NCNM Admissions Interview

I recently spoke with an NCNM hopeful, Victoria, about her admissions interview.  Here is what I learned:

Which program?   ND and MAc (Masters of Acupuncture),  Dual Degree Program.

Who interviewed her?    1 ND faculty member who is an ND/MD; 1 Admissions Counselor; and 1 Chinese Medicine faculty member.

Interview situation:  All 3 NCNM representatives and her in a conference room at NCNM.

Length of interview:  1 hour.

Questions she was asked:        

  • What will you do if you don't get into NCNM?
  • What would you do if . . . quite a few of these types of questions.   One example is: What would you do as a practicing ND if one of your patients is blaming you for a side effect of a medication or supplement?
  • Personal background questions.
  • General Resume type of questions.

After the interview:  Within 2 weeks she received a phone call from the Admissions Counselor confirming her 'conditional acceptance' to the ND program.  This was followed with a formal letter, instructions, and paperwork.  Her acceptance was "conditonal" because she still needed to finish and pass two more of the required pre-requisite courses for entry to the program.  She was given a deadline to confirm her acceptance and send in a monetary deposit.

Her advice on interviews:  Know yourself and where you stand on healthcare issues, naturopathic medicine, and morality-type scenerios.  Don't be worried – it was a friendly atmosphere.  Take your time to think of your answer before starting to speak, silence is ok.  Try to be calm so that the real you comes through.

Her Background:  She is 45 years old.  She is an introvert.  She currently lives and has lived most of her life in Portland, OR. Since she was 2 years old she wanted to be a Medical Doctor (MD).  Her father was in the Biochemistry field and her mother was very into Natural Health methods when she was young.  In college she married and had children and so she ended up as a Registered Nurse (instead of an MD).  She is now divorced and her children are living on their own, so three years ago she set out to get her Bachelors degree in Nursing (a first step towards a doctorate).

Why Natural Medicine?:   After 15 years working in healthcare (a lot of it with mentally ill patients) she became disillusioned with the current healthcare system.  She witnessed time and again how medications were prescribed to people and it did not help them, often made them worse, and did not get at the root cause of their illness.  She was determined to be a different kind of MD.

    Then, one year before finishing her bachelors degree, she heard an ND speak at a Martial Arts Camp she was attending.  She spoke to him afterwards and learned about NCNM.  She knew immediately that becoming an ND instead of an MD was the route she wanted to take.

Experience with Natural Medicine?:  Introduction to it as a child from her mother.  Currently she sees an ND/LAc (Licensed Acupuncturist) and another ND.