How many people interviewed you?
|Response Average||# Responders|
|Response Avg||# Responders|
|Response Avg||# Responders|
|Response Avg||# Responders|
|At the school||225|
|At a regional location||2|
|At another location||1|
|In a group||0|
|Response Average||# Responders|
"Most of the questions were really specific to me and my trajectory, so I don't think they really apply to others. However, they did NOT ask me "why medicine" or "why Columbia.""
"How do you like the city?"
"Tell me about your research experience? (I talked about it in my app)."
"Tell me about X experience."
"Why do you want to be a physician?"
"What brings you to Columbia"
"Why medicine instead of art? (I submitted my portfolio as a part of the supplemental)"
"Tell me about your extracurricular"
"How has X experience influenced your career goals?"
"So I see you presented at the SPER conference in 2007, tell me about your research."
"Do you think you could make it among all of these science majors since you majored in the arts?"
"What do you know about Columbia?"
"Tell me about why you went to your school."
"Why did you choose to apply to Columbia P&S?"
"How long have you been interested in medicine?"
"Tell me about your research"
"Interview was conversational and questions focused on activities in my file"
"It was very conversational. Questions weren't probing, they were just continuations of our conversation. The interview covered talking about my research (not down to specifics, more of what I liked about it and learned from it), what I like to do for fun outside of school."
"How have you liked your experience at a state school?"
"Tell me about your undergraduate institution."
"tell me about what you are doing during your year off."
"What influenced you to be a doctor?"
"Why do you want to be a doctor?"
"just asked me to expand upon my resume"
"What brings you to Columbia?"
"What brought you to medicine?"
"Tell me about X activity. "
"Tell me about your activities in college?"
"why do you want to go into medicine"
"describe your research"
"what do you do for fun?"
"Where do you see yourself in ten years?"
"tell me about yourself"
"I wasn't asked questions. entirely conversational. he talked most of the time."
"Tell me about your undergrad institution."
"Where do you see yourself in 10 years?"
"What are you doing now? (now = this year, now that i'm not taking science classes)"
"smt about my application"
"at what juncture in your life did you decide to become a doctor and why?"
"Tell me about this experience.."
"So, you're a rugby player?"
"Question about my job."
"In your volunteer experience, what were you inspired by? (She asked for at least 5 different things)"
"Are you interested in pursuing geriatric medicine?"
"Do you like opera?"
"About my family"
"What were three of your favorite undergraduate courses?"
"it really is all related to your personal life and very conversational so don't worry, you'll have the answers to all the questions"
"Where do you see yourself in the future? "
"Why do I want to be a Dr.? "
"What was your first encounter/impression with medicine?"
"Describe your family"
"Tell me what you did while studying abroad?"
"your parents are doctors?"
"Favorite three undergrad courses."
"favorite undergrad class, followed by favorite nonscience class. also most important EC activity"
"What was the spark that prompted your interest in medicine?"
"What can Columbia do that would make you want to come here? "
"tell me about your father"
"Describe my MA program at Columbia"
"Tell me about your present job."
"Explain what ______ class is about? (a nonscience class I took)"
"do you liek sports?"
"Where did you grow up?"
"Tell me about your research? What did you discover?"
"What did you do at ______, _______, ______? (my undergrad, plus the 2 other schools where i took classes)"
"tell me about your extracuricular interests in the arts"
"questions about research i had done"
"What do you do in your free time?"
"What was your favorite country [during your travels]?"
"How did you learn so much about computers?"
"Tell me about this class you took..."
"Tell me about your Crohn's Disease. How long did it take for you to be diagnosed? What medicine did you/do you have to take?"
"What was it like growing up in...?"
"Tell me about your family and your background."
"So how did you end up in Rochester (for undergrad) being from Miami?"
"Tell me more about your thesis research...what have you been finding?"
"Did your decision to become a doctor evolve slowly or over the course of a single experience?"
"Why medicine after your graduate degree?"
"What do your parents do?"
"Who is your favorite impressionist painter?"
"What did you find in your research?"
"No questions, just conversation."
"Tell me about your research."
"You have taken a non-traditional path to medicine. Explain to me what motivated you along the way."
"Why did I go to my high school?"
"Tell me about your family? Where did your parents go to school what do they do?"
"what do you do for fun"
"How did you choose your undergraduate institution?"
"Relationship with family."
"What would you do if you graduated without a dual degree and just with an MD? (I want to go MD/MPP or MD/JD)"
"tell me more about your psych research"
"Why Columbia, so far away from California?"
"why did you major in economics? how do you plan to use that in the future?"
"How I could so strongly claim that health care extended beyond treating disease without having treated any patients? "
"Why medicine and when/how did the decision become solidified?"
"How did you get here? (To which I said I took the train) - You are a New Yorker, so are you familiar with the neighborhood?"
"Clarify this part of your application"
"where is home for you? (i think trying to figure out if i want to be in ny)"
"How do you pronounce your name?"
"Do you think that genetic studies of schizophrenia will allow us to understand the pathways that are involved in the disease?"
"Tell me about yourself."
"Where did you go to undergrad and what did you like and dislike about it?"
"What do you see as your strong points?"
"One or two questions about my file."
"question related to my work experience "
"What is the utility of your research?"
"Why do you want to come to P&S?"
"Tell me about your family?"
"How long have you been interested in medicine? So, you have volunteer experience..."
"What do you plan on doing in ten years?"
"What is the future of (your undergraduate institution)?"
"So, tell me about .... (various items from my application)"
"Refer to first comment at top"
"Explain your research to me."
"How'd you like school?"
"tell me X (y, and then Z) in your application"
"What are the greatest problems with the health care system today, and how would you fix them?"
"Where do you see yourself in 3 years? 10?"
"Tell me about your missionary experiences in Panama."
"What do you think of the New York Times?"
"Tell me about yourself?"
"Tell me about your family."
"Why I chose my undergraduate college, my major, and a career in medicine."
"none of the "tell me about yourself" stuff (yay!) The interviewer asked me a little about my research experience."
"So you were born in Utah?"
"Where do you see yourself in 15 years?"
"What do you do for fun? Tell me about your research projects. Do you see yourself as a clinician or researcher?"
"Tell me more about your thesis."
"Do you like science?"
"How did you like your undergraduate school?"
"Why are you taking a year off?"
"Why biochemistry? Why not bio.? Why not chemistry?"
"What field of medicine are you interested in?"
"Did you enjoy taking humanitites classes along with a science major."
"How do you like <my undergrad institution>?"
"See above. I've managed to block the rest of the interview."
"Where do you see your career going?"
"What questions do you have for me?"
"Why Columbia / New York? (I'm OOS)"
"Tell me about this class you took."
"Where are you from?"
"Your father was an MD?"
"What would you do if you were not accepted?"
"Tell me about your current research/job"
"Is there a specific area you see yourself pursuing?"
"What do you do for fun? If you got a chance to play something on the Rachmaninoff piano, what would you play?"
"What is a book you recommend I read?"
"Tell me about x course you took."
"Have you heard the quote.... (multiple times)"
"Why did you go to X University for undergrad?"
"Why is Columbia a good fit for you?"
"The interviewer spent a lot of time discussing the new curriculum with me, it was very helpful. "
"Tell me about Y activity."
"Tell me about your study abroad experience."
"Tell me about your family/background."
"Why did you take a year off? Are you enjoying it?"
"What makes you think that New York is a city for you?"
"You've done some research, tell me about that."
"Tell me about [a class I took]. What was it like?"
"Tell me about _________ activity."
"Tell me about your research."
"What are you doing right now?"
"Why do you want to do urban underserved medicine?"
"Could you discuss X project you worked on?"
"What type of books do you read for fun?"
"Is your family out in California? (we were talking about my undergrad in CA)"
"what do your siblings do "
"talk to me about your time at employer X?"
"what do you do for fun"
"Why did you choose your undergrad?"
"So, what do you want to do in medicine?"
"tell me about your family"
"what do you like to do with your free time?"
"What do you do when you aren't studying/volunteering?"
"Have you spent time in NYC?"
"Tell me about your experience abroad this summer."
"Question about my thesis."
"Why did you choose to go to the University of XXXXX?"
"What books have you read lately ?(after having told him that I read a lot)"
"Where else have you traveled?"
"What brought you to medicine?"
"About my music"
"Why XYZ major?"
"What do you like about yourself? What do you want to work on?"
"Why did you decide to quit advertising and become a doctor?"
"Why would you want to study medicine at Columbia over your undergrad school? Also, why I want to study in the US (I am a Canadian applicant)?"
"Talk about my experience abroad"
"Was Princeton an adjustment for you?"
"Why did you take ballet (insert random class you took in undergrad.)?"
"Which field of medicine interests you?"
"just chatting about me."
"discussion about dual degree interests--of course know them if you have any"
"Why else (a continuation of the above ... my first answer wasn't enough)?"
"What were a few of your favorite undergraduate courses?"
"What was your most significant experience?"
"What kind of poetry do you like to write?"
"what kind of specialty are you interested in...if youve thought about that?"
"My three favorite courses"
"Whats a pressing issue in healthcare?"
"why do you want to be a doctor, the REAL reason?"
"questions specific to my application"
"Where did your father work?"
"Where have you shadowed? What really interested you?"
"Where do you see yourself 15 years from now as an MD?"
"what speciality training are you interested in pursuing?"
"When/how did you become interested in medicine?"
"Tell me about post modern Italian Literature."
"If you could tell a pre-medical student why your research experience was so important, what would you say?"
"What are some of the major problems facing healthcare today?"
"Who's your favorite composer? What's your favorite time period of music to sing?"
"What was the moment at which you realized both intellectually and emotionally that you wanted to pursue this path (i'm an older student). "
"Tell me about your current job. What would you be doing if you didn't get that job?"
"So, rugby...I actually confirmed through your school that you play....I see you are quite good, you know that is a great thing here, correct?"
"What is your hometown like?"
"would you really want to move to nyc (i'm from the west coast)"
"What do you do for fun?"
"How did you get where you are now? (I have gone to school in really different places)"
"What are these Classics 390 courses on your transcript?"
"Is your interest in medicine mainly intellectual or emotional?"
"What is your favorite gallery in DC?"
"What was your favorite class?"
"Tell me about your family."
"Why a doctor?"
"What are you career goals?"
"You made a very interesting observation in you personal statement, can you please elaborate?"
"What did I learn from some random class I took two years ago, and not medically related. I had forgotten about that class."
"What was your favorite class (x3)?"
"tell me about your high school"
"Basically asked me to explain how I made my moves across the country & between jobs before deciding on med school."
"Questions about my senior thesis."
"What type of things would you do in the city if you came here?"
"how'd you like your undergrad?"
"If you came here, would you be willing to do some research?"
"How will my strong views on the need for equal access to healthcare hold up when confronted with the 'simple realities' of medicine? As a follow up to the previous question - 'you don't seem like you can compromise on these issues, how will this effect your interaction with other medical professionals?'"
"If you could pick 2 or 3 courses that have been your favorite, which ones were they and why?"
"What are your hobbies, what do you do in your spare time? What do you do for exercise?"
"you took courses after college? (way to read my file)"
"Where exactly is your hometown?"
"It's possible to do research without a PhD, so why do you want to spend the insanely long time required to get an MD/PhD?"
"Did you take an MCAT prep course?"
"Where do you see yourself as a physician in 20-25 years?"
"random stuff about my app"
"Tell me about this activity (on the app)."
"Explain trends in transcript?"
"The rest was just talk."
"why do you want to come to Columbia? "
"How do you plan to make an impact on medicine?"
"Tell me about yourself."
"What prepared you for medicine?"
"What do you do for fun? Tell me about yourself?"
"What is your favorite most recent foreign film? (this wasnt out of the blue, we were talking about this subject)"
"Where do you see yourself in the future?"
"How did you get into medicine at all (what was the beginning of it all) (Frantz)"
"What're you doing in your year off?"
"no ethical hard ?'s I remember - just a convo"
"Tell me about yourself. Why medicine? "
"What was your favorite class in undergrad?"
"Why did you choose to attend a small religious college in Hawaii for you undergraduate work?"
"What's your family like?"
"What did you think of your school?"
"Can you explain your research?"
"What do you do for fun? -We spent most of the 30 minutes talking about this."
"Explain your research in simple terminology."
"What books have you read lately? (He was BIG on this one, wouldn't move away from it till I'd given him 3 or 4). What else have you read? What else have you read?"
"Did you enjoy Stanford?"
"What do you want to know about Columbia?"
"Why do you want to be a doctor? Why Columbia? Where else did you apply?"
"Why are you doing ___ during your year off?"
"Do you really want to be a doctor?"
"Why do you want to be a doctor?"
"Why _____ major?"
"What other schools were you interviewed at?"
"What would you like to get involved in at Columbia?"
"What can I tell you about Columbia"
"What was your favorite biology course? (I'm a bio major.)"
"What's your parents' practice setting like? (My parents are doctors)"
"Interview only lasted ten minutes then he talked about himself for an hour"
"Have you thought about what field of medicine you might like to end up in?"
"You've been out of school for a while. Do you think you are ready to take on a full course load?"
"What courses are you taking this semester?"
"What did you learn working as a research assistant in the emergency room?"
"What books have you read recently?"
"Do you think you would enjoy living in NYC?"
"What experience defined you at your undergrad institution?"
"What specialty do you see yourself in."
"Are you planning on staying in NY after graduation?"
"only two real questions asked"
"What are your thoughts on the new curriculum?"
"Where do you see yourself in 25 years?"
"Why are you interested in medicine?"
"What was your favorite class as an undergraduate?"
"Tell me about your early life."
"It was really conversational... I don't remember very many questions..."
"What were your responsibilities at (extracurricular)?"
"What do you look for in a Medical school?"
"When did you know you wanted to become a doctor?"
"Why should we accept you?"
"When in your life did you seriously decide on a medical career?"
"What was your biggest failure?"
"How did you end up working at the CDC?"
"Tell me about your research"
"What sports have you played?"
"how did you get started with your research"
"i really think he only asked me those two questions in 40 minutes"
"What extracurricular activity are you most proud of?"
"what about x, y. z activities"
"Why do you want to be a doctor?"
"What did you enjoy about studying philosophy?"
"Do you still [practice/play] music?"
"you in ten years"
"what do you want out of a medical school/why Columbia"
"Tell me about your family and how they influenced your life"
"What do you your parents do?"
"Can't think of any other questions."
"Do you have any family members who are physicians?"
"What do you know about Columbia?"
"Why Columbia? Reasons for becoming a doctor, etc. (These were all asked in the context of a very conversational interview)"
"Questions about experiences."
"What was your favorite class in college?"
"Tell me about your research?"
"What inspired me to study medicine (asked in the context of some specific things I had said in my appplication)?"
"Just relaxed conversation"
"What were your three most influential or enjoyable courses?"
"What was your distinction project? "
"What activities do you do for fun?"
"Tell me about your high school and undergrad experience."
"talked about shadowing in detail"
"Tell me about your research."
"Why didn't you get a recommendation from so-and-so?"
"how did you know you wanted to become a doctor instead of a researcher (ive had a fair amount of research experience)?"
"My favorite athletic interests"
"Where do you see yourself ten years from now?"
"who will win the super bowl? who are you going for?"
"questions specific to my application"
"How old are your sisters?"
"Is it ethical to give placebos? (a topic I brought up! don't worry, Columbia doesn't adhere to the "test" interviewing strategy)"
"why did you choose your undergrad school?"
"Tell me about your family."
"Have you been to NYC before? Do you like it?"
"How would you rate your musical skills?"
"What are you looking for in a medical school?"
"Tell me about X, Y, Z experience."
"Tell me about your volunteer work at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital."
"Tell me about [your college extracurriculars]. "
"What fields of medicine interest you right now?"
"Do you have any questions to ask me?"
"Why medicine? Why [my major]?"
"why did you take time off from school"
"Where do you see yourself in 15 years?"
"Tell me about your family (I have a spouse and child)"
"Interestingly, my interviewer made a crack at the end of the interview about how he hates it when students come in and all they can/want to talk about is bio and research. He was looking for other interests to show a well-rounded student."
"How do you hope to work with underserved communities in your medical career? (I had stated this in my application)"
"Tell me about the last three years."
"What was your least favorite class?"
"Your application states that you played rugby--what position did you play?"
"Do you think you can handle it (curriculum and such)?"
"Tell me about <so-and-so> activity. "
"Coming from a public city university, how do you think you will feel attending a medical school that admits the top 5% of students from the top 5% of universities in the country?"
"Tell me more about an activity in your application."
"why did you go to california for undergrad"
"Asked about my research work (see above)."
"What was your favorite course?"
"Did you receive an interview from Cornell?"
"What do you do in your spare time?"
"What role I thought gender biases played in medical education (from my - a woman's perspective). He seemed exasperated by the end of the interview. I sincerely wished him good luck before I left. He needed it."
"Do you have any brothers or sisters? (yes) What are they like?"
"Why did you choose your undergrad university?"
"most questions were directly related to my file, which was fine. he did a good job, i think, fleshing out the details from it."
"Why do you think this Columbia is good?"
"What interests you about Columbia?"
"Are you prepared for life in NYC?"
"What specialty do you want to go into?"
"How my family feels about me entering medicine?"
"where else are you applying? "
"Why are you going into medicine?"
"Where do you see yourself in 10/15 years?"
"What kind of doctor will you be in 15 years?"
"What do you think the biggest problem is in healthcare today? (I am a socialized medieicne proponet so we discussed that for most of the interview)"
"What is your favorite of your extracurricular activities?"
"What is it like living in an extended family? "
"Do you have any questions for me?"
"What are your interests besides academics?"
"What do you do for fun?"
"what was your most significant extra-curricular?"
"He asked me about French Literature."
"How did you get your present job?"
"Tell me about your family"
"What do you like about Columbia?"
"Where do you see yourself in 20 years, not only in terms of a career."
"What kind of a doctor is your dad?"
"What have you done for the past year?"
"Have you done any traveling?"
"How did your parents feel about your decision to pursue medicine?"
"Talk about your extracuricular activities."
"What do your parents think of your career choice?"
"Do you like what you see so far?"
"do you speak spanish and do you think it is important in the medical field"
"He asked about my parents' occupations."
"All of the questions were very specific to me, which I really appreciated on the part of the interviewer, who seemed to have really thoroughly gotten to know my file."
"Has to do with a very specific thing I wrote in my application"
"What sort of relationship, long-term or short-term, would you like with your patients?"
"Why do schools like high MCATs? (He proceeded to tell me that it was so they could brag to other schools)."
"Wasn't so much a question as a discussion about Frankenstein and Victorian literature! I'd been taking a class on medicine and mystery in 19th century lit, and the interviewer had also read a lot of it."
"What do you think of the health care bill? Will it be successful?"
"What is a book you recommend I read?"
"Do you know Naomi Campbell?"
"Did you play rugby in college?"
"Why did you choose to apply to Columbia P&S?"
"The interview was entirely conversational. My interviewer was extremely interesting and our interests coincided so it was quite stress free."
"My interviewer and I had a similar pre-medical background. Many of his questions stemmed from that."
"Where do you see yourself in 25 years?"
"The whole process was very conversational. The most interesting part was discussing my time abroad."
"Define the term_________. (Picked it from my research explanation)."
"Tell me about your interest in surfing and SCUBA diving?"
"What needs to change in healthcare in the next ten years?"
"What was it like working with 12-year-olds? (at a summer camp)"
"It wasn't a question exactly, but the interviewer surprised me with a comment on an aspect of my background/application."
"Do your parents ever feel that your pursuit of a medical career will interfere with retaining your culture?"
"Why did you travel to a certain country?"
"A lot of questions about my undergraduate experience: why I like my school, what my friends are like, etc."
"Tell me about your family"
"Name some of the philosophers you enjoyed studying the most, and tell me why you enjoyed studying them."
"No interesting quetions...just the questions you'd expect about your interest in medicine, your activities and experiences in college and life in general"
"what sort of music do you like?"
"if you were going to write a review of your research, what would you title it?"
"What did you think of your bible-belt education in Texas?"
"Why don't you think that cell cultures dervied from nerual stem cells are appropriate models for neuronal signalling?"
"None really too provocative, just conversational stuff from my application."
"Basically every interviewer asked the same questions: Why MD/PhD, Tell me about your research, How do you think you will like New York."
"technical question about my religion (wrote about it in amcas)"
"i think i was asked one question the whole time: what do you like to do for fun?"
"Nothing too interesting, just basic stuff."
"What was it like following your mother's automobile accident? (Personal challenge that came up in conversation)"
"Where did Sudoku originate? (or something like that)"
"Why are kids fatter now?"
"Do you think you've taken enough non-science courses?"
"none were really interesting per se"
"What are you going to be doing in ten years?"
"What kind of camera do you use? (I have done photography in the past)"
"What's the difference between a curveball and a slider?"
"So, your family's a long-time (home state) family...do you think you'll be able to do all of the things you enjoyed in college in NYC?"
"Question about my volunteer work."
"I was hardly asked any questions. My interviewer spoke for most of the time. I suppose, "are you interested in pursuing geriatric medicine""
"they weren't, really."
"Where do you see yourself in 15 years?"
"How do you feel about using dying babies as organ donors?"
"Did you really enjoy James Joyce's Ulysses? Why/How?"
"questions about my time spent abroad"
"Where do you see yourself in the future?"
"What my dad's influence was in my decision to be a Dr. (I mentioned him in my essay)"
"Why did you stay in Texas for three years? (answer: because my master's program took two, and I stuck around to date my eventual wife...the last part got a laugh, becuase he didn't see it coming)"
"none really. I only had about 3 questions. It was more like a conversation. The questions I had weren't even, why do you want to be a doctor or why columbia? It was more about my family and why I chose my undergraduate college."
"Nothing interesting... just asked questions about my application"
"none. was asked about specific items in my app."
"What were your three favorite undergraduate courses?"
"talk about my experience at my undergrad school--be prepared if you went somewhere mediocre"
"Have you read any books about physicians who serve as role models to you? (It wasn't phrased so awkwardly in the interview, but I can't remember how he asked it.)"
"What are your thoughts about Calculus?"
"How do you think your mom would handle you being in New York City? (I'm from CA)"
"What can Columbia do that would make you want to come here? (I was not expecting that one)"
"What would you recomend to tohers about your research"
"tell me about your father (i had mentioned his influence in my personal statement)"
"My three favorite undegraduate classes."
"No questions were asked; it was really just a friendly conversation ranging in topic from rubgy to our families to European history to beer-tasting."
"What's the most pressing issue in healthcare?"
"Explain what _______ is? (about a class I had took outside of science)"
"do you like sports?"
"Almost all of the questions I was asked were specific to my application."
"The standard question with a twist: Him: What would you do if you don't get into medicine? Me: I'll keep trying until the day God comes down and tells me to stop. Him: Then what? Me: (slight pause) Him: Find a new god."
"Tell me about your research?"
"Have you read Camus "The Pest?" (I had, in French.)"
"How come you don't have an accent (I grew up in Africa and studied part of college in the UK)?"
"Are you going to like living in New York? "
"Tell me about post modern Italian Literature. (I took a class in it)"
"Define capitalism. Define globalism."
"Do you play any instruments?"
"How did you learn so much about computers?"
"None. Standard stuff."
"Just about some classes I took --"
"Given your different medical experiences, are you more interested in surgery or medicine - why?"
"Can't remember. Everything was very conversational. He wanted to know about my family. He had read my file very carefully which I appreciated so just discussed various interests. Or I explained my previous job in finance."
"Since you come from a bicultural family, how do you think the different medical views of these cultures have influence you?"
"they were all questions pertaining to my work and graduate experience. "
"What were your findings regarding teen pregnancy? (I worked in the South Bronx doing research there). "
"none, nothing off the wall."
"Im not going to lie here, the interview was only 15 minutes. I was a member of the BALSO invites and we were given breakfast in the morning and had our own interviewer (The Dean of Minority Affaris). She was laid back and wonderful, told me after seeing I played rugby and had high marks that I was "almost guarunteed admission.""
"Nothing toooo out of the blue"
"What do you fun?"
"how do you think people make decisions about presidential candidates?"
" If I were to go to Costa Rica, what would you recommend I do? ( I had studied abroad there) "
"the guy pretty much did all the talking"
"Nothing out of the ordinary, but a nice conversation."
"My transcript looks a little funny because of some seminar courses I've taken in the Classics department, so he asked me a lot about what I learned in those classes"
"Do you have any doctors in your family?"
"What is your favorite gallery in DC?"
"why your major? (i was a religion major)"
"Pretty standard stuff. Whole interview was more conversational."
"Where do you see yourself in 10 years?"
"No questions... we had a 45 minute conversation."
"Only had 3 questions. The first was (paraphrase) what is the biggest challenge/problem in healthcare?"
"So, what do you want to talk about?"
"About my specific clinical experiences-"
"Tell me about X (in my essay)."
"Tell me about your family?"
"The interviewer was really interested in my research work, which includes clinical trials in hypnosis. He had some past experiences with it and talked for a while about that."
"No specific questions were asked, oddly enough. The doctor interviewing me just asked where I was from, a few things about my background, etc. It was more or less a very pleasant conversation."
"A very blunt question about something very specific (and negative) about my application--I was actually happy it was asked, so I could explain myself."
""Where have you been accepted to medical school?""
"What do you desire in a medical school environment?"
"How do you plan to adjust to the community her around Columbia (which is known not to be the greatest)? "
"why did you major in economics? how do you plan to use that in the future?"
"The students at this school usually come from very well known schools; how will you compete with their previous education?"
"What made you decide that medicine is a better vocation than music which is more of an avocation?"
"Why did you choose your undergraduate school?"
"Nothing really interesting"
"about the origin of the research institute i currently do research at"
"What do you think of the medicare bill in congress?"
"Do you think you could live in NY?"
"What kind of music do you like/play? (I'm a musician; I was very pleased that my interviewer and others had an interest in what interests me) "
"i did a minor in architectural art history. he pointed out some buildings in pictures around his office and asked me to identify the style, era, architect, and all that good stuff."
"First off, the physician who interviewed me likes to do closed file interviews. This was my first interview and I thought it was great. Very laid back. The most interesting question she asked me was also the most difficult. See Below "
"What is the most pressing question in science today? "
"no interesting questions"
"Not really interesting...but how do your parents feel about you wanting to become a doctor?"
"No interesting questions."
"The interviewer started talking about his secretary and patients ad nauseum. Given that the interview only lasted 25 minutes and he spent most of the time talking about himself, it was a big fat waste."
"Nothing was really interesting"
"How was it growing up in _____?"
"Where do you see yourself in 10/15 years? (Not what kind of doctor, but what do you see yourself doing...)"
"How would I go about bringing in preventive medical practices to the country (I write about how I want to go into preventive medicine in my application)."
"If you were Arnold Schwarzenegger what would your platform on health insurance reform be?"
"Interviewer was very interested in my non-academic activities"
"Why did you take the time to apply to Columbia?"
"What are the most important factors that will allow you to choose one school over the other?"
"So ... you play the piano? (I did NOT mention the piano at all in my application)"
"I was only asked one question: "What would you contribute to Columbia and how does that make you different from everyone else I will interview today?", but we talked a lot about my response."
"So what's new in the computational front? (regarding my research). Frantz had some good questions too"
"non really - the usual fare"
"How did you like [the school you went to]? What are your thoughts on its curriculum?"
"nothing really interesting - just about the stuff in my application"
"What is the greatest problem with health care today? Really, most of the questions were not that interesting."
"what would you do next in your research project if you had a grant and a full time tech?"
"He asked me what I knew about French Literature."
"What do you think of the situation at Agusta National Golf Club?"
"Pretty normal interview questions."
"What is your family life like?"
"None really "
"What do you do for fun?"
"What do you think of the pharmaceutical companies that make such large profits off of their drugs?"
"No remarkable or thought provoking questions."
"Do I feel that I would be competitive with the other students that have come from ivy-league schools?"
"What was your favorite undergraduate class?"
"Tell me about your name."
"What was your thesis on?"
"Nothing too interesting"
"What would you tell other pre-meds about research? Would you recommend it?"
"Questions relating to quantum mechanics."
"How do you see your future?"
"Nothing too interesting. The interviewer didn't ask the really cliched questions (e.g. "Tell me about yourself"), but his questions were pretty straightforward."
"We talked about almost everything in my application....he asked very, very specific questions about my research (I was a graduate student so I had lots of research experience) he was also knew my research very well (luck of the draw) but didn't let me know this until later-"
"How have your parents influenced your academic goals? "
"We talked about quantum mechanics."
"Its been a long time. I remember the interview was very laid back. The doctor who interviewed me was extremely impressive (taught at Harvard Medical School and currently does joint teaching with Oxford), but also very nice and considerate. He mainly asked questions about my experiences noted on the application. It was my first interview anywhere and ultimately my best because he focused on my life and my motivations for medicine, and did not try to stump or put me on the spot."
"my interviewer was a very interesting woman. we immediately started talking about the things we had in common (she had read my file and started the conversation down this direction.) we had a very involved conversation about my essay, which touched on a difficult medical situation in my family. we also talked about my research. we talked about books and sports. the conversation felt more like a chat with an adult family friend. i felt completely at ease. granted, she was a psychologist, so that might have been the point. either way i wound up getting in and am absolutely going there this fall. "
"My interviwer was Canadian so we got into a conversation about the Canadian health care system (which I am only slightly familiar with!)."
"What does the ring in Lord of the Rings do? (I was reading the book at the time.)"
"What will you do if your [research] hypothesis turns out to be wrong? Have you thought about living in New York?"
"What do you think will be the most difficult part of medicine?"
"Are you and your wife planning on having children? Do you think New York is a good environment to raise kids in? (Honestly hadn't put too much thought into it before that)."
"Not a difficult question, but there was an extended discussion about an obscure course I took way back in my sophomore year."
"What would you do if you were not accepted, because it made me want to curl up and die as I immediately blurted out "RE-APPLY" at which the interviewer laughed and said "obviously." DEATH."
"What would it take to see a Universal Health Insurance system through?"
"What is a book you recommend I read?"
"The quotes. Dean Frantz was hitting me with things from a half dozen languages. Fortunately, my studies in medical history and scientific history helped me field the follow up discussions."
"Why did you choose to apply to Columbia P&S?"
"There were no really difficult questions. The interview was very conversational."
"What do you do for fun? (??) Nothing was difficult"
"Why am I choosing to go into medicine?"
"See interesting question. But overall, no extremely difficult question."
"No real difficult questions. It was more of an hour long conversation than an interview. At the end of our alotted time he had to cram in a few of the mandatory type questions. It was very enjoyable and personal."
"What needs to change in healthcare in the next ten years?"
"Why should we accept you?"
"None. It was the most awesome interview, very laid back and welcoming."
"Tell me about yourself in five minutes..."
"(None. All were straightforward.)"
"Part of my job is to relay anything additional you would like the admissions committee to know that isn't supplied in your application already - is there anything you would like to add?"
"The same. He was stem-cell guy, and I had foot in mouth disease. Though I still think I was right."
"No real difficult questions, except one question about my musical background threw me off a little because I didn't mention it in my application."
"Greatest problem in medicine"
"Nothing remarkably difficult."
"So, what do you want to do in medicine? (Caught me off-guard because we were having such a nice conversation about non-medical things)"
"What do you think of opinions?"
"Has religion played an important role in your life?"
"None, very laid back, nice interview"
"Have you seen the movie Superman?"
"It was a very conversational interview. I don't remember a difficult question coming up."
"What are your mother's cultural beliefs? (directly related to my undergrad work)"
"My specific inspirations to become a doctor, and I mean specific..."
"Why don't you like opera?"
"No difficult ones. Pretty straightforward and expected."
"Why did you choose your undergraduate school? (not too difficult, but the interviewer asked for several reasons)"
"How do you see medicine changing over the next 10 years?"
"You did well in August... can I ask what happened with your April MCAT? "
"no difficult questions really, very laid back interview"
"None were really difficult. Just opening discussion points abut things in my file."
"None really, just relaxed conversation"
"What specialty in medicine do you think you will practice?"
"same as above. the interviewer said a bunch of nice things about my app essay."
"What type of medicine do you think you might want to go into? (difficult b/c I have no idea)"
"talk about my research in detail--i should have read up more, especially since it was a while back, doh"
"None of the questions were particularly difficult."
"No difficult questions"
"none. we discussed sports for 35 minutes then my life for half an hour."
"My interviewer had one of my letters of recommendation infront of him and asked me to explain everything my psychology professor wrote about. Some of the reseach projects my professor mentioned in her letter were from 4 years ago, so I really wasn't fresh on the details. I felt like I stumbled over alot of answers because I wasn't prepared to talk about psychology the entire interview. Nothing we talked about was related to medicine."
"Nothing difficult, it was conversational."
"Why should we admit you? ( another standard question, I know, but having spent the last few hours with Ivy league grads with perfect GPAs and MCAT scores and years of research and volunteer work that would put Mother Teresa to shame..., I began to ask myself that very question)."
"Where do you see yourself 15 years from now as an MD?"
"none, just a conversation"
"Why medicine (tried to avoid the typical "cause I wanna help people" response)?"
"None really. They were all basic "tell me about yourself" types."
"How do you propose to fix the problems of globalization?"
"Tell me about your university."
"How would you rate your musical skills? "
"Quized me on a minute detail of an unimportant component of my research that I'm sure most doctors don't know."
"None - all very conversational, thought-provoking, insightful questions."
"none-- it was a very conversational interview. My interviewer was very nice and made me feel very very comfortable. I was surprised that he brought up some extracurriculars I did-- he asked me what Science Olympiad was (I ran the Bio-Process event for the state of IL for a few years). "
"none, everything came from my application."
"NOTHING - questions were about rugby, moving to the North (being from Miami), and about abbreviations used in IM convos!"
"Again--nothing really sticks out. He mainly wanted to know more about my thesis research (which I had written about in my extra essay), and other stuff in my application--he had my application file right out in front of me and was flipping through it as we spoke (but was making positive comments, thankfully :) "
"What is the NURD complex (science question tangentially related to my research)?"
"what are you good at?"
"Again, very conversational, not a difficult interview at all."
"I basically ended up giving my interviewer a history of Ancient Rome. I was sweating bullets by the end beucase I was trying to call up information from freshman year!"
"None-very laid back."
"What were your favorite three classes in college?"
"Do you believe that doctors should treat everyone regardless of ability to pay?"
"None were too difficult."
"What did you like best about your undergraduate institution?"
"What questions do you have for me? (Asked me about 4 times and I ran out of things to ask)"
"Do you think you will have any trouble at Columbia?"
"Tell me about yourself (open-ended Q)."
"Coming from a public city university, how do you think you will feel attending a medical school that admits the top 5% of students from the top 5% of universities in the country?"
"Where do you see yourself within medicine in twenty years?"
"None- most were basic stuff about me."
"What do you do for fun?"
"Nothing really difficult. Aside from my research he wanted to know about my undergraduate institution (and why I went there)"
"Nothing too difficult--conversational mostly."
""You don't want to go to (medical school I was accepted to). Do you?""
"nothing tough... i was questioned about past research, but not interrogation-style or anything."
"If I was so smart (this was his opening move - his barometer for intelligence was apparently my MCAT score), why did I attend the college I did for my undergraduate work (apparently the reasonably well known liberal arts college I attended had not appeared on his radar). It was difficult because it took a moment to avoid answering in an overly curt manner."
"None really, it was a conversation about my family and hobbies. "
"Are you sure you want to live in New York? You don't look like you want to live in New York."
"Where do you see yourself in 15 years"
"Why medicine? but that's quite standard."
"Do you speak Spanish? (P&S is very involved in the surrounding, predominantly Dominican community.)"
"nothing really...standard issue"
"Why just volunteer in Latin America? Why not develop and run a full time organization within Latin America?"
"Should pharmaceutical companies be allowed to develop drugs against life-threatening diseases (malaria, AIDS), or should they be limited to developing quality of life drugs (e.g. viagara)?"
"what do you want to be doing at the peak of your career (20-25yrs from now)"
"well, they weren't really difficult, but a question that made me think for a minute was, "what do you see as your strong points?""
"No difficult questions either."
"None were really difficult! "
"The utility of my research"
"Where do you see health care going? (But I didn't feel put on the spot at all...see my comment below)"
"Nothing really difficult but he phrased the "why do you want to be a doctor?" question a little strangely so I had to go back to get in everything I wanted to say."
"detailed question about my research"
"Where do you see yourself 10 years down the line?"
"Where do you see yourself in the future? (The whole interview was very conversational, so this was the only "difficult" question in comparison to everything else)"
"=) refer to above"
"Nothing in particular"
"again, nothing special"
"My interviewer made an off comment about my essay, which I think was really just an effort to get a rise out of me. It was not a difficult questions, just really poorly phrased."
"all pretty typical questions about research, why MD/PhD, what do I want to do in 10 years, that sort of thing."
"Nothing too hard."
"What books are you reading right now?"
"Same as above. "
"Nothing - my interviewer was fantastic. So laid back, we just chatted about current events and had a lot of laughs."
"nothing- he was so nice!"
"That is the problem -he never really asked follow-up questions. I don't think he knew more about me after I left than when I went in "
"I was asked to summarize a paper about post-revisionist history and the Cold War that I wrote freshman year. (One of my recommendations must have mentioned it.)"
"If I wre to give you 5 minutes to design a health care reform plan that would change access to health care in a third-world country like Haiti, what would you do? Who would you ask for help from?"
"No difficult or stressful questions."
"Why did you choose to attend _______________ university? Do you have any regrets about going there? (And I don't.)"
"Did you see a psychiatrist after you dropped out of school?"
"Describe events in your childhood that have led you to a career in medicine."
"No very difficult questions. He asked where else I was applying--I wasn't so sure this was a "legal" question, but I answered anyway."
"Why did you go to __________________ college?"
"Nothing too difficult"
"I was asked about gene arrays (like on microchips), after mentioning I took genetics. Of course, we didn't discuss that in the class, and that's one subject I haven't read as much about. But I think I got out of it pretty well...I hope!"
"We somehow got down the path of finding "the special person for your life" after continuously trying to change the subject he point blank asked me how this influences my life...and it was very difficult because my partner was finishing his residency so obviously I have observed much of the hell that goes along with being a physician, without trying to say or making it sound like he had anything to do with my decision to go to medical school...then he ends with, I have never found that special person, which I put my foot in my mouth and said how sorry I was....man I thought it was over at that point!"
"None. It was very relaxed and conversational."
"i can't remeber any specific questions. it was a long time ago. none were too difficult, but there were some pointed questions i had to think about. the usual 'why a doctor', 'why columbia' stuff was there. (they ask this almost everywhere, so be sure to know your answers to those questions!!!!)"
"Same as most interesting"
"See above. Although there are several possible answers, the correct answer according to my interviewer was, "You don't grow older." He followed that up with, "You must not have been able to think of that one because you're not concerned yet about getting old.""
"None - all the questions concerned experiences discussed on my application."
"Looked on SDN for previous questions (which was great because it really helped me prepare for the questions about why I picked my undergrad, major, etc. that I hadn't needed for other interviews)."
"Talked to P&S students, read SDN interview feedback, re-read my application"
"Read AMCAS, secondary, Columbia website"
"Reviewed primary and secondary app"
"Read about school, re-read primary and secondary apps"
"practice questions, mock interview, researched school"
"Read my application materials, re-familiarized myself with my accomplishments, goals, and motivation"
"Read up about Columbia's curriculum, history, etc. Went over my own application."
"Re-read AMCAS and secondary applications, website, SDN interview feedback,"
"Read Understanding Health Policy, NYT, NEJM, mock interviews, read SD interview feedback."
"SDN feedback, school website, etc."
"This was my 6th or so school that I interviewed at. I read up on their site, picked a half dozen things that I liked or had questions about."
"Looked up website and curriculum."
"SDN Interview Feedback, Primary and Secondary Applications, Columbia Website (Curriculum changes in particular)"
"Read my essays and my AMCAS. My interviewer had definitely read it thoroughly."
"Reviewed AMCAS & Columbia Secondary and read up on the school"
"Read over my secondary and AMCAS applications, researched the new class of '13 curriculum. "
"SDN, school website."
"Read the website and brushed up on their curriculum."
"SDN, School Website, Reviewed my application, practiced questions."
"Re-read my secondary application essays, researched the school."
"No prep... it never seems to help"
"SDN, primary and secondary, researched a little about NYC."
"Read about school, student doctor forum"
"SDN, school website, read over my secondary, talked to some dr's i know who work at/went to columbia P&S"
"re-read my application, SDN, MSAR description"
"SDN interview feedback, mock interview questions from Career Services, website, primary and secondary apps"
"Re-read my application, Looked over P & S curriculum, Thought of some interesting questions to ask"
"Read their website"
"school website, med school book, SDN"
"Read secondary, SDN, AMCAS. "
"Read the school's website, talked to current students."
"Reread my application. Researched Columbia online."
"SDN, website, spoke with my host, AMCAS, secondary "
"SDN, re-read application"
"Read over my essays."
"read over my AMCAS, secondary, essays to secondaries for other schools (this was my first interview), school website, SDN feedback"
"Website, read over application, thought of questions to ask"
"Last of 13 interviews; no prep other than review curriculum"
"I practiced describing my research experiences to my parents who know nothing about biology."
"I've been preparing for this for 22 years. Don't stress, it's just very kick back. No grillage."
"looked over personal statement, research, etc"
"SDN, read app"
"school website, my AMCAS"
"Review school website, SDN, Review my AMCAS and secondary essays"
"previous experience, school's website"
"SDN, website, and reading applications"
"same stuff I've done for every other interview. just go through your routine, whatever works for you. (honestly, I've been to over a handful of interviews now... and so the only preparation I do is look at the school's website for 10 minutes)"
"SDN, re-read my primary and secondary apps, school's website"
"Spoke with current students, but not much else. I was fairly familiar with the area to begin with."
"This was my first interview, so I went a bit overboard with the prep: Read SDN interview feedback. Re-read all my essays (including those for other med schools). Re-read AMCAS and Columbia app. Reviewed resume/CV. Looked over sample questions from internet and books. Reminded myself anything important that I would want to bring up in the interview, if not explicitly asked."
"SDN, MSAR, Columbia website"
"read up on the school, reviewed some standard interview questions"
"Read over my application, feedback posts"
"SDN, read up on school, talked to med school students"
"Read application/website, mock interview"
"Read up on the school."
"Re-read application, SDN, Columbia website"
"Read their website, read SDN feedback."
"Same as everyone else, SDN, ReRead application."
"read over my application, read feedback on SDN. Read enlightening magazines."
"Browsed website, mock interviews, talked to students"
"SDN, P&S Website, MSAR2006, my AMCAS application"
"read SDN, watched tv, and slept."
"SDN, read over AMCAS and Secondary, NYT healthcare articles...though not needed"
"SDN, reread application, MSAR, Columbia website"
"SDN. School website. Read over AMCAS and supplemental."
"Read over SDN... made sure I was relaxed (although I got caught in traffic on the way there!)"
"Student Doctor, browsed website (WAY more information than people give it credit for), mapquest.com, Googled info on the school, reviewed my AMCAS and secondary"
"I didn't prepare at all. Not a single bit. which worked well for this school because the interviews are so casual but I plan on preparing for the others. I think was more important to let your personality out, be friendly, engaging, personable. Just have a conversation, shows maturity. "
"SDN, MSAR, mock interviews"
"read SDN and the sparse info on the columbia website."
"SDN, read the school's brochure"
"i studied and rehearsed a whole lot, admittedly. found many reasons why columbia but wasnt asked that. it helped to know them anyway, and prepping made me more confident vs nervous. websites not great--seek info from outside books and students on SDN"
"SDN interview feedback, Columbia website."
"lots of sleep"
"SDN, my secondary application, Columbia'a web-site"
"Looked over the school's website and freshened up on US healthcare issues."
"SDN, students, web"
"web site etc"
"Read over SDN & my secondary."
"SDN, schools website"
"Read sdn feedback, looked over amcas"
"read SDN, school website"
"interview feedback, deep breaths"
"I spoke with a relative who attended Columbia. Other than that, nothing."
"SDN, school website, but should have gone over my secondary with a comb! At one point it seemed as though my interviewer knew me better than I knew myself...."
"this site, their site, health policy"
"SDN, website, read over my AMCAS and secondary."
"read over ap, sdn"
"SDN, read AMCAS app, read my secondary to Columbia"
"didn't really prepare"
"read Columbia web site, my AMCAS and secondary, this site."
"Researched P&S, read this site, reviewed my application, made sure I was comfortable in my suit, talked to my other med school applicant friends all the time about issues, read NYT regularly"
"read columbia website, interview feedback, sdn forums"
"Read over the website, interview feedback, mock interview."
"SDN, read the school's website, read over my essays"
"Read the website (which doesn't reveal a lot)"
"Read SDN, interviewfeedback, read up on Columbia, talked with current students (friends)"
"Read about Columbia on the website, read SDN postings."
"Read SDN, website."
"SDN, Columbia website, reread essays"
"website, other students, SDN"
"SDN, re-read AMCAS, secondary. "
"Read SDN, read up on Columbia, re-read my application, got some SLEEP the night before."
"Read school website, practiced questions, read application, read this website"
"Read up on the patient care aspects, asked the BALSO student members questions"
"Read over my secondary and SDN interview feedback."
"Read Columbia's website, read feedback, read my secondary and AMCAS"
"read the columbia website"
"read the website, did a few mock interviews"
"looked at the website beforehand"
"Read my AMCAS, secondary, looked at their website, SDN, interview feedback, etc."
"Columbia website, practice interview"
"Read my AMCAS and secondary application, looked at school's website (not necessary-interview was very relaxed)."
"It was my first interview, so I practiced answering questions for my friends, looked at Studentdoctor.net, and read up on the school."
"Re-read my application, searched the P&S website, read the interview feedback on SDN"
"read SDN, Columbia's website, reread my essays"
"read about the school, brushed up on some healthcare issues"
"Read up on health care policy, current news, P&S website (none of this needed)"
"Read the application, went online to learn about the school, and practiced fake interviews."
"SDN, read AMCAS & Columbia app."
"Read AMCAS app."
"SDN, Interview Feedback, reread my application, school website and viewbook"
"On the day before, I looked through the info I submitted via my application. While waiting for the interview, I read through their school catalogue. "
"Read promo materials"
"Read interview question for Columbia on Student Doctor, re-read undergraduate thesis, reviewed latest research on the areas of medicine I have worked in, reviewed school website"
"Talked to faculty."
"Read through Columbia materials. Looked over my essay."
"Read interview feedback, tried to read Columbia website."
"Read SDN, school website, talked with alumni, read P&S materials."
"Talked to a P&S graduate, the P&S website/curriculum, SDN"
"Reviewed application, Columbia website, and obviously mentally prepared for predictable questions."
"Read the prospectus, student-doctor network interview feedback, attended a class, talked to other students, read current medical literature & reviewed my application thoroughly."
"Columbia brochure, self-practice with interview questions from SDN, reviewed application"
"Columbia website, SDN, Princeton/Kaplan Medical school review books, read over primary and secondar apps."
"read interview survey reports, read school's website, reread my application"
"I spent the past couple years writing a series of articles on the history of social medicine in the context of medical education. My life experiences prepared me for the interview."
"SDN, Columbia website and literature, talked to a friend who had interviewed there"
"Looked over my file, SDN"
"Spoke to med students there, read application and SDN, mock interview"
"Read their website."
"Read my personal statement. Read research papers"
"Read the website, bulletin, spoke with students & residents. Thought about my interests & feelings about healthcare and life in general."
"sdn, princeton review, msar, their website"
"Read Columbia's website. Read interview feedback"
"I didn't really prepare for this one."
"I did absolutely nothing."
"sdn, website, P+S material"
"sdn interview feedback, read over the app, etc"
"This website, reading about Columbia, preparing answers in advance."
"Read over my application, SDN, read about the school, and looked at some current events."
"read sdn, interview feedback. browsed columbia's site. "
"Read app, website, talked to students"
"Read info from web site, re-read my application, talked to friends at Columbia."
"Read this website, re-read my application, read the Columbia website."
"Columbia Website, interview feedback, read my research and researched nobel prize neurobiologist, read my app"
"this site, columbia materials"
"On-line, talk with students."
"read this website, researched school, read over application."
"Read this site, looked at Columbia's website, researched the curriculum, researched the doctors who teach 1st and 2nd year med students, researched the nobel laureate they have in the neurobiology department who teaches 1st years, researched the area around Columbia-Presbyterian, prepared answers to questions, looked at my application"
"I reviewed my application and did a few practice questions with my roommates. I also perused the P&S website again."
"I preped like mad for this one, I went to the career resource service at my school to do a mock interview. I preped with my friends."
"browsed the school's website,"
"the website primarily"
"website, sdn, thinking about why this school was my top choice - i let the interviewer know that"
"Read current events, the school's website and this website."
"Read over my application, looked at the Columbia website."
"Read through a magazine about the school, checked the website, talked to a friend in a P&S graduate program."
"P&S website, brochure, re-read my application"
"Read over application, Columbia's website, student doctor, spoke to current students."
"Read a little, relaxed."
"Read columbia website, reviewed application"
"Website, current students, my file, etc."
"Re-read my application."
"read website, read brochure, spoke with friend who goes to P&S"
"Read my application and the school's website, looked at other feedback on SDN."
"Researched the school."
"SDN, Brochure, website"
"read my application, read this site, looked at Columbia's website"
"read medical ethics stuff, background on columbia - didn't matter at all. I'd say you should just be relaxed and ready to talk about yourself."
"Read interview feedback and viewbook"
"Read about the school. "
"Read over my application, thought about answers to common questions"
"Read over my application, read over interview feedback, tried to read up on healthcare issues, and thought about answers to commonly asked questions."
"read this site, read over my app."
"read application, read up on current events and health care issues, read up on research, looked at studentdoctor.net"
"Read over my application, current events, medical issues and read up on the school"
"I read over my Columbia application. I also read a booklet my preprof advising office gave me -- the interview was so early, their mock interview sessions hadn't started yet."
"You use to be able to get into columbia's site through a back entrance and avoid all the application/generic stuff....however, since about april they have been tightening security and many of these sites now have access denied. I also had dinner with a second year which helped so much! She recommended you go in with a lot of energy and enthusiasm and if it is your first choice tell them! If you can really talk to a student, they give a much different perspective (more positive) than what was on the web site. "
"Read up on Columbia and the curriculum. Knew my application very well and why I was interested in Columbia. "
"Looked over Columbia website, my application, and reviewed past research I had done."
"Talked alot with my brother, who is at Columbia, about what to expect. Read over my application and boned up on my research. Tried hard to really psyche myself up. In the shower, formulated responses to tough questions about research or current medical dilemmas (which were not asked). Basically, it all comes down to confidence."
"i read the viewbook, read interviewfeedback (such bad luck that site is down...)"
"I read interviewfeedback.com and Columbia's website. I also had a friend who was a 4th year so I asked her a bunch of questions. She eventually helped me get in off the waitlist."
"read interviewfeedback, read over my application"
"Previous interviews helped set the stage. I thought about the type of student (if there is such a thing) that Columbia seems to like and how I could emphasize that part of myself in the interview day."
"The thoroughness of the student tour guide was incredible. The new building is also very nice."
"How happy and energetic the students seemed"
"Very organized interview day, Dean and interviewer were very familiar with my application"
"All the students that filtered in and out throughout the day seemed to be really happy."
"Friendly faculty, staff and students. Very relaxed atmosphere. Students seemed genuinely happy."
"Facilities and friendliness of students"
"Facilities, friendliness of students and staff, caliber of student body"
"The students were sooooo relaxed. Kind of people you'd like to have a beer with. Not what i expected at all! Bard hall is NOT that bad. Honestly, I've lived in much rattier places. Bard Hall is a palace compared to a lot of cheap apartments, ESPECIALLY in Manhattan! WTF @ all the complaints. The interviewer I had was also amazingly nice. Shiny new expensive neuroscience center!!!"
"Campus, students, extracurricular opportunities. Day was very organized."
"Tight-knit first year community, friendliness of students"
"I had a lot in common with my interviewer, it was a delightful conversation, the best I've had yet. All the students are very happy. Seems like third year preparation is top notch."
"The P&S Club, the study facilities, the curriculum, the city, basically everything."
"Students enthusiasm, new facilities"
"The students! Dozens of students came in to talk up their school. That level of enthusiasm, combined with club P&S."
"The lack of stress in the interview and the conversational nature. There was no sense of loaded questions whatsoever."
"The faculty and students"
"The new curriculum, the learning environment (not too competitive, but extremely bright students and faculty), the location, international opportunities, the clinical environment."
"The students seem down to earth and really enjoy being there"
"Opportunities to practice medicine every day, starting day 1 of medical school. Faculty work directly with students. "
"They seem to turn out a lot of surgeons. "Transplant pager" seems like a cool idea. Smart kids."
"The location and the facilities. Also the pass/fail nature of the curriculum."
"Amazing city, New York! Also the professional manner of the school and the student host program. All the students seemed VERY happy!"
"The research opportunities are vast, especially in neuroscience (an interest of mine). The clinical training is great. I think the new curriculum will be a good thing for future students. It's in NYC!"
"Great research going one here. Professors are very motivated to teach."
"Happiness of students, view from anatomy lab, "
"Very personal interview. My interviewer knew who I was becuase he prepared well, which made ourconversations natural and allowed us to get into more in depth conversations. "
"The students were so friendly and enthusiastic about Columbia"
"How many fourth year students dropped in on us in the waiting room and really wanted to talk to us and answer our questions. Also, P&S Club, student lifestyles seemed pretty great."
"the children's hospital is stunning"
"the view from atop Bard Hall"
"Everything! The students, the P&S club, the location, the faculty..."
"My interviewer was very down-to-earth, genuine, and friendly. The facilities were not as bad as I expected. To be honest, I had low expectations for the school on the whole, so I came out pleasantly surprised."
"My interviewer was AWESOME, Dr. Stephen Nicholas. If you get him, you'll love him too. Very personable, friendly, down-to-earth, not intimidating at all! "
"Extremely friendly and enthusiastic students who all claimed to get along and be really close will all their classmates ... students not involved with tour or admissions also stopped in when they walked by the room we were waiting in to say hello ask if we had any questions, give advice, and tell us how much they love it"
"The students were so nice and down to earth. "
"The views from the top of Bard hall and the world reknown teaching/research faculty. NY Pres is a pretty cool hospital even though it looks grungy from the outside. Students were in general very nice. Big surgery placement school. Long anatomy (7 months) course. "
"The enthusiasm of the students!"
"The faculty and the hospital facilities are great. "
"The students are very happy. The view is fantastic! "
"New York City is a happening place"
"P&S club provides funding for a lot of club events. the students seem to be very cohesive and have a lot of fun together. very attractive male students! "
"The amount of funding for research, the city, the students were the friendliest I've seen yet, the facilities are top notch, proximity to subway stop"
"how enthusiastic the students were, a lot of them dropped by the admissions office to chat with us while we were waiting - everyone seemed genuinely happy about the school"
"students, facilities, kind and warm admissions office"
"3/4 labs I interviewed at were awsome, and all the labs I visited were on my origional list. I did not interview with the god Eric Kandel, but I did int with Ottavio Arancio, the son of god."
"Students are enthusiastic. Weekly community outreach programs. Lots of free time. Year long anatomy lab. Great Psych & Surgery program. NYC. Basically everything was awesome."
"students seemed relaxed"
"the facilities are great"
"The dorms/appartments seemed nice enough, despite what I had heard before coming."
"students were much less competitive than i thought, they seemed to be trying very hard (almost too hard) to defy premed stereotypes most of the time i felt. lots of people stopped over to talk to us about their experiences, give us their emails, very affable. "
"overall personality was very helpful and chill, much less ''gunner-ish'' than I expected (though it's hard to tell). P/F first year sets the tone, and the people seem really cool and social, like they genuinely like each other. So much to do outside of school, through P&S Club and NYC overall."
"Great facilities and very good reputation. Freedom to have a life during medical school. "
"residency match list is ridiculous. place to be for future surgeons and those interested in neuro."
"The hospital facilities; the enthusiasm and general nice-ness of the students."
"My student tour leader was down to earth and changed my opinion of who I thought composed the class."
"Students were really relaxed and happy. Contrary to popular myth, they are very non-competitive, and extremely cooperative when it comes to study and social life, and everything else. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that the Med students are allowed one free class per semester at the 168th street campus or the undergrad (Mornindside) campus."
"everything, our tour guides were really cool, so it was hard not to be biased. Hospital seemed cool, and facilities up the wazoo."
"Great faculty, my interviewer obviously knew my file, friendly students, nice support facilities (like sweet student lounges), it seemed like the school had good relationships with the surrounding community"
"I had a very conversational interview with Dr. Frantz, and he was genuinely interested in me and very knowledgeable of my file. He is in love with Columbia, and with good reason. The first-years seem to make a very easy transition to medical school life. "
"Students seemed like they were genuinely happy. It seemed like a really laid back environment, pass-fail contributes to this. "
"Students were very nice and helpful, they seem to be able to balance a lot of work yet still have the time to participate in a lot of activities, faculty is very positive. "
"The students are incredibly happy and very social. The curriculum isn't really as lecture-based as everyone makes it out to be. The Student Success Network (run by 2nd years for 1st years) really seems to help students get adjusted. P&S Club seems to have something for everyone. Bard Hall is much better than everyone else seems to think."
"The students I met in the morning - I arrived very early for an afternoon interview, and being able to talk to the students drifting through the waiting area really made a huge positive impresson on me. This was obviously a self-selecting group, but they seemed genuinely interested in helping in any way possible and in answering all sorts of questions about life at Columbia."
"The students were really friendly; I had never been to NYC or to an ivy so I was kind of apprehensive."
"Its Columbia. Facilities are nice, students seem very laid-back yet extremely intelligent. New York is a hate-it-or-love-it kind of place, theres nothing else like it in the world, both in a good way and bad. Extra-curriculars are abundant."
"The students were very nice, they loved the school and they seemed to be very tight-knit and non-competitive."
"enthusiasm of the tour guide, friendliness of the students, view from bard hall, ease of commute from downtown, cheap diner around the corner"
"Everything! The facilities were great, the people were friendly and happy to see me, and Presbyterian is excellent!"
"The facilities, the views of the Hudson River from many of the buildings (including first-year dorms), the children's hospital. Most importantly, though, the students were incredibly friendly, diverse, interesting, and happy with their choice."
"Opportunities were endless! The school has lots of money, and students definitely get to dip into the pot. Also, the financial aid rocks for poor people."
"I loved the people and my interviewer was super cool and friendly. "
"How relaxed and easy going the interview was- the interviewer really just wanted to know all about me."
"students seem enthusiastic, love area school is in, MD/MPH opportunity"
"The enthusiasm of the current students. The diversity of the area (Washington Heights) - many people comment on the school's surroundings as seeming unsafe and/or leaving a negative impression, but the opportunities such a diverse area offers to see as much as you can during medical school is one of my biggest draws. The fact that from 1st year you can volunteer in a free clinic affiliated with Columbia and actually see and give preliminary diagnoses of patients from that early on. "
"The intelligence and outgoing nature of the students"
"The students spoke with one voice--even the ones we met in the halls or study lounges--that P&S was a terrific place in terms of the comraderie and the quality of teaching. "
"How relaxed and easy going the interviewer was, it really helped me because I didn't practice. I got the invite a week before the interview date and it was my first interview so it really took a lot of my nerves away. Plus, the students and faculty are so friendly everyone that walked past the waiting room "
"The friendliness of the med students"
"the school and housing are practically on the same block as the hospital. the lecture hall i saw had little remotes so that all the students could answer questions in class and the results would appear at the front of the class. like polling the audience."
"It sounds obvious but the kids seemed particularly smart and accomplished. Also, the med school and hospitals are very nice even though the area around them isn't."
"NYC, great views, interviewees seemed high caliber. i liked my interviewer more than my previous ones at other schools, he was nice. subway stops are right by the school and go everywhere."
"The students seem pretty laid back as far as med students go, and very diverse in their talents. The class also appears to be quite cohesive, and the students (as everyone else has said in the feedback) love the school. The Towers, where most of the 2nd through 4th years live, are fantastic, and I don't mind that Bard Hall is a dorm - the better to get to know your classmates. I didn't tour the Children's Hospital because I was feeling crappy due to my cold, but one fellow interviewee said that it was "Pimp!" Ahem. I also really liked my interviewer."
"the students that i met seemed friendly; the clinical and research opportunities are unique."
"I was expecting to be let down because of reviews I read on this site, but my experience was refreshingly the opposite. Everything was incredible, from the facilities, to the neighborhood, to the enthusiasm of every student I ran into. Two of the best things were that the students made it seem like a nurturing environment that was not cut-throat and the school seems incredibly diverse, ethnically and in the way people think. "
"How friendly and enthusiastic the students were about Columbia, and that they give out a good number of merit scholarships each year."
"Students seemed enthusiastic about their school. I love NYC. Get to live where Manny Ramirex grew up. Amazing reputation and awesome hospitals"
"students all seemed very nice and happy, and in contrast to what i had heard, all claimed that columbia was really chill and not competitive/cut-throat"
"Everything. The students were AMAZING and the location -- NYC -- is great. New Presbyterian children's hospital attached to medical center = gorgeous. I effing love this school and it has catapulted to my #1 choice."
"The lecture halls, the hospital"
"I liked their curriculum during first two years (more lecture oriented, P/F 1st year). Students do great in match esecially in surgical subspecialties. "
"students were very friendly, facilities are awesome."
"I liked some of the other interviewees."
"I was impressed by the wide range of clinical opportunities. Also, Bard hall seems to give first years a chance to get to know each other. And the rooms weren't bad for Manhattan."
"how well my interviewer knew my application; P & S clubs; Residency Matches; opportunities for research; support/mentoring systems in place; shadowing physician 1st yr; new baby's hospital; 19 hospitals affliated with the university allowing a glimpse into various parts of medicine (e.g. rural vs. urban; wealthy vs poverty; primary care vs tertiary; etc); working with patients from all over the world [not JUST the Dominican Republic!!!!]; Nobel Prize Lauretes and other experts actually teach first years (rather than remain holed up in their labs); relatively low level of debt upon graduating; 1/3 students take time off to pursue other interests (dual degrees, research, etc)... oh I could go on and on....."
"The school is gorgeous and the facilities are unlike any other school i've seen so far. Very friendly students and staff."
"Nice lecture hall, most of the students were very friendly, lots of clubs and extra-currics."
"students seemd to truly be happy / enjoy columbia, very friendly"
"good school and well respected, decent dorms"
"how exceptionally well P&S graduates do in the board. the fact that P&S students engage in more extracurricular activities than any other medical school. "
"Bard hall doesn't deserve the criticism it gets. Yes, it is an old, somewhat run-down building, but it's clean, is well-heated, and the shower has EXCELLENT water pressure. What more can you ask for? "
"I had a really great interview"
"The school is amazing, incredibly wealthy. Very nice students, nice digs. NYC is great. Brand new children's hospital."
"Curriculum, extra-curricular activities, many, diverse students"
"The students are Columbia are the most passionate ones I have seen, they absolutely love the school and went out of their way to answer our questions and talk to us about the school. The faculty were also very helpful and seemed to have a strong interest in students and providing them with a great learning environment. The pass-fail system for the first year is good, so that with all the stress of first year, you don't have to obsess over grades as well. Although others have said the students were cocky, they were really friendly and down to earth in my opinion. Also, Columbia has the top board scores (or among the top) in the country, which is awesome and shows that even though they are still into traditional lecture format, it is very effective. The other thing that was impressive to me was that the interviewer thoroughly read my file and knew a lot about me ahead of time."
"A very friendly student who came into the interviewee waiting area to answer our questions and talk to us about her application experience and her Columbia experience so far. Also, Columbia seems to have more clubs and extracurricular activities than other schools."
"Lots of doctors and students came into the room where candidates were seated, even if they were on their way somewhere to say hello and answer questions "
"Contrary to other opinions, I thought the day (for the most part) was very organized. I really liked how the admissions office made an effort to make me feel at ease - that was nice. I also thoroughly enjoyed my interview with Dr. Frantz. He was just so engaged and interested in me (not my numbers or scores), and that was really refreshing. Conversation flowed and I was really excited to learn that Columbia prides itself on accepting students who are passionate about things OTHER than medicine, and that they want to craft a well-rounded physician. I was also impressed with the student - they seemed very happy across teh boards - and with the number of different medical clubs! Jeez! Oh, lastly, I was able to sit in on a class (a clinical correlative class relating anatomy to actual practice) and it was very, very interesting."
"My interviewer was old, sweet and nice. The school facilities, hospital, and 2nd-4th year dorms were all fantastic."
"I was impressed by the students. They were polished. we had informal tour guides who were older join us on the tour which was very helpful and a good reflection of the school. Fact it's in NYC"
"The students seem really happy to be there. Lots of students stopped by the interview lounge between classes to chat with us."
"students were SO HAPPY! "
"the people! they are so wonderful-- even those being interviewed with me were nice and we all got along great!"
"How passionate the faculty and students are about their school, how hard the school seems to work for its students, how the fact that they make no bones about having a traditional curriculum (not so much problem-based learning), Columbia Presbyterian, the support for the rugby team (I hope I get to play)"
"I really enjoyed the class I observed and the person with whom I interviewed was awesome. "
"The school is amazing, in a perfect area, and the facilities are second to none. The new Pediatrics hospital built LAST YEAR is awesome."
"The students. They are SO happy to be there and had so many positive things to say about the school. Also, I loved that they were involved in non-medical related activities."
"Interviewer was really, really nice, amazing city, great curricilum, students seem really nice--two of them came up to me when I was sitting alone in a not-so-popular class to tell me not to judge their school based on how boring that one class session was and that it was an anomaly. I thought it was pretty cool that they didn't want to let me form a bad impression of the school. Oh, and the student dorm has amaaaaaazing views of the river!"
"The neighborhood is really lively, and my interviewer was really cool."
"students were cool and many came into the waiting area to talk and answer questions, new children's hospital facilities"
"Students seem happy, affiliated hospitals are nice"
"Nice setup for the interviews. Nice view of the river from the west side of campus."
"the facilities and all the little "insider stuff" the student tour guides told us. All the students were incredibly friendly. You stick out like a sore thumb because you're wearing a suit, so everyone comes up to you to say hi."
"Nearly everything. The students, the location, the curriculum, the residence hall--I would be ecstatic if I got accepted here."
"There is a lot of energy in the school--the students all seem happy to be there."
"The interview was very conversational; it did not seem like the interviewer was trying to stump me with difficult questions. He spoke nearly as much as I did, about himself and opportunities on campus for me. Further, he gave me booklets of information for programs specific to my interests-- obviously, he had carefully read my file and thought about it beforehand. While waiting for the interview, numerous students came by to answer questions and wish us luck. All of the students seemed very happy to be there, and there wasn't an overwhelming sense of stress."
"the students, they were very happy"
"the students are freakishly happy to be there"
"The students really love this school, the opportunities for studying abroad 4th year, overall morale of everyone"
"The faculty and students were enthusiastic and surprisingly normal. The students seemed like they were having a lot of fun at med school, going out at night and not stressing out..which is not quite what I had expected."
"New Children's hospital, friendly staff, pretty decent housing."
"The students. They are very glad to be there."
"Reputation of the school, 1st year is pass/fail"
"Quality of the faculty, shadowing of doctors during 1st year, residency placement, students, cafeteria"
"My interviewer seemed to be a an intelligent, interesting, genuine person. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with him, and left the interview inspired to become a better doctor. Also the chance to work with a diverse community and the new children's hospital"
"Interviewer really took the time to review my application and had very specific question about statements in my personal statement and my research activities. Also, student tour guide was very friendly, informative, frank, and down-to-earth. I did not get the impression that Columbia students think that they are better than all other med students."
"THE PEOPLE. Students, other applicants offered interviews, teachers. . . Everyone was VERY sharp. This school seemed to be top-notch."
"I like the hospital and the Med school administration seems helpful."
"Interviewer, student enthusiasm"
"the columbia students were all happy and willing to sit down and talk( even students who werent scheduled to come in and visit the interviewees). housing is just right across the street. the area and school seem pretty diverse."
"The students were friendly and mostly positive (despite the fact that exams were in progress), interview was pleasant and I was impressed with how well the students seem prepared for a career in medicine. It was also nice to learn about the (highly touted) P&S club and find that they are very interested in making sure students have a broad social experience."
"THe students' enthusiasm, the facilities, the depth of the clinical experience."
"Everything, pretty much. The students even managed to sell me on the area--it provides the opportunity to get more hands on clinical training than schools like Cornell where the clientele may be a bit snooty. Columbia is by far my #1 choice."
"The school has better financial aid than some schools. It has a great reputation. The students are very involved in extracurricular activities."
"New York is a happening place to be no doubt. Also was impressed when I was told by my faculty interviewer that Columbia was #1 in the country for highest Board Exam scores. Never heard that before."
"The student I stayed with was a fantastic guy, who really made me feel welcome and totally at ease. All the students seemed not only happy and relaxed, but kind of jumpy and overjoyed to be there. Also there was a great sense of comraderie there. Interviews were conducted very professionally and the tour was very thorough, though not so long that you got tired of walking. "
"friendly students, very nice facilities, there is a student life organization"
"I met a couple students who spoke honestly about the school (both pros and cons) by accident. "
"The student body - I got a genuine impression that many of them truly love everything about Columbia. I really liked the school's network of student clubs, the testing system, and the clinical experiences offered."
"How happy everyone is at the school. All the students have nothing but good things to say about it - and they all seem to form a community and work together. "
"Great support network for minorities"
"honestly, not that much. some of the students who came in to the waiting room for the free coffee were very friendly. also, the members of the admissions office staff were nice and helpful. students were in general very positive about columbia--they had a lot of pride"
"The teaching facilities are nice, the students are friendly, and the professor in the class we walked in on seemed to interact really well with the students."
"Everyone was friendly, there is a lot of interplay between medicine and science, amazing neuroscience and psychiatry programs."
"Quality of students, hustle and bustle of NY and neighborhood."
"Awsome support for minority applicants. Great atmosphere in general."
"nice housing...dorm style, i miss that kind of stuff. students in general seemed pretty happy and very confident, etc."
"Despite what a lot of people say about Bard hall I thought it was great. I loved living in the dorms during my undergrad years and I feel Bard Hall allows the medical students to really get to know one another. Of course you don't have to live there if you don't want to and apartments are relatively cheap(for New York) in the Washington Heights area. "
"Great students, a distinguished history of clinical education and innovation, NYC"
"The students were so much fun!"
"Bard (yes, you read right - i love the idea of living in dorms first year, and everything's under one roof!), the students, faculty, facilities have character and views... everything..."
"location, housing, educational opportunities, etc"
"It was very laid back. The students arent arrogant as I thought, I love the surrounding community - very diverse, urban -- and it is safe. Bard hall aint that bad."
"The second year apartments - they are nice!!!"
"Columbia's success at surgery program residency matches."
"quality of clincal experience seems awesome. love ny. "
"Students are very enthusiastic"
"The overall attitude of the interviewer and the students that stopped by...everyone there really loves the school, which is very important to me."
"Lots of students stopped by and asked if we had questions, they seemed really happy and excited about the school."
"The interview was really chill and intereseing, I probably could have talked to him a lot longer in a less stressful context. The students were so happy and friendly. Stunednts from every year stopped by the interview suite and asked if I had any questions. Great clinical program and the students are really involved in activities."
"Everything- the students, NYC, the curriculum, the faculty, they have more extracurricular opportunities than any school in the country."
"Students and faculty"
"enthusiasm of students, relaxed atmosphere, everyone was very friendly. "
"All the students were incredibly welcoming and friendly. They always responded with "LOVE it here, LOVE IT." And also, I really liked Bard Hall. I like the idea that students all live together and get to know each other well. The view from atop the med school and Bard Hall was gorgeous (the river and all of Manhattan). And the fact that Bard Hall has a swimming pool below it didn't hurt either."
"The students seemed very energetic and happy. I never got the impression that the students wanted to be anywhere else. I liked the school's location in a relatively safe Dominican neighborhood and the solid couple housing available. "
"The campus is sooo New Yorky. I loved it being a big city person. The research in neuroscience is excellent. Facility is close to each other. The residence is relatively in a quite part of New York"
"the school facilities were a lot better than i expected. passing by the outside of the school i wasnt expecting much. but it gets a lot better. the hospital is nice too. Bard wasnt too bad either"
"I had interviewed at 11 schools, many of which compete with Columbia for students. I must say that the students at Columbia were by far the happiest and laid back, which I found...interesting due to their rigorous curriculum. Furthermore, I'm used to schools that concentrate on good, solid teaching. Columbia seems to have committed physicians and researchers thrilled to teach students. In fact, they have/had a nobel laureate teaching 1st years neuroscience (1st years!). That, in my mind, is impressive and humbling."
"location (yes its not the nicest part of NYC - but its NYC nonetheless), prestige, facilities, HOSPITAL! - incredible, clinical training, students were pretty cool people"
"It is a great research institution and obtaining a dual degree is a feasible option."
"The research labs, new york city, the views from the offices. The students were over all nice, but seemed a little self-absorbed (well, what can you expect, they are medical students). The staff in the admissions office were great. The food at the faculty club lunch was good, and the dinner that night with the other MD-PhD applicants was fun, but too loud."
"The school is nice, the hospital are cool, the Dominican neighborhood rocks."
"Facilities are great, faculty is great, students are great."
"Facilities are just great! Lots of construction going on for new hospitals and everything just exuded newness. "
"The school has an enormous amount of activites and obviously it has a ridiculous amount of money for research, etc. The faculty is outstanding - so much care and enthusiasm. Is definitely a brilliant place to learn."
"the student body and the faculty are bar none the most enthusiastic people i have run into at any interview thus far"
"The students really like P&S "
"The students were very positive and seemed to be very supportive of one another."
"friendliness of students, the number of opportunities for work/activity in community and special interest groups, the amount that P&S students get out and about doing stuff other than just studying."
"The high caliber of the students and the way they all stopped by the waiting room to talk to the interviewees and tell us all to come here, how many students remarked that they had turned down acceptances and even full scholarships at other reputable medical schools to come to Columbia, and definitely New York City!!"
"The hospitals are amazing, the reputation of the school and influence it has over future residency selections, and the students were overaweing."
"The students. They all seemed to love Columbia."
"the caliber of students that attend, the friendliness of the students"
"Students were really enthusiastic and happy; they kept running into the admissions waiting room to answer our questions."
"The friendliness and enthusiam of the students. They all seemed to love the school."
"The students, my interviewer (personality, intelligence, erudition). "
"Friendliness of students and admissions staff"
"The friendliness of everyone I encountered, including the first year student tour guides, admissions staff, and students walking past the interview suite. All the students seem quite happy and proud to be at Columbia. The curriculum is well designed."
"how happy all the students were!!!!"
"the inexpensive housing and how happy and relaxed the students looked"
"The helpful and friendly attitude of the students and staff. I was suprised by how much the students seemed to rave about the attention of the faculty and experience at Columbia. "
"All of the students were so friendly. The room where the prospective students sit has a coffee machine that the 1st years use during the breaks in class, and they all wanted to chat with us. A 2nd year stopped by to talk as well. The tour guides were similarly very nice and open."
"My interviewer was amazing! The admissions office staff is also incredible, they told me a little about my interviewer before my interviewer (he wrote an opera, swims a couple miles each morning, invovled extensively with the P&S club, gets musical performance tickets for the students on a regular basis) later I found out he has been teacher of the year numerous times, the students love him, alumnus of the school etc...and also an amazing person to talk to and alumnus of the school. We also interviewed in a kitchenette, this may sound corny but I liked it...to me it really encompassed what I liked about columbia, the we get down and dirty no matter what the surroundings are, their reputation comes from the amazing people who are there not the frills that the school throws you...Columbia is a place where you work hard and learn even more where it encourages you to maintain medicine as your primary focus and also explore fields outside of it!"
"NYC is very impressive, perhaps the most amazing city in the world. The students are very enthusiastic about Columbia. They are full of energy and know how to both play hard and study hard. It's not a good area, but the clinical training is better because of that because of the chance to serve low income populations. "
"how much the students and faculty loved P&S"
"I was very impressed with the doctor I interviewed with. Near the end of the interview, he looked me in the eye and said something to the affect that he never regreted going into medicine. A shining endorsement is such a pessimistic age. I was extremely impressed with the other students interviewing at Columbia and also with the current students. Everyone there seemed so well-rounded and interesting. "
"everyone - and i mean EVERYONE - running around 168th and BWAY seems tickled pink to be part of P&S. that kind of energy about med school is not entirely unique, but it was more than i'd seen anywhere else. the community is very dynamic and supportive. every single student did something interesting outside of medical studies. the history and tradition of the school are also very entrenched. i love that stuff. "
"The diversity of the patient population. I went to Stanford as an undergrad and the quality of the patients at Stanford is very different from that of the patients at Columbia. The patients at Columbia have very real needs and the school provides important services to them."
"The friendliness of the Admissions Office Staff. The students. View from the towers is nice."
"My interviewer was a really friendly guy who seemed genuinely interested in my answers. The students love being at Columbia."
"Interviewer said I was ready to be a mother which I thought was sexist. Interviewer hadn't read my personal statement. Interviewer hardly asked me any questions."
"Sounds like the new building has some kinks that still need to be worked out, but nothing too major. Also the dorms where most of the MS1s live are not very nice at all."
"My interviewer was off-putting, made me feel stupid and uncomfortable"
"no technology in 1st year lecture hall"
"Not much... the day seemed really informal. I was expecting a formal presentation or something."
"The dorms are a little old, but definitely able to get over it for this school."
"Some of the interviewees shunned me because of my public school undergrad. This was not reflected at all in the medical students themselves, but I am a tad nervous seeing that Ivy Leaguers are heavily represented in their class next year."
"The tardiness of interview (I went 1 hour after I was told I would)"
"location- a bit ghetto"
"The cost, the first year student dorms."
"Dorms, no formal presentation by admissions office, little info about financial aid"
"Housing, eek! It's a lot of money for a 10 x 12 dorm room without a kitchen or bathroom, but I've heard that for new york, it's a good deal. Definitely worth it for the school, though. "
"The facilities are old and Bard Hall (the first year dorm) is literally a slum. I don't think the housing situation improves much after that either..."
"The dorms. There's one single kitchen in the whole freshman dorm. The fact that they're changing the curriculum next year... could go either way."
"Not much. The area around the campus is not that safe, but most stay within the CUMB "bubble.""
"nothing really negative"
"broken bathrooms in the dorm, took a long time to get there in the subway"
"The local area isn't the greatest. The residence hall (Bard Hall) was not very nice."
"My interviewer didn't seem very interested in me, but did tell me a lot about the new curriculum."
"No one could really answer questions about the new curriculum, my tour guide was the least enthusiastic/most apathetic person I met all day."
"the fact that almost all 1st years live in the nasty dorms"
"the structure of the interview day, the dorm rooms "
"While the students were friendly, I wish they were a little more diverse. I also think there could have been more administrative involvement in the day."
"The dorms!!! Yuck!"
"Bard Hall, but its not that bad"
"the area of the city and the campus is kinda blah and loud ... you most likely live in dorms the first year and speand money eating out or ordering in most of the time"
"Washington Heights is run down. The admissions people never bothered to say anything to any of the interviewees. In general, I found people to be slightly smug. Everyone seemed to justify the negatives (Bard Hall, the cramped spaces) by saying ''it's New York. People love it here and they let you know frequently. "
"The first year student dorms were very old."
"We received no welcome talk or discussion of Columbia from admissions folk, deans, or faculty. Basically, there was no show of support from the Administration whatsoever. Everything was left to a handful of students. Also, all freshman live in garret style dorms with no temperature control and peeling walls. "
"Bard Hall. Honestly, the bathrooms are just terrible. "
"Columbia seems old school. Students seemed more stressed. "
"bard hall is a dungeon, but it is affordable housing."
"The place was awful"
"Bard Hall is dorm style but 2nd-4th years you live in the Towers and they're really nice"
"traditional lecture based curriculum; I guess Bard Hall wasn't all that impressive, although I hear the towers are much better for MS2's..."
"Essentially everything. For those of you that don't go to any Ivy, don't expect to be treated with any sort of respect."
"Interviews were slightly too short. They should give you at least 45 min interviews with 15 min walking time. 30 min interviews with 10 min walking time is stressful. We could have used some more time to interact with the students than just the dinner the night before. I also thought that they didn't adequately describe the program during the meet-up session. I was asking a lot of questions to my interviewers."
"Bard was the least impressive, but it wasn't too shabby either."
"it was a weak tour, and i just didn't get a great feeling for the students or the campus. they really needed to increase the amount of time we spent with students. plus, it's the only school i've visited that did not offer student hosting"
"they don't do much to impress applicants. very short interview day"
"Bard Hall and the fact that my interview ended up being delayed and was the last one of the day"
"Like most NYC buildings, the facilities weren't planned that well, and it was easy to get lost in the maze of uneven hallways."
"despite trying very hard to be non-premed, i think their curriculum/setup makes them one of the most study-intensive schools. "
"Bard Hall has a lot of construction going on, pretty much taking out bricks and putting new ones in the same place to follow an NYC law, though it should be over by end of '07."
"Seemed that students were either in with the 'popular' crowd or not. A lot of perceptions that have already been listed on SDN seemed to play out. "
"bard hall SUCKS. i stayed with a student host.... honestly, its like a freshman dorm. "
"A lot of noise and construction."
"The day was not amazingly well organized and did not highlight the finer aspects of the institution."
"harlem was a lil rough, but you know this, residence seemed a lil raw"
"Bard Hall, lack of information session (would have been nice to have a presentation at the start of the day)"
"Half the kids were from Yale, the other from Harvard. Not much diversity there. "
"We didn't really see too much of the facilities"
"It'd be tough to share a bathroom"
"While I have no personal problem with people wanting to spend their time partying, I had the same tour guides as another poster, and I agree that I would have left with a very limited (and therefore somewhat dim) impression of life at Columbia if that had been my only student interaction."
"My interivewer didn't really ask me much about me. Out of the 30 min interview, I might have talked 10 minutes."
"Schools location is not on the world renowned Columbia campus, but rather, about 50 blocks north, near Harlem. The selectivity of the school seemed very biased towards your specific undergraduate institution."
"Nothing, except that my interviewer didn't even ask my why I wanted to be a doctor, not why I wanted to attend Columbia."
"some of the students seemed rather two-dimensional. lots of traditional, straight out of college folk. "
"Bard Hall definitely has room for improvement. All else was cool."
"The tour was a bit tedious. The students meant well, though - they were excited and wanted to share every little bit of information with us."
"Bard Hall sucks, but at least it is close to the school."
"The food they serviced during lunch was so bizarre. We had a plastic box of carrots that all 23 or so of us had to grab with our hands. The dorms are ok but you can't really cook on your own and there aren't many food places around. "
"Honestly- nothing, wish it were in a better area but that isn't the school's fault."
"the students seem a little... all from upper middle class backgrounds; I'm sure there is more diversity but that is what I saw"
"The first year residences of anything I guess, but honestly the students don't seem to mind and it is a great way to get to know and bond with your classmates (shared hardships and all that)."
"I don't enjoy it when the tour goes to sites that you are pretty much never going to see as a 1st/2nd year medical student (i.e. the children's hosp)"
"Washington Heights, for one. I'm not concerned for me, necessarily, but for my wife. We're both capable or fluent in Spanish, but the closed circuit monitors on campus were not a good sign. I walked around a while, but it WAS daytime... For those of you who are single, Bard Hall is dorm living. Then again, there are worse places to live in NYC, and you can upgrade to the towers second year."
"The facilities and the fact that so much of the first and second yr was lecture. All of the "classrooms" I was shown were huge lecture halls. "
"The location on the med school"
"bard hall is like a college freshman dorm. old single rooms, one kitchen per floor... as others have mentioned, the students were obsessed with where the interviewees went to college. it seemed that most students were straight from college and a bit self-absorbed. they also seemed a bit sheltered."
"The day was a little disorganized. There was a lot of down time (I had 2 1/2 hours to kill between my interview and the tour!). We were waiting around a lot for tour guides to show up and the day ended later than they said it would."
"the specific area of NYC is shady, but theres no changing that. most of the facilities are old. lunch was small for a hungry person like me."
"I guess if I have to complain, I'd say the Bard Hall rooms are small, with only one kitchen for all of them ... seems like an oversite to me. Also, I'd like to be further downtown, but the subway in NY is fantastic so that's not really a problem. Also, there was a lot of down time built into the day, which some people complain about in the feedback. I didn't mind it at all, and used the time to attend a lecture and part of a histology course."
"the residence hall; the neighborhood; the fact that we only met about 4 students - was the admissions committee hiding something?"
"Some people may question the safeness of the area, considering that I was aproached by someone on the street before I got to my interview, but I think if you keep a big city mentality it is not a big deal. One of the students said that the area is a lot safer than he was expecting it to be. "
"Bard Hall. Not the greatest, although you do get a good view of the river."
"BARD HALL SUCKS!!! Wow, living in a huge dorm with tiny rooms, sharing bathrooms and only having one kitchen absolutely blows. "
"how unbelievably obsessed everyone was with where the prospys went to undergrad. i definitely felt left out having not gone to an official ivy (and for gods sakes, i went to vassar...thats not that bad!)"
"Bard Hall is not amazing but it's fine by me. The area around P&S is not posh & upper-class, but again, that's fine by me. "
"My interviewers unmotivated attitude, Bard Hall, the inedible sandwich we were given for lunch"
"The arrogance of this school is ridiculous, not well earned"
"Dorms were alright but don't like dorm living in general. Students were very full of themselves and 50% of their class came from harvard or yale. undergrad."
"it was snowing"
"The location is not where I want to be next year. I wouldn't want to live in the dorms like the ones at Columbia. Also, the student body is composed of mostly ivy league grads. I think it's great Columbia gets such great med students, but it's too bad so many people have the same background. I'd feel like the token girl from the South if I went there. Lastly, several students told me that the secret to getting into Columbia is to write a letter to Dean Franz. They talked about him like he was some sort of God figure. Weird. I always write thank-you notes to my interviewers, but I refuse to write suck-up letters to the Dean in hopes of flattering him enough to get an acceptance."
"The admissions staff didn't do anything to sell the school. Also, I'm not too fond of Washington Heights"
"limited small group discussions; relatively low tech campus; the students who were 'so eager' to talk as they brush by you to grab so coffee before streaming out the door for class (there was something fake about those students in general, IMHO); not in the glamorous parts of Manhattan (unlike other NYC schools); "
"The tour wasnt so exciting..."
"The student tour guide wasn't great. He seemed bored and couldn't answer many of the questions asked. Also no vegetarian options at the lunch. That was unfortunate."
"location / dorms not that great, but the heart of NYC is defintely accessable"
"the students don't seem to take as much advantage of the city as students at other NYC schools. the students i met seemed to like the school, but didn't seem to love it. one of the tour guides was not the best."
"the interview day was not very well organized. P&S is obviously not located in the nicest part of NYC."
"The LOUD-ass radiators in Bard hall. The NOISE outside Bard hall (which I guess shouldn't be a problem for those who have lived in dorms in a busy city). The fact that visiting students staying in Bard weren't somehow coordinated or given each other's email addresses. It would've been nice to get together the night before."
"The school is not in the ritziest part of Manhattan."
"A med student hollering at a security guard to stop harassing her, sloppy tour, lots of waiting around (students are supposed to drop in to the waiting room, but they all had finals!), can't see anatomy lab/any real parts of the hospitals. Bard hall isn't bad."
"The location is not so great, and Bard is a bit run-down, but has a great view of the Hudson. Education-wise though, nothing negatively impressed me (except that if you are interested in primary care, the student tour guide said that it's not the best school to attend)."
"The dorms, classrooms, and general facilities were awful (worse than my rural middle school's). Our tour guides ditched us instead of having lunch with us."
"Columbia did absolutely nothing to sell itself as a school and the day was completely disorganized. "
"Although the students all seemed very happy, at times this seemed a bit forced. Also, looking through the student handbook, it seemed as though 85%+ of the students went to an Ivy. That's fine, I guess, but for a school that prides itself on diversity, they don't seem to be practicing what they preach! Also, our tour guide was extraordinarily ditzy; not a great representation of the school. Lunch was edible, but nothing to write home about."
"The interview day was extremely disorganized. The curriculum seems somewhat old-fashioned and the students were pretty stressed-out. "
"Fact it's not in an exciting part of NYC. The curriculum could seem a little intense, where they have exam blocks of up to 5 exams a week with no reading days. "
"I was the first interview and had to wait four hours until the lunch/tour. Also, there was no lunch for vegetarians. I also would have really appreciated a financial aid talk."
"nothing. i love this school!!!!"
"The reputation of the library (we're not supposed to see it on the tour), the dorm room we saw at Bard (albeit the worst room they had to offer) was pretty bad. But supposedly the other rooms are a LOT nicer."
"I did get comments about how you can coast on Columbia's rep once you're in there, but it was only from one student in particular. Beyond that, the dorms needs some help."
"1st year dorms, neighborhood"
"The "dorms" the students live in the first year suck big time."
"The area is not that great, especially after being to Cornell's campus on the Upper East Side, but at the same time, I liked the diversity. Plus, you get to see all kinds of patients and interact with different people. Bard Hall (where the first years live) is kind of crappy and there is only one little kitchen in the whole building."
"No formal talk or really any guidance about the day from anyone in the admissions office....they just sit you in this room and it's up to you to talk to the other interviewees (luckily we got along well). Also, while many students seeemed nice and ready to promote Columbia, I did get a whiff of pretentiousness, particularly from one of my tour guides. I also got sick of how the tour guides felt the need to continuously bash other med schools--particularly Cornell and Yale--on the tour (although Cornell is not innocent of that charge either). It seemed unprofessional and unecessary as none of us had asked them their opinion of Cornell or even told them that we were interviewing at or choosing between the two. Oh, and lunch BLEW...I would stash an energy bar or something in case your "selection" is as bad as ours was."
"The students were a bit high on themselves. Also, 40-60% of their patients speak spanish only, making it really tough for kids who know no spanish."
"no financial aid presentation, no intro or anything w/a dean or someone from the admissions office. "
"I sat in on a first year class with some dorky looking professor who kept making hateful, derogatory comments about President Bush (to the laughter and cheers of the students no less). I couldn't believe how totally bias the whole thing was. I also overheard other students slamming the President; there were anti Bush posters in every hall, on every lamp-post outside, everywhere-- I'm sure many of you will be fine with it but for those of you who think politics has no place in the medical school classroom and don't want to be surrounded by a bunch of liberals-- DON'T EVEN BOTHER APPLYING TO COLUMBIA."
"Ugh what a disorganized day (there was a big event at the school which screwed everything up). The tour guide was a first year so he/she wasn't very familiar with the campus. The admissions office wasn't overly friendly compared to other schools."
"There was no talk by the dean of admissions or any faculty member. It gave me the impression that they didn't feel the need to impress us (which, I have to admit, is true, at least for me)."
"There was a bit of a wait before my interview."
"The tour was somewhat rushed and only covered one classroom and the dorms. Also, all the other interviewees were from Ivy league schools as well. It did not seem like there was much diversity of undergraduate institutions among applicants."
"the area of New York, it's very far from downtown"
"the students are freakishly happy to be there"
"Wished that there had been a formal talk by admissions head"
"We did not get to see the anatomy lab."
"Weird students, so overly enthusiastic that it felt fake."
"It was my first interview so it was hard at the time to compare it to other schools. Looking back, the day was pretty short. No speech from Frantz. No financial aid session."
"Everything else. I really got the feeling that the school rides completely on the fact that's it's Columbia, and doesn't need to sell itself to you at all. The tour showed us 3 things - a lecture hall, a histology lab, and a dorm room. We didn't get to see any of the clinical facilities or other parts of the school of medicine. The tour guides were not very helpful, they talked on and on about how everyone in their class was an olympian or a world-class musician, etc. They didn't offer any helpful info on the MD program or the clinical training. There was no info session, no welcome session, and no financial aid orientation. They day consisted of arriving, waiting around for a long time, a short tour and lunch, waiting around for a long time again, and then an interview. My interview was supposed to be at 3:00 pm but it didn't start until 4:10 pm! My interviewer wasn't really concerned with getting to know me - he was more interested in chatting about random things. "
"Students who came to talk while sitting in the interview waiting room at PnS and their sense of entitlement, fact that almost none of the students become primary care physicians after graduation, importance placed on getting the "best" residencies and how Columbia helps with this."
"No presentation by the Office of Admissions. It gave the impression that the school feels that it doesn't need to sell itself."
"My interviewer didn't ask me enough questions to really get to know me. It was comfortable during the interview, but I walked out wishing he had put me on the spot with deeper questions. In this way I felt like an average applicant that wasn't needed. Oh well."
"The student tourguide went on a little too much about the rep for being "College of Surgeons and Surgeons." Her point was to explain that it wasn't this way, but it definitely made me wonder."
"dorm-style housing. one bathroom for about 20 people isnt too great."
"As others have noted, there is a sense of entitlement at Columbia. Of course it is a big name school and most students who go there are from ivy league colleges, but it is a little annoying to constatly hear how much better they are than other schools. This was my first interview though and perhaps all schools are that way to an extent..."
"Nothing really--the free meal was pretty weak, but who cares."
"The tour was scripted. I had read on this website that they say "resident directors come up to you and shake your hand cause you are from Columbia." So I knew it wasnt a coincidence that the same med student had been giving a tour for the past five years. I pressed and asked why this school was more favorable to said director than Yale or Duke. She stalled. The tour led by the student was interrupted when the student received a cell phone call. Urgent and important, she promptly took the call, but promised that she would be back. At the end of the interview, one of our tour leaders left early to go do something. Whether she specified what that was, I was uncertain. NY is a great area, but the P&S is located so far uptown, it loses its relationship with the undergraduate campus. This became even more evident as I stayed with a friend at the law school. Two, third year students were in the admissions office immediately before my interview. They told me not to do medicine unless it was impossible to chose another career. They also said they regretted their decision to become doctors "less each day." Needless to say, this wasn't comforting. Bard Hall's athletic facilities are a tour-de-force compared to what I have seen at other schools. However, the tour guides said how no cafeteria caterer (they have it catered with a restaurant at the bottom of the hall) has been successful and the current one is "closing up shop" ASAP. My interviewer was very nice. He did ask where I applied to school, which was weird. He asked me if I had gotten an interview to Cornell, and then asked why. He asked where I had gotten into med school and then proceeded to ask "the most difficult question" of the interview. I really had no where to run or anything to do other than defend that school-as it is a great one. I am not sure if he was prodding me to see how I would surprise, if he was assessing whether, if accepted, I would come to Columbia, or whether he was just truly, profoundly and deeply concerned with my future happiness at a medical school. You may be the judge."
"Bard Hall wasnt nasty as many folks report, but I hear many dorm residents occasionally have a tough time finding a meal. Students were very UNenthusiastic about their student experience (perhaps, hopefully, because on the brink of an exam week). No free printing!?!?!?! P&S really didn't appear to offer anything outstandingly unique for the students to speak highly of--much of the students positive comments revolved around either Columbia's IVY repututation (but is P&S reputation THAT distinguished compared to other top med schools?), or it's NYC location. "
"nothing much . . they say the neighborhood is bad, but once you are in the vicinity of the med school, you are in a whole nother world . . so it is definitely managable"
"location is pretty far uptown, the dorms seem a bit grungy. also, seems like they log a lot of classroom hours!"
"How much self-validation the students seemed to have simply by attending this institution."
"The facilities weren't as nice as I'd hoped they would be, but they still look decent"
"Absolutely Nothing, even Bard is ok."
"my interviewer. i tried to keep a positive attitude, even though he was superlate for my interview, but he acted like he thought the interview was a waste of his time and only brightened up when i asked him about himself. also when i went to anatomy lecture, it was on reproductive organs, and although it may sound dumb, most of the class wasn't there but the kids who were there were giggling like they were in a 6th grade sex ed class--not really want you want from future doctors!"
"The interview day was totally uncoordinated. There were people arriving for interviews at all times - M.D./Ph.D.'s in the morning, people who wanted lunch about mid-morning, people who didn't want lunch in the afternoon. There was no introduction, no welcome, no info session. They just ushered everyone up to this nice restaurant where we were served pretty but bland food, then they shuffled us around for a tour, and then we were on our own for the interview. There were certain things for M.D./Ph.D. applicants only, certain things for M.D. applicants only, and the lunch for both. I felt as if I were intruding on the M.D./Ph.D. interview program rather than participating in an M.D. interview program. My interviewer had my file right there but obviously had not read it. He did not ask me any questions to try to get to know me. Instead he talked about himself, anecdotes about Columbia, his family, New York, etc. I felt cheated. I couldn't get a feel for the school at all. This means that even if I do get in, I'll be forced to buy another plane ticket to New York to try to get an impression of the place. "
"Everyone looked as if they had stayed up all night."
"My student hosts room was so small that we were basically spooning."
"in the beginning, a student ran into the office saying columbia sucks, go somewhere else. the sheer arrogance of a lot of the students that i met, saying things like, the residency directors will come and shake your hand out of 30 applicants because you're from columbia...it's badass. in addition, the runaround pissed me off. i was originally scheduled for a 2 pm interview, then they shifted me to a 9 am a couple of days before, so i had to reschedule stuff. when i showed up at 8 am, they told me that my interview was cancelled...so they had to run around looking for someone to interview me...and i got a 15 minute interview. whatever, i scratched this school off my list. in addition, it's in a crappy part of town compared to cornell, mt sinai, nyu, etc....too far north. one more thing, their traditional curriculum is hating it. a huge proportion of the students don't go to lecture because they're boring and inefficient...so you basically study on your own and graduate with the columbia name. i think i'll give my $130k to someone else."
"They only allot 30 minutes for each interview which I thought was a little short. Washington Heights gets very windy! "
"The facilities are all really old and dismal looking."
"nothing whatsoever, the tourguide wanted to get the hell out of there though... i think he has an upcoming exam"
"Nothing really - except that all interviewees were from Ivy League Schools. I'm from Stanford, but Columbia doesnt seem very diverse in which schools the select student from. Just a handful of liberal arts, or state schools represented."
"Our student tour guide, although he had an adequate knowledge of the school, didn't seem too thrilled at his assignment of showing us around. The neighborhood is quite awful. There wasn't much of an effort made in terms of selling us the school (I guess they don't need to)."
"The school was very dreary and my interview was pointless."
"some students seemed a little immature. the location in washington heights sucked. on the way to the subway station i got stares and catcalls from random guys loitering the streets, and no i'm not *that* good looking :) "
"Bard Hall is terrible"
"Nothing -- though I didn't stay for the tour. I've already spent a lot of time at the school (one of my best friends from college is a third year at P&S), so I didn't need the tour."
"Bard Hall. After living on my own for a few years, I would never live there!"
"Nothing, the school is much better in person than on paper!"
"the student tour guide didnt show up. "
"The competitiveness of the other students in the tour group."
"The neighborhood around Columbia (I heard is fairly safe now)--just a bit run down and gray. The housing situation is also far from perfect (the dorms are rather old and small with inconvenient kitchens, so you frequently eat out) unless you get couple housing first year. "
"Nothing in particular. certain parts of research could be improved."
"hmm... where to begin. 1) the faculty was arrogant and spoke disparagingly about other med schools and in general other institutions. this wasnt the case for all the faculty i met, but it was a stark enough difference from the other schools i interviewed at that it stood out 2) the students were so frat boy/ sorority girl types. almost without exception. 3) i'm just not a fan of the overly traditional curiculum that the school has. to me if students are skipping a significant number of lectures - the SYSTEM IS FAILING!"
"Umm...the school is fantastic. nothing really disappointed me except for the fact that food might be hard to find. But who cares? We could all shed a couple pounds here and there. =)"
"atmosphere was a little suffocating at times, an intense place, but then agian what med school really isn;t"
"The other people I interviewed with and the students that came that are extremely competitive and egocentric."
"Some of my interviewers were pretty rude. I got the feeling that my medical school interviewer thought badly of my volunteering at planned parenthood. "
"Our tour guides forgot to show up so we waited awhile for them to find some available students. Washington Heights is not the greatest neighborhood, but the rest of Manhattan is but a subway away."
"Bard Hall. Bathroom situation isn't all that great. One set per floow, co-ed, shower room has a doorbell to notify people that someone is coming in! "
"The food was bad. The dorms worse. Decent gym though. One word comes to mind when I remember those students - UGH!. Talk about devoid of personality. They were just weird. All had something rather quirky about them. Frankly, I don't even know how on earth everyone here has given it a positive rating. Granted it is a great school, but those students.. ick! Oh yeah the other interviewers were all trying to one-up each other. Pretty funny to watch. These people are going to be our future doctors? Frightening."
"the campus and the facilities are not all that modern, although i'm sure the hostpital was well equipped"
"The first-year housing is pretty horrible."
"the lack of a central cafeteria. the lunch they served us sucked. "
"Bard Hall, the apartment/dorm for first-year students is not that great. But after a year you move to apartments in the Towers which are supposed to be really nice and rent is cheap for NYC. I also wasn't a huge fan of the area, although students said that it was safe if you are smart about it. The medical school itself was a little old, although the hospital was nice."
"Bard Hall is the sorriest excuse for living conditions imaginable."
"The variation in what each student is exposed to clinically in the first two years. My interviewer was an hour late."
"Bard Hall really blows. It isn't apartments, it is dorm rooms. It is dark and gloomy and the rooms are really really small. You don't even get your own bathroom--you share with the whole floor, and the floors are co-ed. (Ew...I think I'm past sharing my shower with the opposite sex and toting my stuff down the hall with me!) There was a tiny little cafeteria with horrible food. There are no decent places to eat, no meal plan, and "ghetto" kitchens. The neighborhood sucked--it was the epitome of ghetto, and there is absolutely nothing to do there. That didn't seem to bother the current students, though, who admitted that they didn't have much time for a life, since they sat in class from 9-5 and then studied all night. The students acted like they were really happy there, but when questioned about why they chose this school, it sounded like their only reason was the name Columbia. They also wished they could move the campus about 100 blocks south. Many of the students opted to live downtown and spend lots of money on housing because the dorms and neighborhood around Columbia suck."
"food at Bard, but the rooms seemed fine."
"The tour was given by two M1's. They were reading from a sheet abd speaking in a low voice. A person/ persons who knew more about the campus would have been better as tour guides. "
"Washington Heights neighborhood, housing, some old looking facilities, how expensive everything is."
"Some of the facilities (lecture hall) seem a bit outdated. The first year dorm and dining facilities leave a lot to be desired. The neighborhood is not that great."
"NOTHING! This school is sooooo awesome."
"nothing! i love columbia!"
"I had a 9AM interview, so I was back at about 9:30. There were no planned events til noon (the tour), so I observed classes for 2 hours or so. I would have liked more organized activities (or a later interview time). I later found that most of the others had afternoon interviews."
"The other people in the room. I had heard that these interviews were like pressure cookers. I have to admit the only thing I found stressful were the other applicants! (which is what raised my interview from a 3 to a 7) They just dropped little details about how great they were and what inteviews they had, had and one even mentioned that this was his back up [email protected]#[email protected] You sit in this room and people are called out one by one (so don't bother to show up too early!) my interviewer was over an hour late so I just sat their getting more nervous! People would come out of their interviews and say that was the most stressful interview they had ever had! I don't know if they were trying to play head games with you or what? Fortunately, I did not see them at revisit weekend.....I had also heard that "
"I interviewed at several top schools and Columbia students were by far the most cocky. Harvard, Yale, and UCSF students were humble, warm, and friendly. The Columbia students I met took every chance they had to say why they were the best and to criticize other schools. They didn't seem open-minded. If you look at the facebook they give you, the vast majority of Columbia students are from Harvard, Yale, and other ives. Being from an ivy myself, I do agree my classmates would make great doctors. But the student diversity I saw at Columbia was way behind that of the other schools I saw. I would rather have more classmates from state universities and other non-ivy colleges. More racial diversity would be good too. "
"the area around P&S"
"The housing is lousy."
"the actual interview day was a little edgy. you sit in a room with the other fifteen interviewees waiting to go to your interview. there's always some idiot who says "so, statistically, only one of us is going to get in." (who brings that guy?!) also, it's washington heights. not scenic. HOWEVER, i have grown to be very excited about the location since further investigating columbia (easy access to rest of manhattan, not dangerous, prettiest views in all of manhattan, patient population that comes from right next door)"
"Probably Washington Heights. But the rest of New York is only a subway ride away."
"It's a grey, grey place. Safety of Washington Heights area isn't too great either."
"It's a pretty short interview day - I would have liked more opportunity to hang out with students. The tour was one big group, which made it hard at times to hear what was being said. "
"How chill the interview was going to be!"
"I would be asked to tell my life story during the Dean's Welcome"
"That interviewer would be dismissive of me. I would not have bothered to come to the interview"
"How relaxed the interview day would be"
"That you have to purchase a metro card and then load money onto it if you want to ride the bus/subway. You can't just pay cash or use a credit card or anything when you go to get on."
"How low-stress the one-on-one interview was."
"I would forget black socks"
"that it was a waste of time to read up about details of Columbia's curriculum etc. That the interview would be so conversational."
"That my interviewer would be so cool, and I would enjoy our conversation so much."
"nothing I felt pretty prepared"
"That I was going to get off of waitlist!"
"That there was no financial aid presentation."
"If you like breakfast, eat it before you get there. Should have brought some kind of jacket to wear over my suit for when we walked outside."
"That the interview would be so chill."
"Nothing really...interviews can be in various buildings around the "campus.""
"That it doesn't take long at all to get to/from Port Authority on the express train."
"Every student I met was so awesome that I went blind with pure awesomeness."
"That a student was taking me to breakfast."
"that I would have almost 3 hours down time between my interview and lunch to do nothing"
"the library was not shown on the tour"
"NYC is amazzzzzzing."
"wear good walking shoes ... they tell you, but they are serious ... bring a wind resistant umbrella"
"Take the subway to 168th. If you have an afternoon interview give yourself until at least 4PM as the interviewers ran extremely late. There was only one ''half one interview'' but mine lasted an hour. "
"Interviews are very short"
"nametag is a sticker that doesn't stay on. KNOW how to navigate the subway. there is a subway line that takes you straight from JFK airtrain station. you don't have to transfer, but it takes a long time. and on weekends subway comes less frequently"
"They DO NOT look down upon non-ivy league students."
"...my nametag kept falling off my suit jacket...bringing a safety pin next time!"
"That my interview would consist of derogatory comments about the state of public education in Texas and the inferiority of the modern public school."
"To bring a hair dryer."
"How relaxed the interview would be."
"how easy the interview would be"
"i wish i had known my interviewer had a phd in chemistry!!"
"The 5 is express all the way to 149 and Grand Concourse. There is no express on the 1 line up to the medical campus."
"student success network - 2nd years tutor first years, lots of support in 1st year med school - quite cool."
"Pay attention to Columbia's location in New York. "
"flying into JFK is easier since you can take the subway to columbia med (even though it is physically farther than laguardia)"
"The subway goes directly from JFK to the doorstep of the medical center for $7."
"If I wanted to learn about the strengths of the hospital associated with the medical school, I would need to collect all of that information myself."
"the address of the interview, aha"
"availability of married student housing in the Towers"
"How freakishly awesome Columbia is. It was my last choice and now it is my number 1! The students seemed like they were tight with each other, the ECs were great (P&S club). Lots of flexibility for fourth year rotations. "
"the interview is only 30 minutes long"
"How quickly the subway can get you uptown, I was there an hour early"
"How relaxing the interview was and how friendly the people were going to be"
"That the public school kids would have to defend themselves."
"Hotel Newton isn't worth what you pay for it. Bard Hall rooms are large enough to house an extra guest, so I wouldn't have had to sleep on the floor..."
"That Morningside Heights is actually pretty safe."
"That NYC transit workers were going to strike."
"That Columbia is heavy on neurology. "
"Columbia has a longer anatomy course than other universities"
"It takes almost no time to get to the school by subway and I came from the far East edge of the East village. I was an hour and a half early for my interview."
"That med students were so involved in sports (e.g. Rugby). I would've tried to make some contacts b/c I love rugby."
"It would have been nice to have the student bulletin in advance so we could have asked more specific questions about the facilities, clubs and other aspects of P&S."
"Nothing but if you don't live nearby and want to sit in on a class, schedule this ahead of time so that you can do it while you're on campus for the interview, esp. because the interview day is not that long. "
"Don't stress... it is an easy interview"
"how much freshman-year-of-college vibe the place gives off."
"The first year students live in single dorm rooms."
"my interviewers name and specialty, but thats the same with all interviews. traffic in nyc is the worst. tolls and hotels are costly, but everything probably is. no videos or presentations, unusual"
"That it was going to be raining the entire week that I was in New York, and by the time I had my Columbia interview I had a cold."
"That the location is not the greatest. It's pretty far uptown and it doesn't seem like there's all that much to do up there. But this is NYC, so there's the subway to take you anywhere."
"That it would only take me 15 minutes via express (A) train from midtown. I arrived 1.5 hours early"
"How amazing this school is. People can badmouth P&S on this website all they like, but speaking as someone with no agenda and all other things being equal, this school is ridiculously wonderful and I would consider myself extremely fortunate to study here."
"That being a rugby player ACTUALLY helps you to get in, otherwise unless you're an ivy league grad with a 3.8 you shouldn't bother. I wish I had left before wasting my time on that boring tour"
"That the students were so uptight (although I only met 5 or so)."
"you will have a lot of downtime if your interview is early. Mine was the first one at 8am."
"1) I'd know every possible detail of my application thoroughly and be able to talk about each of them for 10+ minutes. I thought I knew everything really well on my application, but this interview really pushed me to talk about things in-depth from years ago. 2) I'd bring a granola bar. The lunch at Columbia was by far the worst I've had among all my interviews. 3) I'd bring something to read because I had to sit in the interview room for over 2 hours between my interview and tour."
"That it would be FOUR DEGREES out"
"The school honestly does nothing to sell itself to you. Best thing to do is sit in on a class and talk to the students during the break."
"Some of the student's interviews started/ran late. Mine was on time though."
"how laid back the interview would be"
"that even though they say "we would like to have you at P&S from 11:45AM" doesn't mean that you can't have a 10:30AM interview scheduled (good thing i decided to be there at 10:15AM). "
"That "be there from 11:45 to 1:30 for lunch and a tour" means that food will be dropped off sometime during that window (not that there is a sit-down lunch), and the tour is super informal. I arrived at 10:30 and basically sat around for hours before my interview at 2:30. No biggie, students did stop in and chat about the school."
"Taking the subway is much cheaper. Cab ride is very expensive coming from midtown. I knew that ahead of time, but didn't want to get lost."
"That I would fall in love with Columbia P&S :o)!"
"Not the best advising system. You have to be REALLY proactive about it."
"That the anatomy course runs longer than any other medical schools and that there is a strong emphasis put on neurology/psychiatry."
"Nothing - felt pretty well informed about the school."
"Columbia turns out a huge number of surgeons- this is not the place to go if you are interested in primary care."
"that the interview would be so short"
"The interviewer really tailored his questions to my file and my specific experiences"
"Nothing sticks out. I did a lot of research into the school before I applied. I found it interesting that about 90% of the patients the med students interact with speak mainly Spanish."
"That the College of P&S supposedly "recruits" rugby players! I was told the Admissions director played rugby and the P&S team has one the med school championships 11 years in a row. Apparently being a 4 year starter on my undergrad team almost guarunteed admission, who would have thought?!?! So all you ruggers - apply!"
"How integral Columbia is to the community around it. A pretty interesting dynamic overall..."
"Nothing out of the ordinary"
"that no conservatives are allowed!"
"They changed the time of my interview before I arrived without telling me until I got there. It screwed up the rest of my day."
"that the interviews are conducted at the office of the faculty interviewer. I arrive 15 minutes early to the office of admissions and the woman told me "here is the address of your interview. it's about 15 minutes away, so you'd better hurry." "
"They updated their curriculum about 10 years ago. I thought they had an entirely lecture-based system, but in fact they combine lectures with small grouo sessions."
"First year is pass-fail. "
"that the first year dorms are kinda crappy"
"First year is all pass/fail--pleasant surprise."
"Nothing. Had been to Washington Heights/CUMC previously."
"That the school completely rides on its reputation."
"I didn't realize how "renown" this school actually was until about 2 months later. Frankly, I was just applying to NYC schools and Columbia happened to be in the right place. I guess that explained why some of the other students were so anxious during their interviews. "
"Huge percentage of students from Ivy Leagues. Very low percentage of married/older students."
"The day is really short: mine was from 10:30 to 1:30."
"Bring a book- if your interview is in the morning it may be a long wait until the program gets started."
"Dining hall at Bard Hall was closed... lunch was a subsidized trip to a Bagel shop... not worth sticking around for."
"It only takes about 25 minutes to get there from dowtown Manhattan--I was 40 minutes early."
"The tour is very scripted. Prepare a question to throw them off balance when they say "the resident director will come shake your hand." It'll knock their socks off."
"That Cornell had an 5-year MPH program with Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health. "
"ccps students seem to have varying afternoon schedules--it seemed to me like it would be possible to never see people outside of class because everyone has different afternoons free each week. also, 4th years are very happy."
"That the tour guides and students that hover around the admissions aparatus easily lied/ignored major problems they had with columbia [I overheard a group of them lambasting the lack of response by P&S moments after they emphasized to us how feedback oriented they were]"
"The area is a lot safer/nicer than I expected. Someone was saying that Washington Heights is now reported as the second safest neighborhood in Manhattan."
"That they interview just about everyone who applies... there were 30 people in one day, a little intimidating for me."
"that it's hard to get a good picture of columbia from the interview--maybe take some time to explore on your own a little bit. there's no presentation or anything, you just walk in and wait, so i found that a little surprising."
"Going from Baltimore to Newark to New York on the morning of the interview is not a good idea. You won't feel too fresh when you get there."
"It's really difficult to park...don't drive there!"
"I think I was pretty well prepared. I would like to have not stumbled on the question about Spanish."
"The students at Columbia are very attractive."
"It seems like about half the class is from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Penn, etc. This is not something to be concerned about as the students were really down to earth, but it is something you might want to be aware of. Also, the rumour that columbia picks only good-looking people seems to be true, although it looks like they let the MD/PhD students slide on this requirement. They even hand out a facebook of current students during the interview. "
"Washington Heights isn't that unsafe anymore."
"that it is better than what it looks like on paper, and washington heights is NOT BAD AT ALL"
"Actually I didn't really discover much during my visit."
"Columbia interviews almost everyone who applies."
"location in washington heights..."
"MD / PhD program is excellent. I have been torn between MD and MD / PhD and could have gone for the latter"
"I'm glad I didn't know how much I would like it cause I would have been way more nervous."
"I already knew this but in terms of advice- the subway (1, 9, A, or C) is the easiest way to get there from anywhere in NYC."
"I should speak slower, think a little bit longer before answering."
"We couldn't find the room for my interview (the tour guide and me) so I began to hyperventilate when I only had about ten minutes until my interview, wandering the hospital. I should have tried to get there earlier to avoid the stress of getting lost."
"About the influence Dean Frantz has on admissions (Don't get me wrong--I liked my interviewer). I would have requested to interview with Dean Frantz beforehand."
"How easy it is to get around New York City"
"Bard Hall isn't that bad. I've heard rumors that it was nasty, but it's not any worse than most of the other schools in Manhattan. Plus, Bard has lounges, a roof with a fantastic view of the Hudson and GW bridge, and a well-equipped gym all in one building."
"not to be so stressed - I'm very relaxed person, but since this was my #1, i was a stressed and perhaps it showed"
"It is relatively common for students to pursue dual degrees."
"bring your change of clothes with you so you can change for dinner. About half of the applicants were still wearing our suits for the dinner at a busy, crowded place. The thing I wanted most at that point (after 8 hours of interviewing and touring) was to change out of my stupid suit!"
"Nothing, I had already been to the school and done alot of reading about Columbia, so I was not too surprised."
"Everyone complains about the dorms...who cares!?!?! It's a dorm room for one year - get over it! The apartments for 2nd years are very nice."
"That all the students that go there are from Harvard, Columbia, Yale, Princeton, Duke and Hopkins. I'm from Cornell, and ivy league school, and I felt dumb as rocks."
"relax!!!! everyone is so nice and they really try to put you at ease"
"that almost all first years have to live in the dorm"
"That classes can be really long (even as long as 9-5 some days when you have lectures and labs) but that students aren't all crazy studious and no personality types. Although the medical school is hard and the students work hard, I sat in on two classes and about 10 minutes into the third class the entire back row was either asleep or doing crossword puzzles. That made me laugh and humanized the students for me. Also I found out that Columbia can pretty much get you any kind of residency you want and that they send the most people every year into neurosurgery out of all medical schools in the US."
"That the neighborhood is not as bad as people make it out to be on this site. It a largely Dominican Republic/Black neighborhood. This cultural diversity is primarily what the hospital so wonderful. Also the surrounding area is affordable."
"That I would hate it and not see myself there, so that I wouldn't have wasted my time and money going there. "
"How relaxed the interview would be. Don't stress!"
"That this school is DA BOMB!"
"take the A train from midtown! dont be dumb like me and take the 9 up there!"
"After the 1st year a fair number of student move away from the area or out of the housing system"
"$20 cab ride from Washington Heights to Penn Station -- I don't know if the convenience of a cab is worth that much compared to the subway."
"Actually 2 of us in my interview group got in, so statistically it is more than 1 ;) Couples housing is extremely easy to qualify for (and doesn't include financial information of your partner, unlike other schools)-which qualifies for a subsidized apartment inthe towers which are beautiful! That you don't have to be supper human to get in or have the spotless record. I was shocked to get invited for an interview...if you get an interview you are on just as equal ground as everyone else in the room! That you get the opportunity to rotate through every specialty and many sub-specialties (much more extensive than most schools), without having to wait until fourth year to try it as an elective!"
"it was my first interview, and I wish I had been more relaxed since it was more like a conversation"
"This was my first interview and I was nervous. While the experience was extremely positive, (unlike a future exceptionally poor interview experience at University of Utah), I wish I had maybe done some more "mock" interviews. I also wish I had known that "anyone who plays rugby and the piano" gets into Columbia..."
"P&S doesn't give any financial aid deals to upper middle class people. as such, i'm shelling out $50K a year to go there... that's going to be a fairly significant loan debt. unless you think you'll qualify for financial aid, it might be wise to consider whether you can justify this financial burden. i think generally people want to specialize or sub-specialize or go into academic medicine. but what do i know?"
"Not to be too scared of being in New York by myself. It was totally fine."
"Nothing really, I had lived in New York before so the subways weren't too frightening. I would suggest buying a subway map if that's how you're planning on getting around."
"Awesome school and relatively laid-back interview day"
"This doesn't reflect well on the school"
"LOL @ People who are scared of Harlem."
"Students who interviewed for Columbia-Bassett program had lunch with only one student and did not receive a complete campus tour. Wish we had opportunity to meet and speak with more NYC students."
"There really are low numbers of people becoming primary care physicians. Seems that most people go into surgery. Definitely a factor to be considered depending on what field you are strongly considering."
"This was a very relaxed interview. Besides the questions above, everything was more of a conversation as opposed to an interrogation"
"Dean Frantz owns the waitlist. Don't think you have to wait until May 15th to get off it. Be agressive, and if Columbia is your top choice commit as soon as possible! Write a couple letters, than give him a call. He is very open to that, compared to other adcoms that I dealt with. Once I committed, I was immediately accepted."
"This is a great school. I really enjoyed the experience."
"My student host was super awesome. His whole floor of buddies were super awesome. Luckily I was there right after their week of tests, so everyone was relaxed."
"Columbia is definitely overrated. The instruction might be good, but the rest of the package is lacking. Not sure why I would pay $60k+ per year to live in the kind of conditions they subject their students. "But it's NYC" and "it's Columbia" don't seem to be good enough excuses."
"I really enjoyed my experience at Columbia. The program seems really strong and the current students seemed to really enjoy it."
"Would love to go here. Also, decisions aren't mailed until around March 1st, so don't worry if you don't hear back in the standard 4-8 weeks!"
"Not surprisingly, a fantastic program!"
"I had a particular interest and my interviewer did a greatjob to address that. MY interviewer gave the phone number of a doctor that runs a department that I am interested. The second doctor met with me showed me the department, and was very welcoming in general. Everyone at Columbia loves Columbia and made me excited about the possibility of studying there. -Bard Hall, the main Dormitory for the med schl as well as other gradate programs, was a little run down and not a place I would want to live. -The med schl is not located in the best neighborhodd, but the positive is that you get a great patient population..."
"I knew Columbia was a big name, good school, but I didn't expect to be as impressed as I was with the overall program."
"if you find yourself with free time, use it to sit in on a class or view the facilities you are interested in "
"Loved it! They couldn't be nicer there!"
"The interview was pretty conversational, without too many surprises."
"My interview experience was awesome. That Dr. Nicholas made me feel so comfortable. We spoke about everything BUT medicine. He only asked 5 questions, and not one of them addressed academics or the MCAT. It also helped that he had a lot of the same interests that I have (he helps to run a pediatric AIDS program in the Dominican Republic, and I have done a lot of work there). Just be yourself, don't try to give your interviewer an answer you think he/she wants to hear. Be genuine, open, and honest, and I promise you will love your interview. Also, make sure you prepare some interesting questions for your interviewer. 15 minutes of my interview were allotted specifically for MY questions."
"I had a great experience here. The interview itself was very relaxed and conversational. The students were by far the most impressive part of the school and Columbia is one of my top choices now."
"very good day - easy interview - the Dr. mostly talked to entire time and sold the school to me I really had little chance to say anything - nice tour - very friendly people"
"Overall, Columbia is the more traditional of the NYC schools in terms of curriculum (which is being overhauled next year). Moreover, I found that they wanted talented under-represented minorities and Ivy League graduates. I felt slightly out of place. I felt the total lack of interest in interviewees by the majority of people there really spoke to their priorities. Overall, the interview went well but I wasn't overly impressed. "
"Arrived, had coffee with a first year, followed immediately by 30 minute interview, then lots of waiting time during which I explored Washington Heights and sat in on a class. Then we all went to lunch in Bard Hall and had a tour. Done around 2."
"Came away with very mixed feelings. The students were all ivy-leaguers and focused on the fun to be had at Columbia. The faculty and administration never said a word, not even hello to the interviewees. OTOH, the facilities are great and the classes were interesting. "
"so so. my interview didn't seem all that interested"
"Very short day...showed up for lunch, then a tour, then 1 half our interview with faculty member, and then I went home"
"I arrived early and waited for about 15min before my interviewer came to meet me. I interviewed with the Dean of Admissions and he was the kindest old man you'd ever want to meet. We chatted for 45min about books, hobbies, family and then he let me go. While I was in the waiting room students constantly stopped by to say hello, and at one point the entire room was packed with interviewees and students from every year. I heard they were very stuck up about being ivy league but I didn't get that impression at all. I go to a very small, no name school and they treated me like everyone else. It was a little intimidating having the name of your school on your name-tag since everyone else was from top 25 schools. The tour guides were very enthusiastic and seemed genuinely happy. The location is unbeatable and downtown Manhattan is a 15min subway ride away."
"Overall a great day - started out with a breakfast with one of the students, just informal chitchat; then lunch and tour with several students - they were all really nice and very down to earth people, not at all like some of the rumors that I had previously heard. Interview was pretty short, to the point where it left me wondering how I had done...but I think it went alright."
"very positive, great school, great facilities, smart and friendly students"
"I received the impression that Columbia likes to admit wealth, East coast Ivy grads and minorities with artistic talents. Everyone else is excluded."
"Fantastic school, great students, socially conscious, excellent in virtually every way, as far as I could tell."
"i was expecting columbia to be a little more hard core based on its reputation. but i think the guy asked me to softball questions and then talked and talked and talked about everything under the sun. it was like visiting your parent's neighbors. "
"I had an afternoon interview, so I only had to arrive at the school for lunch. After lunch and the tours, I had my interview. It was a very short day for most people and would have been for me had my interviewer not been late. However, he was very friendly and the interview was conversational."
"It was a long day, but a common format. Light breakfast and introduction to the program at 8:45am - interviews through lunch- tour after lunch- interviews until 4pm. I had one 35 minute break when I got to explore a bit."
"student host was really nice, got to stay the night in crappy bard hall. columbia has a reputation for being cutthroat (well, at least from my 2-person anecdotal evidence), which i don't think it deserves. there's only 1 interview, which everyone found pretty laid back, and the students were very happy to sell the school. the student facilities were pretty rough in my opinion, but the hospital was really nice. "
"I wasn't incredibly sold on the school beforehand, but the people made me feel very comfortable and now it is a top choice."
"It was good overall. My interviewer was very cold. I have mixed feelings about Columbia and will have to think about it a lot more. "
"though the interviews are technically open-file. my interviewer told me in the beginning that he did not look at my file (nor does he look at anyones) since he just wants to get to know me as a person and see if I would do well here as a person (they want to know how well they can suit your interests outside of medicine... since everyone they interview is already determined 'academically adequate')... We talked about painting, disease, track, he took out his gym stuff to show me his new basketball. easiest interview as of yet (and ive had some pretty easy ones so far)."
"My interviewer seemed cold and un-caring, although other interviewers seemed warm and generally conversational."
"I had a preconceived notion (not remarkably positive) about who I thought attended Columbia University. Half of the students that I met confirmed my expectations, however, half of the students proved me quite mistaken. If there is any piece of advice I would pass along to students who are interested in this school it would be this: Yes, it is Columbia, and yes, there are many areas where that name will be helpful in your career. At the same time, I would try to enter into your interview day with as balanced and open a mind as possible. Do your homework, be yourself and I believe the day will be of sincere value to you. Best wishes."
"I interviewed in the morning with Dr. Franz, the Director of Admissions. Despite what some people may have you believe, interviewing in the morning does not equate to interviewing with Dean Franz. There were at least 3 other interviewers interviewing at the same time. I just got lucky. The interview with Dean Franz was very stress-free, and very conversational. He seems to enjoy doing most of the talking. Without meaning to, I started talking while he was still in mid-sentence, and he just kept going, so I stopped and let him finish. The conversation started out with my diverse background and experience (I'm a postbac), then went to music (Bach), computers, and logic puzzles. Looking back on it now, it really felt like I was just chatting and catching up with an old friend. As a side note: When I looked over the SDN reviews, and saw the really really low stress-ratings, I was a bit incredulous. However the people at Columbia clearly want to see who you actually are as a person. They (at least Dean Franz) are not out to grill you and stress you to your breaking point. So relax; remember who you are. Remind yourself of the things you do outside of science/academics/medicine that make you unique or interesting. That's what they want to know. (At least, that's what it seems like.) That said, all those high self-ratings are a bit disconcerting. It makes you wonder which part of the awesome interview are the parts that they will remember..."
"Doctor was really laid back, almost to the point of being tired, and so was I, so . . . just a real loose conversation"
"Friendly yet not completely informal, I was very impressed with my interviewer and his knowledge of, well, everything. He obviously took interest in the admissions process and had read my file well. We talked about new york, research, and a lot of things that had very little to do with medicine (private vs public schooling, classics, us dependence on oil). 45 minutes flew by even though we were only scheduled for 30."
"Great place, laidback interview, great students. Interviews are scheduled to last 30 mins., but if you have Dr. Frantz, you are likely to go over that amount of time with some interesting conversation."
"It was really, really laid back. He just went over my application and asked me a couple of questions. Very nice guy. "
"very straight forward. the interviewers like to talk so expect to have a conversation where you may not be talking as much as you expected (nor about medically related things)"
"I was with a very, very nice man who I had a great conversation with. Unlike many other interviewers, he seems more interested in just getting to know me as a person than have me re-state my application. "
"Is there a better place to study medicine than NYC? No. Is there a better school in NYC? Debatable. It was a blast, and I hope they let me in. "
"I had a 9:30am interview with Dean Frantz, before I had the chance to speak with any of the students. It was very conversational and quite enjoyable. We talked about rugby for the first 20 minutes and then moved on into the other extra-curriculars Columbia has to offer for a while. We then talked about my background and my interests in neurosurgery. He recommended a biography of Harvey Cushing and talked about how strong P&S is in neuroscience. He really seemed to be trying to sell the school to me, which was interesting, because I had imagined I would have to sell myself to the school. He had to end our last conversation topic early because we had run over into the next interview time slot by 10 minutes. Afterwards, the students all came by and talked about how much they love the school. The tour was relatively short, but quite informative. Most of the time, I talked to one 1st year about how much he's enjoying it so far and how nice it is to have pass-fail in your first year."
"I felt really lucky to be assigned to the interviewer I had - his interests really matched up with mine. I didn't feel like I communicated that as well as I could've, but I definitely left the interview inspired."
"We had a tour and lunch before my interview. The day seemed really short, especially considering how much the plane ticket to get there was."
"In traditional Ivy League customs, almost everyone in my interview group went to a Top 10 private undergrad institution. There were only 3 of us that didn't, all from public school. After talking to the other students who had already been interviewed, the common consensus was the interview seemed pretty laid-back and conversational. My interviewer absolutely grilled me on every aspect of my application. I felt like I was defending myself, like I had to prove I was good enough among my peers, defending my decision to attend my undergrad school. Every other aspect of the day was great, P&S seems like a great school, but it seems the admissions director is pretty old school, so unless you went to school that would be respected by ivy-league types, be prepared to rigorously defend yourself."
"My interviewer alternated between disagreeing with me and selling the school. I spent a lot of the interview wondering what the point of my being there was."
"This was the most laid back, conversational interview I have had thus far. The physician was very friendly and even offered advice on things to ask others at other med schools - in case I decide not to go to Columbia."
"I was very nervous for my interview, but once I got in the room it was fun and a good experience. Everyone at Columbia seemed geared towards getting to know me as a person. I really enjoyed my visit."
"Overall, a very positive experience. The students seemed to really like the school, and I didnt get the anti-public school feeling that many people mention. The one and only faculty interview started out slow, but by the end we discovered many mutual interests and believes about the future of medicine. I REALLY want to go to this school."
"It was a very relaxed day and pretty fun. I had a great time talking to my fellow interviewees and the interviewer. I am very impressed by the enthusiasm of the students. So many of them came in to the interview room just to chat with us. "
"Great- students seem very happy, new student lounge is very nice, faculty very accessible"
"It was a very laid back interview and the students were very enthusiastic even though they had just had exams."
"Very comfortable and low stress. Actually one of the things that impressed me most about Columbia is how much they genuinely want to get to know you (not to make you snap). It was mentioned to me that they are very cafeful about selecting a cohesive class who will make personable and well rounded physicians, and that is one of the reasons everyone seems to get along so well."
"My interviewer was great! She was nice and enthusiastic and made me feel completely relaxed. We really just talked for a half hour... the time flew by."
"Another thing I'd like to comment on is the frequent assessment that folks are "obsessed" with where the applicants attended school. While some asked, it was often NOT the first question, if one at all. On top of that, every student I met was willing to talk and answer questions. While stressed and admitted that P&S could be a bit much at times, they all managed to get out. In addition, there were numerous clubs and social outlets, and the people we saw (selection bias, admittedly) were well-adjusted and pleasant. "
"very laid back. super nice interviewer. no challenges whatsoever. the hospital is fine. great in neuro, which is my primary interest. lunch was ok, just lacking in flavor."
"The interview was very relaxed and conversational. Totally low stress and no difficult questions."
"if youre surrounded by ivy students and such and feel uncomfy--screw it, dont be a wimp, have some confidence. obviously the schools interested. but you might have to prove yourself that much more. eat a good breakfast if youre appetite is big like mine, bc lunch is small as aforementioned. the schools good--it has the reputation and the ppl, its not in the glorious part of nyc but its close enough. just do your best and dont have regrets."
"I enjoyed my interview at Columbia. The school and the students impressed me. I'm not from a top tier undergrad school ... it's actually a mostly unknown public school, and most of the kids I interviewed with were from the Ivy league, but I didn't feel like it was an issue. The students are very friendly and enthusiastic, and I'm sold ... though in reality something terrible would have had to happen to really hurt the schools rank on my list. Columbia is my top choice."
"there was no introduction and at no point did anybody from the admissions staff address the interviewees. The interview was conversational and friendly, and the tour guides were enthusiastic."
"The interview was very relaxed and more of a conversation. The doctor who interviewed me told me to relax as I came in and told me she just wanted it to be a comfortable environment. We just talked about my application and my family."
"It was very stress-free and relaxed. It didn't feel at all like an interview, but more like the kind of conversation you have with someone interesting you meet waiting for the bus or at the store or something."
"Good, but I wish that the admissions staff had actually met with us, and made us feel more welcome"
"a good school; although i definitely felt kind of wierd with all the people being so obsessed where we (the interviewees) went to undergrad. everyone was very nice and the interview itself was extremeely laid back with a very nice faculty member, but the overall feeling of the day was marred by people continually asking me where i went to undergrad. not sure i want to go to a place like that. "
"Students appeared to be very happy. Athletics is common appreciation of all."
"I interviewed with a kindly old man who really just wanted to chat about anything and everything. What a wonderful experience!"
"I'm not crazy about the school. After attending boarding school and college out of state, I am really not interested in living in a dorm setting. My interview had a disinterested expression on his face and it was obvious he had other places he'd rather be. I'm just grateful I live in NYC and didn't pay money, other than a swipe of my metrocard to go to this waste of a day. Aside from my rantings, this was a very straightforward and short interview."
"I really liked my interviewer. He just wanted to get to know me and what I would add to the Columbia community."
"it was great, the classes were awesome, and the faculty was great."
"I enjoyed talking with my interviewer even though he brought up picky details from my application that I wasn't ready to answer. I waited around for hours before the tour and lunch. This was the most unstructured interview day I've had. I wasn't very impressed overall, so I withdrew a few weeks later."
"I was interviewed by an older doctor who had very old fashioned ideas about women. I could see how someone would be offended by some of his comments (I told him my mother was a homemaker and he mentioned that he liked 'traditional women') But, I chalked that up to generational differences. He was actually very nice to me and the interview, overall, was conversational."
"The actual interview was awesome! 20 students interview at a time and not one had a bad experience. The interview is casual and conversational (though the interviewer will not hold back if you say something stupid). The tour consisted of nothing more than a walk showing how the school is physically connected to the hospital (but I didn't get the "residency directors will walk up to you and shake your hand because you graduated from columbia"speach)."
"Wonderful school and very relaxed interview. It was very conversational and not stressful."
"Pretty friendly and relaxed. Arrived at the admissions office, was given a packet with student handbook and financial aid info, went on the tour and had my interview at 1:30. It was conversational and the interviewer seemed genuinely interested in my background. I can't really tell how I did, but I guess I'll find out eventually."
"the school doesn't do much to impress the students - there was no presentation, for example. i interviewed first, then sat in a room for a while and talked to the med students who stopped by. we then went on a student-led tour."
"the least stressful interview that I ever had (maybe it was because my interviewer was not impressed by anything in my record and thus didn't have any specific questions to ask). the school isn't very pretty. i didn't like the fact that there were no financial aid or admission process shpeels."
"The interview itself was low stress and conversational, but it was hard to tell whether the doctor actually liked me (he didn't smile that much). It's true the school doesn't do much to sell itself, but apparently they're working on fixing that. "
"I felt that my interview here went really well, but I just didn't click that well with the school."
"My interviewer didn't like me, or pretended not to like me. Lots of feel-good statements like "Oh you're the guy with all the travel. Yeah, your resume makes it look like you goofed around for 3 years." "You're the only non-MD/PhD candidate I'm interviewing today." "You haven't asked me anything. Don't you have any questions?" Basically, it was supposed to be 45 min and it was 25. It wasn't a dialogue, it was him asking me a question, me responding, and him saying "nope, here's the right response." So there wasn't any flow. This does not necessarily mean it went badly for me, it just wasn't a pleasant interview."
"The day consists of an interview, lunch, and tour. The interview can be low stress. However, it is in my opinion that an interview with the Dean is less stressful than an interview with someone else because the other interviewers are trying to get a good enough impression so that they can convey something meaningful to the Dean and, therefore, have to get more out of their interviewees."
"It was a great interview experience, one of the best I have had. The students were friendly, tour guides were very honest about the school and despite some faults, were very passionate about it and happy to be there. The interview was very low-stress and mainly centered on my other activities that were not related to medicine."
"My interviewer seemed like he had already decided I would be a certain type of person and that I would give certain answers, and when I didn't give the answers that he thought I should or would give, he kept pressing me and pressing me. Not the most pleasant 50 minutes."
"My interview was harmless, but the school did NOTHING to sell itself. There was no one from admissions to welcome the interviewees as a group or who was appointed to speak with us about the curriculum or community. And worst of all, the interview lasting only about half an hour, was over before 9am and there was nothing else planned for the day except a student-guided tour at 12pm. Killing 3 hours in a crowded room with a bunch of other interviewees is no fun and an insult to our time. Maybe Columbia believes that the school sells itself, but I STILL don't know enough about it to say...."
"My interviewer was Dr. Frantz. He's a sweet old man who just wanted to get to know me. He was very kind, knew my file in and out (had a knack for memorizing details; very impressive), and just wanted to hear all about me and my musical/theatrical pursuits, family, early experiences (I have Crohn's Disease, so we talked about that at length). He is so proud of Columbia - and it's obvious that he puts a lot of stock in the students he selects to join the class."
"Very conversational and relaxed. The questions were straight off my application."
"Good experience overall. You can't beat NYC and the students were nice. Though if you look in the facebook it is 90% Ivy League covered and I like having students from all over and various institutions."
"The students and the interview were the most positive aspect of my day."
"really good. everyone was super nice. oh yeah, this school EXPECTS thank you notes!"
"I think that they really try to foster a noncompteitive atmosphere. The students were all really interesting and were interested in me as an applicant. I think it would be a great place to go!"
"I interviewed with Dr. Frantz who is an AWESOME person. He was so much fun to talk to. It was a very relaxed conversation. He knew my file inside and out which was great. We talked about my family, my college experience, my current job (I'm 2 years out of college), sports, reasons for going into medicine. He told me about how much Columbia has to offer its students through all the various programs in the P&S Club. We also spoke about rugby and how it is so popular at Columbia. The interview lasted about an hour, then I sat in on a Human Development class, took a tour, and ate lunch. Overall a great day."
"The interview just asked about various aspects which I had highlighted in my AMCAS and secondary applications. It was very conversational which made it very low stress. There weren't any real questions, just more of can you tell me about this experience.... I really enjoyed the interviewer. The students like being in their school. It did get a little tiring to hear how everyone is so happy...it's great that people like it there, but all seems too good to be true. Beyond that, the neighborhood isn't the greatest, but if you've lived in a city you won't be shocked. Plus, it provides for a lot of exposure to different cases. Overall, I would say if you've read this site you'll be fine. Just expect some happy students that may be a bit proud of their school and enjoy the day!"
"Excellent, great....blew U Miami, UPenn, and Mt. Sinai (other 4 schools I have gone to so far) out of the water!"
"It was SUPER chill. I interviewed with the nicest old man ever. He didn't even really ask me any questions. We just talked abouta couple of my experiences and he seemed to think everything was great. He told me what he loved about Columbia. That was about it."
"Great school and decent interview day"
"My interviewer was really friendly, and we basically talked politics for most of the time."
"this is an awesome school. but my interviewer and i didnt click. try to talk to 3rd or 4th years while you are there. they were the most helpful since they've been thru most of the process."
" The interviewer was incredibly nice, made it a point to put me at ease. "
"People seem to just love Columbia med from what I have read on SDN. However, I wasn't blown away compared to other NYC schools, and the area was less than stellar. Also, everything seemed old and run down. The students seem really happy though."
"It was very much of a conversation, but with me teaching my interviewer. I think he was looking to see if I could express myself well and explain concepts clearly."
"I really was blown away by this school, and I hope that I am accepted. There was a lot of down time with the other interviewees (there were 23 of us on that day), which was okay, but it gets tiresome to talk with people about their application/interviews/etc after awhile. It was great that we were able to sit in on a class and see the dorms, and there was a free lunch. Overall, I was extremely pleased."
"Very relaxing and positive"
"The experience was not at all stressful, and the interviewer seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say and not out to get me with tricky questions. The students on campus seemed eager to help, and overall, everyone was very supportive."
"Columbia is great. They have an excellent program and incredible student resources. The locations isn't great but there is a subway stop right by the school."
"My interviewer was the grandfather I never knew. From the very beginning when he shook my hand, he greeted me incredibly warmly. He liked the fact that I graduated from the undergraduate school and that I got involved in a lot of activities. He pretty much went through my AMCAS and asked me questions about my experiences. He was a great guy to talk to, and I think he appreciated the fact that I wasn't just focused only on science. Because I had many other interests, we had a good talk flowing. The students are really really (really) happy to be there. The facilities are ehhh - I saw better ones at supposedly lesser schools, but I think that everything else (student life, teaching) is great. "
"The tour could have been longer, and there could have been a formal info session, but I was very impressed with the school."
"Good interview, impressive school but I was turned off by most of the students I met. "
"URM session over bagels and juice at 9 or maybe earlier. Spoke to students and to Dean Hutcherson. There were 3-4 other applicants present. Had my interview (not with Frantz) early morning. Told me I was "in" on the spot (didn't believe him). Students came in to speak with the few applicants waiting in the interview room. No arrogance. Very candid. They have a rep for churning out people who want to go into surgery or surgical subspecialties. Not a place for primary care although Mailman school of public health is among the best."
"I was very disappointed - I expected to like the school a lot more. See above."
"Interview was with an endocrinologist affiliated with the hospital. Columbia doesn't use a few standard interviewers - it appears that they use a bunch of different doctors. My interviewer was really into research so we talked a lot about that. "
"I was impressed by the faculty I met, but was slightly turned off by the students I met"
"What a positive experience! I arrived with a high opinion of Columbia and left with an even higher one."
"School was great. After seeing it, it became my first choice among fourteen big names."
"Overall it was a good experience. It seemed like an interesting patient population and of course the school has a great reputation. It was more laid back than I thought it would be. I was surprised that I had such a basic conversation with my interviewer. It didn't feel like his purpose was to delve deep and "get to know me.""
"I was asked a single question, and in the process of answering it the interview spiralled into a 75 minute conversation about global health. Despite the length, it was a great conversation. The interviewer was enthusiastic about Columbia and was very friendly. The only negative experience was that our tour guide failed to show up and we had to go on an abbreviated tour of the school conducted by a student recruited for the task at the last minute. "
"the interviewer was really nice and it was pretty laid back. Nothing too difficult or confrontational. He did a lot of talking, and it was all pretty conversational."
"Good overall. They interview a lot of people, and everyone says the interviewers are pleasant so it is tough to get a sense of what your chances are..."
"Very low stress; a little quick. Don't feel as though I really got too in depth... a great school"
"Great school, great interview, good tour."
"::shrugs:: Its a fabulous school. The curriculum is entirely lecture based (minus labs and some small group), so it is very traditional. If you do not like this, and are more of a PBL-type of guy, this is not the place for you."
"Students had more complaints about quality of life @ P&S than positive comments. Students appeared to struggle in selling their own school(not much good to say)! From what I gained, the big reason to attend Columbia....it's a flashy-name school (duh!) in New York (duh!). Didn't walk away with much more than that."
"This was a great interview experience, starting from my student host to the very end. Everything is very conveniently accesible at Columbia, and its quite easy to get your way around. There pool of potential patients is har to beat. And the whole interview experience in general was very easy-goign. All interviewees wait in one room prior to being called in, and everyone is quite friendly and supportive. A top priority for sure. "
"different students stopped by the interview waiting room during our downtime. overall, the day provided a good snapshot of life at ccps."
"I was initially attracted to the School of Public Health. After visiting the medical school, however, I will not sacrifice my education/happiness in order to have access to it. "
"People either love this school or hate it. I have a feeling that most of the haters haven't experienced the school except through what they've heard from others/SDN. Take peoples' comments with a grain of salt until you actually go to this school. I was truly impressed with my experience. The best part of the day was how the current students (from all years) willingly came to talk to us about their experiences thus far. They all seemed really honest and, with that, they all really loved the place. My interview was very conversational, no probing questions or anything. I had a good feeling about this school before I interviewed, and now I have an even better one. It's definitely my first choice. It will be an agonizing wait until February 15!"
"I absolutely love the school, it is definetly my number one choice. The people are extremely friendly, the students are smart and happy and the facilities are pleasant enough to want to spend four years studying there. There were a lot of people interviewing that day but the interview itself was great - like talking to a friend or relative. "
"The interviewer was pretty nice. Felt like a one-on-one discussion with an older family member. She just asked to clarify somethings in my application"
"i think that i may not have gotten a very good view of the school. it was a very busy interview day--lots of kids in the waiting room, and i missed part of the tour. i had heard so many wonderful things about it, it had definitely been my first choice NY school, if not my first choice school, before the interview. i still think i'd be really happy there--some other people seemed to have really cool, friendly interviewers, and the students were very happy. they seemed friendly, but i definitely got the "on residency, docs will give you more respect just b/c you're from columbia, even if kids from state schools are smarter than you" spiel too. school pride is one thing, but acting proud you're benefiting from a name-brand education even if you don't deserve it was not very impressive. and all this from a 3rd year..."
"See "What negatively impressed you?""
"Typical MD/PhD interviews...they fill up the whole day...6 interviews total. There was a dinner the night before, and a dinner the day of...and a lunch the day of. The 6 interviewers included 1 clinician, 1 student, and 4 scientists"
"A pretty easy interview overall. Decent tour, small waiting room on a busy interview day."
"Correction to the last post. It looks like the question about speaking Spanish is bad. That's not what I meant. It wasn't asked in an uncomfortable way at all. It's just that my personal Spanish skills aren't very good; I would like to have been able to say I have better grasp of the language. P&S sounds like a great place to improve my clinical Spanish skills. "
"Very comfortable. The are personal and easygoing. I was nervous coming from a relatively unknown public school; the only P&S student from my school tracked me down and talked with me for quite a while; I was very impressed."
"The questions she initially asked me were mostly springboards for further conversation. From what I've gathered, that is how Columbia likes to run interviews. When asked a question don't just answer it with a formulated reply. Use it to start talking about other aspects of your application. I was basically asked two "starter" questions in the interview and from there we went in different directions with questions pertinent to the conversation. "
"This was my 6th school to interview at, so I'm kind of on auto-pilot now. Columbia's students were really great, and seemed very happy. Bard Hall is pretty much like the average freshman dorm, but if you put in a year there, you can get into the lottery for the Towers which are REALLY nice. The facilities are a little old and cramped, but everything in NYC is that way. The neuro department is amazing."
"I LOVE THIS SCHOOL"
"the interview itself went pretty well, but i just didn't like the student body there. they seemed really full of themselves and condescending toward others (including other med schools and their students)."
"Overall very chill...I left feeling more excited about the school than before I came."
"I got there in the morning, maybe an hour earlier than I was supposed to, so I walked to the McDonalds to chill for a bit. I had the tour of the school first, then the interview. My interviewer was nice enough. He didn't really ask me any questions worth mentioning, just some stuff about my file. It was mostly a conversation. What can I say, Columbia is Columbia. Its probably a really excellent school, but you won't be able to tell that from your visit. I didn't really like the environment there, and I'm not sure why. Bad vibes I suppose. The students I met didn't seem like particularly interesting people - but then again I might have just gotten a bad sample. "
"Very laid back interview. the day is very unstructured and they don't really do much to sell the school. some students dart in and out and talk about how much they love the school. one of the students seemed really cool. others kept talking about how they got wasted each weekend. dunno, i'm not really into all that anymore (even though, yes, it IS New York.) they didn't have any presentations, speeches by deans or organized tours. our tour guide was a very nervous student who seemed to be pretending to be someone he wasn't. my interview was truly laid back and started on a really positive note--the interviewer said she was "impressed" w/my file! i liked the school, but the location was a terrible problem. i don't know if i could handle that for 4 years. "
"The interviewer was friendly. Even though not an expert in my research he took an active interest and asked many questions about it."
"The interview was very conversational and relaxed. Even with more difficult questions (ie Where do you see health care going?), I felt it was a dialogue rather than an interrogation; both of us discussed issues/gave opinions equally. He also spent a good amount of time at the end of the interview 'selling' me the school, asking if I had questions, etc."
"Very relaxed. Talked about family"
"Overall, very positive. One thing I thought was mising is that no one from the admissions office came to speak to us as a group to introduce us to the school. The interview is very conversational, mostly about things from your app. My interviewer definately took time out to do his HW and had questions prepared."
"I didn't really get to say everything I wanted cause my interviewer was a little rapid fire with the questions. I heard that the Dean likes to draw out pauses in the intervie to see if you will be outgoing and take the initiative."
"An amazing school. I would love nothing more than to be here next year. Probably has the most accomplished student body of any school- lots of people with crazy talents- gold-medal olympians, chess grandmasters, concert pianists, fighter pilots. Most of all though, two dozen students must have stopped by the interview room to chat with us throughout the day. All were so nice, forthcoming, and helpful. Housing is also incredible- I stayed with a second year friend who has a 15x20 room with a huge bay window overlooking downtown manhattan, the GW bridge, the Jersey coastline, and the Hudson river and he pays $600/month. I also love New York- I lived there for a year after college and would love to return for four years. "
"It was a great first interview. We hardly spoke about medicine/science at all, it was mainly about my personal interests outside of school and my family background. Very low stress, they are just trying to make sure that you are a normal, likable person. He liked that I loved my undergraduate college, and I think its because they also want students to be enthusiastic about going to Columbia. Also, my interviewer told me that a special thing about columbia med students is that they are all superb in something outside of medicine, and that makes them more rounded human beings. So try to bring out your diverse interests during the interview."
"It was very informal, just a conversation between the interviewer and me. He had obviously just read my file, and knew everything that he wanted to ask to clarify about me. We talked about common interests, and the interview was very laid-back."
"If you want to live in a large city and want to live in an underserved community surrounded by energetic, happy peers--Columbia looks like a great place to go. Going to the interview will help you get a good impression of whether or not you'll be happy here for 4 years."
"Great experience, it became my first choice school after the interview (rejected post-secondary at most of my first choices.) Def not for people who like to drive a car or live in California, but really cool"
"Overall, my feelings towards the school are mixed. The arrogance that I perceived, both on the part of the faculty and students irritated me. In my opinion, CU has an over inflated sense of self-worth. It is still a good school, but where the school was my first choice prior to the interview, its now my second or third. And another thing - maybe my experience was unique, but the school did more talking than i did on these interviews. I mean out of 6 interviews, only one asked about my research! what is that?"
"Of all the schools I've been to (and I've been to a lot), this one has become my first choice. Top-notch students, top-notch faculty, top-notch facilities, in the top-notch city of all time. Fantastic school! I hope I get in!"
"good time, area is definatley dismal but I guess thats the trade-off for being the at the best school in NYC (not just USnews wise) but its really got a well deserved rep. CLincial training is fantastic and students get the residencies that they want"
"Overall, I walked away from this interview feeling dissappointed in the school. I am not impressed solely by its reputation, whereas I feel that the majority of the people interviewing and attending the school are. These people really think way too highly of themselves, not something I am looking for in a medical school. I have not seen that at any of the other top medical schools that I have interviewed at."
"Columbia is great. The facilities and faculty are really impressive. The director of the MD/PhD program seemed a little rude, and it seems like they are making lots of changes. No one said this at the time, but I've heard since I did the interview, that Columbia lost its NIH funding for the MD/PhD program. This could be a rumor, but might explain all the changes they are trying to make - ie. trying to get their funding back. I think it's be a great place to go to school, but I was not impressed with my interview experience there, at least overall. Some interviewers were great, others were rude, argumentative, and disrespectful. There was very little "recruiting" mentality. Given that many of the applicants have already been accepted at other programs, I expected them to be a bit nicer to us. The director did a lot of bad-mouthing the other programs. Not very impressive. "
"Columbia is an amazing place. Much has been said about how dangerous Washingotn Heights is and how ghetto Bard Hall is, but its mostly all hype. If you have always lived somewhere really nice, Columbia might be a little uncomfortable for you. Otherwise I think that it is a wondrful place. I find Columbia especially attractive as a place to become fluent in medical Spanish."
"I didn't mention the words "doctor", "physician" or "health care" during my interview. Instead, we just chatted. As far as I'm concerned, P&S views all of its interviewees as qualified candidates and they're just trying to get to know you so that they can turn you into the best doctor. Overall, it was great."
"Interview was very conversational, so nothing threw me off guard. My interviewer was very interested in my background, interests and while I had a chance to talk about my interest in medicine, it wasn't the main focus of the interview. Felt like my interviewer was trying to get to know me as a person. At the same time, my interviewer had lots of comments especially when he found something interesting. Overall, a good experience. "
"Great interview, great school. Students there might not be that fun/cooperative."
"The interview day was pretty unorganized and laid back... basically we hung around in the reception room for a good part of the morning just talking to students that dropped by. although not very well put togehter, it was a great opportunity to get to know students not necessarily associated with the admissions committee. I wished the tour covered more- i would have liked to see more of the hostpital. Overall, though, a great day... my interviewer was so kind and laid back. If you are headed to columbia for an interview, prepare, but then relax, it will be great!"
"Even though Columbia interviews are supposed to be pretty stress-free, my interviewer was very argumentative. Hopefully that's just his style, but maybe he just didn't like me. "
"great day. interviewers were very friendly. the tour was kind of bland. great school though."
"I thought New York City was the most amazing place, and that there is so much to be learned from going to school in such a great city. Students said that they could definitely take advantage of what the city has to offer. I also liked that the school was pass/fail for the first year. Perhaps it would have been nice if it were pass/fail for all years, but it goes to honors/pass/fail the second year and gets more and more divided. The curriculum sounds a little more tough than other schools I've interviewed at but this is a top-tier school. All in all, this is a top choice for me and I would love to go to school here!"
"The interview was wholly conversational and pretty much autobiographical. It seemed he was mostly interested in just getting to know me and hearing me talk about myself and my experiences. I had, in particular, Dr. Frantz, Associate Dean of Admissions - definitely a good person to have a good interview with - and he's an excellent and comfortable person to interview with."
"I was really impressed with the school. It is definitely atop pick for me."
"The interview itself was very relaxed and easy. I just didn't like the school at all, and felt I would be totally unhappy there--it was just the wrong school for me! People seem to either really love it or really hate it, so keep an open mind, but don't be afraid to admit it to yourself if you don't like it. Also, all the current students stressed the importance of sucking up to the dean and telling him how much you loved the school, since "he wants to accept people who will go to Columbia.""
"It was really relaxed. As opposed to other students' blind interviews it was clear that my interviewer had read my file, and he asked me questions that were extremely specific to my application. There were no "why medicine" or "why columbia" questions. Instead, we had a nice conversation about my experiences and interests."
"The school is awesome. Bard Hall is not the most impressive but it has a nice pool. "
"It was a very positive experience. My interview was very conversational. We talked alot about research that I had done, and he happened to know a lot about what I was doing, so he asked some fairly technical questions. He was very friendly and quite candid about the whole process, and from what other interviewees told me, most of the interviewers at Columbia have a similar style. He was also able to answer all of my questions about curriculum and other stuff. The neighborhood is fine, and right by the 1,9, and A trains, so the rest of the city is easily accessible."
"Interview was pretty relaxed, though my interviewer did not smile very much, which sort of threw me off. I had an afternoon interview, so my day started at 11:45am with a tour and lunch. My interview was pushed back and my interviewer was late and read my file right when he arrived. Afterwards I met with a member from the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA)--they offer to meet with all female interviewees. She was nice and very helpful/informative. It was nice to have a more in-depth conversation with a student."
"awesome! students were friendly and sooo smart! facilities are amazing! such an amazing location to learn medicine!"
"The interview was about 75% the interviewer asking me what I wanted to know which was unexpected. She only asked a few questions. Overall, the interview went well once I adjusted to the fact that I would be asking most of the questions and basically controlling the direction of the interview. Only after I introduced something I had done would she respond with a question about it! "
"It was my first interview, so I don't have anything to compare it to. The interview was relaxed, but still not completely conversational. That may be because the interviews are notoriously short -- he didn't let the conversation go off into one topic for an extended length of time. The best part was interacting with all the students."
"After talking to others about their interview experience, they vary drastically. Some had intense interviews, some had 10 minute interviews some had an hour and a half. Go in be yourself and try to express: what you will add to the class. Many people say that the head admissions dean hand picks a class, some may consider it a negative (and I can pretty much say that I have proof that he relies heavily on the itnerviewers and their opinions) but on the other side of the coin, it means that they pick a more diverse class than the 43+ and 4.0..."
"Columbia is a great school. It has an impressive tradition and history. Research opporunities are great and the clinical training is top notch. NYC is incredible. The students are very accomplished. I just wish they and the culture of the school were more open-minded and humble. I also don't like how the entire class is basically hand picked by Dean Franz. In my opinion, he cares more about ivy pedigree and an applicant kissing up to Columbia, than about character."
"my interviewer tried to get me stressed but then backed off after it didn't faze me---if they try to stress you, be calm and they will stop"
"I enjoyed my whole interview experience at Columbia. I enjoyed talking to the other students and had an incredible interview. New York is such a fun vibrant city, even in the wake of 9/11/01. Most of all, I enjoyed the acceptance letter I got in February."
"WONDERFUL! it made me even more sure that columbia was where i wanted to go to school. like all interviews, it was a bit of a pain in the neck, but you get a window into a very unique community. it's definitely worth the extra application. "
"It was very good even though I made some blunders with my interviewer. He asked what I liked to do for fun and I said rock climbing. He proceeded to tell me about one of his good friends who died climbing so I didn't leave the interview with good vibes. But I did end up getting in and that's where I'm going in the fall."
"My interviewer was pretty awful. One of those guys bent on making you feel like whatever you say is wrong. The students seemed pretty great, and the education is top notch, but it seemed like Columbia might be kind of a hard place to last for four years."
"If you are already enthusiastic about Columbia, you will be fine. But don't expect the interview day to get you fired up. Some people had really short (like 15 minute) interviews - I don't think that is necessarily the kiss of death. "
|Response Avg||# Responders|
|Out of state||76|
|Train or subway||41|
LaGuardia for arrival / JFK on departure
LaGuardia International Airport
|At school facility||1|
|With students at the school||22|
|Friends or family||37|
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"Put pronouns on the nametags."
"Keep being awesome!"
"You really shouldn't trust random doctors to do one on one interviews"
"More information about financial aid, housing, new curriculum... a formal information session would have been nice!"
"A little more correspondence via email would be appreciated and eco-friendly!"
"Make the application process more electronic."
"I would have liked a financial aid presentation."
"ZERO formal presentation? hmm"
"It may have been a busy day, but there were not enough chairs in the waiting room so several candida"
"Maybe have a formal presentation by the Admissions staff or someone in charge (rather than only stud"
"Columbia should be more responsive to emails from individuals they have invited to interview."
"Make it easier for interviewees to sit in on classes. But 1st and 2nd years both had exams the day"
"it would be helpful to provide written documentation to students regarding curriculum change"
"Offer students a host placement because staying in NYC is expensive."
"I had to call three times to confirm my appointment. Each of the first two times I was told there wa"