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Interview Preparation

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12 hours

Paul Kalanithi - When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air is a poignant, autobiographical account of Dr. Paul Kalanithi, an accomplished neurosurgeon who found himself facing stage IV metastatic lung cancer at the age of 36. This inspiring memoir details his journey from a promising medical career to grappling with terminal illness, ultimately exploring the meaning of life, death, and the role of medicine in the face of mortality.

For premed students preparing for a career as physicians, When Breath Becomes Air offers a unique and deeply personal perspective on the medical profession, challenging them to confront the fragile nature of life and the impact they can have on patients' lives. As they follow Dr. Kalanithi's reflections on his career and his transition from a doctor to a patient, students can gain invaluable insights into the human side of medicine, which often goes beyond the technical skills and knowledge they acquire in their education.

The book serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of empathy, compassion, and effective communication in the practice of medicine. It encourages students to consider the broader implications of their work and the profound responsibility they hold as future physicians. By bearing witness to Dr. Kalanithi's vulnerability and resilience, students can learn to approach their profession with humility, self-awareness, and a deep sense of purpose.

In summary, When Breath Becomes Air is a transformative read for premed students, providing them with a profound understanding of the human experience in healthcare. By exploring the intricacies of life, death, and the practice of medicine through Dr. Kalanithi's journey, students can develop the compassion, empathy, and wisdom that will be essential to their success as future physicians.

"Amazing account of the patient perspective and what Doctors may not consider about the patient perspective." - Ben

3 hours

Saul Weiner - On Becoming a Healer: The Journey from Patient Care to Caring about Your Patients

"Amazing book on compassionate medicine and learning about how to help others in ways that make the most sense to them. Opens up a lot of ideas about multidimensional ways of understanding well-being." - Ben

On Becoming a Healer: The Journey from Patient Care to Caring about Your Patients, written by Dr. Saul J. Weiner, is a transformative book that delves into the art of compassionate medicine and emphasizes the importance of truly understanding patients' needs in a multidimensional context. Dr. Weiner, a professor of medicine, pediatrics, and medical education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, shares his insights and experiences to guide premed students and aspiring physicians on their journey towards becoming empathetic, patient-centered healers.

For premed students preparing for a career in medicine, this book offers invaluable guidance on how to cultivate a deep sense of compassion and genuine care for patients. By exploring various aspects of well-being, Dr. Weiner encourages students to consider patients as unique individuals with diverse needs, rather than simply focusing on treating their symptoms or diseases. This approach fosters a more holistic understanding of healthcare, helping future physicians to develop strong connections with their patients and make a meaningful difference in their lives.

On Becoming a Healer also provides practical advice for students on how to navigate the challenges and complexities of the medical profession while maintaining their empathy and humanity. The book emphasizes the importance of active listening, effective communication, and adaptability in addressing patients' concerns and creating tailored care plans that truly resonate with them.

In summary, On Becoming a Healer is a powerful resource for premed students seeking to develop the qualities and skills necessary to excel as compassionate, patient-centered physicians. By embracing the principles laid out by Dr. Weiner, students can embark on a fulfilling journey towards becoming not just healthcare providers, but true healers in the lives of their patients.

3 hours

Canadian Guide to Med School (Made by volunteer medical students)

The Canadian Guide to Med School is an incredible resource. Written by 70+ medical students studying at all 17 Canadian medical schools, it provides advice and resources for every stage of interview preparation. There are several full-length MMI circuits, loads of MMI questions with follow-ups, and other helpful documents.

The Canadian Guide to Med School, created by over 70 volunteer medical students from all 17 Canadian medical schools, is an invaluable resource for premed students preparing for their future careers as physicians. It offers comprehensive advice and resources for every stage of interview preparation, including full-length MMI circuits, numerous MMI questions with follow-ups, and other helpful documents.

Interviews are a critical aspect of the medical school application process, providing an opportunity for applicants to showcase their personalities and interpersonal skills. The guide covers different types of interviews, such as traditional/panel interviews, MMIs (Multiple Mini Interviews), modified personal interviews (MPIs), and group interviews, offering insights into the structure and objectives of each format.

For MMI preparation, the guide provides tips, practice questions, and resources that help students develop their soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and leadership. MMIs consist of a series of stations where applicants are prompted to answer questions, collaborate on tasks, or role-play with actors. By understanding the expectations and objectives of these stations, students can approach the MMI with confidence and demonstrate their competencies to interviewers.

Group interviews are also addressed, emphasizing the importance of teamwork, communication, and collaboration in a medical setting. Premed students can benefit from understanding how to effectively participate in group interviews, showcasing their ability to work well with others and contribute to problem-solving in a team setting.

Overall, the Canadian Guide to Med School is an essential resource for premed students, helping them navigate the interview process, develop crucial skills, and ultimately prepare for their future roles as compassionate and competent physicians.

1 hour

CPSO reporting guidelines

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) reporting guidelines outline mandatory and permissive reporting policies for physicians practicing in Ontario. These guidelines are essential for maintaining professional conduct and protecting the public interest. Premed students can benefit from understanding these guidelines as they prepare for their future careers as physicians.

Mandatory reports are legally required and often involve specific information or professional medical opinions. Permissive reports, on the other hand, are based on professional responsibility and ethics, allowing physicians to use their discretion in deciding whether to make a report.

Some mandatory reporting obligations include child abuse or neglect, impaired driving ability, sexual abuse of a patient, and communicable diseases. Permissive reports might involve instances where disclosing patient information is necessary to protect others from harm.

Premed students should familiarize themselves with these reporting guidelines to better understand the legal, professional, and ethical reporting obligations they will face as physicians. By doing so, they can prepare for situations that may require them to balance patient confidentiality with public interest and safety.

In addition, premed students can develop effective communication skills by learning how to inform patients about their reporting duties when appropriate. This transparency can help build trust and strengthen the physician-patient relationship.

Understanding CPSO reporting guidelines will enable premed students to navigate complex reporting obligations and make informed decisions in their future practice. It is crucial for students to consult resources such as the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA), the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC), and the College's Physician Advisory Service (PAS) for further guidance on reporting obligations.

1 hour

Indigenous Health Calls to Action

Recent developments in the search for the children of residential schools have shown that there is much work to be done in terms of truth and reconciliation. Medical schools are similarly placing a higher emphasis on justice for indigenous communities. It's crucial that all applicants understand the Calls to Action, the disparities that indigenous communities face, and how to improve the healthcare system for indigenous peoples.

The Indigenous Health Calls to Action is a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's recommendations for redressing the historical injustices faced by Indigenous communities in Canada. This initiative aims to improve the healthcare system for Indigenous peoples and address the disparities they face. As future physicians, pre-med students must understand the Calls to Action to better serve Indigenous communities.

The Calls to Action cover various aspects, including child welfare, education, language and culture, health, and justice. It seeks to address the historical context of residential schools and their legacy on Indigenous peoples. Some health-related recommendations include acknowledging the current state of Indigenous health, establishing measurable goals for closing gaps in health outcomes, and providing sustainable funding for healing centers.

For pre-med students, understanding the Calls to Action can help them prepare for a more inclusive and culturally-sensitive healthcare practice. Medical and nursing schools are encouraged to require courses that deal with Indigenous health issues, history, and the legacy of residential schools. Such training should include intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.

By being aware of these Calls to Action, pre-med students can contribute to a more equitable healthcare system, addressing the unique needs of Indigenous communities. This knowledge will allow future physicians to provide better care to Indigenous patients, understand the historical context of their health disparities, and work collaboratively with Indigenous healers and Elders when appropriate. Overall, understanding the Indigenous Health Calls to Action is crucial for pre-med students to become well-rounded and compassionate physicians capable of serving diverse populations.

2 hours

MMI Manual 2022 (McMaster University)

The MMI (Multiple Mini-Interview) Manual 2017/2018 by McMaster University is a guide prepared for interviewers and assessors participating in the MMI process for the university's undergraduate medical program. This manual helps premed students prepare as future physicians by familiarizing them with the unique educational approach at McMaster, which emphasizes self-directed learning, small group learning, and problem-based learning.

McMaster's medical program aims to graduate physicians with the capacity and flexibility to select any area within the broad field of medicine. To achieve this, the program encourages students to define their learning goals, select appropriate experiences to achieve these goals, and be responsible for assessing their progress. This approach helps students develop essential skills for lifelong learning.

The MMI is an important part of the admissions process, as it assesses applicants not only on their academic qualifications but also on personal characteristics and aptitudes such as problem-solving ability, self-appraisal, communication skills, and motivation to study medicine. This helps ensure that selected students are a good fit for McMaster's unique educational environment.

By participating in the MMI, premed students gain exposure to the types of qualities and skills expected from a McMaster medical student, such as the ability to work well in a flexible learning environment, communicate effectively with others, and demonstrate critical thinking. Understanding the MMI process and the qualities it aims to assess can help premed students prepare for their future medical careers and succeed in McMaster's distinctive educational program.

2 hours

Canada's Policy and Programs for Employment and Social Development

Many MMI stations will call upon the applicant to propose a health policy that would improve the country. Knowing more about government initiatives to reduce health inequities will always be beneficial, especially with regards to high-yield topics like Indigenous health, rural health, and homelessness. I would recommend checking out all of the links under the "Social development" heading. My personal favourite is the "Housing First" approach under the Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy link; it's a radical but convincing way to end homelessness in Canada while improving social capital and resources for people experiencing homelessness.

Canada's Policy and Programs for Employment and Social Development encompass a wide range of initiatives aimed at addressing health inequities and promoting social development. These policies and programs can help premed students prepare as future physicians by increasing their awareness of the challenges faced by various communities, including Indigenous populations, rural residents, and homeless individuals.

By exploring the links under the "Social development" heading, premed students can gain a deeper understanding of government initiatives that seek to reduce health disparities and improve social conditions for vulnerable populations. For instance, the "Housing First" approach under the Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy is a compelling solution to address homelessness while enhancing social capital and resources for people experiencing homelessness.

In addition to homelessness strategies, other programs focus on skills and employment, learning, labor, income security, and service networks supporting government departments. By familiarizing themselves with these programs and policies, premed students can better appreciate the broader context of healthcare and social determinants of health, which will allow them to become more informed and compassionate physicians.

Furthermore, premed students can use their knowledge of these policies and programs during MMI (Multiple Mini Interview) stations, where they may be asked to propose health policies to improve the country. By understanding existing initiatives, students can develop well-informed and relevant policy suggestions, demonstrating their engagement with pressing healthcare issues and their commitment to social justice and health equity. Overall, Canada's Policy and Programs for Employment and Social Development provide essential context for premed students as they prepare for their future roles as healthcare professionals.

2 hours

CanMEDS Framework

The CanMEDS Framework is a comprehensive competency-based model designed to outline the essential skills and abilities required by physicians to effectively address the healthcare needs of their patients. Developed by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, CanMEDS encompasses seven key roles that are integral to the practice of medicine: Medical Expert, Communicator, Collaborator, Leader, Health Advocate, Scholar, and Professional.

For premed students aspiring to become future physicians, familiarizing themselves with the CanMEDS Framework can provide a clear understanding of the expectations and responsibilities associated with the medical profession in Canada. By exploring each of the seven roles, students can develop a well-rounded perspective on the various aspects of medical practice and identify areas for growth and development.

The CanMEDS Framework can help premed students in the following ways:

  1. Medical Expert: Students can learn to integrate their knowledge, clinical skills, and professional attitudes to provide high-quality patient care.
  2. Communicator: The framework emphasizes the importance of effective communication with patients, families, and colleagues, which is essential for building trust and ensuring optimal care.
  3. Collaborator: Students can develop the ability to work effectively within interprofessional healthcare teams, fostering a collaborative approach to patient care.
  4. Leader: The framework encourages the development of leadership skills, including decision-making, resource allocation, and healthcare system navigation.
  5. Health Advocate: Students can learn to advocate for individual patients and broader community health issues, promoting the well-being of the populations they serve.
  6. Scholar: The framework highlights the value of lifelong learning, research, and knowledge dissemination in the medical profession.
  7. Professional: Students can cultivate a strong sense of ethics, accountability, and commitment to patients, society, and the medical profession.

In summary, the CanMEDS Framework offers premed students a roadmap to developing the essential competencies for successful medical practice. By embracing these roles and honing their skills, future physicians can better meet the healthcare needs of their patients and contribute to the overall improvement of patient care.

12 hours

Atul Gawande - Being Mortal

"Great for understanding and learning about how patients will have different needs and how even if a treatment doesn’t make the most medical sense to a physician that it can actually be the best option based on what is important to the patient. " - Ben on Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande's books, including Being Mortal (2014), The Checklist Manifesto (2009), Better (2007), and Complications (2002), offer valuable insights into various aspects of medical practice, helping premed students better prepare as future physicians. These books discuss challenges, limitations, and improvement areas in medicine, offering readers a deeper understanding of patient care, medical ethics, and healthcare systems.

Being Mortal focuses on the end-of-life care and the importance of maintaining patients' dignity, autonomy, and quality of life. This book can help premed students appreciate the significance of compassionate and person-centered care, enabling them to consider patients' individual needs and preferences when making medical decisions.

The Checklist Manifesto emphasizes the value of using checklists in healthcare to reduce errors, improve patient outcomes, and streamline complex processes. This book highlights the importance of organization, teamwork, and communication in medical practice, preparing premed students for the collaborative nature of their future careers.

Better discusses the pursuit of excellence in medicine, offering insights into the habits and practices of highly effective physicians. Through this book, premed students can develop a better understanding of medical professionalism and learn strategies to enhance their own performance.

Complications explores the uncertainties and complexities inherent in medical practice, examining how physicians make decisions, handle errors, and deal with unexpected outcomes. This book encourages premed students to acknowledge and confront these challenges, fostering a more resilient and adaptable mindset.

In summary, Atul Gawande's books provide premed students with valuable perspectives on various aspects of medicine, helping them develop a well-rounded understanding of the profession and preparing them to become empathetic, effective, and ethical physicians.

Program Bioethics Worksheets

Student Issues

Being able to discuss handling ethical dilemmas during interviews shows character, commitment to ethical practice, and readiness to be part of the medical community, showcasing moral reasoning, empathy, and dedication to healthcare principles.

Genetics

In interviews for medical schools or healthcare positions, demonstrating a nuanced understanding of genetics and bioethics signifies a readiness to engage with the ethical and practical challenges of modern medicine. It showcases your ability to think critically about the implications of genetic information and your commitment to patient-centered care in a complex field.

End of Life Issues

Understanding end-of-life care is crucial for aspiring healthcare professionals. In interviews, showcasing your knowledge and sensitivity towards this aspect of care reflects a deep understanding of patient needs and the ethical complexities of healthcare. It demonstrates your preparedness to handle one of the most challenging yet profoundly impactful areas of medical practice.

DNR During Anesthesia and Urgent Procedures

Grasping the complexities surrounding DNR orders is vital for aspiring healthcare professionals. In interviews, showcasing your understanding of these bioethical issues demonstrates not only your knowledge but also your empathy, critical thinking, and commitment to patient-centered care.

Maternal-Fetal Conflict

Grasping the nuances of maternal-fetal conflict prepares for discussing complex ethical scenarios during healthcare interviews, demonstrating ability to balance compassion with ethical and legal considerations.

Breaking Bad News

Understanding and demonstrating proficiency in delivering bad news is pivotal in healthcare interviews. It showcases your empathy, ethical integrity, and communication skills—qualities essential for a healthcare professional.
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Next Steps for You

We concentrate on three key areas: structuring responses for clarity and impact, mastering delivery to communicate with confidence, and effectively tackling a diverse array of prompts to broaden your adaptability. Each step is a building block towards a more polished and poised you, ready to face any challenge with strategy and poise.

Watch

Interviewer Experience

10 mins

Immerse yourself in the interview process by observing two students navigate through questions. Gain insights as you watch a reviewer score and offer constructive feedback, providing a real-world glimpse into the dynamics of interviews. This experience is your window into understanding the intricacies of both questioning and responding, helping you anticipate and prepare for your own journey.

Perform

Early Diagnostic MMI

15 mins

Embark on the quickest route to align your interview skills with your goals through our Calibration Test. Designed like an MCAT diagnostic, this assessment measures your current readiness, helping pinpoint strengths and areas for growth. It's crucial to begin early, treating it as a real interview to yield genuine insights. Respond to typical medical school interview questions and receive a score compared against a vast database of global applicants. This percentile or decile score offers a clear perspective of where you stand. Post-assessment, dive into top-tier answers and feedback from previous years to understand what excellence looks like.

Access

Guidance and Feedback

3 mins
+30% score
50 Reviews

Choose the level of guidance and feedback that suits your preparation style and goals. From initial steps to advanced fine-tuning, we offer a spectrum of support to match your journey. Consider upgrading for bespoke guidance as you progress. Embrace your learning curve by identifying weaknesses and exploring effective strategies. Our team is on standby, ready to propel you forward with tailored advice and comprehensive resources. Dive in, refine your skills, and when ready, reach out for that personalized touch to elevate your journey. Your path to success starts here!

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Get on track

Feedback Mode: Accelerated Success

3 mins
+30% score
50 Reviews

Access concise, written feedback aimed at honing your interview skills swiftly and effectively. Customized to your progress, our guidance helps you quickly achieve your goals and return to your daily life. With each step, feedback adapts to your evolving needs, ensuring every piece of advice propels you closer to success.

Jamie scored your response an 8/10

You spoke clearly and had a good pacing. I heard a lot of ums in the beginning, so just make sure you practice not using those little words as much as you can. Also, try to show a little bit more enthusiasm so your interviewer knows that you're more engaged in the interview. You were able to identify a strength, a weakness, one is more important, so good job there. When talking about your strength, you did well talking about how you problem-solve on a general level, but your answer would be much more powerful if you could provide a specific example of the time you demonstrated the strength. So you also mentioned your problem-solving is how you live your life . . .

Feedback Score: 4/10

You went deep on where the specific difficulties lie, but I didn't hear anything in terms of how you plan to improve this weakness. A specific plan and example of how you are actively working on your weakness would be again really much more powerful. If you could also tie both of your answers, weakness and strength, into what it means to be a physician or practice as a physician, this would make your overall goal and mindset much more clear. So it's a good start as of now, an overall 4 out of 10, but keep practicing.

Recommended next steps

Opening Up Prompt: (5min)
Improve speech fluency and minimize "ums" with relaxed yet effective prompts. Regular practice increases awareness and eliminates verbal fillers, making speaking more natural and confident.

Applying Your Experiences to Medicine Course: (30min)
Learn to authentically articulate your journey and its relevance to medicine. This course deepens your understanding of strengths and experiences, aiding in responding to various interview scenarios and aligning with medical school missions.