My Interview Day at Vanderbilt

Everything with my Vanderbilt interview was absolutely perfect. I drove up yesterday and arrived at my student host’s house. He was a great guy and he allowed me to exhaust him with questions about Vanderbilt. He gave me a great perspective on what its like to be black at Vanderbilt, and everything I heard I liked. He let me in on some cool info. Basically, almost every minority that gets into Vanderbilt gets a full tuition scholarship, meaning that the only debt you come out with is living expenses which is like $55,000 after 4 years. A lot of medical students I talked to turned down acceptances to Washington University to go to Vanderbilt. Most of them said they like Vanderbilt more because of the friendly atmosphere, and I could defiantly see it. Everyone was just extremely nice, and it wasn’t because they had to be. Even the first year students who had just finished taking their first anatomy exam were greeting us in the hallway. I keep hearing that Vanderbilt is ranked #1 for medical student satisfaction but I don’t know where those numbers are coming from. Before my first interview I sat in neuroscience class for second year medical students and it was pretty cool. The teacher seemed very animated, and into what she was teaching. I left to catch some breakfast at McDonalds, and then I decided to do some exploring. I went upstairs and found Vanderbilt’s Global Health Institute, where they do some amazing international work and research. I saw a paper a med student had written on circumcision and its affects on the spread of HIV and AIDS. That is exactly research (if any) that I want to do. I ended up getting lost and had to ask a doctor for directions back to the medical school (somehow I ended up in the hospital). He told me to follow him and while I talked to him, I found out that he was a professor of anesthesiology at Vanderbilt. He had transferred from UCSD Medical School about 4 years ago and he said that he liked Vanderbilt more, because the teachers really seem to go out of their way to help students, which he didn’t see at UCSD. He just liked the friendly atmosphere.

I met with the Dean of Diversity at 9 a.m. and he was a cool guy. He basically just got to know me and he told me that he sits on the admissions committee. He asked me some common interview questions, and then he asked me what questions I would be asking my interviewer. So I told him, and he schooled me on what I should and shouldn’t ask, which was helpful. I made some obvious mistakes while talking with him, but it was a less formal interview, so hopefully that won’t adversely affect me when he inputs his thoughts about me during an adcomm meeting. The whole interview day was very organized. After my interview with him, I was escorted by two ladies to Dr. Price’s office for my main interview. She was a very nice lady. Before we started, she explained to me that by the time she is done with my interview, she will have to type an essay about me, for the admission committee. She also let me know that any thank you letters or anything I send her, will be forwarded to the admissions office. I had prepared for the interview using the SDN Interview Feedback site, and basically every question she asked was on my list like:

1. Why Vanderbilt?
2. Why Medicine?
3. How would your friends describe you?
4. What is your strongest character trait?
5. Tell me about your research?
6. How would you handle a leadership situation when you had a clear slacker in the group, like lets say in a group that your teacher assigned you to in medical school?
7. Why did you choose to go to Oakwood College?
8. What’s a weakness that you have?
9. What does your mom do for a living?
10. What does your dad do for a living?
11. What do we have to do, to get you to come to Vanderbilt?
12. Do you have any questions for me about Vanderbilt?

In reference to that last question, I asked her questions mostly about the structure of the 3rd and 4th years of medical school (I got the idea from a post on SDN Forums. If you want I can put up the link). She seemed very impressed when I asked her these questions, and she told me that most students ask about 1st and 2nd years when they are honestly the same everywhere (except Duke), just with different packaging. I asked her questions like (and once again, I didn’t make these up myself):

1. What is the role of a 3rd year medical student at Vanderbilt? Meaning; do they get opportunities to get their hands dirty, or do they basically watch what the resident does?
2. How much “scut work” (be careful with that term) do 3rd year students end up doing at Vanderbilt?
3. How do Vanderbilt students do in the match?

The interview was extremely laid back, and I was really put at ease. After that, I was escorted (yeah, the actually walk you everywhere you need to go) back to the admissions office. There I saw all the other students that were interviewing that day. At first I felt awkward cause I was the only person of color there (out of 9), but we struck up some conversations and got to know each other, so it was cool. They escorted all of us to a conference room where we had presentations on the new curriculum, financial aid, what 3rd and 4th year is like (from a 4th year medical student), and what 1st and 2nd year is like at Vanderbilt (from 2nd year medical students). The 2nd year medical students then took us on a tour of the medical school. It was pretty cool, and they are renovating a lot of places to make it look newer. We came back and ate after the tour (the food was bangin’). Then we were taken on a tour of the Children’s Hospital which I must admit was (and I don’t use this term often) breathtaking. You can see the movie theater in the children’s hospitals on the pictures section of this entry, to the right.

Much more happened, but overall it was a great experience and I would go to Vanderbilt in a bloody heart beat if I knew that that was where the Lord wanted me to be. They said that we shouldn’t call them about our status until like 6 weeks, but we could find out as early as October 15th. From what my student host said; every minority that is recommended to be interviewed by the Dean of Diversity is usually accepted, so hopefully everything works out for me. I fly out for my Maryland and Howard interviews on Friday, so I have to go and catch up on the work I missed. Oh yeah, below are some videos I took while sitting in the neuroscience class.



5 Responses to My Interview Day at Vanderbilt

  1. Elizabeth says:

    How did you get into Vandy?

  2. Kaitlyn Warren says:

    I just completed my first year of undergraduate study and aspire to one day get into Vanderbilt Medical School. I want to receive as much advice as possible, and am very interested in knowing how to make myself a more competitive candidate for medical school. Could you please tell me the specifics on the activities you participated in during your undergraduate study? How much time and what types of places did you volunteer? How much hands on experience did you get? How many/what type of extracurricular clubs/sports did you participate in? How much shadowing did you do? What was your GPA? What was your MCAT score? How much research did you do? I’m terribly sorry for loading you up with questions, I just want to really get an idea of what it takes to get into Vanderbilt for medical school. I would be so thankful if you could answer these questions for me!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I’m really interested in Vandy Med, and I was wondering if you actually did get accepted even though that was so long ago! Thanks! 🙂

    • DoctaJay says:

      I actually did not get accepted, but such is life. I was very happy with Loma Linda and would go there again.

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