2011-2012 Interview Experiences

Hey everyone, I started this thread so we can post our interviewing experiences for this application cycle instead of burying it in the Application thread. If this thread needs to move or be modified in any way then the admins can do what they like with it. Good luck to all!

School: University of Chicago - Pritzker School of Medicine

Location: Hyde Park, Chicago, IL

Interview Date: 8/29/2011

Format: Three individual interviews

Details: I signed up for student hosting but because of the hurricane, his roommates had a couple people stay longer so I decided to get a hotel room. I did, however, join them for a potluck picnic that evening and met about 20 MS1’s. It was very cool and laid back.

Started the day at 8 am with the Multicultural Affairs Office continental breakfast. The dean of multicultural affairs and an MS4 informally talked with us and answered questions. The interview process then started at 9 am, where there was a presentation and overview of the day and the decision process. Each of the 12 candidates received a unique interview schedule and we were left to find the rooms of our interviewers. Everyone interviewed with an admissions committee member, a faculty member, and a student. Some had all 3 before lunch; I had 2 before lunch and one after. That gave me an opportunity to sit in on a class for about 20 min. Deep dish pizza lunch was catered in. Various med students sat with us and answered questions while we ate. After lunch was a walking tour of the hospitals and the campus in general. I then had my final interview and was the last one finished at 3:30 pm. I carpooled with 2 other guys in a taxi to the airport.

Overall, I was very impressed with the school and could definitely see myself going there. I talked more with Sylvia Robertson, Asst Dean of Admissions who was at the OPM conference in Vegas, and she remembered me.

School: Nova Southeastern University - School of Osteopathic Med.

Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Int. Date: 9/6/2011

Format: 1 on 1 for about 20 mins

So I am going to give a little background on Ft Lauderdale as well, because I hope to read this again if I have to make a decision.

First off, I now realize that if this process comes down to having to make a decision between schools, it is going to be tough. I really think that we will all be pleased as punch with any of the schools we are accepted to and it will be some little things that make the decision. I was really hoping that there would be an interview that you just think well this school isn’t for me but talking to others who have had one before me and knowing I only applied to schools I wanted to go to, I don’t think there is going to be a school you got to that was like “Oh we suck.”

Okay, Ft LAuderdale surprised me. I lived in NW FL for a year between Phx and Lou and that experience almost caused me not to apply to a FL school, but I really liked what I read about Nova on paper so I had to give them a chance in person. Really the Miami-FtL area reminded me alot of the PHX area except with more grass and lots more humidity. What I mean is that it is a fairly spread out city that has a lot going for it and like Phx it seemed to have a more “live and let live” city feel about it. Where as Penscaola felt more like part of Alabama.

If you fly down and stay: I would do the Holiday Inn on 3300 N University. Probably one of the nicest HI I have everstayed in and on priceline it was $50. It was about 30-45 mins in 8:00 traffic to Nova, but since you don’t have to be there til 9A you leave at 8A and get there at 8:35. Also cool the HI hosts visiting soccer teams and the Jamican Nat team was there, saw them practice a little.

I went to Nova directly from the airport on the day I flew in (day b4 interview). I would recommend this to anyone who can. Gives you a feel of its location so you aren’t looking for it in the morning and I got to sneak around a little unsupervised. Nova has a beautiful campus. Nice New buildings and well landscaped grounds. The OM building is 3 stories with huge labs and lecture halls. Lots of high tech there as well.

Interview day: Get there at 8:30 and sent to a conference room with about 20 other applicants. WE chatted until 9 whent he presentation started. Really liked the folks I was there with, everyone was really friendly and wishing eachother luck and what not. Hope that this good spirit carries over at other intervies and on into medschool.

45 min video about the school which was basically a “why we are great”. Then another Dean came in and explained what your schedule would be like. They had a lot of cool things that I was really interested in in their schedule. Lots of community service opportunities and medical missions.

Then half of us went on a tour while the other half interviewed. I was on the tour first, which was with some MS-1 students. They were really laid back guys who told us everything we wanted to know. They were pumping us for questions about all of the negatives that are posted over on SDN, just to have an opportunity to clear them up. The guys were also really honest about our interviews tying to calm us down.

One thing that had scared me about NCU was the large class size but they explained that you are grouped in to societies of about 25 students and you do alot of stuff with them and kind of develope as a team. They also said that the clubs have many “study” sessions and prep sessions.

After my tour I waited with my group to interview. I interviewed for about 25 mins with a faculty member who is kind of like your advocate. We went over stuff on my application and he even pointed out positives that I hadn’t really though about. (I had some D’s I replaced with A’s in OChem). The only of application question was about fixing healthcare, which I had an answer to, but really non-stressful. He even offered me a pointer about one of my answers for “if I had anyother interviews”. I think he figured I did.

After that was a cold sandwich luch with more med-students. And even more questions with them, they really wanted us to ask all of our honest questions about the school.

Then the Dean of the school came and spoke with us for about 45mins. He is a really cool guys who is very passionate about medicine. He also seemed to have a story about every state or city that the interviewees were from. It sounded like he also had a non-trad background as well which was also encouraging. The thing that really struck me was that he was very adimit that we not listen to the naysayers about medicine in our lives. Just a very convincing salesmen for becoming a physician,

After that I took a bus tour for the regular campus. I called it the “tour of fun stuff that I will be to busy to use.” They have a really nice student center with a gym and a bar in it. They also had a huge library.

Overall, I was very pleased with the way my day went and am eagerly awaiting my decision letter.

School: University of Arizona - Phoenix College of Medicine

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Interview Date: 9/12/2011

Format: Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)

Details: Went to a meet&greet the night before, which was appetizers and casual talk with MS1’s and MS2’s. For the second interview in a row, I did not get good sleep. I didn’t feel nervous but I guess subconsciously I was because I woke up early and could not go back to sleep.

The day started around 7:30 am with a continental breakfast and meeting other candidates. There were 24 candidates total. The dean talked about his vision and future for the school (founded in 2007) and discussed all of the partnerships they had established. Then we had a presentation on the MMI format. The candidates were split into two groups: 12 do MMI in the morning and the other 12 do MMI in the afternoon. I was in the morning group so I got the stressful part out of the way first.

The MMI had 10 stations total, 2 min to read the scenario and 7 min to discuss. I was very nervous about the MMI format but settled into a groove after the second station. There were at least two stations I thought were very challenging. Overall, it was rather enjoyable. I’m not yet sure if I prefer it over the traditional style interview.

Lunch was a salad or sandwich at two separate tables with some MS1’s there to answer questions. After lunch, we did a Team Building activity so they could observe our team interactions. Then they did a presentation and virtual tour of the new educational building set to open in July 2012.

Now I better understand the talk about the “fit” or getting a “feeling” for a school. Phx had a very different feel compared to my first interview. Overall, the students and administration stressed that the school is very much centered around students and they are constantly soliciting feedback in order to improve. The prospect of learning in a brand new six-story facility is also attractive.

School: Georgetown University School of Medicine

Location: Washington, DC

Interview Date: 9/16/2011

Format: One individual interview

Details: Stayed with a student host who lived about 10 min walk from the school. Took him out to dinner then he dropped me off back at his house and left to study at the library. I was asleep before he returned home.

One of his roommates escorted me to campus in the morning. The day started around 8:30 am with a donut/bagel breakfast with some MS1’s and MS2’s. Then we followed the MS2’s to one of their lectures. After that, we listened to a few speeches regarding financial aid, school philosophy (respect for the individual), and things to consider when choosing a med school. That was followed by a walking tour of the labs and classrooms.

Lunch was a sandwich and talking with some current students. The students left when a faculty member (and admissions committee member) talked with us more about the school, the training, and responsibilities that students receive. He explained that the level of responsibility increases until you are basically doing intern-level work during your 4th year so that you are very comfortable entering internship year.

My interview group was 10 people, I think all traditional students. Some started their interview at 2 pm and others were slowly taken thereafter. I was the very last person to go at 3:10 pm. My interviewer was the same guy who talked to us during lunch. We talked for an hour and I finished around 4:15 pm.

The students here were very laid back and cool. My kind of personalities and I felt like I clicked well with them. I also felt comfortable with many of the other candidates. Overall, the school impressed me very much. My “gut feeling” was very positive. One drawback is they seemed to indicate there wasn’t much money given out for merit scholarships. This may be a factor but the program, partnerships, history, and tradition were impressive.

School: University of KEntucky College of Medicine

Location: Lexington, KY

Date: 9/17/2011

Format: Two 1-v-1 for about 35 min


UK is a pretty nice school and they are mocing forwardwith a new hospital that is state of the art. The buildings and facilities are beautiful.

The day was rather short and there wasn’t much talk about Fin Aid we were only there for 4 hours.

Day started with coffee, juice waterin conference room and mingling with other candidates. Then it was followed with a short powerpoint presentation about how gretthe school and lexington is. Then we introduced ourselves to the interviewers and they to us. Then it was off to the interviews.

This is where it got wierd for me. I think I did perfectly well in the interviews and answered their questions in a skillful and correct manner. I think I performed at a 95% camacity that day. The two quys who interviewed me were both old enough to be my grandfater, (which seeing the site we are on should tell you something). The also seemed to be extremely occupied with the fact that I was married and how my wife felt about all of this. I mean to the point of 2/3 of my interview time was spent on her. I felt like saying “If you want her opinon on me in medical school maybe I should have brought her.” My wife has had a debilitating illness for the past few months and we have been seeing specialists, and I mentioned this in passing to talk about how I was going to be shadowing more specialists soon and I got drug off in a tangent about her health and if she will be able to work while I am in med-school and what are we doing for money now. There was also a talk abouyt the cost of mnedical school and how I would handle the expense after the school, (I answered with rural med grants and other things). I just thoguht it was really odd that of all of the topics that we could discuss on my application (Undergrad gpa, ECs, my work history, my school history) me checking married was the biggest deal. This was doubly odd since it seeems to be the goal of UK to take in more non-trad students. It would seem that they would want their interviewers reflect that ideal, but I felt like these guys didn’t really think a married guy should be in med-school. Overall, I think I handled them well and with grace, but I am not sure they are going to be good advocates for me unless they were just trying to push one button that they thought would get me off kilter. Basically at one point I had to say, “In the past four years of my wife and I have lost our jobs, our home, moved to a city we despised, then moved again a year later, spent three months in a long distance relationship while I finished up school inFL and she worked in KY, two miscarriages one of which was a tubal preg., and she is now goiong through a major illness, I think if our marriage can handle that and we are still great, a little bit of med-school won’t hurt it.”

So after that interview sesssion, I don’t know if I will get an acceptance, but I would really like to go there.

Then we had lunch and a Q/A with current students and then a tour.

The best part for me was after everybody left. One of our tour guides was a married guy who, and he spent an hour talking with me about UK and his life in med-school and being married. It was really great to hear his persepctive on the process and UK, it helped me get a better feel for the shcool.

School: Lincoln Memorial University – DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

Location: Harrogate, TN

Date: 9/21/2011

Format: 2:1 Blind File


DCOM is a great school. They have brand new state of the art facillities that all of the students are very pround of. The fraculty and staff there are also very welcoming and seem to really enjoy being there. I would say that this school will be one of the top DO schools in the country before long, just b/c how agressive the administration seems to be about becoing the best. They really want to train the best Doctors. My only concern with DCOM is that it truely is located in the middle of nowhere, whihc can be a turn off when you think about bringing a family to the area.

The interview was blind file which was new to me. They say they do this because they want the interviewers to get to know you the person with out worryinh about your stats. I enjoyed not having to explain every little ding on my file, but it was also stressful to know that I had the responsability to bring out all of the good things in my file. Overall, it is an excellent school and a great experience.

One thing that is cool is that with each interview I feel like I am doing better. My wife got to go with me on this one and she was amazed at how my confidence changes when I am interracting in the medical field.

School: Mayo Medical School

Location: Rochester, MN

Date: 10/7/2011

Format: Two 1 on 1 for about 30 min each



There were 10 interviewees total. The day started out having our pictures taken, then a 7 minute video about Mayo medical shool. Then the Dean of Academic Affairs came for about 20 min and talked about the Mayo curriculum which is pretty sweet. Then we had a brief talk by a representative from the Office for Diversity which wasn’t all that informative.

Some people had their first interview after that. I was interviewed by a physician on the adcom who is an internal medicine (in the international patient division) doc at Mayo. Mostly just questions about me and experiences and to expand on details from the AMCAS app. It was obvious that she had throughly read the entire thing. Then she gave a few ethics questions.

Then I had a 30 min break to explore Mayo if I wanted. Myself and a few other applicants walked into the main clinic building and explored a bit. This was followed by a tour with a M2. We saw the simulation center, anataomy lab, a couple classrooms, went up to the pediatrics floor at the clinic, and went to the medical library in the old clinic building.

This was followed by nice lunch with several first years. They were very forthcoming and helpful.

After lunch had my second interview with a M4 which was laid back and mostly asking info on my experiences, motivation for studying medicine.

Both my interviewers were great and both had obviously gone over my AMCAS app. They’re pretty strict about staying at 30min since most interviewers do multiple applicants and they want to keep the day moving. Both my interviews had to be cut off as we were still talking at the 30 min mark.

I had another hour to explore Mayo and saw a few other buildings.

Things wrapped up with the Dean of Admissions discussing the adcom process which is: they meet on Tuesdays and the interviewers present the previous week’s applicants. The committee then ranks each applicant 1-5 with 5 being the best. Once Oct 17 rolls around they will start sending out acceptances to 5’s. It could be a few weeks before we are ranked.

The School

The Mayo Clinic is an entity unto itself. It’s almost impossible to describe. The main clinic building itself is like 16 stories high and takes up an entire city block, and that’s just the clinic, the hospital is across the street. The med school is head quatered across the street in a historic building.

All the med students seem very happy and Mayo seems to have a vested interest in keeping it that way.

The curriculum is highlighted by “selectives” after each block. These are 1-2 week periods were each student can persue something they’re interested in.

Between second and third year there is a required research block and they said most students publish a paper. Beyond the required core, clinical rotations are wide open.

They also seem very friendly to non-traditionals. One of the M1’s we meet with served in the navy for several years. Another has a fiance who was joining him in Rochester next year and she and the M1 were meeting with the Dean next week who was going to help her line up interviews. He said a lot of the upper classmen with spouses got help from the school finding jobs in their various fields.

If I’m lucky enough to get in here it’s gonna be hard to turn down.

Okay after that hell week of travel I have recovered enough and caught up with other resposibilities the present more long awaited Interview feedback, HA HA.

School: Lake Erie School of Osteopathic Medicine

Location: Erie, PA

Date: 10/7/2011

Format: Group Interview 6 applicants and 2 Interviewers

Interview Day: Starts with a presentation about LECOM and Erie. LECOM prides itself on good stats, different learning pathways and being the cheapest of all schools. Then Financial Aid, then the interview, Tour, then Lunch and over.

The group interview was kind of wierd. They hadn’t seen you file so it had that going for it, but it was a really odd situation. You find yourself either feeling like you are fighting to get a word in or like you might be overbearing in the conversation. I also felt that the questions weren’t very in depth as compared to other interviews. I think it went good overall, but I would advise Pixie to be one of the first talking out of the box when it is the group convo part, or else you could get shoved to the side like two to three of the folks in my group.

As far as the college goes. It has it’s good points but I think my impression of them really suffered because it was sandwiched b/t DCOM and DMU. Kind of like the girl next door standing between two Playmates. The varried learning pathways are interesting and Erie PA is actually very beautiful. It would be the perfect school location for my dog, unfortunately Bailey doesn’t get a big vote.

School: Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Location: Des Moines, IA

Date: 10/10/2011

Type: 2 Interviewers 1 applicant 30min

Interview Day: The day starts out really cool. You start out with introdutions with the applicants and the Assoc. Dean. What is really cool about it is that the Dean spends time talking to you about whatever you bring up as your unique aspect. He and I talked about rescue dogs for like 5 mins. REally gets you relaxed and feeling how friendly the place is. The the dean dives into the strengths of the school, which are huge. Just a few, great board scores, tons of electives, tons of opportunities to TA, just unreal how good this school is. Then their is the financial Aid presentation. Then you take a tour of the cimmulation labs which are pretty cool. Then you have a Q&A with the dean. Then they show you the surgical skills lab, which is part of the 2nd year classes, in which it preps you for your surgical rotations. Then I got to see my first OMM demo. Then we had lunch with students. After lunch some interviewed, while the rest of us toured and hung out with students.

The interview itself was really good. The interviewers really seemed to love interviewing people. One of the interviewers asked me about Bourbon since I am from KY. Most of the questions I got were just to explain me more. Nothing really hard hitting.

Okay, so this school is awesome. It may be the best medical school I applied to. There are so many impressive things about the school that I would encourage anyone to apply to it. Also Des Moines is like the nicest cleanest city I have ever been to.

School: Univ. of Colorado at Denver

Location: Aurora, CO [neighborhood of Denver]

Interview Date: 10/14/11

Format: Two individual interviews, 30 minutes each; access to all your essays/AMCAS experiences but not to grades or test scores.

Details: The dean of admissions, Robert Winn, is a physician-scientist originally from Brooklyn; he is pretty amazing and worked hard to make us all feel very comfortable. He emphasized the “humanistic” (I am quoting him, not rabbit-earing) side of medicine at Denver, saying that the school works to train doctors who are nice people, not just good doctors.

Interviews were held first, which was great, because it allowed us to relax afterward–something he and Dimple Patel, the assoc. dean, also asked us to do; they stated that we were not being evaluated after the interviews and that we should relax and “have fun” (now I am both quoting and rabbit-earing). My interviewers were very pleasant and engaging.

After lunch we broke into small groups and followed current MS1s and MS2s around campus to tour the facilities. In the past few years, Denver has built a brand-new medical/research/pharmacy campus, called Anschutz. It cost nearly a billion dollars, I believe. The educational technology impressed me, although this was my first interview so I have nothing with which to compare it. The computer program they have developed at Denver is especially cool–as though they combined the Bodies exhibit with an anatomy text.

The students were friendly and laid-back. They took a lot of time with us, even the MS1s who were in the midst of the A&P block, which is apparently very stressful and made me wish I had taken A&P. It’s mostly a commuter campus; there is no student housing per se, just some apartments that are located on campus. Aurora is about 10 or 15 minutes (without traffic) from downtown Denver, I believe, although I did not go to the downtown area. All students, even the ones who seemed most driven, talked about their outside activities, much of which appears to revolve around skiing.

Unfortunately, the head of financial aid could not meet with us, which was especially sad given that Denver is possibly the most expensive medical school in the country. The admissions deans did do their best to answer our questions.

Some notes for future applicants – check out the past issues of the medical school alumni magazine, available as PDFs online. There is a lot of great research going on there. You can join the Research Track as a medical student to participate in a four-year project.

Also, Dr. Winn talked about his drive to include more out of state students in the class. Last year I believe it was about 30% out of state.

The other students almost all seemed very young to me, but most were pleasant. This was the first interview for most of us, and I feel lucky that this was my first experience, because the school really did try hard to make us feel relaxed.

Overall, this seems like a great school. I am undecided about how I feel about a commuter campus; also, being from New York, Denver seems awfully homogeneous to me. Well, I guess just the hotel, campus, gas station, and airport, since that’s all I saw, to be fair.

Please do PM me if you have any questions!

  • OwenO Said:
If I'm lucky enough to get in here it's gonna be hard to turn down.

My great aunt, Claire Preifer, was the nurse for Dr. Mayo. Her picture is in the museum with him, and her retirement book has a full page written by him (being donated to the foundation when my own father passes away).

That institution is top-notch! I only dream of being able to apply there and have my family tradition continue there... however, I hear gales of laughter already just speaking of it...

Best of luck to you - I hope you get an acceptance!

(and if you want to meet some endocrins, or cardiacs, or GIs, or umm... neph... or rads, let me know...)

School: University of Arizona College of Medicine

Location: Tucson, AZ

Interview Date: 10/14/2011

Format: MMI

Details: There are two interview groups per interview day. The AM group starts at around 8 am while the PM group starts around noon. I was in the AM group.

The morning started meeting in the newly renovated student lounge with three other MS2’s. They all answered our questions and talked to us about the school. Then we had a short MMI presentation with an adcom member before walking upstairs to do the MMI.

There were 10 stations, 2 min to read the scenario, 7 min to interact with the interviewer, and 1 min to switch stations. There was one break station so the entire thing took 110 min. Two of the stations asked traditional questions, which are always easy to answer. Six stations were ethical or situational questions that were similar in nature to the ones at my previous MMI. Two were acting stations, which I think are the hardest.

After the MMI, they gave each of us an iPad loaded with a program that had videos and maps and just let us explore the school on our own for an hour. I sat in an empty classroom, saw some small group rooms, and happened upon the Office of Student Medical Education where I talked with three ladies for a while about the school and dual-degree programs. I then found my way back to the student lounge where a bunch of MS1’s had gathered momentarily and had a chance to talk with several of them.

We then met up with the PM group for lunch in one of the medical research buildings. The school catered in a taco bar lunch and the AM and PM groups ate in separate rooms (so that no MMI info would leak to them). After lunch, the PM group went to do their thing while we had a walking tour of the hospital and children’s center. The simulation room (called ASTEC) was very cool. It had adult, children, and infant models for students to practice coding events, intubation, or other procedures/scenarios.

Overall, I felt like I clicked well with the students and other candidates. One of the aspects that stood out the most was the fact that the school is part of the teaching hospital, so if you wanted to learn more about a certain topic, you just walk down the hall and shadow a doc that’s doing it. The students said most of the docs are very accommodating. The facilities are great and the interview day flowed very well. The city of Tucson was also larger than I thought (population of 1 million in the metro area) and they happened to have a multi-cultural event called “Tucson Meet Yourself” that had cuisine from Jamaica, Poland, Hungary, Philippines, Spain, Greece, Croatia, and France, just to name a few. Both the school and city exceeded my expectations.

Bailey - I’m graduated and ASU still sends me a few each week. Before it was around 3 a day, but this year the Life Sciences college finally converted to a weekly email.

Also, HUGE thanks for the LECOM review. Mine looms large ahead, and my first inclincation would be to hang back to avoid seeming overbearing. But I’ll take your excellent advice and go for jabber-Pixie instead. So, now that you’ve seen both Des Moines and Erie - which city is prettier?

As for me… only 8 days until I leave for the first two interviews.

I think des moines is the better city. Erie is pretty small while DES moines is closer to a real city. They have good shopping and most importantly they have a Costco in DES moines. The area around Erie is pretty but Erie as a city is a little rust belt for my taste. DES moines is just freaky in how clean and nice it is.

I LOVED living in Iowa!! I would move back tomorrow if I could. It’s very idealic, one of those places you don’t really thinks exists anymore.

Bailey–it’s so funny to hear you say how clean Des Moines is. Timing is everything, I guess! After living there through college, one of the ways I always described it was “really dirty most of the year, but it’s not the city’s fault…” LOL You actually visited during one of the prettiest times of the year in Des Moines!

They go through beach amounts of sand (and tons of salt) because of the snow and ice, so from late October through the end of April, the city goes through varying degrees of “ick” --muddy, dirty snow… then just mud…then the sand…then the street sweepers clean it all up, so late spring through fall are pretty nice. The parking lots have mountains of dirty snow that just sit all winter and never melt (from where they clear the lot and dump all the snow in one pile)… it always made it feel kind of dreary to me.

But all of that was more than canceled out by how absolutely kind and wonderful the people were in Des Moines. And they have fantastic restaurants, which makes me happy. I honestly enjoyed my time there–cold weather aside. I found it to be affordable, pleasant, convenient place to live with fantastic, warm, wonderful people!

I’m so glad you enjoyed your interview day–I hope you get some good news back soon!

So got my first post interview rejection today from UK. Kind of bummed about it but I could tell from my interview day I wasn’t what they were looking for just don’t understand why they wasted their time with me

Sorry to hear that Bailey. Keep your head up!!!

The right med school will say yes.

Eh, Bailey, UK is overrated. :stuck_out_tongue:

I know you already go to U of L but my best friend is an M4 there and loves it! She’s had a really great experience.