Today, I would like to share with you the story of one of my med school interviews that didn’t go as well as I had wanted it to. Hopefully you can take away some valuable lessons from my experience, and remember that no matter how dicey this interview was, my story has a happy ending. (For privacy’s sake, I’ve changed the name of the …Read more
We’ve all heard horror stories: bizarre ethical dilemmas, not clicking with your interviewer, the old “window-being-nailed-shut” story. But medical school interviews really aren’t that bad. Perhaps the most misunderstood part of the application, these brief conversations hold the key in that final step of getting you from interviewee to medical student.
Why do pre-health schools do interviews? What are they looking for?
The interview is all about your ability to communicate clearly and effectively with others. Medicine is, at its core, a humanistic practice of care for one’s community. To be a successful clinician, you will …Read more
In Part I of this series we explored the most common reasons for taking a gap year. While everyone has their own reasons for the choice, one of your biggest concerns is likely going to be how to explain such a decision to admissions committees. However, your time away from school can actually be a great conversation point during your medical school interviews, and can help distinguish you from other candidates. While in college, students do many of the same things (research, leadership, volunteering), and while it’s necessary to fulfill your premed requirements it can …Read more
Most medical school applicants tend to normalize towards a typical set of extracurricular activities; research, clinical experience, and volunteering activities are the standard and show up in abundance on applications. Applicants believe that a vital part of getting accepted is having these experiences, and that is largely true. Would it surprise you, though, to know that it was comic book collecting that was the one activity my medical school noticed most on my medical school application?
I had a strong background in research, significant clinical experiences, great community service, and lengthy periods of paid employment, …Read more
“So tell me about yourself.”
It’s not even a question. It’s a request, and in the opening moments of your medical school interview, it may sound more like a hostile command. But it is perhaps one of the most common ways in which your med school interviewers may invite you to join in conversation with them. How would you respond to this non-question question? It doesn’t seem easy, as I’m sure you’re well aware. Because it’s so open-ended, we tend to hem-and-haw and sputter out the first thing that comes to mind, and our response …Read more
by Lauren Poindexter, Kaplan Elite MCAT Instructor
As a future physician, it’s a sure thing that at some point in your career you will encounter patients with some form of mental illness. Psychological health is every bit as important as physiological health, and in many instances the two are hopelessly intertwined. Amid reports of celebrities dealing with mental afflictions – from NFL athlete Brandon Marshall’s recent declaration of his diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, to actor Charlie Sheen’s suspicious descent into madness – you might have missed the announcement of a new challenge proposed to …Read more
Modern technology has changed the way that we live our lives; you can now order almost anything you want online, pay your bills and invest money easily without visiting the bank, and essentially live your life without ever having to leave your home. These changes have spread to the healthcare industry as well, and medical students are now starting to see the benefits of some of those changes firsthand. iPads, online materials, and lectures that resemble game-shows are only a few of the changes that make medical school much different today than it was when your …Read more
When it comes to the medical school selection process, schools sometimes receive as many as 100 applications for every spot that is available. The majority of applications are extremely similar: high GPAs, top MCAT scores, and ample community service and clinical involvement. The difference between an accepted applicant and one that is not can be quite thin. In times like these, schools deeply appreciate knowing more about applicants than just the details found in their med school application. That means being more than just a name with some numbers attached to it. To achieve this, …Read more
It’s the week before the MCAT, the day before your organic chemistry final, or the morning of your first medical school interview and you’re struggling to organize your own thoughts, feelings, emotions, fears, hopes, and expectations. And that’s just YOU! Then there’s all the “outside” stress to deal with, too, like your roommate’s noisy new boy/girlfriend, Aunt Jen’s cancer scare, the road trip with friends you’re missing out on, and the challenge of meeting next month’s rent. Sometimes, it can feel like too much, and in order to have the clarity of mind needed for …Read more
A commonly discussed topic on the wards during the third and fourth years of medical school is the health care system. Since the legislation passing health care reform in 2009, physicians are constantly talking about the possible changes, and students who have a thoughtful, informed opinion usually wind up standing out as a result of these discussions. The fact that it has also become a common topic during admissions interviews adds to the importance of understanding the health care system as a whole well before you actually find yourself immersed in it.
The American healthcare system …Read more