Posts Tagged ‘think’

Think and Feel vs. Know

In applying to med school, interviews on September 28, 2009 at 5:59 pm

So, I just finished my first interview last Monday, and I must say it went pretty well (or at least that’s what I think).  In retrospect, I would admit that I might have slightly overstudied, however, I think that overstudying helped me feel properly prepared for any question that might be thrown my way.  For instance,  I thoroughly investigated various aspects of health care reform, from the history of health care in the US to the role of insurance industries and lobbyists in keeping the discussion of reform off the table.  Was I specifically asked for my views on health care in the US? No.  Did the topic of health care come up in conversation?  Yes.  Consequently, I was able to integrate the research I had done to make an informed, backed-up statement about…however brief it might have been.

I have two more interviews scheduled in the next two weeks and I’m trying my best to not let this first interview negatively affect my upcoming ones.  I was so nervous and confused about what would happen at my first interview that it drove me to do intense research and preparation.  However, now that it is over and I absolutely loved the school and I think I have a good chance of receiving an acceptance offer come October 15th (keeping fingers crossed), I find it ridiculously hard to force myself to study and prepare for the next ones.  I really don’t think it helps that I fell in love with the school and I honestly couldn’t picture a medical school that will help mold me into the type of physician I desire to be – it had so many unique opportunities available and such a loving and happy and unstressed student body and a wonderfully caring administration.  It is definitely my top choice now and any school I subsequently am blessed to interview at will be stacked up again it.

While it’s nice to know that I have potentially secured a spot at a school I love, it makes it difficult taking preparation for other schools seriously.  I am trying my best.  I do feel that it is important to make a truly informed decision, especially on something as big as medical school selection.  In order to accomplish this, it means I need to put my best foot forward for all schools and to act as if each is the only school I am being considered at.  Easier said than done.

What also isn’t helping is that the interview at this school was extremely laid back.  I felt like they were truly just trying to get to know who I am as a person, what my interests are, and assessing how well I liked the area and would fit in with their community.  In sum, it was a lovely, relaxing experience.  But, I’m no fool.  I know that not every med school interview is going to be laid back and solely focused on me.  I anticipate some will focus on (or at least touch upon) topics such as health care reform, issues in medical ethics, and current events.  Do I feel prepared for such a conversation?  As of yet, I’m not sure.  I do feel that I have a base understanding of such things, but I still don’t feel thoroughly prepared to engage in discourse on such subject matters.  But, will I ever feel ready?  My guess is no.  My guess is that I will never know exactly where I stand on anything.  I will never know every aspect of every feasible issue – I am only human and the sea of information (usually overwhelming in quantity and saturated with bias) is easy to drown in.  I do feel that I can hold a conversation well and that I have enough info crammed in my head to convincingly support my opinions.  There goes that 4-letter F-word again: feel.  Ah, feelings…can make you believe you’re sitting pretty on cloud 9, when reality says you’re slowly sinking down toward hades. lol. Or, vice versa for my optimists.

Guess I better step my game back up with this interview prep thing before my feelings of security lead me down a deceptive, self-assured path heading straight towards rejections and waitlists.  Yikes.  Now there’s a motivating image.  Time to get to it!