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Monday, October 26, 2009

Medical School Interviews – The Suit and Shoes

All interviews start with a first impression. This means you need to be well dressed and well groomed. Once you are a physician, your patients will want you to look put together. And so do the interviewers. It may seem cliché and shallow, but you need to look good.

The suit is the staple of anyone heading out on the medical school interview trail. Despite popular opinion, it does not have to be black and boring! Yes, doctors tend to be on the more conservative side of the style spectrum, but you do not need to give up all style for interviews.

Shoes are probably the most important part of the interview outfit. These shoes need to be incredibly comfortable, work in various climates, and look classy. At some schools, the majority of your interview time will be spent walking. An old business interview secret is that shoes are the window to a potential hire’s work ethic. Shined, well-kept shoes show a person is detail-oriented and dedicated to an overall polished look. Feel free to scoff, but shoes matter.

Need help with your interview style? E-mail to put a Harvard/Stanford MD and medical school admissions expert to work for you!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Medical School Interviews – Scheduling

Though you still may be swamped with secondary applications, it is time to begin thinking about interview season. It is actually more than a season as interviews generally span from September to February. Rolling admissions schools tend to interview earlier than others (and let you know of acceptance earlier as well). Don’t be surprised if your first interview is scheduled as early as September.

Be sure to plan sufficient time off for interview travel. Does time of interview really affect chance of acceptance? In rolling admissions schools, yes! Rolling admissions schools often offer acceptances only weeks after an interview session. The later in the season you interview, the less acceptances there are to offer. Interview timing is less critical for regular admissions schools. You will see pages and pages on medical school admissions blogs discussing the best strategic time to interview. Here’s the bottom line: interview when you will be well-rested and well-prepared.

Want a leg up on your competition? A MDadmit mock interview can give you that advantage. E-mail to put a Harvard/Stanford MD and medical school admissions expert to work for you!

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Medical School Secondary Applications: “Other” Information

1. Please share with us something about yourself that is not addressed elsewhere in your application and which may help the Admissions Committee as we review your file.

2. Is there any other information that you would like to share with the admissions committee?

3. While we no longer require an essay, some applicants feel that additional information is necessary in order to provide us with a comprehensive understanding of their strengths as a candidate for a career in medicine. If you wish to use the space below to offer an essay or any other information, up to a total of 3000 characters (approximately 500 words), addressing any issue you feel is of importance, feel free to do so. If you choose to use the space, please do not duplicate information provided elsewhere in this supplemental application or in material you have submitted to AMCAS. Use this optional section only if you believe that the additional information will help us to learn something about you as a person, to get a sense of who you are and what you are about, beyond the basic facts of your academic work and your life history as it is otherwise available to us.

Please be assured that we offer this opportunity only for those applicants who wish to provide additional information and that it is entirely optional. For most applicants, no supplementary essay will be necessary and this space can be left blank.

The “other” information question often causes great stress amongst candidates. Given that it is usually an optional essay, the big issue is whether or not to answer it. The only reason to answer the questions is if you have personal information that is not provided on the AMCAS that will affect your application. Here are a few examples of appropriate topics for this essay:

1. Extenuating circumstances led to a dip in your grades sophomore year and you want to explain
2. Your band cut its first record after the AMCAS submission
3. You have a paper accepted for publication that occurred after AMCAS submission
4. You just received an offer to travel to Africa with a public health project

Do NOT fill the space just to fill the space. Only answer the question if you really have something important to say that will positively affect your application.

Looking for help on how to answer secondary essay questions? E-mail to put a Harvard/Stanford MD and medical school admissions expert to work for you!

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Medical School Secondary Applications: Long-Term Goals

Another favorite secondary question revolves around long-term goals (ie. what you want to be when you grow up).

  1. Are there any areas of medicine that are of particular interest to you? If so, please comment.

  1. In a brief paragraph, please describe how you would want to be remembered at the end of your life.

  1. What do you see as the most likely practice scenario for your future medical career?

a. Choose the single answer that best describes your career goals.

1. Private Practice: Individual patient care in a private solo or group setting. May include opportunities to do voluntary teaching or clinical research.

2. Health Policy: Work for organizations that develop plans for health care services to populations.

3. Academic Medicine: University-based practice combining research, teaching and patient care.

4. Public Health: Implementing programs in health promotion and disease prevention for communities, not individuals.

5. Health Care Administration: Manager of health care facility or system.

b. Why do you feel you are particularly suited for this practice scenario? What knowledge, skills and attitudes have you developed that have prepared you for this career path? Please limit your answer to 1,000 characters including spaces.

Though you are certainly not expected to have picked out your specialty and fellowship before even entering medical school, admissions committees like know where you are leaning. Do you see yourself working as a general surgeon at a large academic center? Or perhaps you’d like to run a small, rural family medicine clinic? Or maybe you want to be a Navy flight doctor. The sky is the limit. But be sure to be honest and ready to back up your dream job.

Exhausted? Overwhelmed with secondaries? E-mail to put a Harvard/Stanford MD and medical school admissions insider to work for you!

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