Michigan State University

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MSU

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Interview Format
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Historic Interview Date

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Study up on these resources to improve on your answers and stand out from the crowd
CanMEDS Worksheet
Self-reflection

Custom videoath worksheet to personalize your responses with examples. Completion of the CanMEDS worksheet is an important part of introspection and the interview preparation.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Health care issues

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

Good Medicine: The Art of Ethical Care in Canada
Bioethics

"Great book on ethical behaviour and compassionate medicine" - Ben

Volunteering Pros and Cons
Self-reflection

Volunteering can open doors and create life-changing experiences. For premed students, it's a fantastic way to gain valuable insights, develop essential skills, and stand out to admissions officers. Here's why you should consider volunteering and how to navigate potential challenges.

Pros:

  1. Develop essential skills: Volunteering equips you with vital skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving, all of which are crucial for success in medical school and beyond.
  2. Gain real-world experiences: Engage in hands-on experiences in healthcare settings, allowing you to observe medical professionals and better understand the realities of the field.
  3. Enhance your resume: A strong volunteering record demonstrates your dedication, motivation, and passion for medicine, setting you apart from the competition.
  4. Expand your network: Connect with professionals and fellow volunteers who can offer invaluable advice, support, and potential job opportunities in the future.
  5. Personal growth: Volunteering fosters empathy, compassion, and understanding, traits that are essential for a successful medical career.

Cons:

  1. Time commitment: Balancing volunteering with academic work and other responsibilities can be challenging. Prioritize and manage your time effectively to avoid burnout.
  2. Finding the right opportunity: Seek out meaningful and relevant opportunities that align with your interests and goals. Research thoroughly and reach out to professionals in the field for guidance.

Embrace the transformative power of volunteering and let it shape your future in medicine. You'll develop essential skills, gain valuable experiences, and stand out in the admissions process, all while making a positive impact on the lives of others.

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