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What Does a Medical School Interviewer Look for in an Applicant? Ask Dr. Korgavkar

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We sat down with Dr. Kaveri Korgavkar, a dermatologist in New York and MedSchoolCoach advisor about what a medical school interviewer looks for in an applicant. Her advice is extremely useful to those who are interviewing for medical schools at any point!

As a medical school interviewer, what are you looking for in a prospective student?

Two major things, the first one is just passion, and I know that is something that gets tossed around a lot. By passion I mean- to be really able to tell that you really care; and not necessarily about Biology or Science in general, but passion for anything you have undertaken. That becomes clear based on the type of activities that you have chosen, and if there is any common trend between them. The discussion one is able to bring up about it, tells how much you really care about what you say you care about; and not just have submitted a check list of activities, that someone said that you were supposed to do. I think that long term involvement in significant activities (research and volunteering, shadowing) allows you to get exposure to what medicine is about. I think some sort of significant involvement is necessary. Too often I see students who rely on experiences that are subjective, like a family member being a patient, or personal experiences or even their individual experiences they had with patients; while that is useful, its more complimentary to the more significant long term activities that students have done that allows them to really understand what they are getting themselves into.

Significant activities could manifest in many ways. It can be traditional shadowing, research activities, and volunteering. But I also think it could be ancillary but medicine related, so like a sports activity that you might have been involved with and showed you the body-mind connection or something in mental health; that can draw interest in medicine over a period of time.

 

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