Med School Interview Questions

Med School Interview Questions

These are all of the med school interview questions I prepared for. Some people may think this is overkill. Maybe they’re right. All I know is that I wasn’t caught off guard during my interviews. Even if you aren’t writing out answers or making a bullet point list for each question, just thinking through these questions is a good way to get to know yourself better in preparation for interview season.

Personal Questions

      1. Tell me about yourself. <– You WILL get asked this.
      2. What are your career plans and what led you to these decisions?
      3. How do you handle change?
      4. How do you go about making important decisions?
      5. If you could start your college career all over again, what would you do differently? What would you do differently with regards to academic, co-curricular, and practical experiences?
      6. What does the word “success” mean to you?
      7. What do you do when you are not at work or school?
      8. How would your teammates describe you?
      9. What is your relationship with your family?
      10. Describe your personality.
      11. How do you plan to finance your medical education?
      12. What newspapers, journals, etc., do you read on a regular basis?
      13. What qualities do you look for in a physician/ what do you think is the most important quality a physician should have?
      14. When you need counseling for personal problems, whom do you talk with?
      15. How will you keep in touch with community needs?
      16. How do you handle blood and gore?
      17. Discuss your academic areas of interest.
      18. What non-science courses did you like the most?
      19. How do you want me to remember you? / What is the one thing you want me to convey to the admission committee?
      20. Convince me that you would make a good doctor.
      21. Can you convince me that you can cope with the workload in medical school?
      22. How do you study/prepare for exams?
      23. Do you engage in self-directed learning?
      24. Give evidence that you relate well with others.
      25. If you had three magical wishes, what would they be?
      26. What would you do on a perfect day?
      27. What was your proudest moment?
      28. If somebody on the admissions committee said to me “well she’s good but I’ve seen better” what would you like me to answer to that?
      29. What would you do if you were working with an attending who was rude and/or disrespectful?
      30. How do you handle working with someone difficult or who you don’t like?
      31. What do you want to talk about?
      32. Name three qualities important to being a physician that you already possess, and another three that you don’t just yet, but that you believe you will strive to gain in medical school?
      33. What do you think will be your biggest challenge in becoming a doctor?
      34. Is there anything else that we should cover about you (at the end of the interview)?

Questions about your experiences

      1. Describe a situation in which you were dependable or demonstrated initiative. One in which you were not as dependable as you would have liked. What did you gain from that experience? How were you most/least satisfied with that endeavor?
      2. What experiences have you had working with diverse populations?
      3. What were your most memorable accomplishments in your college career?
      4. Describe a situation in which you have worked with a diverse group of people. What did you learn from that situation?
      5. What steps have you taken to acquaint yourself with what a physician does?
      6. Discuss your experience working with underserved communities.
      7. Describe your volunteer experience.
      8. Describe a time you worked with a challenging situation.
      9. Tell me about a time when you had to compromise.
      10. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake. What did you do and how did you correct it?
      11. What academic achievements are you most proud of? What research projects have you found most rewarding, and why?
      12. Are your grades fair reflections of your academic abilities and intellectual potential?
      13. What does your personal statement reveal about you and why did you write about what you wrote about?
      14. Give me an example of when you felt you were able to motivate others.
      15. Tell me about a time when you were criticized unfairly.
      16. How do you respond to criticism? Describe a situation where your work was criticized. What was your immediate reaction to the situation?
      17. Tell me about a time when you failed. How do you handle failure?
      18. What do you think will be your biggest challenge/asset in medicine?
      19. What was the most stressful situation you ever faced? How did you handle it?
      20. What was your most difficult decision to date, and how did you go about making it?
      21. What lessons have you learned from your “failures” or “mistakes”?
      22. What is the ONE important lesson you have learned from all your clinical experiences?
      23. Describe any travels that you have undertaken and exposure to other cultures than your own, if any.
      24. How have you enjoyed your undergraduate experience? What would you change?
      25. Which of your co-curricular activities has been most meaningful to you?
      26. What are your three most significant employment or co-curricular achievements?

Why Medicine

      1. What do you want to do in 5 years?
      2. What do you feel is the purpose of medical school? What do you intend to gain from a medical education? What do you hope to gain from this experience?
      3. From what you understand of medical school, what part of the program will be most difficult for you? What do you think you will find most difficult about medical school?
      4. How do you know you want to do medicine, apart from those few clinical volunteering experiences?
      5. Explain your experiences and how you decided on medicine/ What led you to a career in medicine?
      6. Flash forward to twenty years from now….Tell me what your day will be like?
      7. How has all your activities prepared you for a career in medicine?
      8. What stimulated your interest in medicine?
      9. Is medicine a rewarding experience? Why?
      10. How do you think your personal background will affect your practice?
      11. Would you practice in the inner city? What do you think happens to people who practice medicine there (attitude changes, etc.)?
      12. Why choose medicine over some other career in health (nursing, PA, etc.)?
      13. What field of medicine interests you most?
      14. What concerns do you have with regard to a career in medicine, health care, or public health?
      15. When did you decide you wanted to be a doctor?
      16. Why MD vs DO, or vice versa?
      17. If you want to help people, why not social work?

Weird Questions

      1. If you were a superhero, what super power would you have and why?
      2. Have you ever experienced a situation where your integrity was compromised.
      3. Who would you say has been the most influential person in the last one-hundred years?
      4. Where does your sense of morality come from?
      5. If you could invite four people to dinner, who would they be? Why?
      6. If (school X) didn’t accept you, why do you think that would be?
      7. In what course did you get the worst grades? Why?

Ethical Questions

      1. Is it ethical for doctors to strike?
      2. What do you think about euthanasia?
      3. Do you think a physician should tell a patient he/she has eight months to live?
      4. If there were an accident on the highway, would you stop and help the victims, knowing that doing so might lead to a malpractice claim against you?
      5. Is it ever okay to lie to patients?
      6. A patient who has been in an accident needs a blood transfusion. She states that her religion does not allow them. You are the physician in charge. What will you do? Will you override her strong objection? Why/why not?
      7. If you have the choice of giving a transplant to a successful elderly member of the community or a 20- year old drug addict, how do you choose?
      8. How would you react if a colleague wanted you to keep a medical error they made a secret from a patient?
      9. What would you do if a 15-year-old came into your clinic and wanted an abortion?
      10. What would you do if you were seeing a patient in the emergency room and he or she wants to leave against medical advice?
      11. What do you think about Alternative medicine?
      12. The night before your final exam, your father has a heart-attack and is admitted to a hospital, what do you do?
      13. What are your views on terminating pregnancies, on stem-cell research and on physician assisted life termination?
      14. Should doctors be allowed to `pull the plug’ on terminally ill patients?
      15. You have a strong opinion on a public health topic, yet your are asked to generate data and a report that would be counter. What do you do?
      16. Discuss an ethical dilemma you have faced.

School Specific Questions

      1. Why do you think School X is the right place for you? How do the values of this institution line up with yours?
      2. What do you look for in a med school?
      3. Do you think you would do well in the (school X) System?
      4. What do you like/dislike about this city/town?
      5. What diversity would you bring to this school/city?
      6. What other schools did you apply to?

Healthcare Questions

      1. What are your thoughts on socialized medicine?
      2. Name three current controversies in the field of medicine that you are interested in, and explain your stance and future considerations regarding the debate.
      3. What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?
      4. What is your opinion of HMOs and PPOs?
      5. What are the pros to our health-care system?
      6. How would your plans differ if you knew that all physicians would be working in HMO’s in the future?
      7. What do you think is the most pressing issue/ biggest challenges in medicine today? Tell me how you would fix the healthcare system.
      8. How do you think your role as a physician fits in with your role as a member of the community?
      9. Discuss National Health Insurance and how it would affect the physician and the patient.
      10. Do you feel that medical students receiving federal loans should spend time practicing medicine in a rural area to give society something in return?
      11. Changes taking place in medicine?
      12. What is the biggest problem in the world today?
      13. What do you think about American primary health care delivery (i.e., status quo, total private systems, national health insurance)?
      14. What do you think about the government’s involvement in healthcare?
      15. How do you see the field of medicine changing in the next ten years? How do you see yourself fitting into those changes?
      16. What is your opinion about what we can do about the high cost of healthcare?
      17. Do doctors make too much money?
      18. Should fetal tissue be used to treat disease (i.e. Parkinson’s)?
      19. How would you attract physicians to rural areas?
      20. Thoughts on ACA?

Finally, in addition to the questions below, I also expected to be asked to explain each and every activity I listed on my application. Think about 2-3 key things that you learned or realized through each of the activities you participated in. Many of the questions you receive during interviews will be about your experiences to date and even about specific activities you listed on your application. The way you speak about your activities and experiences should demonstrate insightfulness and reflection. Spend some time thinking about what you learned from each experience/activity you participated in, and how it impacted you. Try and make sure that what you plan to say isn’t trite or overly-clichéd.

For every single activity you put on your application, be able to explain the activity and your personal role using the STAR method (below), as well as 2-3 things you learned and/or challenges you faced. Also, be able to explain why the activity was meaningful to you.

S – Situation, background set the scene

T – Task or Target, specifics of what’s required, when, where, who

A – Action, what you did, skills used, behaviors, characteristics

R – Result – Outcome, what happened?

Some people will say this is overkill, but I also recommend being able to explain why you took each course you did, and 1-2 specific things you learned from the course. I did get asked once or twice about specific interesting courses that were on my transcript.


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