In today’s episode, I talk about a question raised over at our Facebook group, the Premed Hangout, concerning medical ethics. The question is this: How should you prepare for moral and ethical questions that may arise during the medical school interview?
I’ll talk in this episode about the importance of your thought processes as you answer these ethical questions, and I’ll give you some strategies in answering these kinds of questions to help you crush your medical school interview.
Ethical questions have no right or wrong answer:
99% of the time, there is no right or wrong answer. Rather, the interviewer will look into your thought processes when it comes to answering these questions.99% of the time, there is no right or wrong answer to ethical questions you're asked in your medical school interview.Click To Tweet
“What are your thoughts on abortion?”
This is a common interview question. You need to articulate what your thought processes are:
- Can you relate to the patient in a way that doesn’t diminish what their needs and desires are?
- Are you putting the patient in harm’s way?
- Can you articulate what you need to do personally and professionally for your own moral compass?
[Related episode: 5 Medical School Interview Questions Premeds Struggle With]
Essential things to remember when answering ethical questions:
- Show respect to the patient.
- Don’t be hostile toward the patient.
- Show a good, thorough thought process in responding to the questions.
- Take a firm stance about what you believe.
- Think in the grand scheme of things, aiming to achieve the greater good.
Common ethical questions in medical school interviews:
- Would you recommend or give life-sustaining therapy when you judge that it’s futile?
- Would you consider halting life-sustaining therapy because the family demands it, even if you felt that it was premature?
- Would you ever prescribe a placebo treatment simply because the patient wanted some sort of treatment?
- Would you under-prescribe pain medications if you’re worried the patient would become reliant on them?
- Would you withhold the diagnosis of a patient from them if the situation possibly calls for it?
You can find even more ethical questions with our Medical School Interview Question Generator.
Strategies for answering ethical questions in the medical school interview:
- Get updated with the news and current events.
- Google “medical ethics questions.”
- When you’re thinking through these questions in preparation, think out loud.
- During the interview, pause when you have to, and gather some thoughts before answering.
Some pieces of advice for premed students:
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what question is asked. The framework is always the same: Think through the process. Don’t put the patient in harm’s way.
On interview day, think of yourself on a level playing field with every other interviewee there. Scores and extracurricular activities don’t matter at that point. You’re either interviewing for an acceptance or a rejection, so how well you perform on interview day will determine if you get in or don’t.
We have three resources you should consider taking advantage of to improve your interview preparation:
- One-on-one Mock Interviews
- Anytime Mock Interview Platform
- Interview Question Generator (includes ethical questions)
Links and Other Resources:
- Check out my book about the medical school interview: The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Interview.
- Related episode: 5 Medical School Interview Questions Premeds Struggle With
- Related episode: Preparing for the Medical School Interview
- Need MCAT Prep? Save on tutoring, classes, and full-length practice tests by using promo code “MSHQ” at Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep)!