17 Doctor Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a doctor, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Doctors are responsible for diagnosing and treating patients’ health conditions. They work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices. To become a doctor, you need to complete a rigorous education and training process.

Once you’re a doctor, you may need to go through a job interview before you’re hired. During the interview, you may be asked questions about your experience, your skills, and your knowledge. In this article, we will provide you with a list of questions that you may be asked during a job interview for a doctor and suggest some answers for you to consider.

Are you comfortable working with patients who are in a great deal of pain?

Working as a doctor can be challenging at times, especially when you’re treating patients who are in pain. Employers ask this question to make sure that you have the emotional intelligence and compassion necessary to work with these types of patients. In your answer, share an example of how you helped a patient overcome their pain.

Example: “I once had a patient who was experiencing severe back pain. He told me he hadn’t slept well in days because of his discomfort. I gave him some medication for the pain and also referred him to physical therapy. A few weeks later, he returned to my office and said that the exercises were helping him feel better. He thanked me for giving him hope.”

What are some of the most important qualities for a successful doctor?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to assess your understanding of what it takes to be successful in this role. It’s important that you highlight qualities like empathy, communication skills and compassion when answering this question.

Example: “I believe that some of the most important qualities for a doctor are patience, kindness and compassion. These three things allow me to connect with my patients on an emotional level and make them feel comfortable enough to share information about their health. I also think it’s important to have strong communication skills so that I can relay information to my team members and other medical professionals effectively.”

How would you handle a patient who refuses to follow your treatment plan?

This question can help interviewers assess your ability to work with challenging patients. It’s important to show that you can remain calm and respectful when a patient refuses treatment or doesn’t follow through on their care plan.

Example: “I would first try to understand why the patient is refusing my advice. I would explain the importance of following the treatment plan, but if they still refuse, I would document it in their file and continue to encourage them to comply. If they continue to refuse after multiple attempts, I would refer them to another doctor who may be better able to treat them.”

What is your process for making a diagnosis?

This question is a great way to show your problem-solving skills and ability to work independently. It also allows you to demonstrate your medical knowledge by explaining the process of diagnosing patients.

Example: “When I first meet with a patient, I ask them questions about their symptoms and perform an examination. Then, I order any necessary tests or refer them to specialists for further diagnosis. After all information has been collected, I review it and make my diagnosis. If I’m unsure of the diagnosis, I will discuss it with other doctors until we come to a consensus.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to educate a patient about their condition.

This question can help the interviewer determine how you communicate with patients and whether you are able to effectively explain medical conditions. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide an example of a time when you had to educate a patient about their condition in a way that was easy for them to understand.

Example: “When I first started practicing medicine, I worked at a hospital where we saw many patients who were elderly or had low literacy levels. In these cases, I would always make sure to speak slowly and clearly so they could understand me. If they asked questions, I would do my best to answer them as thoroughly as possible. This helped me develop strategies for explaining complex medical terms in ways that patients could understand.”

If a patient experienced severe side effects from a treatment you prescribed, how would you handle this?

This question can help interviewers understand how you respond to challenges and make decisions in the workplace. When answering, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation where you helped a patient overcome side effects from treatment.

Example: “I once had a patient who experienced severe nausea after taking medication for their cold symptoms. I prescribed an anti-nausea drug that helped reduce the severity of the nausea but didn’t eliminate it completely. The next time they came into the office, I asked them about the side effect and learned that it was still bothering them. We decided together that we would try another medication to see if it could alleviate the problem. It did, and my patient reported no more nausea.”

What would you do if you were in the middle of performing a surgery and you realized you made a mistake?

This question is a great way to assess how you respond to challenges and errors. It’s important for employers to know that you can recover from mistakes, learn from them and continue performing well in your role as a surgeon. In your answer, try to explain what steps you would take to fix the mistake and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Example: “If I made a mistake during surgery, my first priority would be to stop the procedure and make sure everyone was safe. Then, I would evaluate the situation and determine if there were any ways I could still complete the surgery while avoiding the error. If not, I would have to start over with the surgery.”

How well do you handle stress?

Working as a doctor can be stressful, so employers ask this question to make sure you have the right personality for the job. They want someone who is calm and collected under pressure. When answering this question, try to show that you are able to handle stress well. Explain how you stay calm in high-pressure situations.

Example: “I think it’s important to remain calm when working with patients. I always remind myself that my goal is to help them feel better. If something goes wrong or they get upset, I take a deep breath and try to find a solution. I also like to keep a journal of all my thoughts and feelings about work. This helps me process any emotions I’m feeling.”

Do you have any questions for us about the position?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you have done your research and are genuinely interested in the position. It’s also a chance for you to learn more about the hospital or clinic, so be sure to ask questions that will help you make an informed decision.

Example: “I noticed that this facility has a lot of resources available to patients, including a patient portal where they can communicate with their doctor and track their health progress. I’m curious how often you recommend using these tools and what kind of results you’ve seen from them.”

When would you perform a follow-up appointment?

This question can help the interviewer determine your knowledge of medical procedures and how you apply them to patients. You can answer this question by giving an example of a time when you performed a follow-up appointment for a patient.

Example: “I perform follow-up appointments with my patients at least once every six months, usually more often if they have ongoing issues or concerns. I find that performing these checkups allows me to monitor their progress and ensure they’re on track to meet their goals. In one instance, I had a patient who was recovering from a broken leg. At her first appointment, she told me she was having trouble walking without crutches. At her next appointment, she informed me that she no longer needed crutches and could walk normally.”

We want to ensure our patients feel comfortable communicating with our doctors. Tell me about your communication skills.

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you can help patients feel comfortable and confident in their interactions with you. Use examples from your experience where you helped a patient overcome communication barriers or anxiety about seeing a doctor.

Example: “I have always had strong communication skills, which I attribute to my upbringing. My parents were both teachers, so they emphasized the importance of clear communication at home. In medical school, I took several courses on how to communicate effectively with patients. I also volunteered as a translator for Spanish-speaking patients who needed assistance communicating with their doctors.”

Describe your process for documenting your observations and findings during a medical examination.

This question is an opportunity to show your interviewer that you have the ability to organize and document information in a way that’s easy for other medical professionals to understand. Your answer should include specific examples of how you use technology or paper records to keep track of important details about each patient you see.

Example: “I always make sure to take detailed notes during my examinations so I can remember all of the information I need to record later. When using electronic health records, I enter key pieces of information into the system as soon as I notice them. This helps me avoid missing any important details when it comes time to write up my report. If I’m working with paper records, I’ll use shorthand to quickly jot down what I observe before transferring the information to a more legible form.”

What makes you stand out from other doctors in your field?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your unique qualities and how they can benefit their practice. When answering this question, it’s important to highlight your strengths as a medical professional while also showing that you’re passionate about your career.

Example: “I believe my biggest strength as a doctor is my ability to connect with patients on an emotional level. I always make sure to listen carefully to what my patients are saying and ask them questions to ensure I understand their concerns. This helps me create individualized treatment plans for each of my patients so they feel comfortable and confident in my abilities.”

Which medical fields do you hope to specialize in in the future?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your career goals and aspirations. It’s important to show that you’re passionate about medicine, but it can also be beneficial to mention other areas of interest such as research or public health.

Example: “I hope to specialize in pediatrics because I love working with children and their families. I find it rewarding to see patients grow up and develop into healthy adults. In my spare time, I volunteer at a local hospital where I work with pediatric patients. I’m hoping to continue this work after graduation.”

What do you think is the most important thing for a doctor to remember when interacting with their patients?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to assess your interpersonal skills and ability to connect with patients. It’s important that you show the interviewer that you can be empathetic, compassionate and kind when interacting with patients.

Example: “I think it’s most important for doctors to remember that they are human beings too. I try my best to make sure that I am always smiling and making eye contact with my patients. This helps me put them at ease and makes them feel more comfortable talking about their concerns. I also try to remember what it was like being in their shoes. I try to empathize with them as much as possible so that I can provide the best care.”

How often would you recommend patients come in for check-ups?

This question can help the interviewer determine how often you recommend patients come in for check-ups and other appointments. It also helps them understand your philosophy on patient care. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific situation where you recommended a certain frequency of visits and what led you to that decision.

Example: “I believe that regular check-ups are important for maintaining good health. I always encourage my patients to schedule annual check-ups with me so we can discuss any changes they’ve noticed since their last appointment. If there is something going on in their lives that could affect their health, like a new medication or stressor, I want to know about it as soon as possible so I can address it before it becomes a problem.”

There is a new treatment for a disease you commonly treat. Would you be open to trying it out on your patients?

This question is a great way to determine how open-minded the candidate is. It also shows that you are willing to try new things and learn from them. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a time when you tried something new in your practice and what the results were.

Example: “I would definitely be open to trying out a new treatment for one of my patients. I have done so before, and although it didn’t work as well as we had hoped, it was still beneficial to know if there was another option available. In fact, I learned quite a bit about the disease through treating it with different methods.”


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