Ahmad Sampang ibnu Hajiri, MD

A Personal blog by a Tausug medical student (now a doctor!) from Sulu and the stories that inspired him.
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By Ahmad ibn Hajiri, UP College of Medicine Class 2017

It was February of 2012 when I came to Manila for the UPCM Applicants interview. I came all the way from Sulu just to attend the 2 sets of interviews in a day, and I can still remember then how anxious and nervous I was not knowing what to do... For me, the interviews in fact are among the hardest parts of the application to any medschool (well, aside from the NMAT). It’s the last bridge that will bring you to the doorsteps of your dream school or not. Alhamdulillah, upon receiving the white envelope containing my final acceptance as an official student of UPCM, it was indeed a one exhilarating kind of happiness! I still can’t believe that I passed and now here I am trying as much to learn and be a better doctor each day, in sha Allah.

Two years since then, some friends who are eyeing for the 140 slots in the college for the next roll of medstudents are asking me for advises and tips on how to nail the interviews. And so I made this “helpful” guide on passing the interviews in Medschool. The following guidelines are applicable (most of it, I hope) to all aspiring medstudents applying either for the Intarmed/direct or regular/lateral entrance or the Regionalization Program (RP) entrance; or even in any medschool they wanted to apply in.

The following were based on personal experiences of the author and some infos gathered after asking some random classmates about what they did during the interviews. They may or may not be applicable to your situation (so please don’t blame me if it didn’t work, hehe). And don’t hesitate to share this post, it might save some lives out there. Haha.

Rule #1: Smile

This is a general rule. Even how nervous you are upon entering the room, smile at your interviewer/s. Shake their hands and be courteous. At least a simple, “Good morning, sir” with a touch of your natural smile will make the start of your interview smoother. Don’t let them notice how terribly nervous you are that you could almost wet your underpants! Just Smile, there.

Rule # 2: Be confident but not arrogant

The best way to impress your interviewers is to let them know that you know the words you are saying; that you are confident that you can do this job. That you believe in your own capabilities. Speak fluently and confidently on your answers. Don’t hesitate, just go and say them (but of course with careful choices of words). But there’s always a limit to everything, so do not be too over-confident about yourself and your “achievements” in life that you become more arrogant without you noticing it. Just be cool yet humble. They want to know how much you believe in yourself, not on how much awards you had in your past life.

Rule # 3: Be honest in every way

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just saying. -Dr. Ahmad