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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Medical School Admissions (2013-2014 Cycle): Interview preparation for inevitable Obamacare questions

Fall is in the air and the medical school interview season is upon us! 

With all of the shenanigans happening in Washington, DC these days, the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is on the forefront of many minds - including your interviewers! This means you are very likely to be asked at least one question about Obamacare. In fact, the majority of my clients tell me they have been asked about Obamacare in their recent interviews.

So this leads to the query I am receiving almost daily from premeds around the country: "How do I prepare for an Obamacare question?

Luckily, I won't suggest you read the many thousands of pages of the Affordable Care Act. Most politicians who voted on the bill haven't read the entire thing. But I do suggest getting as familiar as you can with the basics of the bill - both positive and negative. This will take some research and reading on your part. 

1. Starting with newspaper media coverage. Go to your favorite major newspaper (New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, etc.) and type 'Obamacare' or 'Affordable Care Act' into the search term. You will see dozens of relevant articles pop up. Look for summarizing articles that explain the bill in layman's terms and opinion pieces that give one point of view. Start a paper or virtual file of the articles and organize them so you can review them later if needed for future interview preparation.
2. Search sources such as The Economist, The New York Times Magazine, and The New Yorker for longer, often more detailed articles on the Affordable Care Act. Soak up the details and pay attention to the pro and con arguments given.
3. Spend thirty minutes a day with your favorite news source - be it network TV news, CNN, Huffington Post, or even Twitter. Pay attention to any comments on Obamacare and think about whether or not you agree with the opinions presented.

After doing your research, it’s time to form your own opinion. Brainstorm what you think are the three biggest positives and three biggest negatives of Obamacare. Determine what you would do to improve the bill if you had the power. Think about what a health care reform bill would look like if you were president.

After this process, you will be ready for the vast majority of questions interviewers with ask during a medical school interview. The key is to be knowledgeable on the subject, see both sides, and be able to state your opinion clearly.

Congrats if you have already received interviews and good luck if you are still waiting.

--Dr. Miller

Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO, MDadmit Medical Admissions

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA


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