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Individual Response

  • University of California Davis School of Medicine
  • Allopathic Medical School
  • Sacramento, CA
Overall Experience

How did the interview impress you?


What was the stress level of the interview?

5 out of 10

How you think you did?

7 out of 10

How do you rank this school among ALL other schools?

8 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)?

"Where do you see yourself in ten years?" Report Response | I was asked this question too

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

"What if medicine doesn't work out?" Report Response | I was asked this question too

What is one of the specific questions they asked you (question 3)?

"Do you think a doctor is like an airplane pilot? (A good answer: no, they're not. When a pilot makes a mistake, both passenger and pilot perish; but when the doctor makes a mistake, only the patient dies.)" Report Response | I was asked this question too

What was the most interesting question?

"Unanswerable, almost philosophical questions! "What can we know about death before we die?" etc. " Report Response | I was asked this question too

What was the most difficult question?

"See above." Report Response | I was asked this question too

How did you prepare for the interview?

"I studied this site, read the reviews at the AMSA website, and read as many books about medicine as I could get my hands on." Report Response

What impressed you positively?

"The interview day was run by the department of surgery and every candidate was interviewed both by a staff surgeon and by the Chief of Surgery. We were escorted to and from every interview (if you have had to navigate a hospital by yourself you know how valuable this is!); and the student tours took us to the clinical facilities: the trauma care, the brand-new pediatrics wing; and we saw the foundations going down on the future wings. My M.D. interview was filled with difficult, not to say unanswerable questions, coming at me fast and hard, but I feel much more at ease with this kind of confrontational questioning than I do with the gentler but creepier let's-get-to-know-each-other style. (You need not share my preference.) Student morale is high--even the students rotating through surgery are friendly, curious, and relaxed; and my student interviewer, while careful, was also completely sincere with the good and bad points of the school. Looking at the students at their outdoor barbecue (a typical Davis social) I thought that the school had succeeded better than most to get all sorts of underrepresented folks in. The students feel more mixed--both racially, ethnically, and by class--than any other school I visited. The facilities are jaw-droppingly huge and sophisticated. There are five (!!!!!) student-run clinics. They do hold your hand here: the class load begins nice and easy and but ramps up gradually. But what most impressed me was the frankness of the Dean of Admissions, who, when he thought our questions for him were not hard-edged enough, spoke of the difficulties we would face if we matriculated at Davis. This sort of blunt honesty impressed me more than all the NIH funding in the world. (See below.) " Report Response

What impressed you negatively?

"Over the summer of 2006 U.C. Davis will move the preclinical classrooms to Sacramento. (Davis is a town of 64,000, but Sacramento has almost half a million people.) The class entering in 2006 will be the first to occupy the new buildings, and along with the move the curriculum is going to be revamped so as to integrate the classroom and clinical training. It's impossible to imagine this move being performed without a few bumps. " Report Response

What did you wish you had known ahead of time?

"That the class has 94 students. (Fishbowl effect?)" Report Response

What are your general comments?

"Davis's roots are in rural care and the training of primary care doctors, and so creating clinical acumen, while maintaining the civility and pace of a small town, remains at the core of their M.D. program. Yet as the school has gotten a ton of money from Larry Ellison, as well as California stem cell money, they've expanded operations quite aggressively. They are turning into a more urban med school associated with a super-clinic. (Judging by the size of the foundations, the trauma unit, by itself, is going to be as big as a small hospital). So they're choosing students who can run with this transition." 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?

2-3 hours

What was your primary mode of travel?


About how much did you spend on room, food, and travel?

< $100

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?

8 out of 10

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

5 out of 10

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