How many people interviewed you?
|Response Average||# Responders|
|Response Avg||# Responders|
|Response Avg||# Responders|
|Response Avg||# Responders|
|At the school||117|
|At a regional location||12|
|At another location||9|
|In a group||4|
|Response Average||# Responders|
"Why medicine lol"
"Why do you do research? (Disclaimer: I have a ton of research experience)"
"Tell me more about your research."
"Very conversational, healthcare roles, activities, etc"
"Tell me about your background, i.e. your journey to America"
"If you had the chance to make your case to the admission committee, what would you say to them to convince them that they should accept you?"
"Why Harvard? Why didn't you apply to the HST Program?"
"What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?"
"Tell me about your family."
"Tell me more about...(insert activity)"
"What makes a good doctor?"
"It was very conversational. I guess we started by talking about my job and why I decided to go into that kind of work."
"I studied a bunch of interview questions listed by others on the Student Doctor Network, and I was prepared for every question they asked me. Low stress; mostly interested in what I've done and why."
"What were some of the challenges you encountered in your job as a ____."
"Specific questions about activities listed on AMCAS application, in the style of "tell me about your involvement in this organization/sport/lab.""
"Tell me about XX in your file."
"Tell me about yourself, tell me about your parents, tell me about X activity, what's your proudest accomplishment? why medicine? where do you see yourself in 10 years? What are some problems in healthcare? Why HMS? Anything else you want me to know? Any questions for me?"
"Have you experienced failure, no matter how hard you tried? How did you deal with it?"
"It really was just a conversation -- I can't even remember specific questions!"
"Tell me about yourself/ X activity from your file / research."
"Do you think that asking people to donate their tissue to a lab is coercive? (not in a stress interview kind of way: it makes sense based on my background)"
"Standard questions to learn more about you."
"Why did you get involved in HIV/AIDS volunteering?"
"Talk about a certain activity from your file that they chose"
"Tell me about your research in (X)."
"Tell me about band. "
"It's clear that the interviewers all went over my application very carefully. They asked very detailed questions regarding all that I had listed as activities, but it was by no means grilling."
"Can you tell me about your MCAT?"
"what'd you do outside the classroom your freshman year? (we basically went through my college + post-college experiences chronologically). "
"Tell me about your research."
"Tell me about how you got to [my small liberal arts college]. "
"chatted a bit about healthcare reform"
"tell me about yourself"
"What would you identify as a weakness in your application?"
"Where do you see yourself in 10-15 years?"
"Tell me about this research experience."
"How did you get involved in community service?"
"Describe your research experience -- give me your hypothesis, methodology and findings. "
"Why do you want to be a doctor?"
"What is the point of doing research on insect parasites? How is that going to help people? (I didn't really have an answer for this...)"
"I'm a non-traditional applicant, so I was asked questions specific to my life experiences (both interviewers had access to my AMCAS application)."
"How did you get involved in [X]activity?"
"Tell me about AMCAS activity XYZ."
"Tell me about your undergraduate school. (Mine was a bit non-standard.)"
"My second interviewer asked me a couple of generic ethical scenarios (to transplant or not to transplant); what did study in school and why; talk about your research; talk about your extracurricular activities"
"What would you like me to tell the committee that (1) you didn't tell the other interviewer, and (2) you didn't mention in your application?"
"What makes you unique?"
"What was your childhood like?"
"Why did you go to Morehouse?"
"What was your most rewarding endeavor in college?"
"What will be the most difficult thing to overcome in the next four years?"
"Tell me about yourself?"
"What direction do you think adolescent medicine is heading in?"
"Are you an activist?"
"So what did that experience/school leave you with?"
"who are you? why are you here? what do you want to do? "
"Most of the questions were specific to my application"
"What are you doing now?"
"Tell me about some experiences that made you want to practice medicine."
"Tell me about you...Why medicine?"
"Tell me about X on the AMCAS - including a few questions about really obscure courses that I took Freshman year - the importance of those (which was not really much)"
"Tell me about your father and any research he has done"
"Tell me about your research. The first doctor asked only about my current research. The second doctor asked about both my current and my undergrad research projects."
"Tell me about where you grew up."
"Why ____ (school i attend)?"
"talk about your experience working with groups"
"Tell me about your family..."
"Where do you see yourself in 10 years?"
"Tell me about your research"
"Tell me about your background and how your majors tie into medicine"
"What was the most valuable experience you had in college?"
"What do you think of socialized medicine? "
"What is the difference between an MBA and an MPP?"
"Tell me about (book) and your (class)? "
"What is the difference between the two positions you've held in company X?"
"Why do you want to go into medicine?"
"What would you contribute to the small group discussions at Harvard? (small group discussions are part of the PBL style)"
"Tell me about yourself."
"Can you explain the trend in your undergraduate grades? - the interviewer was definitely looking for ways to defend me in front of a committee"
"Both interviewers seemed to want to know a lot about my family and childhood, so the early questions were very much focused on that."
"What are your faults?"
"How do you think people on the West and East coast are different?"
"Nice tie. Did you buy it esp? (crimson colors) Then he suggested I get a couple of other ones when i go to UNC and Columbia....(all in good humor, he knew the school i was interviewing at for Dental SChool)"
"Are you arrogant? (Same person who asked if I was anal) I'm not, but will someone really believe you if you say no to this question?"
"Why Harvard? Followed by how does that make us different from other schools? I hated this question because I thought the same thing while I was preparing for the question."
"Why'd you choose to do research instead of a clinical opportunity in your year off?"
"They asked about my entire family, sibling by sibling, asking what everyone does, and where they went to school. They ask very good questions to get to know who you are."
"What are your hobbies?"
"What was the last book you read?"
"What is the most challenging thing you've dealt with?"
"Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you have any specific field you are interested in?"
"Describe some of the problems in health care that are most troubling to you."
"Be prepared for a possible clinical scenario from faculty."
"Why do you think Harvard's PBL and small group learning is a good fit for you?"
"What did you do at [insert my undergrad institution]?"
"Why Harvard (and there doesn't have to be a reason)?"
"It seems like your family is very close. Would you be willing to go so far away from your family to come here? Why? And how would they feel about it?"
"What is the over arching theme to your activities?"
"Where do you see yourself in 10/15/20 years?"
"Second interviewer was scrutinizing everything I said. He wasn't mean or anything, I just had to keep on my toes and it wasn't as comfortable as the first. He just asked questions from my file and some things about my background in high school, what the area was like, my parents history and what they do."
"What was your favorite non-premed college course?"
"What clinical experience have you had?"
"Tell me about your interest in specialty."
"What's an issue you find particularly intriguing in health care?"
"Both of my interviewers asked me about ballet and piano."
"How would you feel moving away from your family to come here?"
"What three adjectives would classmates use to describe you in a classroom setting?"
"Tell me about xx activities (asked about pretty much all the activities on my AMCAS)."
"How would you reach out to people in poorer communities around the hospitals who aren't coming to use its services? (general discussion of providing culturally appropriate/sensitive medical care and changing medical culture)"
"What distinguishes you from the other applicants? What's a challenge you've faced/what did you learn from it? What would you do if you couldn't go to medical school? What are you doing during your year off? Any questions for me? Anything else you want me to know?"
"Tell me about a challenging experience."
"What does your husband think about you moving out of state for medical school?"
"What would you say are your strengths? Weaknesses? What was your greatest accomplishment? Failure? "
"I see you've done a lot of activities related to X, tell me about what you've learned from those experiences. How do you think you'll apply those lessons to your career as a doctor?"
"Why did you not write a senior honors thesis?"
"Why do you care about other people? Where does your empathy come from?"
"Is there anything else you want me to tell the committee about you?"
"tell me about your research"
"Issues about public health and justice"
"Tell me about your artwork. "
"Tell me about your family, where you come from, where you grew up, etc."
"Why did you want to be a physician?"
"What makes you special?"
"Is the University of Washington In Seattle? (less than impressive). What do your parents do? Do you have any brothers or sisters? what do they do?"
"Do you have any questions for me?"
"Why are you applying to medicine at this time? (I'm a non-traditional applicant.]"
"Explain your research?"
"who are you types of questions"
"Why did you pick your undergrad school?"
"Where do you see yourself in ten years?"
"Give me an overview of how you became interested in research and medicine."
"Why did you choose your undergraduate school, have you been happy there, and why?"
"Why do you want to pursue an MD and MPH?"
"Tell me about _________ clinical experience"
"Tell me about your parents."
"When did I decide to pursue a career in medicine?"
"What are three things you do well?"
"Tell me about AMCAS activity XYZ."
"What is your favorite book? (Asked after I said I like to read in my spare time.)"
"Explain in your own words what led you to want to be a doctor."
"How do you want to impact medicine?"
"What was your most rewarding extracurricular activity?"
"Why didn't you talk about medicine in your personal statement?"
"What do you do in your job?"
"What do you do for fun?"
"Tell me about what you have done since graduating from college?"
"Where do you see yourself in 10 years? (Research, clinical work, academics, urban vs. suburban, etc.)"
"Tell me about yourself."
"What was your greatest learning experience during university?"
"Why/how did you choose your undergrad institution?"
"Where do you see yourself in 25 years"
"Why are you deciding to apply to medical now if you like your job so much?"
"What do you think you could contribute to the student body?"
"what were your favorite classes, why did you choose your major and your undergrad instiution?"
"Questions about my parents/siblings, such as "How does your family feel about you applying to med school?" (Positive or negative?)"
"Teach me something (I said that I am interesting in teaching)."
"Why not pursue a PhD? "
"why not a phd? "
"Tell me about this extracurricular from your application..."
"I wrote about a ethical problem i faced at work in one of my essays, my student interviewer asked me about it."
"My background is in engineering and ob/gyn. Taking this into consideration, could you please explain your research to me?"
"Do you ski?"
"What is the one experience that made you want to be a doctor?"
"what was the most valuable research experience you had?"
"which subject did you enjoy in college the most?"
"Tell me about [experience x]."
"what have you done since grad?"
"Did you think the Reagan adminstration was socially liberal?"
"Tell me more about building your farm..."
"can you explain why you got a C in [specific] course?"
"Tell me about your research."
"Why did you decide to major in mathematics?"
"What is your favorite restaurant in city X (where I went to college and the interviewer did her residency)?"
"Questions raised from skimming my application."
"What's your learning style? How do you think that would work within the New Pathway system?"
"What have you done since graduation?"
"Are you in a relationship? How did it end and why? Was she also going into a health profession?"
"Why did you switch research labs? "
"Tell me about yourself. Can this get anymore open-ended?"
"questions about my research and whether the therapeutic approach could be applied to rheumatoid arthritis?"
"Would you ever perform euthanasia or an abortion. I answered no. However, in retrospect, in addition to answering no, I also should have explained the dilema, and why I feel the way I do without imposing my personal beleifs."
"Why do you want to go into medicine?"
"explain your research."
"How are you going to continue your activism while here?"
"How have your interactions with physicians influenced your view of medicine? (this related to something in my personal statement)"
"What field of medicine do you see yourself entering?"
"Is there anything else you would like to tell the committee?"
"How did you end up doing X activity?"
"tell me more about activity X"
"What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?"
"What other schools did you apply to?"
"Tell me about _ class."
"Motivations for going into medicine."
"What kinds of problems do you think you will encounter as a physician?"
"What do you do for fun?"
"What are your biggest strengths and weaknesse?"
"Could you live in Boston? (I'm from a warm climate)"
"What is going to be the biggest challenge for future physicians?"
"How did your experiences volunteering and shadowing make you a better physician?"
"Where do you see yourself in 10 years?"
"Tell me about your family"
"What was the best and the worst thing about your undergraduate institution? Do you have any regrets?"
"Tell me about (insert EC)"
"What area of medicine do you want to focus on? What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?"
"Discuss a certain class you took."
"where do you see yourself in 10 years"
"Where do you see yourself...How will you contribute..."
"Tell me about yourself. (Both interviews were quite seamless conversations, naturally flowing from one topic to another; not all interviews at Harvard are like that, though, according my fellow interviewees)"
"Are there any doctors in your family? (really just fishing for your real reason for going into medicine)"
"Do you have any questions you would like to ask?"
"Do you want to work in an underserved community?"
"Tell me about ______(anything from your application)"
"Why didn't you apply straight to med school? What have you learned during your time off? How has it benefitted you? Has it shaped your goals within medicine?"
"Describe [experience on AMCAS]. Is there anything that's not on your AMCAS that you did and want to talk about? (I said no b/c it had been over an hour already, and he was very very thorough with everything. I know I should've said something but whatever, I prob won't get in anyway.)"
"What are some pros and cons of medicine?"
"did you ever waver in your decision to go into medicine?"
"Why medicine (not research) and what kind of medicine?"
"What would you like me to tell the admissions committee about you?"
"Why did you apply to the New Pathway program only, and not to the Health, Sciences, and Technology program?"
"Can you tell me more about TAing Cadaver Anatomy lab?"
"What do you think you will be doing in 10 years?"
"Is there anything additional you want me to know about you?"
"How should I present you to the admissions committee? "
"What do you think of students participating in online gambling? (I'm from Atlantic City)"
"What inspired my career transition?"
"What would you like to improve about yourself?"
"Tell me about AMCAS activity XYZ."
"How did your decision to study medicine come about?"
"They really asked VERY few specific questions. Just have a conversation!! Seriously, it's a much better interview that way (If they're not asking very many quesitons, it means the conversation is going well, they're learning a lot about you, and they feel it's going well.)"
"Where do you see yourself in ten years?"
"Can you explain your MCAT score?"
"What attracted you to Harvard?"
"What motivates your interest in research?"
"A specific scenario about working in a group in a problem based setting -- what role would I play."
"Was there anything we didn't mention that you'd like me to know about?"
"Tell me about your research. "
"What are the strengths of the Canadian health-care system?"
"Lots of emphasis and time left for questions to the interviewer. Think seriously about what you're going to ask."
"Walk me through your four years at college? If there was something you could change, what would it be?"
"Why did you chose to major in mathematics?"
"tell me about your research"
"What are your interests outside of school/work?"
"Why medicine, and why HMS?"
"What do you believe will be your niche in medicine?"
"what are you looking for in a medical school"
"What do you think about (issue related to one of my undergrad majors--sociology)?"
"My faculty interviewer asked me what made me to decide to leave Los Angeles for the Bay Area for undergrad (went to UC Berkeley)"
"If you could not work in medicine, what would you do? "
"Why do you want to be a doctor?"
"If you had one fear about attending our program, what would it be?"
"was is dificult moving to the USA from Botswana?"
"Where do you want to practice medicine (here or abroad)?"
"Are there any questions I can help you with?"
"How are you?"
"Tell me about your volunteer position at Hospital Y?"
"What do you think your greatest challenge will be as a physician?"
"What are the pros and cons of the bill in front of congress that, if passed, will limit residency work ours."
"Don't you just love city X?"
"Why did you decide to become a doctor?"
"Some generic ethical situations. The situations themselves don't matter, I think, just pick a rational answer and stick with it."
"What made you decide to become a physician?"
"How did you decide you wanted to go into medicine?"
"How did you find volunteering in 3rd world countries after being raised in the US? Language barrier? Would you combine medicine and politics? (reference to my essay and also topic of socialized medicine.)"
"Explain your research to me like I was very young or very old and had a limited science background."
"The second interviewer asked a lot about my research publications and my application folder, why I had received C's in a couple classes, etc. However, he wasn't tearing me apart, rather figuring out if I had valid reasons. He took notes as if he were going to defend me before a committee."
"What type of patient population do you see yourself involved with in the future? What things are crucial to good health care interactions?"
"A clarification question about a blemish on my transcript."
"Tell me about how your mother's sacrifices affected you?"
"Why is there so much inequality in health care delivery, even in Boston?"
"What is something about yourself that you are proud of?"
"In one interview (with a researcher), we talked very in depth about my research project and its applications. He asked me to discuss the pros/cons of using a particular approach over another. I have never been asked such engaging questions about my research, so I enjoyed it!"
"Is there anything that you have heard that makes you think less of Harvard? Anything you don't like?"
"What are some of the differences between the US and Canadian health care systems?"
"Do you think humanistic and scientific inquiry are two dichotomous modes of thinking?"
"Where do you live on campus?"
"My student interviewer and I started talking about how the style of baroque music mirrors the style of other art and architecture in that time period. "
"Is there anything else you would like me to know about you that we haven't talked about?"
"What does your mother/father/sister/brother do? (jobs)"
"General discussion of undervaluing of public health in U.S. Felt more like exchange of ideas than interview."
"Give me two words to describe how you participate in groups"
"What would you do if you couldn't go to medical school or do anything related to science or medicine? "
"What do your parents do for a living, your sisters, your husband? (I just thought it was odd to start off my interview about me this way...)"
"There was nothing too out-of-the-ordinary, or difficult... both of my interviews began with them asking me to just talk about myself, and the rest of the conversation was completely tailored to my application, with them asking me about different experiences on my AMCAS"
"What do you want in a medical school?"
"From the recent experiences you've had shadowing doctors, what problems have you observed in our health care system and what do you think we can do about them?"
"Do you think that asking people to donate their tissue to a lab is coercive?"
"Do you think that HIV education in Africa really makes a difference without tackling the underlying cultural difference? Without sustained presence, does a short term program do any good?"
"All questions were down to earth, intended to truly get to know you."
"A lot about my opinions on American culture/society which were very interesting."
"What was one thing you failed at and how has this made you more prepared for medicine?"
"Give an example of a rewarding experience"
"What are the biggest strengths and weaknesses in healthcare today?"
"Long talk about my research"
"How do you like Philadelphia? (my interviewer and I had spent several years in the same city)"
"What do you think of ''The Sound and the Fury''? (after I mentioned how much I enjoyed a seminar course on Faulker)"
"Nothing really. Mainly about my files."
"What do you want the epitaph on your gravestone to say?"
"Not really a question, but we got into an interesting discussion of various healthcare systems around the world"
"What was hospital care like from a patient's perspective?"
"What are you looking for in a medical school? "
"What are some trends in medical education that you've seen at other schools? "
"Nothing really interesting."
"What is the role of women in medicine and how has it changed?"
"Is there anything you did not get to do in college that you would have liked to do?"
"Very laid back. One interviewer wanted to talk about AMCAS activities and the other wanted to talk about me as a person. Awesome people who really wanted to make me feel at home. "
"Pretty straight-forward stuff."
"You mentioned [insert phrase from AMCAS application]. What did you mean by this?"
"All questions about my specific application and interests."
"The really was no interesting question. I think the interview was more about getting to know me more (talking about my activities...my experiences....what sets me apart from the other applicants)"
"Why did you get involved in community service so early as a freshman? Was that what people at your school do for a social life?"
"I'm a non-traditional applicant, so it was specific to my life experiences."
"If you could go back to school, what are three courses you would take?"
"What do you like to do to wind down in your free time?"
"Why don't minorities go to psychiatrists?"
"Why didn't you talk about why you wanted to do medicine in your personal statement?"
"A patient comes in and complains of trouble breathing. You tell the patient that there is a problem with her heart and you would like to admit her to the hospital. Name some characteristics that she, as a patient, would be looking for in you, her doctor."
"none, it was all just a conversation -- "tell me about yourself""
"What do you think is the most interesting thing about yourself?"
"What do you think could have been done better? (I was talking about watching a patient's mother being told about her daughter's paralysis)."
"How do you think you will have impacted the practice of medicine 20 years from now?"
"Where else have you gotten in so far? Tell me about the program there. "
"Has Montreal recovered since 1976? (Im from there)"
"What has been the most negative moment in your life? What has been teh most positive?"
"Tell me about your participation in a sexual assault victim advocacy program."
"None. Very open."
"Should IVF be covered by Medicaid?"
"What career would you pursue if not medicine?"
"Is there anything about yourself that is not included in your application. That seemed to be as interesting as it got."
"Who do you think is more important to impress, your girlfriend's mother or father?"
"None were particularly interesting. The questions were pretty basic, pertaining mostly to my undergrad and post-undergrad activities."
"Do you think that doctors in academia are better than non-academic physicians?"
"Tell me how reading _________ affected your perception of health care and/or healing? "
"In depth research question"
"Would you tell a terminally ill patient the stark reality of their condition or be optimistic?"
"what do you feel are problems in the field that you are going into (psychiatry)? this led to an ethical discussion of various situations i have encountered"
"The interviews are meant to be open file, but my faculty interviewer received my application right before the interview so it was semi-closed. My student interviewer had definitely reviewed my file before hand and had very specific and interesting personal questions, but they were all related to things I had written about or experiences I had."
"This interview was for HST. Most interesting question was what would I do if I suspected a colleague and good friend of stealing painkillers from the hospital?"
"One interviewer showed me the rating sheet and asked me what score I thought I should get on each topic. The other asked me a very detailed question about my research that I would not have expected him to get from a 5 min blurb... watch out because they are sharp."
"What are the problems with healthcare today and how do you fix it?"
"What is your greatest fear about attending our program (the HST program)?"
"So why exactly is the HIV/AIDS situation in Botswana so serious eventhough it is an ecomically stable African nation?"
"What would be the hardest thing to give up if you decided to come to Boston for school?"
"Standard questions specific to the choice of a career in medicine. Nothing to stump you. very conversational."
""How about those women in combat. How do you feel about that?""
"Several scenario type questions relating to group learning and also an ER case "
"All the questions were typical. Why medicine? Tell me about your family."
"why did you choose a non-science major?"
"Who are your role models in medicine?"
"Do you like politics?"
"nothing stands out"
"How do you think your past experiences have prepared you for being a good physician? (i've been out of school for a number of years)"
"Nothing in particular - some interesting ones as my application got probed in depth, but they were specific to my file."
"During World War II, President Roosevelt came to MGH for a checkup. His physician, Dr. Lahey, found that he had extremely high blood pressure and had had several mini-strokes which may have impaired his judgement. Roosevelt told Lahey to keep the matter confidential. If you were Dr. Lahey, what would you do, given that Roosevelt was about to go to Yalta to divide up Europe with Stalin and Churchill?"
"Since I had traveled around a lot, I got a lot of questions during my interview about my impressions of different places compared to others."
"If I were to ask your father what are you three best and worst qualities what would he say? "
"So I see that you have some great grades...are you anal or something? (No joke)"
"Both interviewees asked about a traumatic experience I mentioned in my personal statement."
"If an Admissions committee member met your mom on the street, how would she describe you?"
"The interview was by far my most positive of the four schools I've interviewed with thus far. The students are all very nice, very down to earth, and extremely helpful. Harvard treast their students very well, providing excellent housing, and a program that is second to none. My interview was with the dean of Admissions, and was very positive. We talked for over an hour, mostly about books, life, etc. I think we both got to know eachother very well, and ir was an extremely pleasurable experience. "
""Tell me about the ethical cases you have been asked at other interviews and lets see how I do on them." - My interviewer wanted to be quizzed"
"I had a lot of questions about my research, which were probably the most interesting ones."
"How would you fix the present health care system?"
"Pretty standard. My first interviewer was in the medical education department, with a Ph.D in education. She was very friendly and had thoroughly reviewed my file, so she asked me a few education-type questions (I did lots of tutoring and mentoring) and other questions pertinent to my file. The second interviewer hadn't read my file, so he asked things to get to know me."
"What would you tell your mother if she voiced her concern about you possibly contracting HIV from a needle-stick?"
"Lots of great ones by my student interviewer: Hypothetical questions about health care access, education...but don't worry these all pertained to my application. Just a really good conversation."
"What talent do you have that you could contribute to the second year show?"
"Nothing too difficult."
"What do other countries do better than we do?"
"If your goal is to be a positive part of peoples lives, why not some other careers? Why physician? Here I explained the other reasons I like the career such as it being intellectualy fulfilling."
"He had reviewed the list of courses I took and asked me about a criminology course from a few years ago. I was able to talk about it some, but it took a few minutes for things to come back to me so it felt like a more difficult question."
"What is a problem with the current health care system and how do you propose we fix it?"
"None, it was a very basic conversation."
"Where is medicine going?"
"How was presenting your research?"
"They asked very specific questions about various parts of my research."
"My faculty interviewer made a whole speech about how all US MD schools are amazing and how I'd be fine wherever I ended up. I was not sure how to respond..."
"Is there anything else you would like me to know about you that we haven't talked about?"
"Specific to activities listed in application."
"What are three qualities you think a doctor should possess and do you have those?"
"What experience have I found most rewarding?"
"Do you think your volunteering makes a real difference?"
"Would you say HMS is your "top" choice? "
"None really, pretty conversational."
"Explain one instance of failure, in detail."
"Tell me about a failure you have experienced and what you have learned from it. What would your friends say are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?"
"Nothing particularly difficult, we pretty much just focused on things I had already experienced and was therefore prepared to talk about."
"Do you think that asking people to donate their tissue to a lab is coercive?"
"In my experience it did not seem that Harvard asked questions to challenge the interviewee, but rather to gain a fuller understanding of the candidate and the talents that s/he brings to the table."
"nothing particularly difficult."
"At what point did you know you wanted to be a doctor?"
"Can't think of one"
"What do you think are the positives and negatives about being a doctor? "
"What, about yourself, do you take particular pride in?"
"No brain busters, but the student seemed very bright and asked in depth questions"
"nothing, really...just asked a lot abt AMCAS activities"
"What is another profession you would have chosen instead of medicine? Pros and cons?"
"nothing you shouldn't know how to answer"
"with a technical background, do you feel you have an obligation to pursue an MD/PhD? (interviewer was an MD/PhD)"
"Nor anything tough."
"The role of finance in medicine - should it be emphasized?"
"What distinguishes you from the other applicants?"
"Nothing bad, very low stress."
"There were no curve balls at all, so I got asked standard questions."
"A question about medicare D that was specific to my clinical/professional interest"
"No real difficult question."
"What do you think the biggest difference will be between your school (small LAC) and an ivy league?"
"No difficult questions - they were all relatively straightforward."
"A question that pertained to my research topic, but not the actual research that I did..."
"Nothing very difficult. They just wanted to get to know you."
"My first interviewer really dug for the exact timeline of my life since undergrad, the details of the research studies I've worked on and what work I want to do eventually in medicine. She just wanted a lot of detail, but no single question was especially difficult."
"What are your greatest weaknesses (that you'd like to improve upon)?"
"How are you separating yourself among your classmates if you chose not to write a thesis?"
"Nothing really. Mostly based on application."
"None were really difficult."
"How will you have contributed to a medicine as a leader 20 years from now?"
"Nothing difficult -- very specific to my application and other typical interview questions."
"none at all, see above"
"Same " ""
"What is the single best approach to understanding and stopping cancer? "
"If you had to pick one, research or clinic?"
"What was the greatest leadership role you have had during university?"
"So, what other activities have you done (very open-ended, broad questions)."
"Is there anything else that you want me to tell the committee?"
"Tell me about you... why medicine?"
"What, if any, research would you be interested in pursuing as a physician?"
"Questions about a research project I did ages ago"
"What makes you anxious about interviewing at Harvard?"
"Nothing was particularly difficult. These were very low-stress interviews (as the admissions staff had informed us)."
"Nothing too difficult--basically every question focused on my AMCAS personal statement."
"Name a third career (aside from Medicine, or teaching) that you have considered pursuing?"
"Again in depth research question"
"If you had to chose research or clinical work, which would you choose?"
"tell me about a time you had a personal conflict with someone and how you resolved it"
"At what age did you start to notice that you were brighter than your classmates?"
"none, all were straight forward and conversational"
"Specifics related to my research. What forces are acting on DNA as it travels in gel electrophoresis? Why does it travel?"
"No difficult questions."
"Are you considering [my state school], because it's really a good school? It seemed like he was trying to suggest that Harvard would not compete if I got in!"
"same as above"
"Something about my research - how do you know the 3D structure of the peptides you use have the same confirmation as they are in vivo. "
"Do you know the president of the Women's Tennis Association? I played college tennis but I had no clue."
"None...everything was from my application"
"What would you do if you could change the US healthcare system?"
"Were do you see yourself in 10 years... easy to have an idea but hard to set in stone."
""What was the Reagan administration like?""
"Explain discrepany b/t low verbal and high GPA/personal statement"
"What is it that has allowed you to accomplish so much in your life? "
"no difficult questions"
"See above. Since I've done some relatively unusual stuff since college, most of the time was spent talking about those experiences - my interviewers didn't ask many unrelated questions. "
"Can you explain some of your grades?"
"Some ethical questions where my interviewer played the devil's advocate to challenge answers, but even these weren't that difficult and seemed to be more about looking at thought processes and how you can defend a position. Nothing overly difficult."
"See above. It wasn't that the question was terribly difficult, it was just that the interviewer spent nearly the entire interview challenging my position."
"I was asked a lot by my second interviewer to further explain somethings in my personal statement. This was hard because he was reading it right in front of me for the first time and didn't realize that the answers to his questions were in the essay towards the end. In order to reduce being redundant I tried to reword some answers so this did provide some difficulty"
"I'm not convinced you've shown a sufficient interest in medicine. Convince me."
"nothing seemed stressful - both my interviews were more like conversations. I was allowed to decide what I wanted to really talk a lot about."
"same as above. I couldn't think of a third. But it was alright, he understood being on the spot. "
"My faculty interviewer got me into talking about ethics and cloning and all that garbage, but it was mostly my fault for bringing it up."
"There were no difficult questions. All the questions were easy to answer because they pertained tomy person experiences and feelings."
"Why medicine? I overanalyzed the question. I prepared for the why do you want to be a doctor question which is closely related to this one but they are not the same."
"I got stumped on a question about why I chose to work at a biotech startup instead of working at a hospital doing clinical stuff? "
"An ethical scanario about if I was a Family Practice doctor and the husband of a family which are all my patients contracted aids while having an affair, and he refused to tell his pregnant wife. However, the interviewer told me right off that there was no specific answer that he was looking for, and we walked through the scanario together."
"None, most of the questions were personal. Harvard is not big on asking canned interview questions."
"I wasn't asked anything that was difficult. No ethical questions, nor any questions about US health care."
"none really...pretty typical. What do you see as the biggest health care problem. How would you work to change this as a physician? What do you think is the solution to this problem?"
"If a one payer system is so great, why didn't FDR propose that as part of the New Deal? My faculty interviewer asked tons of questions like this and stressed me out like crazy."
"How do you think Openheimer would have felt about this [in reference to an ethical question the interviewer had asked me previously]? "
"Read SDN interview feedback, read their website, talked to students there"
"Explored the city and relaxed, and asked students questions the night before"
"SDN; did a lot of thinking and writing."
"Print and reread AMCAS a lot"
"Made notes of activites and reviewed all application materials."
"Reviewed my AMCAS, asked students about their experiences at HMS"
"SDN Interview Feedback site, school specific forum, school website (know the mission and curriculum style of the particular program you are interviewing for (NP/HST/MDPhD)), talking with students/host the night before."
"SDN Interview Feedback, their website"
"read HMS webpages and viewbook, looked over my AMCAS app and SDN entry"
"SDN, file review - I think I overprepared"
"Nothing in particular. Knew my file, knew some stuff about the school (went to ugrad here)"
"re-read my file, SDN"
"SDN. 5 previous interviews. H'vard website."
"SDN, Primary, Secondary, School Website"
"Extensive website reading, browsed for literature on Harvard curriculum, chatted with students who attend/have attended Harvard, chatted with post-docs who work at Harvard with medics. Lots and lots of prep work. "
"SDN, reread AMCAS, familiarized with healthcare issues, school's website, bulletin in the mail"
"Reviewed my AMCAS and supplemental applications, read the school’s website and admissions brochure, talked to physicians I know about relevant medical topics, read articles on current issues in healthcare."
"SDN, read over my AMCAS, looked at school's website, talked to a friend who goes there"
"Harvard website, SDN, student host"
"website, SDN, reread application"
"SDN, read their website, talked to students, read my application."
"SDN, mock interviews, BREATHING"
"Read over my AMCAS, went through the Harvard Med admissions website"
"Read about the school, looked at student doctor reviews"
"reviewed my file, website, pamphlet material given the day of about the school"
"mock interview, reread my AMCAS"
"Looked at their website, went over my file, chose three points to get across at each interview"
"Was my last interview, so I was pretty seasoned by this point; just read over the website."
"Standard preparation (amcas, hms webpage, read over my papers, rest, breakfast)"
"School's website, talking to current students."
"HMS website, Application, SDN"
"SDN, Harvard website, read stuff about ethics"
"read school website, SDN interview feedback"
"I read about the school and spoke to many people who attend(ed) it; also spoke to a handful of faculty."
"Read about Harvard, read my application, mentally prepared myself for the day I had waited for. "
"Reading over Harvard's website, read over my application, going over my research"
"Studentdoctor.net. Read my AMCAS application. Help from the host."
"Perused both the website, and the admissions viewbook. I also outlined some things I would include in answering the usual questions--why Harvard? why medicine?"
"reviewed AMCAS application. This is one of my last interviews so I kind of new what to expect"
"harvard website, AMCAS application, harvard supplemental, SDN"
"Read school's viewbook, which wasn't a good way to prepare at all. Just review your AMCAS. Chances are you won't get the Why do you want to go to Harvard?"
"Read this site; read over my application; looked at Harvard's brochures and website"
"Had other interviews, looked at interview feedback questions, talked to student host"
"went on other interviews"
"SDN, harvard brochure/website"
"SDN, website, mock interview."
"AMCAS, school website"
"SDN, read up on my research, browsed the HMS and MD/PhD websites"
"I had never been to Boston before so I was most concerned about logistics. They did a good job of telling you exactly when/where to be. "
"This late in the season (my 8th interview), preparation is no longer required...except I poked around on the HMS website a bit."
"Read HMS's website, its viewbook, talked to my student host."
"Looked over school website, studied some ethical issues and legislation, health policy information, additional materials relevant to my particular interests, and reviewed my secondary application."
"Harvard information packet, website, my apps, reviewing my paper "
"Read over SDN, school website, AMCAS"
"Reviewed my AMCAS and Harvard applications, SDN feedback, and Harvard information packet."
"Prayed a lot. Read the website, printed off website and other materials, read the book they gave me, researched my interviewers in the downtime, talked with HMS students, and others."
"SDN, school's literature"
"Reread application, very briefly looked at SDN."
"Many previous interviews, read the mailed booklet, thoroughly went through the website, and talked to my student host."
"SDN, AMCAS, Public Health Books"
"Browsed website, SDN, talked to a few students at the school"
"SDN, website, read over my application"
"SDN, school website and catalog, mock interview"
"read over the website"
"SDN, Read AMCAS app, Read catalog sent to me in mail, Researched school website pretty extensively, read up on some current medical issues."
"SDN, reviewing my application, course website, brief conversation with a faculty member"
"SDN, talked to student hosts, reviewed AMCAS"
"SDN, their web site, stayed with a host, read up on some health policy"
"Read about school, my app."
"above regular stuff, talked to students i know who did the interview"
"SDN website, school webiste, stayed with student host"
"Harvard website, SDN, Harvard factbook, talked to other students."
"SDN, viewbook, read AMCAS/notes used for AMCAS"
"read website, SND, my application"
"SDN, reviewed AMCAS, reviewed research"
"Understood my research well, looked over the website"
"Read Harvard website, went over application, SDN."
"I reviewed my undergrad research, AMCAS, personal statements, and secondary responses. I also looked through the Harvard website and literature, as well as the SDN site. I had a mock interview at my college."
"Read through the HMS viewbook, read interview feedbacks from SDN."
"Read HMS website primarily. Leafed through mailed-in brochures."
"Review research, went on NP interview day before"
"Read available material, SDN, etc."
"SDN, looked at school's website"
"this website, the harvard website etc."
"Read the background material on my previous research, read HST website literature, and had lunch with a friend who is a current HST student. Also, having had 3 med school interview experiences prior to this really helped."
"SDN, Harvard Website."
"Talked with people I knew in the program, SDN"
"read about the program on webpage, read AMCAS"
"Read a few papers on my research"
"on-line sample questions, mock interview with friends and work colleagues"
"SDN, read my application, looked over school's website"
"Read about bioethics and healthcare issues, SDN, website."
"sdn, school web site. "
"Prospectus, Web site, other students, SDN, read my personal statement, all my application material and research work."
"SDN, Harvard mailing/website"
"SDN, AMCAS, Secondaries, read Harvard brochure"
"read interview feedback, read about school, spoke with current student"
"Looked over web page, viewbook"
"nothing...I had several before this, so I had nearly memorized my personal statement by then"
"reviewed app, checked out website, spoke to people I know at the school"
"Read Harvard's prospectus, read entries on SDN."
"Looked at SDN and reviewed my application materials"
"Just read their website."
"Read about Harvard, printed map of MGH."
"Not enough, unfortunately. I read everything Harvard mailed to me and practiced some possible interview questions."
"I relaxed, read the material and talked to a few friends at "ha-vayrd""
"Tried to sleep on the plane."
"I read about the school and the program. I also got to Boston 2 days early to acclimate and become familiar with the campus. It also gave me the opportunity to talk to medical students before my interviews."
"read the interview feedback on this site; asked my third year host about HMS; tried to remain calm and personable."
"read interview feedback, read the admissions bulletin, and talked to some friends who are at harvard now"
"Reviewed my research publication and the New Pathways Program at Harvard."
"Read the material they sent, and thought about my application."
"Read the HMS website."
"Reviewed materials mailed from school and online, interview feedback, own file"
"read materials mailed to me and checked out the website thoroughly"
"Read materials, went early and got a feel for the campus, played in Boston for the weekend before my interview."
"Read my primary, brochures from the school, looked over current research publications, read the HMS web-site."
"Standard interview questions. HMS describes its interviews as very much a conversation, and I felt that way with my faculty interviewer. She was a very sweet lady and the conversation flowed well."
"Just the magnitude of the institution was striking."
"The amount of freedom we had on the interview day"
"Cohesiveness of students, collaboration, low stress environment and students opinions of faculty support."
"The students were friendly and capable. The facilities are beautiful and so is Boston."
"The interviewers were fair"
"Very in depth discussions, got to see Atul Gawande lecture between interviews"
"My interviewers were both great, Vandy (the dorm) is very nice, and the location is perfect."
"The interviews went great, partly because my interviewers were really amazing! I was also super impressed by how friendly, welcoming, and down-to-earth the student body is!"
"Lots of money, great people (both faculty and students), location is nice"
"The sheer number of opportunities available at Harvard and in the Longwood Medical Area."
"Beautiful place, campus"
"The resources, facilities, students, opportunities, intellectual vibrancy"
"Both of them wanted more to talk about Harvard than they wanted me to talk. Basically, they wanted me to ask alot of questions."
"The school is organized into academic societies, which I think helps build community. All rotations are done at one hospital. Housing is decent. Location is great. P/F first two years. Everyone seemed relaxed."
"The endless opportunities to get involved outside of class"
"The buildings were beautiful and the students were very nice and helpful. They were especially keen to show us the facilities, even those slightly out of the way. They were also not worried about discussing the negative aspects of Harvard. It was a wonderful experience. "
"Interviewers had clearly read my file cover to cover, and so were able to ask questions specifically tailored to me. They were also really nice. Students seemed happy. Pass/Fail system. Small group tutorials."
"How unpretentious everybody was. I was expecting the place to be dripping with ego and found it to be anything but."
"approachability of faculty interviewer; how nice and down-to-earth students were; diversity of student body; PBL aspect of curriculum"
"Nice facilities, intergrated curriculum, amazing resources, interesting students, enthusiastic and readily available faculty"
"Students, MEC building, pre-clinical curriculum, 3rd year at one hospital, Vandy hall's convenient location, Boston, the T, the undergrad campus, "
"Facilities, resources ($$$), students were really friendly."
"It was a NO stress interview. Completely relaxed faculty, they just wanted to get to know you. It was absolutely fabulous. The Ass. Dean came and talked with us for 45 minutes before the interviews began, and he was very welcoming, and told us we were all "very special" and that we should feel "good about ourselves". It was such a warm atmosphere. Even if I am not accepted, I will still think that HMS has wonderful faculty and I was honored just to be interviewed."
"I was really impressed by the school, more than I thought I would. I was expecting a sort of arrogance b/c of the school's name recognition, but everyone I interacted with was great - from my interviewers to the students I met. The students there seem intelligent and accomplished, with very diverse interests, but also down to earth, friendly, and nice. There are just a ton of affiliated hospitals and, as my faculty interviewer told me, they all have their own research going on, so you really have a ton of choices, and can choose a project that fits exactly what you are looking for. And Boston rocks. "
"The friendliness of the interviewers and students"
"relaxed, friendly environment; all the students were enthusiastic to help out, ask questions, tell you about their experiences; the training hospitals"
"tone of the interview, info i got from the student interviewer about her transition to Harvard"
"How nice the interviewers were."
"How accessible and friendly the students were, the unbelievable research facilities, the food we were served. Both my student and faculty interviewers were very warm and welcoming. "
"Both interviewers were nice and seemed to know my file well. We'll see how much they go to bat for me during the committees..."
"Unlike most others, I found the interview experience here very endearing, even the breakfast bars (which I didn't eat). All the people, including the admissions staff, were very friendly, and all were very down to earth. For sure, no one tried to wow us, but that is what I truly liked about HMS. It is Harvard and I already know they are the best; why do people feel that they need to be dazzled by the school on the interview day? The school already wows me with their amazing medical discoveries. The down to earth nature of individuals here is a trait that I always liked about Harvard people in general."
"The facilities are amazing, the curriculum is very innovative, the clinical opportunities are amazing. "
"The facilities, the innovative curriculum, the students, the amazing facilities, the top notch affiliated hospitals (B&G, MGH, Beth Israel, Dana Farber, etc) and just about everything else. My interviewers and the students were very friendly. "
"the students were awesome and friendly. The location is ideal."
"how much everyone loved the school, the great facilities, pass/fail policy"
"You can't beat the access to Boston hospitals. The facilities reflect the astronomical endowment they get. "
"The interviewers were awesome doctors. Neither had a Harvard education, and were the type of people you hoped to be regardless where you ended up going to medical school. They truely took the time to get to know me and thoroughly answered my questions. Students are as nice and accomplished as any other top school."
"The people, the people, the people...and did I mention the people? The students I and faculty are THE most accomplished, most down-to-earth and most interesting people I've encountered on my school-hopping trip."
"The facilities were great. Very high-tech. I like how there were a lot of affiliated hospitals nearby."
"I expected the students to be elitist and inexorably snobbish; however, much to my delight, they were totally cool! Everyone there seemed perplexed as to how they got accepted in the first place. "
"The students, faculty, facilities and location. I guess everything. "
"the facilities. the enthusiasm of the students. the program, the city. the New Pathways program posts all lectures on the web, and you can Keyword search through them to find the part where professors talk about a certain topic."
"The campus was nice (despite being in Boston, which is a city I really don't like). They really give students great opportunities, curricular structure is good, faculty members are supp to be great teachers, and my interviewers were some of the nicest people I've met."
"The facilities; Boston; the friendliness of the staff and faculty; how Harvard takes care of its medical students; the opportunities available to Harvard students"
"The resources are amazing. There are supposedly 10,000 researchers associated with HMS. You can do ANY research you want. "
"faculty and hospitals are amazing and the students are out of this world. everybody is down to earth, nice, and seemingly normal, but if you get to talking a little more you'll realize everyone is incredibly accomplished."
"students a lot friendlier, nicer, less intense/competitive than i thought. awesome resources for students - computing services, dorms, support network, etc."
"The quality of the facilities and how well they take care of their students."
"The quad is beautiful, the students we met were very friendly, we sat in on a really interesting lecture (though that amphitheater is a bit treacherous for a girl in heels) "
"The facilities are awesome. Also, everybody is very friendly."
"the number of laboratories in which you can work as a graduate student, the breadth of opportunities available for both research and clinical learning, Vanderbilt Hall (dorm for mostly first year students)"
"EVERYTHING! People were so nice (students and interviewers). I expected maybe a little bit of arrogance, but none was to be found. So impressed, definitely attending if I am fortunate enough to be accepted. The orientation was given by one of the asst. deans and he was so warm and welcoming. When they say low stress, they mean it! "
"Insanely awesome facilities, tons of faculty, decent dorm, med students seemed to get along well with the dental students "
"The facilities seem great, and the simulation sessions were very, very cool. My host was wonderful, and the one other student that I got to talk to during the day (when I was lost...) was really nice and helpful when I asked her questions about campus life/culture."
"The facilities, the students, the location (Boston is a great city!), how down-to-earth the staff, students and faculty are. Also the staff are VERY well organized as far as helping to orient you and get you where you need to go on interview day. Some interviews are at Mass General and the other local hospitals. The staff provides directions and taxi vouchers to whatever locations your interviews are held."
"Students seemed really happy, the facilities are phenomenal, (18 affiliated hopsitals), very friendly admissions staff"
"The facilities are top notch and the school has the money for anything you want to do."
"The fact that the facilities were amazing came as no surprise - it's Harvard after all! What caught me off guard was how genuinely friendly the students and faculty were!"
"Everything. The students are great, the societies are great, faculty members are great, there's not much bad things to say about Harvard..."
"The facilities, students, and faculty are amazing."
"Students were friendly and not intimidating, curriculum is entirely pass/fail in the first two years, student facilities are nice, lunch was a voucher for the student cafe, which was great 'cause I'm getting tired of cold cuts."
"How extremely friendly and nonintimidating the interviewers were. They really seemed to try to be on your side, to portray you to the committee in the best possible light. Take advantage of that, and tell them anything you want them to mention--and they will! And don't repeat the same info to both interviewers; the more they know about you, the higher your chances of acceptance (That's what my interviewer told me.)"
"The facilities are amazing, Boston's full of life, the students were the most laid back of any campus, and there wasn't a sense of arrogance. The curriculum is changing (and it sounds like for the better) with an Introduction to the Profession course, early clinical rotations, and more continuity between rotations. There are lots of opportunities for those interested in global health. My student host was awesome. He took me around town to dinner and to a movie at night with his classmates."
"The interviewers were very nice"
"The freedom within the curriculum and how happy the students really were. Did not expect things to be as laid back as they were."
"collegial atmosphere, friendly students and interviewers, technology (mycourses), opportunities available to do anything (research, clinical/research abroad, in any field...)"
"Everyone was so friendly and the day truly demonstrated how committed Harvard is to their medical students. Everyone in my interview group was also very down-to-earth, which was nice."
"facilities, people -- all very friendly and laid back, interconnected nature of different schools"
"Boston is a pretty cool city with good transportation, Facilities are amazing, Opportunities for research, community involvement, abroad work, etc. are phenomenal, Faculty seem to be really, really interested in students' wishes and concerns, Students are extremely chill and varied."
"The students were diverse, interesting, outgoing, excited about their work, and very happy overall. The facilities are excellent. The Longwood area provides an entire medical community and is close to any type of urban setting you might like to be in. The amount of free time the New Pathways students have."
"The students are extremely nice, friendly, and cooperative. They also go out a lot and have plenty of free time. They say they are very happy."
"BOSTON!!!, amazing clinical facilities, great mycourses website"
"The students-incredibly friendly, down to earth, normal! The facilities are one of a kind...you won't believe it until you see it. The opportunities available to students. The incredibly liberal atmosphere."
"incredible resources. Harvard has the money to do whatever they want to do."
"the students there were very social. the residential hall is across the street from the med school"
"the facilities and opportunities are undoubtedly some of the best as medical schools go, it is also located in an urban city, Boston which means that one can do more than just study"
"The general happiness of the students there. They were trully happy and you could tell. The kind of activities that the students did or were going to do. One is planning a trip to Cuba. The clean, airy nature of the building. Oh, and the relative free time they had. When I was there (i stayed 2 nights), my host did not crack open a book and she had a job."
"Many things about Harvard impressed me--they certainly lived up to their ranking as #1. Harvard receives nearly 1 billion dollars from NIH, and they certainly used it well. The facilities are amazing, as is the location. The other hospitals nearby (Beth Israel Deaconess, Brigham and Women's, Children's, and the Dana Farber Cancer Center, etc), are amazing hospitals. Harvard's Countway Medical Library was a nice place as well. Most of the preclinical classes at Harvard are held in the Medical Education Center. It was very modern, clean, and comfortable. I applied to the New Pathway program, and it is definitely not for everybody. New Pathway utilizes Problem Based Learning as opposed to traditional lectures as a way of teaching the basics of medicine. It seemed like a very effective way of learning--not too stressful, but also forces you to learn. The system also makes sure nobody slips through the cracks. The tutorial sessions (for PBL) were held in small rooms with plasma screen TV's, clean chalkboards, and a nice boardroom table--thus making conversations more effective. The faculty at HMS is very accessible and nice--if you show interest in what they do, they'll be interested in helping you out. Finally, the student body was excellent, and for the most part, they seemed very happy with Harvard. They were all easygoing and did not seemed stressed at all. The system pretty much eliminates competition, and you can tell by talking to the students--they were very relaxed and friendly with each other. Those that weren't happy with the New Pathway said that they weren't learning as much as they wanted, but they were able to supplement the in-class learning with out-of-class studying. If people are having trouble with their courses, Harvard provides tutors free of cost. Finally, I was extremely impressed with my two interviewers. Both (faculty member and student) were open interviews. The interviewers were very polite and friendly. They had obviously throroughly read and memorized my file, as the questions they asked were very detailed in nature. The questions were meant to get to know me better. Harvard is a great, impressive place, and my interview experience made it my top choice."
"As others have said here, the facilities are beautiful. But I was impressed by how practical and cheerful and facilities were: plenty of light, sensible spaces for groups of students to work together on the PBL curriculum. Boston is very doable of foot and the T, and there is no shortage of international food. Also, there are a million small neighborhoods with unique characters that make living in Boston seem less urban."
"Harvard has got tremendous resources, so many fabulous hospitals and research facilities nearby. The people were all very helpful and nice. There was not a snooty attitude that you might stereotypically expect. It is in an area of Boston that is much better than many other good schools in big cities can say. Their curriculum is highly interactive and leaves you with more free time than many places and truly "does not teach to the boards", but instead to teach you to be a great doctor. The quad like campus makes it feel very community based, and living in the dorm (while it is a dorm) does seem to bring the classes closer together. I was there the day before an exam and the students were much less stressed and crazy than I thought they would be. "
"Harvard has an exceptionally low stress atmosphere, has some of the brightest students, amazing faculty, and the resources/opportunities are limitless"
"The interviews were well organized. The Admissions office does a good job of providing you with adequate directions to meet with your interviewer and the orientation is informative."
"Students seemed laid back, had more free time than at other schools. Campus surrounded by hospitals. Small tutorial classes seem very interesting. Close student housing."
"Harvard's facilities are truly impressive. The affliated hospitals are some of the country's best, and Harvard students have tremendous opportunities at the school and beyond. I work near Harvard, but I had not seen much of the inside; all of buildings were gorgeous and extremely well equipped. I also love that you can take an extra year, tuition-free, to do research or work abroad. The (relatively) generous financial aid was completely need-based, which impressed me a lot. Overall, the Admissions staff was incredibly organized, clear, knowledgeable, honest, and helpful."
"Basically everything! School was awesome, the facilities were among the best I have seen thus far. The students were incredibly friendly and non-snobbish (much to my surprise), and the faculty were incredibly nice. And the number of hospitals/research institutions, including MIT, affiliated with HMS is just amazing."
"Facilities, Boston, Aura. "
"The HST students were nicer/more normal than the NP students, the class we attended was really fascinating"
"THE CLINICAL FACILITIES--yeah, they're amazing!, I absolutely adored Boston, Vandy wasn't as awful as I thought"
"the students, the curriculum ( a good balance of PBL and lecture), the number of hospitals it is affiliated with and boston in general"
"Great campus, facilities, diversity of students"
"Pretty much everything-- the staff, students, facility, attitude, New Pathway curriculum..."
"Everyone was super-friendly and laid back, this was my 11th interview so I could truly say that while it is fantastic and it IS Harvard, everyone was sweet and very welcoming, not intimidating at all."
"The HST students are treated really well and have better financial aid compared to the New Pathways students. The students are amazing; there's more of a collegial atmosphere than I've seen at most schools because they are such a small group (~35 students). Grading is Pass/Fail and you can get funding to do research in any lab at Harvard or MIT. "
"The resources that the school has."
"Everybody went out of their way to make it a good experience. There were tons of students who wanted to say how much fun they were having, all of the staff were exceptionally helpful."
"The plethora of medical institutions in the area and the fact that students seem happy and excited about their school and program. "
"facilities tour guides interviewers everything!"
"the stress-free environment, the friendly students. It really seemed like a wonderful place to be a student. All of the students I talked to were happy with their experience."
"The people weren't as stuck up as I excpeted them to be. Actually, they were very friendly and accommodating. The facilities are also impressive, besides the residence hell...I mean...residence hall...where they have nice carpeted hallways and hardwood floors, but fewer square feet per room than a typical walk-in closet. Oh well, I guess the 12-headed microscopes in the histology lab make up for it... "
"The curriculum, the opportunity to pursue diverse interests in the first two years, incredible facilities (hospitals, lecture halls, libraries, lectures online etc.) living conditions are solid. "
"Everything. I can't say enough wonderful things about this school. I won't even begin to list them here. Of all the schools I have seen, Harvard is definitely my first choice. Admitted and I will enroll. The PBL is a MAJOR draw and certainly makes me desirous to go North for an education."
"facilities, atmosphere, group learning, friendly, inspiring people"
"Every one was extremely friendly and very happy. It was hard to believe it was Harvard."
"the quad with white marble buildings is beautiful. the hospitals in the longwood medical area and around boston (obviously excellent). the dorms have a strong community feel."
"The way technology is integrated into the learning process. Every student has a personal page with all the info for his or her classes -- notes, diagrams, etc -- and videos of the lectures are on the web. This also goes into the labs and the tutorial classrooms."
"I went in expecting them to be pretentious and lacking in academics (new pathway at least), but I was impressed with the students. Each one has a unique background and has a genuine desire to make a difference and become a leader of medicine. "
"The facilities are incredible."
"Harvard works hard to get prospective students to think about whether their curriculum is going to be a good fit and not just be attracted to the "name". Also, the facilities were great - the school has a lot of $ - but you can tell it gets spent on the students. Also, how many other places have enough faculty to split classes into groups of 8?"
"Well, it was Harvard name to be honest. The hospitals are awesome, though they don't show that to you. The library was very nice also, though not study friendly."
"Amazing facilities. Additionally, they have good departments for EVERYTHING, so no matter what you want to do you can learn about it from the pros if you're motivated enough to seek it out."
"The Associate Dean for Admissions is nice, many of the students are cool, the teaching facilities are nice, Boston seems fun and not as expensive as everyone makes it out to be. At other schools I found myself describing the students in a certain way. At some schools they seemed lazy, at some they seemed collegial, etc. I can't describe the students at Harvard in any way - they are all so different."
"everything. the school is great and they know it. very impressive classrooms and tutorial rooms. all the students were more excited to be there than at any other school i have interviewed at so far."
"The campus and hospitals are outstanding...second to none. The Medical Education Center is testament to the emphasis they place on a quality education."
"Everything. My host was amazing and both my interviewers were really cool."
"What didn't?? HMS is palacial. I do not believe in the Treasury Department anymore, I believe money was being printed in the basement of HMS. No wonder Harvard hasn't the largest endowment (6 billion i hear)"
"The school is very awesome, and HST students are treated like better people, it seemed. But during the day they're all away at MIT so you don't get to meet many unless you come back at night. Boston is also a great city."
"There was such a diverse group of people on the campus. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. It was a great experience!"
"the other students who were being interviewed were friendly and funny. i also liked the countway lib."
"I was very impressed with how down to earth the faculty and students were. People seemed genuinely happy and nice. I was also impressed by how nice the other interview candidates were -- insanely impressive, but also very easy to talk to. "
"Everything. They are number one for a reason. No one was arrogant or condescending. Harvard pays very close attention to their students and applicants. They deserve their excellent reputation."
"The "musuem" in the library is very interesting. The students showed very little stress and were extremely happy. The facilities are very modern and money is apparently not a problem for Harvard."
"the university is absolutely gorgeous. the technology is very impressive and totally intertwined into all facets of the educational experience. "
"The students were all so friendly and loved Harvard. They were totally down-to-earth and not at all like the stereotype."
"the facilities and the students who were down to earth"
"The med school campus - just the magnificance of the buildings around the yard is so impressive. Definately feels like an important place. Did you know that the New England Journal of Medicine has their administrative offices in the Harvard Med Library?"
"The campus, hospitals, other applicants, current students, the Boston area."
"My student interviewer was one of the most bizarre student interviews I've had this cycle. The interview was supposed to be a causal hour long conversation, but he grilled me on certain parts of my application that did not leave room for open-ended replies, but more-so yes/no. He was also in a rush so he ended my interview exactly on time or a few minutes early. Seems like from the get-go that he was not interested in learning more about me."
"The whole process was very disengaged. There was very little structure to the day--like they just wanted you to figure out on your own what you wanted to do, and do it. It seemed like they didn't care that you were there."
"My tour guide couldn't be any less enthusiastic about giving us the tour lol"
"The majority of the applicants at my interview day had a connection to the school, either through family or working for a faculty member. The students we met did not seem not as reflective as I would hope about the school."
"I had no problems but others did with interview scheduling and lunch/tour conflicts"
"Admissions seems very nonchalant"
"More info about Harvards opportunities for students."
"The interview day is very unstructured, and you have to make an effort to find opportunities to meet with students."
"The facilities are great, but I've seen better. Student housing in Vanderbilt isn't what I had in mind for medical school. It's like undergrad dorms all over again, except you get your own room."
"Clinical (lack of hands on at the flagship hospitals), not eager to be in Boston"
"One interviewer was a little harsh and didn't really talk that much."
"lack of a facilities tour"
"No good on-campus food options."
"it was freezing!"
"Both interviews were purely conversational. I cannot stress this enough. It was a very bizarre experience because I left not knowing whether I had done well or not. I think it is impossible to utterly bomb this kind of an encounter, and I feel as though this type of requirement does not adequately present qualified candidates. I was barely even asked why I actually wanted to be a doctor, and while this is inherent in my statement, I think it would have been more colourful to talk about it in person. And while I attempted to interject this passion within the conversation had, it was difficult as interviewers are ultimately asking you the questions. "
"The fact that we had so much downtime made me feel as though the admissions committee wasn't trying to impress us (mean I know it's Harvard, but some planned activities and more facility tours would have been great)."
"Nothing. I loved it!"
"coldness of admissions and lack of scheduled activities- we had to arrive for mtg at 8:15 am although interviews were spaced throughout day and only scheduled activity was combined lunch/tour in 1 hour time slot; didn't get to see hospitals on tour, didn't get to interact with any 3rd or 4th year students; no financial aid presentation (I had to go to the office myself). I know Harvard has a lot of resources and can do hospitality well when they choose, so it was especially disappointing. I even asked about when classes were so I could visit one and they didn't know any specific information."
"Smugness, bordering on narcissism, seems to ooze out of the pores of everyone there. Very insular and cliqueish feel. The unfriendly admissions office."
"Lecture hall was old, cold weather, "
"Boston--cold, rainy. I lived there for 4 years already though so I think I could handle it."
"They made a bunch of changes to the curriculum a few years ago and I feel like they are still in the testing process of this. They changed the third year so that you do all your rotations at a single site, and I'm not too sure how I feel about this. The tutorials (their small PBL-style groups) seem hit or miss."
"The lack of preset times makes travel plans difficult"
"the weather -- cold and windy"
"Nothing, my interviewer was really friendly and encouraged me to relax and just have a conversation with her "
"The student tour... pathetic excuse for one!"
"Lots of downtime during the day. The teaching facilities were very nice, but not quite what one intuitively would associate with HMS. Most of the students live in dorms. Nice dorms, but still dorms. "
"No one came to greet us in the morning, no one gave us folders or schedules for the day until we finally asked about them. The dean who gave the introduction was nice and informative, but the secretary was unprofessional (ie telling us about bad interviewers). She obviously shouldn't represent the entire school, but she speaks to the poor admissions office and overall bad day. We were supposed to have lunch with students and NO ONE came to sit or eat with us. Then, students were supposed to give us a tour and no one showed up to do that. The entire day really seemed like Harvard could care less about the applicants and knows they'll get a good class anyway because of their name. It was a terrible day. "
"Students don't seem too happy with the first and second year course structure, the schools didn't seem at all interested in being welcoming or encouraging us to attend (several people commented: ''if Harvard chooses you, I would expect you to come'')"
"I didn't care for Boston or the weather, but I guess I could get used to it. The dorms were a little dark, old and depressing. "
"they told us they had mice in the lecture halls"
"Some people were only into research and couldnt really see past it"
"The sense that the students there are the best of the best. While Harvard attracts students who can attain high marks, I found many of them difficult to talk to. I do not think these are the type of people I want as classmates. The school is too comfortable in the knowledge that 80% of their acceptances choose to attend. It is a smug place."
"The organization of the interview day was a bit ridiculous. No one is there to greet you in the morning, at least you'll have granola bars, water, and fellow applicants wondering the same thing in the morning. Lunch is awful, almost no vegetarian options. "
"The structure (or lack thereof) of the interview day, the complete uselessness of the morning orientation (we just sat around a long table while the dean rambled on a bit and then a student came in to chat), and how my tour guide didn't show up!"
"You were left on your own most of the time."
"I think I expected a little more as far as the food, lol, but it's alright I guess :)"
"my first interview, and the tour. The first interviewer hadn't read my file, he openly admitted he'd gotten distracted during the 10 min before it, and had only read 2 pages. And he was 20 min late. He spent 1/2 the time talking about himself, cutting me off, and even talking about how he'd learned something from a candidate he had interviewed the day before. The tourguides are in HST, and couldn't actually tell us much about the New Pathways program. Harvard just doesn't care about impressing interviewers, or trying to sell them on coming to harvard, because they know almost everyone who gets in will go."
"They don't give a shit about giving you a good impression of Harvard. If you don't like it, fine, they'll find someone better for your spot. There's no general info session, tours were like 15 mins long and conflicted w/ my interview time, so I couldn't go. Lunch is disgusting (student cafeteria, and there's seriously nothing good to eat), and the vouchers often don't cover the price of it, so you have to spend some of your $$ too. This was the least-organized interview I've been on. I still think it's a pretty good school though, because I don't base my opinions entirely on interview experience."
"the dorms (I'm a non-trad and haven't lived in dorms for 4 years); the tour did not give much additional information or insight into the school"
"the curriculum is a bit odd, not traditional by any means. the students were so-so on it, but i don't really think it's a big deal. if you can get into this school, the curriculum won't be an issue i'm sure."
"How poorly they take care of their applicants. Scheduling interviews during lunch or the tour isn't cool."
"How unstructured the interview day is - you're really on your own for the vast majority of it "
"There was nobody there to greet us when we arrived. Also, the students weren't the friendliest people in the world."
"The tour - Apparently there is no designated route for the tour, and our student guide did not give much thought as to what we should see. Many of the rooms he attempted to show us were either locked or being used by other students. We just ended up roaming around the quadrangle until the end of the tour. "
"My experience seems to be the exception rather than the norm, but I really did not enjoy my visit at all. There was very little structure to the day and a *ton* of down time, and I never got to meet any students because my interview schedule made me miss lunch *and* the tour (which are the two major opportunities to ask questions). Thus, by the time that my interviews rolled around, I was really hungry and completely unfamiliarized with the school as far as first-hand experience goes. I read a lot about it and talked about the school with my host (who was wonderful!), but that still represents all that I know about HMS. If I actually get in, I'll have to go for second look to even begin learning what the school is really like."
"There seems to be a lot of confusion about the required thesis project (no clear definition)...but the New Pathways Curriculm seems amazing"
"Somewhat ''snobbish'' attitude from administration, but students seemed really nice and down to earth. "
"Harvard has no information sessions. They just have a quick QandA and then let you go to your interview."
"No campus housing for students with families, no tour of any of the hospitals"
"It was a Saturday, so the place was empty (And cold). The airport lost my luggage and I had to take the extremely slow Green-line T to Vandy...I guess I just felt kinda dark and alone in Boston, missed home (SF)."
"The cost of living is very high. While many students stay for 5 years, cost of additional degrees (like MPH) is not covered. I can't bring my car because there's no place to park."
"The tour was horrible. The guides seemed uninterested. It seemed as if we were a burden, they were definitely not paid"
"Nothing really. Wasn't used to the weather but all else was cool."
"longwood area is rather sparse on weekends and vandy is, well, a typical dorm; tour is superbrief so take time to walk around the hospitals etc on your own if you can"
"absoultely nothing at all"
"They are planning a curriculum change, so next year *may* have a few bugs to be worked out."
"The lack of patient diversity. Also some students complained about several blocks of boring lectures. There isn't anything but hospitals and schools in the immediate area."
"The faculty interviewers asked some inappropriate questions and challenged the importance of my research topics to medicine. "
"lukewarm on the enthusiasm of the students and I thought I didn't do that well on my interviews (but I was accepted!)"
"The student tour was lame, but who cares?"
"it's so big that you wonder where students fit in. With 17 or so affiliated hospitals, 5000 odd faculty, almost too much."
"The school, the personnel, the interviewers. This was by far the worst interview I had ( and I have had quite a few). The whole process was cursory and I had the feeling that it was a waste of my day. Every other school treated me like I was a human being/a real person, at Harvard it seemed like they felt that they were doing you a favor. My second interviewer was horrible, he asked me what my plans were for in the next 25 years and when I told him (mind you I said that I hoped...) he basically called me a liar and said that I could not do this. If this is not a dream killer I don't know what is. In my essay I talked about a very close family member being critically ill, at every other school they at least asked how he was doing, not at Harvard. My overall feeling was that the school has no personality, if you are going there for the name then fine, if you want somewhere that you are valued and treated as a person then forget it"
"The cold weather. And, I'm not that big a fan of Boston"
"Not too much--it was cold and snowy. The interview day was long and there was a lot of free time. After exploring for a while, I got pretty tired and just sat around talking to the other interviewees (who were all great people!)."
"Had to take a taxi to MGH for my second interview and taxi was very late. Would have been better to take the free shuttle, in retrospect."
"One of my interviewers did not have particularly good interviewing skills. She did not make eye contact with me and was flipping through my application the whole time rather than listening to what I said. She also rushed the end of the interview even though we were actually scheduled for 25 more minutes. I sort of expected more from an interview at one of the best med schools in the country. "
"No organized tour - you just find your way around the campus."
"One of my interviewers hadnt even looked at my file when I arrived. I had to wait an additional fifteen minutes before my interview could begin. My other interviewer was busy and had to leave the room for about fifteen minutes in the middle of the interview."
"Most of the other students interviewing attended Harvard or another ivy for undergrad, didn't seem too diverse in that respect. Tour was short"
"Not much!! One interviewer hadn't read my file except for a brief scan right before the interview started, so I didn't feel like the interview was as efficient as it could've been. Another issue: most of the affiliated hospitals are relatively upscale, so students may have somewhat skewed patient/healthcare exposure compared to students at other medical schools with more urban (poorer) affiliated hospitals."
"Cold weather (I'm a CA native), and the tour was kind of lacking."
"Really nothing. It's the best school in the country, in the best college town in the country. How could you complain? "
"I wasn't thrilled about the long hours of class"
"The students were weird, very few white people, so many Harvard kids, and the admissions people screwed up my schedule"
"the first year dorms are a waste of money but i wouldn't live in them anyway"
"I was part of the very first group of interviews, so maybe things weren't quite running smoothly. I ended up missing most of the tour because of an interview.. Also, apparently something like a quarter of the med class went to Harvard undergrad, closely followed by Yale alumni. So much for diversity..."
"The tour guide was the only person i met there who wasn't very enthusiastic. they should have picked someone else to do the tour :)"
"The classroom time (8AM-5PM) every day!"
"My interview was pretty haphazard...one guy didn't show up at the appointed time, and wanted me to wait around. I suppose I should be grateful that I got two one on one interviews instead of a two on one interview, but the interveiw day was pretty long, so it was hard to stay peppy for an interview last thing."
"the "feel" of the school. "
"The cold, the lack of sunshine, and the seemingly lack of cohesion among the interviewers and departments. "
"the cold weather (i'm from california) and the people in Boston are not very polite...but whatever, anything can be ignored or overlooked for a school like Harvard"
"Some students seems a little too self-sure, but by and large, I was thoroughly impressed by Harvard. "
"Some people were a little bit cocky but not nearly as bad as one would suspect. A very positive all round experience."
"Bostonians can be blunt. I am from the South, so its a culture shock to be up north."
"tour was lacking"
"The students giving the tour made it so boring. Also lunch was from a very small cafe in the student lounge. No signs of a decent cafeteria/deli any where."
"students don't seem to get out much (but that's probably a given)"
"Nothing was really obviously unimpressive, but I realized that maybe PBL isn't for me."
"Lack of academic focus. The research is unparalleled, but the quality of the academics in the new pathway MD program curriculum was low when compared to other schools."
"My second interviewer was pretty ditsy. Really nice, but seemed shallow. Our conversation was about restaurants... I'm just a little worried about what she'll have to say to the committee about me. Also, it's not really what I expecte from Harvard. (but in that aspect, I guess it was positive that there was a "normal" person interviewing."
"Very little. The library doesn't seem to be a place where med students spend a lot of time - but so much is online that it almost doesn't matter."
"The Medical Education Center was a bit older than I expected. They didn't do a good job describing why PBL is any better than the traditional approach. Seems to me that students from both types of curricula go off and become equally successful..."
"I think I would just say don't go in expecting this place to knock your socks off just because of the name. It's definitely a good school, but people seem to undeservedly put it on a pedestal just because it's Harvard. Financial aid seems to be lacking somewhat too."
"Some of the students don't take advantage of what Harvard offers. Why would you pay $50,000 a year just to drink and jack off? As I said above, there is no common denominator for Harvard students, and many of them are incredible, so this is not a major turnoff. "
"tuition and cost of living in boston. So expensive that it might not be worth it. You are looking at 50 thousand a year for 4 years, thats 200 thousand in debt right out of school unless you have considerable savings. "
"The poor HST students...they were in class until 8pm the night I was there...OMG..."
"All the construction going on near Vanderbilt Hall."
"Nothing about Harvard, but traffic and parking. But keep in mind the T is there so not a bother really. Awesome experience"
"The fact that HST students are too distinct from NP students."
"The biggest shock was the Boston winter weather!"
"the cold weather."
"the bitter cold. "
"Parking. The garage was $32 a day. If you drive to Boston, my advice is to park at a T stop (Boston's Metro, and take a train into the Medical Campus."
"Parking was $27.00. That's pretty unacceptable."
"most students live in this freshman dorm thingie...ya know...with like shared bathrooms. uhhh...been there...done that...not interested in doing it again. "
"The interviews were all spread out over the day, which had its pros and cons. I got to go up to Cambridge for one of my interviews, which took about 45 min on shuttle, but I also got to see the undergrad campus"
"cold weather...if you could transplant harvard to a warmer climate it would be the perfect school"
"Nothing really, it's Harvard. They are number one for good reason."
"My first interviewer"
"Wish I had known how much freedom I was going to have. I would have planned my day more fully."
"Both of my interviewers read my application thoroughly and tried to learn as much about me as possible. They seemed to care a lot about the intention behind my activities/experiences and my career vision."
"The exact location of my interview locations"
"If you are being hosted by a student in Vanderbilt Hall, you could very likely spent the night on the floor :) It's not terrible, but I wasn't expecting it :\"
"The free time flies by, make sure you eat breakfast before getting there."
"That I would have to go to the undergrad campus in Cambridge for one of my interviews."
"Nothing...pretty transparent interview day with no surprises. Note you may have a lot of downtime...use it to explore!"
"They would focus on my current research."
"That I'd have to go to MGH for one of my interviews."
"I wish I had conducted mock interviews."
"That it would be snowy, slushy and icy..."
"That I wouldn't meet any 3rd or 4th years so I could have found a way to talk to some on my own."
"I would have hours and hours and hours to kill during the day. SDN warned me..."
"That I would fall in LOVE with them! (It will make rejection so much more painful!)"
"The interview day has probably the most free unstructured time compared to the schools I have been to so far. There is only a 45-min orientation talk in the beginning, interviews, and a lunch+tour at noon. For me, it was no problem because I had both of my interviews in the morning and that kept me busy, but most of the other interviewees had one interview in the morning and another in the afternoon, and were left with not much to do in between. There are a couple things to do around the school though: the Museum of Fine Arts is a couple blocks from campus, you can use the computers in the med school library, and you can also hang out in the campus bookstore or the nearby Starbucks."
"That I was going to have SO much free time"
"I feel that there is so much more about Harvard that I didn't know and that I'm sure I don't know even after the interview day. I say this because the resources and facilities at this school are simply outstanding."
"I had two one hour interviews. The second went nearly 90 minutes but I don't think this is common. "
"that the students would be so laid back"
"How nice the interviewers would be"
"You could get to the admissions office directly walking into the Harvard Med ''Quad'' from Longwood/Louis Pasteur Ave. without having to access Shattuck street from behind the Children's hospital. This could have saved me running around in the bitter cold trying to find Shattuck street that morning as my train arrived late. "
"Boston is not THAT cold..."
"Lots of downtime."
"I wish I would have known how friendly everyone was going to be...if anything, that's what caught me off guard the most."
"How amazing the Longwood area is. I'd have made more time to explore."
"You'll only get in if you're special for some reason. They don't like the standard good grades, good MCAT, the usual extra-c's people. Harvard doesn't give a shit about you, but you want to go there anyway."
"There is no breakfast. It consists of granola bars and bottled water. There is ALOT of down time. It cannot be filled by the ''self-guided'' tour that is suggested in a booklet provided to you. Walking through the hospitals aimless makes you feel like you're in the way."
"no merit based aid to speak of and housing costs are through the roof (save vanderbilt hall). most students that get in here probably get better deals elsewhere."
"I was surprised by how close knit the students were. Most of the first year students live together in a dorm on campus. This living situation seems to foster a great deal of class unity."
"That it lived up to its reputation."
"Wished I had knew more about the 4 academic societies that HMS has."
"1. There is NO breakfast; there are some granola bars - and water if you're lucky. So if you're going to need to commute to get to campus as I did, eat something in the morning! 2. Your interview may be scheduled during the lunch/tour. If this happens, you will not get to meet any students during the day; nor will you get to eat. Ever. 3. There are 0 scheduled events other than the introduction/tour/lunch. So prepare for lots of downtime. The admissions staff wants you to get to ''know the school,'' but it's really hard to do this if you're wholly unfamiliar with the campus (and wearing dress shoes!). 4. Your student interviewer may be a M2."
"My interviewers' credentials! On the interview schedule you are given, the interviewers (mine were both medical faculty) were only listed as MDs. I came to find out -- during the interviews -- that both interviewers had additional degrees. It would have been helpful to know so that I could have planned more questions for my interviewers since I am interested in MD/MPH (my first one also had an MPH but I did not realize this until the end of the interview)."
"Driving in Boston is impossible!!!! "
"Taxi drivers in Boston can get lost and make a 5 min ride last 20! (I was late to the admissions orientation, not fun!)"
"See the positive impressions."
"That I would be interviewing with the Dean."
"There's a LOT of downtime."
"The interviews are spaced sort of randomly throughout the day. You may have none in the morning and two in the afternoon, or both early and then nothing in the afternoon, etc."
"There will be *a lot* of downtime (hours, not minutes) so bring a few books."
"Vandy has a gym (though small). I should've gone the night before the interview, to get my endorphins (and my spirits) up."
"more detail about the curriculum, that saturday interview days finish earlier (could have caught a flight that night)"
"I knew there would be free time, but I did not think there would be as much as we actually had. Bring a book, or a warm jacket to walk around Longwood and explore the area."
"few students would be there becuase Winter Break had begun already"
"they've changed the curriculum, so, look at the new one."
"That student interviewers included MS2's and MS4's - most other places I've been to used only MS4's."
"The traffic was worse than I expected, so the drive took much longer than mapquest predicted. The initial orientation session at 8:15 was run by two students followed by a curriculum session at around 8:40."
"Some of the Harvard faculty do not think that Harvard is a truly special place to be and believe that you can get just as good of an education at any of the top 20 or so med schools. "
"More about Vandy, brought a good book for the downtime--FYI the library has some great popular magazines you can read"
"Nothing. They do have student interviewers though."
"That all the school has going for it is the name, they don't care about you as a person"
"That HMS students are chill and like to have fun. There are student interviewers. "
"I should have brought earmuffs."
"MyCourses: a very cool intranet system for managing and viewing course resources, including indexed video of lectures. Curious about the nephron? Run a search and find the segment of the video clip that deals with nephrons. Cool."
"They leave you a ton of time. Bring a book or something. "
"Although the students are very friendly and easy to talk to, the same cannot be said about the other interviewees. The entering class is subdivided into 4 societies which become psuedo fraternities, although these groups do not dileneate the student body. They participate in olympics, pranks, and various other fun activities, and the students all seem to love it. "
"That a lot of walking would be involved to meet with one of my interviewers and how extremely cold it is!"
"Parking is expensive, driving in Boston can be confusing."
"Nothing, really. My second interview was in Cambridge, so I took a cab. I am from the area, so it was pretty easy to get there, but since my cab driver didn't know how to get to the hospital, I had to direct him. Had I not been from Boston, this would have been tricky. If you are unfamiliar with the area, I'd suggest getting the Admissions staff to give you basic directions for the cabbie (in the *rare* event that he/she doesn't know the way). Once you get to the hospital/site, the provided directions are very clear."
"There is a lot of down time. Explore the medical school campus."
"How accessible the "T" is? The "T", for those who don't know, is Boston's Transit system. "
"There is a push for academic medicine, but they say openly they are proud of all their graduates including straight clinicians. The student interview is totally relaxed--he/she doesn't vote, they don't ask you any research questions, it really is for you."
"They are changing to a 1.5 semester basic sciences curriculum and making all of an individual's third year rotations in one hospital."
"that they are thinking of significantly restructuring the 3rd year"
"Don't apply to or discount Harvard just because it is Harvard... I was pleasantly surprised and liked it a lot more than I assumed I would."
"When you fill out the taxi voucher that they give you, make sure to write in the final fare before you give it to the taxi driver. "
"There were huge blocks of free time between the morning talk with the Dean and the lunchtime tour (both at HMS) and the late afternoon interviews (at MIT). Good thing the MIT student center has DDR... =)"
"There is a lot of free time. The other prospectives are both amazingly accomplished and also not so amazing that I thought I had no chance whatsoever...it was nice to meet the competition, I guess, and to stop freaking out about them."
"you have a lot of time during the day"
"The T is great, don't torture yourself with driving/parking. Give the students the benefit of the doubt; I don't think they'll disappoint. Also, don't be afraid to try to sit in on some classes. Talk to a current student, and ask if you might sit in on a lecture and a tutorial. It's worth your while."
"I knew there would be free time but just want to re-iterate. You have lots of free time but there are plenty of things to do on your own. They provide a nice manual at the begining of the day explaining what's available."
"Not much. I wish I had known how crowded it was going to be because of the crew races this weekend."
"alot more free time than I expected"
"Parking at the hotel wasn't free ($20.00) and where I parked for the interview was $27.00 (cash, no credit cards accepted). It was also colder than anticipated."
"very strong emphasis on problem-based learning."
"That my second interview would be at Mass General (at 4:00) -- a shuttle ride away, and on a different T line."
"Even though admissions tells you that you can't sit in on a class - this isn't completely true. It's logistically difficult for the admiss. office to arrange it for everyone (since interviews are scattered at diff times and diff places during the day) - but they don't prohibit it. The Dean of Admissions encouraged us to find a student to serve as our host for a class - if our interview schedule allowed. Try your best to do this - it's the BEST way to figure out if you'll like the Tutorials or not."
"I wish I had been to at least one interview before this one."
"LOTS of down time, although this will depend on your time slot interviews. It allows you to explore the campus, though. Also, neither of my interviewers had read my file much, so a bit too much time was spent watching them read over the essay/LOR's/etc. and cherry picking questions."
"I wish I had known that the weather would change so quickly. It went from decent temperatures at night to raining in the morning to cold and blustery in the afternoon. Also, the interviews are technically open file, but don't expect them to know your application well. I had to carry my own folder to MGH and the faculty interviewer read it while I waited outside. The student had my folder but had not looked at it."
"I should have been more confident and known more specifically about the New Pathways curriculum. I also wished I had known just how much free time I would have between activities. (First interview: 10:00, second: 4:00)"
"Wish i had spent longer in boston. Everyone i talked with was incredibly cool. Went a had a drink and got to know them before i left, but they were the type of student who know their stuff without being stuffy. Pretty unusual for an Ivy (Exception was PENN)"
"Take the subway from the airport. www.mbta.com "
"I wish I could have spent a few more days there."
"how chill the HMS students seem to be. "
"the affiliated hospitals are not directly under harvard med school. one of the things that my interviewers told me was that some of the clinical faculty are sometimes too busy to be very willing to teach med students. the clinical portion of training could be very hit or miss depending on the clinicians you get during your 3rd and 4th year. Also, the subways were a mess when I went. The E Line was down and they only had buses shuttling back and forth along the Green Line. It was a total nightmare getting there on time (which I didn't) and I ended up just taking a taxi. "
"That parking was so difficult and expensive."
"Fenway (where the Med School is located) is quite a distance from Cambridge (where the undergrad is). It is very helpful to review the transportation information ahead of time to figure out how to take the T from the airport, get to the med school, etc."
"actual schedule that students have for classes leaves alot of room to engage in so many things"
"They say that the faculty does not do "Stress Interviews" and they LIE! Everyone I talked to said that their faculaty interviewer did something to purposfully stress them out. Mine talked for days about History and said "Well, surely you know about this since you MUST have taken History in college" (I hadn't, and he had my app, so he should have known this) He used HUGE words and talked fast, answered the phone when it rang and I was in the middle of speaking, asked rhetorical questions and expected me to respond to ambiguous comments. It was fine, but I didn't expect it, so I think I could have performed better. The kicker is that they come right out and say that they don't do this....hmmmmm"
"HMS doesn't try to impress their interviewees so there weren't many structured events during the day. You'll have a lot of down time. If you are in school, bring homework - the applicant lounge has nice study stations. I also recommend checking out their case-based learning classes."
"Enjoy the free time!"
"Loved my experience here. My fellow interviewees were awesome. The interviewers were fair. There was a lot of free time to roam around. I used this time to get to know my fellow interviewees. The students there were helpful and friendly. Boston is great as was the campus. I recommend staying with a student host."
"This is a great school, and it innovates to keep ahead of the curve, but the facilities weren't as nice as I was expecting. The surrounding area is very nice though. Overall I'm not going to be holding my breath for an acceptance, but it was just an honor to be able to interview here. What a great opportunity."
"Great place, a well-organized day."
"I only interviewed HST. The interview was definitely not as scary as I had heard it would be."
"It's too bad I loved this place so much; now I'll be sad if I don't get in! It really is an amazing school and it was an honor just to be interviewed."
"The experience was nice. Nothing stressful at all."
"I love the school!"
"There were very few specific questions. Both interviewers were very well versed in my application file and were prepared to discuss specific aspects of my application with me. The interviews were more conversational than anything else."
"Interviews were relaxed - two 1-hour interviews - one w/ faculty member, one w/ students. Tour was limited - we only really saw the campus dorm and facilities, the classrooms were locked and time was limited. Great students and great facilities though, and despite poor interactions with admissions office I came away loving the school"
"I came to this interview expecting/hoping to be a little more wowed than I actually was. "
"What an amazing experience."
"The interview experience here was wonderful. It was an honor and a privilege to interview here. Congratulations if you are invited to one. It is an accomplishment in and of itself."
"Interviewed on a Saturday: arrived, opening talk, two interviews, lunch, tour, done around 2."
"The day was very organized, but ended really abruptly. The day was on a Saturday. I would suggest choosing a weekday because the school was kind of dead. You should visit the affiliated hospitals on you own because they're not on the tour. Harvard is fabulous all around and close to the T. Overall one of the top interview days of the 7 schools I've been to. "
"I left feeling very good about the school. I went there thinking everyone would be stuck up and snobbish but that was not the case at all!"
"this is a great place. no need to be nervous at all pre-interview"
"There are some excellent people at Harvard, like my interviewers and people I did research with at DFCI and MGH. I walked out feeling that I did the best I could. Ultimately I found out, even having the best interviews and a convincing application at Harvard might not get you in. "
"I'd recommend that one flies in earlier in the day to Boston the day before and stay with a student host, so one can get as much contact with the current students as possible. They are an amazing bunch! My first interviewer was an adcom member and met me at his office in the main building of the school. My second interviewer was in Brigham's which was just acrossed the street from Harvard. I hence had no problem getting from place to place."
"The people were really nice and facilities were great."
"I had a wonderful time...it just kind of sucks that they interview so many people because you know that your chances of admission are less than one-third after getting an interview. Alas...Harvard is very random in who they choose, so it's hard to gauge just how well I did. "
"Overall this was a very pleasant day. The admissions Coordinator, Paul, was very helpful and down to earth. One guy had an interview at Massatusettes General Hospital and they had a cab waiting for him already. I've been to other interviews where people were just given a map and told to get there on time. The students are obviously all very bright but also very friendly and down to earth as well. There wasn't a big sales pitch like in other places, but everyone that applies to HMS and gets interviewed, knows what the school has to offer. The Dean of Admissions came in for a quick talk and seemed to really care about the students and what is best for them. Like others have pointed out, there is a lot of down time. Personally, I didn't see this as a problem. I just toured the school and the area with some of the other interviewees and even sat in on a couple of classes. I highly recommend you try and sit in on one of those robot simulator classes, they are very interesting and you get to see the top notch facilities at Harvard up close. "
"As my other comments indicate, Harvard just doesn't do much to try to make you want to come to their school, other than show you how phenomenal their facilities and opportunities are. The students all seemed enthusiastic, and commented on how happy they are there, and also that they wish the Admissions did a better job making the interview day a good experience. After the 1st interview and the tour I was ready to throw in the towel, but the 2nd interviewer was very engaged and spent over an hour talking to me and showing me around some of the Cancer Institute where he was late to a meeting. But he seemed pleased and excited to do it, and genuinely interested in getting to continue talking. The best thing I did was stop and talk to many students who aren't part of admissions, who will give you the best idea of why Harvard is a great place."
"There's an old guy in the intro session who's basically a stand-up comedian (actual career: pediatrician), and he heckles everybody. It's great!! That was the best part! The interviewers are totally nice. You get no info abt Harvard other than what the students tell you and what you can read in the viewbook. You should really eat lunch on your own somewhere else. If I go there as a student, I will never eat in the Atrium. Oh, and their hospitals are very innovative and they pioneer lots of cool technology and techniques. And they have sweet research you can become a part of. That's prob why I would go there, if I decided to."
"I had 2 faculty interviewers. They were both very friendly and down-to-earth. My first interview lasted over an hour; we got to talking and he wanted to introduce me to some people he knew that had graduated from my college. It was a very low stress experience. You'll also have lots of down-time to explore the area (I went to the library, MEC, and a cafe). "
"The interview experience was positive. I had no interviews in the morning so after a failed self-guided hospital tour experience, I took myself to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. It's only a few blocks away. While it is no Met, it has some good holdings in its collection. (Go for the European paintings and early American art. Its modern American collection is shoddy, save for a few Georgia O'Keefes.)"
"the day is not really structured, you'll have your 2 interviews at some point during the day, a lunch and tour, and that's about it. very few are late in the afternoon, but some other guys had them. if you are concerned about curriculum or anything else read up beforehand and make sure you ask questions."
"lot of opportunity to explore campus, i really liked the introductory comments by the MD who came to talk to us - he was congenial, funny, and focused on primary care, not what i expected from harvard. md/phd who interviewed me later was more focused on hardcore research, and more enamored with reputation, but he had a point - the school is filled with very smart, and very ambitious people. "
"Previous comments are right--there's a lot of downtime during the day. I had to leave the faculty member presentation early to catch a cab to my first interview across town (they give you vouchers). My interviews really weren't anything special, asked me about research and experiences. I'm kind of disappointed there was none of the earth-shattering HMS/diversity/worldview questions we all expect."
"When you arrive, there's no one to greet you - you just help yourself to your folder, granola bars, and water. Then, a student comes in to see if we have any questions, and two admissions people talk a bit about the school and the day. Then, you're off on your own - we all went our separate ways at that point. Most of us had one interview in the morning and one in the afternoon. Both were about an hour long and both very relaxed - no grilling. Lunch was kind of gross, since there was literally no selection, but the med students were really nice and really great about giving super-detailed answers to our questions. After lunch is the short tour (about 30 minutes) and then some downtime before our second interviews. I'd recommend going to the library if you have time - you can check your email there and they have a cool museum on the 5th floor. All in all, the day was very different from most others in that you were very much on your own, but I was still very impressed by the school (obviously, I mean it's Harvard!)."
"I was impressed"
"Overall, it was a good experience. I found the students to be very friendly and interesting. The admissions staff seemed a little arrogant with respect to the school's reputation and ''hands-off'' with respect to the applicants. We received almost no guidance finding our way from the admissions office to our interviews. The interviewers had obviously read my application and seemed knowledgable of what I had done during college."
"Both interviews (faculty, student) were very relaxed and I was more nervous than I should have been!! My faculty interviewer was very non-intimidating and we talked about me, my undergrad school, education, research, etc. My student interviewer asked mostly about research and some of my shadowing stints, along with why I wanted to go into medicine. Both had obviously read my file well. "
"As mentioned above, I did not enjoy my visit because of the poorly planned day. I really got a sense that the admissions office did not care whether or not I thought highly of the school because (the student greeter made plainly clear), Harvard gets about 80% yield and ''everyone who gets in comes.'' I know that a lot of people place a premium onto the name of the school (and HMS is certainly quite a name). But throughout the day, I could not shake the feeling that I was not valued as a person, which was awful."
"Amazing school, beautiful campus, so rich in history and resources... The day was fantastic! Staff, faculty and students were all incredibly friendly and helpful."
"Meet with students, who talk about their experiences/adress questions An Dean of Admissions talks about the curriculm Interviews scattered throughout the day Lunch and a tour (my interview was during the tour) "
"I had two interviews, one with a pathology professor and one with a student. I was told that both interviews would be weighted equally. The prof interview did not go as well as I hoped, he really grilled me on the background to some of my research and I couldn't answer some of his questions. The student interview went really, really well. The student had my AMCAS memorized and we just had a conversation about my activities and life at Harvard. "
"Our day began with an orientation session in Gordon Hall that was very conversational in nature, and provided an opportunity to ask any questions we had before the interviews began. Some interviews began in the morning, and some began in the afternoon. Some were on campus, and others were at various hospitals. If your interview was at a distant location (i.e. Mass General), the Office of Admissions arranged to have a cab pick you up, and provided a voucher to pay for the fare. There was plenty of time between interviews to tour the campus, socialize with students, and read a book - I recommend checking out the simulation labs! Overall, it was a great experience!"
"Unlike others here, I felt Harvard spent siginificant time trying to sell the school to us and repeatedly congratulated us on our selection as interviewees. Overall it has been my best interview experience thus far. I was able to discuss a wide array of my activities and only slipped up on one question. You get the impression that you'll really need to blow the competition out of the water just to get accepted, so if anything that's what makes the interview stressful."
"It was very good. I stayed with a friend that I've known for the past three years and his wife, who I've known for the past three years. The first interview was held at a hospital down the street. The second was in the quad's atrium..."
"I live in Boston so traveling was not hard for me, but it would be interesting coming from out of town. Boston is not an intuitive city to find your way around in. Harvard is fabulous. The people are intelligent and friendly, the clinical facilities are excellent, and you have almost unlimited resources to learn and research anything you want."
"Be prepared to wander the campus by yourself during your hours in between interviews. Don't expect the school to sell itself to you very hard."
"There was nothing wrong with the school. It just didn't feel like home. You really have to think about location, because if you don't enjoy living there you won't enjoy going to school there. But other than that Harvard is amazing: not stuck up, people easy to talk to (spent hours talkin to students the night before the interview, it was great), amazing match list (you'll get one of your top 3 choices), don't think the curriculum is killer (until clinical rotations, third year)"
"I never expected this interview, so it was a pleasant surprise. Based on being grilled by one of my interviewers (see thesis question), I don't expect to get accepted. All in all though, it was a great experience and I'm happy just to have visited the campus. The school, without a doubt, blows the competition out of the water. They're revamping the New Pathway program for next year and I'm thrilled with their emphasis on PBL. It seems like you can do anything you want here."
"IT was great, aside from the tour. I love the interviewers and other students. The students I interviewed with were very nice as well as the medical students"
"Very, very laid back experience! All the students and faculty were happy and welcoming to everyone."
"Hard to get a good feel for the campus/atmosphere as it was the weekend and the area was pretty barren. The 2nd years were working on their show, and the enthusiasm with which they went about prepping for that was endearing, but otherwise there was nothing going on around Vandy/med school. Facilities are nice, students are friendly, I really enjoyed my interviews. "
"If I already had not fallen in love with Harvard already, I definitely fell in love with HMS after my interview experience."
"Was a very positive experience. They say it's not a "high-stress" interview, and it's really not. Both of my interviewers were the most laid back of any interviewers I've had. They seemed sincerely interested in me and my interests."
"Really enjoyed HMS, some of the new curriculum ideas sound pretty good, everything was amazing, just hope I get in!"
"Excellent overall. There's a lot of downtime which I spent exploring the library and MEC lounge and then later in Starbucks. The interviewers were very warm, professional but relaxed, interested in what I had to say, and straightforward with their answers. The weakest part of the visit was the tour, which felt disorganized and unprofessional. I had the feeling I hadn't seen much but I wasn't exactly sure what I'd missed. I got the best sense of the school by hanging out in the MEC during my free time and chatting with students; they were much more helpful than the student tour guides."
"One of my interviewers had not read my file before the interview and spent most of our time going over the basic facts from my AMCAS. One of my interviews was a 25 minute walk from the admissions office, and some had to travel by cab to their interviews. However, they provide you with good (written!) directions and cab vouchers if needed. There is quite a bit of down time during the interview day, so be prepared to explore campus on your own. As for the actual day, you arrive at 8 and can be there until 6 pm at the latest. They provide breakfast and lunch. "
"I was pretty stressed out about this one, but really impressed with Boston. "
"Overall, a wonderful school with even greater staff and students. Everyone is friendly and genuinely intent on making this a positive experience for you. The itnerviews really are stress-free, although some students said their interviews involved different ethical scenarios. It is fantastic place to learn, and it offers an incredible variety of choices. You really are encouraged to pursue your individual itnerests and you definitely have the time to do it. Also, problem based learning is a great way of learning medicine, but some students did share their misgivings about it. Good luck!"
"an exciting day"
"see the negative portion"
"Awesome! I had such a great time here. Everyone was so supportive and nice. The other interview candidates were all generally down-to-earth and cool. I stayed for an extra night and went into Boston Friday night with some first years--they know how to have a good time :) "
"I had two interviews, both open-file, from a faculty member and a student. Both were similar, in that they asked very detailed questions about my file. They seemed to know my file inside and out. They actually cared to make me an individual and know things about me that nobody had bothered to know in my other interviews. The experience was very relaxed. The interviewers just wanted to get to know me better."
"Day began at 8 with coffee and pastries. Dean-type talked about the curriculum and motivations of the students. Also, student talked about PBL. All had an interview in the morning at one of the affiliate hospitals, then lunch and tour at 12. Then another interview in the afternoon. 1st and 2nd year students are around to talk to and tell you stories."
"It is Harvard. Being there gives you the opportunity to do almost anything you want to do. See + and - for specifics of both. "
"Everyone at Harvard loves it there. There is enourmous potential to make the most of your 4 or 5 years there; so much so that you really do need an idea of what it is you want to do with your time. Once you know, though, the doors fly open. My first interviewer was extremely friendly and we spent most of the 50 minutes making pleasant conversation with plenty of laughs. My second interviewer was equally friendly and nice to speak with, but he had a much more directed approach with specific questions about my future, my interests, my research etc. "
"Overall, I thought my interviewers were approachable and friendly. I think knowing your application well definitely helps especially your research."
"A great day. Interviews were very laid back and conversational. Admissions staff were very friendly and helpful. New Pathway program is well designed and a nice alternative to some other schools."
"This was actually my first interview, and I have nothing but good impressions of the school. As others have pointed out, the day is very long (8:00 until 4:00 for me). The Admissions office uses interviewers from all over the Harvard network, so many students will have to take cabs to and from their interview sites. (Don't worry, they provide vouchers for everything.) I had two faculty interviews, one in the mid-morning and one mid-afternoon. This was a perfect schedule, and I had plenty of time to do everything. Lunch and a tour fit in between the two. Some people had both interviews in the afternoon, leaving them with lots of downtime in the morning. Still, there is plenty to do and see in the area, so it shouldn't be a problem. The students we met were great: very helpful, honest, and likable. Ask the students lots of questions about their lives in- and outside of class because my interviewers were clerkship preceptors, and they knew more about the big picture of the NP curriculum than specifics about the first two years. Both interviewers were very nice, pretty informal, and extremely low stress. I was frustrated that my first one had barely skimmed my file because his questions were not very meaty. There was more small talk than true substance; however, my sense was that he was really only concerned about seeing my human side. He said he would essentially be defending me in front of the committee, and I got the impression that he was significantly impressed/convinced of my suitability for the program. My second interviewer was better in that he had read my file, and he asked me more specific questions about my current research, my undergrad experiences, and my life. After the second interview, I felt a lot more satisfied. Both interviewers spent considerable time talking about the pros and cons of the New Pathway curriculum and future modifications being considered."
"Good times. I really want to go here now. Honestly, I expected the people to be a little snooty, but I found that everyone was incredibly nice, helpful, and happy."
"I left feeling ambivalent honestly. After some of my other interviews at other schools, I've left being able to assess my performance somewhat accurately (I've heard back from a few schools about decisions). However, at HMS, I didn't really get a vibe, or feedback, from my interviewers. They left me really confused about how I did, and naturally, I fear the worst. However, they did ask very tough questions, so be prepared to discuss anything from your AMCAS app (which they really use in-depthly) to current events! Btw, for those who have interviewers at MGH or some location off of the HMS campus, be prepared to have a closed-file interview, as some of the ppl at MGH did not have a chance to pick up applications beforehand. "
"This was an HST interview. I was pretty nervous and at lunch some of the students scared me, because they were like cite all the research papers you read related to your research going on at other labs. Plus there are three interviewers for just you. :) It really wasn't that intense. Of course, we spoke at length about my research, also about what lead me to medicine and my undergraduate experiences as a leader. Then they asked me if I had any questions for them. The day started with pathology lab at 10:45-noon. Then lunch at the snack bar place. Then an orientation/discussion of HST ideology, curriculum, etc. Then I had a panel interview and then a group and I was out of there by 3:45. Some had to stay until pretty late though. The staff in the HST office are incredibly nice!"
"We arrived at 8:15 with a nice talk from a faculty member about the facilities, curriculum, life, etc. Then I sat around all morning. I went on the 'self-directed' tour, but really they just sent you on a footpath through everything without any real information about the places you were in. Then lunch at like a snack bar in the MEC (the main student academic building). Then we had a tour of the MEC and Vandy. Then I had two interviews and I finished around 5:45."
"Awesome! I really really hope to get in here as it is my top choice. both interviewers were nice and very thorough. the tour guides and other students were all very chill. "
"They really base their interview off of your own experiences and your AMCAS file. All questions were specific to my individualized experience."
"This was a New Pathway interview. I arrived at 8:15, heard introductory talks, sat/walked around for a couple of hours until lunch, had an abbreviated tour, had an interview (60 min) with a 4th year student, and then had an interview (60 min) with a faculty member. Both were conversational, and the interviewer didn't ask questions that were not related to my specific application-- nothing about politics, the medical system, or ethics, etc. Some other interviewee was actually asked if he owned the Yankees and could only keep three players, who would he keep? Overall, it was the best medical school in terms of location, facilities and general feel out of all that I have interviewed with thus far."
"This was a fun and wonderful day! It was my 11th interview, but i thought maybe i'd be scared because it was harvard, but i ended up feeling very relaxed throughout the entire day since everyone was very welcoming and friendly. It was a New Pathway interview. Also, it was the only school that paid for your transportation back to the airport (they give you pre-paid taxi vouchers that you just hand to the taxi driver) The facilities are great, the dorm is very conveniently located and the trees in autumn were just beautiful!! I'm from california so I've yet to visit boston in the winter time, but I guess I'll adjust since I just found out that i was accepted!!!! I'm so happy!! I was waitlisted and accepted at some other schools, but my Harvard interviews went so well (better than at most other schools) so I was very grateful and excited to receive the good news."
"This was by far my hardest interview experience. Having interviewed at 5 of the top 10 med schools, I can honestly say that nothing else compared to the depth, pace, and difficulty of questioning at my HST faculty interview. It was more of an MD/PhD style interview than MD. The faculty interview was with two professors at the same time and it was really hard to maintain eye contact with both of them. However, my student interviewer was great. Very relaxed and easy-going. Overall, I came away feeling like this was my top choice program and having been accepted, I will likely attend."
"The day was great. It was not stressful at all."
"Harvard is an amazing school, and the people work hard to make sure its shown in its best light. I wasn't expecting it to be very different from other schools, I came away very impressed with the program, and really excited about the prospect of coming to the school."
"it was pretty chill"
"It was not as difficult as expected. I interviewed with the HST Program and found both the student interviewer and the faculty interviewers very friendly. They mostly asked about my experiences, research, what makes me want to be a doctor, and what makes me want to be a researcher. The campus is quite nice although the weather was somewhat cold. The students were more friendly than expected, and facilities are top notch. "
"Very pleasant. Love the school and the atmosphere."
"It was really stress-free and to my surprise, no down-time between interviews and no ethical questions (I believe other students got some ethical/HMO questions, but my interviewer seemed more interested in finding out a lot about me as a person. If you can get a saturday interview anywhere, I highly recommend it. It seems to go by a lot quicker than weekday interview sessions."
"As expected, the personality of the interview depends on the personality of the interviewer. The physician interviewer was nice enough, but basically asked me to summarize my application for him. Great: I flew 1,000 miles to do your work for you. The student interviewer was much more conversational, and actually took the time to get to know me. Thanks to her, I felt that the overall experience was positive. "
"Awesome place. "
"Wow. MGH is a great place. The students were awesome. I played a pickup game of bball for a few hours before my interview (the night). I pretty much stayed with a bodybuilder (my student host). Sweet. The kids were down to earth. I have nothing but kind words for this school. This is the strongest medical school in the United States without question and arguably the world."
"The first interviewer gave me a bunch of scenario type questions while the other interviewer asked the basics"
"The group of students who interviewed on the same day were really awesome. It would be great to have people like them in whatever program I end up in. The day started with a talk by the dean of admissions with a question and answer session. We all had interviews at different times throughout the day but had lunch together plus a tour. I didn't care if I saw the facilities because I already know they are awesome. As an older student, it would have been too depressing to see the dorms for single M1s so I didn't bother to ask. My first interview with an older MD was delayed and then cut short (it was supposed to be an hour, ended up being 30 mins). The second was with a 2nd year student who was really nice. We talked for over an hour. The questions were standard, nothing too weird. They just asked "get to know you" questions. The tour could have been a lot better, though. The students giving it were so dull and they didn't show us much. I was bummed that I had an interview so soon after the tour started but was really glad afterwards to get away. Everyone was extremely nice and helpful, especially the students. I even ended up chatting with a student on the way out who was non-tradional like myself. He even gave me him e-mail address. I took advantage of my down time and checked out the library (its museum) and walked around inside some of the other school buildings. It would have been nice to go on the suggested walking tour but it was too cold and I wanted to leave as early as possible to avoid traffic. Harvard definitely wasn't what I expected (in a good way). I even considered cancelling my interview since I didn't think it would be a good fit for me (based on my preconceived notions) but I'm really glad I went. If they accepted me I would feel very comfortable going there over all the other schools I've interviewed with so far."
"i enjoyed my interview day. the interviewers were friendly and we had pleasant/interesting conversations. be sure to check out the countway library's historial artifacts!"
"No, I wasn't asked to open any windows. When Harvard says they don't conduct stressful interviews, they mean that the interviews are not in a class by themselves -- they resembled basic med school interviews, with an average stress level. All the facilities there are nice. Not having a big home base hospital has positives and negatives. My hosting experience was great."
"We started out by meeting in the library and hearing a talk by the dean of admissions. We then had time to walk around and get to know each other and some of the students. We also had lunch and a tour. Then I had two interviews in the afternoon...one hour each. They were a lot of fun, much more so than at any other school. The first one was a student...he just wanted to know about my background. The second one was a faculty member who wanted to talk about politics."
"The interviews are "open file", but often the interviewers have not had time to read the files before you get there, so they might not really be prepared to ask you much that's relevant to your app. My first interview was my favorite of anywhere I've been. She was intelligent and insightful and asked good questions and was fun to talk to."
"Harvard is a great place! Yes, there's a lot of down-time between interviews. But the admissions office makes lots of suggestions for things to do - and they give you a map for a self-guided walking tour. Find a student to take you to a class! I discovered I really liked the New Pathways curriculum - and it's so much a part of the school that it's really important to know what you're signing on for if you decide to go there. It seemed that the students who were most unhappy/cynical didn't like the structure of the curriculum (and might have chosen Harvard b/c it was "Harvard")."
"Overall it was good. Harvard is a great school. However, they did not do a good job answering my questions about PBL. I felt students were generally blowing off their classes, especially during their first year. One of my interviewers told me that it took a certain level of intelligence to understand PBL. Even though the comment was made in a non-judgemental context, I felt that this attitude may be a case of the emperor having no clothes."
"Ehhhhhh, a little bit underwhelming. I mean, it's HARVARD, so obviously it's second to none in terms of the facilities and the amount of money that's thrown around. But in terms of the actual medical student experience I came away unimpressed. I got the feeling that the biggest selling point is the name itself - when interviewees would ask the students why they chose to go there, the most common answer by far was something like "Well, it's Harvard, you can't turn them down". Kind of odd. I guess the name has some merit in terms of residencies, but I went in expecting a little bit more. Students were of the "We never study and we have fun all day" ilk, which is kind of hard to believe and makes you wonder what they're hiding. The whole "New Pathways" thing is basically just PBL, but they also have some more traditional lecture courses. For the interviews, I had two separate faculty members. Lots of follow-up questions and "what do you mean by that?"'s, but not at all in a malicious way - I liked both of my interviewers a great deal. Overall a very low stress experience. "
"I was intimidated by the faculty interview, but it ended positively. He told me I was the most intelligent person he had ever presented with that scenario. The student interview was much more traditional. "
"The day was great, very smooth. My first interviewer was very conversational and we had a great interview for a little over an hour. the second interviewer went well but he was a little more serious and quiet, but still very nice and positive with my responses."
"Everything was great. I was really nervous duing the first interview but eased up enough to really enjoy the second."
"Incredible. Fun. Interesting. Cold (get some hot tea). Everything you can want is there and more."
"This was for HST. The faculty interview was open file at Mass Gen and the student was closed file at MIT. You can take the subway to and fro but they'll give you cab fare if you need it. You don't get to see the hospitals on the tour, so visit them in your free time. On the top floor of the library is a museum with Phineas Gage's skull, check it out. "
"Overall it was a stress free and inspiring experience."
"My interview with the student was great. My interview with the faculty member might have cost me an outright acceptance. The faculty member was hard to read so I have no idea how that one went."
"I had two interviews with clinical faculty, so it was pretty chill. they talked a lot about the harvard system and were very to dispel any illusions about the school itself. the first two years of basic sciences are amazing! the whole society system also sounds like a great way to keep down competition among students so that they can just enjoy learning the information. I left my interviews with a sense that I might get just as good of a clinical training at another less prestigious medical school. harvard med has a ridiculous amount of money. "
"Excellent. The second interviewer was at another location and I had to take a shuttle, but this was good because I not only saw the longwood campus where HMS is located, but also other hospitals related to the school. No other medical schools pays so much attention to their students and applicants. I stayed with a first year student in the dorms of Vanderbuilt Hall, whcih is directly across the street from HMS, and advise everyone to take advantage of that opportunity."
"Harvard has a nice campus with every available opportunity for students. There is definite arrogance amongst some of the individuals there, especially the students who went to Harvard Undergrad. I can only imagine this getting in the way of good healthcare. Overall, the students were friendly and had no negative impressions of their education or their environment. PBL is an interesting system of learning, although there are still many lectures in the curriculum, so it's not totally a self-guided MD. If you go there, be sure to check out the museum in the library. Some of the names and exhibits in there will blow you away if you're truly interested in the field of medicine."
"Overall it was an incredible experience. The students seemed very happy, cool people. I was able to talk to many of them, and they seemed very down to earth. The interviews were not very difficult at all, I was expecting them to be "stress" interviews. That was not the case. It was very conversational, and they just wanted to get to know me."
"overall...the interviews went incredibly well. they asked lots of interesting questions directly from my application. they both would be reading through my application, asking questions as they went, taking copious notes. they were very friendly. the difficult questions that they asked came directly out of our conversation, and not out of the blue. thus...if you don't want to talk about something, don't bring it up. the student that i was interviewing with said that Harvard really wants to see that you're going to add something unique and special there. so you gotta be aggresive and tell them not only what's different about you, but also how that is going to impact the environment and enrich the education and experience of your peers. interestingly enought, neither of my interviewers aksed why i wanted to go to harvard. it was almost as if they were so convinced how wonderful their school was that they wouldn't even bother asking someone why they wanted to come. "it's so obvious why...it's harvard!" however, everything outside of the interviews was kind of a let-down. the students were not down-to-earth at all. in fact...they were a bit full of themselves and not the most friendly people. our tour was given by this pair of (pardon the expression) totally jappy girls who said "like" every other word and spent the great amount of their time telling ridiculous stories made to make us laught and go "really?" rather then to actually give us a sense of the place and answer our questions. then again, it's a pretty big class, so maybe i just happened to come across all of the superficial harvard med students today. overall, the place seems like a country club. very elitist. then again, that might be your thing. "
"The city is awesome, the student host was friendly and helpful and very cool, the interviewers were both very friendly and easy-going. There is a whole medical education department that is dedicated to improving the curriculum and develops courses on how to teach medicine. The PBL classrooms are very cool, they have huge flatscreens with internet access. Internet tech includes personal internet pages and access to course notes and you can even view lectures via internet if I understood correctly. The curriculum is PBL based and most students get out around noon three days and 4 the other two. The range of facilities is phenomonal and the students all seem to love it there. No one gave off any air of superiority and the visit was very enjoyable."
"I was all nervous about this interview, but when I got there you really didn't feel like you were interviewing at Harvard. The school knows they are number one and make no effort to remind you of that fact. It was more relaxed than my other interviews."
"Overall, great. It is an impressive school and the students were very friendly. I met a few MS1's who I actually talked to after I got back home, they really were great. The student interview was awesome, the faculty one was very stressful. I've heard that the student has the same pull on the ad comm as the faculty. Who knows?"
"My first interview made me want to cry, my interviewer was an hour late, and my (horrible) interview lasted only 15 mins. My second interview made up for it (student), it was a great interview (lasted about 1 hour.)"
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"Keep being amazing!"
"Beyond the usual suggestions, I would add making 3rd or 4th years available to meet with applicants."
"Everything was fine for me. However some people had interviews that were very close to lunch or during the tour and maybe that can be avoided in the future."
"Provide the locations of common interview spots"
"Provide a decent breakfast. I actually enjoyed having lots of free time, it gave me time to talk to current students and learn a lot from them"
"At least offering breakfast would still be nice."
"Nothing really. Maybe try to have each applicant be interviewed by faculty and student."
"Be a bit more flexible with sheduling interview dates; fill downtime with scheduled activities"
"Very cold - didn't provide many activities and weren't helpful when asked about info on class schedu"
"Give students a list of classes they could audit to fill downtime instead of hospital tours"
"More activities and please be nicer. Don't make us show up at 8:00 if we only have afternoon intervi"
"Have the interview date be a little more structured and please, please, PLEASE train your students a"
"I think creating a more cohesive tour would help a lot."