The Admissions Interview
To be invited for an interview at an osteopathic medical school is a significant
achievement on the part
of the applicant. Generally speaking, the applicant has passed a rigorous
examination of his/her academic credentials and now has the opportunity to
showcase other skills, traits and characteristics that may be attractive to
osteopathic medical schools. The specific logistics of an interview will vary by
college. However, each college uses the interview process to gather as much
information about each applicant as possible in order to identify students who
are academically qualifiedand who have backgrounds, experiences and personal
philosophies that are consistent with osteopathic medical education.
Interviews at osteopathic medical schools are particularly important.
Osteopathic medicine has a rich history of producing passionate, empathetic,
considerate, altruistic, well-balanced physicians. These are individuals who not
only demonstrate academic excellence, but who also are dedicated to the humane
delivery of medical care under the auspices of the osteopathic medical
philosophy. Osteopathic medical schools take great pride in seeking future
physicians who have developed listening skills, communication skills, a high
level of ethics and a strong sense of social responsibility. Osteopathic medical
schools actively seek those students who are committed to osteopathic medicine
as a career and a lifestyle. The admission interview can be very helpful in
identifying these attributes.
Confirm the day, date and time of your scheduled interview. If for any reason
you must cancel, reschedule or withdraw from an interview, contact the school
promptly, courteously and honestly. If you decide to cancel, the college will
use the opportunity to invite another candidate and proper communication is a
positive reflection on you and your professional demeanor.
Arrive 10-15 minutes early for your scheduled appointment.
Be neatly and appropriately dressed in professional business attire.
Be polite and courteous to all members of the college community you are
visiting. Not only your interviewers, but also admission office staff and
current students, may be asked to comment on your personal conduct while on
Understand and articulate your genuine interest in osteopathic medical
Prepare through intensive research specific to the college you are visiting by
reading its catalog, web site and admissions material and, if possible, by
talking in advance with current students.
Be prepared to clearly articulate your interest in the college by asking
college-specific questions, understanding any unique programs of the college and
discussing the relationship between your background and the colleges mission.
Tell your interviewer what you can bring to the colleges medical school
Thoroughlyreview your application, essay, personal statement and academic
record. Interviewers are likely to inquire about your background and
accomplishments. Be certain of what you have written.
Answer questions honestly, thoroughly and sincerely. If you do not know the
answer to a question, indicate this and move on.
Have one or two questions for your interviewer that make a connection between
your credentials and the medical school.
Lie about any of your credentials or experiences.
Display a lack of tact or diplomacy.
Appear or be insincere during any portion of your interview.
Try to guess what the interviewer wants to hear.
Be afraid to discuss your successes and most positive traits.
Disparage or condemn your past experiences.
Give overly vague or general experiences.
Make excuses for past difficultiesor challenges.
Act with a negative attitude or use a negative tone in your responses.
Underestimate the effortand determination you have demonstrated to this point.
Arrive under-prepared or unprepared for this discussion.
Health Professions Advisors at Your College
Many advisors belong to organizations such as the National Association of
Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) www.naahp.org, which is primarily
focused on providing support, resources and current information on the many
health professions. Depending on the type of institution, the pre-health advisor
may be a faculty member (usually in the science
department) or a staff member in the career center or academic advising center.
Suggested Sources for More Information..
Health professions advisors have watched hundreds of students go through the
medical school application and interview process. Do not hesitate to ask for
their advice, tips and words of wisdom prior to your own interview.
Many of these offices maintain files,notes and other material to help you learn
about the schools of greatest interest to you. In some instances, these offices
will conduct mock interviews. These can be helpful as you learn to manage the
nervousness and anxiety that are a natural part of this process.
Finding a Pre-Health Advisor: Students who find it difficult to locate an
advisor on their campus, or who have been away from school, may contact the
NAAHP for volunteer
advisors. NAAHP also offers publications to help students prepare for medical
school. NAAHP may be contacted at Tel: (217) 355-
0063, Fax: (217) 355-1287 or by visiting www.naahp.org.
Current Medical Students
Current osteopathic medical school students are wonderful sources of
information. While everyone will have slightly different perspectives, it may be
helpful for you to talk to current students about their interview experiences.
Most osteopathic medical schools provide opportunities for you to learn about
admission processes through forums, open houses, student panels, or campus
tours. Contact those schools that interest you and ask them what opportunities
they provide for you to interact with current students.