Examples of Residency Interview Questions and Answers

Residency program is an important part of your medical study. But in case you want to get a place in a good hospital or clinic, you will have to deal with a bunch of residency interview questions.

In general the number of applicants for residency program is considerably higher than the number of open spots. Hospitals in their best intention try to choose the person that can bring the highest added value to the place and fits the working collective.

Candidates are usually pretty even in terms of education and medical knowledge. That’s why residency interview questions are targeting mostly some attitudes you have.


nterviewers simply try to find out if you are the right person for the residency program offered by them, if they can count with you also in the future and so on. We collected for you a list of common residency interview questions and answers. Hopefully it will help you in yourresidency interview preparation.

Question 1: We have several students from top US medical schools interviewing with us. Why should we choose you (Foreign Medical Graduate) rather than the US students?

Answer: Although I graduated from a Non-US medical school, my medical school is one of the top in our country and the admission is very competitive with less than 1 in 200 applicants getting selected into the medical school. The rather large population of patients made it possible to get hands on clinical experience in my country. My usmle scores are good and I am confident that I can perform on par with the US medical students

Question 2: If by chance, you had not become a doctor, what profession would you have chosen?

Answer I would have become a researcher. I have an inquiring mind and a passion for science and technology. I also see myelf in future as a physician-scientist, treating patients and also helping advance the medical field by involving myelf in research

Question 3: Tell me one thing in which you are the best?

Answer: I am good at multitasking. I can handle several work that requires my time simultaneouly and in an efficient manner.

Question 4: Tell me about your family?

Answer: I mentioned about my family

Question 5: So you stay with your parents?

Answer: Yes, Our culture gives much importance to family and we stay with our parents till we get married.

Question 6: What work day do you call as a good day?

Answer: Excuse me. I didn't understand your question.

Question: 7: Say you work for 12 hours. At the end 12 hours, what are the factors that will make you feel that the day is great.

Answer: I got a bit confused with this question. I initially told if I finish 50% of the work I intend to finish in a particular day, I would be happy and would assume that I have made it a useful day.

Question 8: Just 50%?

Answer: Well, I dont think it the quantity of work. I truly feel happy, if in a day I am able to help someone, without expectation of any return (which btw is true) and if I can see their happy face, then I would call it a great day.

Question 9: Tell me about a person whom you met today at our hospital?

Answer: Thank God. I chatted with a guy from Thailand next to me and I told about him.

Question 10: Why did you choose residency in internal medicine?

Answer: I believe internal medicine residency will allow me to experience diverse variety of patients. It provides greater opportunity to learn than other specialties. I am very analytical and internal medicine provides an intellectual stimulation for me while discussing and solving medical problems. I also like the idea of building a long-term relationship with the patients.

Question 11: How have you contributed to the society so far?

Answer: I love volunteering. When I was in school, I volunteered for the adult education program, where school students teach the adults to improve the overall literacy rates in the country. Later in medical school I have participated in the pulse polio vaccination program. I was also a member of a social service organization. One of their programs was making kids from poor neighborhood computer literate. I volunteered one hour every Sunday to teach the kids how to use the computer and access the Internet.

Question 12: Tell me about a patient encounter that stimulated your thinking about medical care?

Answer: Well, after my medical school, I was working in a private hospital, which was rather expensive. One of the patients there was an elderly lady, who was suffering from breast cancer. She had a surgical excision and was undergoing chemotherapy. She was very friendly and I used to call her grandma, as most elderly women are called in our country. Her husband stayed with her. They had come from a rural village. When my interaction with them deepened over time, I came to realize that they found it difficult to finance the treatment, as the drugs were expensive. I wanted to help them. Due to their rural background they were not aware that the same drugs would be available free of cost in cancer hospitals run by NGO's and government. It was a bit of dilemma for me as I was an employee of the hospital. I thought very deeply about this. Then I came to an understanding that responsibility to the well being of the patients comes first and foremost. I told them about the hospital run by NGO that provides a very standardized totally free cancer care. They were happy about it
This situation made me realize that the doctor should also take note of the social and financial aspects of the patients while providing medical care.

Question 13: How do you spend your free time?

Answer: Ever since I left my medical school, I have very less free time (smiling). I do have a variety of interests outside medical field. I love acting and I am a member of an amateur group of actors. Its sort of relaxing when you leave your personality and assume the new role during acting. I also love backpacking and camping. My native village i situated near a mountain and I love climbing it. It’s a thrill to climb to great heights. I play cricket and I bowl well. I also watch movies during spare time. I am a very outgoing person and I enjoy hanging around with my friends

Question 14: What are your plans after your residency?

Answer: I intend to do my fellowship after my residency. I have interests in infectious diseases and endocrinology. But I would make the decision after my first year of residency. I love teaching and also I told you earlier about my interest in research. If I see my future in broad terms, I would be certainly in academics as a physician-scientist and a teacher for medical students

Question 15: You graduated from a foreign medical school. What do you think are the differences between medical care there and in US? Do you think you will have difficulty in adjusting to the US healthcare system.

Answer: Even though I am from a non-US med school. I think the curriculum is similar and we read same and similar textbooks. As far as the training is concerned its very hands on training in our country due to the large volume of patients. At this point I am not aware of the US health care system, so I cannot comment on the differences. But based on what I heard from my senior college mates who are currently residents in reputed programs in US, its not very difficult to adjust to the US system.

Question 16: How do you handle conflict?

Answer: I am a very friendly and easy going person and I normally do not get into conflicts with my co-workers. But in case if a conflict do arise, I would first examine if my behavior or action might have potentially contributed to the conflict. If that i so I would rectify myself and apologize to the person concerned. In case if the conflict i due to the other persons behavior, then I would try to resolve it in a friendly, open manner by explaining to him or her about the issue and asking suggestions how to avoid similar issues in the future. If we couldn't do it ourselves, I would seek the advice of my mentor for possible mediation.

Question 17:  What are your strengths?

Answer: I am a hard worker. I am very focused on my goals. I persevere during difficult times. I am also analytical, thinking about all aspects of a given situation before making a decision. All these strengths have helped me so far in life. The fact that I am considered in this reputed program even though I am a FMG is a testimony to my strengths. I am very confident these qualities will help me in future is becoming an excellent doctor

Question 18: Do you have any question for me?
Answer: I went through the program website and also had discussion with the residents here. I was able to get all the info that I needed. I do have one question. Could you describe how the residents are evaluated during the residency training? Is there a periodic evaluation of the performance? Will I be having a mentor to advise me during my training?

As you can see, residency interview questions are mostly targeting your attitudes and ideas. In general there is no need to prepare for practical medical questions as there are very rarely part of a residency interview.

However, in some cases the interviewer may be an older doctor who likes to ask such questions. Especially these doctors like to ask medical questions no-one from the applicants can answer. But do not bother yourself with that sort of residency interview questions. The odds you get them are very little.

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