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How do people answer the question of why should the program choose you??

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1 hour ago, lovemedicinesomuch said:

That's a difficult question because tbh I think i am an average med student. I try my best, work hard, personable, good rapport with pt or families... but I don't know how to answer this question.

well you start by not thinking you are an average medical student or perhaps better to remember an average medical student is a pretty awesome student (imagine you went around saying something like that in other areas - oh he is just an average Olympic swimmer, or average mountain climber and so on....technically true perhaps but not really giving you the right picture and definitely not the right attitude). 

Probably boils down to thinking that programs are looking for the same basic things  Are you smart? Are you hard working? Are you not a jerk? Are you actually interested in the field enough to endure all the painful and exhausting parts of the training program? 

What examples do you have that show the above characteristics? - and you do have examples etc. 

Don't try to compare yourself to other candidates - you don't know their strengths/weaknesses anyway so you cannot do  that properly even if you wanted to. The conversation is not about them, it is about you. 


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It doesn't always have to be something crazy unique or some elaborate story about why this is the PERFECT fit for you. It just has to be something honest and from the heart. The truth is most programs would likely be happy to choose 95% of the candidates that apply. You should reflect on what your real strengths are (whether they are as simple as being mature, or easy to work with, or aware of your limitations) and just be honest with the program about the characteristics that would make you a good fit for their program.

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The program also has needs and various incentives, so the real question is "what can you offer/contribute to the program to make it better"? 

Maybe the program wants to be "academic", so if you have research or grad degrees you play that ball game and dress yourself as am ambitious academian.

Maybe the program needs a laborer, yes-man to cover calls and could care less about academics. In that case you dress yourself as a workhorse with the strength of Samson.

Maybe the program just likes "nice guys", who aren't over powering and bossy, but also is competent enough not to burn the building down, so in that case it's all about balance, well rounded ness etc.

So basically you gotta do some homework and figure out what's "missing" in the program and sell it. It's a mix of the actuality and playing their fantasy and aspirations.

I would highlight the latter part because there's a fair number of delusional academians in universities. Sometimes you poke their weak spots and they squak like you're about to eat them alive. On the other hand sometimes you massage their weak spot a bit and they spill all their beans, even the moldy ones. 

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