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Residency Interview Questions

40 Residency Interview Questions and Answer Examples to Help You Prepare for Your Residency Interviews.

Residency was updated by on December 31st, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 40

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment to date?

Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

Your team of interviewers wants to ensure that their future residents are motivated and driven to succeed. In asking this question, your interviewers want to know what kind of successes you value in your journey towards becoming a practicing physician.

Written by Christine Pasqueretta on February 1st, 2023

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40 Residency Interview Questions & Answers

  • Accomplishment

    1. What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment to date?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your team of interviewers wants to ensure that their future residents are motivated and driven to succeed. In asking this question, your interviewers want to know what kind of successes you value in your journey towards becoming a practicing physician.

      Written by Christine Pasqueretta on February 1st, 2023

      How to Answer

      Before your interview, research the mission, vision, and values of the institution you will be interviewing with. Reviewing these should give you a good sense of the type of organization they are and what they look for in their future trainees. Think about a stand-out accomplishment you believe will resonate with your interviewers. Choose an achievement related to the successes you hope to see as a resident in their program. Explain why the accomplishment means so much to you, both personally and professionally. Assure the interviewers that you will continue this pattern of achievement as a resident with their program.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "I would honestly say that my greatest accomplishment in my life so far was being accepted into medical school. I am a first-generation college student and had an uphill battle my entire educational journey. My parents instilled a hardworking and genuine, caring nature in me from a very young age, and these values have driven me from my high school diploma to my white coat ceremony in med school."

      Written by Christine Pasqueretta on February 1st, 2023

      Internal Medicine Example

      My greatest accomplishment to date has been my involvement in my neighborhood food bank. I started volunteering there in high school when it was just starting, in response to a need I saw in my community. I worked directly with the woman who started this program when it was located in a small office space. In response to the growing need, the food bank expanded and currently has a large warehouse with hundreds of needy families being helped there every week. I have continued volunteering there throughout my college and medical school years, and it has been a very gratifying experience.
      My involvement in this project taught me to look for opportunities to help others, and how hard work takes time but ultimately pays off in a very satisfying way.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      Family Medicine Example

      "I consider being the first in my family to attain higher education my greatest accomplishment. As a first-generation college student and medical student, I have worked very hard to get to this point and am proud of this accomplishment."

      Written by Dr. Griswold on November 5th, 2022

      Radiology Example

      "My greatest accomplishment was matriculating into medical school. I've wanted to become a physician since I was a little boy and worked very hard throughout high school and college, often spending my free time studying or volunteering in the community. Medical school admission was the culmination of academic excellence, continued community service, and determination. I look forward to accomplishing more of my personal goals in the future as a radiologist!"

      Written by Dr. Rodman on February 1st, 2023

      Dermatology Example

      "One of my accomplishments that I feel most proud of, and think is one of my greatest to date, is my research work investigating novel therapies in dermatology. Through my research, I not only learned valuable skills in scientific investigation, including how to be a knowledgeable reader of new research, but I also could see firsthand how my research could play a small part in contributing to a cure for difficult-to-cure dermatologic disease. I am proud of my personal growth through this accomplishment, as well as my contribution to dermatology research."

      Written by Dr. Yumeen on December 19th, 2022

      Emergency Medicine Example

      "I have two things that I'm most proud of, one professional/educational and one personal. Professionally and educationally, I would say my greatest accomplishment so far has been getting into medical school after deciding to switch careers. I knew I was taking a big risk by quitting my job to complete a post-bac program, but I had faith that I could perform well enough academically to be accepted to my dream program. I think my greatest accomplishment was completing an Ironman triathlon. It took months and months of training and preparation, but it was all worth it when I crossed the finish line."

      Written by Dr. Smith on December 31st, 2022

  • Adaptability

    2. How do setbacks emotionally affect you and your work?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. When you enter a fast-paced residency program, these setbacks can certainly be amplified, and your interviewers want to know you will handle any situation with ease if you are accepted into their program.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Describe how you typically cope with setbacks in the workplace. As you answer, focus on your ability to learn from your mistakes and stay calm, cool, and collected in the face of any situation you would be handling as their next resident.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "Experiencing a setback is always disappointing and can be disheartening, especially when it involves a patient. I understand that setbacks happen often in residency. If I experience a major setback while on your team, I will take a few moments to internally debrief, get some fresh air if possible, or discuss what I could have done differently with a mentor. Then, I move on. I need to recover quickly so I can concentrate on the next case."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      Having a setback or an unanticipated event happen is always challenging. While it is easy to get upset or frustrated, I try to look at things objectively, reframe the situation, and do what is necessary to correct or improve the situation. Additionally, seeking advice from other team members or trainers is also helpful. Taking a break to get fresh air or have a snack gives me a mental break and allows me to return to the situation with a fresh perspective. Taking a walk or exercising is also a good way to relieve stress and renew my energy level.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      Family Medicine Example

      "Suffering a setback can be challenging. When suffering a setback, I try to look at it as an opportunity. With each setback, I try to learn something from the experience and move on."

      Written by Dr. Griswold on November 5th, 2022

      Radiology Example

      "Setbacks are usually unexpected and often challenging to navigate. I think emotional reactions to them are natural, but I try not to let them impact my clinical work or patient care. Optimistically, setbacks can be viewed as a platform for introspection and personal growth."

      Written by Dr. Rodman on February 1st, 2023

      Dermatology Example

      "Setbacks are common, and I view them as an opportunity to learn and improve. While setbacks may be disheartening initially, I take a moment to regroup and remind myself that setbacks are normal whenever we try to get tasks done. I then take a critical look at what went wrong and how I can work on this to prevent such setbacks in the future."

      Written by Dr. Yumeen on December 19th, 2022

      Emergency Medicine Example

      "I think part of doing meaningful work is facing challenges. This can sometimes come in the form of setbacks, but I try to remember that setbacks are part of every process and that they allow us to learn from our mistakes or missteps and think more creatively about whatever challenge we face."

      Written by Dr. Smith on December 31st, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I understand setbacks are almost inevitable. Even people that have years of expertise and experience might still experience some setbacks. If that happens, I would calm down first, because panicking has never been shown to help, pray (because God is really important to me), and I would also seek advice from a mentor or someone in a position to advise me."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Kevin Downey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Kevin Downey Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your response offers a general perspective on your approach, but no applicable techniques that you've put to the test. You say you would first calm down, but how would you go about calming down? What if praying wasn't enough to calm down? If you were working in a high stressed, fast-paced environment, how often would you be praying to calm yourself down, and how effective would that be? You mention you would consult a mentor, but what if they were not available, or there was not the luxury of time to reach out to them?

      "I’ve faced some setbacks during some high stressed times. At those times, I decide to move fast and act fast. Sometimes you have to roll with the punches and just keep moving forward. So, if I can afford a few minutes, I’ll take a three-minute break and listen to this song that instantly boosts my mood. I’d then watch this video my mom sent me years ago where she gave me a pep talk telling me I could do anything. Then I’d get back to work. As soon as there was some downtime, I’d examine what led to that setback and take what I could to learn from the experience."

  • Ask The Interviewer

    3. Is there anything we haven't covered during your interview that you would like to ask about?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Asking intelligent questions during your residency interviews will demonstrate to your interviewers that you have a deep level of interest in their institution and residency program. By asking you what additional questions you might have, your interviewers will want to see you dig deep and ask the tough questions that show you are committed to joining their program.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Before your residency interview, research the organization and thoroughly review the program description for any clarification you may need about becoming a resident in this program. If you are not prepared for the interview, and you need to think of questions off the top of your head, ask questions regarding their culture, the traits they are looking for in the ideal candidate, and if there are any responsibilities of this position not listed on the role description.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "Thank you for asking! I would love to ask some questions about your program, specifically related to your residents and their futures. First, where do most of your program's graduates practice after their training? Are they mostly in community settings or academic settings? Also, I'm curious about the traits that are critical for new medical school graduates to succeed in their first year in your program."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      I appreciate the opportunity to ask questions. What type of research opportunities are there during the training? How well do the residents interact with the allied health staff?

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      Family Medicine Example

      "I appreciate that you have been so gracious in answering my questions. Continuing to learn is very important to me in a residency program. Is didactic time considered protected time? What percentage of time is spent in the clinic?"

      Written by Dr. Griswold on November 5th, 2022

      Radiology Example

      "Absolutely. I would love to learn more about the dynamic between attendings and residents in the reading room. Are attending physicians available throughout the day to read out cases with residents? Also, do residents have dedicated lecture time to review material and ask questions?"

      Written by Dr. Rodman on February 1st, 2023

      Dermatology Example

      "Mentorship has been an incredibly important aspect of my career thus far, and I hope it will continue to be during residency. What formal or informal opportunities for mentorship from faculty are available at your program?"

      Written by Dr. Yumeen on December 19th, 2022

      Emergency Medicine Example

      "Thanks so much for your thoughtful questions. I was wondering how your program supports residents pursuing their research and academic passions during residency, especially for those who wish to present at national conferences."

      Written by Dr. Smith on December 31st, 2022

  • Career Goals

    4. What are your career plans and goals after completing our residency program?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewers want to find future residents interested in furthering their careers with their institution. While it is not a prerequisite for this program, your interview panel wants to hear that you have well-defined career goals that this training program will help you reach.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Outline how the residency program you are interviewing with will help you prepare for those goals. It is also okay to express that you are still considering your options as long as you highlight a few directions you are hopeful to go. Remember that you do not want to shut the door on any potential opportunities.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I entered medical school intending to pursue a career as a pediatrician, and I'm so fortunate to be interviewed and considered for your esteemed pediatrician residency program. At this point, I can honestly see myself as a general pediatrician or pursuing an additional fellowship to subspecialize in pediatric oncology or gastroenterology. I believe that my goals will become clearer as I work through my residency."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      After completing this residency program, I plan to pursue a cardiology fellowship. Cardiology is a very fast-paced field that allows for both intellectually stimulating aspects such as EKG interpretation as well as hands-on procedures, including stents and percutaneous valve replacement. Additionally, there is a very high level of ongoing research and innovations that is very exciting.

      This internal medicine residency will offer me exposure to a wide range of medical conditions and will give me a strong foundation on which to pursue further training.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I see myself working in an academic institution where I can be exposed to the most diverse experiences, continue my research, have the opportunity to educate the next generation of radiologists, and take the initiative to help people in medically underserved areas all over the world."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent! You have a clear direction, which the interviewer should appreciate hearing.

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  • Career Goals

    5. Why are you choosing to match into this particular specialty?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      There are many medical specialties you can choose from. In asking this question, your team of interviewers simply wants to know that you have some direction and clarity regarding your path in the medical field and that you would join their program as a motivated resident in the field.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Talk about your reason for choosing your specialty. Feel free to add a personal touch to your answer. This will help the interviewers relate to you as an individual and make for a memorable conversation down the road as the interviewers decide which applicants to accept.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "My ultimate career goal is to practice in cardiology and electrophysiology, and a residency in a great internal medicine program like yours is how I will get there. After speaking with several physicians who trained at your amazing institution, I feel great about this opportunity to train with some of the best faculty in the field."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      An internal medicine residency offers me exposure to a wide range of adult medical conditions. I enjoy the intellectual aspect of being a diagnostician and look forward to the privilege of developing long-term relationships with patients for their healthcare needs.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

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  • Common

    6. Do you have any questions for us?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As an interviewing medical student, you are an equal part of the matching process, and your interviewers want to ensure you walk away from your time with them with all questions answered so you can hopefully rank them high on your wish list. Asking intelligent questions demonstrates to the interviewer your level of interest in their program as well.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Before your interview, research the institution and thoroughly review the residency program for any clarification you may need. If you are not prepared for the interview, and you need to think of questions off the top of your head, ask questions regarding the organizational culture, traits they are looking for in the ideal candidate, and if there are any responsibilities of this position not listed in the role description.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "As I consider a lot of great programs throughout the country, I want to learn what characteristics and traits most often lead to success in a training program. What characteristics and traits do you see in your most successful residents, both during their time in training with your program and for future success in this field?"

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      What aspects of the residency program do you feel are the strongest and best prepare residents for their careers?

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "What struggles do you think first year residents face the most?



      What is your favorite part about working here?



      What is the biggest challenge this hospital/facility is facing?"

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Terrific questions! The answers to these queries should give you a great deal of helpful insight into the facility.

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  • Common

    7. All of our residency program candidates must pass a criminal record check and education verification. Is there any reason why you would not be comfortable with this?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      In any healthcare-related setting, successfully passing a criminal background check is a necessity. Your interviewers ask this question to ensure that you would be able to pass any required state or federal background checks required by their institution.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      If you can successfully pass a criminal record check or education verification, explain that you have a clean record. If you have any blemishes on your records and are not able to pass a criminal record check or education verification, be upfront about that in the interview process. Any residency program will be more forgiving if you are honest about any marks on your background check.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I am ready to fully comply with any background and verification checks that are required of me to join your program as a resident. I have a clean criminal and driving records."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      My criminal and educational records are clean and would not warrant any further concern.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Yes, I am happy to comply with any background checks required. My record is clean."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great! The interviewer will be happy that you're open to having your record and education checked. You might also take this opportunity to remind the interviewer that you are honest, law-abiding, and full of integrity. Whenever possible, sell yourself!

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  • Communication

    8. How would you describe the communication skills you would bring to our program as a resident?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Patient-centered communication is vital for the residents of any program, and your interviewers want to know that you would join their program as a great communicator. Explain your strengths in communicating both written and verbally in asking this question.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Before your interview, think about your strengths when it comes to communicating. Come to your residency interviews prepared to talk about what makes you great at communicating with patients, colleagues, and support staff. More important, make sure to reiterate why solid communication skills are vital for any resident and physician.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "My communication skills focus on education and compassion. I treat every conversation with the utmost respect, no matter the nature of the communication. As a resident, I know that my colleagues and patients will expect my communications to be well thought out to give great information and to do so with compassion."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      Internal Medicine Example

      In my medical training so far, I have always tried to explain medical terms as simply as possible, without a lot of jargon, to put the patient at ease and help them understand their medical conditions.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

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  • Competency

    9. As a new resident of our program, would you be able to handle patient care with little supervision?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your venture into residency will likely be the first time you work one on one with patients as the key decision-maker. Your interviewing team asks this question to ensure that you have the ability and desire to work independently as a resident.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      In your answer to this question, you need to prove your ability to work confidently with little supervision while not being overconfident. As a resident, your work with patients will be scrutinized and used as a learning opportunity, so you want to ensure that your interviewers know that you are aware of that fact. Speak with modest confidence in your ability to work with patients with little to no supervision.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "I feel confident in my ability to work with any patient without someone watching over my shoulder. With that said, I also want every interaction with a patient to be a learning opportunity for me, and I know your faculty has an excellent reputation for providing those opportunities to residents"

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      "As I have undertaken increasingly more independence in my patient interactions thus far, I feel that I will be able to expand on this in my residency. However, I appreciate knowing that attending physicians will be available to guide me and ensure that I am doing the correct thing for the patient."

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

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  • Conflict

    10. What would you do if you witnessed a fellow resident acting unethically?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As you venture into a medical residency, you will be handling direct patient care on your own for the first time. With this comes immense responsibility. The interviewers want to know that, if faced with an ethical dilemma or a dilemma in reporting a breach of ethics, you will do the right thing as part of their residency program.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      If you were trained in medical school on taking a specific course of action, now is the time to mention that. If not, you should create your own standard for ethics issues. Be sure to ask the interview panel if they have a system for reporting ethics issues at their institution. This will show that you have aninterest in being matched to their program.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "If I see a fellow resident act unethically, I will refer to how I was trained to report ethical issues. First, I would ensure that I could identify the breach of ethics and determine the severity of the nature of the breach. If I witnessed a serious breach, I would identify the proper supervisor or faculty member who should be made aware of the breach and bring it to them as soon as possible. I have a clear set of moral values and will not turn a blind eye to any breach of ethics in the clinic or hospital from any staff member."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      If I witnessed a fellow resident acting unethically, I would first ascertain the facts of the situation. If there was actually an ethical issue, I would act in accordance with the hospital's code of ethics, and report the issue to the correct staff member.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

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  • Creative Thinking

    11. How would you like to see the delivery of healthcare evolve?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      In asking this question, your interviewers want to better understand where you feel healthcare evolve for the better. Demonstrating a forward-thinking and innovative vision in your interview will set you apart from the other candidates.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Be sure to put some thought into a question like this before your residency interviews so you are prepared to talk in an educated manner about how you feel the delivery of healthcare could improve over time. Perhaps you feel that healthcare can best evolve through more patient-centric attitudes. Maybe you think that care coordination and synergy within the administration is the fastest way to improve healthcare. Be sure to maintain a positive attitude and complete your answer by describing how you feel healthcare is currently evolving.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "One of the biggest evolutions I would like to see happen is at-home care whenever possible. Some institutions have already started to expand into home hospital patients and other services in the home, and I think there is so much more room for growth in this area. Patients in just about any situation would rather be in their own homes. As long as the monitoring tools and staff are available to help make this a reality, the sky is the limit for where this realm can go in the future."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      I would like to see the cost and accessibility of health care be available to all people. Medical care costs have skyrocketed, and even people with health insurance have medications and testing that they need but cannot afford.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I would like to see healthcare delivery incorporate more technology, so it can be more accessible and patient-centric."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a good start! One suggestion is to specify further what kind of technological developments you'd like to see in your specific focus (radiology).

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  • Creative Thinking

    12. What do you believe is the greatest challenge our specialty will face in the next few years?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewers want to know that you have done your homework on the specialty that you are interviewing for and have the wherewithal to forecast the challenges that the field is facing. They also want to see that you understand that being a Physician will come with great challenges, both now and in the future.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Before your residency interviews, be sure to study and read up as much as possible about the challenges your field will face. Discuss the challenges you foresee and speak about how you plan to succeed despite these challenges.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "There are numerous challenges I believe I will face as a family physician in the coming years. For instance, the new policy surrounding MACRA for healthcare payments, changes in the way physicians certify their sub-specialties through the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), and the maintenance of certification (MOC) process. But I know that all family physicians are facing the same challenges, so I will not feel alone in that."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      Internal medicine does face and will continue to face challenges. These include declining reimbursements and more paperwork and documentation requirements for patient care. It is easy to be frustrated by this, but I will try to keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to do what's best for the patient.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

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  • Creative Thinking

    13. What do you see as the biggest difference between the U.S healthcare system and that of another developed country?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Perhaps you are well-traveled or have researched the differences in health care in other countries. This question allows the interviewers to see your personal opinion, critical thinking skills, and ability to be diplomatic.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      While there is no right or wrong answer to a question like this, it's a good idea to talk from personal experience if you can. If you can't, research this topic before your interviews so you can speak knowledgeably on the subject with your team of interviewers.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I often compare the U.S healthcare system to the system in Canada, where I grew up. I know both systems very well, and they each have pros and cons. For instance, in Canada, healthcare is mostly free, but the wait times are significantly longer than in the U.S. For that reason, many Canadian citizens travel to the U.S for surgeries, MRIs, and more. They would rather pay the financial price than wait six months for an appointment and pay the price with their health. Although there are significant differences, I believe that it is often a case of 'the grass in greener.'"

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      Although I have only lived in the United States, my research taught me that many other developed countries are able to provide adequate medical care at a much lower cost. Although the quality of medical care is very high in the United States, it is not as accessible to some segments of the population.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

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  • Creative Thinking

    14. What is your opinion on socialized health care versus privatized health care?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This type of question is meant to start a conversation between you and the interview panel. They want to see your personal opinion, critical thinking skills, and ability to be diplomatic when it comes to hot topics.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      While this question asks for your opinion, you should avoid an offensive answer or showing a personal bias. It's best if you provide an answer that appeals to both sides while not appearing wishy-washy.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I believe that the basic concepts of socialized health care and privatized health care speak to a range of patients. Some people express their love for socialized health care because, although they pay a higher tax rate, they are not caught in an expensive whirlwind when they face illness. Privatized health care, on the other hand, can offer significantly shorter wait times, which is very important for those with a potentially critical or debilitating illness. In my ideal world, a system would be put in place with the benefits of both systems."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      Socialized medicine allows most people to have adequate access to medical care. The tradeoff on that is longer wait times and possibly lower quality care. Privatized health care enables higher quality care but marginalizes some segments of patients.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

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  • Diligence

    15. What drives your passion for a career in medicine?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interview panel would like to understand what drives you in your pursuit of a career in medicine. Your core passion will keep you going on the toughest of days of residency, and for the panel to understand how to motivate you, they need to know what drives you.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      It is okay to share a personal story when answering this question. Perhaps you can discuss what initiated your interest in attending medical school. Whatever drives you, make sure the interviewers can feel your passion as you speak from the heart when answering this question.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "There are several factors that have always driven my passion for a career in medicine. If I had to pinpoint one main driver, I would say that saving the lives of everyday people is the most important. Everyone deserves great healthcare, and I plan to live that mantra by being the best at what I do as a physician every day. As a caregiver by nature, my patients are what will drive me every moment of every day."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      Heart disease afflicts many members of my immediate family, and I know how profoundly that can affect the whole family. I am pursuing an internal medicine residency with the intention of becoming a cardiologist to help prevent and treat people who suffer from heart disease.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Several factors drive my passion. If I had to pinpoint one, I would say that improving the lives of everyday people through empathy and compassion. Family medicine is so unique in that you can see the profound healing power of empathic human connections. A strong doctor-patient relationship can be therapeutic for a lifetime. Everyone deserves an excellent primary care physician, and I plan to live by that mantra by being the best at what I do every day."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your genuine passion for family medicine shines through. Exceptional answer - very well said.

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  • Direct

    16. Are you applying to any other residency programs?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      It is no secret that fourth-year medical students are encouraged to apply to many residency programs to better their odds of matching. This number of applications can often exceed 10. The interviewers will likely be more interested in you if they are aware that you are actively pursuing many opportunities, especially if you are a top candidate of theirs.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Talk openly about the applications you submitted, but emphasize your interest in this particular residency. Give specific reasons you want to complete your residency with this program and explain how that will benefit you in your pursuit of becoming a practicing physician in this specialty.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I am keeping an eye out and applying to several reputable anesthesiology residency programs. No matter the number of interviews I complete, I hold your program in the highest regard because of the academic and research success that your past trainees are now having in practice."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      I am applying to a few other programs, but I am hoping to match at your program. I have had prior clinical experience here as a medical student, and I enjoyed working with the staff. Additionally, this program is located in my hometown and is near my family.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    17. What book are you currently reading?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewers would like to know what you choose to read in your spare time. Your favorite genre says a lot about you and the type of resident that you will be.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Speak honestly about what you are currently reading. If you aren't currently engaged in a book, talk about the one that has impacted you the most. Elaborate on why this particular book is important to you. Speak with passion to show your interviewers that learning through reading is important to you.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "Currently I am reading 'Ego is the Enemy' by Ryan Holiday because it was recommended by a faculty member in my medical school. It is a book about ambition, resilience, and success. This book has helped me feel prepared to take on any challenge in residency, and I feel that every professional should read it."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      I am currently reading the Pioneer Woman Cookbook by Ree Drummond. I enjoy cooking, eating, and having dinner parties in my spare time.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I am reading Goedel Escher bach by Hofstader. Its a book about lives and work of mathematician Kurt Godel, artist MC Escher and composer Johanne Sebastian Bach. It pertains to how mathematics, art, and music are not separate entities, but a sort of "oneness" to the universe and how cognition in thinking emerge from well-hidden neurological mechanisms.

      -the overall theme is that of oneness and unity of the collective pieces that make the whole

      -similar to human beings - we are not isolated specimen in a vacuum with a single gene mutation with all else equal - we are dynamic, living, breathing entities interacting with the world around us and our circumstances impact our selves in the same way that social determinants of health can play a significant role in wellness that cannot be explained by simple pathophysiology

      -and I think physicians play an important role in uncovering these determinants of health

      -family medicine really embodies that philosophy"

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This sounds like a very intriguing book and very relevant to your targeted career path. Great answer!

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  • Discovery

    18. Competition for our program is intense. What makes you a stand-out resident for our program?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewers are looking for unique qualities and statements that make you stand out from the crowd of medical students they are considering for their program. They want to hear what makes you the most unique and stand-out candidate to join their program.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      To stand out from the crowd of candidates, there are many things you could mention in your answer, including your passion for volunteer work, a connection to any faculty or staff there, a story of personal struggle and triumph, a unique skill set you have, or a unique degree, diploma, or certification you bring to the table. No matter how you answer, speak passionately about what makes you the best candidate for this residency program.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I believe I am the strongest candidate for your residency program because I am incredibly dedicated to my professional and personal development. Since beginning medical school, I have committed to taking a personal development workshop twice per year. The topics have included communication, interpersonal skills, multi-tasking, organization, and even persuasive writing. I plan to take these skills and apply them to this residency and my future career as a physician. Is there any reason you would not choose me?"

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      I will be a stellar resident in your program because I have been working to become a well-rounded, responsible person. I undertook volunteer work, research projects, and extra jobs to gain life skills that will benefit me and my patients as I embark on my residency program.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I believe that I am a strong candidate for your residency program in family medicine. Since before medical school, I have dedicated myself to reducing barriers to health for immigrants and underserved populations, and I will continue to do so throughout my career as a family physician. I will not take my duty as a physician lightly and will work diligently to keep myself up to date in the pursuit of life-long learning so that I can provide the most informed care for my patients."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      You make a highly compelling case! If you can, dive a bit deeper into the details of the ways you have reduced barriers to health for immigrants and underserved populations.

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  • Discovery

    19. What would your dream job be if you could choose any?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      During your time with them, your interviewers will try to learn about your personality and personal motivators through a variety of questions. This question will allow your interviewers to hear about your passions in life and give them a better sense of what type of resident you will be and how you will mesh with the faculty and staff at the institution.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      A hiring manager will be able to tell a lot about your personality by learning about your other career interests. Put some thought to this question before the start of your residency interviews and come prepared to give an answer that shows your creativity, determination, and the fun side of your personality. Focus on an answer that gives some insight into who you are.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "My dream job would be a professional golfer. While I know I don't have the skills to make this a reality, golf is one of my favorite hobbies. I am also a very competitive individual who loves to travel, and this career would allow me to compete at a high level and travel all over the world."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      My dream job would be to host a medical talk show. I enjoy educating people about their medical conditions, and interacting with them. I would love to be able to reach a large audience.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    20. What types of activities keep you busy outside of work?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Because the hustle and bustle of many years of training can take their toll on any resident, having hobbies and interests outside of training is an important part of maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Your interviewers want to know how you will stay mentally energized throughout your time in their program.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Tell your interviewers about the activities that interest you outside of the classroom and workplace. Be sure to list hobbies and activities that keep you in great mental and physical shape.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I have a variety of hobbies that keep me busy outside of work hours. First, I have two children who are involved in basketball and gymnastics. I also play in a baseball beer league, volunteer at our community church, and like to read."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      I stay busy with volunteer work at my local food bank, catching up with friends, relaxing on the couch with a good book, and cooking in my kitchen, I also like to exercise early in the morning.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "There are a couple of things I enjoy doing. First, I like listening to people vent online. I also enjoy making pastries. There is this Nigerian snack called Puff-Puff, made with flour, yeast and sugar. I like making that. I also enjoy playing board games with friends."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Perfect reply - it's so personal that I feel I was able to get to know you a little bit! Puff-Puff sounds similar to Oliebollen, which my Dutch grandmother used to make. It seems you are well rounded with some interesting hobbies.

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  • Discovery

    21. Tell us a bit about yourself.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Residency programs consider many great medical school students for their program each year. Most come with letters of recommendation, clinical experiences, and medical knowledge. When it comes time to match, sometimes tough decisions are broken by determining which students are deemed a good fit for the team of residents, faculty, and culture of the program. Giving you the open floor to talk about yourself will provide the residency program with some insight into who you are as an individual.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Take advantage of this opportunity by talking a bit about what started you on the path toward medical school and this residency training path while giving some unique insight into who you are and what you enjoy. The residency program leaders will be able to see your genuineness as you speak from the heart here. Remember that this is also an excellent opportunity to describe yourself by discussing the strengths and qualities you would bring as a new resident.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I graduated from college with a degree in biology, and medical school has always been my top priority. I have wanted to become a doctor since I was little, and it is exciting to see this dream become a reality. I am a driven, personable, hard-working, and loyal person. I study hard and take my schooling seriously, but I also value maintaining relationships with friends and family. Downtime with the people I love helps me stay grounded and relieves stress. In my free time, I like to stay active by finding new hiking trails in the area. I am excited for all the learning I have left to do and the next step in my journey to becoming a doctor."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      "I loved and succeeded in the life sciences since junior high, and my interest in medicine evolved from that. I studied biology in college and did research culminating in a master's degree in biology. Medical school is the next frontier was the next frontier on this journey, which ultimately guided me toward this career path as a physician and a future resident with your program. Internal medicine is so appealing to me because of the wide breadth of experience I will get over the next three years and the fact that I want to pursue a future practice in gastroenterology. I enjoy spending time with family and friends in my spare time. I also like exercising and reading. Baking cookies always helps me relax."

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I was born and raised in Iran; since I was a child, I have always been looking for opportunities to learn and build a better version of myself which led me to go to medical school. After graduating from medical school, I worked as an emergency physician, where I got to work in a multidisciplinary setting and discovered my passion for radiology. Thereafter I decided to move to the US to expand my knowledge in the field and was fortunate to join the research team at BIDMC and to work under the supervision of Dr. xxx. This experience has allowed me the opportunity to expand my knowledge of conducting research in the field while getting familiarized with the US health care system and work environment. In addition, I have had the privilege of working remotely under the supervision of Dr. xxx and exploring my passion in more depth.

      Outside of medicine, I enjoy a wide variety of activates such as travelling, spending time with friends and family and activities for my personal development such as yoga which helps me to be resilient and work efficiently under pressure."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      You provide an excellent overview of your experiences, and I like that you discuss what fulfills you in your personal life. I suggest including information on the 'future.' I like to coach on the 'Past, Present, Future' framework. If you want to learn more about answering this common interview question, we have a guide here that you may find helpful: https://www.mockquestions.com/articles/How To Answer: Tell Me About Yourself/

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  • Discovery

    22. What strengths you would bring to our program as a resident?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Every year, your group of interviewers interview and consider a large pool of great applicants for their program. Asking a question about your strengths gives you the opportunity to give your best sales pitch, so to take advantage of it.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Your strengths should allow you to understand the needs of your patient and work effectively as part of a large care team. Skills that help you overcome difficult situations or accomplish challenging tasks are also great. Before your interview, pick your top two or three strengths to discuss during your interview. If you are looking for ideas, some great strengths to talk about are your communication skills, collaboration skills, loyalty, flexibility, determination, and eagerness to learn.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "My greatest strengths include my attention to detail and ability to focus. I am observant and a natural listener. This allows me to slow down enough to listen to my patients and colleagues. I pick up on small details and devote my attention to whatever I am doing in the present. Even when I have other things going on, I can hone in on the task at hand and devote my full attention to each patient so they receive the care they deserve. I feel that these strengths will enable me to be a confident and successful resident with your program."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      My strengths include being conscientious and a team player. I plan to utilize both of these qualities to take excellent care of patients and become an excellent physician.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Based on my previous clinical and research experiences, I have proven my ability to make wise decisions in critical situations that benefit patients. I am also a team player. My colleagues know me as a hard worker and flexible person. I am an excellent communicator which allows me to build strong relationships with my patients and colleagues. In addition, I am very persistent, determined, and detail-oriented. I have a strong desire to improve my knowledge and skills which makes me an excellent trainee."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Kevin Downey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Kevin Downey Reviewed the Above Answer

      It sounds like you have several strengths you feel benefit your work. Your confidence shines through, but you haven;t yet successfully convinced your interviewer of the positive impact your strengths benefit your residency. Elaborate on your answer by using some leadership terms.

      "I think fast on my feet and am resourceful. I make sure I am fully versed in how to take full advantage of all the tools at my disposal. This way, I can make critical decisions fast. If I don’t have everything I need at my fingertips, I am an outside-of-the-box thinker, and truly believe in the adage, where there is a will, there is a way. Sometime this requires collaboration, a team effort. Your team is the most valuable tool in your kit. So I place a lot of emphasis on relationship building with my teams. Beyond that, I work hard and fast, maintaining a positive outlook at all times. So I often set the pace. But the most important tool one has at their disposal is solid, above average communication skills. I consider myself an excellent communicator. In addition, I am very persistent, determined, and detail-oriented. I take advantage of every learning opportunity to expand my knowledge and skill set. So, in short, the skills I’d bring with me are my great attitude, my excellent verbal and written communication skills, my ability to think outside the box and being a resourceful person. I have above average interpersonal skills, especially when it comes to team building and enhancing work relations, and taking every opportunity to stay up to date with the developments in my field. As I see it, these are all translatable skills. There may be others who share in these traits, but these of some of what sets me apart from the hoard."

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  • Discovery

    23. What is your personal mission statement?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Most people have never put thought into a question like this, and not everyone has a mission statement or personal mantra that tells others who they are. As a prospective resident and future physician, this is an important question to ponder before your residency interviews because your interviewers will want to hear that you have a focused, patient-centered mission statement that defines the kind of resident you will be.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      If you have a personal mission statement that you developed during medical school, that is great! If so, be sure to openly share it with your interviewers, and make sure it explains why you are interested in pursuing a practice in medicine following residency. But chances are you don't have a well-defined personal mission statement. If this is the case, develop one, and be sure you can recite it before the start of your residency interviews.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "My mantra is 'people who shine from within do not need the spotlight.' I feel it is incredibly important to be a humble caretaker, and I would take this mission statement very seriously as a resident in your program. I'd rather have my team to be in the spotlight than be the kind of physician that takes credit for all of the good work. I'm confident that this value also reflects positively on the patients I care for."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      My personal motto is to treat others as you would want to be treated, This holds true for daily random interactions, and especially with medical care. I strive to treat patients the way I would want to be cared for, in terms of quality and compassion of care.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Always focus on the present. Whatever you do in the present will shape what your future looks like. So make the best use of "now"."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Wonderful mission statement! It seems that you are a true go-getter with a great deal of focus :)

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  • Discovery

    24. We would like to know you on a more personal level. Outside of medicine, what are your interests?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Having hobbies and interests outside of work or school is an important part of maintaining a healthy work/life balance during residency training. Your interviewers want to get to know you a bit better as a person. They also want to know that you will be able to strike a healthy balance during your time training with them.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Talk openly and honestly to the interviewers about the activities that interest you outside of the medical field. As you answer, talk about how these activities will be important in your life as a resident in their program to help keep you happy, healthy, and refreshed during your training.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I have a variety of hobbies that kept me busy outside of school hours during my undergraduate program and medical school. I volunteer at the local children's hospital. I also play in indoor and outdoor volleyball leagues and like to read fiction. During residency, staying active outside of training would be a priority for me to stay healthy in both body and mind."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      My interests outside of medicine help me recharge my batteries. These include exercise, such as walking or jogging, reading fiction like Robin Cook or James Patterson, and listening to Motown music from my beloved hometown of Detroit.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    25. Are you willing to relocate for your residency?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      To better the odds of matching with a great program, most medical students will apply to residency programs all over the country. As they consider your application, your interviewers want to know that you are serious when it comes to your willingness to relocate away from current friends and family and put your full focus on training in their program.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      The goal when answering this question is to assure the interviewer that relocating will not be a problem for you. If it's a challenging relocation for you, but you are willing to do it, explain your willingness to move for the sake of joining this program. Don't hesitate to talk about your personal or family situation and the support you have to pursue this dream of yours.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "Yes, I am willing to relocate for my residency. The right fit is the most important factor to me. I researched this city and region, and I can see myself thriving here personally. I can easily pick up and go where I am needed because my family is fully supportive of my decision to pursue this career."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      I am willing to relocate for my residency because obtaining excellent training is my career goal and an investment in my future. I am a low maintenance person and feel I could adapt to the new environment easily.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Yes, I am willing to relocate for residency. I believe life is a journey of new experiences, each of which teaches me to become a better person, and in this case, a better physician."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Very well said! This is a strong answer.

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  • Discovery

    26. Describe your personality to us in three words.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewers pose this question for two reasons. First, they want some insight into the personality that you would bring to their residency program to get a feel for how you will fit in with the program. They'll also want to hear how you view yourself. Notice they do not ask how others would describe you, but how YOU would describe yourself.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Since you only have three words, make sure that the words that you use will make a lasting impact on your interviewers. Some possible words to use are adaptable, brave, compassionate, respectful, helpful, positive, thoughtful, or versatile. As you prepare for a question like this, be creative to avoid giving the same answer other candidates give. Explain your reasons for choosing these words to describe yourself.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "If I could describe my personality to you in three words, I would say that I am thoughtful, intelligent, and friendly. My personality is well suited for a healthcare-focused environment as my patients will find me approachable and trustworthy."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      Compassionate, conscientious, and complicated.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "If I could describe my personality in 3 words, I would say calm, adaptable, and goal-oriented. During my days as a junior resident in the ER at a hospital, we were severely understaffed that day, and we had almost 25 patients waiting in the triage area. I was nearing the end of my shift, but I realized that the two residents and the attendant would have a tough time managing patients. So I took it upon myself to streamline the triage, screen patients right there, and get only those patients who needed immediate attention and treated those who I could in the triage itself."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a wonderful example of your biggest personality traits. This answer speaks so much to your character and dedication in the workplace.

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  • Discovery

    27. What do you wish to gain through training in our residency program?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewers would like to better understand what your expectations are of their residency program. When your overall expectations are understood, your interviewers will have a better sense of your understanding of their program and how well you will fit in if you were to match there.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      A key to answering this question is researching the residency program and the institution itself before the interview. Some online research will quickly give you insight into the mission and values of the organization, the curriculum of the program, and where past residents have found practices post-residency. No matter how you answer, take accountability for your growth and experiences.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I hope to gain immense professional growth through strong mentorship by your great faculty and to live your mission of serving your patients and community in any way possible. I'm confident that I am a great fit to help live these values for the next three years."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      I hope to gain the tools needed to become a great physician while serving a residency at your program. I intend to keep the goal of excellent patient care in mind at all times.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I would like to become a well-rounded radiologist who can handle any type of case. I would also like to improve my teaching, research, and leadership skills and abilities."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great! These are specific goals and certainly achievable with your dedication and hard work!

      "During my residency, I would also like to improve my skills in teaching, conducting research, and hone my leadership abilities. Overall, I would like to become a well-renowned radiologist who can handle any case."

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  • Discovery

    28. If being a Physician was not an option, what career path would you have chosen?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewers want to get to know each candidate a bit better personally during their interviews. This hypothetical question will give the interviewers some insight into other topics that interest you outside of the medical field.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      There is no right or wrong answer here, but be sure to think about questions like this before your residency interviews. As you answer, talk openly and honestly with your interviewers about where your career path would have ideally taken you if becoming a physician wasn't an option.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I do not regret the direction I have taken my career, and I'm looking forward to my residency training. If I were forced to start over in a new direction, I would likely pursue a career in music. I learned to play the piano at a young age and sang in a show choir in high school. I was also in a glee club during my undergraduate program. If I had gone down that path, I probably would have been a singer in a music group or gotten into music production."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      If being a physician was not an option, I would like to have been a health writer or journalist. I enjoy medical topics and enjoy educating patients on how to take better care of their health.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I certainly would not change my decision to become a physician, but if I had to pick a different path, I would like to go into a field that studies behavioral neuroscience. I am fascinated by the concept of cognitive-behavioral therapy and the power that we, as human beings, can have over our minds. I want to incorporate CBT in my practice one day."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Very in-depth and interesting response. This is excellent, and you give the interviewer a lot of insight into what excites you in the medical field.

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  • Discovery

    29. Would you have any trouble working with a religiously affiliated hospital or medical facility?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Questions surrounding topics such as religion and politics can be tough to navigate. This particular question will likely only come up if the institution you are interviewing with has any religious affiliation, and your interviewers want to hear that you wouldn't have an issue in this environment. If the institution you are interviewing with does not have a religious affiliation, your interviewers want to see how you navigate controversial topics.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Explain to your interviewers that you are neutral and professional when it's required of you. Before your interview, thoroughly research the institution you are interviewing with so you can be sure your values align with those of the program. Keep your answer short and to the point.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "While at work, I keep my personal opinion to myself when it comes to topics of religion and /or politics. I would not have any trouble working at a religiously affiliated hospital or medical facility, so long as the religious aspect did not interfere with my ability to care for my patients."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      I would be able to work at a religious institution, if need be, since the likely goals align with mine. These include treating everyone with respect and aiming for excellent and compassionate care.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "No, I don't believe that I would have any trouble working in a religiously affiliated hospital. My medical school is Jewish affiliated, and although I am not Jewish, I had no issues with the affiliation because, in professional settings, I keep my personal views to myself. As long as the affiliation does not interfere with patient care, I'm all for it!"

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Awesome response! You sound very open and have a highly professional approach.

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  • Discovery

    30. As a resident with our program, how would you express your opinions on controversial topics such as abortion, euthanasia, and cloning?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Questions like this can be tricky, but it's important to realize that your interviewers want to hear how you would navigate these topics with a patient as a resident. They are not looking for your personal opinion on any controversial medical topic. Explain how you would remain tactful when controversial topics arise during your residency training.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      A straightforward answer should include how you would discuss the pros and cons of a controversial topic with a patient. You need to be clear that you would never broach any of these subjects with a patient, but rather only respond when asked.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "When it comes to controversial topics such as abortion, euthanasia, and cloning, I will keep my personal opinion to myself, or at the very least, remain diplomatic by expressing how each side has a right to an opinion. If prodded more by a patient, the furthest extent I would go is to discuss the medical pros and cons of each side of any controversial topic and let the patient make their own opinion."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      As a medical resident, my job is to provide the best medical care possible, according to evidence based medicine. My personal views on these topics have no role in this. A patient can express his opinion on these issues, and may do so especially if he feels comfortable with me, but I plan to remain neutral on these topics when in a professional setting.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    31. Who in your life has been the biggest mentor or inspiration to you?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewers want to gain some insight into the personalities and personal motivations of each candidate they talk to. This question allows your interviewers to see what has influenced you to become a life-changing physician down the road.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Your life's inspiration can come from a book, a mentor, your family, or a celebrity. Talk to the interviewers about who has inspired your life and why. If possible, explain how this mentor or influence has inspired your choice to pursue a career as a physician.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I find inspiration in a variety of people and things. The person who has most greatly inspired me is my grandmother. She always had a smile on her face no matter how hard she worked, and she loved everyone. She was well respected and always gave more than she received. As I pursue residency training with your esteemed program, I will always try to treat my patients with the same sense of respect and care as her as much as I can."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      My biggest inspiration is my junior high science teacher. I remember how fascinated I was when I first learned cell biology. My teacher believed in me and encouraged my interest in life science and then in medicine.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "My mother is my biggest inspiration. She is one of the most hard-working and dedicated persons I have known in my life. She has always been my greatest supporter, and regardless of how tired she may be, she takes the time to listen to those around her. She sees the best in others and encourages them to be their best regardless of the challenges and expectations the world brings."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your mother sounds like a wonderful person! If you take these qualities and apply them to your approach with patients, you will make a big difference in the lives of many. Nicely said :)

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  • Education

    32. While attending medical school, what was your favorite course? Why?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Every medical student has a favorite area of medicine or a subject they find fascinating. Learning more about your favorite courses, personal preferences, and professional areas of intrigue will allow the interviewers to better understand where your passion is as an incoming resident.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Come to your interview ready to talk about your favorite course in medical school. Be sure to elaborate on why it was your favorite. If you had a great professor, talk about what made them so influential. If you excelled in a particular subject, don't hesitate to brag a bit to your interviewers.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "The courses I enjoyed most in medical school were the classes and workshops where we had the opportunity to work on a cadaver. The human body is fascinating, and since I am a hands-on learner, I found cadaver-based classes to be the most informative. From my work with cadavers, I realized that pursuing a career in surgery was my true calling as a physician."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      My favorite course in medical school was microbiology. I loved looking under the microscope and seeing the different types of bacteria and learning about the properties of each one. They are so elegant and intricate, and look harmless but really aren't. The more one knows about microbiology, the more one understands many types of illnesses and how to cure them.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

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  • Education

    33. How would you invest in your personal development as a resident with our program?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As a resident and eventual physician, it is important to avoid professional burnout. That means you should be aware of your personal needs and do what is necessary for your personal growth and development. Your interviewers pose this question to understand how you plan to focus on your development.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Personal development is a valuable habit and can include things like exercise, meditating, taking personal development courses/workshops, reading, mentoring others, being creative through art, or spending time traveling and exploring. However you choose to invest in your personal development, be sure to show the interviewers that you understand the importance of investing in yourself.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "It is important to invest in myself, especially with a high-stress, high-pressure job as a physician. For the last three years, I have invested in a personal coach who helps me uncover my desires and assists me in making a plan to achieve those goals. Also, I am adamant about my fitness and health. I take good care of my body because it's the only one I have. I know that I need to be a strong example to my patients as a resident as well."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      With a job as intense as a medical resident, it is vital to make time to relax and be health conscious. The time spent exercising, preparing healthy foods, and resting are an investment in the future. Having a close network of family and friends to help unwind and also to discuss various issues with is also important.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Personal care and development are very important in the medical field. Prayer and spiritual growth are two significant parts of my life that keep me grounded in who I am and who I am striving to become. Life brings challenges, and my spiritual life allows me to handle those challenges so I can help my patients who are facing their own."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Beautiful response! You show a lot of wisdom and self-awareness, which will be incredibly important characteristics as you move forward in your career.

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  • Education

    34. Have you completed all ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) requirements to start a residency?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question will only be important for Foreign Medical Graduates. If you are in this category, your interviewers will need to know that you already have your ECFMG certification by completing steps 1 and 2 of the USMLE.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      If you are a foreign medical graduate, come to your residency interviews prepared to discuss the steps you have taken for the ECFMG certification. If you have any supporting paperwork, bring it with you to the interview and offer it to the interviewers. You must be prepared with an affirmative answer to this question.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "Yes, I have completed all of the ECFMG requirements and have brought the supporting paperwork with me. Would you like to take a copy?"

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      I have completed the ECFMG requirements, and I have the documents available for you now.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

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  • Education

    35. How would you stay on top of trends and changes in the medical industry as a resident?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewers want to know that you will fully immerse yourself in your field as a resident. This includes keeping up to date on new trends and having a great understanding of the challenges your industry faces, both now and in the future.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Talk about a couple of your favorite resources you use to stay on top of medical industry trends. It's also a great idea to ask the interviewers if they have any fresh recommendations for you. This can start a conversation that will be helpful to you! Before your interview, be sure to look into the medical specialty-specific groups, journals, and publications in the specialty you plan to pursue in residency.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I follow a few resources online for up-to-date information on the medical industry. My favorites right now are the medical blog, 'Uncommon Student MD,' a blog created by student doctors in medical school and residency. The other resource I read regularly is 'Health Data Management' online. I've already joined the Radiologic Society of North America. Do you have any recommendations for me? I love to learn and would appreciate knowing about any new and helpful resources in this field."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      I like to peruse The New England Journal of Medicine and Mayo Clinic Proceedings. I would be interested in forming a journal club to review new medical articles and discuss developments in the field.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I use Medscape as a resource."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good! Medscape is an excellent source of clinical information and resources for physicians and healthcare professionals. To strengthen this response, discuss the reasons Medscape is your preferred resource when it comes to staying on top of trends and changes in the medical industry. You may also consider asking the interviewer if they have any recommendations for you.

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  • Experience

    36. While attending medical school, what fascinated you most about your cadaver?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      For many medical students, working with cadavers for the first time is a life-changing experience. The interviewers would like to understand what intrigued you most during your cadaver workshops in medical school to get some insight into what will drive you as a resident with their program.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      You can keep your answer brief, but be specific and express your passion for learning when you answer this question. Your interviewers ideally want to hear that you enjoyed the cadaver experience and that you can take what you learned with them into residency and your future career as a physician.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "The experience of cadaver observation and dissection is incredible. It's hard to think of just one most fascinating point! I most enjoyed exploring and discovering every skeletal muscle. The human body is amazing."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      The dissection of a cadaver afforded me a deep look into the human body that many never witness. I also was amazed and so thankful that this person had enough trust and belief in me as to donate his body to enable my training.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I believe the way how our body is built is fascinating. When every small or big part has a function, it is there for a reason.

      After I saw it for the first time a corpse, I was trying to make sense to connect anatomy with physiology."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great job! You've kept your answer brief and shared what intrigued you most during your cadaver workshops in medical school.

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  • Experience

    37. What EMR programs did you get experience working in as a medical student?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Technology in the medical field has been evolving and will continue to evolve year after year. As you enter residency, you will have to be prepared to work under one common EMR at the institution you match with, and your interviewers simply want to hear the experience you gained working in a variety of them during your medical school.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Briefly discuss the programs you worked in as a rotating medical student and your role in the systems. As you answer, describe your ability to learn and master their program from the start. Don't hesitate to ask any questions about the program that this institution uses.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "First and foremost, I want you to know that I understand that today's physicians need to embrace technology to provide the best patient care possible. During medical school, I was fortunate to work within EPIC, Cerner, Nextech, and a couple of customized systems. I was able to learn quickly and run with any program I was introduced to. I've heard that you use EPIC system-wide; is that correct?"

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      Internal Medicine Example

      During my training, I have worked with Cerner, Nextgen and eClinicalWorks. They each have their strengths and weaknesses. These various EMRs have taught me to catch on quickly and adapt to different ways of organizing medical information.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

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  • Experience

    38. Tell us about the most interesting case you were exposed to while attending medical school.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewers will be looking for the ideal candidates that have a passion for the specialty they want to pursue training in. This is a conversational-based question intended to get to know you a little bit better and the types of cases that you find to be the most interesting.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Before your residency interview, think of what you consider the most intriguing and thought-provoking case you worked on in medical school. The cases that are most interesting to you should pertain to the specialty you want to pursue. As you answer, take a few minutes to set the stage for the case, name a couple of points that intrigued you the most, and talk about why. If you know the outcome of the case, discuss that briefly as well.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "The most intriguing case I was exposed to during medical school was a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder in an elderly victim of a brutal crime following the loss of her spouse. Over time, the patient was moved to an assisted living facility and continued to develop severe psychotic symptoms and paranoia. The patient suffered from hallucinations and was moved to a psychiatric unit for further observation. A neuroleptic drug was finally prescribed and began to improve the patient's mental well-being."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      Internal Medicine Example

      The most interesting case I saw in my medical school training was a young woman who was in multisystem organ failure from severe pancreatitis. She languished in the ICU on a ventilator for months with minimal improvement. The case manager brought the intensive care doctor to the ethics committee, arguing for comfort care measures. The ICU doctor felt the patient would improve. She ended up waking up and waving us goodbye on her way to inpatient rehab.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "A 28-year-old female housewife came to us with the complaint of low-grade fever for 1 month. It was insidious in onset, not associated with rigors and chills, and relieved by medication. 4 to 5 days from the onset of fever, she started developing progressive weakness in all four limbs. She was having difficulty in walking, combing, and drinking a glass of water. But there was no sensory loss. In the next few days, she started developing swelling in the bilateral upper limb which progressed to the back of the neck. There was no periorbital or facial edema and no shortness of breath. Her urine output decreased but she was not having burning micturition or abdominal discomfort. She had no past medical or surgical history. No history of allergy. On examination, she was afebrile and her vitals were normal. Examination revealed bilateral upper limb soft tissue swelling, swelling on the back of the neck. Mild erythema and tenderness were also present but there was no crepitus. On neurological examination, cranial nerve and sensory system examination were normal but power was decreased to 3/5 in B/L LL and 2/5 in B/L UL. DTR was negative in all four limbs.

      Labs revealed increased TLC (26000), Hyponatremia of 119, and increased BUN/creatinine. Urine examination showed increased RBC and pus cells. So, this patient with Areflexic quadriparesis without sensory and bladder bowel involvement developed subcutaneous edema with AKI and urosepsis, and dys-electrolytemia. Myopathy being one of the differentials, we sent CPK and LDH which came out to be elevated. Muscle biopsy was performed and pt was started on IV methylprednisolone. Subcutaneous edema and weakness improved after initiating steroids. Fever, TLC normalized after 6-7 days of antibiotic coverage. However, on day 10, she started developing dysphagia. We passed Ryle's tube and were started on plasmapheresis on the advice of neurology. Muscle biopsy results confirmed polymyositis. She was discharged oral prednisolone 30 mg."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      You've done an excellent job explaining your most interesting case in detail. However, you can strengthen this response further by relating why it was so interesting to you. Was it the most complicated case you've seen? Was her final diagnosis rare? How did this case challenge you? Did it inspire you to collaborate with others to find needed answers?

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  • Stress

    39. Practicing as a Physician is an incredibly stressful and demanding career. How will you manage the high amounts of stress that are a part of being a resident?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Physicians are known to have a high amount of stress and burnout due to the overall nature of the work. You need to be aware that the time demands and pressure situations can lead to fatigue and little sleep. Your interviews want to hear about your plan to handle the high amounts of stress during your residency.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      How to Answer

      Explain to your interviewers that you have the tools to keep your mind, body, and spirit in the best shape possible to learn and grow every day during residency training. Some great things to talk about are your ability to maintain perspective, use your downtime to recharge, and come to each shift prepared for the challenges that you'll face.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on February 12th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "When I am under pressure, I focus on the task at hand and make sure to not get distracted. Keeping to a deadline is helpful, and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress. I know that I will be facing the most grueling four years of my life in residency. I plan to utilize my free time wisely by doing what is necessary to recharge my mind and rest my body. Some ways I like to do this are playing golf, hiking with my dog, and reading."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Internal Medicine Example

      Dealing with the stress of residency will be easier with a supportive family behind me. They will ensure that I stop and rest, make sure that I eat every so often, and serve as a good sounding board for any stressful situations that may arise.
      Taking "me" time is also a necessity, including eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly. Taking a nap also works wonders!

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Planning is an important tool in handling stress. Whenever stressful situations arise, I start by prioritizing the work. Next, I communicate with my colleagues and try to seek help. At last, I think about methods how to avoid it from happening in the future.

      During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were short of hospital beds and oxygen supplies. When I gathered data, I noticed some patients didn't require hospitalization. They could be managed with home isolation. With the help of fellow colleagues, I helped establish COVID-19 triage stations at the healthcare facilities so that sick patients were not devoid of care and asymptomatic patients were managed at home. I also contacted a few NGOs that helped us to make isolation centers at various community halls and helped us raise funds for oxygen cylinders."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Terrific! You've used an applicable example to illustrate how you take initiative to problem solve and function well in a high-stress situation. You can make this answer even more insightful by talking about any tools or strategies you use to prioritize competing needs such as calendar or reminder applications and how stress can sometimes serve as a catalyst that helps you work with more precision and innovation.

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  • Teamwork

    40. How will you work effectively and collaboratively as part of a larger care team as a resident with our program?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Coming out of medical school and into residency training, you need to be prepared to step in and be the ultimate team player with faculty, fellow residents, and all members of the larger care team. The interviewers want assurance that you would join their residency program as a team player, regardless of personality or work style differences. They'll also want to hear that you will be a natural leader.

      Written by Christine Pasqueretta on February 1st, 2023

      How to Answer

      The goal of your response is to describe your approach to collaborating with others while highlighting how your collaboration style will be a good match for the residency program you are interviewing with. Highlight your leadership skills, communication skills, listening skills, and the respect you show for others in a working environment. If you have examples of times you've proven to be a team player, don't hesitate to bring them up.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "During medical school, I learned how important teamwork is in a clinic or hospital setting. I intend to bring my top-notch communication skills to your residency program. I maintain open lines of communication with my colleagues and support staff. On a busy unit, there can be a hundred things happening at once, and the only way for the team to keep abreast of everything is through communication. I'm also excited to come to your program and take charge of a care team. You'll quickly find that people typically work well with my leadership style. I listen to ideas from everyone, show respect for everyone I work with, and don't hesitate to grab the bull by the horns when needed."

      Written by Christine Pasqueretta on February 1st, 2023

      Internal Medicine Example

      Working as part of a team is easy if everyone keeps in mind that the ultimate goal is to do what's best for the patient. Certainly, each colleague has her own tasks and responsibilities, but if something has to be done for the patient, a good team player steps in to do it as needed if the patient requires it.

      Written by Dr. Shani Saks on November 4th, 2022

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