Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years


There are many ways to skin a cat.  In other words, you can answer the question correctly in many different ways.  These tenets are true.

  1. Convey passion and a vision for your future
  2. Must tie this back to the program
  3. Provide a short term and a long term goal
  4. Discuss fit with the program and why your goals match the program’s goal

Short term goals

  • Primary care
  • Hospitalist
  • Fellowship bound:I want to be fellowship trained in gastroenterology/rheumatology/whichever speciality of your choosing"

Long term goals

  • Helping the underserved
  • Global health

Here is the formula for the PERFECT answer

  1. Summary: Even if you  just answered the question “Tell me about yourself” you still need to provide a summary.   Interviews are going to meet dozens and dozens of candidates.  Repeating what you are all about in 2-3 sentences helps them remember. 
  2. Short-term

    “For the short-term, I see myself pursuing Fellowship training in Hematology/Oncology”

 Landmines: Things to watch out for
  • Saying you want to be in private practice without an additional job or role.  This is awkward as the majority of attendings at community hospitals just focus on clinical medicine.  But you have to remember that the attendings interviewing you are going a little bit above and beyond by participating in the residency selection process.  It is a ...

Example 1

“The model of a translational academic physician fits my eventual goals.  Except, I want to work on the applied science/engineering side. Either working in academia or industry can potentially fit this model; but academia works better as it provides the freedom to explore things without a clear commercial outcome yet and work across different disciplines. I think much of the ..."

Example 2
“Ultimately, I see myself as an academic practitioner above all else. I went through medical school falling in love with taking care of patients, diagnosing them, and educating them on their care. But, coming from a program that heavily stressed research, I devoted two summers and a full time, intensive year of research studying age-related macular degeneration as well as a number of other retinal diseases, and produced several first-author peer reviewed publications and numerous abstracts to national conferences, and in fact this year was supported by a grant under ..."