Co-authored by two doctors, one of whom serves on the admissions committee at Baylor College of Medicine, this book is a guide to excelling in the medical school interview.
Applying to medical school is a lengthy process that demands a number of accomplishments, not least of which are maintaining a high GPA in math and science courses and scoring well on the MCAT. However, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the in-person medical school interview is the most important factor in admissions, partially because test scores and academic history do not necessarily predict success in the medical field. In addition to drawing on their vast personal experience, Desai and Katta consulted with admissions officers at medical schools nationwide, many of whom are quoted here at length. The authors also include the personal experiences of successful candidates, as well as descriptions of the different kinds of interviews that might be encountered. The text gets repetitive, though, in the reiteration of key pieces of advice (e.g., to be prepared with questions for one’s interviewer) and in the fictional examples used to illustrate certain points, such as how “Elena” could have more thoroughly answered the question of why she wanted to be a doctor—an example used verbatim in both the introduction and Chapter 9. While targeted toward a narrow audience, with much of its advice therefore specific to the medical school interview, there are also tips helpful for anyone preparing to go on an interview, especially students applying to college. Either way, this is an extremely thorough handbook, covering the questions applicants are likely to be asked and the appropriate and inappropriate answers, as well as matters of basic courtesy, such as dressing appropriately and making sure to send each interviewer a personalized thank-you note. The book also includes a chapter, excerpted from Success in Medical School: Insider Advice for the Preclinical Years (2012), a book previously written by Desai and Katta, on what medical students might expect from their first years at school.
Of limited interest to the general audience, but likely to be found indispensable by readers embarking on the arduous process of applying to medical school.