I successfully interviewed at UBC medical school this past year and found it to be a surprisingly enjoyable experience. The single best thing I did to prepare was practice answering MMI-style questions. I did this through a combination of mock interviews with Astroff Consultants, preparation sessions through my university, and practicing the scenarios in Doing Right as if they were MMI prompts. Being comfortable working through MMI scenarios allowed me to be more relaxed and confident than I would have been otherwise.
When practicing MMI questions, I found it very useful have a thorough understanding of the CanMEDS competencies so I could apply them in my answers. This framework is important not only for the interview, but also for medical school and medical practice. These are the ideals that all medical professionals should aspire to and are therefore very important to demonstrate and work towards.
Another important aspect of my preparation was active self-reflection. It is very important know why you are applying to medical school, what experiences have shaped your life, and why you have the opinions that you do. Introspection allows for much more thorough and personal answers to be given and is key in understanding one’s own weaknesses, limitations, and pre-conceived notions.
I also made sure I researched the school, figured out what I liked about its program, and what further questions I’d like answered. UBC has a lot of information on the interview process and what they expect out of candidates on their website. I would highly recommend all interviewees familiarize themselves with this information.
Something unique about the UBC interview process is a 30-minute writing station following the MMIs. I remember being quite nervous going into this section as I have a predominantly science background with little in the way of writing or literature. I thought I would be completely out of my element. In retrospect, while it probably wasn’t my strongest section, it really wasn’t bad. My advice is to relax, keep an open mind, and be ready to do something a bit different.
Of the Canadian medical schools that I interviewed at, UBC was one of – if not the most welcoming. The students and staff were extremely friendly and were happy to answer any questions we had. They presented UBC medical school as a fun-loving close-knit community with a great diversity of students. I can honestly say this is completely accurate.
Even though I have never worked harder, I have enjoyed my four months at UBC more than I could have imagined. To anyone considering applying to UBC med, I say do it! There is nothing to lose and a lot to gain. To those who have interviews coming up – good luck, relax, and enjoy the experience!
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