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Common Questions

interviewing

Below is a sampling of questions that interviewers typically ask, grouped into categories for easier consideration.

Personal

  • Who is [your name]?
  • Why do you want to be a doctor/dentist/veterinarian/optometrist/etc.?
  • When did your interest in science begin?
  • What is your greatest strength? and weakness?
  • Why did you attend Boston College?
  • What were your most significant extracurricular activities?
  • What do you/don't you like about Boston?
  • Why did you major in religion [or another subject area]?
  • Why do you want to go to this school?
  • Have you been accepted elsewhere?
  • How do you feel about your MCAT/DAT scores?
  • How do you plan to finance your medical education?
  • What will you do if not admitted to any health professions school?
  • Which do you prefer, clinical work or research?
  • How do you deal with stress?
  • What books have you read recently, and what do you think of them?
  • If you were placed on a deserted island, what three items would you want to bring with you? Why?
  • If you could choose one person to have dinner with, dead or alive, who would that person be? Explain.
  • What do you consider to be the most epochal event of the 20th century?
  • What do you see yourself doing in 15 years?

Professional Issues

  • What three qualities would you most like to see in a/your physician?
  • Do you think physicians should marry physicians?
  • Do you think a medical/dental student should postpone plans for marriage until after school?
  • What is the biggest problem in medicine/dentistry today?
  • Should medical students reimburse medical schools for the true costs of their education?
  • What do you think of HMOs (health maintenance organizations)?
  • What do you feel the field of medicine/dentistry/optometry/etc. will be like in [future year]?
  • What future problems do you foresee for the medical profession?

Social/Political Issues Related to Medicine

  • What do you think of socialized medicine, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide (e.g., Kevorkian), the nationalization of medicine, abortion, etc.?
  • How would you solve the high cost of medical care?
  • How would you nationalize medicine if you were President of the United States?
  • How should our society cope with AIDS?
  • How would you deal with a doctor who refused to treat AIDS patients?
  • What do you think of required drug screening examinations?
  • How would you allocate x billion dollars between primary treatment for AIDS and cardiac patients versus education programs oriented toward prevention of these diseases? Please explain your reasoning.
  • As a surgeon (at a Catholic hospital?), you are asked to separate conjoined twins, and you realize that one of the children will probably die. Discuss what process you would go through in making the decision whether to operate or not.
  • You are working as a physician in a neighborhood clinic that serves patients from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. Guidelines from your clinic supervisor indicate that you are to spend no more than ten minutes on any patients that you have previously seen. You end up spending an average of twenty minutes during each of three separate follow-up appointments with one individual. This woman is financially disadvantaged and drug dependent, and she has a number of problems related to her primary illness. You are called in by your supervisor (possibly an MBA and not a medical doctor) for not following clinic guidelines. How would you respond to your supervisor's reprimands? More generally, how do you feel about the tendency in the United States for people's health care to be treated increasingly as a business?

In Closing

  • What is the one thing you would like us to remember about you once this interview is over?
  • Do you have any questions about us here at [name of school]?