How to Prepare for Your Medical School Interview
November 11, 2014
It’s interview season. Hopefully all the hard work you have done jumping through hoops has earned you the opportunity to convince someone in person that you should get that coveted medical school spot. An important component of coming off as human in your interview is being able to demonstrate that you have some knowledge of the world outside yourself and of the world of medicine. Don’t worry. Thanks to modern technology - no matter how little free time you have or your preferred learning medium - there is a way to keep current. Between blogs, podcasts, magazines, videos on youtube, and good old fashioned books (I mean kindles) there should be something that works for you. Here are a few options for staying or getting current as you prepare for your medical school interview:
Want a curated collection of medical blog posts? KevinMD is a blog founded in 2004 by Kevin Pho, MD. KevinMD.com has been named the web’s top social media influencer in health care and medicine. There is a wide variety of content, mostly opinion pieces, so there should be something that catches your attention. The best part is that you can have it delivered straight into your inbox, scan through the posts, and pick the ones that catch your attention.
Want a quick fix and a good laugh? Try ZDoggMD. Although most of his videos are really for entertainment value there are several with a bigger message in them. He is also a big proponent of healthcare reform and is pushing the boundaries with Turntable health - a new way to deliver comprehensive primary care. The good news is that each video is under a few minutes each, the bad news is they are slightly addictive if you like slightly juvenile comedy so you may end up watching them all at once.
In for a little more serious video fix? Try TedMed or even just regular old TED. Today’s highlighted lecture on TED is actually delivered by an economist interested in global health on the topic of “The coming crisis in antibiotics”. TED videos range from 5 to 15 minutes. You could easily watch a few during a commute (although not while you are driving), during a workout, or waiting in line for coffee.
If you are driving to your interviews and can’t watch a video, listen to a podcast. White Coat, Black Art, TedTalks Health, and Johns Hopkins Medicine podcasts all cover current events in medicine and science.
Want to catch up with what your peer group is writing and thinking about? AMSA’s (American Medical Student Association) The New Physician carries articles on a wide range of topics. Phi Delta Epsilon IL Gamma at Northwestern University founded an intercampus and international medical publication The Medical Decoder (MD) written by and for premedical students or read Merck Manuals Student Stories.
Want to settle in for a longer read? There are always the popular books by physician authors including: Complications by Atul Gawande; How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman, or The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks. Then there are other non medical books about how people think and act such as the Malcolm Gladwell’s series of books including Outliers and Blink. You can also check out: When Doctor’s Don’t Listen; or The Innovator’s Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care, In Stitches by Anthony Youn, Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks and Big Pharma Flacks by Ben Goldacre and lastly Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant.
Finally read about national and international current events. Pick up the national newspaper the morning of your interview, or better yet, pick up the local paper. Get a sense of how the medical school interacts with their local community.
Keep in mind, although you definitely want to be current in healthcare (and by no means do you need to know everything) you also want to be interesting, and maybe even introduce your interviewer to something new. If you have a particular or unique passion read about that - develop an in depth knowledge - whether that be surfing, animation, global health, etc. and don’t forget to share that passion with your interviewer.
For more advice or to help you prepare for your medical school interview, contact InGenius Prep, we’d love to chat.