95 of the Most Common Medical School Interview Questions

InGenius Prep

95 of the Most Common Medical School Interview Questions

More so than any other application process, nailing the medical school interview is key to getting accepted. You can look through your schools' admissions sites for general tips. But overall, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of questions that might come up in any school's interview process, regardless of the types of medical school interview. Knowing exactly what to expect is a great place to start with your interview preparation. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of 95 of the most common medical school interview questions for you to look through. Good luck with your interviews!

Clarifying and understanding your career goals

  1. What are your career plans and what led you to these decisions?
  2. Why do you want to be a doctor?
  3. What do you feel is the purpose of Medical School?
  4. What do you hope to gain from this experience?
  5. What were your most memorable accomplishments of your college career?
  6. What does the word “success” mean to you?
  7. What are your specific goals in medicine?
  8. What stimulated your interest in medicine?
  9. Why do you think so many people want to be doctors?
  10. Where do you see yourself in 10-15 years?
  11. If you want to help people, why not social work?
  12. Do you prefer basic research or working with people?
  13. Do you have an alternative career plan?
  14. What about medical school scares you the most?
  15. Why study medicine when you have so many talents?

Assessing your specific interest in their medical school

  1. Tell me about why you are interested in our program?
  2. Are there any specific features of our medical school that interest you?
  3. From what you understand of medical school, what part of the program will be most difficult for you?
  4. Tell us your opinion of the medical school curriculum.

Assessing your noncognitive and communication skills

  1. Describe your style of communicating and interacting with others.  
  2. Give an example of a situation in which you had to utilize effective interpersonal skills.
  3. Describe a situation in which you were dependable or demonstrated initiative.  
  4. Describe one in which you were not as dependable as you would have liked.
  5. How do you handle stress?
  6. Describe how you can effectively deal with someone in crisis.
  7. Tell me about a time when you demonstrated initiative.
  8. Tell me about a time when you faced a conflict or anger with another individual.
  9. How do you make important decisions?
  10. What do you do when you are not at work or school?

Assessing your cultural competence

  1. What experiences have you had working with diverse populations?
  2. Describe a situation in which you have worked with a diverse group of people -- What did you learn from the situation?
  3. Describe any travel you have done and your exposure to other cultures.

Assessing teamwork skills

  1. How would your teammates describe you?
  2. How would your professors describe you?
  3. What is your relationship like with your family?
  4. Tell me about a time you were disappointed in a teammate? How did you approach the situation?

Assessing your personality

  1. What books have you read recently?
  2. If you could invite 4 people to dinner who would they be?
  3. What do you do in your spare time?
  4. Who is your hero and why?
  5. How can you tell if someone is truly compassionate?
  6. If someone 15 years from now were to write a book about you, what would you want included in that book?
  7. What distinguishes you from other candidates?

Assessing coping skills

  1. When you need counseling for personal problems whom do you talk with?
  2. Describe your childhood.
  3. How do you handle blood and gore?
  4. What would you do if you got in everywhere?
  5. What would you do if you got in nowhere?

Determining what you will bring to medical school

  1. What was your favorite college course and why?
  2. What else do you want us to know about you before you leave today?
  3. If there are 1,000 applicants just like you, why should we pick you?
  4. What do you have to offer our school?
  5. What impact will you have on the medical profession?
  6. What extracurricular activities did you participate in during your undergraduate years?
  7. What are you passionate about?
  8. If I speak to the admissions committee tomorrow, why should I tell them to let you in?
  9. How would your best friend describe you?
  10. What is your “cause”?

Determining your grit

  1. Tell me about a time when you were criticized unfairly.
  2. Tell me about a time when you’ve been disappointed in a teammate or fellow group member.  What happened, and how did you approach the situation?
  3. How do you handle change?
  4. If you could start your college career all over again, what would you do differently?
  5. If we contacted your references now, what do you think they would say about you?
  6. If you could change one aspect of your personality with a snap of your fingers, what would you change?
  7. In what course did you get the worst grades and why?
  8. What will you do if you don’t get into medical school?
  9. What aspects of your life experiences make you a good candidate for medical school?
  10. If your best friends were to describe you, what would they say?
  11. Tell me about a time you failed.
  12. How do you handle failure?
  13. What are some of the things you will have to give up as a doctor?
  14. How do you help people that don’t want to be helped?
  15. Have you had any negative job experiences, what did you learn?

Assessing your understanding of the current climate in medicine

  1. Who would you say has been the most influential person in the last hundred years?
  2. What do you think about HMOs and the changes taking place in medicine?
  3. What steps have you taken to acquaint yourself with what a physician does?
  4. What do you think is the most pressing issue in medicine today?
  5. If we adopted universal health care in the US, would you still want to be a doctor?
  6. Why is medicine rewarding?
  7. What qualities do you look for in a physician?
  8. Why do you think some doctors are unhappy practicing medicine?

Ethical dilemmas/critical thinking

  1. What do you think of euthanasia?
  2. Do you think a physician should tell a patient he/she has eight months to live?
  3. Would you practice in the inner city? What do you think happens to people who practice there?
  4. If there were an accident on the highway, would you stop and help the victims if it could lead to a malpractice claim against you?
  5. If you had a choice to give a transplant to a successful elderly man or a young drug addict, who would you chose?
  6. How would you deal with a terminally ill patient?
  7. If you discovered a classmate cheating, what would you do?
  8. Do you think there should be mandatory HIV testing for couples that want to be married?
  9. Do you prefer to provide less effective medicine to more people or more effective medicine to fewer people?
  10. If you had a magic pen, how would you fix healthcare in America?
  11. How can we minimize healthcare costs?
  12. Would you share your religious beliefs with your patients?
  13. In what field do you think the next major advancement in medicine will occur?
  14. What is the biggest problem facing medicine?

Now that you're aware of the most common medical school interview questions, make sure you prepare by doing mock interviews with your family and friends. You got this!

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