What NOT to Do During a Med School Interview
Apr 12, 2023
Reviewed By: Liz Flagge
The last thing you ever want to do is throw up a red flag. You don’t want to scare the dean’s office. This really comes into play during medical school admissions. While some red flags are natural and explainable (e.g., a poor test performance because of extenuating circumstances, a year or two taken off to support your family), some are unnecessary and put a chink in the armor of your medical school application.
Let us review some med school interview mistakes that can frighten your dean’s office, and how to avoid them so that your medical school application flawlessly shines.
Fear #1: Attrition
When med students consider leaving their medical school classes, it’s a detriment to everyone. They have to re-evaluate their life path. The dean’s office will have to decide if they should encourage them to stay or go. That particular school’s graduation rate might suffer, and some eager medical school applicant who would have done anything to go to that school had their spot taken.
This same fear crops up again for residency admissions and is even more severe. Residency programs are tight ships that are dependent on X number of residents to run smoothly. Once that number becomes X-1, the wheels fall off.
Plan: Be sure about your desire to matriculate, including both the prospect of going to medical school and the particular school that you’ve chosen. Demonstrate your current and lifelong dedication to the medical field so that there is no question in the admissions committee’s mind you’re there to stay.
Fear #2: A student that can’t pass their boards
A medical student who can’t pass their boards is another deal breaker. Medical schools will show a lower board passing rate, hurting their academic reputation. And for all intents and purposes, if the student can’t pass their boards after repeated attempts, then they will not become a doctor.
A history of poor test performance is the quickest way to throw up a red flag in this arena.
Plan: Perhaps easier said than done, but the only way to show the admissions committee that you will pass your boards is by building a long, steady career of testing excellence. Cement strong study habits into place before medical school starts so that you can continue them throughout life.
Fear #3: You have a personality problem
You know the story … one bad apple spoils the bunch. Put one arrogant, prone-to-complain, unteachable medical student in a room full of other medical students, and the bad attitude can spread like wildfire.
The way to show an admissions committee how wonderful you are is with your actions more than your words. Use your time before medical school to build the habit of service. Convey that you are making the world around you a better place. Have a reputation for collaboration rather than competition.
If you come off as arrogant during your interviews, that can be a deal breaker. Everyone knows you’re smart; you don’t have to tell anyone or wear this attitude on your sleeve. Let your grades and history speak for themselves.
Plan: Both in your applications and while interviewing, carry a sense of humility. It’s fine to be proud of your accomplishments. Show everyone that you got to this point by lifting up your fellow students rather than leaving them in the dust.
That should be enough to get you started on a solid foundation. If you can put your Dean’s Office and admissions committee at ease by stomping out their fears ahead of time, you will be a much more attractive candidate and one that they will pour their resources into for personal and professional growth.
Feeling anxious about your med school interview? Don’t worry, Blueprint Prep has got you covered. Our MCAT prep courses and study materials will help you prepare to ace the MCAT. And if you want to try it out first, make a free MCAT account to access our free practice test that shows your strengths and weaknesses, study planner that you can customize to your timetable and resources, and 1600+ flashcards.
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