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Content Vs Presentaiton Of Answer

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In my opinion, presentation. When it comes to interview answers, finding something to talk about (i.e., content) isn't usually a problem for most people. It's the compelling manner in which this content is presented, sold, narrated or argued, which truly distinguishes good from great answers. 

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Good presentation without the content won't cut it - so content is king. However, your overall performance, which involves presentation, is being judged to determine your suitability for medicine.

 

This is from future_doc's pinned thread here which I encourage you to read at http://forums.premed101.com/index.php?/topic/47600-mmi-casper-prep-by-popular-demand-part-i-of-ii/

 

This appears to be good guidance. The interviewers mark you from a ‘structured checklist’ ranging from “excellent”, “good”, “satisfactory” to “unsatisfactory”. Below is also an additional List of Skills and Behaviours that are specifically marked in one of the below categories:
4=Excellent, 3=Good, 2=Satisfactory, 1=Unsatisfactory Top Score=20

- Has a sense of establishing the facts to ensure fairness 

- Demonstrates an awareness of the dilemma from a range of perspectives

- Ability to balance conflicting interests to come to a judgment about what is right

- Appreciates the need for students to consider the consequences of personal
behaviours

- Is able to draw lessons from experience to inform future learning


Excellent shows a degree of originality and creativity, including showing a good appreciation of the general issues in the context of professionalism. There is good coverage of the topic with relevant and reasoned argument. The answers demonstrate a clear view of how the various aspects of the topic relate to one another. There is reasonable evidence of critical reflection on professionalism on both the interviewee and that of others. The answers appear authentic and honest. 

Good is the same as Excellent without the originality and creativity.

Satisfactory the answers are relevant but do not address all aspects of the topic. There is demonstration of understanding of the issue being considered and just enough evidence that a reasonable argument has been advanced. There is evidence of critical reflection on professionalism but the answers are more descriptive than analytical. The answers indicate a modest understanding of the topic but appear authentic and honest.

Unsatisfactory the discussion is not always accurate and relevant and key points are missed. The attempt at reasoned argument is of doubtful quality. Strategy is misfired.

Strength of your arguments, your communication skills, how you defend your position n/w/s provocation and the interviewer’s overall assessment of your performance and suitability to study of medicine and being a doctor are all factors.

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http://forums.premed101.com/index.php?/topic/47600-mmi-casper-prep-by-popular-demand-part-i-of-ii/

 

Assess the facts in terms of what is normally expected, including social & legal standards and norms of responsible conduct, look to ripple effects to persons involved, their family, the institution involved if any, society, including others in similar circumstances

Diagnose the moral and other problems. Determine what the parties believe to have happened and the impact upon them 

Determine purpose of this scenario for you

Consider what, if any, ethical considerations are involved for the parties and wider society, and how these issues may be addressed by persons in authority

Determine what, if any, legal, bioethical or medical ethics problems or practical problems exist. Consider these as unexpressed facts in your analysis to come to a satisfactory or creative solution


Consider and discuss:

the options of actions of the participants and authorities

Consider fully the ethical principles for each option and conclude with persuasive argument supporting your plan of attack

Establish and discuss the goal you set for resolution of the ethical problem. Convince them that your plan of action (decision) will be acceptable in resolving the problem on a practical level, while addressing the ethical issues involved.

Justify the solution in terms of practicality and ethical considerations – both with the decision made AND the process of reaching and implementing the solution

Remember your ability to master a new situation in a time sensitive manner, while considering all factors that are not obvious and maintaining your composure, is what is being assessed.


OR

DEFINE THE REAL ISSUES, THE PROBLEM

STATE THE ETHICAL RULES THAT APPLY

APPLY THE RULES TO THE FACTS, TAKING INTO A/C RIPPLE EFFECT

REACH A CONCLUSION AND SOLUTION

DISCUSS THE ALTERNATIVES AND WHY NOT APPLIED

DISCUSS WHY YOUR APPROACH WAS APPROPRIATE

DEFEND YOUR POSITION WHEN IT IS ATTACKED

 

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Honestly, you should probably have both if you want a solid chance at acing the medical interview. There's arguments for both sides, but if I had to choose, probably content. There a pretty good story that I'd like to share regarding this. 

 

You live in a quaint little area in the suburbs. One day some guy comes to your door trying to sell you a internet services. He's a well spoken guy and wearing a handsome suit. But here's the catch, he's from Comcast. You've heard of their notoriety and poor services before and politely decline. 

 

The next day, you hear that some guy is going around the neighbourhood offering Google Fiber. WOW, you're gonna get Gbps internet at half the cost. So you rush to try and meet this guy, but turns out he's kind of a rude and curt guy. And he doesn't look professional at all! He's just wearing a t-shirt and jeans. Doesn't matter though because he's offering Google Fiber. 

 

Now ask yourself, which of the two scenarios would you rather have?

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I'll throw my two cents in;

 

I think that the presentation of the information definitely dominates. I think that its important to have good content to an extent, but after a certain point you likely get some diminishing returns because attempts to seem original and creative could be perceived as negativity, arrogance, inflammatory statements, or that you're trying to "game the mmi/panel".

 

 

I think that the way you present yourself, body language, cadence, word choice, and confidence separate the good answers from the great answers. Additionally, you have to present everything in a logical way of thinking. I think that it is likely that the majority of people who get invited for the interview are capable of forming very sound arguments for whatever position they take. The key for many is going to be presenting the information in a way that convinces the interviewer that you have come up with a comprehensive, articulate, reasonable and original solution.

 

I'm not saying you can't do that with excellent content, but it seems much harder to do that as you need to come up with unique arguments in 2 minutes like 10 times. It just seems implausible that you could generate 10/10 content 10/10 times. Whereas an excellent presentation style can be taken from situation to situation.

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Also throwing in my two cents. I would say its about 50/50 because you can have the most amazing content, but deliver it like a robot/with the wrong intonation (i.e. sounding too authoritative/uncertain/argumentative/without personality) and you can come off much worse. As an underlying thought, whenever you are in a panel/MMI, you should be considering whether the general impression you are giving off if somebody who the interviewers could see themselves working with/getting along with/ somebody who will be a good fit for the class/ somebody who can interact well with peers, mentors, and patients. Basically, if you are able to relax and be yourself, you will have won half the battle before even considering content. 

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I'm going with communication. Willing to bet most premeds have similar content. It's the way you present yourself, and how you make your interviewers feel. Are you someone they can imagine themselves working with?

 

You'd be surprised... the interview is usually the greatest variation in a cohort's overall application. Just good content is not always enough. 

 

- G 

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Although you need both. For me presentation trumps content. Interviews are all about presenting ideas orally. The interviewers does not have a hard copy of your answers so that they can review later, they have to keep up with what you're saying in real time. If your ideas are structured (with conclusions/intros/pros/cons/etc.) and you seem confident, then you'll sound so much more impressive than if you have great ideas but can't communicate. I think I remember reading somewhere that 2/3 of the rubric for MMI is how you present yourself. Also keep in mind that you have 8 minutes which doesn't allow you to really go into depth about a lot of things. And finally remember that interviewers have to write notes as you answer your questions. Which means their full mental capacity is not always on the content of the answers as they may zone out for a bit to write something they liked/disliked down. I could go on but yea, interviews have always been like that. They may tell you that they are only evaluating your content, but anyone who has ever taken a sociology/psych class knows how hard it is to control subconscious biases. Impression is everything, which is why you wear a suit :)

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Honestly, you should probably have both if you want a solid chance at acing the medical interview. There's arguments for both sides, but if I had to choose, probably content. There a pretty good story that I'd like to share regarding this. 

 

You live in a quaint little area in the suburbs. One day some guy comes to your door trying to sell you a internet services. He's a well spoken guy and wearing a handsome suit. But here's the catch, he's from Comcast. You've heard of their notoriety and poor services before and politely decline. 

 

The next day, you hear that some guy is going around the neighbourhood offering Google Fiber. WOW, you're gonna get Gbps internet at half the cost. So you rush to try and meet this guy, but turns out he's kind of a rude and curt guy. And he doesn't look professional at all! He's just wearing a t-shirt and jeans. Doesn't matter though because he's offering Google Fiber. 

 

Now ask yourself, which of the two scenarios would you rather have?

 

This is a really bad analogy because the marketer is just selling the commodity, he's not including himself/herself in the package. Your reflection of the salesperson doesn't influence the quality of the product, only the service. For a physician the service is the product. You can't equate a commodity to someone who needs the qualities to work in a team and in a professional environment. 

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This is a really bad analogy because the marketer is just selling the commodity, he's not including himself/herself in the package. Your reflection of the salesperson doesn't influence the quality of the product, only the service. For a physician the service is the product. You can't equate a commodity to someone who needs the qualities to work in a team and in a professional environment. 

 

Picky picky, but I see your point. Good thing with hypothetical examples, you can change them easily to suit your point. Let's use a homeopathic doctor vs a physician instead. 

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You know, I really wonder if a super rational and cogent response, in which every statement fully logically sound and their ensemble is valid, really is what these people are looking for. That's not how people speak. In the end, it seems like perfect content without any finesse in the presentation won't cut it, just like vice versa. This may be a feeling that only I have, but if you are able to sound thoughtful and genuine and careful about what you say to say it the best way you can, I'll be more than happy to forgive any idiosyncrasies I may detect. Communication isnt philosophical discourse, and fortunately so.

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Going with presentation over content.

 

Med school interview isn't jeopardy or an exam assessing how much one knows. It's about evaluating character. People who got an interview are already smart enough and/or looked good enough on paper. The assessors know that every candidate at the interview will be "smart". I'd rather be clear and drive home 3 key points/opinions and also show that I would make an excellent doctor, student, peer, colleague, and patient leader.

People make medicine out to be this career/job where you have to be brilliant, but you can honestly take anyone who's willing and teach them the science and the skills needed to make a differential diagnosis. Being understanding of others when you haven't slept for 36 hours, and being able to be nice to a complete dick of a colleague is sooo much harder to teach. That's what separate us from diagnostic robots running on artificial intelligence.

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So a lot of people agree that presentation is more important. Now in your opinion, is there a best style of presentation? I've prepped with many people now and I've seen all kind of styles. Some seem like a calm/wise/serious when they speak. Some have a lot more energy and are assertive in what they have to say. I've also seen a few people who have a very cheerful and upbeat demeanor. THese are just a few that I saw. What do you guys think is the best style? Does it really matteR? How about non-verbal things? (eg. Smiling, Using hand gestures, talking speed, filler words, etc.) 

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So a lot of people agree that presentation is more important. Now in your opinion, is there a best style of presentation? I've prepped with many people now and I've seen all kind of styles. Some seem like a calm/wise/serious when they speak. Some have a lot more energy and are assertive in what they have to say. I've also seen a few people who have a very cheerful and upbeat demeanor. THese are just a few that I saw. What do you guys think is the best style? Does it really matteR? How about non-verbal things? (eg. Smiling, Using hand gestures, talking speed, filler words, etc.) 

 

Depends on the person. There isn't a formula. Just be yourself and be articulate. Frame your thoughts nicely. Have good organization. Don't sound scripted. If you try to act like something you're not, it comes across as inauthentic. 

 

Personally, I was very erratic and energetic. I'm pretty sure people thought I had 5 cups of coffee before the interview... But thats just my personality.

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So a lot of people agree that presentation is more important. Now in your opinion, is there a best style of presentation? I've prepped with many people now and I've seen all kind of styles. Some seem like a calm/wise/serious when they speak. Some have a lot more energy and are assertive in what they have to say. I've also seen a few people who have a very cheerful and upbeat demeanor. THese are just a few that I saw. What do you guys think is the best style? Does it really matteR? How about non-verbal things? (eg. Smiling, Using hand gestures, talking speed, filler words, etc.) 

 

Honestly it depends on the question for me. If it's a behavioural question "Tell me about a time when.." I'll be super cheerful, friendly, enthusiastic because it shows that what you're doing (hobbies, volunteering, etc.) are activities that you are passionate about, which is very important. They want to see that you actually care about your community involvement and are not just doing it for the CV. On the other hand, you won't catch me smiling excessively and be friendly during an ethics question. It's important to ensure that you present yourself as a professional during these questions because they are often very serious matters. 

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