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Individual Response

  • University of California San Diego School of Medicine
  • Allopathic Medical School
  • La Jolla
Overall Experience

How did the interview impress you?


What was the stress level of the interview?

2 out of 10

How you think you did?

7 out of 10

How do you rank this school among ALL other schools?

9 out of 10


How long was the interview?

50 minutes

Where did the interview take place?

At the school

How many people interviewed you?


What was the style of the interview?


What type of interview was it?

Open file

What is one of the specific questions they asked you (question 1)?

"What do you for fun?" Report Response | I was asked this question too

What is one of the specific questions they asked you (question 2)?

"The interviews were not so much Q&A as conversational; but I felt any baloney I might have tried to slip in would have been instantly sniffed out. " Report Response | I was asked this question too

What was the most interesting question?

"In some fields of medicine it is very hard to do a good job no matter how much you work and effort you put into it. What motivates people--what motivates you--to try to do it anyway?" Report Response | I was asked this question too

What was the most difficult question?

"One of my interviewers asked questions with an almost unnerving subtlety and acumen: he zeroed in on my motivations, on what I felt was the balancing act between sympathy and science, and on how critical I can be of physicians!" Report Response | I was asked this question too

How did you prepare for the interview?

"This site, school website, AMSA reviews, Barron's reviews, kept up with the news." Report Response

What impressed you positively?

"Both interviews (an M.D. and a Ph.D.) felt unscripted, informal, but were quite serious and intense. I dropped in on a first-year small-group class about "being a doctor," and watched two instructors ask students "What do you expect to cause you the most frustration as a physician?" and pushing the students (gently) for honest answers. Nearly all the students seemed cut from the University of California cloth, and were racially and ethnically all over the map. A VA hospital is right next to the teaching buildings. The weather, of course, was postcard-perfect. The fees were in line with my expectations. I liked how the Dean briefed us about the nitty-gritty of the USMLE, the residency match, the housing situation, and the class schedules, year by year. I also liked how we were taken to the tutorial center to meet one of the tutors. The students who gave us the tour liked their school (and "The San Diego factor") but were honest about the workload and the stress we would have to deal with. " Report Response

What impressed you negatively?

"The gross anatomy room (that we were unfortunately not shown) is underground and so has no windows; that could make for depressing dissections. I wish we could have seen a lecture. The buildings are a kooky mix of bungalows and high-tech stainless steel, and indeed the program also feels a little kooky: stem cell research, fellowships for future physicians wishing to learn more about the deaf, cancer, robotic surgery, primary care, trauma--a crazy mix (but that could be a good thing). I wish I could have seen Hillcrest, where much of the clinical teaching takes place. I sense that UCSD is a mix of structured lectures and do-it-yourself individualism: you have to come here ready both to submit to a tough class regimen and yet blaze your own trail. Although the medical center is on the UCSD campus, it feels removed from it. The campus is not adjoined by any true neighborhood, so eating and drinking near school is limited to a few places: that may mean lots of driving or lots of shuttles, though a few live close enough to walk or bike to classes. " Report Response

What did you wish you had known ahead of time?

"I wish I had known that the tour of the student-run Free Clinic would be given the night before the interview. (We were only told about this tour the day before the interview!)" Report Response

What are your general comments?

"UCSD may be, like, too Californian, y'know, for some, but, dude, it's awesome, and UCSD as a university ranked number 13 (in the world) on the Shanghai Report, which means you can get an M.D., do research in flip-flops and beach shorts, not wig out, and still score a California neurosurgery residency (as one of their students did last year). =) " Report Response

Tour and Travel

Who was the tour given by?


How did the tourguide seem?


How do you rank the facilities?

9 out of 10

What is your in-state status?

In state

What was your total time spent traveling?

0-1 hour

What was your primary mode of travel?


What airport did you use?


Where did you stay?

With students at the school

How would you rate the hotel?

9 out of 10

Would you recommend the hotel?


General Info

On what date did the interview take place?


How do you rank this school among other schools to which you've applied?

9 out of 10

What is your ranking of this school's location?

10 out of 10

What is your ranking of this area's cultural life?

7 out of 10

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