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Interview Questions

Separate headings for Medical. Dental, Veterinary Medical; Pharmacy; and Physician Assistant follow.


Medical, Dental, Veterinary Medical

The following questions have been asked of Ouachita students at interviews for medical, dental, and veterinary medical schools.

  1. Why do you want to be a doctor/ dentist/ veterinarian?
  2. You are a physician.  You have a premature infant that is on a respirator and a heart and lung machine.  The infant has been there for many months.  The chances of a normal life look slim.  What would you do?  Would you try to remove life support?  Who would you consult?  Why?
  3. What do you know about HMOs?  What if you, as a doctor had an expensive new treatment that was able to treat a patient of yours who had terminal cancer?  But, the insurance doesn't cover that treatment.  What would you do?  Is the current HMO/Insurance plan advantageous for today's population?
  4. If you could have dinner with the three most important people in history, who would they be and why?
  5. If you were stranded on an island what would you do?
  6. You are in a life boat with your parents, your sister, and your "sickly" grandmother and rescue is nowhere in site.  You all are getting hungry.  What would you do?
  7. What is Molarity, Molality, and Normality of solutions?
  8. If you were a surgeon, and you were praying with your patient before an operation, and a family member walked in and rudely told you to stop praying, what would you do?
  9. What are your weaknesses?
  10. What are your strengths?
  11. How would you describe your support group?
  12. Where else have you applied?
  13. Why should this institution consider you?
  14. What do you think medicine will be like in the next 5, 10, 15 and 20 years?
  15. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 15, and 20 years?
  16. What are your other options if medical school does not work out?
  17. What would you be doing on this Saturday morning if you were not here at this interview?
  18. What research have you been involved in or are you currently involved in?
  19. How important is religion in healing?
  20. Tell us about you.  What do you want us to know about you?
  21. What have you done to prepare your hands for a career in dentistry?
  22. What makes you a better candidate for dental school than someone else?
  23. What are some of your hobbies?
  24. What experience have you had observing dentists in an office setting?
  25. What types of volunteer work have you been involved with?
  26. If I were to go to your wife right now and asked her to tell me three positive things about you and one negative thing, what do you think she would say?
  27. You are a physician and have been for many years.  During that time, you have developed a healthy relationship with one of your patients that is an older man.  Over the many years of being his physician, he has shared repeatedly of his dream to travel to England.  The man is now in his sixties and has informed you that he is on route to achieve his dream vacation in three years.  You discover after some diagnostic tests that he has terminal cancer and has only a few months to live.  Tell me how you would inform your patient of this dreadful diagnosis.
  28. Tell me what you think the number one problem in health care is today, and then explain your ideas on how to fix that problem.
  29. You're a physician within your own clinic.  It is the end of the day and you have already seen your last patient.  You are finishing your last minute work and preparing to leave on a vacation with your family.  Two patients arrive and both patients are a life-or-death situation.  One patient has insurance, but the other patient doesn't.  Which patient do you accept?

Note: LSU School of Dentistry requires a chalk-carving test.



There is a hallway with many doors (exam rooms). Each door has a question or situation. The question or situation is posted on the door. Voice over intercom directs one to read the question. One has 2 minutes to gather thoughts before going inside. After 2 minutes, Voice says, “Please enter your encounter.” Once inside, the time limit is 5 minutes. One interviewer is inside to hear the response and pose follow-up questions.  Each interviewee goes to four doors. A group of 14 had interviews simultaneously with this applicant.

Question: What are your strengths?

Follow-up question: How would those strengths contribute to your being a good pharmacist?

Question: Can what you post on social media affect what your employer (prospective employer) thinks about you?

Question: Some pharmacists give flu shots, etc. at the pharmacy. Have you experienced direct patient care from a pharmacist?

Follow-up question: What do you think about the idea?

Situation: Behind this door is a homeless person. Use your 2 minutes to review the form in the door rack. Enter and obtain the requested information.

What you will find: A standardized patient homeless person, i.e. an actor, will react to the questions you ask. He/she may not be cooperative.

Here is a link to a thorough explanation of the UAMS College of Pharmacy Multiple Mini-Interview admission process.



Physician Assistant

The following scenario is based on one applicant's experience.

We got there in the morning (10 interviewees) and signed some paperwork and took pictures for their records. Next Dr. Kelly the Program Director spent about an hour going through what was very similar to the information meetings that they hold on campus. (You sign in during these meetings so I would suggest that any person interested in applying go so they can see they are interested). Then financial aid people talked to us about the "what ifs" for when we found out if we were accepted. Then the true "interview" portion started.

We were split into 2 groups of 5. My group wrote essays during the first hour. We had 2 essays about a page long where we talked about how we were individual and why we would be good candidates and just a typical essay of that accord. We had another essay that asked how we would respond to a situation involving social media and a fellow student writing inappropriate comments about a professor. I'm not sure if we all had different essays or if they were all the same but the environment was laid back. If we did not finish, we had opportunity during the day to work on them. I never get nervous writing things so I felt okay, but I could see where someone who did not like to write could freak out a bit.

Then our group went to the group interview. There were 5 of us and 3 faculty members asking questions. They took turns and chose different students to ask different types of the same question. They asked leadership questions, how you take criticism, etc. They asked these questions for different people in different situations like: Stefani, in the work place how do you show leadership?, John, at school how did you show leadership?, Billy, in the future how will you show leadership as a PA?, etc. They went through a similar question for all 5 of us. Then they asked a different question. They had about 5 questions (maybe more) that they asked and some were based on your personality and others were more fun - What would you do if you won the lottery? How do you spend your free time? What's something interesting about you? Typical interview questions that I saw when preparing.

Then we had lunch and a tour of campus.  Then we had the most interesting (and scary) part of the interview that I did not see coming one bit. I've been told they have this situation for Pharmacy school interviews but was expecting an interview that was more like a medical school interview. So I was surprised.  We had different scenarios written on the doors of rooms and we had to go in (while being recorded) and act out the scenario like we would if we were PA's or students and how we would react in each situation. They were the same for all 10 of us because we basically just went down the line or worked two group scenarios.  The scenarios were confronting someone who was making fun of someone with a different religion, having a friend come out to you that they are gay, an angry attending surgeon you work for, and a drug seeking patient. There are people in the room acting out each situation with you and it’s kind of funny but it can be intimidating.

We had another tour after that but this time it was of classes and labs specific to the PA program.

We had an individual interview that was not very long. I think that section was more of a check up on applicants to make sure that they were actually going to have everything completed on time.

All-in-all the interview process lasted from about 8-4. It was tiring, but I think they are just being so thorough because it is a new program. Also, diversity and acceptance of people who are different is HUGE in their mission statement and ideals. I think having a tolerant worldview is an applicant's best bet. Also, being able to work with others is a big deal since that is key for PAs in the profession.

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