Medical School Mock Interview

Medical School Mock Interview


– So it’ll be very similar to what I’ve done before, but we’ll try and offer some insights along the way. You’ll find that I pause the interview. And, Emma, if you wanna pause anytime, just say so. And then we’ll talk about something that’s gone on to bring
up a couple of points. And then we’ll resume the interview. So it’ll be a little bit of an interrupted interview at times. Normally what happens at the beginning is I will go to the room where all these students are sitting and call out their name. And they’ll come on over and
we’ll introduce ourselves, shakes hands and walk
to the interview room, which can be a very short
or a very long walk. (audience laughing) So you need to have things to talk about on that walk. Usually the interviewer is the one that feels comfortable and comes up with the topic of conversation, but you should also feel free to be prepared with something, too. And usually the one I usually go with is, number one, did
you come in last night, if I knew you were from out
of town, or drive in today? Did you fly? Are you gonna stay late or
see the local community? Something like that. The weather works always,
no question of that. (audience laughing) But I also find that telling ’em what my specialty is and what I’ve done stimulates a lotta conversation, as well, and we can talk about that, too. So anything that seems to work, you should have something
to fill the time. And actually, the
interviewer likes that time because he’s, he or she,
is already beginning to assess you and your personal attributes and personality because, really, that’s what the interview is about, right? So how do medical schools assess your personal attributes? And nobody from my lunch
table is allowed to answer. (audience laughing) What do we have to assess what you as a person are like? – [Man] Your application and interview. – What in the application will tell me about your personal attributes? – [Woman] Your personal statement. – Personal statement, yes. Why do you spend so much time on that personal statement? Because it matters. It’s actually the very first thing that the screener sees
in your application. And they read every word
of it, I promise you. There’s nothing more
important in your application than your personal statement. It gives us an insight into you and your character and
your path to medicine. And the path to medicine’s
what really matters to us a lot. So that’s one way. Another way is, any guesses,
from the application? – [Woman] Service. – No, that’s an experience. Although sometimes I
get some good insights from your comments on that service, no question of that. How about your letters of evaluation? Yeah. So the letters, 99.9% of students don’t see their letters,
which is the best way to do it these days, unless you don’t get into med school, then
that’s a different question. But those letters give
us a lot of insights. And 99.5% of those letters are extremely positive
about the applicants. I mean, after all, you chose them, right? So they should be extremely positive. But we look at that in detail. The biggest problem with letters, if there’s one potentially
negative comment in a letter, it can really
torpedo your application. Think of it this way. I have 7,500 applicants and 165 spots to fill them with. 99.5% don’t have a single
negative comment anywhere. Why should I take a chance on somebody with a negative comment
in one of their letters? I don’t know them, but
the letter writer does. So I’m simply just not gonna take the chance on that person, even though the comment may be
ill-advised or ill-deserved. So you have to be really careful with your letters of evaluation. You wanna make sure that your person who’s writing it for you can not only write you a letter, but
write you a great letter. So don’t just ask them if they can write you a letter of recommendation. Ask them, “Can you write me a great “and enthusiastic letter
of recommendation?” And I would put it just
like that, all right? And if they can’t say,
looking directly at you, “Yes, I can,” then say, “Well, “I’ll get back to you on that.” (audience laughing)
All right? So that’s the kind of letter writer that you’re gonna have to have, and you may have to coach ’em a little bit on things to say. We like seeing things
like top 5% of the class, highest recommendation
without reservation. There’s a lotta keywords we look for. If they simply say, “Yeah, they were “a really great student. “We recommend them.” Well, that’s fine, but it’s not as good as the one that said,
“My best in 15 years. “Highest recommendation
without reservation.” That’s what we have to
go on in those letters. The other thing is a lot of ’em spend time on the personal
achievements in their class. “This student got second highest grade “in my class of overachievers.” And we have no interest in that whatsoever from a letter. We can see that in your application. We are interested in their assessment of your personal attributes because that’s what we’re using
the letter for, okay? And then the third thing that we have to assess your personal attributes is? The interview. (audience laughing)
All right? So the interview is a really big deal for assessing your personal attributes. And attributes, remember, in general these days for med school,
are 1/3 of the score that we give you for medical school. Metrics, experiences, attributes, 1/3 each, all right? So you gotta be good in all three. None of them outweighs the other. And really with this interview, I’m trying to make sure that you know what you’re getting into, that your path to medicine is reasonable and well chosen, and that you don’t really want to be a violinist or an engineer, which does happen. People come in confused about that, and we don’t like confusion about your path into medicine. And we wanna make sure that
you’re not a sociopath. (audience laughing)
All right? And that’s really hard because a smart sociopath, everybody applying to medical school is
smart, can really fool ya. And it’s a really hard thing to be weeding out of the population, and we fail at it sometimes,
but we do our best. So we gotta make sure that you have the right personal attributes, and that has to do with sincerity and humbleness and lack of arrogance. And those are kind of the things we’re looking for, and how do you work on a team and can you learn by yourself and those type of things. So that’s kinda what I’m
doing in the interview. I’m not necessarily interested so much in Emma’s specific answers, although I am interested in those. I’m more interested in how she answers and what kind of thought processes she’s going through so I
can assess her character. This is about communication and character, not necessarily the specifics
of what she has to say. But I’ll tell you that by giving honest, sincere answers, that
character comes through. So if you come in too prepared, with canned answers, it doesn’t come through in sincerity. And we’re very used to
doing these interviews, and sincerity’s something we
do read pretty well, okay? So don’t be too canned in your answers. Have some broad ideas of what you’re gonna discuss, perhaps, but you can make it up on the spot. And really, we don’t mind if you take a few seconds to think about things. One of the mechanisms you’ll see me doing in the interview, and I’m gonna do it on purpose today, too,
is I ask the question in more than one way. All right? That’s to give you time to think of an answer and fill
some otherwise dead time that might be awkward for you and make you feel awkward, and I do not want you
to feel awkward at all. I wanna have your best out of you at this point in time because I need to understand you and your application. I maybe spend a little
time on your experiences, clarifying ones that I don’t know. I might go over your
timeline a little bit. But I’ve seen your experiences, I know what they are. I don’t really need to
talk about ’em a lot, but you should feel free to use them, if you need to, as an example to answer one of my
questions on something else. Any thoughts to start here? Go ahead. – [Man] So before the interview, does the interviewer reads the personal statement
from their interviewee? – So yes. The rule is the interviewer comes in early and spends 45 minutes to an hour looking over your
application in great detail. So they should be very familiar with it. And I’ve been provided Emma’s actual AMCAS application. I have not seen her letters of evaluation, just like she hasn’t seem them, so I don’t have those to work with in terms of interviewing her. But other than that, I
have the application here and I’ve prepared ahead of time by looking at it, so I kinda know where I’m gonna go with this interview. So, Emma, first of all, you all don’t necessarily realize how hard this is to put yourself open like this in front of your peers. This is really hard to do, and I wanna thank her– – Of course. – And I think we should
congratulate her for doing this. (audience applauding and cheering) Very hard to open yourself up like this. Do you wanna make any preliminary comments about the interview? – Sure. So I’m a senior right now. I’ve interviewed at roughly
eight medical schools. I’ve been accepted to
a few, which is great (laughs) and relaxing. Just a couple quick tips. I, several times in my interviews when thrown a question that I don’t have an answer to, will verbalize, “That’s a great question. “Can I have a minute to think about it?” And that way when there
is that awkward silence, you already let the interviewer know that (laughs) there’s gonna be
a little period of silence. And it’s really okay to
give yourself time to think because rambling on and on and on instead of giving yourself
30 seconds to think is just gonna sound like you don’t know how to communicate to your interviewer, so I’ve done that over 10
times in my interviews. I really have. And it’s a really great tip. Also, while your interviewer is looking at your application, you should be looking
at the medical school. You should be doing deep web searches of the medical school and preparing broad answers, vague things that you wanna highlight in your interview. But it’s really important to be prepared for the interview that you’re going on. You’re trying to sell yourself, as well, so I always did a lotta research and took a lotta notes on the respective medical schools that I was
going to before my interviews. – And usually by the end
of the interview session, the interviewer gives you a chance to talk about anything
you wanna talk about, ask questions. They’ll discuss anything with you. They’re there to sell their city and medical school, as well, particularly if you’re not from the area, and they’re happy to answer those. Almost every time, they are very happy to be where they’re at and they want you to come
to their medical school. Anybody that gets an
interview for medical school is a highly desirable person, just getting an interview. Never forget that. Even if you don’t get into medical school, you are still highly desirable and you will get in if you
do it right the next time. All right? So these are great people, they’re wonderful to interview. It’s a lotta fun to do it, and you want these kind of people to follow you into medical school. We’re just trying to figure out who are the best 165 out of our 700 interview slots this year to follow us to be a physician ’cause we really care about that. We care who follows us, we care about our profession, and this matters a lot of us and it’s why so many of us do this. And this is all done on a volunteer basis by the students and faculty
that do the interviews. So it’s about caring about our profession and our patients and what’s
gonna follow after us. So I am ready to get started if you are. – Absolutely. – Everybody ready? There will be pauses. Feel free to ask questions
during the pauses when we wanna talk about
various things, as well. So we’ll have been coming into the room. We’ll have talked about emergency medicine and the lousy weather in Dayton, Ohio. (audience laughing) And we’ll sit down and I will begin by telling Emma a little bit about what we intend to do, and that’s where we’ll start off the interview, okay? So, well, thanks for coming in today. – Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here. – So have you had medical
school interviews before? – I have, yes. – Good, that means you won’t
be as nervous with mine, right? (Emma laughs)
– Not as nervous, I’m excited. – Good. So we have about 40 minutes or so to talk today, and I’ll go over a little bit about your experiences, although I’ve read your application, I know about ’em, and I’ll just wanna clarify a few things. And we’ll probably talk a little bit about your path to medicine and some other general questions and
see what we come up with. And I’m also available to answer your questions, too, usually at the end. – Great, looking forward to it. – All right. So I think your application was highlighted by really
a lotta service activities. What got ya into service? – Absolutely. I think my path to service
and yearning to live a service-led life kinda started early in my childhood. Both of my parents really emphasized the fact of understanding the privilege with which I was raised and lucky enough to be in that situation,
but also understanding that that is a fortunate situation, and many others don’t have that privilege. And so from a very young
age, it was instilled in both my sister and
myself the importance of having a service
mentality in our future and keeping that close to our mission and our personal goals. So with that framework, throughout my childhood and then throughout high school, eventually finding sort of a passion for the biomedical sciences and medicine, service-related activities really became a central part of my undergraduate career and something that has
definitely influenced my path to medicine. – What did they have you do for service when you were grade
school and high school? – Absolutely, so
especially in high school, I went to a close-knit
community high school and we had a lotta service opportunities. One of the most notable was I worked for the St. Vincent de Paul Club and we made sandwiches and
went to local food banks to serve some of the
greater Columbus residents. I’m from Columbus. So some of those experiences
have really influenced me, but also on a smaller scale, going over to my grandma’s house (laughs) in the summer and watering her flowers. While that’s, like, a very little example of service, it was something that I was excited to do and that
was definitely influenced by the way that I grew up.
– Good. I assure you, my grandkids don’t come and water my flowers, so (audience laughing) that is a nice service experience. So your personal statement kinda started with your
grandmother’s illness four or so years ago. And it gave me the
impression that your interest in medicine kinda
started with her illness. And I wasn’t sure if that
was a correct impression. So first of all, is there anybody in your family that’s medical? – So nobody in my family’s
a medical physician. My dad does have his Ph.D.
in molecular genetics, so he definitely has a
scientific background. I would say while it is accurate in my personal statement that that illness and emergency surgery with my grandma was kind of a defining moment in my path to become a physician, I definitely had a piqued interest in high school. I just– – Well, tell me a about that little bit. How did your interest
begin in high school? – Really just through coursework. I really enjoyed my biology
courses in high school. And then when I was a
senior at my high school, I actually had, like, an honors anatomy and physiology
course, which I thought was pretty cool for a high school to have. And I really loved that,
which ultimately led me to choose my undergraduate
major of biology and continue to discover that passion. But additionally, I had
a pretty significant series of injuries
throughout my childhood. I’ve had seven ankle surgeries in a period of five years that left me in a wheelchair (laughs) for about a year. In that time, a complete
ankle reconstruction. So that was also where
some of the interest lied. While it was upsetting
that I was going through that experience, I did, in some ways, enjoy going to my doctor’s appointments. I grew very close relationships with some physicians. And that’s kind of where the initial pique of interest started. But you are correct to say that in my personal statement, that is where my definite passion was cemented. – So let’s stop there for just a second. So her personal statement did start with the grandmother’s illness in 2015, but I was really interested in seeing if her interest developed
earlier than that, and clearly it did. And in many ways, including
the personal injury and personal experience with medicine, which really was very important to me because we have a lot of applicants who have the start of their interest in medicine come through
their own experience with medicine, be it
a longstanding illness or injury, things like that. And I think that’s a
true path to medicine. That’s how your interest
can begin to develop. And then she told me all about this service activity that she did, starting in grade school and high school. Nobody does that these days. That’s really unusual. That’s a really special
part of her application that was not mentioned
anywhere in her application. And that is really impressive to me. This tells me that this is something inculcated in her from a young age that’s part of her and her personality that’s part of medicine, too. And so now I have this beautiful match of service mentality in her entire history that she didn’t even
put in her application that’s gonna be big in my
writeup in her interview. By the way, did you know that? – [Emma] I did not. (laughs) – Oh, yeah, that’s really important. – [Emma] Thank you. – So that right away has doubled my interest in her as a candidate, from the personal statement that I got. And the personal statement is clear enough about how her interest continued to develop into medicine. So right now, I’ve done
the most important thing I care about in the interview, I’ve clarified her path to medicine, her thinking, why she
wants to be a doctor, why she would be a good doctor and how convinced I am that she’s sincere in her interest. And all of those things
are answered for me at this point in time. It’s a beautiful start to the interview, even if she doesn’t know it
at that point, all right? And I’m not gonna let her know that at that point either,
(audience laughing) but that’s what I’m thinking in my head at this point in the interview, okay? Questions about this part of it? All right, we’ll continue. So I was looking at your
exposure to medicine. Obviously you’ve had some
exposure as a patient. I saw you did about, was it 70 hours of shadowing in various specialties. But then you also had some EMT work, and it sounds like that’s been a big part of your college life, at least. How did you get interested in EMT work and what has it told you about medicine and maybe even a doctor’s life? – Absolutely. So my EMT work kind of initially began when I came to the University of Dayton, and as a first-year
student, I found out about this amazing student-run EMS program that is offered through the university. I applied at the end of my first year as an undergraduate, and
luckily was accepted. And so then the first semester as a second-year student, I went through a night class in the fall semester to become trained, along with 20 other of my classmates. So this experience has impacted me in a variety of ways, but I think the best thing that I’ve gotten from this experience is the ability to actually have one-on-one
patient interaction and to understand what it means, at least in part, to actually care for a real human patient. And so I think it’s a really special and unique opportunity that the University of Dayton has and that I’ve been privileged enough to be a part of. But in addition, it’s also led me to some leadership positions. So within the organization, I’ve been able to be elected and promoted to two positions. I just finished up serving
as personnel officer for the UD EMS organization. – Why don’t you tell me, what have you learned about leadership? – I’ve learned that leadership is much more in action than in word. So one of the positions, I’m a crew chief, so every shift I go on,
I’m kind of in charge of two other crew members. A specific example is
we have a chore sheet. We have to do chores around our EMS house. And I think if I want my crew members to do chores, (laughs) I
should be participating in chores, as well. We also have skills of the week, where we keep our skills up to date. And while it’s the crew
member’s responsibility to get those skills of the week done, I think as a leader,
it’s my responsibility to help them get engaged in that activity. I’ve also learned that leadership is listening to others and never (laughs) being scared to ask for advice. So when we go on EMS
runs, I’m not gonna act like (laughs) I’ve always
known exactly what to do. Sometimes I get to a situation and I have no idea what to do, but I have two crew members with me. So I think never being afraid to feel like you have to ask for help. I think (laughs) it’s okay to ask– – Sure.
– For help always. So those are some key things
I learned about leadership. – Those are good leadership points, but let’s pivot over towards what you’ve seen of a doctor’s
role a little bit. Do you really think you know what you’re getting into? Do you know what a doctor’s life is like? – Well, I’m sure that I don’t have, I’m not a doctor, so I can’t say that I have 100% clear picture. I have done extensive shadowing, and so I do feel like I have a strong grasp on some of the day-to-day responsibilities and activities that doctors participate in. And one thing that I’m really happy I did in my shadowing was look at a wide array of specialties and subspecialties to kinda see that there’s
completely different aspects of medicine, from pediatric primary care to ER shadowing to anesthesiology. And also through the EMS experience, I did have to do a certain amount of shadowing time in the ER. We do have a medical
director who’s a physician that’s kinda worked with us as an EMS agency, so I have had exposure to what being a physician is. – Okay. So did you talk to some of these doctors about how many hours a week they work? – Absolutely, yeah. I understand that it is a
rigorous time commitment. I also understand that time working per week can greatly vary by specialty, and also
if you’re a resident versus a senior physician,
that can also vary greatly. But I do feel like I have
a strong grasp of that and am prepared to take on that challenge. – Well, that’s what we wonder sometimes. You’ll be working 70 to 80 hours a week. You, as a woman, are you planning to get married and have children? Or are you gonna be able to work the life like a doctor does? – So right now, my number one priority is to become a physician and to pursue this lifestyle for myself. That is my number one goal. My goal right now is not to think about
relationships or the future. However, I do know that
in today’s day and age, many women do effectively balance it. So while I am sure it is a challenge, I feel more than prepared to take on that challenge. But I do wanna say that right now, my number one priority is
completing medical school. – Okay, so we planned that, by the way. (Emma laughs) And we’re gonna stop and discuss that just a little bit. I hope some of you were shocked when you heard that question. (audience laughing) – [Woman] It’s a good question. (audience laughing) – That’s a totally illegal
question, all right? So in an interview, you’re not allowed to discuss age. If my applicant is 50 years old, I might be thinking in my head, well, damn, by the time they’re done, (audience laughing) that’ll be four years of practice where I could be training a 20 year old to do this for 40 years. Well, I guess I can think that in my head, but you’re never allowed to mention such a subject at all. No age discrimination. No gender discrimination. You can’t discuss any gender role models of any kind whatsoever. Children, marital status, none of this is permissible territory. The problem is that on rare occasion, it might get asked. And so what are you gonna do when you get asked an illegal or a wrong-headed question about something like that? Well, you saw how Emma chose to handle it, and I’m gonna let her share her insights on that kind of issue first. – I would just say the first thing is if you get a, luckily
in my interview process, I haven’t been thrown
a question like that. I think throughout the entire interview, composure is super important. So even if you have a sexist interviewer who’s commenting on your marital status or how you’re gonna raise kids and be a doctor, number
one is keep composure because they’re still
your interviewer, right? Like even (laughs) if
they’re being a jerk, they’re still gonna write
your recommendation, and so you can’t blow
up on an interviewer, no matter what. Just know that. Number two, I think the
way I chose to answer the question was just to highlight what my priority in life is right now. I’m applying for medical school, I’m at a medical school interview, so my priority is to gain entrance into that medical
school, so that’s where I tried to steer the question, and also respectfully respond and say that I’ve had experiences
with working female physicians who have families and that I do believe that it is possible, in a respectful way. So that’s kinda how I chose to answer it. – Which is a good way to handle it. And I think her point about composure is the most important thing here because that person is
going to be writing up your review, no matter
how horrible they are to ask such a bad question, all right? So you’ve got to remain composed, reasonably respectful. And then when the interview’s done and you’re done for the day, you go to the admissions office and you report that person
and the illegal question to the head of admissions
or the dean of admissions because they want to know
about it, I assure you. They don’t want anything like that going on in their medical school. And we tell the students that, too. You come in and let us know if anything like that ever happens. But you do have to know how to handle it. It is acceptable to simply decline to answer such an illegal question, but I really think that Emma’s way of handling it works a lot better in the long run. Does anybody wanna make a point or have a question about that situation? Yes? – [Woman] So in terms of if you have a chronic illness and it came up, maybe you wrote about it, but is there any sort
of thing regarding that that you should? – So the question was what if you have a chronic illness and
they wanna discuss that, especially if you wrote
about it in your application. So the legal rule is that if it’s in your application, I can discuss it. So if you tell me that you have joined the Jewish Student Association and have been very active
in its service activities, I can discuss that with you. Otherwise, I could not. Chronic illness is another area that I cannot discuss unless you tell me about it and make it a
part of your application. But even then, as a medical school in Ohio state, we have
guidelines about that. Our guideline is that
we have zero discussion about a chronic illness unless it’s just to tell us how it informed your view of going into medicine. It’s not our job to assess whether your chronic
illness will allow you to do the job of medical school or not. We actually have a separate committee that does that. So you could potentially be accepted to medical school and then
be denied entrance later if you have a physical
or mental disability that that committee feels wouldn’t allow you to complete
medical school properly. So there is a separate committee for that. So if you come in to me as a quadriplegic on a ventilator, saying you wanna go to medical school, I will treat you just like anybody else, but someone else will probably evaluate that
physical situation eventually. So that’s how we handle that. Does that answer your question? – [Woman] Yes, thank you.
– All right. Interesting, huh? Yeah, there’s a lot of little pitfalls. Okay, so let’s continue. I saw you had a reasonable amount of research experience, and I read over it and I was very impressed by it, but I was hoping you’d share with me what you learned about research and the research process. Not specifically your specific research and what you did in it, but more about the process itself, okay? And then pause. Again, I’m giving her time to think about how she’s going to answer this question by re-asking it in multiple ways ’cause I want her to come
up with a good answer. – So I learned several things from the research process. Probably the first thing I learned is that research is a
long and arduous process that sometimes yields little results, (laughs) so I think patience
has been a key thing that I’ve learned in my research. But perhaps most significantly, I think I’ve really learned the importance of coupling integrative research methods with strong clinical care. So I was lucky enough in the center that I worked for, the
Center for Gene Therapy, one of the head principal investigators was an MD. And so he really was able
to help me understand the bridge between seeing
patients in a clinic and how that transfers
to biomedical research and lab work, and vice versa. So as you read, I did a lotta research on muscular dystrophy. And without some of these
innovative treatment, new research methods that we’re working on with gene therapy, I don’t think the clinical care could be
as complete as possible. So I think seeing that relationship was really informative and something I really plan to take with me on my path to become a physician. And I guess thirdly, I learned teamwork. I learned a lot about how maybe your research in the lab kinda depends on an experiment that somebody else is doing, how to work collaboratively and work with other people
in an effective way, kind of always having a
greater good in your mind. – Do you see that as one of
your strengths, teamwork? – Absolutely. I think through the research experience and also in that previously mentioned EMS experience, I constantly
worked in a team setting, both as a brand new team member under the direction of others, but also kind of in a
more senior position. And by my third summer in research, I was helping train new students that were coming in. So I do feel very comfortable in both roles and working in a team. – Pause for a second. So during this interview, you’ll see I have everything ready here to write, but I’m not writing. That would not be true
in the normal interview. I would be sitting here and jotting a few notes about the
things that she’s saying. So at times, it’ll look like I’m not paying attention because
I’m looking down here at what I’m writing, but I’m listening to every single word
coming out of your month, and a lot of those are getting written down here as we go. So don’t be put off by your interviewer not having constant eye contact with you, which I’m able to do today since I don’t have to write anything down. So it can be, I think, a
little disconcerting at times. Most of them for you were writing? – Usually they give you a warning, though. Like, usually they’ll be like, “Hey, I’m gonna be typing the whole time,” or, “I’m gonna be writing
down the whole time,” which is nice because sometimes you think that you’re doing really bad (laughs) if they’re not paying
attention to you at all. But usually I’ve had most interviewers give me a warning that
that’s what they’re gonna do. – Yeah, they are definitely
paying attention. They just gotta take
notes because later on, if they’re not typing immediately, they’re gonna type these up in a little better format and make sure they captured everything
you were trying to say. ‘Cause remember, the interviewer’s job is to convey everything that you said to the deliberation committee that’s gonna talk about you and your
entire application later. And this might be a good time to bring up differences in what interviewers see. So at Ohio State, the interviewers have no idea about your metrics. They don’t know your GPA or your MCAT. That’s not true at every medical school. What was your experience? – Yeah, I found Ohio State
was kinda rare in that. I found most did, it was open file. – Most did know it ahead of time? – Yeah. – So it’s an interesting question. At Ohio State, we found that knowing a student’s metrics tends to
prejudice the interviewer. And we purposely decided to leave that out because the interviewer’s not there to assess how smart you are
or what your metrics are. The purpose of the interview is to assess your personal attributes and clarify any experiences, not through your metrics. So the one thing that we will say to students a lotta times is, “Is there anything about your metrics “that is not obvious from your application “that you would like me to convey “to the deliberation committee?” So if you have an unusually low GPA your sophomore year, and
have an excellent explanation for it, that’s the point when you wanna speak up and tell us what happened during that semester
of your sophomore year. Or if you have a particularly low score in one part of the MCAT for some reason that you want to explain,
also a good thing to do at that point in time. But if it’s reasonably obvious, everything’s steady
through the four years, you don’t have anything to explain outside of the application
itself, that’s fine. But if you do, take the chance to explain something about your metric ’cause we aren’t gonna ask
you about it at Ohio State. What was their practice
in terms of acknowledging your metrics at other medical schools? – I didn’t really get asked if there was, like, an inconsistency that I wanted to point out. I did have several interviewers ask me how I studied for the MCAT, which was kind of interesting, with which I just talked about that. I would say I really didn’t get asked about my metrics too often. A few, I was asked how
I studied for the MCAT. That’s kind of about it. – They knew about ’em, but they’re not using them in the interview, other than maybe subconsciously, which is our worry when they know about your metrics. – And I will say I did, one of my interviews,
they just started off kind of complimenting me on my metrics, so it definitely did feel– – Prejudicial?
(Emma laughs) – Yeah, before they even– – In a good way for you. – Yeah, luckily. But (laughs) I guess that’s
kind of my experience. – Okay. All right, well, let’s
continue with the interview. All right. So I enjoyed hearing your answer about the teamwork and research, but in medical school, we do a lot of independent learning, a lot of podcasts, as you
may have heard earlier, and you don’t necessarily attend class and lecture together, or even do a lotta group discussion. You gotta learn a lot on your own. So not necessarily academically, but can you tell me about some time when you had to learn
something on your own from some part of your life, since high school days, of course, where you had to learn a new skill on your own and how you
went about doing that. – Yeah, let me just think about that for a second, if you don’t mind. – Okay. So while she’s thinking about that, I’m thinking about the next question that I’m going to ask her while she takes a little time to do that. – So an example that jumps to mind is through some of my EMS involvement. I talked about how I had been promoted to crew chief, but during
that promotion process, one of the criticisms that I received is that occasionally I would be a little amped up on calls and I would have a lot of energy. And so I really had to learn on my own how to tone that down on a personal level. And I tried out a few
systems within myself to really work on that and to ultimately be able to be promoted to
the crew chief position. So I tried several things with myself. I tried, when the tones drop, like at a firehouse, I would try to stand up slower to kind of get myself collected. That didn’t work too well ’cause the adrenaline (snaps fingers)
kicked in, I just jumped up. (Mark and Emma laughing) But what ultimately worked for me is I started saying a little saying in my head on the way to calls. It’s the Serenity Prayer, which my mom taught me when I was younger. So every time I drive to a call now, I say that in my head. And that really just helps center me and that really helped with my nervousness and a little bit of high energy on calls. And I’ve found that I had to try out a few systems within myself before I was able to effectively
take that criticism and make a positive change. – Well, that’s a good example, but I wanna direct it
a little differently. Let’s direct it towards maybe a new skill or knowledge base that you had to acquire or something. Some people tell me about how they learned to play the guitar on their own or some skill like that. They learned to repair
the brakes on their car. Some other part of your life, perhaps, a skill that ya had to learn. – Mm-hm. – Didn’t get asked this question, huh? (Emma and Mark laughing) – No, I would like to
keep thinking about it, if you don’t (laughs) mind. – [Mark] All right. – Okay. (laughs) This doesn’t relate specifically to medicine at all, but– – It doesn’t have to. – Yeah, coming into college, I had to learn how to cook for myself and make meals to help me out through the week. So I’ve been doing some meal prepping and Crock-Pot meals. – How did you learn this? – I just did research on the internet to try to find quick and easy meals that I could make on a Sunday and would last me all throughout the week. It really has helped
me save time, actually. So pretty much every Sunday, I do a meal prep for the week. And that’s something that I’ve learned in college on my own, just finding that trying to make a meal every single night while balancing my studies and extracurriculars wasn’t really an efficient option. – Okay, tell me about some kind of setback you’ve had in your life. Most people go through life without too many setbacks, but usually there’s something that really was a problem for them. And it can be from any part of your life. Again, preferably since high school. By the way, everything
should be since high school, unless it was a continuation of something in high school into college. Some setback in your
life that you experienced where you had to figure out what to do to bounce back from it. – Absolutely. So as I briefly mentioned earlier, but I’d like to go into more detail on, I have had a series of pretty
significant ankle injuries. It started when I was in the fifth grade, but affected me all
throughout high school, and still to a minor
degree affect me today. When I was in the fifth grade, I had a series of sports injuries that ultimately led me to have basically a pretty messed up ankle, for lack of a (laughs) better term, and I had to have a complete
ankle reconstruction and fixation when I was a
sophomore in high school, which is a really tough time, (laughs) I think, in my life. So while I always remembered how privileged of a
position I had been in, that was a very personal setback that greatly affected me in high school. I didn’t get to go to homecoming. I was in a wheelchair. It was tough not to be able to hang out with my friends on the weekends. But I think what I really learned from that experience is the importance of having a strong support system in your life, being able to rely on others and also always keeping in
mind the bigger picture. So fortunately, I knew that although the seven surgeries and
all the ankle injuries was a very difficult setback, I knew that it was going to end and that I would eventually heal and the fixation would eventually work, hopefully, and all of that. So I really relied on
family and friend support, but also, I always tried to think about that it was short term. So while it was for a good bit of my life, I kept those things in mind, and luckily have been able to make pretty much a full recovery. – Good. So there is a good example
of an excellent answer. Even though it’s high school or what, it still tells me a lot about how she handles setback. ‘Cause I can fully understand how at age 15 or 16 that would be a major setback for you. And how you respond to that and handle it, I think it was very educational for me to listen to her tell me how she did with that
and how she viewed it. And that tells me that she has resiliency that will do her well in medical school and as a physician because there will always be setbacks in your life, and probably more than a few. So I like hearing that, and that was a really great example. Tell me about some type of difficult decision that ya had to make in life, not a setback, like the previous one, but something that, some problem or decision that you faced in your life and how you went about solving it or. – That’s a great question. One of the things that comes to mind is just last year. And side note, I’m gonna keep this answer a little bit more private just ’cause of the audience, okay? I had a dear friend on campus who was obviously struggling with a pretty pervasive
mental health disorder. So a couple of my other friends and I decided that we needed to do something. We kind of felt like we were sitting back on the sidelines watching something happen and we didn’t know what to do. So I consulted the UD counseling center to get advice from a psychologist on what would be the
best approach of action to the situation. And my two other friends and I ultimately did have a loving confrontation with the individual who was struggling about our concerns. But that was a really difficult decision because of the details (laughs) that I’m not gonna talk about. We were genuinely afraid that we might damage the friendship or push that individual further away, but ultimately we felt that we needed to be advocates for this person and we needed to step in and really try to do something. So with some professional help, we were able to do that. But that was a very difficult decision. Luckily, (laughs) we didn’t
push the friend away, so it was a good result. – So are you proud of
the decision you made? – Absolutely. It was definitely a scary decision, but ultimately we felt
we couldn’t sit back on the sidelines anymore, so I am very proud of that decision. – Okay, we’ll stop again. So that was really hard for Emma, (Emma laughs) all right, especially since she knows some of you might even
know who that person is, and we don’t ever want that to happen. But what she did there,
and in a real interview, I suspect she would have shared a little bit more, okay? And that is a very effective strategy with an interviewer because what you heard coming from her was sincerity and caring and love, all right, in a difficult situation for her, where they feared losing their friendship with their friend. I’ve had a lotta stories like that from applicants over the years. Particularly ones that affect me are the ones where the person involved will tell them in confidence about some problem they’re having, usually a mental health issue, and say, “Whatever you
do, don’t tell anyone, “don’t tell my parents,”
don’t do any of this. And then they continue to decompensate and the friend is left with the decision what to do, violate their confidence, get them some help, or keep
their confidence or not. Those are really tough decisions to make. And to hear them come out to me with that, in a vulnerable, private way and ooze the sincerity and their caring is extremely effective. It can also be a problem
if it goes too far. So we were talking
earlier that on occasion, these interviews will produce tears, okay? Tears are not the problem. The tears show sincerity and caring. But losing control of the situation, losing control of your tears, could be an issue. So don’t be afraid of
showing your emotions, but make sure you control them in the end. And it can be a very effective strategy. And I’m not saying that the person is strategizing for it (audience laughing) because it really comes across as something they don’t
necessarily prepare. Now you didn’t prepare that, did you? – I’ve been asked that question
before, several times– – Well, that doesn’t count because you already knew about it.
– Right. – But that’s a really hard thing to decide to share. And each time you do it, it’s gonna come out differently and more emotionally. How did it work for you in the interviews? – Yeah, I mean, I always felt like it was an effective answer because it was sincere, right? Like Dr. Debard mentioned, he’s done this a long time. A lot of the interviewers have done this a long time. They can see when you’re, I don’t know,
(laughs) I’m not gonna say what I wanna say, but– – [Mark] Real. – Yeah, they can see when you’re, like, making something up that’s, like, really not real and that
really didn’t affect you, or they can see your sincerity. Just know they can see through it, so be sincere. – So tell me about some of your strengths that you bring to medical school as a person. And similarly, tell me about some of your remaining challenges and what you plan to do about them. – Absolutely. So I think one of my greatest strengths is my ability to connect to people. I’ve found this predominantly in my EMS experience. I’ve greatly enjoyed being able to connect with patients, to talk to them, to try to alleviate some suffering for the short time that I’m with them. I also find that I have a lotta friends who come to me with various issues, and I try to just be able to be a person to listen and to connect with that person and to respond in a loving
and compassionate way. So I think I have a strong ability, I don’t think, I know
I have a strong ability to connect to people. And I believe that
that’s a great attribute in a future physician. Additionally, I am passionate about the field of medicine. I have been working towards this career for several years now. And it is something that
I am ready to take on and I really feel that my activities and my service mentality have shown my dedication to this career. As far as improvement areas that I am still working on, a little example (laughs) I like to tell is I’m very much a doer. They talk about doers versus thinkers. I’m definitely a doer,
which has its benefits, but it also has its pitfalls, and I have experienced those before. So coming into college,
I think I’m definitely a person with a leadership mentality and I often jump in. But what I’ve learned throughout college as an undergraduate student is often it pays big to take a step back and to think about things before you’re jumping in. So for instance, I was in a theater class, which (laughs) is not
my strong suit at all. – I saw you took theater, yeah. – Yes, I did. It was (laughs) outside of the box learning experience for sure, but we had a big group project at the end of the semester. And initially, I was
like, yeah, I’ll jump in, like, I’ll organize it
all, I’ll do this and that. But I was like, what are you doing? This is not what you should be doing. You don’t know anything about theater. So I think I’m still really working on understanding when to take a step back and kind of feeling out my role in that sort of a sense,
but it’s definitely something I’m cognizant
of and it’s something that I feel that I’ve made improvements on and I am still actively working to continue to improve that. – Okay. So in medical school, you’re gonna get a lotta criticism from
professors like myself. (Emma laughs) Matter of fact, sometimes it seems like that’s the only way we teach is by criticizing you. What experience do you
have with criticism? And how did you react to it and what’d you do with it? – Absolutely. So for the first thing,
I would like to mention is that I really value criticism and I would like you to understand that and know that about me, is that I think it’s an incredible way to learn and to take it in a constructive manner and really internalize it and try to better yourself with it. I definitely do have
experience with criticism. The most notable example
that I can think of is while I was running for promotion to become a crew chief within UD EMS, what that consists of is pretty much being under constant
criticism for about a year (laughs) from your superior. So how it works is you go out on a call and your superior is kinda looking over your shoulder while you’re interacting with the patient. They’re critiquing your
patient interaction skills. They’re critiquing your
medical competency. They’re critiquing your composure. And then right after the call, they verbalize that all to you, (laughs) sometimes in front of others. – Same in medical school.
– Yeah. (Mark and Emma laughing) So that experience was definitely a learning experience. And while at first it takes some time to get used to it, I
think what’s really key is to understand that those people want you to succeed. And while it might come across a little bit harsh sometimes, if you really can try to see where the criticism is coming from, I think that can really help you internalize it effectively and really work to improve yourself. And I think in my
experience, I really did. I took a lot of the feedback and I worked on a lot
of things within myself, and was able to make some
really key improvements. So I really do respect criticism (laughs) and look forward
to getting plenty more. (laughs) – So we’re going to
mostly end the interview at this point in time. You only have a few minutes left. One of my categories that I assess and can ask a question
is communication skills. That’s one of our major categories. So I always fill out that category last because that’s sort of an assessment of the entire interview. So what do you think about
her communication skills? – [Man] Amazing. – Since I know they’re good,
(audience laughing) I’m not afraid of anybody
saying anything bad here. – [Woman] I think they’re, like, amazing because she would
provide what she thought, or, like, especially about
her personal attributes. And then she would
provide examples for them very clearly and she would kinda walk you through– – So a very good point. So she gave me some
general comments first, and then followed it up with an example almost every time. That was very effective. Anything else you wanna remark on? – [Man] I would say that. Go for it, I’m sorry.
(Emma laughs) – [Man] Like, you could tell that she was thinking very clearly
before she answered. She took the time to really know what she wanted to express. – What do you think about
the length of her answers? – [Man] I think they were– – Just about right, right? Four, five, six sentences, somewhere in there maybe, all right? So not too short, not too long. That’s important ’cause
the interviewer’s got a lotta questions to ask. And if you go on and on and on, he’s not gonna get ’em in and not gonna be able to write enough about you at the end. Or if they’re too short, he’s not gonna learn enough. I say he. 1/2 the time there are women here doing this, too, just so you know. The other nice thing is she uses her left hand a lot. That’s how she talks. It’s all left hand. She doesn’t use her right hand. Are you right handed? – I am. (audience laughing) I think it might be the
position I’m in, I don’t know. – It might be, but it’s effective. Using your hands some is very effective in terms of expressing yourself, like as opposed to expressing
yourself like this. There’s just something about sitting perfectly still that isn’t natural and doesn’t come across well. On the other hand, you don’t wanna be flailing all over the place. Oh, my God. (speaks gibberish) (audience laughing) That doesn’t come across well, either. So there’s a compromise in between there and I really like the way she did it. She sat. She’s not leaning back
like me necessarily. Her legs are together, she’s
sitting up pretty good, and yet she’s reasonably
relaxed, all right? She relaxed a bit and using that arm. And so it felt like she’s
paying close attention and is very serious about this interview, and yet natural at the same time. So those are important traits. The only other thing I’ll say, verbal tics can be a problem for student in interviews. Do you know if you have a verbal tic? – I do.
– You do? What’s your verbal tic?
– I say um. Um, is that what you mean? – No, I didn’t hear your um. – Oh, I heard it. (laughs) (audience laughing) – You did hear it?
– Yeah. – I heard absolutely a
fair number of times. – I do, yeah, like when you
ask a question, absolutely. – She only said it four times. (audience laughing) – [Woman] She had the number. – I noticed, all right. Four is okay, all right? It’s not every single time she’s answering a question. At the beginning, it was. I thought, oh, are we gonna get absolutely for every question? (Emma laughs) But interviewers actually notice that. Especially the ums drives older interviewers crazy. So find out if you have a verbal tic and work to correct that or reduce it a little bit, at least,
’cause interviewers actually do notice that
and it can bother them. And you do not wanna bother your interviewer, all right? But other than that, you can use her as an excellent example of
the communication skills that are needed in an interview. I will tell you that all I had to do was read her application for 10 minutes and I knew right away she was getting into
medical school, all right? – Thank you. – And had I interviewed her in one minute, I would have known she was
getting into medical school. This is how obvious it
is in her circumstance, which made my job really easy today. – Thank you, I appreciate
that, I appreciate that. – And I wanna thank her again for putting herself out here. Thank you.
– Thank you, I appreciate it. (audience applauding) – Any more questions or thoughts before we end the session? Go ahead. – How was your first interview and your last interview? (speaks too low to hear) – I felt like my last
was definitely better. I think you do find that a lot of interviewers ask
some similar questions. So the tough decision question, I’ve probably been given six, seven times. So you definitely do get more comfortable. But I would say the important thing is to try to establish some rapport. Because if you’re enjoying yourself, odds are the interviewer
is enjoying themselves, so just try to relax. I was definitely way more nervous for my first interview than my last. – [Mark] And we know that, by the way, and try to put them at ease a little longer than we would otherwise. – Yeah. But I just would say prepare. And I think preparation always helped me cut down on the nerves, just kinda having some general ideas of how I wanted to answer certain questions. I mean, you have to know
your path to medicine. You’re (laughs) gonna be asked that at every single school. If you don’t know your path to medicine, ya need to. (laughs) So I think preparation, for me, was always really key, but you do get more comfortable as it goes on, for sure. – [Woman] Is it problematic if you have, like, diversity in jobs or experiences that you had? Like, I worked for Flyer Enterprises for two years and I was a manager, but that has nothing to do with medicine. Like, is that– – But you had leadership. – Yeah, right, you can
totally spin it, yeah. – So you spin that into leadership because we care about leadership. So the four things in your experiences we care about: your
service, your leadership, your research and your
healthcare exposure. So those are the four things I care about with your experiences. – [Man] Can you repeat those for free? – Sure.
(audience laughing) Service or volunteer activities, leadership, research and healthcare activities. And some can serve in both categories. So if you’re a hospital volunteer, I give you credit in
healthcare and service. That works, too. – I think you were next. – [Man] So is there anything specific that you should have on
hand for an interview, like, maybe that would help you explain a certain experience or? – On hand, what do you mean? In your mind? – [Man] Is there anything
that you should– – Or physically? – [Man] Bring physically to the interview. – No, you should bring nothing physically into the interview, really. – Most med schools give you, like, a little folder with a bunch of info. – Bring that. – Yeah, I guess you could bring that. I did have my own portfolio to take notes during the morning presentation ’cause med schools give you a lot of info during your interviews, but usually I would just keep that,
like, at the waiting room. Usually there’s, like, a waiting room. I would always be cautious
if you’re, like, a fiddler. You don’t wanna be playing with a pen or. – It’s true. – Yeah, I didn’t really bring anything. – Okay. – [Instructor] We have time
for about one more question. – [Woman] If you do
either research experience or, like, extra experience
that’s completely different from your resume after the time where you submit your MCAT application, how does that happen? Do you just talk about
it in your interviews? – Best not to just talk
about it in an interview. Submit a formal paper at the time for them to add to your application. We’re used to getting
additions to applications. We’ll take it and make sure it goes into your folder. – [Man] Or send it, like, through mail or something? – If you can do that
before your interview, that’s best, but even if you can only do it in the interview, I would do it then and make sure they get to see it before they write you up. I had one last week that gave me a really important experience that they had had the month before. And their deliberation is gonna be two days after my interview. So I went to the trouble to make sure that the admissions office got that added to the portion of their application that’s gonna be seen by the
deliberators in two days because those things
can make a difference. – And a lot of the online
application portals have an electronic place where you can, it’s called the submit an update letter or whatever, but, yeah. – [Instructor] All righty.
– All right. – [Instructor] So thank you
both for your time today. – Of course. (audience applauding) – Thank you, again, thank you. – Pleasure, good luck with your career. – Yes, thank you, I appreciate it. – Great. – Thank you, everyone, and thanks, again, for thanking Dr. Debard and
Emma Clark, and thank you.

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