Interviews Questions by Career
Interviews Questions by Company
Interviews Questions by Topic
Get Started
Interview Coach 1:1
Gain the confidence you need by asking our professionals any interview scenario, question, or answer you are unsure about.
Let Us Review Your Answers
Our interviewing professionals will gladly review and revise any answer you send us. Allowing you to craft perfect responses for your next job interview.
Interview Questions by Topic
Interview Questions by Career
Interview Questions by Company

Family Physician Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Darby Faubion

Updated December 4th, 2018 | Darby Faubion has been a Nurse and Allied Health Educator for over twenty years. She has clinical experience in several specialty areas including pediatrics, medical-surgical, critical care, and hospice.
Job Interviews     Careers     Health    
Question 1 of 30
Has there ever been a time when you had to notify a patient of a missed diagnosis or an inaccurate result that was given to you?
View Answers
How to Answer
While healthcare providers strive for accuracy and thorough care, no one is above making a mistake. The interviewer understands that. The important thing is is being willing to address a mistake with professionalism and proper follow through. That is what the interviewer wants to see in your answer.
1000s of Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Answer Examples
1.
Has there ever been a time when you had to notify a patient of a missed diagnosis or an inaccurate result that was given to you?
While healthcare providers strive for accuracy and thorough care, no one is above making a mistake. The interviewer understands that. The important thing is is being willing to address a mistake with professionalism and proper follow through. That is what the interviewer wants to see in your answer.

Darby's Answer #1
"I can recall an instance when some lab results were misfiled on a patient's paper chart. Unfortunately, the results were bad news which left the patient devastated. Once the error was realized, we called the patient and asked her to come into the clinic for a consultation. Of course, she was thankful to know that her prognosis was not bad, but it was a very emotional event. We used that experience as the foundation for implementing new guidelines on verifying and documenting orders before a patient was notified."
Darby's Answer #2
"I haven't been faced with an experience like this yet in my career, and I am very thankful to say so. I do always try to double check results, especially if they are indicative of an abnormality or poor prognosis before notifying a patient in hopes of preventing an episode like this."
2.
Have you ever considered a more concentrated specialty area rather than staying within the Family Practice realm?
One of the great things about a career in healthcare is that there are so many options. Having ever considered a career shift into a specialty area is not something that will disqualify you from being hired as a family practice physician. This question really just creates an opportunity for the interviewer to explore what areas are of interest to you. If you have considered a more concentrated specialty, share that with the interviewer, but end your answer with why you have stayed with family practice so far.

Darby's Answer #1
"I did consider a career as a pediatrician at one time. However, when I began to explore options, I felt like family practice would give me an opportunity to work with a more diverse group of people. The decision to focus on family medicine has been a great fit for me."
Darby's Answer #2
"Actually, I considered several different specialty concentrations. I thought about obstetrics and urology. I also even considered cardiology. For me, though, I really felt like general practice was a good fit and that it would give me the opportunity to take care of a broader group of patients."
3.
Tell me about a time you had to deal with significant changes in your workplace. How did you manage those changes?
In any healthcare setting, change is inevitable. Technology, processes, leadership, laws and organizations change on a regular basis and with change at a high level comes changes in work processes. For this question, it is important to stress how you are open to change when it makes the end results better for the patient. Talk about a specific change you had to endure in the workplace and express how you embraced the change.

Darby's Answer #1
"In my previous employment roles, I have been a part of many changes that affected my day-to-day duties on the job. I have always embraced the technological changes and work process advancements because, in the end, they make our jobs easier, safer and better for the individual patients. The biggest change that I had to endure was a organizational merger when a private hospital I was working for merged with a larger health system. During this merger, my day-to-day work was flipped upside down from new computer systems to work on, a new work location, new leadership structure and a change in pay and benefits. With a focus on the end in mind and how great it was going to be to work for a much larger and well-established employer, I was able to be a positive influence on my team for helping others embrace the change and see the light at the end of the tunnel while changes were happening."
Darby's Answer #2
"During my years in college, I worked at a large grocery store as a cashier. After working there for one year, the company purchased a new touchscreen register system that replaced the old system I was familiar with. Knowing how much more efficiently and accurately I would be able to work when the changes came, I was happy when the announcement was made to our team of cashiers. Of course others were not happy as they'd have to learn a new system. For me, knowing how much the new system would help our work process made it easy to embrace the change. Moving forward, I fully understand how the healthcare world needs to embrace change on a regular basis and you'll find that I'm a person that can help lead change management among my peers."
4.
Many physicians report experiencing 'burn out' at some point in their careers. What do you do to help prevent this in your life?
Being a healthcare provider is a great responsibility. Unfortunately, because of the great responsibility, many providers do report experiencing the need to take a break. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of handling stress and that you know when to ask for help.

Darby's Answer #1
"I understand how some healthcare providers can experience burn out. It has nothing to do with wanting to change professions or leave a job. Sometimes it's just hard to lose patients or to feel like we can't save them all. I try to schedule myself some personal time, whether its a few days away when I am off work or going hiking. Anything to help create some balance in my life."
Darby's Answer #2
"I had a great mentor when I was in medical school. She told me if I didn't remember anything else she told me, that I should always remember to take care of myself. I have grown to understand what she meant. If we are bogged down physically and emotionally, it is easy to become overwhelmed and experience feeling burned out."
5.
What is a common misconception that people have about family practitioners?
Not everyone has a clear understanding of what physicians in different specialties do. They may understand a medical term, such as cardio refers to the heart, or know that a family physician can see any age range of patient, but they don't necessarily understand how in depth each specialty's care can be.

Darby's Answer #1
"I think a common misconception about family practice physicians is that we don't have an understanding of in-depth illnesses, such as a cardiologist or nephrologist may. It's not that we don't have an understanding. Our objective is to identify and manage common illnesses and diseases and to know when a referral to a specialist is appropriate for a client. It takes a group of healthcare providers with varying degrees of specialization to provide collaborative, effective care for patients."
Darby's Answer #2
"I think there are a number of misconceptions about physicians, in general. One of the most common misconceptions is that we are money-driven rather than care-driven. While you can find people who are more focused on earning potential than anything, physicians really do have a heart for our patients. Going to medical school and through residency programs is very difficult. It takes a great deal of dedication and drive to be able to accomplish the goal of being a doctor. Caring is at our heart."
6.
As a physician, you will often have to deliver discouraging news to patients and their families. How do you handle such hard situations?
Delivering discouraging news can be difficult for any healthcare provider. The interviewer is not expecting you to react as though you are resilient to all difficult situations. Rather, he wants to know that you can get the job done while being compassionate.

Darby's Answer #1
"Delivering bad news is hard. I always try to be soft-spoken and give the patient and their families time to ask questions. It's important to me to always try to remember that one day I may be the one receiving bad news and to treat those, that I am caring for, the way I would like to be treated."
Darby's Answer #2
"I always try to schedule enough time to spend with the patient and family so that they can talk to one another and with me. Helping them process the news is often a way for me to cope, as well."
7.
Are you open to working on rotation or split shift schedules, if required for this position?
Being flexible with the schedule you are willing to work is always a plus. However, many people work more than one job or have a one parent home which requires them to have a flexible schedule. Others simply prefer to work one shift rather than another. Being upfront with the interviewer about what schedule suits your preference could help prevent conflict later on. It is easier to plan a schedule you can agree on than it is to fix problems that arise due to fear of being rejected. Be honest and direct.

Darby's Answer #1
"I am not married and have no children at this time. So, I am pretty flexible with my schedule. If I had a choice, I would prefer the late shift, as I am a bit of a night owl. However, I am excited about the opportunity to become a part of this team and am willing to work where I'm needed."
Darby's Answer #2
"I am open to working any schedule where I am needed. I am very excited to become a part of an organization and become established."
8.
Being a family practice physician requires great attention to detail and often multi-tasking. How do you keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed?
Managing the care of several patients requires the ability to multi-task and ensure all details are checked and double-checked. In a physician interview, discuss your understanding of the importance of maintaining detailed records, performing multiple assessments and handling medications and procedures efficiently and accurately. While physicians may not have to do all of these activities personally, it is still the physician's responsibility to make sure that correct orders are given and that a clinic or unit is run correctly.

Darby's Answer #1
"I am very detail-oriented. One of my strengths is to multi-task. I think I have medical school to thank for that! I have always tried to make sure that I have a mental list of things that I know need to be accomplished in a day and I try to work through it. Of course, as a physician, there is always the chance of something unexpected coming up, but that is just part of the job and we have to manage those issues as they arise."
Darby's Answer #2
"I have learned to recognize the things that may cause me to feel overwhelmed and try to address them before a situation gets out of hand. For example, I always like to make sure that I have reviewed and signed off on all of the verbal orders I had authorized. I also like to get report on any patients I may be seeing so that I know what was going on with them before my arrival. This keeps things from piling up and leaving me feel overwhelmed later on."
9.
Are you comfortable speaking to large groups of people?
While you may not be asked to give presentations to large groups of people, there may be an opportunity to speak at seminars. Also, being comfortable with large groups or speaking could give you an opportunity to lecture or mentor others.

Darby's Answer #1
"I am comfortable with speaking to large groups. I am a people person and enjoy getting to know others. I have participated in a some seminars and have been a guest speaker at my former medical school."
Darby's Answer #2
"I believe I would be comfortable speaking to large groups. I have not spoken to large groups professionally, but I would enjoy the opportunity."
10.
What is something you experienced in medical school that you think you will always remember?
Medical school is long and hard. No one doubts that. It is the place where you learn many difficult lessons and life skills to help you become a good physician. When you can work through an experience and take something from it that will help you down the road, that shows true maturity and an ability to glean from instruction.

Darby's Answer #1
"I learned so many things in medical school. The most important thing I learned was people skills. It doesn't matter how much knowledge we get from a textbook. It's the application of personal skills and communication that make all of that knowledge useful."
Darby's Answer #2
"I learned that I am not nearly as smart as I thought I was. I learned that being a doctor means growing and learning every day if I want to be successful and be the kind of physician my patients want and need."
11.
Being a physician can be very stressful. What are some things that you do to promote a healthy balance between work and your personal life?
Being able to balance your hectic work schedule with your personal responsibilities and goals is often difficult. Psychologists today say that having a healthy work/life balance is crucial to help prevent becoming too stressed which could result in physical complications. The interviewer wants to know that you identify with the need for having a healthy life balance.

Darby's Answer #1
"You're right, work can be stressful at times. I think that's true with any profession. Even though I know my patients, some personally, I try to leave work at work. I enjoy cooking and gardening and on my off time from work, I dedicate a great deal of time to those hobbies. It helps me feel productive, but not overworked."
Darby's Answer #2
"I really enjoy being outdoors. Anything that has to do with bicycling or hiking is something I could do every day. When I'm off work, I like to spend some time each week in the outdoors. It's good exercise which helps reduce stress and anxiety and helps promote good heart health, as well."
12.
One of the most important things physicians have to pay attention to is patient confidentiality. Tell me about a time you were trusted with confidential information.
Working within the medical career field you are trusted with sensitive information each day. Don't fall into this trap and answer this question with a story containing confidential information, people will view your answer negatively and view you as not being trustworthy. If you choose to tell about a situation be sure to be vague and not use names or too many details.

Darby's Answer #1
"I'm trusted with confidential information every day. I make a point to leave my work at work and not discuss patients outside of the office. By not discussing confidential information about the patients, I'm ensuring that I'm not breaking any rules and giving information to those that are not on a need to know basis."
Darby's Answer #2
"I am expected to keep all information confidential every day, so there is not just one instance that I can refer to. I believe in practicing within legal and ethical bounds and keeping patient's confidence is one way I do that."
13.
What would you describe as your biggest weakness?
This is probably one of the most dreaded questions in a job interview. Answering this question requires self evaluation and honesty. Remember, whatever weakness you decide to share, make sure it is not a key characteristic needed to perform your job as a physician.

Darby's Answer #1
"I think one of my biggest weaknesses is that I can get sidetracked easily. I recognize that in myself and have made a conscious effort to plan my day as much as possible and to stay on target."
Darby's Answer #2
"I know you may not think this about a physician, but one of my weaknesses is that I often get nervous around people I don't know. I know we all do that to a certain degree, but for me, it became something that I was very aware of. I now try to attend social activities where I know there are going to be opportunities to meet new people so that I can overcome social anxiety."
Anonymous Answer
"I tend to let people talk a little longer than I should, perhaps because I’m focused on listening, and it may impair my efficiency. I recognize this in myself, and I have made a conscious effort to keep a targeted map of what I need to get through during my patient encounters while maintaining empathy and care in every meeting."
Rachelle's Answer
This is a helpful realization, and it's nice that you are already showing what you will do to correct this behavior during your patient encounters. It seems you are highly self-aware, which is a valuable quality.
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
14.
What characteristics do you think are important for healthcare professionals to possess?
There is more than one reason for asking this question. First, the interviewer wants to know what qualities you think are important to perform this job. Second, and most importantly, your answer will tell the interviewer if you hold yourself to the same standard as you do others. If you want to see certain characteristics in your peers, you should be able to tell the interviewer with confidence that you possess those traits, as well. This question is one that interviewers often use to distinguish sincerity on the part of the candidate.

Darby's Answer #1
"I believe that honesty is important no matter what job title a person holds. I have found that being honest with people creates an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Those qualities, I feel, are essential when building rapport with patients and co-workers."
Darby's Answer #2
"Confidence is one thing I think is important. It's hard to believe in someone who doesn't believe in themselves. I believe if a patient is comfortable with a provider's ability to perform it will make following a plan of care easier."
15.
How do you approach dealing with an angry patient, and why?
Knowing how you will handle a difficult situation will tell the interviewer if you have the the right attitude for this job. Being a physician means you have to deal with people from very different backgrounds and with varying personalities. Give the interviewer an example of how you would handle an angry patient.

Darby's Answer #1
"I believe acting calmly and speaking rationally is a great way to calm someone who is angry and I try to be the voice of reason without making someone feel that I am belittling them."
Darby's Answer #2
"I think it is important to try and find out what has made the patient mad. If it is something such as not being called as quickly as he had expected, a simple explanation regarding what caused the delay may help calm him."
More Interview Q&As
Explore expert tips and resources to be more confident in your next interview.
Behavioral
Common
Phone
Tough
Leadership
All Interview Topics
All Career Q&As
30 Family Physician Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. Has there ever been a time when you had to notify a patient of a missed diagnosis or an inaccurate result that was given to you?
  2. Have you ever considered a more concentrated specialty area rather than staying within the Family Practice realm?
  3. Tell me about a time you had to deal with significant changes in your workplace. How did you manage those changes?
  4. Many physicians report experiencing 'burn out' at some point in their careers. What do you do to help prevent this in your life?
  5. What is a common misconception that people have about family practitioners?
  6. As a physician, you will often have to deliver discouraging news to patients and their families. How do you handle such hard situations?
  7. Are you open to working on rotation or split shift schedules, if required for this position?
  8. Being a family practice physician requires great attention to detail and often multi-tasking. How do you keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed?
  9. Are you comfortable speaking to large groups of people?
  10. What is something you experienced in medical school that you think you will always remember?
  11. Being a physician can be very stressful. What are some things that you do to promote a healthy balance between work and your personal life?
  12. One of the most important things physicians have to pay attention to is patient confidentiality. Tell me about a time you were trusted with confidential information.
  13. What would you describe as your biggest weakness?
  14. What characteristics do you think are important for healthcare professionals to possess?
  15. How do you approach dealing with an angry patient, and why?
  16. Have you ever had a disagreement with a peer or co-worker, and if so, how was it handled?
  17. What makes you think you are a good family physician?
  18. How do you keep up with changes in medicine or trends related to healthcare?
  19. Can you share an experience you've had since practicing in which there was a misunderstanding between you and co-worker but you could laugh about it afterward?
  20. Have you ever been responsible for hiring new employees? If so, what qualities did you look for in a candidate, and do you feel like you possess those qualities?
  21. How would your subordinates describe you?
  22. Tell me one thing about yourself that most people would not know.
  23. What made you choose a career as a family physician?
  24. Are you comfortable with the idea of precepting medical interns?
  25. What experience do you have working with peers from diverse background?
  26. In your opinion, what are some of the biggest problems in healthcare today?
  27. What makes being a family practitioner so special to you?
  28. Tell me a problem with a patient where you may have been misinformed about the patient's symptoms and had to re-evaluate a care plan or a time that a patient was afraid of treatment and had to be educated further before following through with care.
  29. Knowing what you know now, what would you say to someone who is considering pursuing a career in medicine?
  30. What scares you most about being a physician?
Disclaimer
Our interview questions and answers are created by experienced recruiters and interviewers. These questions and answers do not represent any organization, school, or company on our site. Interview questions and answer examples and any other content may be used else where on the site. We do not claim our questions will be asked in any interview you may have. Our goal is to create interview questions and answers that will best prepare you for your interview, and that means we do not want you to memorize our answers. You must create your own answers, and be prepared for any interview question in any interview.
Learn more about what we believe >
Read our Terms of Use for more information >