Before beginning their studies in medicine, all prospective healthcare professionals must apply to and be accepted into a medical school program. You’ve finished your personal statement and aced the UKCAT or BMAT, and now it’s time for your med school interview.
An interview with a member of the admissions committee is usually part of the admissions process. If you’re thinking about applying to medical school, you’ll need to practice and prepare for these types of interviews.
Expect your Medical School interview to focus on your background and passion to pursue a career in medicine.
In this post, we’ll be giving you a list of the 50 most common medical school interview questions and we’ll be telling you how to answer them.
50 Most Common Medical School Interview Questions
1. Why do you want to pursue a career in medicine?
This is a popular medical school interview question, so think over your response thoroughly before the interview. To properly respond, you must first comprehend what it means to be a medical student and a doctor. This is based on research, work experience, and speaking with those who have gone before you on the route.
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2. What aspects of medicine fascinate you?
While this question looks to be asking you to explain in-depth scientific issues you’ve studied and find intriguing, what it’s really asking you to do is demonstrate the breadth of your medical knowledge. Structure your response to prevent being incoherent or going into too much information about a single topic, as well as running out of time.
3. What do you want to get out of a medical career?
You should have a general idea of what a typical medical profession entails. Ensure that your interests in clinical training, academia, general skill development, and social activities are covered. Take your reasons for wanting to study medicine and turn them into a goal you want to achieve.
4. What would you do if you were not offered a place to study medicine?
It’s a good idea to indicate you’ll apply again next year and, in the meantime, look for a job or volunteer position in a relevant field, because this demonstrates commitment. Stressing that you would stay dedicated to the road even if you faced a setback demonstrates your ambition to pursue a career in medicine.
5. Is it possible for non-scientific hobbies to improve a person’s ability to be a good doctor, and if so, why? Can you think of any examples that apply to your situation?
Medicine is more than just a scientific field! It is a people-centered profession, thus doctors must be well-rounded individuals who can relate to others. Non-scientific interests can assist doctors in achieving this goal and relating to patients who lack thorough knowledge of their situation.
Some institutions, such as Imperial College, when thrown with this med school intervie question, place a strong emphasis on extracurricular activities as an indication of well-rounded applicants, so you should research each university’s position ahead of time. If you’re active in music, sports, art, or whatever else, tell them about it and try to explain why it makes you a better candidate.
6. What aspects of a doctor’s job do you find appealing?
Hopefully, you find it fulfilling to assist those in need and make a positive difference in people’s lives. So express it – and don’t be afraid to come across as cheesy! Remember that every day you go to work as a doctor, you will have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.
7. What aspects of a doctor’s job do you find to be unappealing?
It’s critical to demonstrate that you recognize the difficulties that being a doctor entails based on your research and professional experience. Maintain a positive attitude and indicate that you are up for the challenge without dismissing these difficulties. Being a doctor, for example, can be extremely stressful and involves a significant time commitment, which may limit your personal or family life. However, there may be other options for achieving a work-life balance that is satisfactory to you.
8. What about a career in medicine most excites you?
Although this question is similar to others such as “Why Medicine?” It focuses on the Doctor’s career. The top candidates show the interviewer that they have a good understanding of what it takes to be a doctor and that they are passionate about it. You should be able to demonstrate that you took steps to learn more about what a career in medicine entails. Work and shadowing opportunities, lectures or seminars, and talks with doctors and medical students are all possibilities.
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9. How have you shown your dedication to medicine?
This is a “how?” question that requires you to demonstrate the actions you’ve done to prepare for a profession in medicine. This question basically demands you to demonstrate your motivation, desire, and commitment.
10. In medicine, how important is evidence-based practice?
Have a good understanding of what evidence-based practice means in medicine. In the literature, it is frequently abbreviated as EBM (evidence-based medicine). Make it clear that you understand the need of staying current with high-quality research that you can apply in clinical practice. Mention good sources of knowledge, such as NICE guidelines, that can help you.
11. Have you participated in any extracurricular activities that show your interest in medicine?
Research placements, EPQs, essays, blogs, first-aid training, and any other sort of healthcare-related activity outside of the standard science curriculum are all good examples. Some sixth forms, for example, encourage students to become health ambassadors and educate their peers about concerns like alcohol misuse and obesity. Why not suggest it if your school doesn’t already do it? Then you can brag about how you were the first to do it in an interview.
12. Why Did You Choose to Become A Doctor Instead Of A Nurse?
Although this medical school interview question may appear difficult at first appearance, it is simply an opportunity for candidates to display a deeper understanding of what it takes to be a doctor, as well as demonstrate that you’ve examined and researched various healthcare-related vocations.
The finest candidates objectively and professionally emphasize the similarities and contrasts between doctors and nurses (or other healthcare workers). They also use their own personal experiences or examples to demonstrate why they are more drawn to and/or better suited to a doctor’s vocation than a nurse’s.
13. What do you believe has been the most significant advancement in medicine?
This question, like a creative question (such as ‘how much does the Earth weigh?’), needs you to verbalize your mental process in order to respond. Start by saying something like, “There are various distinct ways to answer this issue, all of which revolve around how we define relevance in medical innovation.” For example, if we define importance as the reduction of unnecessary fatalities…”
14. What Do You Consider To Be The Most Exciting Recent Development In Medicine?
Prepare for the interview by doing your homework! In the weeks leading up to your interview, keep up with medical news and save relevant articles regarding medical breakthroughs. Read them and save them to your personal portfolio so you can go through them again before the interview.
15. What have you learned about medicine from your conversations with doctors?
Discuss the Doctors you’ve met through your professional experience or other interactions, such as as a patient or a relative of a patient, on a personal level. Demonstrate knowledge of a (particular sort of) doctor’s daily schedule, including what they do on a regular basis, the obstacles they confront, and how they handle such challenges (through teamwork, communication skills, etc).
16. Have you recently read about any interesting research?
The idea behind this med school interview question is to ascertain your level of interestedness in the discipline. They don’t expect you to know everything, but it’s generally a good idea to be aware of as much as possible and to have a thorough understanding of a few key areas.
17. Have you considered what field you’d like to specialize in?
You do not need to be certain. Indeed, if you are certain, it may appear unusual, given that you are just 17 and have a lot to learn. This is your opportunity to brag about a book you read, the research you conducted, or a period (maybe during work experience) when you were truly inspired.
18. Have you recently heard about any public health campaigns? What Are Your Thoughts On The Medical Role Of Public Health Campaigns?
Public health campaigns, for example, try to raise public awareness about the dangers of smoking or excessive sun exposure. They are significant because they encourage a better lifestyle, which is supposed to lower disease prevalence in society over time. Give an example of a recent campaign about which you’ve heard. This is something that can be researched ahead of time. Act FAST is an example of a public health campaign that tries to raise awareness of stroke symptoms by utilizing the acronym “FAST” to help people know when to dial 911.
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19. Do You Read Any Publications About Medicine That Are Relevant To Your Interest? Tell us about a recent article that you found interesting
This is an opportunity for you to show that you have researched your interest in medicine outside of your schoolwork and work experience. New Scientist and Scientific American are two publications that produce content that is relevant to a medical interest. They both have articles available without a subscription online, but you may subscribe to have access to more of their content.
20. We’d like to hear about your personal statement
If you’re asked to go over your Personal Statement with the interviewer, it’s a good idea to highlight significant themes in a systematic approach while also adding supplemental points to strengthen your response.
Make sure you are familiar with your Personal Statement before the interview in order to prepare for this question! This is a good thing to remember regardless of whether or not you are asked this question, because you may probably use sections of your Personal Statement to support replies to other questions.
21. Are you familiar with the main teaching method used at this medical school? What do you think the benefits of this teaching method are?
It is critical that you understand the medical school’s course structure and teaching methodology. Is it PBL, integrated, or traditional/tutorial style?
Make sure you’re using the most up-to-date information possible, as colleges’ course structures can vary from year to year.
Cardiff, for example, currently uses Case-Based Learning, a version of PBL (CBL). Run over how the structure works, both in general and at this university, and, most importantly, why you believe it is an amazing way to learn and why it would be a good fit for you.
22. Have you had any conversations with current medical students?
The strongest candidates will be open and honest in their responses, completely exploring what they learned from chatting with current and previous medical students at that university. This could contain a combination of academic and non-academic components of the course they learned about, as well as their university experience and medical school in general. Candidates should state that speaking with current medical students gave them a realistic understanding of the course and confirmed their decision to pursue medicine there.
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23. What is your understanding of the local population’s health?
Your response should demonstrate an interest in the community in which you will be situated as a medical student and will likely engage with patients during placements. Commenting on prevalent ailments in the local community is a nice idea. Tuberculosis, for example, is extremely common in East London.
24. What would you do if you failed to complete this course?
Medical school spots are in short supply at institutions, and the courses are quite demanding. This question is aimed to evaluate if you have the self-awareness to recognize when things go wrong – and if you know how to handle adversity effectively.
25. This university has a diverse range of extracurricular societies that reflect the diversity of our students and courses. Which societies would you be interested in joining if you were a student here?
Extracurricular activities are valued by some universities, such as Imperial College because they demonstrate that you are a well-rounded candidate. You should have considered this and looked into the various societies available at the institution if you are not interested in anything other than medicine.
26. Are you aware of the catchment area for this medical school’s teaching hospitals?
To begin, you must understand the process: what is the relationship between Medical Schools and their teaching hospitals, and how does this aid in your preparation to become a doctor? It is critical that you are aware of which hospitals are affiliated with the Medical School, as well as their characteristics and locations. They aren’t constantly in close proximity!
27. What factors influenced your decision to attend this medical school?
Make it obvious that you considered the Medical School’s teaching style and how it is applied in comparison to other schools. This is when your understanding of medical schools comes in handy! Explain why you think their course structure is a good fit for you if it hasn’t previously been addressed as a separate question.
28. Do you believe that cadaveric dissection is necessary for medical students?
To begin, determine whether this is something that the Medical School to which you are applying does or does not do, and factor this into your decision. On the plus side, because plastic models and animations can only approximate biological structures, it could be a good approach to learn about the body. It also gives anatomy lessons a sense of gravitas and dissecting a genuine human body can be both motivating and humbling.
29. In a glass of water, how many atoms are there?
When answering this medical school intervie question, bear in mind that the interviewers are more interested in your thought process than in a specific solution to the problem, so take them through your reasoning step by step.
Consider the problem from a practical standpoint, then consider the many values you’ll need to know to arrive at a solution. In your response, you will use logical thinking as well as some scientific knowledge.
30. Who would you want to accompany you if you were stranded in a remote rainforest and trying to flee, and why?
Spend some time considering a few people, then narrow it down to one and be ready to explain why. Consider who you would like to accompany you. Give a distinctive answer by mentioning both practical and personal considerations.
31. What is the purpose of wearing shoes?
This is another esoteric-sounding question that needs you to reason about something we generally take for granted. Though it appears to be extremely startling, when you consider the practicalities, which are the key to a lot of creative challenges, this question isn’t too bad.
32. How much do you believe fear is beneficial?
This is an example of a more abstract, less process-driven creative interview topic, which necessitates a slightly different approach. Take a few moments to come up with a balanced argument that portrays both sides of the subject. Such a complex and subjective problem cannot be reduced to black and white.
33. In a typical book, how many words are there?
Before diving headfirst into what may be a logical rabbit hole, you need to gather as much information as possible.
First, figure out what kind of book it is. You can inquire, but they may or may not respond. In such an instance, simply declare that you’re presuming it’s a novel, as this simplifies things (if it were a textbook, for example, there would be diagrams and tables, and this differs a lot from book to book).
34. What would the world be like if the wheel hadn’t been invented?
It’s all about putting a rational process in place in a challenging scenario — and making sure you’ve covered all the bases. You may start by discussing the modern usage of the wheel. Because numerous modes of transportation rely on the wheel, such as cars, bikes, planes, and boats with wheel motors, transportation would be an excellent place to start. However, be inventive.
Although wheels are used for transportation, you should aim to cover as many angles as possible to demonstrate your ability to think creatively. What about using water wheels to generate electricity? The wheel evolved into gears and propellers in technology. All of these regions would be affected if the wheel were not present.
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35. What is the weight of a mountain?
You won’t be able to get an accurate response, as with any query of this nature. They’re searching for someone who can talk them through a methodical approach. It’s all about applying logic and scientific reasoning to a bizarre situation. You are not obligated to respond right away. Spend some time planning a suitable beginning place. If you need a moment, just ask.
However, you must begin articulating your thought process at some point – most likely before you realize it is complete. You should ask reasonable questions like: What is the mountain’s shape? What is its height? And what is the base’s radius?
36. Do you support abortion? What are the ethical issues in this situation?
Recognize that this is a complicated matter with two sides and many shades of grey. Then, in a balanced manner, travel through both sides, demonstrating an understanding of the four pillars of ethics.
37. What are your thoughts on euthanasia? Is there a place for euthanasia in modern medicine?
First and foremost, what exactly is euthanasia? This is the term used to describe activities made to end someone’s life intentionally, usually to relieve pain. Euthanasia can take several forms, including active euthanasia, passive euthanasia, voluntary euthanasia, and involuntary euthanasia. Establish that this is a complex topic with many shades of grey and no simple solution.
38. A 14-year-old girl visits her doctor and requests an oral contraceptive pill. Examine the ethical issues at hand.
Children under the age of 16 are now unable to agree to sexual conduct under UK law. For the most up-to-date information, always contact the GMC and its ethical standards on young people and sexual behavior.
39. Is it possible to learn how to be an empathic healthcare professional by attending a lecture?
Although not the most common way to learn about empathy, a lecture can provide some useful information regarding the impact empathy has on patients, as well as tips on how to do a good patient interview.
40. Is it more important to be empathetic or sympathetic in medicine?
Begin by defining empathy versus sympathy according to your own personal definition. Empathy is defined as the ability to understand how words or actions affect other people, and sympathy is defined as the act of feeling such impacts and responding kindly.
41. To someone who doesn’t understand what empathy is, how would you define it?
Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s feelings or predicament while envisioning what it would be like to be in their shoes. Empathy is implied by phrases like “walking in another’s shoes,” “viewing things through their eyes,” “imagining their frame of reference,” and others.
42. What are the benefits of medical professionals being empathetic to their patients?
When a healthcare worker tries to see things from the patient’s perspective, it can offer previously unconsidered methods to improve the patient’s care. A patient will feel more at ease discussing their concerns with someone who genuinely cares about them and has tried to understand what they are going through.
43. Do you know when it’s time to seek assistance?
Feel free to state unequivocally that you are committed to achieving any goals through your own hard work. Having said that, it is critical that you recognize the importance of knowing your boundaries and recognizing when you may want assistance.
44. What is your greatest strength, and why is it so?
Give an example of a strength that is one of the key characteristics of a great doctor – and one that you can back up with data. Being a competent leader or listener, having strong communication skills, or being a true team player are all examples.
45. What do you think the most difficult aspect of being a doctor would be?
Your response to this question should demonstrate that you are aware of your strengths and flaws. Recognizing the components of a profession in medicine that you would struggle with or find more difficult to manage than your peers requires personal understanding.
46. What is your greatest flaw?
Many individuals never consider it. However, you should! It’s something that needs to be thought over carefully. It’s critical that you pick something that isn’t debilitating and that you have tried to overcome.
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47. What three words would your peers use to describe you if they had to?
This is a great question since it allows you to brag without coming across as arrogant because you’re talking about other people’s opinions of you.
48. How do you handle failure?
Medical school applicants are typically very skilled individuals who are used to success in their endeavors. As a result, when they do encounter failure, they have a hard time accepting it.
49. What aspects of yourself would you change?
You must be truthful and give a genuinely negative response. Obviously, this should not be a major concern, but skilled medical students and doctors must be able to recognize areas where they may improve. This is an excellent opportunity for you to exhibit your ability to be open and honest about areas where you need to improve, as well as your ability to reflect.
50. Give an example of a time when you worked well with a group
Set the scene briefly by describing your team, what you were doing, the aim, and the outcome. Discuss your role after this has been established. They want to know exactly what you did, so be detailed. You must describe not only what you did, but also how you did it.
51. Why do you think you deserve a spot in this medical school more than the other applicants?
Never make comparisons to other candidates! You can only talk about the traits that make you a solid candidate for Medicine and an important part of the university community.
FAQs On Medical School Interview Questions
What does a perfect MCAT score look like?
Under the current MCAT, the maximum achievable score is 528. Incoming students at the 43 medical schools with the highest MCAT scores in 2020 had a median score of 517.
What do the 4 years of medical school consist of?
Pre-clinical and clinical training are common divisions in medical schools. The pre-clinical part of a four-year program involves two years of science training, during which you will master basic medical ideas, the structure and functioning of the body, diseases, diagnostics, and treatment concepts.
Is medical school more difficult now than it was previously?
Medical school is not always more difficult, but it is more demanding in terms of pace and the amount of material presented. According to common belief, one semester of undergraduate education is equal to one week in medical school.
What is the minimum GPA required to continue in medical school?
Applicants to medical school should aim for a GPA of 3.5 or above, according to admissions experts.
It is very important that one prepares for an interview beforehand. We gave these sample questions to help prepare you for the medical school interview.
We hope these questions help you prepare better.
We wish you the best of luck in your medical school interview.