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Commonly asked Residency Interview Questions

  • "Why do you want to go into internal medicine?"
  • "What are your ultimate career plans? Are you planning on a subspecialty? What field?"
    (Note that it is perfectly acceptable to say 'I don't know' to this question. An interest in a subspecialty is not mandatory. Internal medicine is a broad area, and not knowing what you want to do before you have started training is certainly reasonable. This question is to get an idea of your area of interest and whether or not you may be heading in a certain career direction. It is also fine to have more than one subspecialty in mind.
  • "Where do you see yourself in five years? ten years?"
  • "How do you feel about the practice of medicine today? What about its future? (i.e. malpractice, insurance, reimbursements, etc.)"
  • "What is your biggest fear in the realm of medicine?" (or questions concerning the state of medicine in general)
  • "Why do you want to come to this program?"
  • "What makes this program appealing/special to you?"
  • "What do you hope to gain from our residency program?"
  • "Why should we want you to come to our program?"
  • "What will you/can you bring to our program?"
  • "Briefly describe your student research project." (if applicable)
  • "Do you plan on research as being a part of your career?"
  • "Tell me something about you that is not on you CV."
  • "Give me some one-word descriptors of yourself."
  • "What are some of your strengths/weaknesses?"
  • "Tell me about your hometown/college/medical school."
  • "Why did you choose the college/medical school that you attended?"
  • "Describe the best/worst incident that you encountered in your medical school career."
  • "Who is your role model? Why?"
  • "What are some of your hobbies/interest/extra-curricular activities?"
  • "What is the most recent book you've read? Tell me a little bit about this book."

You should be prepared - interviewers may pick something on your curriculum vitae (i.e. extra-curricular activities, work experiences, research project, etc.), personal statement, ERAS application, etc. to ask you about. Remember what you wrote; review these documents prior to interviewing so you are not caught off guard by these questions.

Imagine the Possibilities: Careers in Internal Medicine

This career-counseling brochure [PDF] contains information about careers in internal medicine and is designed for medical and pre-medical students.

Other Residency Resources

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Have questions about the new ABIM MOC Program?

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