5 out of 10
At the school
"Where do you see yourself in 3 years? 10?"
"What was your favorite class in undergrad?"
"what was your most significant extra-curricular?"
"what would you do next in your research project if you had a grant and a full time tech?"
"all pretty typical questions about research, why MD/PhD, what do I want to do in 10 years, that sort of thing."
"Read over my application, looked at the Columbia website."
"The research labs, new york city, the views from the offices. The students were over all nice, but seemed a little self-absorbed (well, what can you expect, they are medical students). The staff in the admissions office were great. The food at the faculty club lunch was good, and the dinner that night with the other MD-PhD applicants was fun, but too loud."
"Some of my interviewers were pretty rude. I got the feeling that my medical school interviewer thought badly of my volunteering at planned parenthood. "
"bring your change of clothes with you so you can change for dinner. About half of the applicants were still wearing our suits for the dinner at a busy, crowded place. The thing I wanted most at that point (after 8 hours of interviewing and touring) was to change out of my stupid suit!"
"Columbia is great. The facilities and faculty are really impressive. The director of the MD/PhD program seemed a little rude, and it seems like they are making lots of changes. No one said this at the time, but I've heard since I did the interview, that Columbia lost its NIH funding for the MD/PhD program. This could be a rumor, but might explain all the changes they are trying to make - ie. trying to get their funding back. I think it's be a great place to go to school, but I was not impressed with my interview experience there, at least overall. Some interviewers were great, others were rude, argumentative, and disrespectful. There was very little "recruiting" mentality. Given that many of the applicants have already been accepted at other programs, I expected them to be a bit nicer to us. The director did a lot of bad-mouthing the other programs. Not very impressive. "