Medical School Interview Questions about Motivation

Discuss your decision to pursue medicine. When did you decide to become an MD (or DO), and why?

Question Strategy

Medical schools have already learned a lot about you from your primary and secondary applications. You’ve been invited to interview because med schools want to see if you are as strong a fit as you seemed in your application. This question is designed to assess your motivations for becoming a physician and determine if they are strong and genuine. Schools want to evaluate your desire and passion for a medical career. In person, do you still come across as a dedicated, passionate, and excited prospective student? Or do you seem to be motivated entirely by familial pressure or the desire to have a high-paying surgical career? By asking you when and why you decided upon this career path, interviewers are trying to get a more complete picture of your motivations outside of your carefully constructed personal statement. 

When answering this question, do not simply repeat the motivations cited in your personal statement; remember that your interview is going to be evaluated along with your application, so you want to provide new information. For example, if your personal statement opens with the moment you decided to pursue medicine during a medical brigades trip abroad, you might say something like “As mentioned in my personal statement, my decision to pursue medicine occurred during a medical brigades trip.” Then talk about significant factors in your decision that you did not mention in the personal statement.

Besides your motivations for medicine, interviewers want to make sure that you are sociable, polite, humble, and personable–all ideal qualities in a physician. Make sure to make eye contact, show your emotions, and smile. Focus on genuine reasons that you want to be a physician, such as patient relationships, rather than more superficial reasons such as the salary.

Example Answer

My decision to pursue medicine was essentially a “light-bulb” moment for me. Over various oncologist visits and follow-ups, I heard my mother speak of my father’s oncologist, Dr. Marshall, with such compassion and confidence. This was in contrast to the often tear-pooled eyes and uncertainty in her voice of which I noticed surrounding my father’s diagnosis with stage IV pancreatic adenocarcinoma. 

This was the interaction that captured me, even as a high-school student. It demonstrated to me the delicacy involved in the patient-physician relationship. Dr. Marshall possessed the capability to ease my parents’ anxieties despite a looming stage IV cancer diagnosis and gained an enormous amount of trust to the point where Dr. Marshall was practically part of our family. This interaction is what drove me to medicine ultimately. I looked up to Dr. Marshall in that moment as she had done something for my parents which I could have never done as a high-school student but I know I am capable of doing as a physician myself. 

What will you do if you are not accepted to medical school this year? Do you have an alternative career plan?

Question Strategy

The interviewer is likely elucidating your commitment to Medical School and your ability to “fail gracefully”.  Thus it is imperative to convey your commitment in a realistic fashion.  Think about the worst case scenario where you don’t get into any school.  How are you going to move forward in life?  If you say: “I’m going to go work on Wall Street”, it communicates you are not dedicated to the field.  If you say: “I’m going to apply again next year”, you aren’t demonstrating how you will make yourself more competitive in the next cycle.  Thus, it is important to convey your dedication to the MD/DO pathway, but includes a realistic backup thought process on how you will bolster your application next year.  Remember, being an MD/DO is your end state.  DO NOT SAY YOU WILL GIVE UP ON BEING AN MD/DO.  If you quit your dream after one (or two) failed applications, the interviewer will conclude you aren’t dedicated to the field.  

Example Answer

That would be a significant detour, but it wouldn’t modify my goals and motivations.  Ultimately, I want to work in the healthcare community, and practicing medicine as a physician is the way I’ve identified as providing the most meaningful contribution to the field.  I understand a rejection simply means my school application has areas that need improving.  If that did happen, I would compile all of the feedback from the schools that rejected me and identify the weak points in my application.  I’d endeavor to build a strategy to bolster those deficiencies.  I guess the simplest example would be if schools told me my MCAT score was too low, I’d build a schedule to study and retake the MCAT.  In the meantime between application periods, I would support myself by working at my community hospital at the admissions desk.  I know they will hire a high school graduate and that would let me contribute to the field while allowing me to learn even more about our healthcare system. 

To the second part of your question, my short answer is: Medical School.  I don’t mean to sound stubborn, but I want to contribute as a physician.  I will definitely look at related fields within medicine to support and strengthen my application between application periods, but ultimately my alternative career plan is to work in a healthcare capacity until I am accepted. 

Wrapping things up, I would just take the rejection as more of a “it’s not the right time” rather than “never” and figure out how to make the next time the right time.

Why did you decide to choose medicine and not some other field where you can help others, such as nursing, physical therapy, pharmacology, psychology, education, or social work?

Question Strategy

Being a physician (MD/DO) is ubiquitous with healthcare.  People say “I’m heading to the Doctor’s office” all the time.  Brand name awareness for “Doctor” is always going to be high in the general population.  Other fields such as pharmacology or social work are less commonplace in pop-culture and dialog.  Thus this question is designed to test your knowledge of various competing/contributing fields and see if your decision to be an MD/DO was properly informed.  Secondarily, it is verifying that you understand a physician relies on other disciplines to be successful.

While it is not necessary to know the details of every profession in the prompt, it is important to know what they generally do and how they interact.  This is important because prospective medical students don’t always have all of the information and might confuse roles and responsibilities of the professions. 

If you feel fairly confident with the roles in the prompt, feel free to jump to the example answer.  If not, continue reading below.

For instance consider the following: “I want to be a doctor so I can take care of patients, place IV lines, be there when they are in pain and change their medications when they need it”.  The cited reasons actually are more supportive of a nursing type role rather than a physician’s role.  An interviewer might conclude that the applicant doesn’t understand the scope of what a physician does.

In broad generalities, think of a physician as a movie director.  A director is experienced in all of the different fields and has to communicate between actors, cameramen, sound-crews and set design.  The director coordinates all of these fields to create a movie (treat a patient).  The director’s job is to collect all the input possible in order to make an informed decision to make the movie happen.  They can certainly use a camera, record audio, act or build sets, but it is an egregious waste of talent and resources for the director to do so all the time.  For that perfect shot, the director might take over the camera (place a difficult IV line with ultrasound).  For that perfect sound, they might sit in the recording studio editing audio files (placing a Foley catheter in a urethra with a congenital malformation).  However most of the time, the director allows experts in that field to conduct the day to day operations.  

A good physician knows what their team members strengths are and knows how to “direct” them to achieve the goal of treating a patient, intervening personally only when the situation warrants or when it is actually part of their responsibilities (Surgeon).  

Here is a quick rundown of the prompt’s fields:

Nursing:  They are the front line with the most patient interaction.  They intake patients, gather vital signs, administer medications, feed, monitor, collect lab samples and much much more.  If it is hands on, likely a nurse is highly involved.

Physical Therapy:  Hands on healthcare workers who follow you after a procedure, injury or illness to bring you back to normal or as close to normal as possible.  They support a physician’s treatment plan.

Pharmacology:  Drugs!  These geniuses are experts in pharmacology.  They know dosing, side effects and alternatives.  They are not well versed in diagnosing disorders and rely on physicians for that aspect.  However physicians regularly consult Pharmacists with treatment plans to ensure patients have the best outcome.

Psychology: Do not confuse Psychology with Psychiatry!  It happens to the best of us!  Psychiatrists are medical doctors while Psychologists are not.  Psychiatrists can prescribe medications while Psychologists cannot (generally speaking).  Psychiatrists diagnose illnesses, develop interdisciplinary treatment plans and build therapies that span both psychotherapy, surgical and pharmacological domains.  Psychologists exercise psychotherapy primarily as their specialty/treatment modality.  

Education:  Self explanatory.

Social Worker:  Helps disadvantaged patients find housing, government assistance and ensures that at risk children are properly cared for.

If you know nothing about a certain field, readily admit that, treat it like a learning opportunity.  Ask the interviewer for more information if applicable.  Using the explanation from the interviewer, critically assess how that unknown field does not meet your MD/DO goals.  Ideally you will be familiar with all of the fields in the prompt, but if not, the preceding strategy will demonstrate humility, honesty and critical thinking.  Trying to “fake” what you know might work, but carries significant risks if called out.

Example Answer

As you alluded, I chose medicine ultimately to help people.  I chose to be an MD/DO after carefully examining my skills and weaknesses against the various career fields within the medical community.  My proven leadership experience, love of medicine and ability to see the bigger picture from disparate images lead me to wanting to be an MD/DO.  I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about being a social worker, but the other fields I’ve researched and have a fair understanding of their roles and responsibilities in medicine.  How do Social Workers contribute to the healthcare system?

INTERVIEWER:  Social Workers are integral to our healthcare system.  They connect low income/disadvantaged patients with social programs that help take care of at risk children, financial support and public healthcare system navigation.  They are one of your first calls you make when the home environment compromises patient safety.

Thank you for the explanation.  I see how they fit into the healthcare picture now.  However I don’t find that to be a fit for me as I am more intrigued by the actual practice of medicine.  I certainly value their role, but I don’t think being a Social Worker would let me work with patients in the capacity I seek. 

While I value patient interaction, I endeavor to be a leader who orchestrates and builds a plan to best treat a sick patient.  Shadowing a nurse anesthetist, I thought placing IVs and intubating patients looked really cool!  I readily admit the technical aspect of medicine intrigues me greatly.  But what really amazed me was seeing how the Surgeon coordinated the procedure and saw the larger picture.  Everything was proactive and done for a reason, even if it made no sense to me at the time.  When something went wrong, it was anticipated and quickly corrected.  It is hard to put to words how amazing that was.  I want to have that level of understanding, leadership and teamwork within the medical field and direct patient management like I saw in that OR.

Interview Questions about Medical School

What makes this school particularly desirable to you?

Question Strategy

I like to think of this question rephrased as: “What do you know about our school?”.  That should be the baseline framework you use to build your answer.  The interviewer is trying to see if you understand the mission and ethos of the school while assessing if you think you can fit into the institution.  

So, before even getting to this point (i.e. before the interview), be sure you understand the mission and goals of the school and program.  This is generally a fairly quick bit of research.  However if you can find a small factoid about the school that stands out, even better.  For instance, “I really like the new simulator facility you opened this year”.  

Then personalize the answer to you.  Explain why those features are attractive to you and if possible how you can contribute.  

Sometimes, the interviewer will follow this up with “Why would you not want to go here?” style of question.  This is obviously a check to make sure you aren’t pandering (as aforementioned) and have critically thought about attending this school.  If this school is not your number one choice and you don’t have a reason not to go, the interviewer will notice the discontinuity.  Make sure you have one minor “negative” which you can mention if asked, but quickly minimize its importance with your decision making.  Try to find a negative that is universal.  A good example is increased distance from family or urban to rural transition.  This will be the case at nearly every school you apply to.  

Example Answer  

From a macro perspective, the overall mission of XYZ Medical School resonates with me on a core level.  As you know from my application, my calling to the medical field arose from watching physicians changing lives in rural and disadvantaged settings.  It really inspired me seeing how the right knowledge and techniques could radically improve the lives of patients in austere settings.  Naturally, XYZ’s mission to train rural family care physicians nested quite well with my general career goal.  I try to look holistically at a school and XYZ has a near 100% match rate, the student reviews are top notch, the cost of living in XYZ city is low and XYZ city has a ton of amenities.  Something that set XYZ apart from other rural programs was the annual Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic where students, residents and attendings all gather together and provide several days worth of free healthcare to the community at the fairgrounds.  If we have some time later, I would love to learn more about that!  

INTERVIEWER:  Absolutely!  I think you’ll meet someone today who participated in the RAM clinic.  Be sure to ask them.  You have nothing but glowing remarks about XYZ Medical School, but what is something that might make you decide it isn’t right for you?

If I had to build a Pro and Con list, the only Con would be adapting to rural life.  I grew up in a city setting and attended a city college.  XYZ Medical School would be somewhat of a change.  Also, it would be the first time I’d be more than an hour away from family.  But honestly that’s me grasping at straws to find a Con.  It will be a lifestyle change for me, but I’m ready for this new adventure and openly embrace it!  

What special qualities do you feel you possess that set you apart from other medical school candidates? What makes you unique or different as a medical school candidate?

Question Strategy

Since admissions committees sift through thousands of applications, it can be hard to get a sense of unique traits of each applicant. This question allows you to differentiate yourself from other candidates that schools are considering. What makes you different from the next pre-med student?

  • Are you an artist?
  • An activist?
  • An entrepreneur?
  • A volunteer at an animal shelter?
  • A caregiver for sick family members?
  • An athlete?

Medical schools want to hear how your hobbies, background, and life circumstances give you a unique perspective on life and the pursuit of medicine. No matter what your special qualities are, it is best to tie them back to qualities that a physician should have. For example, if you volunteer at an animal shelter you have learned great patience, comfort around bodily fluids and strong odors, good customer service, and skills for dealing with obstinate animal “patients.” Since you have mentioned many relevant clinical/medical/research experiences in your application, it is best to discuss some of your qualities that are not as directly related to medicine (such as hobbies, sports, etc.) and then tie those back to skills that are useful to medicine. 

Not only can you differentiate yourself through your answer, but you can also differentiate yourself through your behavior. A positive, friendly attitude, the ability to build rapport with your interviewer, a lack of nervousness–all of these are traits that will make you stand out from the crowd of interviewees. In fact, the interviewer will be noting your unspoken qualities, such as social skills, as well as the qualities that you discuss with them.


I would really recommend trying to have a few values or qualities that you hold dear in your back pocket if put on the spot like this. You’ll be able to relate these to some personal experiences and not be caught off guard in the moment!

Example Answer

Three qualities which I cherish and believe every medical school candidate should try and exemplify are kindness, passion, and perseverance. As a child, my parents taught me the difference between being “nice” and being “kind”, and I have seen the difference between the two in my time working as an EMT. As student doctors, we will be presented with the privilege and opportunity to shape the future of medicine in this country, and I will do my part by exemplifying genuine kindness in my conversations with all patients. My passion for life stems from my grandfather, who always emphasized the simple joys of living well and being with loved ones. I am passionate about helping patients continue to live healthy lives through the application of modern medicine alongside strong advocacy for exercise and proper nutrition. Finally, perseverance has always been a key to my success in both athletics and academics. Both require sustained, hard work over long periods of time, something that will be necessary in the coming years. Although I am among a very large pool of competent applicants, I believe that these three qualities form the groundwork for my own character and will ultimately contribute to my success as a student doctor.

Medical School Interview Questions about Diversity

If you are not a minority, how might you best meet the needs of a multiethnic, multicultural patient population?

Question Strategy

As health equity, cultural competency, antiracism, and inclusion are becoming more valued in healthcare, medical schools want to know that prospective students have an understanding of these concepts. Admissions committees want to know that you can empathize with people who are different from you, as this is a key trait for any physician. Schools also want to assess your ability to empathize with people facing stigma, discrimination, prejudice, and other forms of bias, since this is common in healthcare. Interviewers are looking for not just an anecdote about interacting with people who are different from you– that is an experience that most Americans share–but also an understanding of why cultural competency is especially important in medicine of all fields. For example, mentioning your knowledge of medical discrimination (past or present) or any personal experiences with anti-bias training, will show the interviewer that you realize the tremendous impact that discrimination and inequity can have on patients. Finally, demonstrate through anecdotes your ability to empathize with people of different ethnicities or cultures than your own. This shows the interviewer how you would approach a situation with a patient of another culture or ethnicity.


Diversity questions have always come more difficult to me. I would suggest thinking back to situations that have challenged your belief systems, and/or forced you to acknowledge that there are valid perspectives out there other than your own! Perspectives and values vary amongst cultures and ethnicities, and this is something you will have to embrace and cherish as you enter medicine. Try your best to think of an experience like this that you have had, and relate to your future practice as a physician!

Example Answer

While working as an undergraduate anatomy research intern, I had the pleasure of working with groups of students with entirely distinct backgrounds. Originating from many different cities, states, and countries, each student had their own unique way of communicating. I soon realized that the students did not all learn in the same fashion and that I would need to adapt my teaching style to meet their unique, academic needs. Before this experience, I only had to worry about what learning style was best for me, but I now had to take others’ preferred methods and individuality into consideration. Taking some time to get to personally know each student, I discovered that small group sessions would be an effective teaching method and implemented this into our anatomy lab with success.

College was one of the first places where I was introduced to many people from all walks of life, and I graduated with a better appreciation for our country’s diverse population. Now, as I prepare to enter the world of medicine, I know that patients will represent a diverse range of religious beliefs, cultures, and life experiences. Each patient will have their own individual culture, outlook on life, and goal for their care. I believe that by leveraging my past experiences with a diverse population, I will be able to connect with and serve the individual needs of my patients while being conscientious of their own unique perspectives.

Medical School Interview Questions about Ethics

Assume there are limited resources available and you must make decisions in a major emergency with a wide assortment of patients from all ages, backgrounds, and degree of injury. Assume also that there is no “right answer” to this question, only considered and unconsidered responses. Who would you direct to receive the treatment first and why.

Question Strategy

Having to make difficult decisions (triage) in a high-stakes, high-stress environment is an important skill for a physician. With this question, the school is trying to assess your decision-making skills. As mentioned, there is no right answer so instead they are interested in assessing your logical reasoning, process, and critical thinking. It is important to show the interviewer these points as you answer the question. One helpful strategy is to talk through your decision out loud, discussing different factors to consider, before you state your final triage plan. This will allow the interviewer to get a sense of how you reason through difficult ethical scenarios.


This is an example of the interviewer assessing your ability to do some triage! This question hits on a few different fields including medical ethics, mortality, and utilitarianism. The reason there is technically no “one right answer” is that these situations are often up to interpretation and are heavily affected by one’s experiences and personal belief systems. I would recommend acknowledging the difficulty of approaching this situation objectively while stressing the fact that you will do whatever you can to deliver the most help/care possible. If you have any experience in a situation like this, definitely draw back on it! If you don’t, that is fine too! Just explain your rationale behind how you would triage and handle this difficult situation in the best way possible.

Example Answer

In my experience as an EMT, I’ve had the privilege of being involved in some Mass Casualty training exercises. In these situations, the number of casualties and involved patients typically is overwhelming, and decisions must be made about whom to focus life-saving efforts, resources, and personnel. Typically, I have seen EMS implement a triage color system in which patients are assigned and tagged as either green, yellow, red, or black. Although the decisions I would have to make would be difficult, I would attempt to follow this system. 

Green-tagged patients are ok, and likely only have minor injuries if any. Yellow-tagged have mild to moderate injuries, red-tagged patients have serious, life-threatening injuries, and black-tagged patients have injuries too grave to concentrate supplies and resources on. I would first concentrate my efforts on identifying and assigning patients to each of these categories. This is often the most difficult decision, and may require taking a holistic approach to deciding who can benefit the most from care. This count includes factors such as age, extent of injuries, and equipment and personnel available. 

As patients are assigned to their various color tags, the treatment can be administered accordingly. Green-tagged patients can essentially be ignored in the initial response efforts. Yellow-tagged patients would be tended to appropriately by the most capable first responders, and red-tagged patients would require the most immediate attention and the most resources. My focus would mostly lie on the management of these red-tagged patients, as they face the biggest risk of losing their life. 

Although major emergencies and disasters are often chaotic, we can bring some sense of order by implementing this organized triage system, directing our efforts towards actions that save the most lives.

What different feelings and issues might you experience with a terminally ill patient, as opposed to other patients?

Question Strategy

With this question, the school is assessing your ability to address an emotionally difficult medical situation with empathy and compassion. The interviewer is looking for signs that you understand the additional challenges present for a terminally ill patient. Additionally, the interviewer wants to hear that you would take an active role in the patient’s care outside of just any symptoms from their terminal illness– that you would treat them holistically.


Show the interviewers that you understand terminally ill patients can have a variety of reactions to their prognosis. Explain how their plan/treatment is a joint effort between the physician and the patient to ensure the patient has their voice heard and is comfortable. This is also a good question to mention treating the WHOLE patient, not just the symptoms – I believe this should be a no brainer for any type of physician, but DO schools really pride themselves in this teaching. Always remember that your job is to be there for the patient. 

Example Answer

Some topics, such as DNR and healthcare proxy, overlap between terminally ill and non-terminally ill patients. These are both important topics that should always be discussed with any patient. However, with terminally ill patients, physicians must appropriately listen to the patient’s concerns and feelings about their prognosis, understand the patient’s point of view, and be able to formulate a plan that keeps the patient’s mind, body, and soul as comfortable as possible. I think it’s extremely important to remember to treat patients as a whole, rather than just treating symptoms, especially with terminally ill patients. I would make sure to take time out of my visits to ask the patient about their feelings and any concerns they might have. I would recommend counseling or therapy groups to help them have some peace of mind and to know that they are not alone. I would also make sure they have proper medications to reduce pain, if any. Lastly, I would help get their family and loved ones on board with our plan and help them understand what to expect. My goal would be to validate their experiences and reassure them that I am going to be there to help make them as comfortable as possible. 

How would you feel about treating a patient who has tested positive for HIV?

Question Strategy

With this interview question, the school is trying to assess your ability to provide medical care to a patient population that faces prejudice, both historically and currently. There are many harmful misconceptions about and discrimination against HIV positive people. Thus, the interviewer is trying to determine if you would provide medical care free of stigma and bias, which is a core requirement for any physician.


This question will help the interviewers understand if your morals and core values align with those of their medical school and the medical community. As a physician, “judgement” is never part of your job. Your answers to these types of questions should show how you want to go into this career to truly help people.

Example Answer

I would feel the same compassion and motivation to treat this patient, as I would with any other patient. The type of illness a patient has will never change how I feel about treating the patient. My job as a future physician is to bring health to my patients and NOT to bring judgement or personal beliefs into their treatment. The only difference in my treatment plan of this patient, and any other patient with a chronic and progressive disease, would be to maintain frequent follow-ups with the patient to ensure we diagnose and treat any secondary illnesses so that the patient remains as comfortable as possible.


Society Related Medical School Interview Questions

Question Strategy

With this question, the interviewer is trying to determine your commitment to the values of medicine. The admissions committee wants to know that you have given thoughtful consideration to the weight of being a physician and to the social responsibility that you will carry as a result of this degree. 


You want to show the interviewer that as a future physician, your code of ethics will extend beyond the clinical setting. For example, you could discuss ways that physicians can bring their skills to members of their community, provide assistance in medical emergencies outside the clinical setting, and more.

Example Answer

My social responsibilities as a physician include being an upstanding and respectable citizen inside and outside of the office. Patient’s entrust you with their health and well-being, therefore as a physician you should strive to be trustworthy, understanding, and accepting. I also think that physicians should take on the responsibility of increasing health literacy in their community. Physicians have so many resources available to them and the best way to share these with the community is to present them in simple, non-jargon ways that facilitate better understanding. For example, if I happened to meet someone who is lax about taking their Metformin I would take the time to give a simple explanation about how their Metformin helps their diabetes. I believe that, as physicians, it’s our responsibility to ensure everyone has the knowledge they need to keep themselves healthy.

What do you consider an important/the most important social problem facing the United States today and why?

Question Strategy

My personal advice is to avoid polarizing subjects within an interview.  Others may advise differently.  Remember your interviewers are not cut from the same cloth.  One may be a local business owner (I actually had this happen) or a pure academic.  Choosing a divisive polarizing topic is a 50:50 prospect of being on the same side as your interviewer.  From my perspective, I’d rather not risk those odds.  Therefore, I counsel diplomacy.

If you are given this question, it might behoove you to have a cache of little known social problems that fall outside of mainstream debate and dialog.  You might even be able to parlay a difficult question into reinforcing your accomplishments if performed properly.  Here are some potential (and very bland) “social issues” that try to avoid a polarizing subject and permit a little bit of showboating:

  • “I think we need more education and awareness nationwide about antibiotic resistance”
  • “I think we need to emphasize health literacy across all age groups”
  • “I think we need to teach our citizens about the dangers of chronic soda use”
  • “I think we need more compassion for one another”
  • “I think we need more role models for children”
  • “I think we need to volunteer more to help those in need”

You might have noticed some of those prompts are technically social issues, but bring the subject back to medicine and try to establish a position that is not controversial.  If you feel you have a good assessment of the interviewer and wish to use a more polarizing topic, feel free to do so.  I will always counsel caution with subjects such as these.  I purposefully omitted COVID prompts because that will be what everyone does…we have to make you stand out!

Example Answer  

While COVID is the clear obvious answer, I’m looking at something even more important.  I might be a worry wart and an over-thinker, but I think the biggest social issue for the United States is actually lurking in the background.  I know it sounds odd, but I think antibiotic resistance will be a massive social problem in the future that needs addressing today.  There certainly are a plethora of social issues at play currently in the country, but I think it pales in comparison to a world where stubbing your toe can kill you.  I don’t know how we can adapt to such a scenario without massive adjustments to our social lives.  Surgeries, manual labor, social settings, everything will be different.  

I think, of course, the solution is twofold.  First, invent new antibiotics or treatments and second, make sure everyone is a good steward of antibiotics.  If children can learn that smoking is bad in Kindergarten, they can learn antibiotics are treasure and need to be protected.  As a Pre-Med student, I helped teach a fifth grade class about antibiotic resistance.  And I think the adult population needs to internalize the danger as well.  Most importantly, providers need to potentially assume greater risk by treating only patients who truly need antibiotics.  In the end, we can only buy time until a new medical breakthrough occurs.  But as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

How do you think national health insurance affects physicians, patients, and society?

Question Strategy

Ok, stop for a second and make sure you clarify the question.  You need to know what question you are answering.  The interviewer might be asking about national healthcare (Public Option, Expanded Medicare, Single Payer, Socialized Medicine) or health insurance that transcends state borders OR the current state of health insurance in the nation. These are three very different subjects.

Before delving into the differences, know this can be a touchy subject for some people (including interviewers).  Some of your interviewers will have strong opinions one way or another with some of these subjects.  While you should answer honestly, as always I recommend diplomacy and avoiding controversy if possible

National Healthcare (Public Option, Expanded Medicare, Single Payer, Socialized Medicine) refers to a healthcare system where the government, via tax payers, pays for healthcare.  I implore you to research the Pro’s and Con’s of this system and be able to fluently discuss both sides. 

Health insurance that transcends state borders is just that.  In the present system, health insurance premiums and coverage is based largely upon the state.  This has to do with subsidies each state contributes and numerous other factors.  That means that insurance for someone in Virginia could be hundreds of dollars cheaper than for someone in Tennessee, despite only living a few hundred feet apart at the border of each state.  This concept would look at more of a national rate for health insurance versus the present state by state model.  This is fairly rarely discussed or advocated for, so it likely isn’t the topic the interviewer is looking for.

If the interviewer is looking for the current state of health insurance in the nation, they are looking for the gestalt of the system.  It would benefit you to understand the differences between premiums, co-pays, deductibles, out of network, max out of pocket expenses and potentially ballpark health insurance costs for context.  The general purpose of this query is to see if you understand that health insurance is complex, very expensive and can sometimes limit access.

I’ll focus on the current state of health insurance in the US and how it applies to patients, physicians and society.  

It is important to know there are public healthcare options currently in place and implemented for various strata of society.  These systems are Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and the VA.  Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide free or low-cost health coverage to millions of Americans, including some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities.  Some states have expanded their Medicaid programs to cover all people below certain income levels.  Additionally, Emergency Departments (ED or commonly called the ER) are obligated to treat a patient regardless of their ability to pay.  

An entire book can be written about this subject, but the basic dynamic with the current public healthcare system is as follows:

Physicians are permitted to “opt in” or “opt out” of Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP patients.  If they “opt in”, the government supplies them with a census of patients or they receive referrals from other “opted in” physicians.  The public health insurance system pays facilities and providers approximately 50% of prevailing rates.  As well as the complexity of filing for reimbursement requires robust office staff to manage billing.  Thus, increased costs for lower compensation can drive facilities and physicians to see only private insurance patients. 

Additionally, should Medicare/Medicaid deem a procedure unnecessary, they will refuse payment (this behavior is shared sometimes by some private health insurance policies).  Thus, for patients, this might mean they can’t see their family doctor once they are in the public healthcare system. 

Example Answer

I’m sorry, can you clarify the question?  Are you speaking of a public option?  Or are you asking about the current state of affairs with respect to health insurance in the country?

INTERVIEWER:  Oh, I was asking about the current state of our healthcare system and how it affects our physicians, patients and society.

Thank you for clarifying.  This is certainly a complex subject.  I’ll be frank, I have a working knowledge of the system, but not nearly enough to even begin to propose fixes or identify specific areas to change.  I think that will actually take working in clinics and hospitals to better understand the friction points.  

That said, I think there is a balance of several forces in play.  First is quality of care, second is quantity of care and third is cost of care.  These are all interdependent as they follow basic supply and demand curves.

In order for a physician to pay for facilities and payroll they must modify either the number of patients they’ve seen or how much the procedure costs all while maintaining the same quality of care. 

Patients, of course, seek high quality care at a low cost.  However the low cost might mean their physician needs to see more patients, which risks quality.  No patient wants to spend just 1 minute with their physician.

Societally, we want high quality care, at a low cost for everyone, ideally.

I think the combination of state sponsored healthcare and private insurance help address some of those issues, but I don’t think we are even close to the right solution.  I don’t know what direction we need to move in as a society, but I know those three forces will have to be balanced in one way shape or form.

Medicine-Related Interview Questions

If you had to choose between clinical and academic medicine as a profession, which would you pick? What do you feel you might lose by being forced to choose?

Question Strategy

This question requires significant research on the behalf of the applicant.  Each medical school has a mission, so to speak along with an assessment/rating in U.S. News and World Report with respect to various fields.  For instance, my school is in the top 5 rated schools for Rural Healthcare and Family Medicine.  This information allows an informed decision as to whether the school is clinical or research oriented.  You should absolutely be honest in your interview, but framing your answer in a fashion that supports the mission and strengths of the school will make your answer more relevant to the interviewer. 

Furthermore, it might be useful to bring your “motivation/inspiration to be an MD/DO” as supporting evidence within this answer.  That not only adds a personal element, but it reinforces your story to the interviewer. 

The second part of the prompt is gauging your flexibility and critical understanding of the two concentrations.  Saying unequivocally “I won’t lose anything” communicates a lack of understanding of the nuances of both fields.  Admitting to a ‘loss’ by being forced to choose demonstrates you are educated on the benefits of both fields and that some sacrifice is made by committing to one over another. 

Ultimately you want to demonstrate your goals and interests support the mission of the school.

Example Answer

“Just to clarify, do you mean academic medicine as in doing research or working in a teaching hospital?  Oh, research, alright.  Thank you for clarifying.  As we talked about before, I applied to ____ due to your mission to train clinicians for rural medicine in keeping with my calling to serve.  So, I must admit I would choose clinical medicine if given that ultimatum.  However, I would be somewhat distressed if the ability to conduct research was completely unavailable. 

Ultimately I see medical research as supporting the clinical/hospital vanguard where providers meet the patients.  As a clinician, I believe I would bring a common sense check and realistic perspective to research projects at the very least, not to mention access to patients.  I want the research to provide new tools, techniques and procedures that I can use, and being forced to forego participation would have long term negative consequences for the field. 

In summary, I would choose clinical medicine, but I would hope the environment allowed for a healthy exchange between academic and clinical medicine.  Did this answer your question?”

Question Strategy

I was asked this question during my interview and for my school, it was somewhat of a trick question (as later explained by my interviewer).  There are two main considerations one should have when approaching this question.  

  1. What is the mission of the school?  This has been expounded upon in other questions, but it merits a revisit here.  Each school has a mission and specialization within the medical community.  My school specializes in Rural Medicine and Family Practice Physicians.  Therefore an answer should acknowledge that school specialization in one form or another.  Be honest, but don’t be close-minded to what the school values as an end product.  The primary goal of this question is to make sure you are open to continuing the school’s mission.
  2. Approximately 80% of students enter Medical School with one specialty in mind and then end up selecting a completely different specialty (data collected from my school).  The secondary purpose is to test an important character trait you need as a Medical Student: understanding when you lack enough information to make an informed decision.

With extremely few exceptions entering Medical Students do not understand the dynamics of the healthcare system, the workloads, the social environment and the stress levels of the different specialties.  The interviewers know this and are probing to see if you know your experiential knowledge limitations.  

There are no “wrong” answers, but certainly answers that are better than others.  Those answers should incorporate the school mission, your preference and then acknowledgment of your lack of knowledge to make an informed decision.

Example Answer  

“To be straightforward with you, I don’t know.  My dad is an Anesthesiologist and I shadowed him extensively through High School and I really enjoyed it.  But every time I thought I understood how things actually worked, something would just shake up that entire dynamic. 

I really think I lack the knowledge and experience to make an informed decision right now.  As you know, I’m very intrigued by _____’s record of producing Family Medicine physicians and that dedication to Rural Medicine is a significant component of why I’m interested in attending ________. 

I would love to say right now: Anesthesiologist or Family Practice, but I honestly don’t know.  Shadowing my father really demonstrated how little I know about the profession and I just can’t make a decision without some more details.  What I can say is: I’m entering with an open mind and want to see what each specialty has to offer.”

Medical School Interview Questions about Your Character and Personality

As a pre-med , what skills have you learned to help manage your time and relieve stress?

Question Strategy

In these personality questions, it is important to convey the fact that you are a human and not a study robot.  Schools want to make sure that you won’t burn out and won’t treat patients poorly if you are incredibly stressed. 

Schools want to see if you can manage a schedule, prioritize things and can “goal seek”.  Medical school is all about making the most of all of your free time and building functional study schedules and adhering to them.

Stories are one of the best ways to communicate.  Thus demonstrating your time management skills and stress relief strategies via an anecdote is an excellent way to illustrate them.  This is also a way to demonstrate how you overcame a difficulty and succeeded.

It is perfectly acceptable to be humorous during the interview process, though be sure to read your interviewer carefully.  Self-deprecating humor is generally safe, but be tasteful.  This guidance will vary from student to student, but light humor has served me well.

Be cautious about trying to “humble-brag” in this prompt.  For instance, if your answer is something like: “To deal with stress, I started a community outreach program and volunteer at the hospital every night for three hours while studying MCAT flashcards”, you have not answered the question at all.  In fact, you have made the interviewer question your membership of the species. 

Also be cautious of communicating coping mechanisms that might be considered unhealthy/illegal: “To deal with stress, I party with my friends every Friday and get trashed”.

Example Answer

“Stress as a pre-med?  Never!  I think the MCAT was the most relaxing thing I’ve ever experienced!  Just kidding.  That was a beast of a test.  I think that was actually a great example of how I dealt with time and stress management. 

Senior year, my family was moving into a new apartment and I was trying to juggle studying for the MCAT with my school work all at the same time.  I took two practice tests and my scores actually started dropping and I was getting pretty grumpy with my parents. 

I wish I could say I magically flipped a switch and fixed everything, but it was actually my Biology teacher who noticed I wasn’t on my A-game and helped me fix things.  He invited me to join him after school for a run and quizzed me on the Krebs cycle.  I laugh at it now in retrospect…sounds like some form of torture!  But ultimately I learned that physical activity was critical to keeping my sanity.  I slept so much better after implementing an evening run schedule.  I also realized that I could actually leverage my “wasted time” spent waiting for the bus to go through flash cards or listen to YouTube MCAT prep videos on my phone while running.  I didn’t realize how much time I wasted each day and how inefficiently I studied.

And just like every happy story, my scores improved and I felt healthier and less stressed despite actually studying more.  Most importantly my family noticed I seemed happier and less stressed.  Actually, I did lose my favorite pair of shoes in the move, so in fairness it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows!”

What do you do for fun?

Question Strategy

In this question, the school is trying to get a sense of who you are besides being a medical school applicant. You want to emphasize that you are a full human being, not a pre-med robot, so do not try to tie every hobby into medicine. Sharing your passion for your hobbies with your interviewer will make you more unique and memorable to the admissions committee. Also, it is a great opportunity to build rapport with your interviewer and reduce your nervousness.


I would really use this as your time to loosen up and show the interviewer your lighter, more personable side! I remember being asked these types of questions, and I really tried to be a little less formal here and let my passion for my hobbies show in my answer.

Example Answer

“I have a lot of hobbies that I care about, so I’ll just start with the first one I can think of off the top of my mind! I really love weightlifting as it’s been a part of my life since high school football. I continued it as I played college football and got more serious about powerlifting after my football career ended. These days, I use it more to stay strong and healthy with less emphasis on the competitive nature of it.

In my free time, I really love playing a variety of video games with my friends. I’ve been attracted to the fast-paced action and decision making that goes hand-in-hand with video games since I was a kid, and being able to share these moments with my closest friends has also been a blast. Playing with them allows us to converse and catch up while sharing memories over a common interest.

I’ll try to just include one more! Another hobby of mine is photography, at least at the amateur level. In high school, I was heavily considering film school for a while, and I spent much of my childhood making short films and skits here and there. This eventually transitioned into photography after getting my first DSLR camera. I now just use it as a creative outlet whenever I’m in an interesting place!”

What is “success” in your opinion? After 20 years as a physician, what kind of “success” would you hope to have achieved? Please explain.

Question Strategy

This is one of those tricky questions, and I’ll explain why. The interviewers are not strictly academic professors looking for a scientific achievement or altruistic answer, some are highly successful physicians in the community who might have different (slightly more materialistic) measures of success.  

An answer which exists 100% in one domain only will be seen as disingenuous: “Success for me will be 20 years of working for free overseas at a children’s clinic”.  While this is a noble pursuit, you will be rapidly asked about how this plan factors in student loan repayment, the ability to start a family and other practical concerns.  As one can imagine, answering the question strictly in the financial compensation domain might demonstrate a misallocation of goals.

Thus, one must look at universal measures of success and incorporate those into this answer.  Generally speaking, taking care of family is extremely universal and recognized as a noble pursuit.  Thus, couching an answer that incorporates altruism, material benefit and/or academic achievement with context to family provides a genuine and respectable answer.

Remember, a good interview is not unidirectional.  Your goal is to communicate who you are to the interviewer.  Some interviewers will be overly passive and not seek clarification.  Others absolutely will look for clarification.  If the interviewer looks confused/unconvinced, it is fine to follow up your answer with “Did that answer your question?” type of check.  Don’t do it often, but just when your answer appears to have caused confusion.

Example Answer

What is success?  Easy!  Matriculating in your rising freshman class of course!  All kidding aside, this is a pretty tough question to answer.  Being straight out of college I know my experience in the real world is lacking and with that I’m lacking context as well.  I would love to say success is intrinsic, but I know in reality success has an extrinsic social component.  Is it success if I develop a life saving technique that no one adopts in the medical community?  I don’t know.  Sorry, I don’t mean to wax philosophical, but this is a tough question. 

Looking at this from a wider perspective, I have to respect my dad.  He really put family first and made significant sacrifices for my sister and I.  Watching us succeed was what he worked so hard for.  I think success must incorporate family, happiness and a sense of contribution to the community. 

I would hope to have a career that allows me to provide for my future family, but also scratch that intellectual itch and also help my community be healthy and strong.  Does that make sense?

What kind of experiences have you had working with sick people? Have these experiences taught you anything that you didn’t know beforehand?

Question Strategy

With this question, the interviewer is assessing your level of comfort and familiarity with illness. Working with sick people is, of course, a core part of being a physician. The school wants to get a sense of your interactions with sick people, how you handled them, and the lessons you learned or perspective you gained from the experience. 


Try not to directly repeat information already present in your application. Focus on relating your experiences working with sick people to skills that you will need in medical school. Any examples from your volunteering or professional experience would be very relevant, though again, try to describe different moments from those experiences than you do in your application. It is also ok to utilize examples from your personal life rather than volunteer work, such as caring for a family member.    

Example Answer

During the summer between Junior and Senior year, I enrolled in an Emergency Medical Technician course at my local community college. Completing this hands-on course and working as an EMT has been one of my life’s most enriching experiences. Not only was I exposed to and involved in medicine for the first time, but I was able to directly help sick patients with often emergent medical concerns. I’ve even heard that some medical schools require their first-year medical students to complete an EMT course as part of their curriculum, and I can personally say that there are benefits to this education. 

Coming from a life with no previous medical experience to one where I was an integral part of the medical team was a bit overwhelming at first, but nonetheless, incredibly rewarding. I was able to work with EMTs, paramedics, and ER staff at many locations, and these were also my first experiences working alongside physicians. The high-stress situations I was involved in allowed me to experience medicine first-hand and begin to understand the vast knowledge and abilities required of physicians in real time. This perspective I have gained has been invaluable to me and will continue to ground me as I take the next steps as a medical student and future physician. 

Medical School Interview Questions about your Education

Why did you choose your undergraduate major?

Question Strategy

Here, the school is trying to get a sense of your interest and passion for your undergraduate major beyond just filling the pre-med requirements. Since there are so many applicants who majored in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and other pre-med topics, this is your chance to really personalize your academic experience. If you have one of these more common majors, tell the interviewer some anecdotes about your experience that make you stand out. If you had a more unique major, tell the interviewer why you are passionate about it.


Talk about the personal experiences that motivated or guided you to study your chosen major in college. Use some anecdotes from your past to illustrate your passion for your major, and if you changed your major in college, describe through personal experiences why you did so and what guided you towards your final major. You can also talk about which classes were your favorite and why, any extracurricular activities that were inspired by your classes, and how the lessons that you learned will aid you in medical school and as a future physician.

Example Answer

I began my undergraduate studies with a declared major in Political Science (Pre-Law), loosely considering the idea of a career in criminal justice. After some positive experiences with my school’s Sports Medicine team, my interests turned towards the direction of medicine, and I changed my major to Sport and Exercise Science. While I did take the traditional and necessary prerequisites for medical school, most of my core classes were focused on health, fitness, and nutrition. With years of experience in both high school and college athletics, I found the detailed information on strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and nutritional concepts fascinating. We are always told to “eat right and exercise” to prevent health concerns and disease, and these classes finally explained to me the mechanisms behind these generalities.

 Looking back on my decision to pursue Sport and Exercise Science, I feel as though this “non-traditional” major has best prepared me to enter medical school with a mindset geared towards preventative medicine. I am truly passionate about taking the exercise physiology and nutritional knowledge I have learned and translating it into palatable, applicable tenants to share with my patients. 

what applicants are saying about our interview prep...

Join over 1,500+ of our accepted med school applicants by using Motivate MD's interview prep.

Meet The Interviewers

Michaela B., MD, MBA

Currently an Emergency Medicine Resident in New Orleans. 

Ehab A., MD

Hello all! My name is Ehab Abaza. I am an Internal Medicine resident at NYU and formerly attended Georgetown University School of Medicine. As a first generation college graduate and medical student, it was always difficult to find solid career advice, essay help, and interview prep. As a result, I often had to seek out mentors on my own, which can sometimes be overwhelming! Throughout my educational career, I have come to learn the value of great mentorship and hope to share the wisdom I’ve gained with those pursuing the wonderful field of medicine. As a first year medical student, I served as the Academic Director of High School Medical Programs at Georgetown University with the goal of inspiring high school students to enter the field of medicine. Throughout my medical school career, I served as a mentor to underclassman and held workshops in study methods, clinical clerkship skills, essay writing, and interview skills. I am a mentor and advisor to several pre-medical students through programs such as One Step Ahead Mentoring and Prescribe it Forward. I have served as a mock interviewer for Pre-medical students at Georgetown University and Fordham University. Lastly, I served as an interviewer for the Georgetown University School of Medicine Office of Admissions, interviewing applicants for medical school. My goal is to always better understand the applicant so that together, we can create a neatly packaged application that will get you into medical school!


Hi! My name is Akosua and I am currently a third-year medical student at The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. I received my Bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in 2016 and graduated summa cum laude. Mentorship has been and continues to be an important part of my life. In college, I was part of an organization called Empowering, Encouraging, Eliminating Barriers in which I was a mentor to high school girls interested in STEM careers. As a first-year medical student, I was paired with a UChicago undergraduate student through the Minority Association of Premedical Students and have been mentoring her since then. The summer after my first year, I was paired with a student who was completing a pipeline program here at Pritzker and I have been mentoring her since then. I have also acted as a mentor informally to several undergraduate students who applied during the 2020-2021 cycle, all of whom have been accepted to various medical schools. I was a non-traditional applicant. I took two years off after undergrad to engage in research at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. My projects focused on exploring the effects of a global, systemic injury in rodent models to mimic premature birth in humans. I was able to publish a few original science and review papers during this time. I am currently taking a year off to complete a Master’s in Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. I am incredibly excited to be a part of the Motivate MD team. I know firsthand how important it is to have guidance during this process and look forward to helping you with your pre-med journey!

Quinn S.

Hey! My name is Quinn and I am a third year medical student at the NYU Grossmen School of Medicine. I am currently a MiniMentor at NYU where I mentor a group of four first year students! At the University of Florida prior to medical school I was a volunteer director for Alpha Epsilon Delta, a pre-health honor society, and helped lead a group of 15-20 pre-health students in volunteer activities, as well as being available through our website to give advice for premed students in our program. I am currently in-press for a write-up about a new vascular procedure here at NYU, and am published in a paper exploring a potential treatment for myotonic dystrophy! I have also volunteered at UF’s pediatric oncology and hematology unit and currently work as part of the referrals team for the Free Clinic here at NYU.


My name is Molly and I am so excited to potentially be part of your med school story. I’m currently a third year medical student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. U of M is unique in that we have a condensed curriculum; this means that I’ve finished my pre-clinical and clinical education and am in the exploratory phase of med school. This year, I’m taking a break from formal education to focus on my research and writing interests in medical sociology. I’m a non-traditional student with a unique background. I studied sociology and peace studies at Bryn Mawr College for undergrad, and med school was not part of the plan! During college I was a mentor and mediator for other students on campus. I also tutored other students and worked part time as a freelance writer and yoga teacher.

After college, I served in the Peace Corps in Belize, living for two years with Q’eqchi Mayan communities. My focus was public and community health, and I spent those years also mentoring and supporting fellow volunteers who were struggling with adjusting to life during service. It was during my Peace Corps service that I realized how powerful and impactful a medical education could be; I decided at that time to go to medical school. (I also met my husband in Belize, but that’s a different story!) Once I returned to the States, I started my post-bacc work, as well as studying for the MCAT. I continued my work in community health in New Hampshire, working at Dartmouth-Hitchcock hospital as a program coordinator for their emerging Community Health Worker program during my pre-application and application years. Now in med school, I’m an active member of our program’s Street Medicine team and was recently humbled to be inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. I’m co-founder of the online journal Auxocardia, a place for health professional
students to share in the joys and challenges of medical education.

As a non-traditional student, I found that one challenge non-traditional students really struggle with is valuing their experiences, and understanding how competitive they can be! I am someone who had to take the MCAT twice; this was discouraging early in my journey, but I ended up being incredibly fortunate during my application cycle. I’d love to share my experience with you, as well discuss non-traditional or non-science backgrounds, non-traditional paths through medical school, working while studying for the MCAT, leveraging merit scholarships, caring for family members during medical school, marriage and parenthood during medical school or anything else that you’re worried is unusual or challenging. In all likelihood, these are traits that are going to make you an incredible asset to the program you choose. Everyone needs a cheerleader and a ‘rock,’ through this process. You can absolutely do this! I’d be honored to be part of your med school story.

Sam C.

Hi! My name is Sam, and I am currently a second year medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School, located in the Twin Cities. Prior to medical school, I studied biology and global health at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Outside of my studies, I participated in research, volunteered at a non-profit organization focused on women’s health, served as a hospice volunteer, and spent a summer interning at a rural family medicine clinic. I also stayed connected to my childhood passion of figure skating by coaching private skating lessons for both children and adults. Helping skaters overcome their fears and build confidence overtime, by maintaining a fun, encouraging learning environment, was the most rewarding part of being a coach. My experiences as a skating coach, as well as my gratitude for my own mentors, motivated me to volunteer as a mentor for pre-medical students through the American Medical Student Association during my first year of medical school. As a first year medical student, I also received mentorship from a second year medical student through my school’s peer mentorship program. My role as a mentee heightened my appreciation for the support and guidance that mentorship provides, and I now serve as a mentor for two first year medical students through this program. I absolutely love being a part of the Motivate MD team and look forward to working with you!

Sheena C.

Hi Everyone! My name is Sheena, and I am a 4th year medical student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine pursuing dermatology. I am a first generation student originally from a rural town in Illinois. I attended Saint Louis University for my undergraduate education, where I majored in Psychology and Biology. In undergrad, I spent 2.5 years performic basic science research where I published a manuscript in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, I served as a biology TA, tutor, and tutor leader for our peer mentoring program where I was able to teach and mentor hundreds of students.

As a medical student, I transitioned from basic science to clinical research, where I published a manuscript in dermatology. Currently, I am taking a year off medical school to pursue a clinical research fellowship in dermatology. When I’m not doing research or studying for exams, I spend time mentoring pre med students underrepresented in medicine, guiding them through everything from personal statements to interview day. Additionally, I am an admissions ambassador for the med school, where my primary role is interviewing incoming medical students.

The journey to medical school is difficult, often uncertain, and one that I remember very clearly. I joined MotivateMD to help ease some of the anxiety that comes along with applying to medical school. I look forward to meeting with you and helping you reach your career goals!

Haley P.

Hi all! My name is Haley and I’m a 2nd year medical student at Rush Medical College in Chicago, IL. My path to medical school has been challenging to say the least and I feel incredibly honored to be able to use my experience to advise others on their own journey to medicine. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin with my bachelor’s in Sociology and certificates in Gender & Women’s Studies and Global Health. In college, I most enjoyed being involved in my community which led me to experiences such as working with students at an adult English Second Language school, volunteering as a medical assistant in a free clinic and serving as a support advocate on a crisis helpline. After graduating, my passions for service and mentorship led me to dedicate a year of service with AmeriCorps in Louisiana where I was a 3rd grade math instructor and near-peer mentor. I know from my own experience just how crucial it is to have reliable mentorship and advising while navigating the complex process of medical school applications, and I look forward to having that opportunity to support you on your journey to medicine!


Hi everyone! My name is Adina and I am an incoming first-year medical student for Fall 2021 at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine Phoenix! Having just gone through the medical school cycle during COVID-19, I am very well versed in all things application-related. I graduated with honors as the only recipient of the Franklin Henry Award from UC Berkeley in May 2020 with a degree in Integrative Biology. During my one gap year, I worked as head medical and surgical assistant at a dermatology office in the Bay Area, leading the mentorship program for all undergraduate interns including mentoring and advising for pre-med and pre-PA students. 
Coming from a family with no members in medicine, I understand the struggles of navigating the complex pre-medical pathways successfully. At UC Berkeley, I loved serving in multiple leadership and mentor positions including President of the Integrative Biology Students, Director for the Campus-Wide Pre Health Student Council, Vice President of the American Medical Women’s Association, and really valued helping students with class scheduling, gaining research, and clinical experiences. As a previous campus representative for an MCAT test prep company, I have over 3 years of experience and extensive training with MCAT scheduling and study plans. Outside of pre-med classes at UC Berkeley, I was very passionate about my clinical research at UCSF (including one acknowledgment in Nature) and my sorority involvement! In my free time, I enjoy fitness, healthy cooking, and playing mahjong!
I am here to advise you, support you, and be your #1 cheerleader. I will bring my unparalleled positive energy, extensive experience with extracurriculars/clinical hours, meticulous goal-setting, and friendship to our sessions! I want to help you tell your story and make sure you are as prepared as possible for a successful application cycle, including helping cultivate resilience with any challenges that are presented. I look forward to working with you! 


Hi! My name is Sereena J. and I’m currently a first-year medical student at the TCU & UNTHSC* School of Medicine in Fort Worth Texas. I earned my B.S. in Neuroscience & Behavioral Biology from Emory University in 2019. To stay motivated on my path to medicine, I TA’d for Biology and Human Physiology and I joined my school’s on-campus Emergency Medical Services program, which allowed me to become certified as an Advanced-EMT and volunteer within the Atlanta area for three years. I studied abroad twice in college (France and Denmark) and took a gap year afterwards to give myself a mental break, build some savings and life experiences, and spend time with my family before I sold myself to medicine for good!

Since high school, I’ve been active as a mentor in multiple settings. Related to medicine, however, I began mentoring pre-meds during my junior year of college and formally took on mentorship roles around the summer of 2020. I’ve provided guidance related to scheduling and balancing different science courses, obtaining research and shadowing opportunities, study strategies for the MCAT, and have even helped students solidify their AMCAS school list and applications. I currently serve as an ambassador for my school’s admissions committee, so I also have a bit of experience calming nerves before a medical school interview. I didn’t have too many mentors I could look to when I went through the process–I know how cold the water is and would love to help students wade their way through.

I spent a year in undergrad researching Huntington’s Disease and a semester researching neurologic disorders and presenting a case on Multiple Sclerosis. In medical school, I’m actively pursuing a project centered around infertility and I maintain a research-advocacy hybrid relationship with a virtual lab in Boston focused on improving maternal and child well-being.

If you take anything away from an interaction with me, I hope it will be that if you’d like to pursue a career in medicine, nothing will stand in your way, no matter any flaws you may be hyperaware of in your application. I look forward to aiding you on your journey through medicine!

*Texas Christian University and University of Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine

Anuj P., DO

Hey Everyone! My name is Anuj, and I am an Anesthesiology resident at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. I formerly attended the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. Prior to beginning medical school, I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Connecticut in Physiology and Neurobiology, and followed that with a Master in Physiology at Georgetown University. 

Throughout my collegiate education I have followed one rule – pursue your passion and find yourself in every activity; I truly believe these are the activities that hold the most meaning. Growing up right outside of Boston, Massachusetts, arguably the city of champions, I have always gravitated towards sports – I enjoy not only watching, but also playing sports including football and baseball. I devote a lot of my free time biking, hiking, and spending time in the general outdoors. Having this being my hobby, I naturally combined it with my undergraduate and graduate degrees, but also my passion in medicine, and further participating in many extracurricular, research, and leadership activities. I devoted much time into Special Olympics of Connecticut and Maine enjoying spreading the joy of sports, but also working with this unique population advocating for awareness in medical discrepancies through clinical research. As for research, I lived out my dream and participated in several research projects at the National Football League (NFL) – even getting to go the NFL Headquarters in NYC for the Award Gala! Further, I continued to explore my interests and have published several research articles and projects pertaining to medical innovation, public health issues, and recently, the Novel COVID-19 Virus. I have conducted research at Boston Children’s Hospital, but also through recognized fellowships grants as a medical student, and with national, and international research teams.

I found mentoring as a great passion of mine – as a first-generation medical professional, I found early on that mentorship is key. This includes a person to serve as a mentor, but also help with editing and general advice! I have been fortunate to have great mentors, and I look forward to passing that on to the students I have the pleasure working with. I throughout medical school served as a tutor and teaching assistant in several courses. I am thrilled to be part of the amazing team at Motivate MD, and am excited to be a resource for you as we work towards journey and goal.


Emma F.

My name is Emma and I am currently a fourth year medical student at Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) in New Mexico. While I was born in AZ, I grew up in Albuquerque, NM and graduated summa cum laude from The University of New Mexico (UNM) with a BS in Medical Laboratory Sciences. After graduating college, I relocated to Baltimore, MD where I worked as Clinical Laboratory Scientist for two years prior to beginning medical school. I enjoy writing and am humbled to have had two articles published in 2020 as well as currently contribute to the Motivate MD blog. At BCOM, I have created the Burrell-Aggie Mentorship Program which is a program created specifically for NMSU Pipeline and pre-medical students. I hold mentorship to the highest regard as none of my own family members were doctors or even in the medical field, so I learned as I advanced along my journey. I had always wished I had a mentor guide me through the pre-med years, medical school application process, and early years in medical school, so my goal is to be that mentor for students. I know what it feels like to be uncertain whether you are making the right moves and decisions in the pre-med realm. If this feels like you right now – I am more than happy to assist in any facet of your medical school journey!

Ravin P., DO

Hi guys! My name is Dr. Ravin Patel, I am a Family Medicine Resident based out of NJ! I am a recent graduate of a 7-year accelerated B.S./D.O. program at Nova Southeastern University. Outside of medicine, I also work as a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I’ve participated in mentorship since high school both as a mentee and a mentor as I progressed from undergrad, medical school to residency. I was involved in my college’s mentorship program which gave me an early insight into medical school applications and how to succeed as a medical student. As I transitioned to medical school, I continued to mentor undergraduate students on how to have a successful transition to the professional school setting. I am so excited to get to know you all and help motivate and work with you guys to help you reach and exceed your goals!