Western University Interview


Recently a good friend of mine interviewed at Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (Western U/COMP) in Pomona, CA. When he was first going out for his interview he was not very excited about the school. Don’t get me wrong, he was excited to be interviewing for medical school, but he didn’t know much about Western U/COMP. Visiting the school opened his eyes a little bit.

Some DO schools are stand-alone private medical schools. Western University is a little bit different from those other schools. Along with the DO degree, Western University offers podiatry, optometry, dentistry, physical therapy, PA, pharmacy, vet, and other health science related master’s programs. Having so many different programs at the school gave Western U the university feel that my friend is used to. He really liked that there was more to the school than just physicians.

After seeing the presentations, and feeling impressed by the tour of the facilities, my friend gained a real desire to attend Western U/COMP. He felt that they offered exactly what he needed to become a quality physician. With this new determination he was ready for the interview.

The Western U/COMP interview is a 3 person panel interview: a physician,
faculty member, staff member, or a student. My friend sat down with a DO, a PhD, and a staff member. He felt for the most part that they were friendly, but really seemed to focus on certain topics. Some questions that really stuck out from his interview went something like this:

  • “We are a very diverse university. What do you bring to this campus that makes you diverse?”
  • “Could you tell us about the research you were involved with?” And then they grilled him for a while about the many different aspects of the research project that he participated in. Make sure you know a fair amount about your research if you were involved with a project!
  • They also asked him point blank, “If you were accepted would you come here?” It sounds like a silly question, but make sure you are ready for it! I had it asked on more than one occasion. Be ready to give them more than just a “yes.” You should be ready at any moment to tell them why you would want to study medicine at their school.

Since Western U/COMP was not high on my friend’s list he had not taken his preparation very seriously for his interview with Western University. He learned the hard way that sometimes you will really like a school that you didn’t know you would. I learned that myself; I turned down schools I had very high on my list to attend a school I didn’t know I wanted to go to until I interviewed with them. My friend still got accepted by the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, but a little more preparation could have saved him a little bit of anxiety during his wait for his acceptance letter.