Yale Medicine Interview Questions

Past Interview Questions & Tips

Yale Medicine Interview Format

Yale School of medicine holds two traditional open file, formal interviews. Each interview is conducted with a different member of the Admissions Committee, which includes senior medical students and faculty staff members. This is done as part of a virtual interview day, which will take place via Zoom. The interview day begins with an orientation meeting with the Acting Director of Admissions. 

The interview itself is a “two-way conversation” between the candidate and the interviewer, lasting approximately 60 minutes, with interviewers assessing candidates on the following domains:

  • Depth of knowledge
  • Communications skills
  • Personal qualities
  • Commitment to medicine

As well as the interview, there will be a meet and greet session with a member of the faculty, who will give a short presentation on their work, followed by a question and answer period.

Key Dates

Interviews generally take place between September and February.

Yale 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

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Yale Medicine Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions

General/Personal Statement – Interviewers may use a line-by-line questioning technique to clarify the anecdotes and phrases in a candidate’s personal statement.  Alternatively, they may simply ask the candidate to provide a synopsis of their background, from which the interviewer then selects discussion points. Recent questions have included the following:

  • Tell about yourself
  • Tell me about your family life.
  • What do your parents do for a living?
  • Tell me about ____________ experience on your application.
  • What volunteer experience do you find most significant?
  • What have you learned by being having ______________ role?
  • Tell me about the best/worst situation you experienced with a patient.
  • What is the ONE important lesson you have learned from all your clinical experiences?
  • Describe your most challenging experience
  • Have you ever experienced a situation where your integrity was compromised?
  • What was your proudest moment?
  • What is your weakness?
  • What were your happiest and saddest moments?
  • What did you do in your undergraduate degree?
  • Why did you study what you did at college?
  • What classes have most affected you?
  • What was your favourite class in college?             
  • What was your most influential experience in college?
  • What is your greatest failure since being in college?
  • Tell me about your basic science research. / Describe the significance of your research using layman’s terms.
  • Tell me about your clinical research.
  • Tell me, in layman’s terms about your research.
  • Who has been the fundamental figure in your life that has made everything click for you?
  • What do you do to relax?
  • What do you do when you feel overwhelmed?
  • If you were on an admissions committee, what would you look for in an applicant?
  • Where do you see yourself in 15 years?
  • What are your short term and long-term goals following your completion of medical school?
  • Anything else you want to tell me?”
  • What are the three most important things to know about you? They don’t have to be on your application.
  • What do you do for entertainment?
  • If there were one reason for us to not accept you, what would it be?
  • What do you think about the curriculum at other med schools?
  • What qualities about you make you good/bad for the Yale system?
  • What are some challenges you’ll face as a physician?
  • What problem in the medical field would you want to fix/make your impact?
  • What activities did you do in high school?
  • When you said “_________________” on your essay, what did you mean?
  • When you look in the mirror, what do you like and not like about yourself?
  • One of your recommenders said “_________________”  about you – why do you think s/he said that?
  • What would you write on your epitaph?
  • What’s your unique factor that means we should take you over other applicants?
  • Additional example questions with model answers can be found in the MMI Question Bank.

Motivation and Insight into Medicine – These questions examine both your desire to study medicine as well as your general interest in the issues facing the medical community. While an in-depth knowledge is not expected, an awareness of topical issues, particularly those in the media is highly recommended. Questions may include:

  • How do you know you want to do medicine, apart from those few clinical volunteering experiences?
  • Pin-point the exact time in which you knew you wanted to be a doctor?
  • Why is medical school right for you?
  • Give me a selfish reason why you want to pursue medicine.
  • If, for some reason, you could not be a doctor, what would you be?
  • Where do your future interests lie?
  • What do you think will be your biggest challenge in becoming a doctor?
  • Have you had enough clinical experience to be certain that you can handle being a doctor?
  • What fields of medicine do you think you are interested in?
  • What does a doctor do?
  • What are the three skills/traits that all doctors should possess?
  • What does it mean to be a doctor?
  • How does your research fit in with your medical vision?
  • Why study at Yale? / What about the Yale system appeals to you?
  • Why should Yale choose you?/ What can YOU contribute to Yale?
  • What extracurricular activity/ volunteer work would you engage in if you go to Yale medical school?
  • List some ways that you will not fit into the Yale System.
  • Why shouldn’t we accept you?
  • What challenges do you think you will face as a physician?
  • How does your research apply to medicine or how would you translate it?
  • What is the point of medical research?
  • What are you going to do to change the world?
  • What is the greatest impact you plan on having in the medical field? How would you go about doing this?
  • Tell me how you would fix the health care system.
  • Technology has made it possible to perform a wide array of medical procedures. Would you be willing to go to all lengths for your patients? (Specifically, would you help a pregnant patient change the sex of her child?)
  • What something that prevents US Health Care from delivering optimally for underserved communities?
  • Predict how medicine will change in 30 years.
  • What challenges do we face over the next 30 years in terms of health care policy?
  • What are several medical discoveries that you believe have revolutionized medicine today? What are their limits?
  • As an international student, how would you compare the level of training of a medical student in the best medical school in Ethiopia with that of a mid-tier medical school here in the US? Are there any successful lessons in medicine in Ethiopia that can be brought back and introduced to the US?
  • What are some important issues in health care?
  • Additional example questions with model answers can be found in the MMI Question Bank.

Yale Medicine Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to study Medicine at Yale School of Medicine?

Yale School of Medicine’s innovative curriculum, emphasizing student initiative and flexibility, is a major draw for me. Its unique blend of Nine Competencies and Five Guiding Principles prepares students to be future leaders in medicine. The curriculum’s focus on scientific inquiry, close faculty mentoring, and a required thesis aligns with my goals of being deeply involved in both clinical practice and medical research. Furthermore, Yale’s history of significant medical advances demonstrates its commitment to cutting-edge research and healthcare advancements, making it an ideal environment for a comprehensive and dynamic medical education.

What do you know about the Medicine course structure at Yale School of Medicine?

Yale School of Medicine’s curriculum is structured into three phases over four years. The first year involves an Integrated Course Curriculum, Clinical Skills, and Interprofessional Longitudinal Clinical Experience. The second and third years focus on Clinical Clerkships, where students engage in Integrated Clerkships. The third and fourth years mark the Advanced Training Period, which includes preparation for USMLE Steps 1 and 2, and participation in subinternships, electives, and research. This structure reflects Yale’s commitment to a well-rounded medical education, integrating foundational medical knowledge with extensive clinical and research experiences.

How does Yale School of Medicine integrate research into its medical education?

At Yale School of Medicine, research is seamlessly integrated into the medical education framework. Students are encouraged to engage in research activities throughout their education, with opportunities ranging from funded summer research after the first year to short-term and long-term research projects in later years. The requirement of an MD thesis in the fourth year exemplifies Yale’s commitment to fostering a strong research foundation in its students. This integration of research with clinical education ensures that graduates are well-equipped to contribute to the advancement of medical science and patient care.

What is the significance of the MD Thesis requirement at Yale School of Medicine?

The MD Thesis requirement at Yale School of Medicine is a unique aspect of the curriculum, highlighting the school’s emphasis on scientific inquiry and research. By undertaking an MD Thesis, students delve deeply into a specific area of medical research, developing critical thinking, analytical skills, and a deeper understanding of scientific methodology. This requirement not only enhances the educational experience but also prepares students for a career in academic medicine or research, fostering a new generation of physician-scientists who can contribute to medical advancements and patient care improvements.

How does Yale School of Medicine’s mentorship culture support student development?

Yale School of Medicine’s strong mentorship culture plays a pivotal role in student development. By working under the guidance of faculty who are renowned in their fields, students receive individualized support and guidance throughout their medical education. This mentorship extends to research opportunities, where students can explore their interests under the supervision of expert faculty, fostering a deep understanding of their chosen field. The mentorship culture at Yale ensures that students are not only academically prepared but also professionally nurtured, enabling them to develop into well-rounded and competent physicians.


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