What to Be Prepared to Discuss in the Med School Interview

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Session 334

When you walk into your medical school interview, if you’re not prepared for specific types of questions, it may throw you off completely. Let’s talk about them!

Today, we talk about the things you need to prepare for to discuss in the medical school interview. When expectations don’t meet reality, that’s when there’s a lot of anxiety, fear, upset, and anger. Otherwise, you’re going to freak out during the interview. The goal of this podcast along with all the other services we offer.

Also, be sure to check out all our other podcasts on MedEd Media to help you on this path towards becoming a physician.

[03:40] Abortion

During the medical school interview, you’re going to be asked a lot of moral and ethical questions. How are you going to handle those scenarios? Therefore, you need to be prepared to talk about abortion. Regardless of your background, this could come out in the medical school interview. So you need to be able to discuss it. Talk about why people are adamant against it or for it. Be careful not to say you’re “pro-abortion” since nobody is. Instead, you should be saying you’re pro-choice. You want women to have the “privilege” to make that decision for themselves. There’s the pro-life camp and the pro-choice camp. Talk about both sides and why they’re so diametrically opposed to this topic. More importantly, be able to talk about why you have your point of view.

'The biggest thing about MMI and traditional interviews is to talk about your thought process.'Click To Tweet

[05:25] Euthanasia

This topic is big in the news these days. An eastern state actually just recently allowed terminally ill patients to die if they wanted to. “Right to life” is the more politically correct way to put it. And you have the “physician-assisted suicide” or euthanasia. But the Right to Die law is very big in Colorado, as well as in Oregon and California. More and more states are going to have right to die laws. Their positioning is that keeping people alive in terrible states of health is not really fun. It’s very expensive. You don’t necessarily want to think about it from a monetary standpoint. But you have to because you have limited resources. Also, you have to consider whether the person is really living the life they want to live. Be able to talk about why you agree with Right to Life and why otherwise.

For the right to die laws, a lot of students will say that the Hippocratic Law says to do no harm. And that their job is to save, protect, and heal the patient. First, “do no harm” is not in the Hippocratic Oath. That is a very butchered quote. But dig a little deeper as to why you are against the Right to Life or Right to Die. Be able to talk about your thought process behind it.

You also have to be okay with the understanding that the person standing across from you may have different views from you. You still have to be able to speak your mind and not worry about what is going to happen if you’re talking about something that ‘s different. Hopefully, they’re a professional and that you’re not attacking the other side.

[08:14] The Healthcare System

Be able to talk about not just the healthcare system in the U.S. but also about the healthcare system around the world. Obviously, you’re not going to know what the healthcare system of certain countries would be. But at least be able to understand some of the bigger generalities of different healthcare systems (i.e. Canada, UK, China, Japan, Australia, etc.) Think about those other countries and what healthcare systems they have. What works and what doesn’t work.

'Understand some of the bigger generalities of different healthcare systems.'Click To Tweet

Also, be careful with the term “socialized” medicine. Any term that has “social” or whatever political aspect that carries “social” in it gets very heated responses from people. Instead, refer to things as universal healthcare or single payer healthcare. There are some truly socialized medicine systems out there with the UK being one of them. It means the government is paying for healthcare and delivering it at the same time. The majority of hospitals in the UK are government-run hospitals. This is socialized medicine.

This is different from the system in Canada where they follow a single-payer system. They take the tax money you pay, turn it around, and give it back to you in terms of healthcare. This is delivered by non-government hospitals and employees.

It’s something similar in the U.S. healthcare system where we moved to what’s known as Medicare for All system. It’s a single-payer, government-run system. But it’s only for people of certain ages. The care is being paid for by the government through taxes being delivered by private institutions.  Regardless of age, the system would be the same.

[11:25] Pharmaceutical Industries and Politics

Be able to talk about the pharmaceutical industry and what they’re doing to hurt or help our healthcare system. Know about the astronomical prices of medications in the news lately. Also, think about the possible solutions. What would you do to reduce the cost of drugs in this country?

Understand what the current administration is doing, what the previous administration has done, and what is going on in the world of politics.

[13:45] About Yourself

You need to be prepared to talk about yourself. Many students wouldn’t want to talk about themselves.

'Be prepared to talk about yourself.'Click To Tweet

Moreover, you need to understand why you’re applying to that school and why you want to go to that school. It can’t be as generic as going therebecause the school can make you become a competent physician. You need to be super specific about why you want to go to that school. Find out what programs they have, curriculum types, etc. Just dig deeper and specific things about that school. There’s going to be overlap with schools but don’t use super generic things.

[15:00] Serving the Underserved

One thing that a lot of students say too is that they serve the underserved. Then you better have proof in your application that this is your mission. Secondly, the majority of medical schools serve the underserved. So you are there to learn how to be a doctor. You need guinea pigs to work on and the underserved need people to take care of them. So it’s the perfect mix of supply and demand.

'The majority of medical schools out there serve the underserved because that's how students learn.'Click To Tweet

[16:00] Why They Should Accept You

A majority of students may answer this from more of a bragging sense of this is who they are. They talk about what they’ve done and how ready they are. Instead, think about your experiences and traits. How can you add to the educational environment of your peers?

'There are no right answers here. They are your thoughts and why you think about what you think about.'Click To Tweet

So you don’t need to know everything about the questions because that’s not the point of this interview. Rather, you just need to have some info about them. You can’t just say you don’t like socialized medicine because you think it sucks. But you have to be able to support that. Be careful with anecdotal stories in supporting what you’re saying. As best as you can, try to get information.


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