4 out of 10
At the school
"What would you do if you graduated without a dual degree and just with an MD? (I want to go MD/MPP or MD/JD)"
"What type of things would you do in the city if you came here?"
"Did you receive an interview from Cornell?"
""Where have you been accepted to medical school?""
""You don't want to go to (medical school I was accepted to). Do you?""
"Read the prospectus, student-doctor network interview feedback, attended a class, talked to other students, read current medical literature & reviewed my application thoroughly."
"The school has better financial aid than some schools. It has a great reputation. The students are very involved in extracurricular activities."
"The tour was scripted. I had read on this website that they say "resident directors come up to you and shake your hand cause you are from Columbia." So I knew it wasnt a coincidence that the same med student had been giving a tour for the past five years. I pressed and asked why this school was more favorable to said director than Yale or Duke. She stalled. The tour led by the student was interrupted when the student received a cell phone call. Urgent and important, she promptly took the call, but promised that she would be back. At the end of the interview, one of our tour leaders left early to go do something. Whether she specified what that was, I was uncertain. NY is a great area, but the P&S is located so far uptown, it loses its relationship with the undergraduate campus. This became even more evident as I stayed with a friend at the law school. Two, third year students were in the admissions office immediately before my interview. They told me not to do medicine unless it was impossible to chose another career. They also said they regretted their decision to become doctors "less each day." Needless to say, this wasn't comforting. Bard Hall's athletic facilities are a tour-de-force compared to what I have seen at other schools. However, the tour guides said how no cafeteria caterer (they have it catered with a restaurant at the bottom of the hall) has been successful and the current one is "closing up shop" ASAP. My interviewer was very nice. He did ask where I applied to school, which was weird. He asked me if I had gotten an interview to Cornell, and then asked why. He asked where I had gotten into med school and then proceeded to ask "the most difficult question" of the interview. I really had no where to run or anything to do other than defend that school-as it is a great one. I am not sure if he was prodding me to see how I would surprise, if he was assessing whether, if accepted, I would come to Columbia, or whether he was just truly, profoundly and deeply concerned with my future happiness at a medical school. You may be the judge."
"The tour is very scripted. Prepare a question to throw them off balance when they say "the resident director will come shake your hand." It'll knock their socks off."
"::shrugs:: Its a fabulous school. The curriculum is entirely lecture based (minus labs and some small group), so it is very traditional. If you do not like this, and are more of a PBL-type of guy, this is not the place for you."