So today was probably the most important day of my life – my Baylor College of Medicine interview. After being awe struck by the faculty, facilities, and students, I was even more convinced that having BCM as my “dream school” was indeed a wise choice.

There were about ten interviewees socializing in the sitting area when I first arrived at the DeBakey building at BCM. After being informed that the room we were supposed to be in was hosting a test, we were relocated temporarily to a student lounge. Seeing some familiar faces made me begin to ease into the interview day with some comfort (or maybe the fact that the student lounge had both a foosball table and pool table). ๐Ÿ™‚ However, we ultimately reached our final destination and began to eat lunch while being welcomed by some faculty and students. This lunch/welcoming/registration lasted from 12:00 to 12:50 PM. Interviews and tours were held between 1:00 and 4:00 PM, and since that’s what most of you are concerned about, let me get right to my experience:

My first interviewer was an internist who worked at the VA. Let me just start off by saying that up to this point, I had six interviewers (2 interviews x 3 schools), none of which made me even slightly doubt my performance; however, this individual was rather different. The way I am used to speaking involves interpreting facial expressions and body language from my interviewer to help me gauge and tailor my upcoming statements. This interviewer provided none of that. He had the ideal “poker face” which made me very uncomfortable in reassuring myself that I did a good job. Regardless, I pulled through and managed to answer all his questions with what I felt were genuine and satisfactory responses. Here are some questions he asked:

  • So what have you done today at BCM?
  • Where do you see yourself ten years after medical school?
  • What have your friends told you about BCM?
  • What three traits would your friends say you possess?
  • What was the most difficult thing about your undergraduate career?
  • What do you think will be the most difficult thing about medical school?
  • When did you know that you wanted to be a doctor?
  • What are you going to do in your year off?
  • If you had to speak to the admissions committee through me, what would you say about yourself?

My second interviewer was a neurologist who went to BCM for medical school, residency, and was now a faculty member there. Naturally, due to his background in neurology and my interest in neurosurgery, we had a lot to talk about regarding BCM’s neurological sciences department and research opportunities. The funny thing is that before he went to medical school, he was actually a full-fledged lawyer. Talk about shifting career goals – from law to medicine. That in itself spoke volumes about his dedication towards pursuing what he felt was his calling. This interview was far more of a conversation as we bounced ideas and concerns off of each other. Unfortunately for you guys, the only specific question I remember him asking was as follows:

  • With all the negative things about medicine (Medicare/Medicaid issues, increasing costs, delayed gratification, financial burden, stress, etc.), why do you still want to pursue it?

Throughout the day, I was pleased to run into HBU alumni. Will gave my group a tour of the BCM facilities. Gary gave a tour of the clinical facilities BCM is affiliated with. I ran into David and Humair in the lobby and briefly had a chance to catch up. It’s just great seeing familiar faces. Makes me believe that I too can one day be in their shoes as a BCM student.

Anyways, this concludes my application year. I have completed all my interviews, and if you see another blog post concerning medical applications, it will deal with acceptance letters. ๐Ÿ™‚

14 Comments

  1. Future UTSWStud Reply

    Things that worry me about Baylor this year…

    Student commits suicide 11/18/2008. (someone committed suicide last year at BCM too).
    Traber gets the ax.
    Death of DeBakey.
    Death of Feigin.
    Desperate move to merge with Rice.
    Rift with Methodist still unresolved, causing many physicians to severe ties with BCM and leave..

    I’m terribly sorry to bring these negative points to light, Rishi. I know how much you love the school, but I’m just so worried about the future of Baylor in light of these current circumstances. There is so much that needs to be fixed in such a short amount of time. Again, I apologize for bringing these things up. I don’t mean to diminish your future excitement when you receive the letter!

  2. Hahaha, absolutely no need to apologize. I’m well aware of the situation BCM is currently facing, and yes, it’s a bit disturbing; however, my reasoning for having BCM as my “dream school” is independent of everything it’s currently going through. a.) the 18 month core science curriculum, b.) the proximity to home, c.) the fact that it’s located in the world’s largest medical center, d.) lower tuition costs, e.) it’s private

    I love the school beyond belief, and I just hope that I was able to convey it during my interview. In all sincerity, the day I might receive an acceptance phone call from Dr. Greenberg will be the happiest day of my life. No amount of financial or political strife BCM faces will ever alter that feeling. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hey Rishi, was the neurologist you interviewed with Dr. Kass? I had him, and he was a totally fun interview too! Also, don’t get discouraged! They really kept stressing over and over that the vast majority of acceptances won’t go out until Feb/March or so.

    Best of luck!

  4. Yes it was!! I was in awe that he went from a lawyer to a BCM student, BCM resident, and then BCM faculty member. Simply amazing.

  5. Rishi, I am glad you have good interview. Congrats. I am sure you will be in their shoes next year. They might find it hard to compete with you. Yes, maybe the second best thing out of Baylor is Rishi Kumar.

  6. Haha, I feel ‘ya on the poker face! I had an interviewer this weekend that gave me the poker face & I didn’t really know how to interpret it!!! Definitely uncomfortable. Well, congrats on finishing up all your interviews & I hope you get BCM if that’s what felt the most right for you.

  7. BCM definitely is the school that “clicked” the best with me… probably because of my biased notions going into the interview, heh. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah, that poker face is a difficult and even more intimidating skill for an interviewer to successfully showcase. Oh well, all the best on your remaining interview(s), Shani!

  8. Stephen Reilly Reply

    Yo Rishi, that’s great to hear, as you’re definitely on the doorstep of your dreams that I’ve known you to have for almost a decade now.

    That’s just freakin’ amazing.

    Anyway, give me a call sometime soon. We’re way overdue for some quality catch-up time.

  9. Thanks for the kind words, Dr. Bateman. I sent you an e-mail explaining how to use RSS feeds to track my posts. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Rishi I came across this site via twitter, and am basically very impressed.
    hope you get the place at BCM

    I love your site. We could do with having you work for us
    Im a UK MD with a new website purely for med students at

    http://www.medicaleducator.co.uk

    I love the stuff you’ve got on here. I’ve just added you on twitter so sorry for the spam. Email me if you get bored. I aslo have a personal blog at Warwick University, where i do a bit of work.

    Do you have a thing so I can track your posts? I’m still a bit web-naive, I’ve got some technobods running our site stuff.

    Anyway whatever, all the best
    James

  11. Thanks! Hope so too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Heh, now the waiting game resumes, so only time will tell the fate of this year’s applicants.

  12. Congrats on all of your interviews thus far =)
    Here’s to hoping you get your first choice!!

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