Getting admitted into medical school is the dream of many international students. Making this dream a reality requires a lot of hard work and preparation. This article is specifically tailored to help you prepare using some commonly asked medical school interview questions.
Medical school interviews test your passion, interest, zeal, capabilities, weaknesses and other relevant qualities. Thus, constant practice of the questions with appropriate answers sets you on your way to success. Here are some common medical school interview questions to help you prepare ahead of time.
1. Why do you want to be a doctor?
This is a common interview question that every medical student must provide a strong answer to. You are expected to outline your reasons clearly to convince your interviewer that you truly belong to the medical field.
How to Answer: Your answer should focus on your potentials, passion and desire to provide affordable healthcare services to people. You can give powerful examples of situations that made you choose to study medicine.
2. Why do you want to attend our medical school?
Do some research on the schools you’re applying to, to know a bit about them. This will help you proffer suitable answers especially in regards to what makes them unique. Your interviewer will be impressed that you’re knowledgeable about the school. For instance, its residency program, hospitals it’s affiliated with, local opportunities, etc.
How to Answer: Your choice can be attributed to the school’s record of success academically and its valuable contributions through research. You can also talk about its state of the art facilities, advanced technology, great alumni, its reputation, ranking, etc.
3. Why do you think our medical school would be a good fit for you?
Your interviewer really wants to know why you choose their school over others. Applying for a particular school means that you believe in what the school can offer you as an international student.
How to Answer: Talk about its past achievements and why you think it is in the best position to help you build your career. You can also talk about its location, quality lecturers/professors, method of teaching, conducive learning environment, etc.
4. What would you do if you weren’t accepted to this medical school?
While it’s OK to have high hopes of getting admitted, it is very important to manage your expectations. This will save you from being crushed in the event that you don’t make the admission list. It will equally keep you from being discouraged or throwing in the towel.
How to Answer: Your response to this question should reflect enthusiasm and confidence rather than pessimism. Explain that if rejected this year, you’re willing to try again next year because of how much you believe in the institution. In the interim, you’ll get a job in health care as an EMT or medical assistant.
5. What do you think are the biggest problems with our current health care system?
This is one of the common medical school interview questions. Your response will clearly reflect how in touch or otherwise you are with the health sector and related issues. Take the liberty to highlight some common challenges bedevilling the healthcare system currently.
How to Answer: Talk about some of the major issues being debated in health care in recent years. Also, talk about current health challenges that require thorough research to profer long-lasting solutions. If you’ve discovered from extensive research that there are more effective ways of handling some health issues, feel free to share your findings.
6. What do you think are the most important characteristics of a physician?
You’re expected to outline some professional ethics of a medical student in terms of your relationship with the patient. Your interviewers want to know if you are conversant with the qualities a physician should possess and if you possess them.
How to Answer: Some of the qualities a physician needs are the ability to promote patients’ rights and confidentiality. It’s also important to be driven by a desire to see people receive efficient health care services. Cordial patient-physician relationship as well as the ability to work long hours and under pressure are key.
7. Discuss your Clinical Experiences
This is a tough question on one hand a trick question on the other because at your level, you have little experience. However, think of any experience you had as a student.
How to Answer: For instance, volunteering in a clinic, or taking care of a sick family member with a critical condition is your experience. Personal research about particular diseases can also serve as experience at this stage.
8. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Strength stands for those success stories in your life and weaknesses means those areas you encounter difficulty in.
How to Answer: Tell your success story by giving an example of how you made it. Discuss your weaknesses and how you were able to overcome them as well. Then, connect your points to why they qualify to study medicine in that institution.
9. Ethical questions about abortion, euthanasia, and stem cell research
This question seeks to know your zeal for research. It also seeks to know how you’ll handle abortion cases in the event that you encounter such.
How to Answer: Every country has a law on abortion. Some countries legalize it while it’s a taboo in some parts of the world. Take into consideration the laws and diversity of your patients to answer this question.