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Students share medical school interview advice, worries

Interviews for medical school

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

With it being the prime season for secondary medical school application acceptances and interviews, students are concerned about what points to hit in these career-determining discussions.

With secondary medical school applications, some colleges have unique deadlines and are generally due in December or January.

“My greatest concern is ensuring that I provide information in my answers that is different from what I have submitted by virtue of my primary and secondary medical school applications,” said biochemistry sophomore Amal Altatar.

Interviews are the next step of the process, where applicants make a case as to why they stand out from the thousands of applications submitted each cycle.

“Surprisingly, the interview process was not as scary as it seems, the actual interviews themselves are not as scary as he seemed,” said biology senior Jericho Morcilla. “I think a lot of the time, what applicants need to focus on is the fact that they just want to see who you are as a person.”

Morcilla participated in what the American Medical Association calls “Multiple Mini Interviews,” where instead of one long session, it’s split into smaller sessions with different interviewees to reduce interviewer bias but gives the interviewee time to prep in between each session.

In these interviews, it is all about the interviewers getting to know you, Morcilla said, as well as whether or not they’d see you as a trusted physician when you eventually begin to practice medicine.

“So you have conversations with your family members about different things, just like you have conversations with your friends about topics, you’re just having a conversation with the interviewer as well,” Morcilla said. “That should be your mindset going into it.”

The UH Pre-Health Advising Center offers students multiple resources for interview preparations, including information on interview formats, interview preparation advice, information on University Career Services, mock interviews and additional online resources.

Aside from the University’s resources, student organizations dedicated to the pre-health pathway offer other options and materials.

Morcilla said aside from the pre-health advising resources, his preparation involved mock interviews put on by the organization Alpha Epsilon Delta, where he currently holds the vice president position.

“At the end of the day, once you get that interview, your applications are already good enough, if the numbers are good (then) the MCAT is good enough, your extracurriculars are good enough for you to get the interview,” Morcilla said. “They just want to see what you would be like as a physician. That is the biggest thing, just be yourself. Don’t be afraid to really, truly express yourself during these interviews.”

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