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General Advice on Interviews.


Replies to: General Advice on Interviews.

  • celestial605celestial605 1067 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,087 Senior Member
    Maybe some of you can give me feedback on this.

    On studentdoctor.net, I've seen quite a few people who reported being asked about the biggest hardship in their life. I have been quite privileged; my parents have always been supportive, I have done well academically and socially, and I am not disadvantaged. The honest answer to the question is that my parents disapprove of my choice for a fiance, and this is something difficult that I am still dealing with today.

    Do you think that it is appropriate to give this honest answer? I suppose I could discuss how it has affected my priorities in life and the way I view who I am. Or, should I discuss a much less severe "hardship" (such as being teased in class or something)?
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  • BigredmedBigredmed 3726 replies26 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,752 Senior Member
    It is always appropriate to give an honest answer

    Even for this question, stay honest, so long as you come off as very humble in answering the question. Continually say that you've been lucky or blessed to have a fairly comfortable life, that you're parents had worked very hard to give you the opportunities that you had received and that you recognize that there support has been very vital to you, and you know that you've received advantages that other individuals have not, and you are well aware of that. From there a seque into how if you had to pick something that has been very difficult for you recently is your fiancee situation. Explain about how you have dealt with this and how you hope to resolve it, and then close with a statement about how you realize that your situation is somewhat trivial compared to those encountered by others.

    You really can't fight your own past, and if they hold the fact that your parents were successful against you, I'm not sure what you can really do in such a scenario.
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  • celestial605celestial605 1067 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,087 Senior Member
    Thanks - I appreciate that advice. Sounds like a good idea.
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  • AadamhAadamh 1 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Hey ppl, just asking as a general question (and not really realted to this topic- interviews,) but ppl when study really hard in medical school and become a doctor, does anyone think that they may not be able to apply all the scientific knowledge learnt, under pressure in a life-critical moment. what do the other people think? I'm particularly interested in hearing from juniour doctors, who have already graduated from medical school.


    P.S Im a student from the UK, and 16 years old thinking about becomign a doctor.
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  • BigredmedBigredmed 3726 replies26 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,752 Senior Member
    I'm a medical student and haven't had to deal with that yet. But here's what I can tell you from what I've heard and seen.

    1) Despite what you see on TV - most problems are really common and happen very regularly. A person comes in with what you think may be a heart attack, you get an EKG look for the ST segment to be elevated or not then follow the established guidelines. Or if a patient comes in with anaphylactic shock (ie from a bee sting) the appropriate treatment is taught even to first year medical students (administration of epinephrine/adrenaline). But again, the most critically important problems have very standardized guidelines that work the overwhelming majority of patients.

    2) Even the most critically ill patients aren't going to die in a split second. I think there is always time to take a moment to think. There are always things you can do to extend life, and even you as a 16 year old can probably think of them: keep them oxygenated, keep the blood flowing, stop the bleeding. This is the basis of the ABC's they teach in Basic Life Support - Airway, Breathing, Circulation. Everything is aimed at keeping tissues with enough oxygen. My Cardiology professor is fond of saying "time is tissue" and while he's speaking directly to the heart during an infarct, it applies to everything else as well.

    3) In the US third and fourth year medical students are always paired with residents (Junior Doctors as you call them), and work under the direction and guidance of either an even older resident or a fully licensed doctor (known as an Attending). There is a lot of back up to make sure treatment is given while individuals are still learning.

    4) The residency system in the US is set up to give specific experiences to new MD's that are appropriate to their chosen specialty. Residencies in the US are 3-7 years in length and from that a resident ends up seeing the majority of common problems and how to deal with them frequently. My friends that are third and fourth year students commonly complain that they have a hard time keeping their drugs and therapies straight b/c they just learned them and the residents always know, and it frustrates many students. However when you realize that the residents have spent 1-3 years only working on those types of problems every day, they get familiar with the drugs and treatments they are using all the time. And that's the key - building that database of experiences and just being used to dealing with those problems on an everyday basis.

    5) Many of the other very common problems that are life threatening happen over a more extended period of time. Appendicitis if left alone can cause death but there's usually plenty of signs and symptoms that cause people to seek medical attention. That's not to say that things cannot deteriorate rapidly in many other disease processes, but the things that triggered them were likely chronic in nature and so there is a lot of things you can do before they get to the point they will start deteriorating.
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  • BiyankaBiyanka 77 replies8 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    When I went for my BS/MD Program interview, the guy asked a lot of questions that had nothing to do with medicine. Like which two countries do you think the first nuclear bomb will be between. I was also asked questions about health insurance, abortion, and situations with a dying child and parents not wanting donated blood for the child. Its a wide range of questions, but I would be prepared for anything. Watch the news, read medical articles, and brush up about situations concerning the medical field...like stem cell research.

    Don't LIE! People can tell when you're nervous AND lying. Be youself. It sounds cliche but its true. Nobody wants to be around a fake person. Play yourself up...don't go overboard and sound cocky but definetly tell them about your medical experiences and stuff.
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  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike 11870 replies94 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    A reminder as interview season approaches that we can be a resource, as well.
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  • whynot123whynot123 140 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 154 Junior Member
    what is a good place to read medical articles and get familiar with current issues?
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  • IvyLeaguer12IvyLeaguer12 11 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 11 New Member
    my oxford interview was really great! it basically turns out to be a lengthy conversation and the interviewer is really eager to see the applicant shine.
    I suggest that you get to know the person before hand so that they may become even more familiar whith your EC's accomplishments, talents, etc.

    and it pays off too! I got into all three Ivies I applied to (Harvard, Columbia and Yale). But, I am going to Oxford for Pre-Med in the fall (my #1 school)

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  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike 11870 replies94 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    Hah -- might have to change your handle.
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  • senmashsenmash 3 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4 New Member
    is anyone here a premed applicant for cornell in qatar?? I had alot of difficulties with the visa and therefore missed my chance for an interview, but after calling them and talking to them they agreed to interview me for the wait-list. is there any real hope or are they doing this to shut me up?!?!? i would also like someone to suggest to me what i should wear (i am a girl)...should i be formal or semi formal?? the interview is the day after tomorrow so quick replies are appreciated :D :D
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  • obbobboobbobbo 7 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7 New Member
    I interviewed at 4 osteopathic medical schools and it didn't seem too bad. I found that most of the schools just wanted to know who I was and why I wanted to be a DO. Schools are interviewing you because they already like you. Just practice interviewing skills and get ready.
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  • BERN1943BERN1943 41 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    Thanks MedRomanian. Checked out "Med School Admissions: Lessons Learned" by Jessica Freedman, MD and found it to be a good read.
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  • Princess'DadPrincess'Dad 1077 replies46 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,123 Senior Member
    Harvard interview:
    Prof left the room and called it. Came back and asked why didn't you answer phone. Another kid answered the phone and got yelled at.

    At another, asked kid to raise window which was nailed shot.

    Purpose: how do you react to stress
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  • mmmcdowemmmcdowe 2321 replies32 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,353 Senior Member
    ^Mine wasn't like that, though one of the guys was a little stressful.
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