Admissions Interview

Interview structure

If you have been invited to interview, congratulations! The faculty, students and staff of the University of Washington School of Medicine look forward to welcoming you to the School and introducing you to its programs.​

You will meet virtually with three interviewers simultaneously and the interview will last approximately 30 minutes. One of the interviewers is a member of the Executive Committee on Admissions (EXCOM) and will represent you during the decision-making process. The Executive Committee member has access to your entire file. The other members of the interview panel may be faculty members from throughout the WWAMI region, medical students, community physicians, or representatives from the lay community. These interviewers see your application without your grades or MCAT scores.

Admissions Committee

The Admissions Committee is comprised of more than 200 faculty, students, community physicians, and representatives from the lay community throughout the WWAMI region. Approximately 20 committee members serve on the Executive Committee (EXCOM), with one representative each from Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho.

Applicant Screening

All completed applications undergo an assessment by at least two current or former Executive Committee members to determine if the applicant should be invited to interview. This process can take anywhere from 1-3 months, and all applicants will receive an email with a decision about their status. Applicants who are invited to interview will first receive an email stating that they have been selected for an interview and will receive a follow-up email with instructions on how to select a date. The scheduling email is generally sent about 3-4 weeks prior to the interview.  

Interview Sites

All applicants are considered as a cohort, which means they are compared to other applicants from that particular pool (Montana applicants are compared to other Montana applicants, for example). Washington residents may interview as part of the Seattle or Spokane cohort, depending on their preferred site for the Foundations Phase. Interview assignments are made based on the applicant's preference in the secondary application. Please direct questions to the Office of Admissions: (206) 543-7212.

Interview Schedule

All interviews for the 2024-2025 cycle will be held virtually. All sites will use the same basic interview format (30-minute panel interview), but there will be differences in the schedule of activities for each cohort. When applicants are invited to interview, they will be given access to a password-protected website that will provide more details about the schedule, activities, etc.

Washington

Spokane
Washington applicants interested in the Spokane campus for Foundations will interview November 13-14, December 2-4, and January 21-23. TRUST applicants will interview in January.

Seattle & Out-of-Region

Washington applicants interested in the Seattle campus for Foundations and all out-of-region applicants will interview during the weeks of October 7, October 14, October 28, November 18, December 9, December 16, and January 2-3. CUSP applicants will interview on specific dates during these weeks. TRUST applicants will interview in January.

Wyoming
Wyoming resident interviews are held (TRUST and non-TRUST): January 13-16, 2025.

Alaska
Alaska resident interviews are held (TRUST and non-TRUST): January 27-30, 2025.

Montana
Montana resident interviews are held (TRUST and non-TRUST): February 3-6, 2025.

Idaho 
Idaho resident interviews are held (TRUST and non-TRUST): February 10-14, 2025.

Interview Resources

Interviewing for Health Professions Schools - a general resource from the National Association of Advisors for Health Professions Visit our resources page.

Interview Preparation

Motivation and exploration

  • What excites you about a career in medicine?
  • What concerns you about a career in medicine and how do you get past your concerns?
  • How did you decide that being a doctor was the right career for you?
  • How have your experiences prepared you for a career in medicine?
  • What personality characteristics do you have that will make you a good doctor?

Communication skills

  • Can you express an idea or thought concisely? (in less than 1-2 minutes)
  • Do you rephrase what someone has just told you to make sure you understood it correctly?
  • Do you look for body language signifying emotional reaction such as agreement, disagreement, annoyance, happiness, fear, anger, excitement, disappointment or despondency?
  • Do you interrupt someone when they are speaking to you?
  • Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers or teammates.
  • What do you do if you disagree with a co-worker?
  • What are important components of a productive conversation between people who disagree?
  • Describe a time that you had to explain to someone your view when they did not agree with you. What went well and why and what could be improved?
  • Tell me about a time when you later realized you had treated someone differently because of an unconscious bias. What did you learn from this situation?
  • Have you handled a difficult situation with a supervisor? How?

Empathy

  • Can you imagine yourself in someone else’s position?
  • Do you consider how someone else might feel about a situation given their experience, culture and/or social context?
  • Can you replace your hopes and plans for someone with their own hopes and plans?
  • Can you understand, accept and value someone else’s opinion when it is different from yours
  • Tell us about a time when you have advocated for someone else/another group.

Knowledge of the field of medicine

  • What personal attributes do you consider most important for success in research?
  • What do you consider markers of success for a physician?
  • What personal attributes do you consider most important for success as a physician?
  • What attributes do you feel are necessary to elicit hope and trust in patients?
  • Why do you think community service is a category on the AMCAS application?
  • If you were putting together a healthcare team, who would be on it?
  • How is the role of the physician changing?
  • Choose one of the issues facing healthcare today and describe how you might go about addressing it.
  • What do you think people in the U.S. are most concerned about? How might this affect their health (or not)?
  • Are you familiar with the term “health inequity”? How would you define it and what are some of the factors contributing to it?
  • What is an issue confronting an underserved community that you have worked with and what would be your first steps to address this issue?

Analytical thinking/problem solving

  • If you had all the money in the world and could snap your fingers, what problem would you solve? How?
  • You are on a committee to solve a particular issue. You disagree with the direction being set by the chair of that committee, and strongly feel that it is incorrect. What would you do?
  • How do you resolve conflict at work, home, or in the classroom?
  • You are called to the ER to see a patient that has a problem supposedly in your area of expertise. When you arrive it becomes clear that this patient has a completely different type of problem. What do you do?
  • You catch a fellow student cheating on an exam. What do you do?
  • Describe a moral or ethical dilemma that arose out of an interpersonal relationship. How did you handle it?
  • There is a new drug to cure a certain type of cancer, but it is extremely expensive. How do you decide who should get the drug?

Problem Solving

We used to have a role play in which applicants and interviewers acted out a scenario. We no longer have a specific time devoted to a role play, but the interviewers are still looking for your approach to solving problems. They want to know how you “think on your feet” and are as interested in your process as they are in your answer.

  • Define the problem: If you have been asked a question or been given a patient scenario, rephrase the question or situation to make sure you understood it correctly. If not, ask for clarification.
  • Tell the interviewers what you know about the problem.
  • Tell the interviewers what you need to know about the problem before you can provide a reasonable answer. Include any information you feel you are you missing.

Provide your answers or alternative solutions based on your understanding of the problem and the information you have gathered and show how these have influenced your decisions.

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