Interviews

As most of the schools have sent out their invitations for interviews I thought I would finish off this series on the “getting in” portion of medicine. I have already covered a lot of these points and I figure it is pretty well known, so don’t expect anything profound.

In general:  As is commonly recommended read/skim Doing Right. Many ethical scenarios aren’t as cut and dry as the book presents, but it does familiarize you with the language of medical ethics.  I found standard interview prep books useful for the panels and the MMI book by MSC Medicine good (but expensive). Other than that dress well, be confident, calm, and thoughtful.

MMI

  • Practice with others and do it as if it was real. 2 minutes prep and then 7-8 minutes to talk. If you finish early, sit there
  • Put the water bottle in one of your pockets, the extra pencils in another. Don’t try to carry everything in your hands
  • If you keep a pencil in your hand, no stabbing motions towards the interviewer
  • Be familiar with current events, both in the world and developments in the medical community
  • If you are unfamiliar with current medical issues, downloading the White Coat, Black Art podcast is a good place to start
  • Try to see issues from multiple viewpoints
  • Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know
  • Try to see what more information you would need to make a decision
  • Actually make a decision, and once you’ve made it stick with it unless there is a valid reason or alteration to the case (don’t flip flop)
  • You may need to act, interpret a picture or painting, tell a story, instruct another in solving a puzzle or drawing a picture, respond to a video prompt, write a short essay, etc.
  • Be self aware. Although doing an autobiographical summary is more useful in the panel, it can come in very handy in the MMI where you can bring in a relevant anecdote
  • Be friendly and professional both during the interviews and during the day

Panel

  • Have a response for standard interview questions (ex. strengths/weaknesses, who are you, how would your friends describe you, challenges, conflicts, examples of critical thinking, etc.)
  • Know your anecdotes and personal history, especially if the interview is open. If it is U of T, they have essays from you and your application in front of them and may point to things and ask about them
  • Make eye contact and talk to all of the people that are interviewing you, it may be 2-3
  • Current issues are once again important
  • Have questions for after the interview that show interest in the school/medicine as a career

Other

  • Billet if you are able. The students are very friendly and I found staying with them calmed me down
  • Eat well, sleep well, exercise leading up to the interview. Don’t drink too much coffee before the interview, especially if it is MMI as there can be quite a few stations
  • Try to enjoy the day and see what the school is about, not just focus on the interview. If you are interviewing at multiple schools it is important to get a feel for what each school is about in case you are given the choice. See the attitudes of the current students and ask questions

Lastly, good luck!

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