I think the interview went well. I had been specifically applying to a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) pathway, and the majority of the questions seemed to make sure that you were well suited for it. The questions, as expected, were centralized around communication skills, ability to lead a group and handle stress. I'm pretty confident my answers made me come off as a good fit for such a program.
The only question they really grilled me on was "why osteopathic medicine?" I told them how initially I was attracted to it because I agreed with their treating philosophy, but now it has more to do with the emphasis on primary care and closer and more personalized relationships I've seen osteopathic physicians have with their patients as opposed to the allopathic physicians. The "bad cop" then continued to say but why osteopathic medicine? It sounded like he wanted me to start hating on allopathic physicians, but I wouldn't go down that road. I simply stuck with what I said. I really don't know what else there is to say.
They asked how I like to communicate with people and give an example. I told them that when speaking with people I always like to actively engage them. When with new people I ask lots of questions and try to relate myself to them because I think it brings us to a quick level of comfort. I then supported this with a story of how I turned the quietest person I ever met into quite the talker, at least when around me. And that I'm able to reach a lever of conversation I haven't seen him have with many other people that he's known for as long. On top of this, we also have very few similar interests. I then also related my skills to patient contact. I told them how I find patients to feel very comfortable around me and that I'm often able to get plenty of information out of them without them possibly even realizing.
When it came to my leadership skills I told them that I don't see the job of a team leader to tell the group what to do. I see it as a job to coordinate an effort. I also went on to say how I think it's important to, again, engage everyone by asking them their opinion of how to go about solving a problem and then come to an agreement on the best option. I stressed the importance of having a diverse pool of perspectives. I was also asked how I would handle a disagreement within a group. I said you can't just throw out someone's ideas just because you don't agree with them. You have to go through the reasoning behind their conclusion even if it means going through it in excruciating detail. They kind of grilled me a little on this one too asking what do you do if the person will absolutely not compromise. I mean what are you suppose to do in that case? I said I generally end up just going along with the other person's plan until I see it going just slightly off course and am then quick to point out the flaws manifesting into reality.
After the interview we sat through a two hour PBL session. This. Was. Awesome. The intensity of everyone trying to figure out what was going on in the case was simply overwhelming. There were 8 people in the group, plus one facilitator and easily 40+ 5'' thick textbooks covering the desk. I was also completely blown away by the knowledge that these early OMS II's had. The whole time I felt like I was listening to a foreign language. I mean I'm by no means medically illiterate, but this was like me listening to spanish and getting excited when I recognize a phrase. And the jumping between subjects every second was awesome. Learning each subject in relation to the others makes so much more sense to me. One second they're going through lab results, then they're flipping through their histology atlas to identify a lung tissue sample, then they're talking about the physiology of the lungs and what could be leading to this disorder, which then brings them to their microbiology and pathology text books to identify the causative agent. Then when they realize it's a common bacteria they look for what gave this opportunistic organism the upper hand. So they looked at other symptoms that probably weren't so much caused by the disease, as much as signs of lifestyle choices which gives an idea of what the patient is at a greater risk of getting. I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed it. I thought sitting through the class was going to be the worse part, but it was easily the best.
Sorry Dr. Panda, but you're dead wrong about PBL.
Basically I now have this school as my number one choice, (and funny enough my only possible current choice!) even though I won't have access to the rotation sites I want, but that's fine. My mom and friend both said I need to write a thank you e-mail to the dean of admissions or someone like that. I'm normally completely against this cause I despise all forms of ass kissing, but I think I should really get the point across that PBL is something I'm committed to and that after that meeting it unexpectedly went to the top of my list.