Stanford Medicine Interview Questions

Past Interview Questions & Tips

Stanford Medicine Interview Format

Stanford University uses the MMI format. At the time of writing, interviews are to be conducted online. There is time for Q&As after the MMI session. 

The interview consists of ten eight minute stations. Each has a two-minute break in between to allow candidates to read and consider their answers for the next station. Stanford University’s interview is structured using scripted questions and aims to assess the candidate’s non-academic competencies such as:

  • Compassion
  • Critical Thinking
  • Ethics
  • Interpersonal skills

Key Dates

Interviews take place between September and February.

Stanford Medicine Key Application & Interview Statistics

Overall Success Rate (Total Applicants : Total Spaces)
Percentage of Candidates Interviewed
Interviewee Success Rate

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Learn the best interview strategies and practice with past interview questions & model answers.

Stanford Medicine Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions

General/Personal Statement – This station will involve typical interview questions regarding the attributes you possess, such as your ability to work as a member of a team, your ability to take responsibility for your actions, honesty and be self-reflective.

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Tell me about your hometown.
  • Tell me about your family and upbringing. 
  • How do you think your parents feel about your accomplishments? Are your siblings as motivated as you?
  • If you could change something about your time in school, what would it be?
  • How do you feel about coming out to California?
  • Which of your references knows you best?
  • What can you offer in terms of diversity as a student at Stanford?
  • How do you think the curriculum design suits your learning style?
  • Where do you see yourself in ten years?
  • Tell us about your overall academic performance, so far. Where have you excelled, and where could you improve?
  • We have many of the top candidates in the country apply here…what do you bring to the entering class that makes you a better choice than many of the other candidates we have this year.
  • What will be your biggest challenge in coming to medical school?
  • Tell me about your research in X. Have you thought about what your academic concentration be? 
  • What issues have you encountered in your research, what future considerations are you looking toward, I think you and your PI are wasting your time: Justify your research project.
  • Stanford looks for leaders, so tell me about your leadership roles. 
  • Tell me about activity x?
  • Why would Stanford be a good fit?
  • At Stanford University School of Medicine, we believe in the continual development of our students, both professionally and personally. What is your self-development plan?
  • Talk to us about your current GPA.
  • Tell us something that we would not know about you from reading your CV.
  • What achievement are you most proud of, so far, on your path to medical school?
  • What are you reading right now?
  • How well do you think you have performed in this interview today?
  • When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
  • Medical school is expensive. Have you made a solid financial plan for tuition costs at Stanford University School of Medicine, and beyond?
  • Tell us about an area of weakness that you would like to improve on while attending Stanford University School of Medicine.
  • What questions do you have for us about Stanford University School of Medicine?
  • What do you know about Stanford University School of Medicine?
  • What research did you conduct before choosing to apply to Stanford University School of Medicine?
  • What other medical schools have you applied to and where does Stanford University School of Medicine rank?
  • It is important that Stanford University School of Medicine exercises great discernment when choosing applicants. What is your plan if you are not accepted into medical school this year?
  • How does your family feel about you attending medical school? Do you have a great deal of support?
  • How do you respond to feedback and criticism? Describe a situation where your work was criticized. What was your immediate reaction to the situation?
  • Who in your life mentors, or inspires you?
  • What makes Stanford different?
  • Why do you want to become a leader in the field of academic medicine, and how would Stanford ensure that you will achieve this goal?

Motivation and Insight into Medicine –  These stations often have a broad scope and will not only examine your motivation to study medicine but also your genuine interest in the health system as it currently stands as well knowledge of the career. It may lead to questions along the lines of:

  • At Stanford University School of Medicine, we want students who have a true passion for medicine. What appeals to you most, about working in the medical field?
  • Which medical schools do you think to have unimpressive programs?
  • Why do you want to study medicine and not law?
  • What would be the hardest thing for you to do as a physician?
  • What do you see as something you may have a problem with in the future as a physician?
  • Talk to us about your experience and thoughts on handling blood and other bodily fluids. You will be subject to difficult scenarios in your role as a physician. How do you feel about this?
  • As a future physician, how do you plan to use your role to benefit members of your community? Do you think volunteering is important?
  • As a physician, you will be faced with death on a daily basis. How will you professionally cope with this reality?
  • How would you fix the US healthcare system? How do systems in other countries compare?
  • What is your take on the current healthcare debate?
  • In your opinion, what is the most concerning issue facing the medical industry today?
  • What do you feel is the single most important quality a Physician should possess?
  • What is your favourite area of medicine so far? Which is your least favourite? Why?
  • If you could meet anyone in the history of medicine, who would you choose and why?
  • Which medical related newspapers, journals or publications do you read to stay in touch with new medical discoveries, and current events?
  • Should medical students who receive federal funds spend time practising medicine in a less desired area, to give something in return?
  • What is your opinion on socialized health care versus privatized health care?
  • Are there any situations when a physician is justified in lying to a patient?
  • How would you like to see the delivery of healthcare evolve?
  • What are your thoughts on alternative medicine? Which aspects do you agree and disagree with?

Ethical Scenarios – These dilemmas may present themselves in two different forms. Either as a hypothetical situation, as an open-ended question, or one where you as the applicant chooses an ethical dilemma from your past to elaborate on.

  • How would you go about making the decision on whether or not to discontinue life support for a brain-dead patient?
  • You’re a family practitioner who is seeing a 75-year-old woman in your practice. She reveals to you that she’s being physically abused by her husband. What do you do?
  • A woman comes into the ER after a car accident. She requires a blood transfusion but she states that her religion is against blood transfusions. What decision do you make?
  • What are your thoughts on animal research and animal testing in the medical field?
  • How do you express your opinions on controversial topics such as abortion, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide and cloning?
  • You’re a pre-med student and have been studying for your biochem exam until midnight. You come back to your dorm room and your roommate tells you that she has decided to cheat. What do you do?
  • How would you react if you discovered a classmate cheating?
  • Additional MMI Ethical Scenarios with Model Answers can be found in the MMI Question Bank.

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