Med school is where dreams are set in motion. You want to help people. You think about walking the halls in that white lab coat. Now, your future will soon be about making a difference in patients’ lives.
But first things first, right? In this article, we’ll target those of you who are getting ready to choose a med school. There will be rigorous application processes, the most dreaded part of some being the interview with program leadership. Are you a fit for their program? Is their program a fit for you?
Wearing that doctor jacket requires a tremendous amount of work, not to mention a special sort of personality. But first, your med school program awaits. You’ve already walked a part of the journey to becoming a doctor. In order to finish it, continue that path by entering a graduate program and donning that med student lab coat.
You can kick-start your graduate program right from the interview process. Just as you’d prepare your medical student equipment for a graduate lab, it’s vitally important to prepare for these top med student interview questions.
In a medical school interview, the interviewer will try to read your personality, ethics, critical thinking and your views about healthcare to determine if you will be able to enter and finish a graduate program at that institution.
The following 50 common medical school interview questions give you an inside look at the interview process. They prepare you and clear up what lingering concerns you have—after all, we want your question of “where” you’ll study to be secured so you can start picking out the other details of your experience, like where you’ll live and what you’ll specialize in, down to where to buy a medical student lab coat.
Questions to understand your career goals
- Why do you want to be a doctor?
- What are your career goals?
- What are your specific goals in medicine?
- What are some of the greatest accomplishments of your college career?
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
- What is your greatest fear about medical school?
- As a doctor, what would be your greatest strength?
- Do you have an alternative career path?
- Do you prefer working on research projects or with patients?
Questions about your interest in that medical program
- Why are you interested in our medical school program?
- What specific features of our medical school interest you?
- What makes our school desirable to you?
- What unique qualities do you feel you have that set you apart from other medical school candidates? (What makes you different?)
- What other kinds of medical schools are you applying to, and why? Tell us about some of their features that make them desirable to you.
- What skills, general or specific, do you hope our medical school will give you? What is the ideal way for our medical school to achieve that result?
- What skills, general or specific, will your ideal school teach you?
- What programs at our medical school will be the most difficult for you?
- What extracurricular benefits do you hope to gain by studying here?
Questions about you (to see your character and personality)
- What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- What books have you read recently?
- What activities do you do in your leisure time?
- Who or what is your greatest inspiration? Why?
- How would you define “success?” What kind of success would you want to achieve as a physician? What would be your legacy?
- How would you define the perfect physician? Is there any physician who embodies your vision? How do they do it?
- Do you have personal experience working with sick people and people in need? How would you mentally and practically cope with working with afflicted people?
- If you were given one million dollars, what kind of problems would you try to solve? How would you try to make the world a better place?
- What are some of your unique character and personality traits that differentiate you from other candidates?
General questions about medicine
- What do you find most exciting in the field of medicine in general?
- Who would you say has been the most influential person in the field of medicine in the last hundred years?
- What aspect do you find to be the most rewarding in medicine? Why is medicine rewarding?
- What do you know about the current trends in medicine and our national healthcare system?
- What do you think to be the most pressing issue in medicine today? Why?
- What qualities do you think a modern physician should have?
- Would you choose clinical or academic medicine as a profession? What personal qualities are leading you to this choice?
- Do you think that there are unhappy doctors that practice medicine? What could be the source of their dissatisfaction?
- What are some negative aspects of practicing medicine?
Questions about ethics
- What are some of the most controversial topics in the area of medical ethics? Can you mention and discuss some examples?
- How do you think a doctor should tell a patient that he or she has only a few more months to live? What should a doctor do in such a situation?
- Have you personally encountered any moral dilemmas? Please give us an example.
- What is your opinion on euthanasia?
- Assume there are limited resources available and you must make a decision in a major emergency to either give a transplant to a successful elderly and successful man or a young, not yet successful person. Who would you choose and why?
- How would you deal with a terminally ill patient? What special issues might you have or feelings might you experience?
- If you discovered a coworker or classmate cheating, would you confront him/her?
Questions around critical thinking
- What is the biggest problem that the medical field is facing today?
- How can healthcare costs be minimized or spent more efficiently?
- In what field do you think the next major advancement in medicine will occur?
- If it was up to you, how would you fix healthcare in our country?
- If you could decide to spend the medical budget of a hospital to less effective but cheaper medicine or more effective but expensive medicine, what would you do? Serve more people with less effectiveness or fewer people with greater effectiveness?
- How do you make important decisions?
- How do you face conflict with another individual when you know you’re right?
That’s it—these are the 50 most common medical school interview questions. Some of them will be easy to answer while others are deeper or even complex. The key is to study them, think ahead of time about your answers, and get ready to tackle any questions that get at the same thing but ask in a different way.
This is an exciting step forward. Good luck!