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2024 Medical Residency Interview Questions

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The following questions are taken from our Medical Residency Online Course and Question Bank, which is updated to reflect current interview trends. You can find hundreds more questions and model answers there.

Medical Residency Interview Teamwork and Communication Questions

Tell me about a time you disagreed with a team member and how you resolved the issue.

I disagreed with a team member last year, when I was volunteering in the city as part of a team of students helping the homeless. It was during the winter, when temperatures were low, and the team leader – an older student – had decided that we should head back as it was too cold. I disagreed – it was cold, but acceptable in a warm coat. However, for the homeless people that we were supposed to be helping find shelters it was far colder, and as such to not help them seemed like a poor decision. I therefore took him aside, and urged him to consider, rationally, what effect the temperatures and snow could possibly have on warmly dressed students, especially with no severe weather warnings in place. I could see that other students agreed with me, but were perhaps lacking the energy to challenge the team leader. After some time, and me repeating, calmly, that we were at no risk from the conditions, the team leader reconsidered their position and we were able to continue with our tasks. Upon reflection, I’m glad that I had the confidence to challenge him, as it meant that we were able to do real good for others that day.

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Medical Residency Interview Motivation and Knowledge Questions

Tell me about a particularly interesting case. What learnings did you take from it?

(Psychiatry Residency)
An interesting case that I saw recently was Ms X. She self presented to the Emergency Department. She claimed to have had an argument with her sister, but no signs were found. Additionally, she had become worried about her deteriorating schizophrenic symptoms (showing a good degree of insight).  At the time of presenting she was a ‘Missing Person’, having absconded from her long term accommodation. Thus a request for police escorted transfer to the ward was placed, and Ms X was content with the arrangement. She had suffered from schizophrenia for 15 years – symptoms first began shortly after she graduated from university. At this time she primarily suffered auditory hallucinations, in which various figures, especially the Prophet Muhammad, would speak to her. She also displayed grandiose delusions that continue to today.

Since her admission one month ago, she has recently become increasingly concerned that hospital staff are trying to sedate her, and she believes that they are working with ‘satanic’ figures in this. As such she rarely trusts healthcare professionals.

I found her case particularly interesting as she was amongst the first psychiatric patients that I took a detailed history from, and her ability to switch from being relatively lucid about her condition, to saying something that was, rationally, entirely a product of her disease – like the number of children she had with the Prophet Mohammad – was surprising to me, and it took me a while to become used to it and take a history that still managed to touch on important elements.

Particular learnings that I took included ensuring that one has a clear idea of where a history needs to go, or what it needs to cover; that we often need to improvise when assessing patients, within the framework; that we need to work through a lot of noise to discover core points; that we need to extensively reference the result of taking a history (with patient notes, other physicians, etc).

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Medical Residency Interview Soft Skills Questions

What are your strengths? List three, briefly.

My three strengths that I would highlight are resilience, empathy, and analysis. My ability to come back or push through challenging situations has been core to my success so far in life – whilst I am lucky to have had great grades at school and a relatively smooth journey to medical school, family problems at medical school meant that I had to find a renewed focus and truly push myself in order to get to where I am now. All doctors need resilience, and a realistic appreciation of the challenges of the career, to succeed. I believe that I am highly empathetic – I provide support to patients, colleagues or friends, and am easily able to understand when others need help, when they would rather have time to themselves, etc. This in turn allows me to better develop trusting and caring relationships. My ability to analyse has been key for me at medical school – whether that’s analysing a patient’s case, or analysing a topic and understanding what’s important for future clinical work. I expect that it will continue to prove vital as I progress onward.

What are your interests?


My principal interests – outside of Medicine of course – are fitness and running, boxing, and literature. My sporting activities allow me valuable time to myself in which I can challenge myself in a purely physical manner. I find that this offers me a distraction from work-related or academic stress, and in turn allows me to relax. I therefore enjoy sports both as a pursuit for my mental health, and for their own challenge – in terms of running, for example, I ran the Marathon des Sables last year, which is reputed to be the most challenging footrace on earth. Literature allows me to try to understand people better, and the human condition – I’m the head of my medical school’s literary society as well, so for me reading is not just an individual pursuit. Rather it’s a gateway to experiences that can be shared with others.

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