I feel like I just had my first medical school interview and survived! Even though I’m on a junior (and haven’t even applied to med school yet), the Health Professions Advisory Office requires an interview in order to write students a letter of recommendation, and I just completed mine!
Since so many students at Vanderbilt are pre-health, I had to schedule my interview back in February. I guessed that I would have some free time to prepare around my finals schedule and lucked out. The past few days, I’ve been filling out the 15-page ASAP (Advisor’s Student Applicant Profile) packet, which is like a mini med school app. There is basic biographical info, grades, and then questions relating to why I want to be a doctor and discussing my experiences in research, service, and exposure to the health professions. The packet was helpful because it forced me to get all my information together in one place and I know I can refer back to it when I’m filling out the real application.
The packet also reminded me that I needed to email professors about writing recommendations. I’ll honestly say I was a little worried that my science professors wouldn’t know me well enough, or would have too many other recs to write, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear them all say yes.
Another page in the ASAP packet asked me to list the medical schools I’m applying to…which I hadn’t really thought that much about until this week. Granted, I knew I wanted to live in a big city (London got me hooked) preferably in the north, but I knew MCAT scores, GPA, and financial factors would all affect my decision. Luckily, my mom has every edition of U.S. News and World Report and helped me get a good list of twenty schools together for now. I’m sure the list will change a little before applications are due, but at least I know what to aim for.
During the actual interview, Dr. Baum (the primary advisor) looked through the ASAP packet to get an idea of what I’m involved in, and then the real interview started. There were some questions that I’m sure he asked everyone (“Why do you want to be a doctor” for one) and then some specific ones about Theatre, research, and Big Brothers Big Sisters for me. The interview was such an educational experience, because now I have a good idea of what to expect during a real interview.
Next up: filling out the real apps (which go live on May 8!)