If You Were a Cookie, What Kind Would You Be?

November 17, 2011
Richard M. Berlin, MD

Volume 28, Issue 11

“If you were a ship, where would you sail?” . . . “What is your favorite hockey team?” and “What will you do if you don’t get into medical school?”

-from a list of the 100 most common medical school interview questions

As my daughter and I rehearse for the interview,

I assure her no one asked me the cookie question,

though I would have replied with a smile,

“I’d be my Nana Pearl’s butter cookie,”

a two inch shortbread star baked golden brown,

chocolate kiss in the center. Though my answer

implies love for my grandmother and reverence

for recipes passed down through generations,

a hungry interviewer might have wondered why

I would wish to be squeezed from a stainless steel

press, one standardized star in a baker’s dozen.

Maybe the question is a test to uncover applicants

who crumble under pressure, or a tactic to learn

how much dough the future doctor hopes to earn.

I guess the cookie query makes as much sense

as questions they cooked up for me-

“If you were a ship, where would you sail?”

“What is your favorite hockey team?” and

“What will you do if you don’t get into medical school?”

which became my favorite, because by the time

someone asked, I was already cooling on the rack.