If you are thinking of applying to medical school, chances are you’re doing a lot of research. This research can be highly productive, but can also get overwhelming once you start considering medical school interview questions.
Taking a step back and breaking down the medical school application process, from your personal statement to the med school interview, might help make the whole process feel more manageable.
We’re here to help with some examples of common medical school interview questions to help you prepare and make sure that you are accepted into medical school.
Read on for the most common medical school interview questions and how to answer them to get on track for medical school admission.
Medical School Interview Questions About Education
Why Did You Choose Your Undergraduate Major?
Your medical school might ask you why you chose your major during your undergraduate studies. This question is particularly relevant if you studied something outside of a hard science.
If you studied history or English, for example, you might tailor your answer to explain why your knowledge in these subjects would be helpful for medical school. If you did major in a medical subject like biochemistry or biology, you should discuss what you learned and how it has set you up for success in medical school.
Either way, you would have completed your pre-medicine prerequisite requirements in addition to your major. Ultimately, what your actual undergrad major was isn’t that important. What matters is that you learned something and that you know how to talk about it and its relevance to medical school.
What Is Your Experience With Research?
Research experience is not required for medical school. That said, it is thought of as beneficial and highly relevant. If you have research experience, you must explain it clearly and concisely. If you haven’t done research, this is your opportunity to explain why (maybe you were an English major) and to talk about the kind of research you’re excited to conduct during medical school. This is your opportunity to discuss how you could contribute positively to the field of medicine.
Medical School Interview Questions About Character
What Are Your Greatest Strengths?
This is a typical interview question for any job or application. For medical school, this question is about the strengths that you would bring to the medical profession.
Are you calm under pressure? Are you good at maintaining a friendly and professional demeanor? Think about your qualities that would make you a good doctor and highlight them in your answer to this question.
What Inspires You?
There is no trick to this question. Answering genuinely will show that you are a passionate person who truly wants to pursue medicine. If you are inspired by helping others and contributing to the field of medicine, you will show that you have the passion it takes for the profession.
What Qualities Do You Look for in a Doctor?
This question may seem a bit off-topic, but it is extremely relevant. You should have a solid understanding of what qualities you appreciate in the healthcare professionals that have treated you as a patient.
That understanding will motivate and inform the kind of physician you strive to become. It’s a good idea to be self-reflective and honest about this question and take it as the chance to describe the kind of doctor you want to become.
Medicine, Motivations, and Medical Ethics Questions
What Should a Doctor’s Highest Priority Be?
There is no exact right or wrong way to answer this question, but make sure you don’t mention financial compensation here. This is where you will want to talk about factors like the Hippocratic oath and the tenets of ethical medicine. If you have strongly held beliefs about medical ethics and the principles of medicine, describe them here.
Why Do You Want to Be a Doctor?
This is a very obvious question that you will most certainly get asked. If you are going through the difficult and long process of applying to medical school, you should definitely have a very clear idea of why you want to become a medical doctor.
Most people have somewhat similar answers to this question, at least when it comes down to basic motivations. Aspiring doctors are usually interested in helping people and are genuinely interested in medicine as a scientific discipline.
It’s also important to give a specific example or moment that led you to pursue a career as a doctor. Can you point to any one particular life experience that pushed you toward medicine? Did you witness anything in your childhood, with your friends or family, that made you want to become a doctor? Do you have a doctor in your family that you look up to and that has inspired you to follow in their footsteps? Try answering these questions as you formulate your answer to this key question.
How Do You Think the American Health Insurance System Impacts Medicine and the Healthcare System?
This is a tricky one. Since the passing of the Affordable Care Act, it has become increasingly mainstream to question the very structure of the American healthcare system. It deeply affects doctors and everyone in the medical field. This is your chance to voice any opinions or concerns that you have about the topic, while being careful to not be too critical of a very complex, deeply embedded system.
Conclusion: Practice Interview Preparation for Common Interview Questions
Now that you have an idea of what kinds of questions to expect, it’s a good idea to set up some mock interviews to get practice answering some of these questions. You can ask friends, family members, or even peers who are also working on medical school applications.
The medical school interview process is complex and requires a certain amount of preparation. By doing your research and practicing your answers, you can make sure to wow the admissions committees when the time comes.