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.


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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!


One thought on “Interviews

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