Top 200 Medical School Interview Questions

answers interview medical school preparation questions

Top 200 Medical School Interview Questions

Here's a BIG list of the top 200 medical school interview questions. If you're interested in seeing sample answers to the bolded questions, check out How to Ace the Medical School Interview

Traditional, open-ended

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Why do you want to attend medical school?
  3. Why do you want to attend this specific medical school?
  4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  5. What are your career plans and what led you to these decisions?
  6. What do you feel is the purpose of medical school?
  7. Tell me about why you are interested in this program.
  8. What about [insert name of medical school] scares you most?
  9. What are you passionate about?
  10. What does the word success mean to you?
  11. Why do you want to be a doctor?
  12. What do you do in your spare time?
  13. What are your specific goals in medicine?
  14. What stimulated your interest in medicine?
  15. What schools have you applied to?
  16. What do you intend to gain from a medical education?
  17. What do you see yourself doing in medicine 10-15 years from now?
  18. Is medicine a rewarding experience? Why?
  19. How do you plan to finance your medical education?
  20. Do you have an alternative career plan, if you don’t get into medical school?
  21. What are the negative aspects of being a doctor?
  22. How will you pay for medical school?
  23. What is the reason for your poor grades during [insert time period here]?
  24. What last bit of information would you like me to know about you?
  25. Are you interested in research? How do you imagine the balance of research and clinical work in your future?
  26. What specialty are you considering?
  27. Where do you want to be in ten years?
  28. What non-science courses did you like the most?
  29. How do you see the field of medicine changing in the next ten years? How do you see yourself fitting into those changes?
  30. How do you really know that after 4 years of medical school, you'll still want to be a doctor, especially when so many current physicians are unhappy?
  31. What has been the hardest question that you have been asked at other school interviews so far?
  32. What do you think is the most important quality a physician should have?
  33. What makes you special?
  34. What do or don't you like about our school?
  35. What is your first-choice school?
  36. Why should we accept you?
  37. What type of impression do you feel you've left on me in this interview?
  38. What do you have to offer our school?
  39. Where do we stand in your list of medical school preferences?
  40. What experiences have you had in a medical or clinical setting?
  41. What are the negative aspects of medicine from a professional standpoint?
  42. Would you like academic medicine as a career?
  43. Tell me why you’re interested in medicine. What inspired this interest and also what you’ve done to investigate the field and confirm your decision?
  44. What aspects of your life and experiences do you think make you a good candidate for medical school?
  45. From what you understand about medical school, what do you think will be the biggest challenge for you?
  46. What is the one thing that distinguishes you from the rest of the candidates?
  47. What are some of the things that you will have to give up as a doctor?

Personality and Involvement

  1. How do you balance your life and relax from stress?
  2. Why choose being a physician over another healthcare profession or other field that helps people, such as being a policeman/firefighter/pilot/marine?
  3. What do you think you will like least/most about medicine?
  4. Are you a leader or a follower? Why?
  5. Discuss your clinical/research/volunteer experiences.
  6. What are some things you've learned from your clinical, research, or volunteer experiences that have helped shape who you are?
  7. Who is your role model?
  8. If you had to change anything about your education, what would you change?
  9. If you became a musician, what instrument would you play?
  10. What fuels your creativity?
  11. What rocks your world?
  12. When challenges cross your path, to whom do you turn?
  13. When things don’t go your way to whom do you blame?
  14. What section of the newspaper do you read first?
  15. What is your five second personality pitch?
  16. What song best describes you?
  17. What negative experiences from your different jobs made it clear to you that you wanted to pursue medicine?
  18. How would your best friend describe you?
  19. What is your biggest failure?
  20. Which of your accomplishments on your AMCAS application do you consider your biggest success?
  21. If I had to talk to the Admissions Committee tomorrow, why should I tell them to let you in?
  22. What has been your most rewarding experience working with others?
  23. Describe your childhood and present living conditions.
  24. When you need counseling for personal problems, whom do you talk with?
  25. If your best friends were asked to describe you, what would they say?
  26. What aspects of your life’s experiences do you think make you a good candidate for medical school?
  27. What are the best and worst things that have ever happened to you?
  28. What are your positive qualities and what are your shortcomings?
  29. Do you prefer the idea of basic research or of working with people?
  30. Describe any travels that you have undertaken and exposure to other cultures than your own, if any.
  31. If you want to help people, why not social work?
  32. What will you do if you are not accepted into medical school this year?
  33. There are 1,000 applicants as qualified as you are, why should we select you for our class?
  34. What has been your favorite class you have taken and why?
  35. If you were a cookie, which cookie would you be and why?
  36. If we asked your friends to describe you, what would they say?
  37. What activity have you done during your time in college that has been most beneficial to your personal development?
  38. If you could change one aspect of your personality at the snap of your fingers, what would you change?
  39. What experiences have you had working with diverse populations?
  40. From what you understand of medical school, what part of the program will be most difficult for you?
  41. If you could start your college career all over again, what would you do differently?
  42. What were your most memorable accomplishments in your college career?
  43. What do you do when you are not at work or school?
  44. How would your teammates describe you? How would your professors describe you?
  45. If we contacted your references now, what do you think they would say about you?
  46. In what course did you get the worst grades? Why?
  47. What two things would you consider your greatest strengths?
  48. What two things would you consider your greatest weaknesses?
  49. What else do you want us to know about you before you leave today?
  50. Who would you say has been the most influential person in the last one-hundred years?
  51. Why do you think so many people want to be doctors?
  52. What steps have you taken to acquaint yourself with what a physician does?
  53. What is your relationship with your family?
  54. How do you think your role as a physician fits in with your role as a member of the community?
  55. Describe your personality.
  56. Discuss a book that you have recently read for pleasure. Why did you select that book?
  57. If you could invite four people to dinner, who would they be? Why?
  58. Why did you choose your undergraduate major?
  59. What extracurricular activities were you involved in during your undergraduate major?
  60. What qualities do you look for in a physician?
  61. What experiences have you had in community involvement that demonstrate your commitment to medicine?
  62. How do you think your personal background will affect your practice?
  63. What hesitations or reservations do you have about joining the medical profession?
  64. Who is your hero and why?
  65. If someone 15 years from now were to write a book about you, what would you want to have included in that book?
  66. Regardless of your grade, what course would you recommend that all students take?
  67. What would you do if you got in everywhere, and what would you do if you got in nowhere?
  68. Which leader inspires you the most?
  69. How does stress impact you?
  70. What are some myths about you, as a person?
  71. When put on a team, what role do you typically play?


  1. Tell me about an experience you have had working on a team. What role do you tend to play when working on a team?
  2. Tell me about a time when you were put into a stressful situation. How did you deal with that stress?
  3. Tell me about a time when you demonstrated leadership.
  4. Tell me about a time when a barrier challenged your ability to communicate with another. How did you work around that?
  5. Tell me about a time when you had difficulty working with another individual and how did you handle that situation?
  6. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake. How did you correct it?
  7. How do you respond to criticism? Describe a situation where your work was criticized. What was your immediate reaction to the situation?
  8. Describe your style of communicating and interacting with others. Give an example of a situation in which you had to utilize effective interpersonal skills.
  9. Describe a situation in which you were dependable or demonstrated initiative. One in which you were not as dependable as you would have liked.
  10. Tell me about a time when you failed.
  11. Tell me about an experience you’ve had working on a team. What role do you tend to play when working on a team?
  12. Tell me about a mistake you’ve made. Also explain what you learned from this mistake.
  13. How do you work under pressure? Can you give an example? What, in hindsight, were you most dissatisfied with about your performance? What did you learn from your experience?
  14. Describe a situation in which you felt like a fish out of water.

Situational or ethical dilemma

  1. What are some of the ethical considerations of animal research?
  2. Is generic engineering acceptable?
  3. What privacy rights should patients have?
  4. Should family members have access to a patient’s records?
  5. What medical innovations do you think would be too risky to develop?
  6. When you speak to patients, would you speak to their minds, hearts, or guts?
  7. How would you want a physician to treat your parents?
  8. Do you think it would be necessary to motivate a patient through fear?
  9. Do you think a physician should tell a patient that they have 8 months left to live?
  10. What is your position on euthanasia?
  11. If you have the choice of giving a transplant to an esteemed elderly member of the community or a 20-year-old drug addict, how do you choose?
  12. If a patient is dying from a bleed, would you transfuse blood if you know they would not approve (i.e. Jehovah Witness)?
  13. What do you do if you suspect a colleague or doctor is abusing drugs?
  14. How do you handle failure?
  15. 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?
  16. Describe a situation in which you have worked with a diverse group of people. What did you learn from that situation?
  17. If there were an accident on the highway, would you stop and help the victims, knowing that doing so might lead to a malpractice claim against you?
  18. How might you deal with a terminally ill patient?
  19. How can you tell if someone is truly compassionate?
  20. Would you share your religious beliefs with your patients?
  21. How do you help people who don't want to be helped?
  22. What do you think of the priority system for organ recipients? How about the priority system for allocating funds for medicine?
  23. What would you do if you caught your roommate cheating on his AMCAS application?
  24. How comfortable are you in administering health care to patients of different genders and ethnicities?
  25. What would you do if you found a surgeon recommend spinal surgery and joke that he or she will make more money?
  26. What would you do to calm a nervous patient before an exam or procedure?
  27. What do you think about physician-assisted suicide?
  28. What do you think about alternative medicine?
  29. How could or would you affect the health care system?
  30. When do you think it’s okay to recommend or give life-sustaining therapy even when you judged it was futile?
  31. When would it be okay to prescribe a treatment that was a placebo because the patient wanted treatment?
  32. Is it okay to bolster a patient’s spirit by hiding information about a terminal diagnosis?
  33. When is it okay to cover up or avoid revealing a mistake? Is it more okay to cover up that mistake if it would not harm the patient?
  34. If you noticed a doctor refer a patient to another doctor as a favor, would you say something? How about if you felt that person wasn’t best qualified?

Current affairs

  1. What can be done about rising health costs?
  2. What do you think about HMO’s and the changes taking place in medicine?
  3. How would your plans differ if you knew that all physicians would be working in HMO’s in the future?
  4. What do you think is the most pressing issue in medicine today?
  5. Would you practice in the inner city? What do you think happens to people who practice medicine there (attitude changes, etc.)?
  6. What do you think about the ongoing conflict in [insert conflict from current events]?
  7. What newspapers and journals do you read on a regular basis?
  8. What is the most pressing health issue today?
  9. How will you keep in touch with community needs?
  10. Tell us your opinion of this medical school's curriculum.
  11. Discuss National Health Insurance and how it would affect the physician and the patient.
  12. Do you feel that medical students receiving federal loans should spend time practicing medicine in a rural area to give society something in return?
  13. What are the differences between Britain's and America’s health care delivery system?
  14. What is the biggest problem in the world today?
  15. What is your solution to terrorism?
  16. What do you think about the American primary health care delivery system (i.e., status quo, total private systems, national health insurance)?
  17. Would your plans to become a physician change if the U.S. moved to a universal healthcare system, similar to Canada?
  18. How do you think the U.S. should address the physician shortage problem, particularly in primary care doctors in rural areas?
  19. What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?
  20. Do you think that there should be mandatory HIV testing for couples wanting to get married?
  21. Would you prefer to provide less effective medicine to more people or more effective medicine to fewer people?
  22. If you had a magic pen, what would you do to remedy health care in America?
  23. How can we minimize health care costs when people are willing to pay more to be healthier?
  24. What did you think about the disadvantages and advantages of managed health care? Who do you think is responsible for the rationing of health care?
  25. In what field do you think the next major advancement in medicine will come?
  26. What is the biggest problem facing medicine?
  27. Why are some doctors unhappy practicing medicine?
  28. What is the most important development in the world over the past 25 years?
  29. Should the government support [insert modern issue here: abortion, stem cell research, etc]? How? Why?
  30. Abortion is a hotly debated issue in medicine. What are your views, and how did you come to this position? Would you perform abortions as a doctor? If so, under what conditions?
  31. What do you think of government's involvement in health care? Should the government be involved at all? If so, to what extent, and why?
  32. How do you think advances in [insert hot field of medicine here] might help or hurt the field of medicine?
  33. What political issues do you feel are of great importance to the field of medicine right now?
  34. How would you describe the current relationship between research and clinical practice?


Share this post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published