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UCLA Medicine Interview Questions

Past Interview Questions & Tips

UCLA Medicine Interview Format (Historically)

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA uses the Multiple Mini-Interview format as part of their admissions process.  

The interview consists of eight interview stations which involve two minutes reading time, and then eight minutes in which to give your response to the interviewer. The interviews are conducted by faculty, staff and medical students

Key Dates

Interviews generally take place between September and January.

UCLA Medicine Key Application & Interview Statistics

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

Optimise Your Interview Performance

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

UCLA Medicine Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions

General/Personal Statement – With interviewers having access to the candidate’s application, a great deal of emphasis is placed on their background and work experience. Many interviewers begin with the open-ended question “tell me about yourself”.  Applicants should expect to be asked to elaborate on any and every aspect of their personal statement and provide examples to support their answers. 

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Can you tell me about your family and siblings?
  • Tell me about your family and how they shaped you.
  • What do your parents do?
  • Tell me about your childhood.
  • What motivates you?
  • At David Geffen School of Medicine, we believe in the continual development of our students, both professionally and personally. What is your self-development plan? 
  • Describe a situation where your work was criticized. What was your immediate reaction to the situation?
  • When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
  • Who in your life mentors, or inspires you?
  • Tell us about your overall academic performance so far. Where have you excelled? Where could you improve?
  • Where did you grow up in? How would you describe this area?
  • What do you want me to tell the admissions committee that you feel is absolutely critical to your application?
  • What is your strongest quality?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • How would you describe the education that you have received?
  • What are you doing right now?
  • Can you tell me about some of your volunteering activities?
  • What activities have you been involved in?
  • Do you ever think about what makes you successful?
  • What has been the most challenging experience you have ever had to deal with?
  •  What obstacles have you come across?
  • When you did [AMCAS activity] what did you think about [aspect of activity]…
  • Why your major?
  • Where are you now (geographically), and what are you doing?
  • Tell me more about the research projects you participated in.
  • Tell me about the research that you did. How was it relevant to the other projects in the lab? How is it relevant in general (As a doctor, why would I care about this drug)?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • Why did you take time off?
  • “What is the most eye-opening experience you’ve had?”
  • Why would you pick UCLA over all the other schools you’ve interviewed/been accepted at?
  • How would a friend describe you?
  • What is the most important thing in your life?
  • What was the most interesting question you’ve been asked during an interview?
  • Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
  • How do you think that people learn most efficiently?
  • What was your favourite class?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What schools have you interviewed at?
  • What schools have you been accepted to? Tell me about your life up until the end of high school.
  • Why did you select your undergraduate institution?
  • Where do you see yourself 15 years from now?
  • Tell me about the most meaningful community service work that you have done. How about of something that you failed at and what did you learn?
  • How can you help to sustain student interest in the community once they get to medical school?
  • Why should we pick you?
  • What sets you apart?
  • What is your coping mechanism?
  • Explain the grade you got in this class.
  • Name one thing that you are most proud of.
  • Describe a creative project you were involved with or a time when you showed leadership in a project or a program.
  • Do you consider yourself disadvantaged in any way?
  • How would (a specific person with whom I didn’t get along) describe me, and what would she say I need to work on?
  • What will UCLA be missing if you do not enrol in this school?
  • Why are you a better applicant then everyone else?
  • Describe a typical day for you.
  • Have you read anything interesting lately?
  • Give me a one-sentence summary of yourself.
  • What has been the most creative leadership activity you have been involved in?
  • What would you be if you could be anything completely unrelated to science?
  • Tell me about some of your political views.
  • Tell us something that we would not know by reading your CV. 

 
Motivation and Insight into Medicine – These stations explore the candidate’s desire to study and practice medicine, as well as how realistic their ideas are about being a doctor and the profession. Current events and issues in healthcare often form a key line of inquiry as they demonstrate an interest in the wider medical community and the problems it is facing. Questions may include:

  • Why do you want to go into medicine? Why do you want to go to UCLA?
  • What are the current challenges in medicine?
  • How will you overcome the challenges in medicine?
  • Why do you want to help people through medicine?”
  • What can you bring to the field of medicine?
  • What are you looking at in deciding what school to attend?
  • How would you change the healthcare system?
  •  Compare Obama and McCain’s health care plans and what you personally think.
  • What do you think of the health care system, and what changes should be made that don’t require a huge overhaul?
  • What does socialized medicine mean to you? What does universal healthcare mean to you?
  • How do you know that you would be happy in med school?
  • How does our health system compare to systems of other countries?
  • Do you know the percentage of uninsured individuals in the United States? If so what?
  • How will you handle family life and medicine?
  • What do you think of nationalized health care?
  • When did you decide that you wanted to become a doctor?
  • What would you do if a career in medicine didn’t work out?
  • Do you think that a food-addiction should be taken as seriously as an addiction to something like cocaine?
  • How does religion play into medicine?
  • Have you thought about the struggles you will face as a doctor?
  • What do you think are some pros and cons of HMO’s?
  • Why not a teacher, a lawyer, or a social worker?
  • What do you think about women in medicine? Are they disadvantaged in any way?
  • How do you see yourself involved in medicine– as a clinician, a researcher, etc?
  • What is one of the most important health issues going on the world, and how would you fix it?
  • Is there any speciality that you are interested in and why?
  • Tell me about your path to medicine?
  • Why do you think you would be a good physician?
  • Name three changes in the delivery of health care you would like to see.
  • What do you think about managed care? What would you do to change it?
  • Medicine tends to be emotionally draining as well as difficult in other aspects. How do/will you deal with this issue?
  • What does UCLA offer that you can’t get somewhere else?
  • What do you think makes a good doctor?
  • What kinds of special medical needs are there for people who live in isolated (ethnic, socio-economic, geographic) groups?
  • How do you feel about bureaucratic regulation in medicine, and how will you deal with it?
  • What can you do to help people empathize with people with special needs?
  • If you were Harry Potter and had a magic wand, how would you change the health care system?
  • What do you know about health care delivery systems (in the US and abroad)?
  • How would you address the impending crisis of the baby boomer generation ageing and living longer?
  • How would you diffuse a situation with a hostile patient?
  • If you could meet anyone in the history of medicine, who would you choose and why?
  • What do you know about David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA?
  • Talk to us about the prospect of 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 physician, you will be faced with death on a daily basis. How will you professionally cope with this reality?
  • Which medical related journals, newspapers and publications do you read to stay in touch with new medical discoveries and current events?
  • Should medical students who receive federal funding spend time practising medicine in a less desirable area, to give something in return?
  • What are your thoughts on alternative medicine? Which aspects do you agree and disagree with? 

 
Ethical Scenarios – These stations have no clear right or wrong answer. Instead, the interviewer is looking at whether the candidate can evaluate the scenario from multiple perspectives and make a justified decision. In order to succeed in these stations, ensure that you review the ‘2 Sorts. 2 Sides.’ Approach to MMI Ethical Scenarios. Examples of these types of questions/scenarios commonly include:

  • What do you think about euthanasia?
  • What about stem cell research?
  • Would you tell someone they have a debilitating disease (e.g. cancer) even if spouse begs you not to because it would crush them because a relative died of the same disease previously?
  • Would you pull the plug on a comatose patient if their relatives asked you to?
  • Discuss an ethical dilemma that you have experienced
  • If it’s survival of the fittest, why even bother to work to save people who are impoverished or who are sick abroad?
  • Would you perform an abortion?
  • Would you give a liver transplant to an alcoholic?
  • What is your opinion on animal research and testing in the medical field?
  • Are there any situations when a physician is justified in lying to a patient?
  • Additional MMI Ethical Scenarios with Model Answers can be found in the MMI Question Bank.

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