Uno Reverse: Questions to Ask Your Medical School Interviewer
- Apr 14, 2023
- MCAT Blog
You’ll spend hours preparing, rehearsing, and perfecting your responses for your medical school interviews, one of the most daunting tasks of the medical school prep and the application process. However, no med school interview is complete without the interviewer asking if you have any questions. Many students, even the most well-spoken ones, are taken aback and unprepared for this question, leading to a vague, generic, and frankly unimpressive response.
Developing a set of unique, thoughtful questions demonstrates your genuine interest and engagement with the interviewers and your desire to learn more about the particular med school. It also provides an exclusive opportunity to gain insight from the people who lead your sought-after program.
Curriculum and Coursework
One of the most important issues for a future medical student of a university is the curriculum itself. However, don’t ask questions about things that are explicitly stated on the university’s website, which implies you haven’t thoroughly researched.
While you should avoid some questions, others are fair game. For instance, you may want to know how the school handles grading. Is it a pass/fail system, or do students receive a numeric score on a scale?
If you’re interested in a particular specialty, this is your chance to ask about coursework during your pre-clinical years.
Many medical schools value student input and give students a voice in their learning. Ask about student feedback’s role in the curriculum; this may also be an important factor in your choice of medical schools. Asking about students’ favorite parts of the curriculum can provide insight too.
Finally, show interviewers that you’re up to date on the school’s curriculum. For example, you can ask about recent changes to the curriculum and why the school chose to make them.
Volunteering and Research
Since community service and volunteering are med school requirements, show your interest in continuing these pursuits in medical school. Ask about local clinics, community outreach programs, and nearby hospitals to demonstrate that you care and want to help make a difference.
Extracurricular activities are crucial when applying for medical schools, and schools want to see that you have a passion for being involved outside the classroom. Ask about the opportunities to participate in research, the research areas the school specializes in, and current major research endeavors. Through questions like these you can easily tie in your personal interests and add your own spin to the discussion! It may also help to ask whether research is built into the curriculum through research electives within coursework to allow you to begin planning. Finally, you can ask about research conferences at the school or region to convey your drive to go above and beyond other applicants.
Clinical rotations are a central part of medical school and a major factor for many students when deciding to attend a particular school. Ask interviewers how the school evaluates students during clinical rotations and whether it uses shelf exams to assess performance. You can also ask where the school’s clinical rotations occur and which hospitals it partners with.
Finally, this is your opportunity to tailor the discussion to the school you’re applying to. Do in-depth research into the medical school program to determine whether there are unique opportunities and whether this is the best fit for you. For example, some schools have accelerated programs, exclusive research periods between rotations, immersive electives during the fourth year, and front-of-the-line technology used during clinical rotations. This is your chance to show your passion for the school while demonstrating your interests.
Now that you’ve asked questions that apply to most students, it’s time to ask questions that show what you bring to medical school. Do you have a passion for leading? Ask about student governance, peer mentorship, and leadership skill courses. Do you belong to a unique cultural or ethnic group? Ask about the school’s diversity and cultural organizations on campus.
One last step: to ensure that you leave a memorable footprint in the interviewer’s mind, relate to them as a person. Ask the med school interviewer about their favorite aspect of the university or city. Why did they choose to work at this specific university?
While we’ve listed many medical school interview questions here, you don’t have to ask all of them! It’s up to you to choose the ones that best relate to your personal story. The possibilities are endless!
Remember, if you need more personalized help getting into med school, check out our expert med school admissions consulting.
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