With just under a month left till my first medical school interview, I’m definitely looking forward to the experience. Interviewing has always been a strength of mine. From professionally connecting with the interviewer to transitioning between topics, the overall atmosphere really is conducive towards my speaking style; however, there’s the classic question which seems to always be asked (in one way or another) that I have to prepare myself for: “So Rishi, why do you want to be a doctor?”
A word of caution. Though I’m not a dean of admissions or an individual with any say-so in medical school acceptances, please stay clear of the following answers:
Q: Why do you want to be a doctor?
- “I’m good at science.”
- “I like helping people.”
- “I’m good at science, and I like helping people.”
- “It’z all ’bout ‘dem Benjaminz, naw what I’m sayin’, mang?”
- “…because my mommy says I write like one. Hmph!”
Since this is a common question that all applicants are faced with, as aspiring individuals, we wish to convey a unique image in the eyes of the admissions committees. By virtue of the question’s nature, this becomes very difficult without sounding redundant. Even the anecdotes of “my grandfather fell sick, passed away, and from then I’ve wanted to fight death as a doctor” become more or less stale after interviewing hundreds of potential doctors with similar stories. I myself have seen numerous ways of approaching this timeless question, some better than others in my opinion, and have sculpted what I will ultimately utilize during my interviews.
I want to be a doctor because it’s the only professional which is universally needed and coincides with my interests, both social and academic. No, this isn’t going to be my opening statement, but it’s what I’m trying to convey. No, it’s not exactly the most original reason for wanting to be a doctor. But yes, it’s genuine.
I surmise that responding with my justification for this statement before actually saying the aforementioned will be the most prudent approach. Let the interviewer know I can claim what I say based on my life experiences. I’ve been in a few very different job positions before, and I’ve studied others. Consequently, I’ve “ruled them out” based on my own assessments. Both my father and mother started their careers in a healthcare profession (medical technologist and registered nurse, respectively); therefore, I had an exposure early on. I’ll keep incorporating things I have actually seen and/or done rather than dwelling on pure conjecture. This way, I’ll be responding in a more active manner. My main concern will be limiting the length of my responses appropriately. Other than that, I’m very eager to tour the UTMB campus (for the third time), meet other applicants, and present the most professional image I can possibly convey.
Thanks Nalin! You offer some great advice for aspiring pre-meds. As for me, this “applications journey” is finally over. 🙂
I hope you did well in your medical interview. Your sense of humour, honesty and thoughtful nature suggest that you have what it takes
Preparing for a medical interview is a daft game, that apparently appears to be the current choice mechanism for selecting, not only medical students but doctors to medical posts.
There is a lot of free medical interview advice on my website on how to prepare well for medical interviews. Again – this is just my humble opinion on how to “beat the game”.