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Sample Q/A
What to ask
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Know everything there is about the school you are applying to. Get their catalogue. Review their academic schedule; for example, do they teach anatomy first or do they teach based on organ systems. Do all the students have similar classes at the same time? What is the tuition amount? Do they offer a special financial aid office solely for the medical students, etc?

Find the name of the students who have been accepted to the program from your college. Ask them about the school. The strengths, the weaknesses, the social climate of the city, the weather, etc. The more you know about the school that you are interviewing at, the more prepared you will be for certain questions:

1. "Do you have any questions that we can answer?" You can ask them about material that you know the school is proud of; you can ask "Is it true that you have over one zillion dollars in NIH grant for testing hamster sterility?"

2. You may be asked, "Are you concerned with the firing of our dean?" If you answer: Oh, really; your dean was fired, you would not be giving the proper response. This response would show your lack of interest in the school; it shows that you do not know enough about the school where you hope to spend four grueling years of study.

Find out if the school has any special research interests. For some of the larger medical schools, it would be impossible to narrow down their research interests. What you can do, however, is to try to figure out the interests of the person/s interviewing you. Run a medline search looking for your interviewer's name (some schools may offer this name to you in advance).

While you are running the search, list the subjects of your own research projects and review the articles which pertain to your projects. Needless to say, you must know everything that relates to the research you describe in your application (otherwise, the interviewer will think that you were washing the test tubes and got your name on the paper).

Know the grading system (is it pass or fail) and the advantages of each. What percentage of their students matched into their top three choices; what percentage matched into competitive fields? How were the average board scores? Do they get lots of early clinical experience? What kind of setting is available for their clinical experience (private hospital, county setting, VA hospitals, primary care community setting, etc). This information may be easier to gather by talking to the medical students at the school.

Be sure to double check the date and time of your interview. If necessary, call the school one-week before the date to confirm your arrival. Make a list of all the equipment you will need and make sure you have everything packed before every interview. This includes you alarm clock to wake you up at the right time, a pen and a nice zippered notebook for writing notes during the interview, two clean shirts and suits (in case you pour coffee all over yourself in one interview!), your grooming material, etc.

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