I had my first medical school interview today at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, and much to my delight, I’m very confident about my performance. The day started off with a breakfast and a brief presentation about the medical curriculum, extracurricular activities, etc. Some students had their interviews in the morning and a tour in the afternoon, and others had the two flip-flopped. I was in the latter group.
My first interview was scheduled to begin at 1:15 PM, but I arrived at the secretary’s office by 12:50 PM. This is where I ran into trouble. My interviewer had called in sick earlier this morning, so after finally calming myself down, I feared one thing – time. Come to find out, this was indeed a problem. It took half an hour to reschedule my interview with another doctor (who happened to be across the campus), so my first interview ended up actually starting around 1:35 PM. This pushed my second interview (scheduled for 2:15 PM) back even further. Throughout all this mess, the interviewers I did have were very understanding and reassured me that it wasn’t my fault.
My first interview was with a previous member of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) who now ran an infectious disease department at UTMB. Since she was my rescheduled interviewer, she had no idea she would have to interview me until ten minutes before the event. Consequently, she hadn’t read over my application at all (it was still sitting on her printer). UTMB conducts “blind” interviews which basically eliminates any type of academic bias since the interviewer is not aware of our GPA or MCAT score. This allows them to analyze our personalities to assess how compatible of a “match” the campus and the student are for each other. Anyways, some of the things we discussed:
- Why do I want to be a doctor?
- Biggest obstacle I’ll face in medical school?
- My biggest flaw?
- How do friends describe me?
- Why should UTMB pick me?
We also discussed a lot about her research and medicine in general. Infectious disease is a really interesting field (especially with UTMB’s Galveston Laboratory opening later this year), so I enjoyed discussing current issues regarding the field.
My second interviewer seemed even more nervous than me. His fingers were shaking uncontrollably causing him to drop his page of questions numerous times throughout the duration of the interview. He works as a medical physicist in radiology, so we had a lot to discuss regarding cancer in the brain and noninvasive treatment methods.
Some issues we discussed:
- Based on your application, you could have easily gone to graduate school and pursued research. Why did you choose medicine?
- How would you tell the parents of a four year old terminally ill patient that their son/daughter is going to die?
- If a patient asked to be euthanized, how would you handle it?
- What’s a hospice?
- How should we go about handling the current state of Medicare/Medicaid?
- Where do you see yourself in fifteen years?
- What’s the biggest obstacle you’ll face in medical school?
Last but not least, I received an interview invitation from the University of Texas Southwestern medical school in Dallas scheduled for September 13th. Looking forward to it!