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Interview Feedback

Individual Response

  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Allopathic Medical School
  • Pittsburgh, PA
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?

9 out of 10

How do you rank this school among ALL other schools?

10 out of 10


How long was the interview?

60+ 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?

Closed file

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

"Why Medicine? (or variations like why do you want to go into medicine, or become a doctor, etc) You'll want to stress 2 things: people and science, and that you find you want both, and can't give up either in your search for a profession." Report Response | I was asked this question too

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

"Why choose Pitt? (and variations thereof like - what made you want to apply here, etc) You'll want to know Person-to-Person inside out to answer this question. You'll also realize they design the conversational approach to prevent you from shooting off a rehearsed speech. They seriously just want to know and get a feel for who you are." Report Response | I was asked this question too

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

"Favorite ________ ? (insert: Hobbies, Foods, Books, Movies, sports) Other questions: - Where are you from? - Describe your childhood? - Describe your research (if any)? - So how do you like the City? - Have you tried the Hosting Program? ** No one asked me Ethical/Moral Dilemmas, nor did they press me for weird answers to put me on the spot. However, do be careful to tell your interviewers IFFFFF you have to be somewhere at a certain time - I had no rush, but some people have more interviews to go to, or have flights to catch, ETC." Report Response | I was asked this question too

What was the most interesting question?

""What's your favorite cartoon - why?" I thought it was pretty random. I answered honestly and said the one where Elmer Fudd goes after a Helga-dressed Bugs Bunny singing - "Kill da wabbit ... Kill da waaaabit."" Report Response | I was asked this question too

What was the most difficult question?

"To be honest - I was not asked any of those questions that interviewing students dread answering - NO moral/ethical questions, NO defend your position on abortion, etc." Report Response | I was asked this question too

How did you prepare for the interview?

"1. Admissions P2P Prospectus 2. Scoured all over the Pitt website:( 3. Followed other links from above website to learn about Pitt and the city in general before visiting. 4. SDN's Interview Feedback :) 5. MSAR's descriptions 6. Map of Pittsburgh 7. Host List - found in the invitation only Admissions site when you click on the Interview tab. This is the same site as the secondary status site. Here, they will allow you to register for an interview, and they have under this INterview Tab, an Excel file with a ton of students willing to host you; it also tells you their main interests, their interests outside of school, where they live with respect to school, pets/no pets, smoking/no smoking, married/single, room-mates or living alone, etc ..." Report Response

What impressed you positively?

"People at Pitt are just so DAMN nice. I'm from Florida, and so I see a lot of stuck up rich people, and we also get a lot of excessively rich snowbirds from NY who love mistreating everyone in their path - and in Pittsburgh in general, although they dislike being labeled "mid-west", they are very much extremely amiable and trust-worthy people. I had random strangers go out of their way to walk me down 5 to 10 city blocks to make sure I got where I needed to go, I also had a med-student meet me on Saturday after my interview and drove me around on his own time and gas for abour 4 hours all over the city ... he said, to repay him, to do the same for someone else in the future because someone did it for him a few years back as well. More than that, the excitement of the students and the faculty is contagious. They really love their school and they're so psyched about their philosophy of Person-to-Person, and their new organ-systems approach to teaching, as well as science block scheduling: that is - you only take 1 science course at a time, and the rest is Medical Interviewing, Ethics, Clinical Exposure, etc etc. Also, insomuch as the tour - the WISER Center is way cool! They even have a dummy there that can mimick childbirth under varying fetal positions and rates of contraction, not to mention dummies with all sorts of trauma and respiratory conditions - they can simulate a tychypnic patient even, or practice tracheotomies when the patient's jaw and mouth become too stiff to open." Report Response

What impressed you negatively?

"I was hoping that Pitt would record lectures online for their students to go back and review later on since it's impossible to always be there everyday. They've begun to audio-record some science lectures, but otherwise, I just enjoy being able to go online, and watch lecture again. Also - a few second years (MS-2's) were a little annoyed that they were guinea pigs for new curriculum changes, but that change was minor, and in my opinion, that student was honestly just venting about some frustration she had, since her mom was very sick around that time." Report Response

What did you wish you had known ahead of time?

"That Pittsburgh is a very vibrant city whose steel-mills have been replaced by biotech giants and start-ups. You'd think the city is 350,000 coal-coughing people living in underground caves - but the architecture is often gothic and colonial, with many examples of Prairie-Home style mansions all over. It is also VERY safe to walk around in at night, and DIRT cheap to live in VERY comfortably. The apartments and rentable homes are inexpensive and quite frankly gorgeous - and you have opposite poles - some old steel mill ruins have been turned into high-tech industrial lofts, and many older homes have been remodeled and re-stored with great care and with high-tech amenities like ethernet, natural gas, wood/laminate flooring etc. The student who showed me around was paying $940 for a 2 BR/2.5 BA - and it was so replete with architectural details, beautiful colors, and inviting decor inside - and everything manageable within a student budget. Some sections of town are obviously more oriented toward blue-collar types, as in any city, but still, I couldn't find an area I found scary to walk around in. I went to UF for a couple of years, and rent is actually on par if not cheaper - and anyone familiar with Gville's crappy but cheap apartments should appreciate that. It is cold, but no where near as crummy as NYC or Boston. I was also told that it barely snows whenever it does." Report Response

What are your general comments?

"Arrive at the Office of Admissions Early. I stayed at the Hampton Inn in back of Magee-Women's Hospital by the Rep Theatre. I payed about 90 bucks/night and got free breakfast, HBO channels, complimentary water-bottles, free workout passes to a local gym, an indoor gym in the hotel itself, etc. This hotel also provides a free shuttle service that will drive you 3 miles in any direction for FREE. they will also come pick you up again if you call them before 10pm. This shuttle leaves every hour, on the hour from the hotel, starting at 6am, ending at 10pm. So - arrive before 8am at the Admissions Office (Rm 518). It's inside Scaife Hall, which is across the street from the Peterson Events Center Dome, and is alos behind Presby Hospital on Forbes. You go to Desoto from Forbes, go up the hill, curve left with the road, and Scaife is a big concrete block on your left, with the stone and glass Sports Arena on your right. Once at Scaife, you come into the 4th floor through the main entrance on Terrace Street, then past the guard, on toward the immediate left, you take the escalator up one floor ( to5th), and then immediately hang a right around the column. You'll first see elevators, then a lone door with two long windows on it in the middle of a pink-tile wall. This is the Office of Admissions & Fin-Aid. I'd recommend you get there by 7:45, although I got there at 7:30 and they had just opened up. They also give everyone a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese and fruits - but I'd recommend eating ahead of time to avoid spilling, bagel and cream-cheese stains, juice/coffee on yourself, etc. As soon as you come in, they have a bunch of blue Pitt Med folders with nametags and Interview Day Schedules on them. You tell the lady your name, and she hands it to you. Your schedule attached with a clip to the front of the folder says, WELCOME so-and-so to Univ. of Pitt. Medical School. It then schedules stuff by quarter hour blocks at most: Typical Pitt Interview Day ----------------------------------- **8-8:15am WELCOME (meet&greet over breakfast in the Admissions Waiting Area; arrive early) **8:15-10:15 TOUR (wear comfy shoes for sure, and bring a warm coat if it's winter-time in addition to your suit jacket. The tour is long, and you'll see the WISER Dummy Patient Simulation Center, Presby Hospital, Montefiore, Children's etc. You will walk up the Desoto Street hill as you've heard, but anyone who says it's horribly bad is truly out of shape and nagging you. Also - the tour is given by an Admissions office secretary/aid type of person; not a med-student, faculty, or AD-COM member). **10:15-10:30 Admissions Overview - this is given by a really funny sarcastic lady named Lisa - she's the Assoc. Dean of Admissions, but is actually the Acting Dean now since Dr. Curtiss passed away last month. At this point, Lisa will tell you, everyone here is academically capable at this med-school. As far as we are concerned - your numbers are all similar. Today, we want to know what makes you guys tick inside as people. That's all. (they're not kidding either) **10:30-11 CURRICULUM REVIEW (they have you pull out the color-coded sheet, and they explain it to you around a conference table with all the other interviewing students as neighbors. Speaking of which - you'll have at most 19 other people beside you vying for spots on any given Interview Day. **11-12pm LUNCH W/ MED-STUDENTS (usually MS 2) **12-1 STUDENT INTERVIEW (in my case, I got a 4th year, but usually it's a 1st year who talks to you - it's VERY conversational - no talk of MCAT's, GPA's, etc. YOu'll be asked, Why medicine, Why Pitt, your hobbies/interests, research if any, etc - but it's all in the flow of a normal conversation) **2-2:15 Meet with Paula Davis (short 15 mins) (Asst. Dean of Admissions - she just wants to know if you've got any questions, she wants to see your face and say hello to you, and to very lightly extract Why and How you came to like Pitt). **2:30-2:50 Franki Williams - you only meet with this woman, who is a TOTAL sweetheart and so much fun to talk to, if you're a minority. I'm Latino, so go figure why I had 4 interviews instead of 3. LOL. **3-4 Faculty Interview (mine was with a local internal medicine Legend named Dr. Elmer Holzinger ... he kept me for 2 hrs and 15 mins ... and he asked me, I want to know about your life; start with the day you were born. LOL. The weird part was, I actually enjoyed talking to the man; it was so interesting hearing about his own experiences. It felt like being shrunk by a sweet psychiatrist in some parts too, but it was still very cool as far as faculty interviews are concerned. I was VERY surprised it was so conversational and interested in ME, lol. I was expecting to meet a quitet, mum Doctor or PhD, and having them ask me random questions, look at me sternly while answering, and then saying, mhm, interesting, jot a thing or two down, and ask the next Q. NOT LIKE THAT AT ALL!!!!!!!! Be Prepared to talk like you're meeting your best friends for coffee at Starbucks after not seeing them for years. ------------------------------------ :::PITT-FOLDER::: Inside your blue folder packet you will find the following: (Day's Schedule on top) - Fact Book - Student Group Descriptions - Directions to tons of buildings from the Admissions Office - brochure on AOC's (Areas of Concentration) - Complete, color-coded Curriculum Overview by School-year, Month and by courses. - Clinical-Scientist Training Program (CSTP) inforomation sheet - Pitt Campus Safety Brochure - spiral bound Pitt Med Survival Guide (this tells you about classes, places to live, places to go hang out and eat, local cultural events, parks/recreation, etc) ------------------------------------- I should add that you should try contacting students randomly through the hosting Excel file in the Interview Tab through the secure Admissions site they give you when you file a secondary app. This will give you a chance to talk to epople about the school. You'll see hwo nice and randomly genial they are about everything. I e-mailed one kid a few questions a few weeks before interviewing, and got about 5 pages worh of response). The Atmosphere of Person-to-Person permeates everything they do in this school - be it research, teaching, PBL sessions, or clinical exposure. They NEVER want you to forget that patients (and med-students and their professors) are, before anything else ... also PEOPLE! So - if you're a textbook junkie who prefers a dark cave to study in than learning from an open environment where people like to share ideas and experiences - this may be the wrong place for you. People here are very sociable and friendly, and very cooperative with class-mates. For example, I was told by one woman whose mother got sick with cancer after Winter Break, that her professors allowed her to miss exams and make them up over summer sometime later when she felt like it, and her classmates took notes for her and kept her up to speed when she came back. In other cases, for Microbio for example, the students said stuf would happen where one student would spend 10+ hours doing Microbio spreadsheets with germ names, diseases, methods of contraction, etc ---> and then e-mailed it to everyone in the class so they could use it to study. Also - some cool facts: + Honors/Pass/Fail Grading + 6 weeks off plus Case-Based sessions in MS2 to review for USMLE Step 1 + only 1 Core Science offered at one time, so you only have to cram for one hard class, and not 5 at once. The other courses are easy stuff like Ethics, etc. So - everyone I meet tells me this ESP makes Medicine easier to study and more tolerable in the endurance test that is med-school. + Summative Year-end Exams (1 exam on 3 or more disciplines) are being thrown out next year + Research Project required (although this does NOT have to be bench work - one girl I met over lunch went to Ghana for a summer and completed a Public Health experiment to fulfill this) + MPH, MSc actively encouraged, as are certificate programs called AOC's (Areas of Concentration- noe extra fees or years to tack on - but you learn a little more ofus in areas like: Bio-Informatics, Geriatrics, Med-Humanities, NeuroSci, Women's Health, Disabilities/Rehab Medicine, Global Health/Int'l Medicine. ------------------------------------ Questions please e-mail: [email protected] Hope this helps a few people out. " Report Response

Tour and Travel

Who was the tour given by?

Admissions staff

How did the tourguide seem?


How do you rank the facilities?

9 out of 10

What is your in-state status?

Out of state

What was your total time spent traveling?

4-6 hours

What was your primary mode of travel?


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


What airport did you use?


Where did you stay?


How would you rate the hotel?

10 out of 10

What is the name of the hotel you stayed in?

Hampton Inn

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?

10 out of 10

What is your ranking of this school's location?

9 out of 10

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

10 out of 10

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