350+ Medical School Interview Questions

This is the largest free collection of traditional medical school practice questions compiled from various blog posts, admissions websites, medical school universities, and Reddit discussions. These questions can be also be used for many professional school interviews. It has been meticulously organized into categories and edited to remove redundancy. The original list of questions was compiled by a medical school student Matt (aka the average Korean premed) and further refined by the Master Student team.

Those looking for MMI-specific interview questions can click here.

Personal Interview Questions

1.1 Personal History

  1. What are the best and worst things that ever happened to you?
  2. What is the most significant award you’ve won?
  3. Tell me about a creative project you’ve done.
  4. What has been your biggest failure and how did you handle it?
  5. What is a goal you have failed in / Talk about a failure in your life.
  6. Talk about an accomplishment that you are particularly proud of / your greatest
  7. What contribution have you made to the community that you are most proud of?
  8. What have you learned from your failures? Give examples.
  9. What have you done that shows initiative? What did you gain from that
    experience? How were you most/least satisfied with that endeavor?
  10. Who has had the most influence on your life so far and why?
  11. What is the biggest thing you have overcome in your life?
  12. Describe a situation where your work was criticized. What was your immediate reaction? Reflecting back now, what do you make of it now?
  13. What aspects of your life’s experiences do you think make you a good candidate for medical school?
  14. How do you think your personal background will affect your practice?
  15. Describe any travels that you have undertaken and exposure to other cultures than your own, if any.
  16. What is the most important event that has occurred to you in the last five years?
  17. Describe the most unusual event in your life.
  18. Tell me about any research you have done. What have you learned from these experiences?
  19. What leadership positions have you held in school? What have you learned from these experiences?

1.2 Personal Details

  1. How do you manage your time?
  2. How do you deal with stress?
  3. What is your learning style?
  4. If your schedule was cleared for one day, what would you do to pass the time?
  5. Name 3 things that are most important to you
  6. How do you deal with adversity?
  7. Are you a leader or a follower? Why?
  8. Who has been your greatest influence to go into medicine / Who is your role model in health care?
  9. Who is your hero and why? Who are your role models?
  10. What can you tell us about yourself that is not on the autobiographical sketch?
  11. Who has been the most influential in your life? How? What has been the effect?
  12. What does the word “success” mean to you?
  13. What newspapers, journals, etc., do you read on a regular basis?
  14. How do you handle blood and gore?
  15. What makes you happy?
  16. What causes your greatest frustrations in life?
  17. What are your hobbies? Do you plan to continue your hobbies while in medical school?
  18. Do you plan to continue your hobbies through medical school?
  19. Tell me about something that you know a lot about?
  20. What are you passionate about?

1.3 Relationships/Interactions with Others

  1. What do you care about? How does that caring express itself?
  2. Who was the best teacher you have had and why?
  3. Who do you admire most in your life and why?
  4. What type of people do you get along with well?
  5. Is there something about you that would make it difficult to get along with you?
  6. Who do you admire the most in your life?
  7. If you could chose one figure in history to have dinner with, who would it be?
  8. Describe your style of communicating and interacting with others?
  9. How do you work in a group/what do you contribute to a group situation?

1.4 Personality & Character

  1. What are your 3 best characteristics?
  2. What are your 3 weakest characteristics?
  3. How do you cope with grief?
  4. Describe your personality.
  5. What do you have to offer that others don’t have?
  6. How will your weaknesses play a role in your health care profession?
  7. If your best friends were to describe you, what would they say?
  8. What are three things you want to change about yourself?
  9. How do you handle change?
  10. How do you go about making important decisions?
  11. How would your teammates describe you? How would your professors describe you?
  12. What is the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome?
  13. What was the last movie you saw? What did you think about it?
  14. Have you always put forth your best effort in every situation?
  15. What would you do on a perfect day?
  16. What interests you outside of health care and getting into professional school?

1.5 Behavioral/Situational

  1. How do you work under pressure? Give an example.
  2. How do you respond to criticism? Describe a situation where your work was criticized. What was your immediate reaction to the situation?
  3. How do you deal with adversity?
  4. Give me an example of how you will handle a stressful situation.
  5. How do you deal with a patient who treats you badly?
  6. Your supervising physician comes to work drunk, what do you do?
  7. How might you calm a nervous patient?
  8. Your patient is terminally ill, looks at you with hope, what do you tell him?
  9. If my grandmother walked into your practice and told you that she was ill because she had a hex placed on her, what would you tell her and how?
  10. How would you tell a patient that they had a lump in their throat but you couldn’t treat them for three months?
  11. How would you tell a patient just diagnosed with cancer that he has only a few weeks to live?
  12. How would you deal with the death of a patient?
  13. How might you deal with a terminally ill patient?
  14. Describe how you can effectively deal with some in a crisis.
  15. How would you express your concern for a child who needs an amputation?
  16. At 3 am, nurse calls you and says patient is showing signs of infection and needs antibiotics. She has written up the order and asks if you would please authorize it. The patient is allergic and rapidly dies of anaphylaxis. What are you going to tell the parents?
  17. You are playing tennis with your best friend and the ball hits your friend in the eye. What do you do?
  18. If you are held up at gunpoint with your wife (mom, etc.), what would you do?
  19. If your friend broke the law, what would you do?
  20. The night before your final exam, your father has a heart-attack and is admitted to a hospital, what do you do?
  21. If you had a conflict with a fellow classmate on a group project, how would you resolve it if the project was due the next day and you were not nearly finished?

1.6 Personal Experiences: collaboration/teamwork/leadership

  1. Describe a time in your life you disagreed with a person of authority, ex. a professor, and how you dealt with it.
  2. Describe a conflict that has arisen in a job, volunteer experience, etc, and how you dealt with it.
  3. With examples, explain how you handle conflict with a fellow team member? What about conflict with a supervisor?
  4. Describe your style of communicating and interacting with others. Give an example of a situation in which you had to utilize effective interpersonal skills.
  5. Describe a situation in which you were dependable or demonstrated initiative.
  6. Describe a situation in which you were not as dependable as you would have liked.
  7. Tell me about a time when you faced conflict or anger with another individual.
  8. Tell me about the last time you felt anger on the job.
  9. Tell me about a time when you’ve been disappointed in a teammate or fellow group member. What happened? How did you approach the situation?
  10. Describe a situation in which you were the leader and what you learnt from the
  11. Give an example of a leadership role you have assumed.
  12. Describe a situation in which you have worked with a diverse group of people. What did you learn from that situation?
  13. Give evidence that you relate well with others.
  14. In your present living situation, how do you settle disputes with your roommates?
  15. Describe an experience you had helping others.

1.7 Personal Experiences: character

  1. Describe a situation where you felt like a fish out of water.
  2. What is the biggest thing you have overcome in life?
  3. How do you cope with grief?
  4. Discuss a book you have recently read for pleasure. Why does this book interest you?
  5. Describe a time when you were faced with a difficult situation and how you dealt with it.
  6. Tell us about a time in your life that you had no control over. How did you deal with it? What did you learn from it?
  7. Can you think of a time that you made a mistake but it ended up working out better because of it?
  8. Have you ever been forced to do something that has conflicted with your personal values?
  9. Talk about a time when you had to follow a policy you disagreed with.
  10. Describe a time in your life when you had to stand up for something you believed in against your peers.
  11. Tell me about a time when you were criticized unfairly.
  12. Tell me about a time when you failed.
  13. Describe an experience you have had in which you were misjudged. What were your responses?
  14. How well do you feel you function under pressure?
  15. What was the most stressful event in your life? How did you handle it?

1.8 Goals & Plans

  1. What will you if you aren’t accepted to professional school?
  2. How will you deal with the stress of school and this profession?
  3. What would you do if you were accepted to professional school but had to wait one year before entry/What would you do with a free year?
  4. What would you do if you do not get into medical school this year?
  5. What do you think you will struggle with during professional school?
  6. What do you hope to gain during your professional education?
  7. What do you see yourself doing in ten or fifteen years from now?
  8. What are your specific goals in health care?
  9. If admitted, what would you bring to [the school at which you are interviewing]?
  10. Do you prefer the idea of basic research or of working with people?
  11. How will you keep in touch with community needs?
  12. What impact do you want to have on your health care profession?
  13. Which primary care area of healht care would be the greatest interest to you?
  14. Who was your greatest source of inspiration in deciding to pursue health care?
  15. How did you go about investigating a career in healht care?

Application Related Medical School Interview Questions

2.1 Knowledge of Program/Specific motivations

  1. What do you know about our school and program?
  2. What makes (the program you are applying to) unique?
  3. Are you a strong candidate for our program?
  4. Tell me about why you are interested in this program.
  5. What scares you the most about our school?
  6. What would you like us to tell you about our school?
  7. Is there anything about our medical program that impresses you? Anything that concerns you?
  8. Tell me about your letters of recommendation.

2.2 Motivation/Commitment for Medicine

  1. Why do you want to be a health care professional?
  2. Why did you choose to apply to one health care profession over another (i.e. medicine, dentistry, nursing, hygeine, PA, etc)?
  3. Did anyone you know influence your choice of career?
  4. Why would you be a good health care professional?
  5. If you could choose one specialty what would it be? Why?
  6. Why didn’t you go into social work if you like working with people?
  7. If I’m to talk to the Admissions Committee tomorrow, why should I tell them to let you in?
  8. Why should we choose you?
  9. Would you go to our program if I gave you an acceptance letter now?

Interview Questions on Experiences: education/medicine/healthcare

3.1 Academics

  1. What is your preferred way of learning and how do you learn best? Tell me about your study habits.
  2. Describe the kind of program you are enrolled in for your undergraduate degree.
  3. What science class did you dislike the most?
  4. What was your favorite science class? Why?
  5. What classes did you struggle with during school?
  6. Which classes did you enjoy most? Why?
  7. Why did you do so poorly in [course] Why was that course so difficult?
  8. What courses have you taken that you’ve found interesting and why?
  9. What did you most dislike about undergraduate studies?
  10. Why did you choose your undergraduate major?
  11. What are the challenges you have faced during your undergraduate program and how did you address them?
  12. If you could do anything different in your education, what would it be?
  13. If you were to do anything differently in your preparation for professional school, what would that be?
  14. What were your most memorable accomplishments in your college career?
  15. If you did not perform well on the (section of the MCAT/DAT/OAT/ETC). Explain why you are weak in this area.
  16. How do you study/prepare for exams?
  17. Do you engage in self-directed learning?
  18. Would you consider a career in your present course of studies?

3.2 Healthcare, Volunteer, Extracurricular Experiences

  1. Have you done any volunteer work?
  2. What kind of experiences do you have in the health care field?
  3. What experiences have you had in community involvement that demonstrate your commitment to the health care industry?
  4. What experiences have you had working with diverse populations?
  5. What experience have you had working with people?
  6. Name a meaningful experience you’ve had and how it shaped you to pursue work in the health care profession of your choice.
  7. Have you had any practical experiences in the health care industry?
  8. Have you shadowed any professionals in the industry you are applying for? What did you learn from these experiences?
  9. What types of volunteer work have you had? What have you learned from those experiences?
  10. What have you done to prepare yourself to be a health care professional?
  11. What extracurricular activities were you involved in during your undergraduate major?
  12. If had research experience in college. What have you learned about
    that process?

3.3 Knowledge of field/realistic view of profession

  1. What do you think will be your greatest challenge in completing professioanl school or learning how to be a healh care professional?
  2. What do you feel is the purpose of Medical School/Dental School/Optometry/Etc?
  3. What characteristics are important in a health care professional? Which of your characteristics are best and worst for this career?
  4. How have your experiences prepared you for this career?
  5. What do you feel are the most important qualities in being a good health care professional?
  6. Do you see any negatives in this profession?
  7. What sorts of ethical problems can you see coming up in this profession?
  8. What makes a good health care professional?
  9. What steps have you taken to acquaint yourself with what a physician does?
  10. What do you think you will like most about this health care profession?
  11. What effect does and will science have upon health care?
  12. What do you think you will like least about this profession?
  13. What are some of the things you will have to give up as a health care professional?
  14. What qualities do patients appreciate in health care professionals? Colleagues?
  15. Why is research important? What are the benefits of research?
  16. Would you practice in the inner city? What do you think happens to people who practice there (attitude, changes, etc)?
  17. In third and fourth years, as well as residency, you will be very busy. What sacrifices do you expect to make and what sacrifices are you willing to make?
  18. How do you know that you will end up enjoying your job?
  19. How do you plan to balance your personal life with being a health care professional?
  20. Do you think socio-economic status is a factor in acceptance to professioanl school? Why?
  21. From what you understand of professional school, what part of the program will be most difficult for you?
  22. Why do you think so many people want to be doctors?
  23. Would you practice in the inner city? What do you think happens to people who practice medicine there (attitude changes, etc.)?
  24. Name a meaningful experience you’ve had and how it shaped you to pursue work as a health care professional.
  25. What is your concept of the doctor/patient relationship
  26. List several qualities that you feel are the most important in being a good health care professioanl.
  27. List several qualities that you feel are the most important in being a good student.

3.4 Knowledge of Healthcare System/Issues (Canada)

  1. How did Canada’s health care system come about?
  2. How would you describe the relationship between science and medicine?
  3. What are some problems facing Canada’s health care system? What should we do to address them?
  4. If you could change one thing about the Canadian health care system, what would it be?
  5. What 2 challenges will health care face in this century?
  6. What will be the most important health care issue in Ontario in the future?
  7. What do you think is the role of privatizing pharmaceuticals in managing the problems in health care today?
  8. How do you feel about privatizing health care?
  9. How do you feel about incentive programs for rural medicine? How else can we promote doctors to work more rural areas?
  10. What is your opinion of nurse practitioners?
  11. What do think the biggest challenges for doctors will be in 10 years?
  12. What are solutions to the Canadian physician shortage?
  13. Compare/contrast Canadian and US health care. What would you incorporate from the American health care system to improve the Canadian health care system?
  14. How would you deal with the problem of a type 2 diabetes epidemic and the cost of dialysis?
  15. What are your views on the government capping physician salaries?
  16. If you had 10 million dollars to spend on health care, how would you allocate the funds?
  17. Should Canada offer free tuition for medical school? If yes, where should the money come from?
  18. Once a physician, how will you work to improve the Canadian Health Care System? Specifically, how will you deal with issues like bed / staff shortages?
  19. How would you solve Canada’s poor distribution of physicians across the country?
  20. What are some ways in which delivery of health care will change in the future?
  21. Can you talk about primary care reform?
  22. What were the two greatest medical advances in the last century?
  23. Discuss with the interviewer current areas open to improvement in the Canadian medical system.
  24. How do you think your role as a physician fits in with your role as a
    member of the community?
  25. In what field do you think the next major advancement in medicine will come?
  26. What are some current controversial areas of medicine? What are your thoughts?
  27. Give me a list of three political issues that you feel are of great importance in the
    healthcare field right now.
  28. What are some current controversial areas in medicine? Select one then give your opinion on it and defend that opinion.
  29. In your view, what is the most pressing problem facing medicine/healthcare today?
  30. What is your opinion of National Health Insurance?
  31. What politicians are currently impacting medicine? Do you agree with the decisions they are making?
  32. Do you think that doctors are being paid too much or too little? Why?
  33. How would you go about improving access to health care in this country?
  34. What are your views on the latest changes to the Medicare program?
  35. What are your views on alternative medicine?
  36. What have you recently read in the press about health care? List three issues that confront medicine today. Of the three, which is the most important and why?
  37. What do you think should be done to control health care costs in this country?
  38. Is health care a right or a privilege?
  39. I don’t believe that AIDS education is very effective – What do you think?
  40. If you had the power, what changes would you make to our health-care system?
  41. Is it ethical for doctors to strike?
  42. What most recent advances in medicine have occurred that you believe will have the greatest impact on how you will practice medicine?
  43. Do you feel that medical students receiving federal loans should spend time practicing medicine in a rural area to give society something in return?
  44. What do you think about the health care system and which way should it go?
  45. What do you think of herbal/alternative medicine? Should people choose them over traditional medicine? What would you do if a family member decides to solely depend on alternative medicine for his treatment of a significant illness (cancer, etc.)?
  46. What are your thoughts on Medicare reform? Capitation, HMO’s, PPO’s, etc?
  47. How would you improve access to care in this country?
  48. Do you feel that the government should be involved with mandating insurance? Subsidizing insurance?
  49. How would you control the cost of healthcare?
  50. Why do you think the number of applicants has been growing every year despite the problems we face in medicine?
  51. What is the most difficult issue facing the medical community? How about doctors in general?
  52. What do you think will be the most difficult aspect of medical school?
  53. What qualities would you look for in a doctor?
  54. What is the difference between an HMO and a PPO? Which system do you prefer and why?

Ethical Interview Practice Questions

  1. Say you were a doctor and your patient is terminal. The patient looks at you with hope and asks if he will make it. What do you tell him?
  2. How might you calm a nervous patient?
  3. What if you had a patient that did not pay?
  4. Do you think a physician should tell a patient he has 8 months to live?
  5. What would you do if a doctor gave you orders that you know will harm the patient?
  6. Pretend that you’re the doctor. You see a patient who gives you some grief and complains. At the end of treatment he asks you if he was a good patient. What do you say?
  7. Your supervising physician comes into work drunk. How would you handle the situation?
  8. Imagine you are a physician. You are working with a patient who is refusing a treatment that you believe is necessary. What would you do?
  9. Would you perform abortions as a doctor? Under what conditions?
  10. Would you share your religious beliefs with your patients?
  11. How do you help people who don’t want to be helped?
  12. Would you prefer to provide less effective medicine to more people or more effective medicine to less people?
  13. How do you feel about animal research?
  14. Who should definitely not be cloned?
  15. Do you think doctors should lie to patients?
  16. Talk about the ethics of lying–when is it okay?
  17. What would you do if you caught your roommate cheating on his med school application?
  18. What do you think of the priority system for organ recipients? What about the system for allocating money for medicine?
  19. How would you deal with a patient who was treating you badly (assume other patients in the office can overhear)?
  20. Do you think there should be mandatory HIV testing for couples wanting to be married?
  21. If there was an accident on the highway, would you stop and help the victims, knowing that doing so might lead to a malpractice claim against you?
  22. When was a time you dealt with an immoral situation and how?
  23. What is your opinion of abortion? What would you tell a woman who wants an abortion?
  24. What is your opinion on euthanasia? What would you do if your patient asked you for euthanasia?
  25. If your father was ill, and on a waitlist, would you drive to [remote location, another country] for treatment?
  26. Do you think a physician should tell a patient he/she has eight months to live?
  27. A patient who has been in an accident needs a blood transfusion. She states that her religion does not allow them. You are the physician in charge. What will you do? Will you override her strong objection? Why/ why not?
  28. If you have the choice of giving a transplant to a successful elderly member of the community or a 20-year old drug addict, how would you choose?
  29. What do you think of affirmative action?
  30. A pregnant 15-year-old unmarried teenager comes into your office asking for an abortion. What would you do? Would you inform her parents?
  31. A 14-year-old gay and promiscuous male comes to you to be treated for a STD. During the conversation he mentions that he has been tested for HIV several times and would like to be tested again to see if he is still uninfected. How would you handle this situation?
  32. During a routine physical examination of a 10-year-old girl you discover unmistakable evidence that she has been physically and sexually abused over a period of time. Both her parents are in the waiting room. How would you respond to this situation?
  33. You have two patients who have been admitted after a serious accident. Both require immediate attention in order to survive. One patient is 20 years old; the other is 60 years old. Which life would you save?
  34. If you find that the professor with whom you have done research has changed some of the data before publication, what would you do?
  35. What would you do if you saw a fellow med student cheating on an exam?
  36. Would you get out of your car in a highway to help an accident victim? How would you approach the situation?
  37. If an AIDS patient was bleeding profusely from a laceration, what would you do? What if you do not have gloves? What if you have an open sore on your hands?
  38. If you were a doctor and an underage girl asked you for the Pill (or an abortion) and she did not want to tell her parents, what would you do?
  39. Should doctors be allowed to ‘pull the plug’ on terminally ill patients?
  40. If a patient is dying from a bleed, would you transfuse blood if you knew they would not approve (i.e. Jehovah’s Witness)?
  41. A 34 year-old man presents with AIDS and tells you, as his physician, that he does not want to tell his wife. What would you? Would you inform the wife?
  42. An eighteen year-old female arrives in the emergency room with a profound nose bleed. You are the physician and you have stopped the bleeding. She is now in a coma from blood loss and will die without a transfusion. A nurse finds a recent signed card from the Jehovah’s Witness in the patient’s purse refusing blood transfusions under anycircumstance. What would you do?

Other Medical School Interview Questions

5.1 Current events/World/History

  1. What do you think about (some current event)?
  2. What is the most important development in the world in the last 25 years?
  3. What are 3 world events of significance in your lifetime?
  4. What are the most influential world events of the last 30 years? What event in the world’s history do you think has had the greatest impact on today’s society?
  5. Who is the most influential person of all time?
  6. What do you think are the 2 most important issues facing the world today?
  7. What do you think are two major issues Canada is dealing with?
  8. Name the three most powerful people in the world today.
  9. What do you hope for Canada for the future?
  10. What is the biggest problem in the world today?

5.2 Weird/out-of-the-blue/creative questions

  1. What is the hardest question you’ve been asked at any interview?
  2. If you were a car, what kind of car would you be and why?
  3. If man colonized the moon and you were chosen to direct the first lunar hospital, what would be your 3 most important priorities for that hospital?
  4. If somebody was writing a book about you in 15 years, what would you want to be included in this book?
  5. If you could recommend one book for the whole world to read, what would it be?
  6. If you had to live on an island, what 3 things would you bring with you?
  7. Of the following 3 people which one would be your hero: Nelson Mandela, William Osler, Bono?
  8. If you were to have dinner with any 3 people who lived within the past 100 years, who would it be and why?
  9. What is your favourite organ?
  10. If you could be any object in this room what would you be?
  11. If you could be any kitchen appliance, what would you be and why?
  12. For someone who plays the piano: Briefly explain, in simple terms, how you would teach them to play the piano.
  13. What kind of impression of yourself do you think you’ve given us so far?
  14. If there was one question you’d hate for us to ask you, what would it be and why?
  15. If you were a cookie, what kind of cookie would you be?
  16. If we contacted your references now, what do you think they would say about you?
  17. What else do you want us to know about you before you leave today?
  18. Discuss a book that you have recently read for pleasure. Why did you select the book?
  19. If you could invite four people to dinner, who would they be? Why?
  20. What haven’t we talked about?
  21. If you could be any character in history, who would it be and why?
  22. What is the difference between sympathy and empathy?
  23. If I offered you a spot in our next class before you left this interview under the condition that you would refuse all other offers, would you accept?
  24. Have you ever written or sent a letter to a political representative in which you have expressed your views on a subject?
  25. If you could be any type of cell in the human body, what type of cell would you choose to be and why?
  26. You are granted any three wishes by a genie. What would your wishes be?
  27. You are stranded on a desert island. What three books would you want to have with you and why?
  28. Describe yourself in the third person. What didn’t you like about that question?
  29. If you could be anything else what would you be?
  30. If you had one day to do anything, what would you do?
  31. Have you prepared for this interview?
  32. What type of impression do you feel you’ve left me in this interview?

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