medical school | international medical university interview

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Hello! Since I haven’t found any updated version of the talk through of how IMU interviews go by, I’ll share with you my experience. I attended my interview around 5-6 months ago, so bear with me as I recall the experience. I’ll update this post if I remember anything that I miss, so don’t worry! I got you covered. 😉

 

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Art from Google.

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The interview was held in IMU Bukit Jalil campus. My interview was scheduled at 2.00 p.m., I think. All the interviewees were required to arrive and register an hour before our interview time. I drove there with my eldest sister, and we parked outside of the building. And… I’m not Nadirah without any mishaps happening to me before an important event, right? One of the tyres of the car literally burst right before we parked. 😭 Hahaha. I told my sister that I couldn’t care less about the tyre right then and called my second sister to ask if my brother-in-law was free enough to help us. And I literally left my eldest sister to deal with the car. 😂 #badsister

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So, I walked uphill to the security guard to get my visitor pass and in the enquiry centre, I met the lady officer who’s in charged of the interview to register and confirm the validity of my certificates. I was then brought to a small conference room for a briefing about the selection process of the IMU medical and dental programme with a couple of other prospective students.

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Then we were brought up to the waiting area where there was a senior lecturer waiting for us with some other candidates. We talked and asked questions about IMU and its syllabus while waiting for our interview. It calmed my nerves a bit, until I realised I was wearing sandals instead of the closed in shoes that I left in the car!! Hahahaa. I told the facilitator that I wanted to have a change of shoes, which he told me to be as quickly as I can as I only have 10 minutes until my turn. I called my sister and she waited for me half-way near the entrance. I walked back up, and boom, it was my turn. 😅 #nasibbaik

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I was interviewed by two lady doctors, pretty sure they’re the lecturers of IMU as well.

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So this is basically how it went:
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Tell us a bit about yourself.
I told them my name, interest, and my hometown.
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What is the your favourite book?
We talked more about the book that I mentioned as, coincidently, “Who Moved My Cheese?” was one of the interviewers’ favourite book too. 
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Based on your favourite book, what was the most valuable thing that you learned?
I talked about being comfortable with change and how it is an important trait not just for doctors, but for human beings as well. I talked about how my life plan got all jumbled up because of the anxiety symptoms that I experienced and how our lives in general are constantly changing in order to grow. At this point, I just blurted out what I think because I honestly didn’t prepare for this question in depth. Hahaha!
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Tell us about the curricular activities that you joined.
I mentioned some of my curricular activities I did during school, after SPM, and in my previous university. 
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You have a long list of curricular activities both locally and abroad, what have you learned from it?
I can’t remember how exactly I answered the questions but I think I talked something about respecting others, having good communication skills, and punctuality.
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Have you done any volunteering project?
I mentioned some of my volunteering projects.
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As a leader, how do you get your teammates to cooperate?
I think I said something about maximising the team members’ strength and weaknesses to the advantage of the team. I’m pretty sure I later rambled about absolute rubbish here. 😂
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What have you learned being a volunteer at the National Heart Institute?
Patient wants a doctor who is a good listener, emphaty is important in the work field, supporting family caregivers in providing care. I can’t remember saying anything else.
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If you don’t mind, tell us more about your mental health.
(I had to disclose it when applying) I explain my symptoms and how I’m coping well with them.
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How would this affect your studies?
I told them that my studies weren’t actually the trigger to my anxiety, not studying was.
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Are you mentally and physically prepared to embark on your medical school journey all over again?
I can’t remember what I said.
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Are you thinking of doing psychiatry as your specialisation?
“I grew up wanting to be an anaesthesiologist, but after my experience with mental illness, psychiatry is definitely an option now.”
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Why not be a counsellor if you want to treat people with mental illness?
Told them about how being a consultant psychiatrist would give me more authority on my patients’ care rather than a counsellor.
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One of your patients wants to give you an expensive holiday trip as a token of gratitude. Would you accept it? The holiday costs next to nothing to your patient as he is filthy rich.
I told them that I would politely decline the offer, emphasis on polite, since I don’t want to lose a patient for being rude. And I would offer a suggestion to my patient that he introduced me to his friends who might benefit from my service so I could afford the very expensive holiday trip myself. The interviewers laughed and thought that is the most realistic answer they have heard. 😅 They tried to persuade me to change my answer with their “what ifs”, but I stand firm on earning my very expensive holiday trip with my wage. Hehe. #feminism #independence
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What if your patient don’t want to introduce you to his friends?
I looked at the interviewers and frowned. I told them if that actually happens, I’d get very offended! All of us laughed at my attempt to joke (thankfully). Then I told them in all seriousness, the actual reason I don’t wish to receive any expensive gifts from anyone is because I have this feeling that those gifts might come back and bite me in the arse (pardon my language, I wasn’t thinking, and the word arse came out 😂). They nodded and asked me the next questions.
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What if it’s a not expensive gift? Like flowers and chocolates.
I said I would love to have those! Sometimes being reminded that my work is being appreciated is wonderful.
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Why do you want to be appreciated? Why do you need such validation?
I explained to them that I’m doing my job as a doctor because I love it, it’s my passion. However, as a human being, being appreciated gives such warmth that not any wages can give. I told them that I’m not against any medical professionals getting gifts or cards as appreciation from their patients, but I do draw some boundaries of what I accept and what I don’t.
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They asked me all kind of what ifs to get me to change my answers. But I reckon, if you truly believe your answer reflects who you are as a person and the values you hold, stick with it. Let your personality shines through.
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At the end of it, I told them the car incident and the interviewers asked me if I have someone to help me. I told them everything’s fine (though I didn’t know it at that time hehe). I went back to the car, and saw the car had been sorted out. Yay to my amazing siblings!
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 If you’re thinking why doesn’t I sound nervous during this interview, mind you this is not the first time I attended medical school interview. After my IB Diploma programme, I attended lots of medical school interviews with the Australian’s and Ireland’s medical schools. Besides, you should listen to the questions my psychiatrist asked me during our mock medical interview the week before — his questions were soo mean I almost cried!
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And although I think that the general idea of the questions is basically the same, please do keep in mind too that I’m not your typical student applying for medical school. I have my circumstances, especially with my medical history. My questions might be a bit tougher than yours.
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I hope this entry would benefit those of you who’re looking forward to join the IMU Medical Programme. Hit me up on the comment section below if you are preparing for the interview!
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