The low-down on interviews held at NUS and NTU Medicine schools

By Iaintryan

Note: I have been accepted into Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine this year; provided herein is strictly my personal opinion.

The interviews for both Medicine schools (Lee Kong Chian @ NTU and Yong Loo Lin@ NUS) comprises a cluster of activity stations which you shall approach and subsequently rotate between - You are given approximately 2 minutes to prepare at each. Generally, these include a portfolio station, scenario stations as well as stations where you need to carry out a task or engage in group work.

For the portfolio station, it naturally goes without saying you must be thoroughly familiar with items presented in your curriculum vitae. You will be called upon to share insights and takeaways from significant projects /events you previously participated in. Also, be prepared to answer standard interview questions such as your motivations for studying medicine and personal qualities/traits that you deem are synonymous with being a good physician among others; also do make sure you are acquainted with various medical parlance and current trends arising within the local health industry as you might be quizzed on general knowledge-related affairs.

For scenario-based assessments, there is no tried and proven method to get ready for them way in advance because very often random (and possibly trying) situations are assigned; however as mentioned earlier you shall be given some time to rehearse things in your mind before actually having to produce a full set of responses. Ultimately assessors desire to see how well you are able to improvise and adapt when the going gets tough on the spot. Just so you know, actors are hired to engage applicants in choreographed "sketches". A tip: stay in character at all times - never laugh, behave awkwardly or turn confrontational; it's all about projecting a "professional" and positive impression. In the event a moral argument is brought to the fore, do not give up if you reckon the other person is being unreasonable or difficult - stand steadfast in your beliefs. Yielding prematurely only serves to demonstrate you were subsisting on a shaky premise and kaboom! You just self-destructed.

For task-based stations......well stay calm and follow given instructions.

As far as group work stations are concerned, feel free to volunteer yourself for particular endeavors but do not jostle one another in a bid to stand out. After all, a doctor is supposed to be able to function as part of a team. Remember to adequately reflect on what could have been done better, how team dynamics might be improved etc

In summary, you will be graded at each station based on your performance, and these would in aggregate contribute towards an overall score. Every station is an independent, standalone agenda; if you feel you haven't fared well at one, all isn't lost - just move on and try harder thereafter. At the end of the day bear in mind folks are scrutinizing you for genuineness, confidence and passion. Good luck.


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