Wondering how to tackle med school interview questions? Read on for interview tips, sample questions, and more!
The medical school interview is your opportunity to further differentiate yourself from other applicants and get accepted to your dream school. While there’s no way to know what interview questions you’ll be asked with certainty, there are many common questions you should know to help you prepare.
Read on to learn more about medical school interview questions and how to prepare for them!
1. Why did you choose your undergraduate major? (if your major is not in the sciences, the interviewer will probably ask you further questions.)
2. Why didn’t you choose a science major?
3. How have you managed to achieve a broad and comprehensive undergraduate curriculum?
4. How did your research experience help you prepare for your future as a medical student?
5. What was your favorite college course, and why?
6. What was your least favorite college course, and why?
7. You pursued X class; tell me why.
8. Tell me more about an academic extracurricular you participated in.
9. Do you have any regrets about your college career?
10. If you had to choose a different educational path, which would you choose?
11. What experiences have you had in a medical or clinical setting, and what have you learned from these experiences?
12. Does your academic record reflect any major challenges? If so, what were they, and why did they happen?
13. Tell me about yourself.
14. What experiences from the past have made you more compassionate?
15. Do you have any family members that are physicians?
16. What would you consider “success” in life?
17. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
18. How do you see your life ten years from today?
19. What are your weaknesses?
20. What are your strengths?
21. Who are the most influential people in your life?
22. Tell us about a time that you had to overcome a struggle (academic or personal).
23. Tell us about a time you had to work under pressure. How did you act?
24. What scares you the most about medical school?
25. What stress management techniques have you adopted?
26. How do you react to constructive criticism?
27. How would your friends describe you?
28. Why was your [insert extracurricular experience] so impactful?
29. Describe a time when you became close with a patient during your volunteer experiences.
30. What kind of experiences have you had working with sick people? Have these experiences taught you anything that you didn’t know beforehand?
31. What was your most rewarding extracurricular activity?
32. Why don't you have much shadowing experience?
33. How have the jobs, volunteer opportunities, or extracurricular experiences that you have had better prepared you for the responsibilities of being a physician?
34. Why do you find medicine exciting?
35. Why do you want to be a doctor?
36. What worries do you have about becoming a doctor?
37. What do you think will be the most challenging aspect of practicing medicine?
38. What do you have to offer to our school and the medical field?
39. What do you think about the current medical trends in this country?
40. What impact do you want to have in this profession?
41. What traits should a good physician have?
42. What do you think is the most critical problem that this country is facing right now?
43. What do you think about universal health care?
44. How do you stay in touch with current events?
45. What are some books that have enlightened you and have been particularly important in your educational path?
46. What has traveling to places with different cultures taught you?
47. How would you feel about treating a patient who has tested positive for HIV?
48. How do you think the U.S. should address the physician shortage, especially primary care doctors in rural areas?
49. Concierge Medicine is becoming an increasingly popular option for physicians. 50. How do you feel about this, and what are the consequences of this practice?
51. Why do you think the U.S. healthcare system was ranked so low in the last World Health Organization rankings?
52. How do you feel about medically assisted suicide?
53. How can we minimize healthcare costs?
54. Should recreational marijuana be federally legalized?
55. What challenges do you think we’ll face in the coming years regarding healthcare policies?
56. What would you do to improve the healthcare system?
57. What do you think about abortion?
58. Why is confidentiality important?
59. Should doctors be allowed to strike?
60. Should doctors be allowed to protest?
61. If you had the choice to give a transplant to a successful older man or a young person struggling with drug addiction, who would you choose?
62. Would you get out of your car to help a victim after observing an accident?
63. You observe a fellow medical school student cheating on an examination. What would you do?
64. What would you do if a patient’s family asked you to share their private information?
65. What would you do if one of your patients told you that they would prefer a nontraditional, homeopathic remedy for their disease?
66. Would you prescribe an oral contraceptive pill to a 14-year-old girl who is having sex with her boyfriend?
67. What would be some of the things that you would consider in treating a patient who is in chronic pain?
68. Assume there are limited resources available, and you must make decisions in a major emergency with a wide assortment of patients from all ages, backgrounds, and degrees of injury. Who would you direct to receive treatment first and why?
69. Can confidentiality ever be broken? If so, when can it be?
70. What are you the most excited about when you think of attending medical school?
71. Why did you decide to choose medicine and not other healthcare fields like nursing?
72. What will you do if you’re not accepted to medical school this year? What are your plans if that happens?
73. If you couldn’t become a doctor, which other career path would you pursue and why?
74. Are you interested in a particular medical specialty yet?
75. Are you more interested in clinical work or research? How do you plan to balance the two?
76. Why are you interested in our program?
77. Is there anything specific that you like about our medical school?
78. What initiatives, clubs, or extracurriculars at our school are you most interested in?
79. Which other medical schools have you applied to and why?
80. How do you feel about entering school while the curriculum is undergoing changes?
81. Do you have any reservations about coming here?
82. Are you ready for our curriculum type?
83. Assuming that you are accepted to all schools at which you've interviewed, what's the most important factor in choosing a school?
84. What made you want to come to [insert school name] since you're originally from [insert city/state]?
85. How would you contribute diversity to our medical school?
Here are more examples taken directly from top medical schools. Sample questions asked by Harvard include:
86. “Tell me about a time when you had to compromise.
87. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake. What did you do, and how did you correct it?
88. What was the most stressful situation you ever faced? How did you handle it?
89. Tell me about a time when you collaborated on a successful project.
90. Tell me about yourself.
91. What is the one thing you want me to convey to the admission committee?
92. What is the biggest challenge that is facing the medical field today?
93. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
94. Why do you want to be a doctor?
95. What experiences have most motivated you to pursue medicine?”
Questions asked by the University of Pennsylvania include:
96. “How would your friends describe you?
97. How would you describe the relationship between science and medicine?
98. Rank intelligence, compassion, and integrity in the order of importance to you.
99. Why do you think you are the right candidate for medical school?
100. What do you consider your greatest weakness?
101. What are three things you want to change about yourself?
102. Give evidence that you relate well with others.
103. What do you see as the most significant problem facing the healthcare delivery system today?
104. Would your plans to become a physician change if the U.S. moved to a universal healthcare system similar to Canada?
105. What is your opinion of the Affordable Care Act?”
Questions asked by the University of Washington include:
106. “Do you interrupt someone when they are speaking to you?
107. Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or coworkers, or teammates.
108. What do you do if you disagree with a coworker?
109. What are the essential components of a productive conversation between people who disagree?
110. Describe a time you had to explain to someone your view when they disagreed with you. What went well and why, and what could be improved?
111. Tell me about a time when you later realized you had treated someone differently because of an unconscious bias. What did you learn from this situation?
112. Have you handled a difficult situation with a supervisor? How?
113. A patient brings you a costly gift. What would you do?
114. A patient writes you a love letter. How do you handle this situation?
115. You are called to the ER to see a patient with a problem supposedly in your area of expertise. When you arrive, it becomes evident that this patient has an entirely different type of situation. What do you do?”
Questions asked by Nebraska Wesleyan University include:
116. “Tell me about your family.
117. How would you feel about practicing in a rural setting?
118. What reservations do you have in your decision to join this profession, if any?
119. How would you feel about drawing blood? Caring for emergencies?
120. Do you have any regrets about your college career?
121. What would you do if one of your patients told you that they would prefer a nontraditional, homeopathic remedy for their disease?
122. What are three low points in your life and why?
123. What would you do if you won a million dollars?
124. If you are the boss of a company and one of your employees is not producing well, how would you confront them?
125. Tell about a time when people’s actions depended on a decision that you made.”
Questions asked by Missouri State University include:
126. “I see you got a ‘C’ in (an undergraduate course). Why was that course so difficult? Explain.
127. What is your concept of the doctor/patient relationship?
128. Why do you want to come here? (Be sure to have reasons that involve the unique qualities of the school. Mention also some personal reasons if these are applicable.)
129. What makes you a better applicant than others?
130. Is this school your first choice?
131. What role have your parents played in your decision to become a physician?
132. What is going on in your life?
133. Tell me what you know it is to be a physician.
134. What makes you happy?
135. I see that you have had a research experience in college. What have you learned about that process?”
Despite the wide range of questions, all schools want to know about your personal and educational background, motivations, cultural competence, ethics, communication, and critical thinking skills.
Are you ready to practice with more medical school interview questions? Access our Med School Interview Question Generator here!
Practice makes perfect. Even some of the most common med school interview questions can catch you off guard, and your first impression makes a difference. Good preparation is essential to ace the interview process.
You’ve been invited to the interview; your academic and extracurricular credentials and everything you’ve included in your application has made the cut. You’ve done the most challenging part already!
In the medical field, unprofessionalism can be a big issue, so it makes sense that medical schools pay close attention to that. Act professionally at all times. Show you’re adaptable and explain how you’ve been professional in the past, either in the work, research, or clinical experiences you’ve mentioned in your application.
Asking well-researched med student interview questions at the end of your interview is an excellent way to convey your interest and professionalism. Your interpersonal communication skills can help you stand out from those students who either didn’t have any questions or asked redundant/obvious ones.
Take time to ensure the questions you ask can’t be answered through a Google search.
We’ve outlined several commonly asked questions below to help you prepare for your med school interview.
It depends. Taking too long to answer a question isn’t great; you don’t want to ramble. However, answers that are too short may not convey enough useful information. So, expect to spend around two to three minutes answering each question.
The most commonly asked medical school interview questions include:
Of course, there may be slight variations in how these are asked.
Medical school interview questions ask about your:
They may also ask about your opinions on current policies and hot topics and give you hypothetical scenarios to test your ethical reasoning.
One of the best ways to build confidence is to participate in mock interviews. Practicing with questions you’ll encounter, receiving unbiased feedback, improving weak spots, and working on your timing is essential!
You don’t want to use slang, swear, or say anything offensive/insensitive in your interview.
You want to be honest and reflective while detailing what steps you’ve taken to rectify your biggest weakness. This is a common question medical school interviewers ask; always have a weakness in mind!
Receiving an interview invitation can be exciting but intimidating at the same time. Adequate preparation and following these medical school interview tips can help you shine on interview day and show admissions committees why you’re the perfect candidate. Good luck!