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Individual Response

  • University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Allopathic Medical School
  • Seattle
Overall Experience

How did the interview impress you?

Neutral

What was the stress level of the interview?

5 out of 10

How you think you did?

3 out of 10

How do you rank this school among ALL other schools?

10 out of 10

Questions

How long was the interview?

40 minutes

Where did the interview take place?

At the school

How many people interviewed you?

3

What was the style of the interview?

In a group

What type of interview was it?

Open file

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

"A series of questions about health coverage for the elderly, especially when resources are limited. " Report Response

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

"Questions about my thoughts on addressing the problems of access and coverage in America, and whether my notion of a single-payer system basically entailed an expansion of Medicare to cover all citizens. " Report Response

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

"The other questions were biographical, and sadly where I dropped the ball most egregiously. Why do you want to be a doctor? When the committee asks me why we should accept you instead of the other candidates vying for the same spot, what should I tell them? Why exactly did you wait so very long to come to medicine? What's the story with these withdrawals and with this incomplete? How will you maintain your proficiency in foreign languages while studying medicine? What have been your duties at Bailey-Boushay House (where I volunteer)? " Report Response

What was the most interesting question?

"A series of questions involving the Mitchell Rupe case. If you're not familiar with this man, he was on death row, ballooned up to 400 pounds, went to court saying that he could not be hung because the likely decapitation of so heavy a man would be cruel and unusual punishment. He later developed severe liver problems and needed a transplant. The case goes on, but you can imagine the sorts of questions meant to tease out my process of reasoning in ethically thorny situations." Report Response

What was the most difficult question?

"There were none that ought to have been difficult, but I botched the questions that should have been easiest: questions about a couple of pecadillos on my transcript, about my unusually lengthy path to med school, and the inevitable why-a-doctor question and why-you-instead-of-all-these-other-candidates question." Report Response

How did you prepare for the interview?

"The single best book you could read is Bodenheimer's Understanding Health Policy. Even if you've already been accepted to med school but haven't yet read this book, it is a wonderful, evenhanded, neutral-position overview of the system that we have and some of the problems that we are facing. The UWSOM bioethics and Kaiser-Permanente sites were also very helpful. If you have plenty of time to prepare, three good books by the Institute of Medicine are Crossing the Quality Chasm, Unequal Treatment--Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health, and To Err is Humand--Building a Safer Health System. Two other good books are a collection of scholarly articles entitled Policy Challenges in Modern Health Care (Mechanic, Rogut and Colby editors) and Governing Health: The Politics of Health Policy by Carol Weissert. " Report Response

What impressed you positively?

"I did my undergraduate work at UW and had thoroughly researched all of the various programs and opportunities to work with the disadvantaged that are available, so rather than being impressed upon arriving, I had my original impressions confirmed. It's a great school if you're interested in primary care, particularly family practice, and all of the students I met indicated that you will be nurtured and encouraged a great deal if this is your eventual path. I was also given every reason to believe that students interested in other facets of medicine are also well cared for." Report Response

What impressed you negatively?

"My distressingly inarticulate performance during the interview, nothing more." Report Response

What did you wish you had known ahead of time?

"Nothing, really. I will say that I suspect that more of my interviewers had seen my transcripts than were supposed to have. I was told twice before the interview began who the head interviewer was, and that she was the only one who had seen my MCAT scores and transcripts. In spite of this, another member of the panel asked me very pointed questions about certain parts of my transcripts, including numbers and dates and other particulars. This caught me off guard, though I didn't let on. It may be that they had simply talked about my transcripts before I entered the room, but he certainly wasn't the blank slate that I had thought he would be, and I have to think that it's pretty likely that the third interviewer wasn't either. " Report Response

What are your general comments?

"If my experience was typical, then you have nothing to fear from the interviewers whatsoever. Prepare well and go in confident. Articulate your position, support your case, don't bullshit when you don't know an answer, and realize that you are not being tested on whether you've already solved all of the problems that no one else has yet been able to. My panel was composed of Ms. K. Golding (community advocate and my advocate on the admissions committee), Dr. Sharon Kelly (practicing dermatologist) and Dr. L. Stavney (surgery--retired). They were very professional and not the least bit intimidating. The interview should have gone better, and it's my fault alone that it didn't. They seemed mostly neutral with respect to my candidacy, and if they ever veered from that position I would say that they were actually looking for reasons to like me rather than reject me, and were attempting time and again to give me opportunities to shine, though I never quite managed to rise to the occasion. You know that you will be asked policy questions and ethics questions. It's important to prepare diligently for them, both for the sake of the interview and to begin forming your own views about the career that you will ultimately pursue. But I devoted virtually all of the six weeks that I had to prepare for the interview to those areas, and I wish that I had taken just a couple of days to comb over my application more meticulously and reflect on any infelicities there. You can never predict what questions they'll ask you about ethics and policy, but you bloody well can predict what they'll ask you about your qualifications, since you know exactly what information they will have read in preparing their questions. I wish that I had been more attentive to the need for articulate, thoughtful responses to questions about the rough spots in my transcript and CV. Also, I'm a very regular reader of The New York Times and a pretty regular reader of a few other papers, but in an attempt to expend even more energy on reading about policy and ethics in the last week before my interview, I set aside these habits in favor of medical books. Bad idea. I received one question about very recent developments with the Avian Flu, and I was unable to mention any developments more recent than a couple of weeks prior to my interview. Keep up on current events. " Report Response

Tour and Travel

Who was the tour given by?

Student

How did the tourguide seem?

Neutral

What is your in-state status?

In state

What was your primary mode of travel?

Train or subway

General Info

On what date did the interview take place?

03/15/2006

What is your ranking of this school's location?

10 out of 10

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

8 out of 10

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