Article: Prepare ME!

Discussion in 'Interviews' started by Season, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. Maddiestanford

    Maddiestanford New Member

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    Hi,

    I was looking at the the "prepare ME!" article and was hoping someone could look over some of my answers for the sample questions? I'm obviously not going to memorise answers... I just wrote down what I was thinking while I answered the question aloud. I just want feedback on the general gist of my answers - I didn't do very well at my interview last year so any feedback would be much appreciated.

    1) Introduction - who are you? where do you come from?

    Hi, I’m Maddie. I’m 18 and am currently studying a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland. I’d like to think I’m a friendly person. For example, I volunteer at my local nursing home because I just love being able to chat with the patients – the patient’s get company and I get to meet really interesting people, it’s great! My friends and family would describe me as determined. Whether it be academically or in a personal sense, if I’m really passionate about something I will give it my all. Throughout high school I studied very hard but I also loved to pursue other interests like rowing and debating. Debating and Medicine have always been my passion and I love to challenge myself so when I was in Grade 11 I studied at the University of Cambridge for 6 weeks; I majored in Medicine and the Brain and minored in Speech and Debate. I think that that experience has had a very profound effect on me. I’m certainly a much more confident person now but I’m also more intellectually curious than ever. I’m confident that I really do want to study Medicine so I know whether it be undergraduate or once I’ve completed a degree, Medicine is going to be a big part of my future.

    2) Reflective Questions - what is your greatest weakness?

    I would have to say my greatest weakness is probably that I can get too emotionally involved. For example, I volunteered for a charity while I was in England which does peer counselling. Under a supervisor I would meet with disadvantaged teens every week and discuss what was happening in their life. I realised that I was getting so emotionally involved with these people that whenever something bad happened in their life I wouldn't just empathise with them and try and offer advice but I'd actually get extremely distressed because I cared so much about them. I realise that empathy is one of my strengths, but I do think that being too emotionally involved is actually a problem. I'm working on improving on this by trying to remind myself that I can best help people if I don't become overly emotioally involved but rather empathise and assess the situation from a third party view.

    3) Dealing with Adversity - what is the most awful thing that has happened to you?


    Unfortunately, the most awful thing to happen to me actually occured this year. I was a victim of a violent crime in October and since then have struggled with PTSD. I was hospitalised for 6 weeks and had an awful time - I was confused about my feelings, worried about how my family were coping and scared that I might be too "weak" to move forward with my life. It was a very fustrating and challenging time but I think I've learnt a lot from it. I've learnt that I'm a much stronger and more capable person then I thought and, I'm very happy to say, I actually feel like I'm now in a better place then before the incident. Through the whole process I also learnt a lot of practical ways for dealing with stress and adversity, like mindfulness, realistic goal setting and deep breathing, that I'm sure will be useful for me in both my personal and academic future!

    4) Teamwork/Conflict Resolution - how would you deal with someone who wasn't working as a team?

    In this situation I would speak to the team member directly. I would approach the conversation with an open mind and friendliness - it is entirely possible that this person has a legitimate reason for not contributing to the group as much as desired so I would want to try and find out WHY this is happening before I went any further. First off, I would ask the person how they thought they were working in the group. If they acknowledged that they hadn't been contributing as much as they should be I would appreciate their honesty and awareness. If they had a legitimate reason for this, e.g. a family issue or overloading etc, I would offer them more support (whether that be in the form of helping them organise their time or discussing their ideas for the group with them). If they merely didn't want to contribute to the group, or thought they were contributing enough, I would encourage them to reconsider their involvment for both their own and mutual benefit. I would explain that they can learn a lot from group work but also everyone else in the group can learn a lot from their contribution - it's in everyone's best interest if they are an active member of the group.

    5) Motivation/ Why do you want to do medicine?/ why us?

    I have a spent a very long time deciding what I want to do with the rest of my professional life. It was a challenging question but after a lot of deliberation I've come to the conclusion that medicine is really what I want to do. There are a number of things that attract me to the medicine but I think the main reasons would be the challenging nature, the interaction involved and the opportunity to make a positive and meaningful difference. I love that medicine is gauranteed to be challenging; it's clearly not a black and white profession. I read in a medical journal that medicine is one of the only fields were people typically work past the age of retirement and it made me wonder whether that's because being challenged is so addictive and thrilling! The opportunity for life long learning and development is also very enticing because one of my personal goals is to always be improving myself. I'm a very friendly person so the opportunity to meet a wide range of people from all different demographics is very important to me. Beyond that, being able to use my skills and education to give back to the community, whether that be volunteering at a clinic or working in a rural area, is a big deciding factor in my decision. It's this challenging nature of the profession and community focus that makes me so adament that I want to pursure medicine.



    Thank you in advance for any feedback!!
     
  2. Havox

    Havox Sword and Martini Guy! Emeritus

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    First thought is that everything is too long.

    Second is that it should be dot pointed to avoid scripting.
     
  3. Maddiestanford

    Maddiestanford New Member

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    Okay, thank you for those tips. Any advice on the content?
     
  4. Havox

    Havox Sword and Martini Guy! Emeritus

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    That's your responsibility.
     
  5. pi

    pi Junior doctor Administrar

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    I'd refer to people living in nursing homes as "residents" rather than "patients".
     
  6. Maddiestanford

    Maddiestanford New Member

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    At the risk of being oversensitive, especially since you're a mod, do you really need to be so rude? I clearly said in my first post "I'm obviously not going to memorise answers... I just wrote down what I was thinking while I answered the question aloud. I just want feedback on the general gist of my answers". So yes, your first answer about it being too long was helpful but the bit where you said I should use dot points to prevent scripting was unnessecary. Then you topped it off with a pretty rude response to the content. I just wanted advice, feel free to not help, but please don't be rude.
     
  7. Havox

    Havox Sword and Martini Guy! Emeritus

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    That's rather ungrateful. Well if I'm being accused of being rude then I may as well be utterly blunt about it.


    • Your answer was waffly and long, more words don't make better answers.
    • Writing full sentences encourages repetition, dot points forces you to make sentences on the spot. That should be intuitively obvious.
    • You confuse empathy and sympathy.
    • Posting content here is a bad idea, plagiarism is rife through University and to think that medical interviews are different is ridiculous.
    • Nobody should be telling you what should and shouldn't be in an answer to what are personal questions. Italicised for emphasis.
     
  8. Maddiestanford

    Maddiestanford New Member

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    In all seriousness thank you for that feedback - it was helpful and I really do appreciate it.
     
  9. Daisy 6

    Daisy 6 Regular Member

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    Hi [MENTION=13301]Maddiestanford[/MENTION],

    I'm by no means an expert (and don't know the outcome of my interviews yet), but from my interviews last week my one tip would be think of a few examples for each 'possible' question, and in the actual interview take a few moments to consider the question and think about the best example to use - don't feel bound to using those you have prepared earlier. I think that was my mistake- there were a couple of questions phrased differently to those that I had prepared for, and in hindsight I probably could have thought of some more relevant examples to suit what was actually asked.

    Hope this makes sense!
     
  10. jetaime

    jetaime New Member

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    I think the thing about writing out answers is that when we write it out, we tend to write more than we would actually say in an interview because it doesn't look like much on paper. However, when we read it aloud, one sentence can feel like it takes forever to say and it can feel like we're going on and on and on, so we tend to say things more succinctly. Also, I'm not sure you would speak as formally as you write as it could sound unnatural? Just keep that in mind and maybe verbally practise some answers if you want :). I think the first and last one in particular could do with some condensing. I didn't think the others were too waffly though - I had a similar answer to you for the teamwork one in an MMI interview, and I felt it was an appropriate length.

    Whilst I do think it's very hard to assess whether a response to a personal question is 'bad' or 'good', I don't think it's bad to ask for feedback on the content of your responses. There have been other threads on content-based issues e.g. 'is it ok for me to mention depression in my interview'. As Havox said though, I'd be wary of posting your responses here because a lot of students do look on this forum and it's quite possible someone might borrow heavily from a response if they like it.
     
  11. blueocean

    blueocean New Member

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    Hi, I have a question regarding organ transplants and the process with which someone is chosen to get an organ transplant. I ask this because how do you choose between a 30 year old single mother with 2 children who needs a new liver, and a 30 year old alcoholic who has made it clear that they do not want to drink anymore and take control of their life?

    Feedback is much appreciated.
     
  12. chinaski

    chinaski Regular Member

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    Not sure what this has to do with medical school admissions, but anyway:

    Let me google that for you
     
    mrc likes this.
  13. blueocean

    blueocean New Member

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    Ahhh, maybe there was a misunderstanding, I am more interested in the ethics involved, not necessarily the actual process with which someone is chosen. For me, I'm finding it really difficult to justify which one I would choose as a doctor, for example, because I feel that it's unfair to punish the alcoholic for actions that he clearly regrets, but at the same time, the single mother has 2 children and they are dependent on her... so I'm not sure what factor in terms of ethical decision-making are considered....is it only which one has waited the longest, or are other factors considered, like the expected benefit to each (and choosing the applicant which will have more benefit from the procedure)... how will the alcholic be considered, seeing that he was responsible for his damaged liver... just these type of things that I have questions to...

    and the way it's related to medical admissions is that it is asked in MMI interviews...
     
  14. chinaski

    chinaski Regular Member

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    You do realise the interview question isn't there to test your theoretical knowledge of transplant medicine, yes...?
     
  15. morgan1

    morgan1 New Member

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    i believe also that in order to be on the transplant list you have to prove that you will 'take-care' of your new organ and not 'mistreat' it, so someone who is an alcoholic would not be accepted unless they change their life style etc and do so for a period of time prior to being accepted on the list
     
  16. blueocean

    blueocean New Member

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    I understand that it's not there to test my knowledge, but in MMI formats, I would like to have at least a basic understanding on what is actually done in reality because I'm not sure how exactly to approach this ethical dilemma.

    Could you please stop posting replies that are really unhelpful? If you don't want to answer my question, then don't, but seriously stop posting replies that don't even properly answer my question.
     
  17. pi

    pi Junior doctor Administrar

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    There is no one answer that anyone can respond with as it really depends on the individual (hence "ethical"), and the point is that your answer should be your own, not our's :)

    What's your opinion?
     
  18. Havox

    Havox Sword and Martini Guy! Emeritus

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    Perhaps you should stop posting unhelpful questions? Ethics are an application of personal values, therefore the only answer you can truly provide is your own. People can show you how to approach such questions but there's no such thing as a model answer here. And if you think that there's a "correct" answer to such interview questions then you've totally missed the point.

    Values --> Opinion --> Justification

    Simple.
     
  19. chinaski

    chinaski Regular Member

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    If you'd stop being impetuous for just a moment, you'd realise that my replies were designed to help you - by alerting you to the fact that you were missing the point altogether. As per the previous posters, MMI stations like the one you cite are designed to test YOUR moral and reasoning centre - not theory, and not the opinion of others. Additionally, I linked you to sites from which you could have read up on the bare basics of transplant allocation, which actually exceed what would be expected of a pre-med candidate's knowledge base. I've seen candidates get bogged down very badly in interviews, and ultimately fail, when they completely miss the point of the question they have been asked by the panel. If you find that sort of instruction and insight "unhelpful", then best of luck to you.
     
  20. blueocean

    blueocean New Member

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    I feel that firstly there's been a huge misunderstanding, possibly on my part, I thought that I could get some feedback on my response to this question and my answer and my approach, and just bounce ideas off other people...not sure if that's the correct understanding.

    I felt that it was unhelpful, and I apologise if you took it the wrong way, because the responses you made, like 'let me google that for you' wasn't honestly targetting what my question actually was...

    My view on this situation:
    I feel that firslty I would need to talk to the alcoholic and ask him what has motivated him to make this change in his life - ie deciding to give up drinking- and basically what his motivations are. I feel that it is unethical to disregard him in the selection process if he is truly committed to changing his lifestyle patterns and does genuinely regret his actions. I also feel that it is unfair to judge him based on actions he has done in the past. What if he has stopped drinking alcohol for the past 20 years and I don't think it's right, personally, to judge him based on actions he made 20 years ago. So bascially, a lot of communication and discussion with this person to make sure that he is committed to taking care of himself and his new liver and determined to make the correct lifestyle choices if he was to get a new liver.

    On the other hand, if I have a single mother who has 2 children that are dependent on her, and she needs a new liver due to some sort of illness, I would also feel the need to talk to her. I want to be able to decide who gets the new liver based on the likelihood on who would best benefit from the transplant, ie. who will get the most years as a result. I would also consider the chance of the alcoholic beginning to drink again, as well as that, considering what type of illness the mother has, and what chance there is that it will come back and destroy the new liver. These are things that I would discuss with my interviewer and the basic steps that I would take towards making a decision.

    I would obviously need to know a lot more information to make the decision and I would make this clear to my interviewer.

    Thanks again to everyone who has responded and I apologise again for any misunderstandings. I would appreciate any feedback on my approach to answering the question and whether I need to go into a lot more detail for some aspects. :)
     

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