Residency Interview Question #9: What differentiates you from other candidates?

Sample answer:

Unlike many candidates I know, I have been working since I was 15, long before many of my classmates started looking for part-time jobs. I first began working in an animal shelter, thinking I would apply to vet school after graduating. However, when I finished high school, I got a job as a small office receptionist in a rural health clinic and found I enjoyed working with human patients far more. During my undergraduate degree I transitioned to working as a medical scribe and committed to shadowing a physician at our rural mobile health clinic.

Because I entered the workforce early, I discovered the value of working hard, committing to the tasks I am assigned, and approaching everything with a positive attitude and willingness to learn. I think my extensive work history and the aptitudes I have gained from years of employment, both in and out of the medical field, have prepared me mentally and physically for the hard work of residency. Even throughout medical school, which placed great demands on my time and energy, I continued to work a part-time job at the university hospital to support myself and gain clinical experience. I was committed to using every bit of time I had to become a better physician. Residency will require even more of my time, energy, and commitment, but I am ready to dedicate everything I have to this next chapter.

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