Entrance InformationInterviews

Prepare ME!

It is never too early to start preparing for an interview. I am bit excitable so I started in year 11. That is I started looking at my competition and realised that I hadn’t done saved any babies in Africa from AIDs… it was a concern (yes I am still neurotic). So here we’ll cover some basic ways on how to prepare.

This guide is intended to cover you for all the universities in Australia. It is very broad and likely to contain questions that you may never encounter. So bear with me.

This guide is organised into broad categories of the types of questions that you may encounter.

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

This is a common first question that crops up at many interviews. It’s not a trick question. Its actually meant to relax you before they head into the bigger scary questions.

Still don’t know the answer? Here’s an exercise to get you started. which is useful to draw out for other questions as well.

Exercise one

Pull out a pen and paper or a word document and write down what you have done so far with your life. Start with the basics; age, gender, occupation, siblings, friend, hometown. Now make it a bit bigger- what are your hobbies, interests, values, favourite subjects, colours, friends, pets etc. Now list your significant achievements so far, awards, activities, defining experiences.

This was a bit of a warm up activity to show you that- yes you are a person and you have done stuff so far. Don’t worry if its a bit hard at first, keep at it and you’ll find lots of things that you’d forgotten about yourself.

http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?12476-Tell-me-a-bit-about-yourself

Should I keep my school a secret?

The reason you don’t mention what school you go to is to protect you. A lot of kids in med have gone to private school and its because they’re generally well off and have been given a lot of opportunities. Med schools cop a lot of flak for that, particularly Adelaide.

I was told that mentioning what school you went to was an absolute nono. I kept is quiet, for all my interviews except for UNSW, which simply due to the nature of the questions they asked, it came out a number of times in the interview. I got in on an unbonded place, so I don’t think it disadvantaged me in the slightest.

For further discussion on this topic check out this thread

http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?12696-Mentioning-schools-during-interview

Religion and Athiesm in interviews

http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?12605-Atheism-in-Interviews
http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?9410-Religion-in-Interviews

2) Reflective Questions
Some questions likely to pop up around this topic are general reflective type questions may be

– What is your most valued achievement?
– Tell us about an event in your life and how it shaped you
– What people have influenced you and why?

You are a part of all that you have met- so… what have you met?

All these questions are asking you to reflecton your life so far. We have all had these experiences, good and bad, and they have molded the person you are today.

Exercise Two

It’s hard to figure out what they would ask but here are some good reflective questions you might like to ask yourself

What’s your favourite subject? and why?
– Who was your favourite teacher and why?
– What are your parent’s values (or any influential figure in your life)? How have they shaped you?

Spend some time thinking about your experience, and how the experience has affected in you different areas of your life. In an interview situation it is perfectly valid to spend a little time thinking about the question before jumping in. Indeed it shows you are properly reflecting rather then just making it up.
Another type of question similar to reflection are the strength and weakness questions

– what is your greatest strength?

think empathy, strength, enthusiasm, leadership, happiness, work ethic, friendship, listening etc. Find an example or two to back it up.

– what is your greatest weakness?

This one’s a bit more challenging, not as bad as you think. First recognize that its okay and 100% normal to have a weakness. You definitely DO have them, and if you think that you don’t, then your weakness is arrogance!

The best bit about knowing of a weakness is that youcan act proactively to overcome it. eg me I’m good at big ideas, organising and thinking creatively. However I suck at details, like big time. My work generally has to be gone over incredibly closely to make sue it doesn’t contain grammatical errors. I simply don’t care; concentrating on details frustrates me, and its a problem.

Dos in choosing a weakness

– be honest
– choose a weakness which can be improved
– discuss how you are working to overcome this

Generally weaknesses regard a skill, or a working style are good to use.

Don’ts
– tell them that you lie, backstab, bitch, racist, sexist …. Come on guys use some common sense!

Another tactic to answer this question is to choose a weakness that is not really a weakness. I personally think this is a super lame idea but whatever floats your boat. Some examples of weaknesses which are not really weaknesses are

– perfectionism
– I work too hard
– I try to please people
– I do well academically (not really a weakness in any sense, this is possibly a weaker one as almost everyone attending the interviews will be a high achiever)

(This is a tactic that I used in my interviews which seemed to please the interviewers immensely. I do stress honestly however, don’t say that you’re a perfectionist if you’re not as you probably will be asked to back this up with an example. ~Hav)

3) Dealing with Adversity

Medicine is hard. There will be times when things don’t go your way and things are shit. Make no mistake. Medical schools want to know that you are up to the challenge. The best predictor of future performance is past performance.

The problem generally is that many year 12 students haven’t encountered much adversity, indeed if they had, they probably wouldn’t have done so well academically. So don’t worry if you have lived a rosy life as many med applicants have done that too. Its only the weird ones like me who get to have the pleasure of answering this question and making the interviewer uncomfortable.

(For the school leavers, you could talk about how you think you would try and overcome adversity which is something I did since life was and is pretty sweet ~Hav)

– tell me about a time you failed at something

Sounds kinda mean doesn’t it? Its not what you think though. They interviewer is not asking about you failing something, they’re REALLY asking you how you reacted to failure.

I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot… and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why… I succeed.
~Michael Jordan

Successful people fail, they fail a lot. What makes them successful is that they pick themselves up after the failure and keep on going. Indeed if you cannot do this, then your behaviour becomes increasingly conservative until you find yourself never pushing what you can do in case you fail. Not only does your world shrink if you do this, but you never get the chance to see if maybe, just maybe it wasn’t as bad as you thought it was, or maybe you could have succeeded.

Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm ~ Winston Churchill

Of course you can fail at something then work hard to overcome it. Or you can fail at something, think about it and then change your approach or even your attempt at the situation.

Good examples of failure include
– academic prizes
– awards
– sports
– driving licenses

Try if you can to make it something which was important to win. Overcoming emotional failure is harder and makes you a stronger person then random failures. eg for me I wanted to be a dancer, and it was awful to hear that I would never make it.

Good things to acknowledge you answer

– it was crap/painful/ugly
– I really wanted it
– I was upset for a while
– then I thought about it and realised why I had failed
– i changed my approach
– that was my solution
– the whole experience was hard

Things you shouldn’t do include

– reacting particularly badly/inappropriate- eg. I bashed up the other team
– overreacting, my life was over,
– taking it out on others
– not looking critically at reasons for failure and addressing them

(I actually misread this the first time, the best method of approaching this is to talk about a time when you’ve “failed”, I see this as “working in progress” personally, and how you showed perseverance in order to succeed. As such I’ve never really “failed” at doing anything I’ve wanted to do. ~Hav)

– what is the most awful thing that has happened to you

Again, chill, not many med applicants have had disasters befall them. I did, but I like freaking those interviewers out 🙂 It is just another way for the interviewer to assess how you reacted when the shit hit the fan.

(When the shit hit the fan I ducked…In all seriousness, its OK to say that “nothing truly awful has happened to me but the worst thing thus far is ___” where it really isn’t that bad. ~Hav)

Stress management

Stress management is crucial to be able to succeed in the medical professions. Medicine can be incredibly stressful at times, and the profession tends to place you in positions that will push you to your limit. This is first seen in medical school and then later on when you are responsible for patients.

Although there are backups in place to catch you at many of these stages, the stress you feel is real. As of such medical schools like to see that you are well equipped to deal with stress.

– how do you deal with stress

If you have the marks to get into medicine, undoubtably you will have experienced stress. So simply draw from your past experience.

Some examples of stress management include:

– talking with friends
– reading
– team sports
– running or other regular exercise
– taking regular time off
– read the bible/pray/other religious

Don’t

– say you don’t experience stress (you are a liar!)
– (Say you drink excessively or take illicit drugs. No joke, I’ve heard people say this. ~Hav)

There are different variants of this question eg.

– describe a difficult time in your life and how you coped with it

Draw from your own experience. What did you do to cope?

4) Teamwork/Conflict Resolution

Medicine is all about teamwork. The different specialities work together, as well as allied health to help facilitate a person’s healthcare outcomes. Medical schools want to see some evidence that you can work effectively as a team.

– can you describe a time you worked in a team

Firstly they want to see that you have some experience working in a team. Some kind of experience where you worked collaboratively to achieve an outcome drawing on people’s strengths to achieve a common goal. So brainstorm some times in the past where you were part of a team working towards something. Try and keep it non academic (though leadership in groupwork situations at school is a great one to use ~Hav).

Some examples of times you may work in a team include

– sport
– hobbies
– fundraising
– volunteering
– community activities
– family activities

I’d encourage you to come up with a couple of examples of when you have worked in a team. Describe to yourself what part of the team you were. What and how did you contribute? What were the problems you encountered? What did you achieve?

– Are you more of a leader or a group member?

It’s a good idea for this question to say that you fall into the position that suits your strengths at the time. For this question go back to your examples. What part of the team did you play? Did you have different roles in different situations? Tell them about under which circumstances you were a leader vs situations where you were a team member.

Don’ts
I would be very weary of saying you are never a leader or never a team member. Traditionally doctors are seen to be leaders in healthcare. Leaders of a team. This doesn’t mean they do all the work, it just means they are in charge. So to say you always prefer someone else to be calling the shots may not be well welcomed. Conversely you don’t start up the top. Indeed medicine will throw you down to the bottom of the totem pole on multiple occasions. You will be required to do menial work when you start and will not have the knowledge or experience to be a leader. You should recognise this with humility. Saying that you cannot is arrogant

– you’re in a team situation and one of your team members isn’t pulling their weight. Everyone in the team is upset with this as it is putting additional pressure on them. They have come to you to fix the problem. How to you approach this situation
– how would you deal with someone who wasn’t working a team?

Again you will be working in teams as a medical student/doctor. You will inevitably encounter problems when working in said teams. As someone who hates group projects but loves working (not studying) you learn to deal with conflicts. OR someone else in your team learns :p

Conflicts generally arise because people’s working styles are different. Everyone assumes that their own working style is the best as it works for them. Obviously. The reality is a bit different as there are many ways for something to get done. Indeed there is much to be learnt about watching someone who works in a different way from yourself.

There are a couple of ways you could deal with someone who is not working but this is my suggested approach

– ask the person how they’re doing, how are things at home, see if there are some underlying issues
– bring up the topic of group work, talk about own work and ask the person’s opinion on your own work
– ask them about their work and see how its going

If at this point they do not bring up their own work, or discuss any other issues. If they do explore these other issues and renegotiate workload or work task delegation

– mention that a few other teammembers have mentioned that the person hasn’t been pulling their weight and if anything was wrong?
– suggest that renegotiating workload may be in order

DO NOT attack the person. Often people (and indeed patients too) need a simple reminder to complete their work. Did you know comphrehensive reminder systems are almost the most effective way to target adherence out there?

5) Cultural and Socioecomic

As a doctor you are going to encounter a number of people from a diverse range of people. Many of whom will be discussing issues of critical importance. It is crucial that you are able to treat these people with the respect they deserve and treat their medical problems with respect.

Interviewers are going to look to see if you have had experience dealing with people whose backgrounds differ from your own.

– What kinds of friends do you have?

A good answer would be, yes, you do have experience dealing with a wide variety of people. If you haven’t, I strongly recommend you gain some experience doing this as it can be a eye opening experience.

Also it is important to realise that there isn’t a “better” way, or culture. Cultures can be equal and different. For example just because we sit on the toilet seat, this doesn’t mean sitting on the toilet seat is better then squatting. Indeed squatting is cited by many as being more hygienic. This example highlights the fact that although different cultures go to the toilet differently, our way is not necessarily the better way.

Being able to accept someone elses belief is first acknowledging your own belief and recognising that it comes from how you were raised. Once you know what you are in a much better position to accept someone else’s belief that differs from your own.

– your 18 year old friend is Indian and about to have an arranged marriage to a man she has never met before. How do you feel about this?

1. A good way to approach this situation is to first acknowledge your own beliefs. – Do you agree with arranged marriage? Do you agree with people getting married young? By acknowledging your own beliefs and that they may affect your judgement you change the situation to not be about you and it comes to be about the other person. The person who needs help.

2. Then once you have given your own values, sit back and listen to what the girl wants to say. Maybe she’s just nervous and wants to talk, maybe she wants to run away from home. In any case she needs someone to listen nonjudgementally to her side of the story. She does not need someone preaching at her.

3. Make a decision based on the information gleaned in step two.

With most cross cultural encounters the best thing we can try to do is to listen. Same with grief and loss. Many people do not want solutions, answers or advice, they simply want someone to talk to. So the process of just sitting there listening attentively is a gift.

6) Problem Solving/Critical Analysis questions

In Medicine you have to learn how to make decisions based on the available evidence. Problem solving is a crucial skill in medicine, and the interviewers want to see that you have the basics down pat. In my experience problem solving questions are usually take the form of a scenario.

The most important thing in this question is to take some time and think about the question, to think about the scenario. Don’t jump in with “the answer”. Spend some time thinking up holes in the argument, things that work, things you’d like to knowmore about. Then an action plan or two.

The elements of any good problem solving question would include

– summary of issues involved
– summary of any personal bias’
– based on these a solution/approach to the problem with explanations why you chose that
– acknowledgement of why another approach may be bad as well as possible issues with your own approach

Problem solving questions are typically scenario questions.

Tip: Speak your thoughts out loud. The interviewers are assessing your approach to problem solving not the final answer. If you answer a scenario with a short solution to the problem. You’ll either score badly or the interviewers will probe you as to how you reach the conclusion you did.

Ethical Questions

Ethical questions are a special type of problem solving questions. They are a bit trickier as your own personal values also come into the equation. If you’re not careful they can colour your answer. There’s nothing wrong with having strong values, just if you do, you MUST be aware of these and acknowledge them to the interviewer. eg abortion – it is my personal belief that abortion is murder, however I can see why a poor teenage girl might like to have one.

Often people think these questions are politically motivated, or trying to exclude people on the basis of belief. I seriously doubt this is the case. Most likely they were excluded because they failed to recognise an opposing view as having some credence.

With ethical questions in addition to the advice about general problem solving questions, it is a good idea to

– give perspective of more then one stakeholder. Think about it from the perspective of all parties in the scenario
– think about it from a couple of different view points; is the action itself good or bad? is the outcome good or bad?
– Above all make sure you discuss why you gave your answer.

You are a member of the university disciplinary committee and have been asked to review a case of a full fee paying medical student who forged a doctor’s signature to confirm he completed his attendance requirements during placement. The student is in his 4th year of 5, both his parents are educated professionals to have met with the committee to vouch for their son’s otherwise exceptional standing in the community. The student argues that the doctor had been busy and that he couldn’t find him to sign his attendance form.

The other two members of the committee are advocating the student repeat the year and pay the full fees for the extra year’s tuition. What argument would you make as a committee member?

Vaccination has been lauded as an important public health measure but it requires at least 80% of people, ideally more than 90% of people, be vaccinated before a whole population is protected. Some groups in Australia are opposed to vaccination, often referred to as conscientious objectors.

Overseas, in the UK, there have been calls to make vaccination compulsory for children in public schools. What is your opinion on this issue and what are your reasons?

Challenges

Challenges are particularly common in ethical questions. However they can crop up in response to any question. The challenge is typically gauged to help highlight or bring out a particular response to question. Or to get you to look at a scenario from a different perspective.

Expect your answer to be challenged. In many scenarios involving a sick child/person the challenge will be that your action killed/compromised the child/adult etc.. Don’t worry its a hypothetical situation, no matter what answer you give, it will be the wrong one.

An example of a challenge to the vaccinnation question for example would be

Not too long ago a 6 week year old died of whooping cough. She was too young to recieve a vaccination herself, however the area she lives in is known for having low vaccination rates for whooping cough. In light of the fact that if she lived somewhere with high vaccination rate that she would still be alive, is it still fair that someone has the right to object to vaccinating their children?

OR
You are a GP

A mother brings in her child for her daily checkup, on looking at her record she has had none of the expected vaccinations. On further probing you find out that 3 years ago her other child died 12 hours after recieving a flu injection. Do you still maintain your stance?

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news…-1225858118518

(The trick to success is to argue a moderate position strongly rather than a strong position weakly. If you’re able to explain why you did something the first time and you’re line of reasoning was solid – if presented with the same situation again then you should take the same approach regardless of the outcome of the first situation. You must be consistent and be comfortable with the decisions you make. ~Hav.)

To read more about approaches to these sorts of questions, check out the following threads.

Good Threads to check out

http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?4714-Interview-Question-Time!

http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?12443-Interview-Question-Time-2

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

The almighty important question, motivation. As you may have gleaned above Medicine will use you up, eat you and then spit you out (in that order). So having a) motivation and b) a good reason for that motivation is incredibly important. If you don’t have it, the chances are high that you’ll hate what you’re doing. You’ll either have to transfer out or you’ll be a mediocre doctor.

– why do you want to do medicine?
– what attracted you to medicine?

Exercise two

Get a piece of paper out and write down all the reasons you want to do medicine. All of them, every single one of them no matter how silly they sound. Include experiences, teachers or friends who inspired you along the way. Go away for an hour and then think some more about how you came to apply. Be honest, this exercise is for yourself and yourself only.

Write as many motivations as you can on the piece of paper

Now categorise them, according to the below

– friend/family/me is sick
– I want to help people
– My parents/community/school want me to do it
– I enjoy biology/science
– I have the marks
– medicine is the hardest thing you can do
– I want to do medical research
– I want to help developing nations
– I want to serve the community
– I want to help fix xxx problem
– I want money
– I want job security
– my parents are in health

I’m not going to tell you how to answer this question however I think you all should dig deep down to find an answer that resonates with you personally. I think if you don’t challenge your own answers personally that you are doing yourself a disservice.

I will however address some “maybe you should think again” motivations

My parents/community/school want me to do it

Stakeholders such as parents, community and school are important. They are invested in your life as well as you are. Naturally they want the best for you. So their opinion does hold some weight. However the fly in the ointment is that at the end of the day you are going to be the one living the life. Not your parents, not your community and definitely not your school. So while their opinions do matter, you have to have some other pretty strong motivations to get you through medicine in one piece. Indeed otherwise you’ll end up hating the people you originnally wanted to please.

(I took the approach of “I’m doing medicine because I want to and nobody is going to tell me otherwise” ~Hav.)

I have the marks

That’s awesome, you have the marks to do any degree you choose. Throughout school we are ranked continuously against each other so its natural to think that the brightest of the land should go on to do medicine, law, or both. However this isn’t how the world works. Guess who is at the top of the world? Basically anyone who reaches the top of their field, gets this honour. Mark Zuckerman, Nicole Kidman, Mia Freedman, the chaser guys, Kerry Packer, Julian Assange are some individuals who are on top of the world. They are incredibly bright individuals who went on to use their intellect in fields they chose. Medicine is not the be all end all to success.

Medicine is the hardest thing you can do

Not true, here are some other really hard things you may liketo think about

– becoming a rhodes scholar
– cure for cancer/aids
– ending sex slavery in SE asia
– closing the gap
– winning the olympics
– travelling to every country in the world
– representing australia
– world debating competitions
etc

plus many of us are doing medicine, so you’re like… unoriginal :p

These are all incredible challenges, don’t be narrow minded and think you can only find challenge in a medical degree

I want money/job security

There is 100% nothing wrong with these goals. I personally think they’re pretty awesome looking goals. However if they are your main motivations for medicine you are likely to be disappointed as

a) you can earn SO MUCH MORE money in other fields for LESS effort; finance, law, corporate, commercial. Trust me I know guys who work in these fields and you bet your ass that I make them buy me lunch. Don’t get me started on the engineers. They don’t know what to do with their money.

b) while medicine used to be the most stable job out there, right now with the tsunami coming, your job prospects are looking a lot less stable. You will have to work harder and smarter to get the job you want. Its not all rosy cheeks.

Threads
http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?12581-Why-do-you-want-to-study-medicine

http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?12411-So-why-medicine

Why Us

– Why do you want to do medicine with us?
– Can you tell us your understanding of our course
– What is PBL

This question is of particular relevance to those who are travelling interstate to study. They are looking to see really if you got an offer, would you actually take it. They’re really asking “are you wasting our time”. The best way to answer this question is figure out the university’s strengths and why they appeal to you. This involves checking out the relevant university websites, researching the courses, and examining what you are looking for in a university.

Typical pros/cons for universities that could be used

– location
– research interests
– structure of course; eg pbl
– early exposure to clinical work
– rural emphasis
– university life

Obviously this question requires you to research the universities. I’m not going to do that for you :p

8) Realistic Expectations; Work Experience and Volunteering

Having realistic impressions about medicine is crucial. Its all very well and good to be motivated to save the world from cancer, but what if you don’t like blood? What if you want to be a stay at home mum?

http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?13231-no-prior-medical-experience

Typical questions involve

– what are the challenges for a rural GP?
– what are the cons of being a doctor?
– can you describe the training pathway of xxx ? (this question is rare I’ve been told) (I agree with you there, its not a fair question since the pathways are different for different specialties and its not reasonable to expect a non-medical person to know them. ~Hav)

Other ways this question is asked is in scenario form, typically this question is in a work/life balance form, or being overworked in a rural location.

You have promised your daughter you will pick her up at 5:30. However at 5 you are running 30 minutes behind schedule and still have a room full of patients. How do you handle this situation?

9) Detech Questions

Monash likes to ask you to explain a scientific word to someone who has never/year 10 science. These questions are difficult, but the important thing to realise is that you don’t have to explain detail. You can dumb it down so that the layman can get the general gist of the function.

Typically words are taken from year 11 chemistry

to approach

– take a breath
– think of the core ideas
– start with something simple, something a layman will definitely know e.g. photosynthesis “you know plants? they don’t eat food, but they still need energy”
– use paper or a whiteboard, draw a diagram

Words to practice with

– electrolysis
– photosynthesis
– atom
– periodic table of elements

10) Debating Questions/Current Medical Topics

These type of questions have a dual purpose. To see if you can have ideas and debate them. Also to check your general awareness of medical issues. Obviously if you are interested in medicine you’d have some idea about common issues that the medical profession is currently facing.

Sometimes these topics are controversial. You can state your opinion, but again use some common sense. If its racist/intolerant… uhh don’t say it?!

mso members generally recommend one of two approaches

– take a moderate but strong sitting on the fence approach

– take an opinion

(In both cases, it is very important to acknowledge the major benefits and flaws of each argument. ~Hav)

Now I think not making an opinion is a sissy little girlie approach but oh well. I’ll also say when I had to debate topics, I have no doubt that I came across as strongly left, and very critical of the liberal party (oi it was 2007 after all). Also the fact that I knew so much about the topic I was given obviously impressed the panel as they seemed taken aback by how much I knew

– why did the last party win the election
– research vs. clinical medicine
– closing the gap
– carbon tax
– nbn

I should mention that although debating your point of view is a common to most interview. Discussing current affairs is really a JCU thing. When I went through I was given a choice of 3 topics and I just picked one.

http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?12441-Interview-Q-Current-medical-issues

11) Questions at the end of the interview


This is your chance to ask anything you’d like to know about the course you may not know already. I wouldn’t make up a question if you really didn’t have anything. I did ask about exchange opportunities in a few of my interview.

http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?12834-Questions-at-the-end-of-interviews

(Pretty sure I said “don’t ask anything” at the end of that thread and I’ll reiterate it. There is nothing you can ask the interviewer that you wouldn’t find on the internet which makes you look lazy or is stupid which makes you look stupid or is overly personal which is rude. Thank them for the interview, be very pleasant and leave. ~Hav)

12) An Aside: Obscure questions

– what is your earliest childhood memory
– if you were an animal what would you be

I never knew why they asked these questions, and still don’t know. I imagine they want to know how you see yourself. In this case – don’t

– say you want to be a snake to kill people
– say you want to be more powerful
– say a cat, to be more lazy

ie make sure whatever reasoning you use make sure it sounds kind of intelligent.

My other hunch was it is a test of your psychological stability. In which case, please don’t say you were abused as a child. Think happy memories such as “mum was carrying me around the house”.

I have a hunch that these sorts of questions may reflect a pscyhological testing of somesort. If you’re extra keen it might be worthwhile to do a literature search for these sorts of questionnaires

12) Life Experience + extra co curricular activities

These will typically come out as examples in other questions. However I’d like to mention that the more diverse your examples are, the more rounded you will come across in the interview. So if you don’t have anything to demonstrate how awesome you are. Starting thinking about picking something up.

Also you probably have done more then you think. Get a piece of paper and write down examples for all of the questions mentioned above. I’m sure you’ve found you’ve experienced a lot.

Another thing I would do is if you have major non academice experiences, make sure all of these are mentioned in the interview. These are your x factor qualities. Trust me if you don’t think them over they may not come out in the interview and you’ll kick yourself when you come out thinking “gosh I should have told them about the books I published’ :p

http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?10094-Knowledge-of-the-World-Required

http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?9725-extracurricular-activities

http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?12553-Obscure-strange-interview-questions

General Interview Dos and Don’ts
http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?4653-Interview-dos-and-don-ts

http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/showthread.php?9707-Some-questions-for-interview

13) Finishing up

Smile, tell them how much you want to do medicine with them, and thank them for their time. They get tired too.

Then go out and do your little dance as you just smashed your interview 🙂

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Holy wow. Well done season. :O
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Don't know how I hadn't seen this yet.. great article.
    Replacing swear words...
      I can still see a few of mine in there
        Many of the failures I've had in my lifetime have been ones which I find really personal. The same goes for influences as I've mostly relied on my own strength and experiences/knowledge to guide me through life and often this is derived from negative experiences. <br />
        I'm also a very introverted person when it comes to talking about my emotions so I guess i'd like to know of any experiences during interviews where very personal issues were discussed. How did you know when something was a no-go zone and how'd you come up with something without sacrificing the emotion in your answers?<br />
        I'm afraid that if questions about my weaknesses, influences, experiences etc come up, I might end up sounding like a rock or a bit fake because I'll be holding back the things that really affected me.<br />
        <br />
        Cheers.
          Like season- I also made a big thing about my school in my UNSW interview. I kind of focused on the kind of values it instilled in me and why i thought those values contributed to the type of Dr I wanted to be. I also focussed on what opportunities i had been given and taken advantage of in school. I was really lucky in that I too was offered an unbonded place at UNSW.
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wow thanks this is so useful nicely done :)
    This. Is. Amazing.
      it doesn't work :(<br />
      <br />
      i just get redirected to the homepage
        <blockquote>it doesn't work :(<br />
        <br />
        i just get redirected to the homepage</blockquote><br />
        Fixed the link for you. Try again.
          <blockquote>Fixed the link for you. Try again.</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          <3 ya
          This doesn't work for me either.
          neither
          it died again *cry*
          This article is fantastic. Thanks for the interview run-down. Just a query about the end of the interview: I doubt I'll have any questions to ask, but still, I'd like to make a strong final impression. What sort of comments are effective in showing that you really do want a place in Med at the uni? How can you 'sell yourself' one last time?
          Interesting question. And everyone is different, so it depends entirely on you. Personally, I tried to show another side of my personality. I talked about how much I loved Japanese food. They spent another 5 minutes talking with me about different Japanese food!!!! Really took the edge off the interview (too bad we did it at the end XD)
          <blockquote>This article is fantastic. Thanks for the interview run-down. Just a query about the end of the interview: I doubt I'll have any questions to ask, but still, I'd like to make a strong final impression. What sort of comments are effective in showing that you really do want a place in Med at the uni? How can you 'sell yourself' one last time?</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          If they ask you whether you have any questions the best thing you can do is say no and thank them for the interview. Why? Because they're only asking for the sake of being polite and there's absolutely nothing that you can ask which isn't going to be either irritating (because you can easily find it on the internet), deeply personal which is impolite or something that they wouldn't be allowed to tell you anyway. Smile, thank them and leave when invited. Don't forget to close the door behind you. With comments, be grateful for the opportunity and talk to the interviewers casually (if you can) or if you don't feel comfortable, leave when invited.
          <blockquote>Interesting question. And everyone is different, so it depends entirely on you. Personally, I tried to show another side of my personality. I talked about how much I loved Japanese food. They spent another 5 minutes talking with me about different Japanese food!!!! Really took the edge off the interview (too bad we did it at the end XD)</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Anything that engages the interviewer? I know at one point (clearly had some rapport, already, I thanked the interviewer, and wished them a good day, and asked them something vague, like, if they were nearly done for the day or were there for the next session, which led to a chat about their experience of the interviewing process. We both kept it highly professional, obv. At anouther station, an interviewer had been especially interested in one particular job I'd talked about, .so I asked her about that, if it was a feild she was interested in, etc. Small talk, basically, because it was relevant. You could ask - maybe - one opinion question. Eg. I'm really interested in your rural placement program,. Even though i'm not sure what i want to specialised in....do you think the program effects students perceptions..... If you wanted. I must reiterate, though, the importance of not.asking anything you could Google, and focus on smiling, shaking hands, and taking them, sincery, for their time.<br />
          <br />
          [MENTION=998]Season[/MENTION] : only just seen this, it's terrific.<br />
          <br />
          @ all: seasons advice in the iqt threads made a huge and maybe crucial difference to my interview performance, I Think. I'd suggest you guys use them.
          Don't take any of our advice too much literally. Eg If miss_universe says talk about japanese food, I NEED TO TALK ABOUT JAPANESE FOOD. No. Weight up all the possibilities and decide which you think is most appropriate.<br />
          <br />
          And I agree with Dr Worm, it's really nice to have a bit of chit chat before the interview. It relaxes the environment and relaxes you. This is also what you will be doing before seeing patients. Building rapport. It is actually quite a key component of treatment.
        Looked for the right thread and this is possibly the closest I could find so here goes..<br />
        <br />
        My mother, father and stepmother are all doctors. I want to bring this up in the interview (obviously only if it's relevant) not because I want to be a doctor because it's in the family or I've been influenced by them - but to illustrate the exact opposite. That I grew up within medicine and practically within hospitals going on rounds with my parents etc and I always shied away from medicine purely because I felt that I would be doing it out of having it ingrained in me and being familiar with it. So I went to law school instead and after a year of that and for other reasons it came to light when comparing it to a life as a lawyer that medicine is truly where my passion lies (babble babble cliche and so forth) but the point is that I feel that the fact that I turned explicitly away from medicine and it never even occurred to me to want it in the beginning compared to now where it's what I want most in the world shows that I want this for the right reasons and am committed. <br />
        <br />
        POINT IS...finally...my Dad thinks it's a supremely bad idea to mention that I have such a medical background as he feels it may prejudice the interviewers against me 'doctor's daughter wants to follow daddy' and so on...anyone encountered a similar situation/have a perspective? Thanks!
          Tricky question really. It could go either way, depending on the interviewer. You could use your background to show experience, but as your said, they could view it as the 'medicine family syndrome'. In honestly, I dont think it will come. Even if you have a mountain of experience by going o w ard round with your parents etc, that shouldnt be your 'experience' that you should rely on. It is experience sure, but its not necessarily one that you have create for yourself. I would view someone who has taken initiative and gone to a clinic and done work experience over someone who was fortunately enough to have a medical-based family and had experience growing up. <br />
          <br />
          Given that, you are in a unique position to have contacts to get some good experience from outside you family. Ask your father's colleagues if you can do experience with them. In that case, its not your family and you have talked about what you gained from it :)
          I wouldn't lie, lying is bad, but I wouldn't make a big deal of it either. Definitely do not say "I want to be a doctor because my dad is a doctor", that's a really bad answer. You need to have a better answer then that.
          <blockquote>Looked for the right thread and this is possibly the closest I could find so here goes..<br />
          <br />
          My mother, father and stepmother are all doctors. I want to bring this up in the interview (obviously only if it's relevant) not because I want to be a doctor because it's in the family or I've been influenced by them - but to illustrate the exact opposite. That I grew up within medicine and practically within hospitals going on rounds with my parents etc and I always shied away from medicine purely because I felt that I would be doing it out of having it ingrained in me and being familiar with it. So I went to law school instead and after a year of that and for other reasons it came to light when comparing it to a life as a lawyer that medicine is truly where my passion lies (babble babble cliche and so forth) but the point is that I feel that the fact that I turned explicitly away from medicine and it never even occurred to me to want it in the beginning compared to now where it's what I want most in the world shows that I want this for the right reasons and am committed. <br />
          <br />
          POINT IS...finally...my Dad thinks it's a supremely bad idea to mention that I have such a medical background as he feels it may prejudice the interviewers against me 'doctor's daughter wants to follow daddy' and so on...anyone encountered a similar situation/have a perspective? Thanks!</blockquote><br />
          My thoughts, be honest and if it does come up explain it to them as you have here. That is a good answer and shows your passion and that you are doing it for the right reasons.
          <blockquote>Looked for the right thread and this is possibly the closest I could find so here goes..<br />
          <br />
          My mother, father and stepmother are all doctors. I want to bring this up in the interview (obviously only if it's relevant) not because I want to be a doctor because it's in the family or I've been influenced by them - but to illustrate the exact opposite. That I grew up within medicine and practically within hospitals going on rounds with my parents etc and I always shied away from medicine purely because I felt that I would be doing it out of having it ingrained in me and being familiar with it. So I went to law school instead and after a year of that and for other reasons it came to light when comparing it to a life as a lawyer that medicine is truly where my passion lies (babble babble cliche and so forth) but the point is that I feel that the fact that I turned explicitly away from medicine and it never even occurred to me to want it in the beginning compared to now where it's what I want most in the world shows that I want this for the right reasons and am committed. <br />
          <br />
          POINT IS...finally...my Dad thinks it's a supremely bad idea to mention that I have such a medical background as he feels it may prejudice the interviewers against me 'doctor's daughter wants to follow daddy' and so on...anyone encountered a similar situation/have a perspective? Thanks!</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          This is a toughie. I was in a very similar situation, with the majority of my family being doctors. Some people discouraged me from mentioning it, others said it would be best to be honest about it. My advice is to go with absolute honesty. If you feel that it's YOUR passion, not just a familial connection then you could mention it, emphasising that having doctors in the family only increased your curiosity and excitement surrounding med. When I sat Monash interviews (the MMI), there was actually a stem about a kid whose family were doctors and who started med based on this and had a really tough time. I decided to not mention my family tradition at all and instead focus on the question objectively. There were, however, lots of kids (who were successful in the interview) who did mention their own experiences having doctor parents. It really depends.<br />
          <br />
          Thinking strategically, I think your experiences of starting another course and realising upon going a different path that med was your true passion is a really fantastic point to use. It's pretty unique, quite passionate, and brutally honest. If it were me, I would talk about that and perhaps not mention having medical parents. It is a bit of a risk, after all. <br />
          <br />
          If you do choose to mention it, then broach the topic like you have done above - you can really tell that med is what YOU want to do, and that's the main thing. Your own passion has to come through, whatever you say. Good luck :)
          I agree with your Dad, avoid mentioning it at all costs, it can only hurt you.
          The thing is that there are all kinds of things to do to avoid running into subjectivity. Interviewers will do their best to be objective but sometimes they can subconsciously feel a certain way; it's unavoidable. Like if a student mentions that they went to an elite and expensive private school, the interviewer will unconsciously have a different thought about this than they would, say, a student from a tiny school in a rural area. Like I said above, if you're looking for things to say for the 'why medicine' question, I think you have more than enough material from what you've said. If you feel the need to talk about your family in an honest and positive light then do so, but I wouldn't, just in case.
[MENTION=998]Season[/MENTION] Great thread but i have a question, Is it appropiate in the section where they go Tell us about yourself to discuss about where you grew up and where you come from etc?
    <blockquote>@<a href="http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/member.php?u=998">Season</a> Great thread but i have a question, Is it appropiate in the section where they go Tell us about yourself to discuss about where you grew up and where you come from etc?</blockquote><br />
    <br />
    You can talk about whatever you think is important to you, "tell us about yourself" means exactly that. It's used as an ice breaker and as a way of getting to know you as a person rather than just a numbered candidate. I'd use it to personalise yourself to the panel.
      I agree with Hav, the interview needs to be personalized and that's a key aspect. That question is pretty much a given to help with that. But rarely do I ever hear of it ever coming up. Usually you will have to integrate your personality in a more subtle way (which is harder)
    <blockquote>@<a href="http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/member.php?u=998">Season</a> Great thread but i have a question, Is it appropiate in the section where they go Tell us about yourself to discuss about where you grew up and where you come from etc?</blockquote><br />
    <br />
    Definitely go nuts.
      hey guys I have a couple of questions about the interviews if anyone has time to answer them...<br />
      - How should I approach a scenario based question? (I'm really hopeless at this and the best I could muster up is a few disjointed points)<br />
      - When answering a question, should I say everything that I can come up with or hold back until/if they ask follow up questions?
        Break the scenario down into elements, figure out what different issues are in the scenario and tackle them separately and individually. Recognise which of those points are connected, state the connection and why its important. Then describe how you would approach these issues and discuss.<br />
        <br />
        You can say everything that comes up if you want and I feel this is a good approach though you need to keep it succinct, if you've covered points in the follow up then it won't be asked.
          Hav said my favourite approach. Its good because if you take this approach you can talk through the scenario figuring it out as you go along. While it sounding somewhat structured.
          [MENTION=11769]graham[/MENTION]. AGree with the others. The issues here are a, b and c and what we need to consider is....etc<br />
          <br />
          Maybe go to the Interview Question Time thread and just have a go at answering a few.<br />
          <br />
          You'll get more personal and specific advice.<br />
          <br />
          You're unlikely to produce anything too dreadful (but some of us - ie me - have produced some shockers on our first attempts) and even if you do we'll come along and tell you where it's going wrong.
          Is it ok to answer in dot points during your interview?
          [MENTION=12298]Nightshroud[/MENTION]: probably quite difficult to, since few people talk in dot points, and they aren't going to give you time to present a powerpoint presentation. I think if you tape record yourself answering a practice question, I imagine you'd find you didn't talk in dot points.
          Again. Just answer the questions, no essays, no presentations. Just <span style="font-style:italic;">&#8203;answer the question.</span>You can list things if you want but you're having a conversation, that's what interviewing is.
          Thanks for the advice guys! <br />
          [MENTION=8866]Dr Worm[/MENTION] yeah I will have a go at the Interview Questions Time and see how I perform :)
          What if i said something like 1. blah blah 2. etc
          <blockquote>What if i said something like 1. blah blah 2. etc</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          It's fine.
Wow, excellent resource. Thank you
When you were preparing for your interview, did you feel like you were giving a speech?
    <blockquote>When you were preparing for your interview, did you feel like you were giving a speech?</blockquote><br />
    <br />
    It shouldn't. It should be more like a discussion, though the pressure to perform and get out all your info in the time allowed may make you feel like give a speech
    <blockquote>When you were preparing for your interview, did you feel like you were giving a speech?</blockquote><br />
    <br />
    So know if they asked you about leadership, an anecdote or two in your mind. Don't memorise the anecdote, but its in the edge of your mind. Try to keep the anecdote short so that it doesn't feel like a speech.
      Do they want detailed responses? and is it bad if they start seeing you have prepared?
        I think sound rehearsed is frowned upon here, because the interview isn't about seeing how well you've prepared, it's more about you as a person and your ability to communicate effectively and think quickly and organise ideas into a logical progression in a situation where you're put on the spot and under pressure because you know you're being judged.
        <blockquote>Do they want detailed responses? and is it bad if they start seeing you have prepared?</blockquote><br />
        <br />
        No they don't, they see it as having a little chat with you. You should treat it that way.
          Ahh thanks, in that case is it alright to say 'umm' occasionally?
          <blockquote>Ahh thanks, in that case is it alright to say 'umm' occasionally?</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Well I've only done one interview so I'm not sure how 'qualified' I am to say this, but yes, you can say umm (I said it in my interview and i think it would be hard to NOT say it. Try not to say it too much, but don't go overboard and try to eradicate um from your verbal vocabulary, either :p). You're doing what I did in the lead up to my interview - that is, you're way overthinking it. It's hard not to because it's so important, but seriously, don't over think it because you'll come across rehearsed and unnatural on the day. I don't think you can drastically change your manner of speaking within a few days anyway, so just be natural (unless natural for you is monotonal, in which case I'd say inject some 'passion' into your voice :p). Just go in there with a few points to talk about, some anecdotes and a clear head (aka. Good night's rest the night before) and you'll be right.
wow that was AMAZING. thankyou so much season!
When greeting the interviewers, do we say nice to meet you with every all 3 of them or just a handshake is sufficient?
    Address all of them at the same time but if you want a handshake, offer it to all of them.
      Hey thank you so much for the info, and by the way about the animal question u asked, its a physiologic thing so every animal u choose is different and tells em a different thing about ur personality and the reason is not really important on this coz i had a freak teacher who did all those tests on us n later on it turns out he got it off the internet with the answers so he could know what we were like ... but thanks so much eventho im still in year 10(11 next year (Y) but i started reading these threads so im prepared from now THANKS AGAIN :)
Hey everyone,<br />
I just received my UMAT results back and i got a percentile of 96. I have been told that this should be sufficient to get me a first round interview in a few places. I am not too sure how these interviews will go or whats involved, or even if a interview preparation program is on the cards.<br />
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!<br />
Thanks,<br />
<br />
p.s sorry about making a new thread but i just assumed there would be a few new UMATers in my position!
    Search the forums. We already have tonnes of advice around; there is no need to make a new thread. Start with the stickies. <br />
    <br />
    <a href="http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/content/prepare-me-69/">Prepare me for interviews! - Med Students Online</a><br />
    <br />
    also have a read of this, which will give some links to interview question time threads. <a href=http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/f40/guide-interview-sub-forum-24080/>http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/f40/guide-interview-sub-forum-24080/</a> And use the search button!
      I have merged the thread here.
        Hello everybody, I was browsing through and i wasn't sure exactly where to post this question. So Mod's sorry if this is the wrong spot. I was just wondering how a lack of related work experience is going to affect me, i mean this year the only thing medical i've done is a first aid level 2 course, how badly is this going to impact on my chances?
          Work exp doesnt necessarily have to be medical related, though its good if it is.<br />
          <br />
          Do you have any experience with leadership roles? You could use that to demonstrate the desired qualities.
          <blockquote>Work exp doesnt necessarily have to be medical related, though its good if it is.<br />
          <br />
          Do you have any experience with leadership roles? You could use that to demonstrate the desired qualities.</blockquote><br />
          Ahh i see well in that case there have been a few leadership courses and tuition's i have been asked to run.
          • pi
            pi
          • September 28, 2012
          In most MMIs you won't have a lot of time to bring those up anyway except for maybe a line or two here and there in an answer, so I wouldn't worry a great deal.
          [MENTION=15605]KevinBacon[/MENTION]: anything is possible, but you're less likely to get a direct q about medical work experience, more likely to get a question about what you know about what doctors do, or why you're interested in med, or what personal qualities you have that will be an asset to0 you as a doctor, etc. SO no, I don't think, you'll be disadvantaged at all.
          [MENTION=6084]Hutcherson[/MENTION] Can you remember what type of questions you were asked for CSU's Dent interview <br />
          thanx in advance :)
          Hey there, MSO currently has a blackout policy during interview time, so I can't discuss any interviews questions. Best thing to do is google practice questions on the internet :)
          I was also wondering guys, what do you reckon is an appropriate time length to take in answering each question. Like should we take about 2-3 minutes per question or more? What do you all think?
          <blockquote>I was also wondering guys, what do you reckon is an appropriate time length to take in answering each question. Like should we take about 2-3 minutes per question or more? What do you all think?</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          However long you feel it takes to express what you want to say. Usually not more than 3 min a question, but the interviewers usually follow on from what you say anyway.
          Hi guys, just looking through Season's article, are questions relationg to who you are/what work experience you've had, personal questions, qhy you want to be a doctor, etc, relevant to the Monash MMI?
          Hi,<br />
          <br />
          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.<br />
          <br />
          <span style="font-weight:bold;">1) Introduction - who are you? where do you come from?</span><br />
          <br />
          Hi, I&#8217;m Maddie. I&#8217;m 18 and am currently studying a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland. I&#8217;d like to think I&#8217;m a friendly person. For example, I volunteer at my local nursing home because I just love being able to chat with the patients &#8211; the patient&#8217;s get company and I get to meet really interesting people, it&#8217;s great! My friends and family would describe me as determined. Whether it be academically or in a personal sense, if I&#8217;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&#8217;m certainly a much more confident person now but I&#8217;m also more intellectually curious than ever. I&#8217;m confident that I really do want to study Medicine so I know whether it be undergraduate or once I&#8217;ve completed a degree, Medicine is going to be a big part of my future. <br />
          <br />
          <span style="font-weight:bold;">2) Reflective Questions - what is your greatest weakness?<br />
          <br />
          </span>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 <span style="font-weight:bold;">too</span> 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.<br />
          <br />
          <span style="font-weight:bold;">3) Dealing with Adversity <span style="font-weight:bold;">- what is the most awful thing that has happened to you?<br />
          <br />
          <br />
          </span></span>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!<br />
          <br />
          <span style="font-weight:bold;">4) Teamwork/Conflict Resolution - how would you deal with someone who wasn't working as a team?<br /></span><br />
          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.<br />
          <br />
          <span style="font-weight:bold;">5) <span style="font-weight:bold;">Motivation/ Why do you want to do medicine?/ why us?</span><br />
          </span><br />
          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.<br />
          <br />
          <br />
          <br />
          <span style="font-weight:bold;">Thank you in advance for any feedback!!<br /></span>
          First thought is that everything is too long. <br />
          <br />
          Second is that it should be dot pointed to avoid scripting.
          <blockquote>First thought is that everything is too long. <br />
          <br />
          Second is that it should be dot pointed to avoid scripting.</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Okay, thank you for those tips. Any advice on the content?
          <blockquote>Okay, thank you for those tips. Any advice on the content?</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          That's your responsibility.
          • pi
            pi
          • November 30, 2012
          I'd refer to people living in nursing homes as "residents" rather than "patients".
          <blockquote>That's your responsibility.</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          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.
          <blockquote>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.</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          That's rather ungrateful. Well if I'm being accused of being rude then I may as well be utterly blunt about it.<br />
          <br />
          <br />
          <ul><br />
          <li>Your answer was waffly and long, more words don't make better answers.<br />
          <li>Writing full sentences encourages repetition, dot points forces you to make sentences on the spot. That should be intuitively obvious.<br />
          <li>You confuse empathy and sympathy.<br />
          <li>Posting content here is a bad idea, plagiarism is rife through University and to think that medical interviews are different is ridiculous.<br />
          <li>Nobody should be telling you what should and shouldn't be in an answer to what are <span style="font-style:italic;">personal</span> questions. Italicised for emphasis.<br />
          </ul>
          <blockquote>That's rather ungrateful. Well if I'm being accused of being rude then I may as well be utterly blunt about it.<br />
          <br />
          <br />
          <ul><br />
          <li>Your answer was waffly and long, more words don't make better answers.<br />
          <li>Writing full sentences encourages repetition, dot points forces you to make sentences on the spot. That should be intuitively obvious.<br />
          <li>You confuse empathy and sympathy.<br />
          <li>Posting content here is a bad idea, plagiarism is rife through University and to think that medical interviews are different is ridiculous.<br />
          <li>Nobody should be telling you what should and shouldn't be in an answer to what are <span style="font-style:italic;">personal</span> questions. Italicised for emphasis.<br />
          </ul><br /></blockquote><br />
          <br />
          In all seriousness thank you for that feedback - it was helpful and I really do appreciate it.
          Hi [MENTION=13301]Maddiestanford[/MENTION], <br />
          <br />
          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. <br />
          <br />
          Hope this makes sense!
          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. <br />
          <br />
          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.
          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? <br />
          <br />
          Feedback is much appreciated.
          <blockquote>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? <br />
          <br />
          Feedback is much appreciated.</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          Not sure what this has to do with medical school admissions, but anyway:<br />
          <br />
          <a href=http://lmgtfy.com/?q=organ+transplantation+australia>Let me google that for you</a>
          <blockquote>Not sure what this has to do with medical school admissions, but anyway:<br />
          <br />
          <a href="http://lmgtfy.com/?q=organ+transplantation+australia">Let me google that for you</a></blockquote><br />
          <br />
          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...<br />
          <br />
          and the way it's related to medical admissions is that it is asked in MMI interviews...
          You do realise the interview question isn't there to test your theoretical knowledge of transplant medicine, yes...?
          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
          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. <br />
          <br />
          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.
          • pi
            pi
          • December 1, 2012
          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 :)<br />
          <br />
          What's your opinion?
          <blockquote>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. <br />
          <br />
          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.</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          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.<br />
          <br />
          Values --> Opinion --> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Justification</span><br />
          <br />
          Simple.
          <blockquote><br />
          <br />
          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.</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          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.
          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. <br />
          <br />
          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... <br />
          <br />
          My view on this situation:<br />
          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 <span style="font-style:italic;">unethical</span> 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. <br />
          <br />
          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. <br />
          <br />
          I would obviously need to know a lot more information to make the decision and I would make this clear to my interviewer.<br />
          <br />
          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. :)
          To play Devil's Advocate (as well an interviewer might on the day), do you believe that alcoholism is a lifestyle choice? How can someone personally regret a disease process?<br />
          <br />
          Basically your reasoning is sound; that's the sort of response they'd be wanting. The next step would be for them to push you to decide on one recipient or the other, and substantiate your decision. And so...?
          I feel that he would not necessarily regret a disease process, but regret his actions which led to that disease process in the first place. I believe that while alcoholism isn't necessarily a lifestyle choice and that there probably are reasons behind his actions, he could have taken a different approach to his problems, instead of resorting to alcohol, ie. talking to his doctor, seeing a counsellor, talking to someone...that sort of approach. <br />
          <br />
          In terms of choosing one over the other, my decision would be based on who is more likely to benefit from the organ transplant and also who has been on the organ transplant waiting list for the longest time. It is that person that I would elect to get the transplant.<br />
          <br />
          Based on the following assumptions:<br />
          - the mother is more likely to get more years from the transplant and more benefit to her because her children will have their mother around for a longer time and this will be of benefit to them also <br />
          - the mother's illness has a low chance of returning and damaging the new liver<br />
          - both 'applicants' have been waiting for approximatley the same time <br />
          <br />
          I would choose the mother for the organ transplant based on the assumptions because I feel that she will get the most benefit out of the transplant and that her children will also benefit. <br />
          <br />
          Thanks again :)
          There are a lot of assumptions there, and a lot of them are based on value judgements that you've made about the two people. Value judgements are dangerous, because they potentially expose your personal bias. <br />
          <br />
          <blockquote>I feel that he would not necessarily regret a disease process, but regret his actions which led to that disease process in the first place. I believe that while alcoholism isn't necessarily a lifestyle choice and that there probably are reasons behind his actions, he could have taken a different approach to his problems, instead of resorting to alcohol, ie. talking to his doctor, seeing a counsellor, talking to someone...that sort of approach.</blockquote><br />
          <br />
          It's important that you don't fall into the trap of vilifying people. It's a layperson assumption that addiction is not a disease process - that it can be simply avoided by easy means - so we'll put that aside for a moment (as you are a layperson - and a young one at that - so can be forgiven). Nonetheless, be aware that addiction isn't that simple, and that you can come across as being judgemental and damning of someone based on stereotypes, without seeing them as an individual person. <br />
          <br />
          As such, consider the alcoholic: if you were told that he has lived a difficult life, fallen on hard times, and lost his wife of 20 years who he loved very much, would it make him more human to you? That he has two children of his own, who are desperate to see him live and see his first grandchild, who is going to be born next month? That he regularly donates to charity, and before his alcoholism took over his life, that he was a volunteer in his local community, who lived a quiet, unassuming life.<br />
          <br />
          And the single mother: would you think the same of her if the interviewers revealed to you that she belongs to a local political party which advocates for a White Australia policy, and that she was recently investigated by the RSPCA for allegedly drowning puppies in her bathtub? <br />
          <br />
          What factors do you employ most critically to allocate the liver now?
          Thanks so much for the feedback, really got me thinking. I feel that this is what I was trying to ask about in the first place because I'm not sure whether in reality doctors consider the personal lives of the patients on the liver transplant list, just the medical stuff, like who has been waiting the longest and who has the best chance of benefiting from the transplant.<br />
          <br />
          So, based on the information that you provided:<br />
          I want to base my opinion on the medical facts in the sense of who is going to benefit from this liver transplant, ie. whoever gains the most life years from the transplant, balanced against who has been on the waiting list the longest. I have a problem, personally, with basing my decision on their personal lives because I believe that it is judgmental to make such a huge decision on their personality and actions which I personally disapprove of- for example the single mother allegedly drowning puppies in her bathtub. <br />
          <br />
          THe only involvement that I would have in terms fo their personal lives, is how committed they are to making the correct lifestyle choices and taking care of their new liver, for example the alcoholic deciding to talk about his alcoholism and other problems with a counsellor, so that I can make sure that he is at least committed to taking care of his new liver and that the transplant would have been a success. <br />
          <br />
          In conclusion, these are the steps that I would take:<br />
          - Talk to each 'applicant' and gather any informaiton I can in regards to the transplant in determining how each applicant is committed to taking care of their new liver<br />
          - Consider how long each applicant has been on the transplant waiting list<br />
          - Chances of success: who will gain the most life years and whose body has a higher chance of accepting the new liver and not rejecting it<br />
          <br />
          Therefore, I would balance the above pieces of informaiton to make my decision and not make the decision based on the applicants' personal lives.
          F
          • F
            frootloop
          • December 3, 2012
          <blockquote>Therefore, I would balance the above pieces of informaiton to make my decision and not make the decision based on the applicants' personal lives.</blockquote><br />
          Not overly relevant (and I'm quite possibly wrong), but I'd have to disagree to some extent in this case. As has been pointed out, addiction is a disease process (and my understanding is that it's particularly difficult to treat), so you can't really just go 'Oh, the person with alcohol dependence *said* they're going to change, so there's certainly no problems with giving them a new liver'. What they consciously want to do and what actually ends up happening might be two different stories. In my opinion (which, in fairness, carries next to zero weight) that's not really a case of judging someone, it's a case of looking at the statistical likelihood of a relapse, and weighing it up. <br />
          That said, obviously there's not enough information here to make a call on how likely this individual is to be able to overcome their addiction, so I'm just talking in sweeping generalisations (which is always the best way to look at things, right? :p ), and I realistically have zero clue whatsoever as to how things like alcohol dependence are actually weighed-up when it comes to deciding whether or not to give someone a new liver, these are just my rambling musings.<br />
          Edit: Hadn't actually noticed this was on an interview preparation thread lol, so this post is probably hugely irrelevant anyway *Scurries away*
          The fact of the matter is that patients are assessed prior to being placed on the transplant list with regards to their ability to be a suitable custodian to a new organ. For people with addiction, this includes a mandatory and documented period of sobriety. If circumstances change, eligibility to remain on the list can be rescinded. Addiction is but one potential stumbling block; poor social support is another (to name but two).<br />
          <br />
          I don't think that point is particularly pertinent in this setting, as the candidate is not expected to know that. These sorts of ethical scenarios present the potential for a candidate to jump to conclusions about people based on social stereotypes, or, conversely, to show a more balanced approach. By adopting the latter, blueocean has actually managed to touch on a lot of transplant allocation criteria without being aware of it.
          [MENTION=10716]frootloop[/MENTION], yeah that's what I'm a little confused about and maybe I didn't make it clear, but that is what I was worried about with the alcoholic because I wasn't sure what the chances of relapsing were for him and so that's why I concluded that with the information I had available, I can't make a decision, but I sort of just talked about what pieces of information I need to make a fair, non-judgemental decision. <br />
          <br />
          Thanks for your feeback :)
Great post Chinaski...
I watched some videos on YouTube about this topic and the questions can be quite tricky. They require that you actually know what you are talking about, for example you have to know about doctor-patient confidentiality and that if a 3rd person is at risk it is the doctors responsibility to protect the 3rd person, patient's right to commit suicide, etc... so how can I familiarize myself with things like these so I can answer questions logically in the interview? A med professor at USYD said the best way is to read about medicine and discuss what you read with friends and family, he said this could help with the interview but other than that he said you are not meant to prepare for the interview/umat but I think preparation is very important so any tips are appreciated! *section removed* <br />
<br />
<br />
<span style="font-style:italic;">I've already sent you a PM: We don't allow discussion of paid tutors or prep courses on our site.<br />
<br />
~Hav.</span>
    [MENTION=17527]Synchronised[/MENTION] Read your personal messages please. If you need to reply, post on my wall on my profile page.
H