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Interview Questions for Doctors - JD, Skills, Salary

Last Updated on:

23 November 2022
Interview Questions for Doctors

The doctor interview questions are meant to find the perfect candidate to work as a doctor who would serve the patients by diagnosing and prescribing the correct medication.

In hospitals and private clinics, physicians are required to take a leadership role to ensure proper care of the patients. And before hiring a doctor for the medical institution, the authority considers a range of characteristics and skills in a candidate along with their medical expertise.

To impress the interviewer, the candidate must show confidence in having the qualifications and qualities of a good doctor. Continue reading to learn more about the interview questions that will provide you with a guide to walk through the preparation stage of being hired as a doctor.

What Does a Doctor Do?

Since the human body can be a temple for thousands of diseases, numerous specialized medical sectors have also been established. And in every hospital setting, doctors must treat the patients with their knowledge.

The job responsibilities of a doctor can be:

  • Performing diagnostic tests to identify the underlying issue
  • Having skills and expertise to read the test and come to a conclusion about a disease
  • Prescribing drugs according to the diagnostic findings
  • Carefully listening to individuals to understand the case study
  • Giving orders for the required treatment regimen for the patient
  • Getting the equipment ready for the surgery, if necessary
  • Providing the patient with follow-up care or referring them to other doctors as needed
  • Keeping updated with the latest medical technologies and the most recent research findings
  • Collaborating with nurses, pharmacists, EMTs, physicians, and other medical professionals to provide the best treatment possible for the patient
  • Demonstrating empathy, being comprehensive, and considering behavior toward the patients and their families.

Some doctor-specific job responsibilities are as follows:

(a) Anesthesiologists: Administer general or local anesthetics during the surgery to keep the patient stable.

(b) Cardiothoracic Surgeons: Specialize in surgery involving the chest, heart, esophagus, and lungs.

(c) Cardiologists: Treat diseases related to the heart, veins, and arteries.

(d) Chiropractors: Chiropractors are physicians and surgeons specializing in treating musculoskeletal and nerve conditions associated with the spinal cord.

(e) Endocrinologists: They are specialized in diseases related to hormones and the glands from where the secretion happens.

(f) Family Practitioner: These physicians treat the patients of a family. Patients can be of any age.

(g) Gastroenterologists: Treat the conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, intestine, and stomach.

(h) Urologist: A urologist generally practices diseases related to the male reproductive system and urinary tract of both males and females. Their sector also includes the kidneys, urethra, uterus, and reproductive organs.

(i) Surgeon: The most formidable job of removing or transplanting any organ that is not working anymore is a Surgeon's job.

(j) Hospitalist: Physicians who practice medicine and provide medical care to the in-patients of a hospital. They are primarily engaged in research, teaching, and patient care.

(k) Neurologist and Neurosurgeon: Doctors in these sectors specialize in treating diseases of the human body's nervous system, from our brain to every nerve that passes across the body, including the central and peripheral nervous systems.

(l) Ophthalmologists: The physicians who treat the complications of the eye are known as ophthalmologists.

(m) Orthodontist: An orthodontist fixes the teeth and jaws of a patient.

(n) Gynecologists: They treat diseased women’s reproductive systems and are responsible for delivering a healthy child.

(o) Immunologist: Autoimmune diseases and allergies can be caused by the weak immune system of a patient. The immunologist can treat them.  

(p) Pathologist: A pathologist studies the causes, symptoms, natures, and aftereffects of a disease.

(q) Oncologist: Three types of oncologists observe the treatment of cancer patients. They are medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, and radiation oncologists.

Basic Skills Required for Being a Doctor

Doctors are highly skilled and respected medical professionals with a range of specialties. In their designated field of work, they need various skills, from diagnosing patient symptoms to writing prescriptions for medications and treatment plans.

As a result, doctors may require different talents for their professions depending on their area of concentration. For instance, a future surgeon may concentrate on honing their scalpel incision techniques or stitching the cuts. On the other hand, a future pediatrician will spend time researching how to diagnose ailments frequently found in children.

We will discuss the educational requirements first and then the special skills a doctor should have before moving on to the doctor interview questions.

1. Educational Requirements

Being a doctor takes a lot of effort, patience, and time to study. Some say that doctors must study after passing the exams and during practice.

The educational qualifications you need to attend a doctor’s interview are given below:

  • Undergraduate program of four years
  • Medical school for four years
  • Residency program for three to six years
  • The license of the state for practicing medicine
  • You can also check out the medical school interview questions and answers pdf in order to prepare for the entrance exams.

2. Additional Required Skills

Along with the educational requirements, you will need the following skills to be a successful doctor:

(a) Critical thinking and problem-solving skills:

One of the main duties of doctors is to listen to the patient's symptoms and think of possible disease conditions and appropriate medications for the patient. Doctors need to have:

  • Creative thinking
  • Ability to find out the disease by asking questions
  • Analytical thinking
  • Open-mindedness
  • Solution-oriented thinking

(b) Ability to communicate

The ability to communicate with patients in a pleasant, responsible, and sympathetic manner is referred to as having a positive bedside manner for doctors.

Doctors must employ this emotional intelligence to ensure that their patients experience support and validation while receiving treatment. The interpersonal skills that doctors should have are the following:

  • Dependability
  • Compassion
  • Flexibility
  • Empathy
  • Patience
  • Conflict resolution
  • Flexibility

(c) Technical skills

Every doctor needs to be an expert in technical skills in the department they want to practice. As they further their competence in their disciplines, every doctor must refine these abilities. The following are some fundamental skills:

  • Administering treatments physically
  • Prescribing the right mediation
  • Exact diagnosis
  • Researching the recent medical founding
  • Ability to interpret the lab result

(d) Professionalism

Doctors must understand, maintain, and follow the professional guidelines to treat patients who are often distressed and tired. Therefore, they must remain collected, calm, and respectful while treating.

The relevant skills to show professionalism are:

  • Cultural awareness
  • De-escalation
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Positive attitude
  • Responsible
  • Discipline
  • Level headedness

Frequently Asked Questions in Doctor Interviews

During your medical school studies, you have studied anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology to treat patients according to their diseases. Therefore, you already know the medical terms. 

While answering physician interview questions, you must show the interviewer that you are confident and knowledgeable enough to treat the patients visiting you. The interviewer may ask situational or technical skill-related questions to discover your potential. 

Some of the commonly asked questions are given below:

Question#1: Describe the adjustments you made to your prior procedures to increase patient safety?

Answer: In my previous work, I occasionally was in charge of the ICU because the hospital was understaffed and needed qualified RNs. I first spoke with the nurse manager and her assistant to discuss open interviews for candidates to join our team.

We were able to hire six highly skilled nurses in four weeks, which increased the effectiveness of patient care, decreased errors, and enhanced safety.

Question#2: What alterations or enhancements do you believe you can make to our practice? 

Answer: My first objective is to deliver the highest caliber treatment for my patients, which entails maintaining confidentiality and guaranteeing safety. Additionally, I believe that I can help the team's capacity to connect with patients by leveraging my understanding of and experience working with telehealth programs. 

As a doctor, I am committed to upholding sympathetic and sensitive standards. So, I believe I will be enhancing your organization’s health service with my knowledge.

Question#3: Can you recall a situation when you and a coworker clashed over patient care?

Answer: Recently, I disagreed with the treating doctor regarding a drug they had given a patient. I disagreed because I'd read a paper outlining many ailments that made prescribing risky. 

Since the patient had numerous similar issues, I approached the main doctor to explain my results rather than taking a chance at the outcome. I explained my first dissent to the lead doctor, and we discussed the patient's therapy options.

Question#4: What should you do if an emergency arises while attending to a different patient?

Answer: I recently administered post-operative care to a patient when a patient down the hall unexpectedly suffered a cardiac arrest. The patient I was treating just then still needed treatment, but they didn't require emergency care. I promptly explained to them that depending on the circumstances. I would either return to them or send one of our nurse practitioners or my PA to help them complete their appointment.

While I provided emergency medical care to the other patient, my PA helped me with my patient. However, they were accommodating and understanding. Emergencies do arise occasionally, and I always try to help. If I can, I avoid taking away from the quality of care I provide my patients.

Question#5: What will be your greatest challenge in becoming a physician?

Answer: Although it has difficulties, being a doctor is quite lucrative. Doctors put in a lot of time, often working on-call duties and late nights. I will face challenges to consistently have a healthy work-life balance and a vibrant social life. Choosing a sick patient to save over another or breaking terrible news can often be part of this stressful line of work. I will also have to make decisions fast.

Question#6: What method do you use to explain complex material to patients?

Answer: I always recommend having a friend or family member present when consulting with patients so they can assimilate the material and have support when asking questions. For instance, I recently took care of a patient who had a herniated disc and needed a spinal fusion. After completing an initial CT scan and providing my diagnosis and advice, I met with the patient and their spouse to review the complex process.

I described the steps involved in performing the fusion as well as the appearance and composition of the disc replacement. I went over the pre-and post-operative steps and what they may anticipate for quality of life in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. Based on my advice, the patient chose to have the procedure done, which was a success.

Family Medicine Interview Questions:

Here are some questions for family med physicians

Question#7: Why do you want to be a doctor of family medicine?

Answer: I chose family medicine because it will allow me to work with families frequently and during all stages of their lives. I loved getting to know my patients in medical school and building relationships with them. 

I will be able to treat many different families as a family medicine doctor, find solutions to new problems every day, and establish the kind of long-lasting relationships you don't see in other disciplines. Every day will be different if you choose a career in family medicine.

Question#8: As a busy family medicine resident, do you believe you can reassure your patients that you will be responsive to them?

Answer: Absolutely. I enjoy being active and tending to all of my patients, and I thrive in a fast-paced environment. But I also ensure that every patient I visit receives the high-quality care they need by paying close attention to every detail. 

I am also aware that accidents do happen, and the families occasionally have to visit the hospital at odd hours due to an emergency. I always try to be adaptable and accessible to my patients.

Question#9: What non-medical strengths would you bring the most to this family medicine practice?

Answer: I've always believed that my interest in people stems from my curiosity and sociability. I enjoy conversing with people from diverse ages, backgrounds, and experiences. My clinical rotations were most fulfilling when I got to know my patients personally, sharing laughs and anecdotes in a setting frequently dominated by suffering or tragedy.

I believe my inherent optimism makes me a good fit for treating patients, and families in particular, who may be going through a very trying time.

More questions to practice:

  • Why did you choose to study medicine?
  • Why do you work in this field?
  • Do you have any professional experience as a physician?
  • What skills do you have as a physician?
  • Why do you want to work at our hospital?
  • Where do you want to see yourself as a doctor in the next five years?
  • If you have an emergency, how would you handle it?
  • Tell us about your daily routine.
  • What are your weaknesses and strengths as a doctor?
  • Tell us about your achievements till now.
  • Do you think you are competent to face daily challenges regarding medical personnel and patients?
  • Do you have any preferences for working in this hospital?

The Career Path of Doctors

We have already mentioned the educational requirements to become a doctor. Around 78% of the physicians earn their Bachelor’s degree by majoring in biology, pre-med, chemistry, anatomy, physics, physiology, and statistics.

  • After completing the degrees and earning your license to work as a doctor, you will need to apply for jobs.
  • At a beginner level, your post will be Physician. Approximately more than eight years of experience can lead you to senior positions.
  • Two to four years of experience can lead you to a Senior Physician position.
  • Five to seven years of experience can promote you to Lead Physician.
  • After Lead Physician, you can switch to Principal Physician and Associate Director of Medical.
  • If you can do your job correctly, you can be promoted to Director of Medical.
  • You may have been in the same position for more than eight years. After that, you will be the Senior Director of Medical Science and Vice President of Medical Science.
  • And finally, the highest-paid jobs are Executive Vice President of Medical Science and Chief Physician, with yearly average salaries of $373K and $227k, respectively.

Current and Future Career Demand for Doctors       

Being a doctor is one of the highest demands, and in 2021, 761,700 jobs were available for physicians. Employment is expected to increase by 21,400 in the next decade.

Overall, the current career demand for physicians and surgeons is higher than other career options. But the growth in the medical sector for physicians is only 3% which is slower than other job options.

23,800 job openings will be observed in this sector in the next ten years. The new openings will be due to retirement, switching careers, and moving to a different state.

Salary Range of Doctors

Throughout the several specialized fields, physicians earn moderately better pay than other job holders. 

On average, a doctor who earned $293,465 in 2022 practices in the United States. The average salary range can go lower to $119,183 and increase to $467,746. Here is a list of the salaries of the highest-paid doctors according to their field in September 2022.

  • Neurosurgeons: $596,348
  • Orthopaedists: $546,342
  • Plastic Surgeons: $456,790
  • Urologists: $447,695
  • Cardiologists: $434,242

Josh Evan

Written by:

Josh Evan

Josh Evan is the professional career counselor and career development writer at When Work Works. He loves to see people from this field succeed through initiating the right thing in the right way. He never tells; he shows the way. We appointed John not because of his impressive CV. It was his counseling charisma which stood out of everything. He can implant idea, confidence and productive thoughts into mind almost effortlessly. His pen and mouth both speak for the greater good.

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