Smrithi Upadhyayula, a student at the University of Texas at Dallas, has already given up on the fact that her email inbox will remain crowded for the rest of the medical school application cycle. Every day, there seem to be updates from one school or another about transcripts that need updating or letters that need to be resubmitted.
It got to the point that when she received the first interview invitation, she described feeling uncertain whether it was real in an interview with Newsletter.
“I was like, ‘I definitely read that wrong,'” said Obadiola.
After applicants submit a primary and secondary application to the medical school of interest, the medical school often selects a small subset of applicants to complete a face-to-face interview. for example, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Only 12.7% of applicants were invited for an interview in their 2026 class. Of those interviewed, nearly 49.8% were eventually offered a seat.
In an interview with Newsletter Isha Verma, a senior, described her own experiences waiting for interview invitations.
“I’m feeling a little nervous about having to wait to hear a response, but I think at this point, I’m mostly relieved to do that,” she said. “I only stay motivated by trying not to think about the interview process at the moment, so I don’t get too overwhelmed.
Verma also described her backup plan in case she is not accepted into medical school for this course.
“I am preparing for job interviews, so I hope to learn skills from the practice of those transitioning to medical school interviews as well,” she said.
In 2019, an interview invitation at a medical school may have meant that Upadhyayola would need to pack her bags and catch the next flight to any school in the country. This meant that Upadhyayula would need to coordinate with family members in the area to get a place to stay for the night or to book a hotel.
However, since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, most medical schools have conducted their interviews online. While many medical experts salute this As a step forward to achieve fairness in medical school admissions, others have noted that the virtual interview space presents its own world of challenges For disadvantaged applicants.
Personally, Upadhyayula enjoys the flexibility that virtual interviews have given her, especially after receiving multiple scheduled invitations close to each other. There was no way to interview her logistically in many schools before, let alone in financial terms.
She recalled hearing an anecdote that some students had to take out loans in order to pay for the interview. Hopkins Medicine These loans are still advertised For students who are interviewing for residency positions.
Bradley Speller, associate dean of the admissions department at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSU HSC), remembers taking out a high-interest loan to cover travel costs for his interview in the early 2000s.
In an interview with Newsletter Share that LSU HSC plans to continue virtual interviews for the foreseeable future in order to improve accessibility.
“The medical school interview, and accommodations, in general, shouldn’t be prohibitively expensive, especially for a college student,” he said. “[With virtual interviews]For those who come across the country, you don’t have to get a flight, you don’t have to get a hotel, you don’t have to reorganize the month.”
Despite this post, Spiller and colleagues acknowledge both the advantages and disadvantages of the virtual interview model in Publishing last spring. While virtual interviews claim to bridge the financial gap between applicants, they present a digital divide. In fact, one study I found that the virtual interviewees got a higher rating if they had higher quality videos.
As an interviewer himself, Spiller made it clear that he looks at more than just how the applicant responds to his questions. Although he acknowledges that this should not be the case, the quality of the applicant’s internet plays a role in the interviewer’s ability to properly assess them.
“It’s a different dynamic than meeting face to face. I am a firm believer that most communication during a conversation, with one-to-one in particular, is nonverbal,” he said. “It can be difficult in a virtual space to fully communicate that sense.”
While she was able to save on travel, Updhyayola highlighted that the virtual interviews themselves can still take a long time. Interviews are often scheduled during the work week, and according to school It can take from an hour to a whole day.
“I should really plan my life,” she said.
Spiller reported that, to properly acknowledge equality concerns in the interview process, the Office of Student Affairs at LSU HSC provides a space for medical students to conduct their residency interviews using appropriate audiovisual equipment and Wi-Fi.
He said, “You can’t assume that everyone has this ideal living situation where they will be able to spend x number of hours of their day and have this space inside their residence for an interview without any background noise.” . “It is really the duty of institutions to provide a place for their students, to have a place where they can do the interviews and not have to worry about these external factors.”
Speller’s post goes into detail about optimal conditions for an interview, even at one point leaving an outline for Perfect office setup.
Upadhyayula shared a Zoom setup for her interview, which includes a circular light, footstool and white background. Although she hadn’t read Spieler’s paper, Upadyayula also reversed his suggestion to keep a water bottle on the side and have a phone on hand for any technical difficulties.
Although the logistical aspects of the virtual interview are their own story, Updhyayola emphasized her initial concerns in preparing for the content of the interview itself.
How can she reduce her reason for seeking medicine to a 60-second response when that conclusion took her years to reach? And how can she do her best with so many other applicants vying for places?
However, after conducting some interviews herself, Opadiola confirmed that the interviews are not as scary as she thought.
“Everyone will tell you” The interview will be really cool. They just want to get to know you, she said, “but we rarely believe that as Type A coaches.” “You really have to experience it for yourself before you think they’re really trying to get to know you.”
Elle Rose Matton is a freshman student from Austin, Texas majoring in molecular and cellular biology and public health. Project MD 2027 documents the challenges, inequalities, and triumphs of Hopkins students who have applied to medical school for entry in 2023.