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Interview Feedback

Individual Response

  • California School of Podiatric Medicine at Samuel Merritt University
  • Podiatry School
  • Oakland, CA
Overall Experience

How did the interview impress you?


What was the stress level of the interview?

3 out of 10

How you think you did?

9 out of 10

How do you rank this school among ALL other schools?

9 out of 10


How long was the interview?

20 minutes

Where did the interview take place?

At another location

How many people interviewed you?


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)?

"What questions do you have for us?" Report Response | I was asked this question too

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

"Do you like your undergrad experience?" Report Response | I was asked this question too

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

"Why should we accept you at CSPM?" Report Response | I was asked this question too

What was the most interesting question?

"What can you offer to the class of 2013?" Report Response | I was asked this question too

What was the most difficult question?

"What can you offer to the class of 2013?" Report Response | I was asked this question too

How did you prepare for the interview?

"Woke up 6am, worked out, had a good breakfast, just tried to relax before the interview." Report Response

What impressed you positively?

"-Very small class size that is capped at 48 students (Not tuition driven like some pod schools) -Part of a healthcare university -Main building has open-air areas -Located in a better part of Oakland with hospitals and clinics in SF and O-Town -Great weather in the Bay Area!!! -Close to a BART station so amazing San Francisco is only a few minutes away -Begin clinicals early, seem quite diverse -Have a great simulation center (mannequins) which pod students ACTUALLY USE...unlike Temple -Very nice admissions staff and Dr. Tran is awesome -New dean seems great, very forward thinking about podiatry and CSPM -On campus dorms, they will be getting an apartment complex if those are torn down -Awesome scholarships (based on GPA/MCAT) one can get up to $60,000 over 4 years -Diverse class -Pool on campus -Samuel Merritt College will be undergoing a massive expansion/renovation very soon -Legit interviews - with phd and DPM's -Get to see the campus along with a 2nd/3rd year clinical site" Report Response

What impressed you negatively?

"-Traffic sucks -Expensive cost of living -Library a bit tiny but is currently being renovated -The "gym" is quite tiny and pretty bad -Area around school not terrible but not amazing -Number of students bitched about a particular 1st year professor -Facilities pretty decent, but not like DMU/AzPod/OCPM -Anatomy lab quite basic compared to some pod schools (cadavers on a metal gurney) -Early clinicals result in LOTS of lecture time in 2nd year (8am-7pm two days a week, one day like that in 3rd year)" Report Response

What did you wish you had known ahead of time?

"That the dorms were going to be torn down in the near future (no date set yet). Part of Bechtel hall is going to be demolished to make way for a patient tower for the hospital next door. Also making new classrooms/labs/offices. Construction may be annoying during class time. They are looking into buying out an apartment complex in the area, which is going to be much nicer than the dorms." Report Response

What are your general comments?

"Overall, I had a very good experience at CSPM. Just realize, the interview day is very long and you will probably be tired at the end. I left for St. Mary's Hospital at 8am and didn't come back to my hotel until nearly 6pm! I really like the class size is small and capped at 48 students. CSPM does not seem tuition driven like a few other pod schools (ex OCPM with 135 students). The location of the campus is an okay part of oakland, a hospital complex...not ghetto like some people on these feedback forums make it out to be. You have pretty good dorms right on campus as well. The weather is awesome, there is a BART station a few blocks away so San FRANCISCO is quite close. You start clinicals early as well which I personally feel is a plus. The 2nd year clinicals are in small groups (4 people) and involve some observation, pallative care, H and P's, simulation center with mannequins, radiology workshops, homeless shelter, etc. Seems to be great for learning how to interact with patients and prepare for 3rd year. The 3rd and 4th years seem quite strong from what I heard. The one negative is that you have a lot of lecture hours during the 1 day of class 3rd year (about 10-11 hours). I feel it would be better off being spread out to another morning/afternoon. The 2nd year also has 2 lecture days which are jam packed (hour-wise) but this seems to be the trade-off for an early clinical experience. I believe the new dean will be addressing this in the near future when curriculum review comes around. Overall, I have visited 8 pod schools and feel CSPM offers a great overall package. I am from the East Coast too and do not care about living close to home. You have a small class, great weather, early and diverse clinicals, located in the bay area, and more. I believe DMU and Scholl are great schools but during the winter...probably a bit rough with the snow and cold. Seems a bit depressing when your stuck inside all the time with so much stress and studying. At CSPM, you have the ocean and Tahoe is only a 3-4 hour drive away (awesome snowboarding). The weather definitely is a plus in my opinion, as you can be outside all year and the surrounding areas are beautiful. Hope this information helps. I got accepted to all the pod schools with good scholarships and most likely going to CSPM. Seems to offer everything I'm looking for in podiatric medical education. My advice for prospective students is to actually interview at CSPM and not believe most of the garbage you see on SDN and the interview feedback forums. Everything I read on here seemed to be complete or nearly opposite when I actually interviewed at Samuel Merritt. It was probably one of the best and most thorough interview days (and I have been to all the pod schools). I really would encourage pre-pods to take a look at CSPM, you will most likely be pleasantly surprised. " Report Response

Tour and Travel

Who was the tour given by?

Faculty member

How did the tourguide seem?


How do you rank the facilities?

7 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?

Renaissance - Stanford Court

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?

9 out of 10

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

9 out of 10

How is the responsiveness of the admissions office?

10 out of 10

How is the friendliness of the admissions office?

10 out of 10

How eco-friendly are the school's application materials and interview process?

8 out of 10

What are your suggestions for the admissions office?

"-Show the dorm rooms to prospective students -Have a list of recent residency placements available " Report Response

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