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General Advice on Interviews.


Replies to: General Advice on Interviews.

  • norcalguynorcalguy 7518 replies30 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,548 Senior Member
    For the most part, med schools have abandoned "stress interviews" employing such gimmicks. However, it's not as ludicrous as it sounds. While on the wards, I've gotten yelled at for all sorts of things (answering the phone at a nurse's station, not answering the phone at the nurse's station, calling a consult too late, calling a consult too early, calling a consult with a case the consult team deems unworthy, etc.). It is definitely worthwhile to see how someone acts in these situations when they are being criticized for something that usually isn't their fault.
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  • duncanidahoduncanidaho 126 replies6 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    I actually kinda like those Harvard stories. The window nailed shut particularly -- surely the appropriate response is "I'm sorry, but the window is nailed shut, but someone stole the Parrot."

    One of my first interviews (in Dark Ages time when Penicillin was still king) the Psychiatry professor 'accidentally' threw a pencil at me (?? to see how keyed up I was i guess), then in the middle let some sort of marble he was messing with roll off the desk toward me and when I failed to stop it from falling off the desk shouted a rather vulgar phrase at me populated by a few F-bombs. We actually had a rather nice conversation for about 20-30 minutes about the state of Medicine and Future Financing including how to pay for the uninsured population. He was laughing rather menacingly when he left the room -- I ended up attending this school.

    One of the other interviews at this school was with an FP from an outlying practice who had been on the admitting committee for years (I guess he took some 4th years students into his building a few months a year). He was your classic small town Grandfather type who was just wonderful in telling you what a great job medicine was and how well the school helped its students -- you always felt great after talking the guy (everybody had the same response to the guy). About 45 minutes of ego easing comfort. Unfortunately he died a few years later, but had (still has FWIW) several FP Honors Awards that carry his name.

    I interviewed at Baylor, WashU, Duke, Vandy, UA and I don't remember ever getting really grilled by any of the people. I want to guess each place had between 4-6 interviews back then and I only had one 'Committee' interview (4 AdCom members with 1 applicant at a time sort and that felt like I was standing in front of the Supreme Court arguing my case, but even that was pretty laid back). Most of the time, it was a quiet conversation about personal things -- where you grew up, anything interesting that's happened to you. Occasionally I got questions about very general Medical topics (State of the Medical profession, Nationalized Healthcare and/or Universal Access, Malpractice, Specialist vs Generalist), but never really anything all that knowledge intensive and was obviously more to see how you organized thoughts and could coherently speak. A lot of the interviewers had me ask them the questions which is a rather interesting technique I've used in later life -- it's amazing the kind of information someone will tell you if you give them the chance.
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  • mkelleymkelley 6 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7 New Member
    The best advice I have for interview prep is to make sure you practice with someone who knows about the process and is willing to give you unbiased and harsh feedback. In my case, I spent about 2 months on my interview prep. My family and I ended up going with professional admissions prep because we didn't want to take the chance and I supplemented what I learned in these sessions with daily practice with family and friends. It was absolutely worth it. I got into multiple BA/BS MD programs including Brown, UMKC, BU, GWU !!!! Good luck :)
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