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The University of Medicine and Health Sciences (UMHS) Interview Questions

Advice & Insight From Interview Specialists

Located on the idyllic island of St. Kitts, the University of Medicine and Health Sciences (UMHS) strives to provide an unparalleled academic experience steeped in excellence. UMHS is focused on imparting comprehensive medical education that combines rigorous academic instruction with the development of key professional skills. In line with its mission to produce highly competent physicians who can meet the dynamic demands of global healthcare, UMHS maintains a strong emphasis on incorporating the latest research and clinical practice into their curriculum.

UMHS offers a traditional Doctor of Medicine (MD) program which operates on a trimester system, allowing students to complete their preclinical studies in only two years. This is followed by two years of clinical rotations in affiliated hospitals in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. In a testament to the university’s dedication to its students, the faculty-to-student ratio is kept deliberately low to ensure individualised attention and to cultivate an optimal learning environment.

Tuition Fees

The cost of a medical degree is always a significant factor when choosing a medical school. UMHS strives to make its top-notch medical education affordable. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the tuition for the basic sciences semesters ranged from $15,750 to $16,550 per semester. The tuition fee for the 5th semester (review semester in Portland, Maine) stood at approximately $15,000. The clinical semesters’ fees ranged from $21,550 to $23,000. Prospective students should note that these figures are subject to change and should always verify the current tuition and fees with the university. Furthermore, various scholarships are offered to help offset the costs based on both merit and need.

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Interview Format

The admissions process at UMHS is holistic, taking into account a multitude of factors beyond academic performance. The interview plays a pivotal role in this process, providing the university with an in-depth understanding of an applicant’s motivations for a career in medicine, their awareness of the profession’s challenges and demands, and their personal attributes.

UMHS primarily uses a traditional interview format, which typically involves a one-on-one interview with a faculty member or an admissions officer. The interview is semi-structured, with set questions about the applicant’s experiences, motivation to study medicine, and understanding of the medical profession. However, it also allows space for open-ended discussions, giving the applicants an opportunity to showcase their personal qualities, achievements, and passion for medicine.

This holistic approach, coupled with the university’s commitment to small class sizes, means that UMHS truly values the individuality of each prospective student, recognising that grades are just one aspect of their potential as a future healthcare leader.

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Example Interview Questions

Personal Insight Questions

  • What initially sparked your interest in pursuing a career in medicine?
  • Could you talk about an obstacle you faced and how you overcame it?
  • How would your friends describe you?
  • Can you provide an example of a time you demonstrated resilience?
  • What do you believe will be the most challenging aspect of medical school for you?

Ethical Dilemma Questions

  • If a patient refused treatment due to religious beliefs, how would you handle the situation?
  • How would you respond if you caught a fellow student cheating?
  • What are your thoughts on the use of animals in medical research?
  • How should doctors approach the issue of medical error disclosure with patients and their families?
  • In a limited-resource setting, how would you decide which patients receive treatment first?

Medical and Healthcare Awareness Questions

  • What are some of the biggest challenges facing healthcare today?
  • How would you address the issue of health inequities in a given population?
  • What do you think about the role of telemedicine in the future of healthcare?
  • How has the COVID-19 pandemic influenced your view of the medical profession?
  • What is your opinion on the privatisation of healthcare?

UMHS and Career Aspirations Questions

  • Why did you choose UMHS over other Caribbean medical schools?
  • How do you plan to contribute to the UMHS community?
  • How will studying at UMHS help you accomplish your long-term career goals?
  • What field of medicine are you interested in and why?
  • What will you do if you don’t get accepted into a medical school this year?

Scenario-Based Questions

  • How would you react if a patient started shouting at you?
  • If a patient repeatedly failed to adhere to medical advice, how would you handle this?
  • How would you respond if a fellow team member was not fulfilling their responsibilities?
  • Imagine you are a general practitioner. A patient comes in complaining of pain. After thorough examination and tests, you cannot find a cause for their discomfort. How do you proceed?
  • How would you handle a situation where a child needs treatment, but their parents refuse due to cultural beliefs?
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