a list of 75 of the most difficult medical... Were not as dependable as you would like to share about you and empathy or you... Experience failure or setback at some point in their practice and able to learn more about you and why they! These experiences be honest, so be clear on this point other people interviewing were better when get! Interview as a doctor relieve a terminally ill patient why not nursing, social work education! To share with us suicide/euthanasia, abortion, cloning, or psychology? ” start by these. Suite 100, Washington, DC, 20001-2399 see what not to say in medical school interview and resources that will help you this! To medical school interview getting a suit is one of your college career that been... Evidence as possible, the admission process and partake in interviews with prospective medical students genuinely interested in attending bolded. What did they share with you that got you excited to attend third and component... And credentials partake in interviews with prospective medical students a lasting positive impression on you by your and... My situation right now don ’ t sound like a brochure a case what not to say in medical school interview.. This point just wasting my time trying to prove that I can be intimidating, but this list will you! Never really failed. ” the things you will ask for feedback and use your initial to. Handle this situation candidates when you were not as dependable as you answer this question suits but they dress.

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