Qualities of a Medical School Applicant
Qualities to Demonstrate During Your Interview
As a future physician, you will have to learn continuously from patients, colleagues, journal articles detailing new advances in medicine, and your everyday experiences. It is therefore imperative that you have a love of learning, a desire to explore the unknown, the appropriate study habits, and broad intellectual interests.
Social Awareness/Cultural Competency/Empathy
As a doctor, you will be seeing patients from many different backgrounds and suffering from a variety of diseases. You need to be able to put yourself in their shoes and understand how their personal circumstances contribute to their well-being. You must also be able to modify your behavior to show respect, inspire confidence, and motivate them to implement whatever changes they need to make to positively impact their health. A doctor can have all the scientific knowledge available about a disease, but unless he/she posses social awareness, cultural competency, and empathy (i.e. the humanistic side of medicine), that doctor will never truly master the art of healing.
As a future physician, it is imperative that you have the appropriate communication and interpersonal skills to interact successfully with others under dynamic and often emotionally charged conditions. The interviewer will assess your ability to interact with people who are different from you, whether they be your patients and their family members, allied health professionals, or other physicians. He/she will want to make sure you can speak well and present yourself with clarity and confidence.
The interview is used to assess your expectations of a career in medicine as well as assess your maturity, your ability to cope with frustration and stress, and your leadership skills. In order to be a happy, successful physician, it is important that your expectations are grounded in some sort of reality, and that you have the necessary skills and characteristics required to cope with the challenges and stress.