Preparing for a U.S. Medical Residency Interview

Although many U.S. allopathic seniors have a chance to complete mock interviews at their medical schools, some foreign medical graduates may not be fully prepared for the interview process. Completing all the required medical exams and meeting the basic requirements for acceptance is an important first step. However, it does not guarantee admission. Candidates must also impress the interviewer. In this article, we’ll outline how foreign medical graduates can prepare themselves for a successful interview.

Review your own background

Interviewers often ask questions about a graduate’s past experiences. While many graduates can talk confidently about past experiences, reviewing them prior to the interview can be helpful. Perhaps you had forgotten about that volunteer experience you completed three years ago. Reviewing your background can bring more memories to the surface. Then you will be prepared when the interviewer asks a question about your experience.

Research your chosen specialty

At a U.S. medical residency, you will be interviewing for a particular specialty. Having extensive knowledge of this specialty is likely to impress the interviewer. To prepare, keep up to date on the latest developments in your selected specialty. You can subscribe to journals on the specialty or even just set up a Google Alert to send you notifications of new developments. Interviewers may ask your opinion on major issues facing the specialty and this research will help you provide a valuable response.

Research your chosen program

Interviewers will likely ask why you chose the specific school program. Knowledge about the program will help you develop a good answer. For example, the program may be ranked highly. This is a somewhat generic answer, however, and greater specificity will reveal how much you researched the program. A more specific answer would be because you want to work with a specific doctor who is an expert in a procedure that you would like to learn. The second answer, which demonstrates how much research you did, is more likely to impress an interviewer.

Matching with a U.S. medical residency requires more than a stellar resume and high scores on the ECFMG examinations. While the resume and exam scores will get you in the door, you will also have to impress the interviewers. Being knowledgeable about your own experience, your chosen specialty and the interviewing program itself is likely to impress interviewers. When it comes time for the medical residency to rank possible candidates for the match, you want them to rank you toward the top.