Update (05-Feb-2023): I recently did an overhaul of many of my documents while I was interviewing for residency programs. I applied exclusively for Canadian family medicine programs during the 2022 CaRMS cycle, which was still being conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since there was a lot of overlap in preparation for medical school interviews and residency interviews, I’ve decided to consolidate everything into a single folder. I’ve used emojis to differentiate the the files that are most relevant to premeds applying for medical school (🎓) versus fourth year medical students applying for residency (🩺). However, regardless of what stage you’re in, feel free to check out all of the resources and new documents below, because you may find them helpful too.
Here are all the documents that I used during my interview preparation. Anything that is Google Docs/Slides format, I made myself. Anything that is not, I found online.
Folder: Interview prep
The folder above contains the following documents:
Overview of Medical School Interviews (🎓)
- A document I made with some general advice about interviewing, specifically in panel interviews.
CARMS FAMILY MEDICINE – GENERAL NOTES & QUOTES (🩺)
- Some general advice about interviewing for Family Medicine in CaRMS, based on the advice from residents who had just gone through the process. Also contains a few phrases and thought-provoking quotes that you may find interesting or helpful in crafting your answers.
Current EVENTS IN HEALTHCARE & Proposed Solutions (🎓+🩺)
- Introduces ongoing problems and discussions in healthcare on a local, national, and international level, and offers to potential solutions and points of discussion (updated in 2022 from my 2018 version)
Healthcare Systems in Canada (🎓+🩺)
- A brief overview of how the Canadian healthcare system works and how it compares to other countries
Ethical Principles and Approach (🎓+🩺)
- Introduces a framework approach to reasoning out ethical problems, and in the latter part of the document I introduce major ethical topics such as confidentially, beneficience, truth-telling, etc. Medical ethics are really important for the CASPer and interviews (especially MMIs).
- I also suggest reading ‘Doing Right’ by Philip C. Hebert – it’s a very digestible introduction to medical ethics in Canada with some great examples.
Conflict Resolution (🎓+🩺)
- Introduces the basics of conflict resolution and a broad approach.
Conveying Empathy (🎓+🩺)
- Offers some great phrases to convey compassion/empathy
Breaking Bad News – ‘SPIKES’ mnemonic (🎓+🩺)
- An approach to breaking bad news
ARticleS FOLDER (🎓+🩺)
- Helpful articles that provide an overview of indigenous health, equality/diversity/incusion, social accountability, and retention of rural physicians.
Questions & My Answers:
Ethical / What Would You Do (🎓+🩺)
- Potential questions to put you through ethical scenarios or interpersonal issues and how you would resolve them
You in General (🎓+🩺)
- Potential questions to get to know you as a candidate better
TELL ME ABOUT A TIME YOU… (🎓+🩺)
- Potential questions that look to highlight your experiences that exhibit the CanMEDs roles and related traits/characteristics
QUESTIONS FOR THE INTERVIEWERS (🎓+🩺)
- Some examples of questions to have ready to ask the interviewers if the opportunity arises
Why Our School (🩺)
- Potential questions that assess for your interest in their specific school for residency
- You in Family Medicine (🩺)
- Potential questions to understand how you and your experiences led you to family medicine, and why you think you’d be a good fit
ROLE OF THE FAMILY PHYSICIAN (🩺)
- Potential questions about the role of family physicians in our current Canadian healthcare system
CHALLENGES IN FAMILY MEDICINE (🩺)
- Potential questions regarding the challenges that family physicians and residents face with the speciality
Other practice questions:
Mock Asynchronous MMI (🎓+🩺)
- A template I created with three abbreviated mock asynchronous MMIs that includes timers
- Feel free to make a copy if you wish to edit the timings or create your own mock interviews. If you do create your own, I encourage you to send it to me so that I can update this master document so that everyone can use it to practice!
Big List of All Med School Interview Questions (🎓)
- Found it online, during my interview prep I went through pretty much every question in this list, and made sure I had an example that I could bring to mind so that I could answer confidently during your interview.
Big List of MMI Questions (🎓)
- Found it online, good for practicing ethical scenarios. I used a number of different sources to produce my own ‘pipeline’ approach to answering ethics problems, which can be found in the ethics document above.
A simple way to improve your answers during your medical school interview (🎓):
- The interviewers don’t necessarily care how many hours of volunteering or extracurriculars that you’ve done, they care about what you learned from them, and how you can apply it. They expect you to use your experiences to answer questions in the interview, even if they don’t specifically ask for it. For example, say they ask you: “How would you go about solving a conflict between you and a coworker?”, you could start by saying “I would solve the conflict like this…”, but there’s a much better way to answer… start with something like “Great question, and I can answer this from experience because this was something that I faced in a previous job/extracurricular/volunteer position…”. Then go on to explain what happened, and how you handled it. You can also tie it back into medicine at the end if it feels appropriate, for example: “I believe that the ability to resolve conflict in the work place is an invaluable asset to have as a member of a healthcare team – conflicts in a clinical setting are inevitable, and having a skillset that allows you to diffuse tense situations will improve relationships in the workplace and ultimately improve health outcomes for patients”. At face-value, the question could be answered with hypotheticals (“I would solve the conflict like this…”), but instead you’ve spun the question to include personal experiences, AND you’ve tied it back into medicine. This will drastically improve your answer. It’s about reading into what the interviewer really wants to hear from you.
(For U.S. Applicants) How to write a post-interview ‘Letter Of Intent’ (🎓):
WebpagE: Letter of Intent: General Information
- A website that introduces the idea of a letter of intent.
WebpagE: Letter of Intent: Example
- A great example that you can use as a loose template or starting point.
WebpagE: Letter of Intent: Writing tips
- Useful tips on how to write your letter of intent.
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