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Neurocrine Biosciences Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brown

Question 1 of 30
What education would you provide to a patient with Bell's Palsy?
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How to Answer
One of the primary responsibilities of healthcare providers is patient education. Understanding disorders and being able to help patients understand them is important. Approximately 1 in 5,000 people develop Bell's palsy each year. Although it is classed as a relatively rare condition, it is frightening to patients as it affects the nerves of the face. Share any knowledge you have about Bell's Palsy with the interviewer.
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Top 30 Neurocrine Biosciences Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
What education would you provide to a patient with Bell's Palsy?
One of the primary responsibilities of healthcare providers is patient education. Understanding disorders and being able to help patients understand them is important. Approximately 1 in 5,000 people develop Bell's palsy each year. Although it is classed as a relatively rare condition, it is frightening to patients as it affects the nerves of the face. Share any knowledge you have about Bell's Palsy with the interviewer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Any disorder that affects the nerves enough to leave a paralysis can be frightening. I think one of the most important things is to assure the patient that Bell's Palsy usually resolves within a few months. Also, as the facial nerve begins to recover, tightening and relaxing facial muscles can help strengthen them. Instructing patients to do this often makes them feel like they can have an active role in their own recovery."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Difficulty swallowing is one of the side effects of Bell's Palsy and it is important to educate patients on safety measures to prevent choking. For instance, patients should chew food well and eat slowly. Choosing soft foods, such as yogurt can also help. If there is little or no feeling in the mouth it is easy for food to build up leading to decay or gum disease. Brushing and flossing can help prevent this."
2.
What interests you about the central nervous system?
Interviewers almost always ask questions like 'what interests you....' or 'why did you choose....' Sharing your interests is a way for the interviewer to get to know you. Additionally, sharing what interests you the most will help the interviewer try to find placement for you within that preference.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Knowing that one system in the body controls and has an effect on every other system has always been interesting to me. I enjoy learning and discovering new ways that medical advances give hope to those who suffer from CNS disorders."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I have always had an interest in how the brain works and how the central nervous system controls functions of the rest of the body. There are so many more things that we, as healthcare providers, have to learn about the central nervous system. I look forward to being a part of the process of learning and developing new ways to help patients overcome CNS disorders."
3.
What is your understanding of Huntington's disease?
Disorders of the central nervous system are often debilitating. Huntington's disease is certainly no exception. If you have ever worked with patients with this diagnosis or done research on the disease, share your experience.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I have done some research on Huntington's disease in the past. It's devastating because this is one of those diseases that is hereditary and has no cure."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Huntington's disease is an incurable, hereditary brain disorder that causes damage to the brain cells. Early symptoms may include mood swings, clumsiness, and unusual behavior."
4.
If a patient has a temporal lobe injury, what are some symptoms that you may expect to see manifest?
Understanding the different parts of the central nervous system and the normal functions of the CNS will help identify abnormal symptoms if/when they occur. A brain injury will manifest with different symptoms depending on what part of the brain is injured. Share your knowledge of the brain by explaining symptoms of a temporal lob injury.

Ryan's Answer #1
"The temporal lobe is responsible for processing sensory input and assigning it emotional meaning. If a patient experiences an injury of the temporal lobe, I would expect him to exhibit abnormal emotions to stimuli. For example, a patient with this type of injury may laugh at something that would normally cause a person to cry or feel sadness."
Ryan's Answer #2
"The temporal lobe also involved in laying down long-term memories, as well as housing some aspects of language perception. A patient with a temporal lobe injury may manifest signs of difficulty understanding a conversation. He may also be able to recall something that happened this morning (short-term), but not be able to recall something that happened last year (long-term)."
5.
The affected brain cells of people with Parkinson's Disease contain Lewy bodies. Do you have any knowledge of what these are or how they may be connected to Parkinson's Disease?
Lewy bodies are deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein. Researchers do not yet know exactly why Lewy bodies form or what role they play in the disease, although there is some speculation. If you have heard of these, share what you have learned with the interviewer. If you have not, it is OK to say so. It is important to remember that when you are asked a question, if you do not know the answer, be honest and show an interest in learning.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I have heard the term 'Lewy bodies,' but have not really been educated on what they are or what their possible role in Parkinson's disease is. Diseases of the central nervous system are often so complex. I really look forward to learning more."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I have done a little studying on Parkinson's Disease and have read about Lewy bodies. What I read stated that some research suggests that the cell's protein disposal system may fail in people with PD, causing proteins to build up to harmful levels and trigger cell death. I also read a study that suggested that there has been evidence that clumps of protein that develop inside brain cells of people with PD may contribute to the death of neurons."
6.
Do you have an understanding of the difference between the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system?
Although the two systems are interconnected, the peripheral nervous system is separate from the central nervous system. There are a number of differences between the two systems and knowing those is essential if you plan to work with CNS research/medical care. Share some differences between the peripheral and central nervous systems with the interviewer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I have always been interested in the differences between the peripheral and central nervous systems. One major difference between the two involves regeneration of cells. Much of the peripheral nervous system has the ability to regenerate, but the central nervous system does not have this ability."
Ryan's Answer #2
"The central nervous system includes the brain, spinal cord, and their associated nerves. The peripheral nervous system is the nervous system outside of the brain or spinal cord. The nerve cells of the central nervous system are shorter than those of the peripheral nervous system."
7.
Over 400,000 people in the United States have Multiple Sclerosis, and around 10,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Do you have any knowledge or experience working with this disease?
Diseases of the central nervous system, such as Multiple Sclerosis, are often debilitating. Having an understanding of the different diseases and what possible signs of progression are is helpful for researchers to determine if new methods of treatment are effective. The interviewer may ask you to explain your knowledge of specific diseases to see what area would be a better fit for you. Sharing any knowledge or experience you have is a plus!

Ryan's Answer #1
"I have had patients before who were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Symptoms range from milder cases, in which there may be numbness in the limbs. Severe cases may involve paralysis or vision loss."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I do have some knowledge of multiple sclerosis. In the CNS, nerve fibers are surrounded by a myelin sheath, which protects them. Myelin also helps the nerves conduct electrical signals quickly and efficiently. In MS, the myelin sheath disappears in multiple areas, leaving a scar, or sclerosis. There is no cure, but treatment can relieve symptoms and help the person manage their daily living."
8.
Neurocrine Biosciences has a variety of researchers who work in different areas. Have you ever worked in an environment in which your co-workers were from diverse backgrounds?
In an industry as large as healthcare, diversity among peers is inevitable. To be successful, it is crucial to learn how to work with a diverse group of people. Some people are intimidated when faced with learning new cultures and beliefs, but in the healthcare industry, it is crucial to provide effective care. The interviewer wants to know that you are open to meeting and learning about new people and becoming an integral part of the team. Be positive with your response.

Ryan's Answer #1
"The diversity of specialty areas is something I love about the healthcare field. I like the idea of being in a career that challenges me to learn and grow. I believe we all have something that we can contribute to others and I like to embrace the diversity among those that I work with."
Ryan's Answer #2

"The largest diverse group I worked with was probably when I did my clinical rotation at University Medical Center. I was afforded the opportunity to meet people from different cultures, religions, and professional backgrounds. It gave me an eye-opening experience of how many wonderful people there are!"
9.
Alzheimer's disease is often said to be more difficult for family members to endure than the actual victims of the disease. Do you know why this is said?
The Alzheimer's Association states that AD is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. About one in three seniors die with AD or another form of dementia. What is your knowledge of why some say that the family members seem to endure more difficulty than the victim?

Ryan's Answer #1
"Alzheimer's is a sad disease, for sure. My grandmother was diagnosed with the disease and I understand why some say that it is harder for the family to endure than the patient. The patients do experience frustrations due to being forgetful, etc. If a patient does not have another diagnosis that leads to death and Alzheimer's progresses to its last stage, the patient returns to what appears to be an infantile state of being. They must be fed, clothed, and have no memory or understanding. It is a very painful thing to experience when someone you care for has no memory of you or others that they loved."
Ryan's Answer #2
"It is understandable why people say Alzheimer's is more difficult for family members. I'm not sure if I would go so far as to say it is more difficult, but I can understand the thought behind it. In the beginning, patients are afraid and frustrated because of memory loss which can lead to so many dangers (forgetting medicines, driving and becoming lost, etc.). At later stages, though, more burden to provide care is placed on the family and the patient forgets more. So, I can see why the statement is logical to many."
10.
Have you ever worked with patients who Childhood Integrative Disorder, and if so, what do you know about it?
Autism is a complex disorder of the central nervous system and the condition has a wide range of severity along its spectrum. Childhood Integrative Disorder is one disorder within the autism spectrum. Share any knowledge you have of the disorder.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I have studied some of the diseases on the autism spectrum. Childhood disintegrative disorder is a rare condition characterized by late onset of developmental delays or severe and sudden reversals in language, social function, and motor skills."
Ryan's Answer #2
"The information I have seen regarding the disorder reports that it is characterized by at least two years of normal development, followed by loss of language, social skills, and motor skills before age ten. It is my understanding that it is one of the most severe diagnoses within the autism spectrum."
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