Top 25 Medical School Interview Question and Answers in 2021

Mike Russel
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The medical school interview is considered one of the most responsible stages of the admission process. Passing the interview successfully guarantees that you will become one of 42% of applicants who have been lucky enough to enter med school. But in fact, your matriculation has neither pair nor luck. It takes sufficient effort, skills, and a great deal of practice. And it is pretty the same for the interview stage either.

The med schools’ acceptance rates vary between 14% and 3% on average, depending on the college itself. Thus, if you aim at studying in your dream school, you cannot let things get out of hand at the interview stage. In the end, provided you are invited to talk with the admissions committee, you are just a step away from becoming a med school student. Anyway, proficiency comes with practice. So, you have to get prepared for the interview. And the best you can do to ensure your success is to look into the most common medical school interview questions and learn how to answer them. 

There are a lot of aspects to bear in mind while preparing for the interview. Apart from being honest and shooting out your cuffs, some essential guidelines and training will never hurt. So, let’s look into the interview questions for medical school and study some examples of how to answer them.

The List of Medical School Interview Questions

If you were invited to an interview, congrats! It means you have succeeded to stand out at the previous stages of admission, so it is time to check out whether you are who you want to be. Your application letter confirms your intentions and slightly glimpses the interplay of your real self. And the interview gives a chance to get acquainted with your personality and collate the expectations and reality.

Nevertheless, you can reaffirm the first impression and prove that you are the right candidate by learning the common med school interview questions and getting ready to answer them honestly and creatively. Here is what you can expect:

Questions to indicate your personal traits

  • Tell us about yourself. 
  • Have you ever dealt with research projects?/ Are you keen on research activities? 
  • How do you spend your free time? / What leisure activities do you prefer? 
  • Who is your role model and why? 
  • What makes you special in comparison with other candidates? 
  • How do you cope with negative experiences such as failure? 
  • What strengths distinguish you? And what are your weaknesses? 
  • What groups of people do you want to work with (if any) and why? 
  • What kind of literature do you prefer? 
  • What is integrity? Does it matter to you? 
  • Have you ever traveled and where? Are you familiar with any other cultures? 
  • How would you teach someone a thing most people have no idea how to do? Use examples. 

Debating med related questions

  • Do you have any healthcare experience (such as volunteering, training, etc.)? 
  • How would you manage the shortage of healthcare professionals and the lack of resources in a rural area? 
  • How are you going to apply your medical education in practice? 
  • What difference do you want to make as a professional in the future?

Controversial ethical questions

  • What do you think about practicing in the rural amenity? What experience can medical professionals gain there? 
  • Would you help people injured in the accident on the highway, if it could result in a malpractice claim? 
  • What do you think healthcare professionals should do while dealing with the terminally ill? 
  • Should HIV testing be obligatory for couples willing to get married? 
  • What should be done to improve the healthcare system in the USA? 
  • Should healthcare professionals tell terminally ill people how much time they have to live? 
  • What should be done to make healthcare more cost-effective? 
  • What would you do if you revealed the fact of your friend’s cheating at exams? 
  • What would you choose – to provide less effective treatment to a wider population or more effective treatment to a smaller population?  

How to Answer Medical School Interview Questions

As soon as you know the most common med school interview questions, it is time to find out the best way to answer them. So, you can scout about the guidance on how to prepare for an admission interview. Or you can flip the script right away, identifying the most effective strategy by studying examples and practicing. In the end, practice is always the heart of the issue. 

It is pretty clear that there are over 100 questions the admissions committee can ask. Fortunately, most of them are quite similar. So, we will look into some typical interview questions in more detail, providing some tips on how to answer them.

  • Tell us about yourself

Any interview cannot do without this question. It has certain variations but it is always asked, one way or another. While answering it, do not try to impress the committee but act naturally to earn their trust and prove your worth as a grounded person. Besides, make sure to mention your name, some background information, relevant achievements, academic credentials or previous work experience, a bit of personal information and objectives, and voilà – the start of your winning speech is marked.

  • How to manage the shortage of healthcare professionals and the lack of resources in a rural area? 

To answer this question you have to make sure you are aware of the healthcare problems the rural areas face as well as of what aggravate these problems. Thus, while addressing this question, you can touch upon poor facilities for surgical care, limited economic resources, and the lack of primary healthcare professionals as well as doctors. Plus, there are some related issues, contributing to the problem such as poverty, less access to higher education, inferior infrastructure, etc. 

While preparing to answer this question, you should look into the solutions elaborated by non-profit and governmental entities. Plus, you can reflect on this issue and provide your own meaningful insights that will be highly appreciated by the admissions committee.

  • Do you have an interest in research? 

This question may seem extremely easy to answer. And you probably touched upon it in your application essay. Yet, you may be asked it as the research activities are an integral part of your study, i.e. becoming a doctor. Plus, there are a lot of medical specializations which require the ability to do research and contribute to the development of medical practice. So, this question also refers to your future career objectives. 

Thus, if you have ever done any research or been involved in any research activities, you should be able to summarize your work, highlighting meaningful outcomes and overall scientific value. If you never dealt with research, talk about areas you would like to investigate during your college years.

  • What makes you special in comparison with other candidates?

Attempting to impress the admissions committee, many applicants try to note everything they are good at. And this is not the winning strategy as it can have the reverse effect. Being yourself and being honest is the best way to stand out. Thus, it is recommended to highlight the most distinguishing characteristics that will help you to become a great student and good professional in the future. Do not try to compare yourself with others or even put them down. They are none of your businesses, so better concentrate on your personality and long-term goals without exaggeration.

While answering this question, you skate over thin ice as you should compare without the comparison. Yet, passing an interview is a skill to be trained. So, you can practice answering questions in front of your friend, parent, or peer. Then, analyze the errors and try again.

  • Would you help people injured in the accident on the highway, if it could result in a malpractice claim?

This question may seem difficult to answer like most ethical questions. They are meant not to confuse you but rather to test your critical thinking ability and acumen. In fact, it does not really matter what side you take, while answering the question. The point is that you have to provide bulletproof arguments and reasoning to support your opinion. The question about the accident in particular is meant to illustrate your compassion, commitment, and objectives. Imagine what you would do if you faced this situation and explain your actions, providing alternative ways to manage the issue where necessary. 

In Wrapping Up

Medical school interview questions may vary from year to year but the core is always the same. Herewith, take into account that in some schools you may be asked non-typical questions, so there is always room for reflection and creativity. Take a deep breath and start practicing. 

As mentioned above, some interview questions are designed to identify your skills, abilities, objectives, and perspectives. According to your answers, the admissions committee will try to predict what professional you are going to become. So, your future in your target med school will depend on the success of your interview.

Mike Russel
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