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Any queer premeds out there?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by wandernkind, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. wandernkind

    2+ Year Member

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    Seems like some other minorities are asking and no one has in awhile. Anyone have any experiences about how its been applicable in applying or getting ready to apply next cycle? I just feel alone! Thanks!
     
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  3. xrevision

    xrevision Senior Procrastinator
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    Wait... what?
     
  4. Nevadanteater

    Nevadanteater biochemical engine
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    You're not alone. There's quite a few of us here.

    It has come up in 3 of my interviews. Blind interviews, so I brought it up, not the interviewer. I wrote my personal statement about trans-health and its relationship to social justice, so I'm suprised it didn't come up (at least to some degree) in my other interviews.

    People here have an interesting take on the being queer in relation to applying. I think it can be useful if framed properly...
     
  5. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    Don't feel alone. Good thread to start. :thumbup::thumbup:

    Also, most of my queer friends have been very successful in the last few cycles. I have queer friends at Columbia and Harvard this year.
     
  6. wandernkind

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    That is awesome to know! Next cycle I am applying to my only IS school because my partner is finishing her BSN and I am not willing to move until she is done. I am worried about having to explain that in my interview because I am sure it will come up since I am only applying to one school.

    People often on SDN talk about how they don't want to bring up their boyfriends or girlfriends, but partners are different. We have been together for 4 years. I donno, just a complex. . .any ideas? THANKS!
     
  7. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    Well, my friend at Columbia worked in the Queer Resource Center at our school (he was a mentor for other students) so definitely his interviewers *knew* he was gay.

    My other guy friend worked on many political projects involving queer rights in Boston (don't know the details) and his schools definitely knew he was gay when he applied.

    I'm about the straightest-looking/acting girl you'd ever meet (and actually I'm dating a wonderful guy right now) but I never mentioned significant others one way or the other when I was applying.

    How many schools you are applying to shouldn't come up in an interview -- schools will only know where else you apply if you tell them. AMCAS will not release that data.

    :luck::luck::luck:
     
  8. 87138

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    Hopefully I don't get flamed for this, but at what point did people attracted to people of the same sex start preferring to be referred to as "queer"?

    Because I must have missed that. Where I'm from, at least growing up, people use/used that term in the most derogatory way possible.
     
  9. sirius08

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    Yeah, that was probably the case for many of us who grew up in homophobic communities. But in some regions (e.g., SF Bay), "queer" actually has a positive connotation. :)
     
  10. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    Well, I wouldn't call where I live "homophobic" per se...err, well, not exactly homophobic. But yeah, I never heard "queer" until I moved to California.

    I didn't like the term at first. Actually, I still don't. But I suppose it's better than nothing. Better than "gay" that's for sure.

    The idea is that "queer" is a term that has been "taken back" by those who label themselves as queer. They have chosen to change the meaning of a once-derogatory word. (supposedly).
     
    #9 pianola, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  11. sirius08

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    Well, to a non-heterosexual person, being able to use these terms without experiencing negative emotions such as shame is an important part of overcoming internalized homophobia...

    :)
     
  12. amp3r5and

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    hi.

    just to chime in... "queer" is also often used as an identity separate from gay/lesbian/bi/trans (in addition to being used to encompass all of them). which can get confusing, but i like the term.

    to the OP, i've mentioned being queer in some instances on interviews. others i haven't. and....i don't know if it's made a difference (for good or bad)
     
  13. amp3r5and

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    i'm also interested in trans-health. i'm planning on going to the big conference in philly this year. maybe i'll see you there? i am always interested in finding others interested in this facet of healthcare
     
  14. wandernkind

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    Can this thread please not turn into a dialog about using queer or not. There are a lot of places to talk about that on the internet, here we are talking about how being "non-hetereosexual" relates to applying to medical school. Thanks in advance for the respect.
     
  15. HeatherMD

    HeatherMD Queen of Passiveagressiva
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    Sorry I lol'd so much when I read the title of this thread..

    You would think they wouldn't want to refer to themselves as "queer" given the word also describes "strange".

    Stick with "gay", it means "happy".

    And who cares who's what.. oh nevermind, this is the USA.

    Anyway, I don't think being "non-heterosexual" relates at all to applying to medical school. It has no effect on your abilities as a physician, so it's really a non-issue.
     
  16. 87138

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    I actually agree, although I'm sure people will go nuts now. Someone's homosexuality is as relevant to medical school admissions as someone else's heterosexuality. Neither have any place in medical school admissions.

    If you are, however, very active in ECs that are directly tied to this, then it may be worth mentioning. Otherwise, it's irrelevant.

    But I understand the point of this thread is more for establishing some solidarity among people who share a common bond.
     
  17. NCDocWannabe

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    Just wanted to chime in and say I've been out to my family now for about a year. It's been a mixed bag. My mom is southern baptist through and through, but she has become tolerant because I'll be delivered when God's ready. I'm slowly walking out of the closet in other areas of my life and it's been great.
    Good luck to all LGBT applicants!!!
     
  18. TehDoc

    TehDoc What a pain...
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  19. NCDocWannabe

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    oops, I fixed it. I've been out to my family with mixed results for about a year. I'm slowly coming out at work, on my swim team, to friends etc. Sorry for the confusion :)
     
  20. wandernkind

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    If you aren't queer identifying you wouldn't understand the point of this thread. It seems extremely disrespectful to voice an opinion if you don't have a lot of experience in the matter, you wouldn't consider going to a thread on black pre-meds and saying this thread is pointless what does that have to do with being accepted to medical school would you? I considered listing all the reasons as to being queer and applying to medical school is important, but it isn't worth it to explain it to someone who would never understand.

    As for HeatherMD, How incredibly disrespectful to tell individuals how they should identify based on your limited knowledge of the literal meanings of terms that have been applied to an oppressed minority. In fact, how dare you. I hope your narrow-minded arrogance keeps you out of medical school for you possible future patient’s sake.
     
  21. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    I used to think this too but some gay people actually have legit reasons for bringing it up in the application process being as their sexual orientation leads to a lot of social challenges that many of us straight people couldn't relate to.
     
  22. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    I don't think she was trying to be disrespectful. She stated that sexual orientation really has nothing to do with your ability to practice medicine which is true. What I said is that the only acceptable reason for bringing up sexual orientation in an interview is how it relates to challenges you have had to overcome. Clearly a lot of homosexuals have had to overcome social obstacles that I never had to worry about growing up. And yes, gay people are an oppressed minority in many areas of the country... but anytime someone says something that could be remotely construed as not supporting the full acceptance of homosexuality in every household, you can't just lash back at them with a 1,000 knives - even if they were trying to be discriminatory, you can't fight ignorance with more ignorance. Give people the benefit of the doubt in that they aren't meaning to be derogatory.
     
  23. NCDocWannabe

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    "I used to think this too but some gay people actually have legit reasons for bringing it up in the application process being as their sexual orientation leads to a lot of social challenges that many of us straight people couldn't relate to."

    agree so much!!! My reaction from my mom when she found about me being assualted first semester she implied that my sexual orientation had something to do with it. This very misinformed viewpoint is the thing that makes it hardest for me to cope with the coming out process, especially amongst peers. While most people are extremely floored when they find out it's always disheartening when things go awry with friends as a result. I know none of my heterosexual friends have experienced this. Despite this I know it will have no bearing on how good or bad a physician I will be, I still sucks nonetheless...
     
    #22 NCDocWannabe, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  24. Mace1370

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    You're right, it is is a non-issue. However, you have to remember that people love to play the victim and will use any personal quality to do so.
     
  25. lainapox

    lainapox A little crazypants
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    hell yeah! it's never come up in any of my interviews, because it's never really been relevant (the closest thing has been talking about my gender studies major). But yeah, just wanted to say you're nowhere near alone on this one =) I think there's at least a few on SDN (and I know a couple from my undergrad, too)
     
  26. lainapox

    lainapox A little crazypants
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    ...yeah
    Just like being black, Hispanic, an immigrant, etc has no bearing on your abilities as a physician. However, social alienation and hierarchies that form between social categories make certain people's lives different, better, worse, etc than others'. That's why social categories such as race, class, education, family background, and sexual orientation can play huge roles in how a person can experience the world and therefore in the particulars of the path that a person takes to becoming a premed or med student.
     
  27. wandernkind

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    I truly believe it does have a bearing on your ability to practice medicine, unfortunately, for many years, medicine was the “good ol’ boys” club , and while that is changing, it is far from it. Many minorities, regardless of what minority it is, are under-represented in medicine, and to be able to serve an under-represented community, as a physician, as an advocate, or otherwise, is completely related to your ability to practice medicine.

    Cbrons, I appreciate your prospective and take it into consideration until I am reminded of the white heteronormative privilege that I battle everyday and clearly you don’t, as demonstrated here.
     
    #26 wandernkind, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  28. sirius08

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    These are exactly the points that other posters were missing. :thumbup::thumbup:

    It seems that while people have an understanding of how some kinds of minority statuses (e.g., based on ethnicity or social class) are related to privilege, many people haven't thought deeply about the relationship between privilege and sexual orientation.
     
  29. wandernkind

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    Hello! Thank you! My point exactly!
     
  30. Nevadanteater

    Nevadanteater biochemical engine
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    Wait wait wait, we shouldn’t use queer because some other people use it as a negative? You know what word that sounds like to me?

    Gay.

    Jeez. I hear that **** all the time. C’mon. There ISN’T a word that people use to describe us that has a positive connotation because so many people have inherent negative feelings toward the queer community.

    Queer is an umbrella term that tries to simplify the ever growing acronym: LGBTQIPUO… There is also the aspect of reclamation, but I prefer the simple nature of a single word. Also, you will find people that are insulted by queer and not by other terms. everyone is different.


    I’m going to try, but I really don’t know what I’ll be doing that time of year. I was hoping to be traveling by that time (ie with an acceptance in hand and out of the country), but who knows.

    Unnecessary.

    Please please listen to Kill The Rock Stars by NOFX. Sure, more based on feminism, but completely relevant.

    --------------------

    Anyways, being queer CAN BE as important as anything else in a person’s application. It isn’t like we’re like, “Hey I’m Gay! Let me in cuz I’m oppressed!” For many people it is more like, “I’ve seen my peers get HIV/AIDS and understand the importance of community focused medicine.” Or, “Getting kicked out of the house at 16 taught me to be self-sufficient at a young age.” Or. “blah blah blah”. Like it or not, being queer is a huge part of people’s lives and it can be hard to overlook. I’m sure not all gay folks use it in their applications, but for some people it does play a large part in how they got attracted into medicine.

    Someone’s grandmother having cancer won’t make them a better doctor, but it is frequently the sort of thing people talk about all the time in their personal statements… In fact, most things people talk about in their applications have little or nothing to do with their ability as a doctor (notice all the complaints about the secondary essays).
     
  31. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    Yeah, I mean, I've had same-sex relationships in the past. But I wouldn't say it played any particularly large part in my interest in medicine. So yeah, it's not anywhere on my application.

    I guess you just sort of have to figure out if and how being queer (or whatever you want to call it) has had a meaningful impact on your decision to pursue medicine (or the circumstances surrounding the decision).
     
  32. Climberak

    Climberak Senior Member
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    I'm personally hetero, but I'm glad there are threads like these that show a little diversity on SDN.

    BTW, being queer can affect your abilities as a doctor. Unfortunately, some patients will want nothing to do with you, and some colleagues may alienate themselves from you.
     
  33. 87138

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    Chill. You're putting words into my mouth.

    I was simply pointing out my observation. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that I didn't start hearing it until the whole "Queer Eye" phenomenon.
     
  34. Narmerguy

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    I don't understand how a patient would ever know something like this about his or her physician. Sexual orientation also isn't really something that should probably come up in the professional setting so I'm not certain how a colleague would know something like this either.
     
  35. enjoydrywax

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    The point he's trying to make is that being queer in medicine will bring about the same problems as being queer in any other aspect of life. There will ALWAYS be people who are uncomfortable with it and however they find out (trust me, they will find out), there will be issues to be dealt with. I hate to say this OP, but being queer in medicine is a big deal; tattoos, earrings, or anything that diverges from the "ol boys club"-stereotype will play some negative part in one's medical career as long as that stereotype exists.
     
  36. HeatherMD

    HeatherMD Queen of Passiveagressiva
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    How do you know I'm not gay?
     
  37. 229141

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    As long as a fellow colleague is competent and does not bring his sexual life into the work place, I could care less. In fact no one, gay or straight, should be making their sexual preferences overwhelmingly public. I know a lot of gay students at my school and some of are nice, other not so nice. Oh yeah, its exactly the same with straight people too


    Gay/Straight/Black/White/Green/Polka-Dot doesn't matter IMO- it's all about who can be the best doctor.
     
  38. Thrombomodulin

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    #37 Thrombomodulin, Dec 22, 2008
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  39. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y!
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    Fixed- added the should be. I fear you have a wonderful, but tragically idealized, vision of how the healthcare hierarchy works.

    The fact of the matter is that when it comes to getting into residencies and other positions, a huge part of the selection process comes down to whether or not the director who interviews you subjectively "likes you" or not. As LizzyM has said, everyone's application (and I'm sure this is true about applying to residencies and beyond) has warts; if the director of the program wants to badly enough, they can use those as an excuse to block your from the residency if they want to badly enough- and the sad truth is that there are still a bunch of 70 year old WASPs who grew up learning that homosexuality is a sin against God. If they were to somehow find out, or if they perceived you as such in an interview, BAM, all of a sudden, you having 1 point lower on your STEP 1 score than some other applicant outweighs all of the extra research you have on them. Surely, this is not the case all of the time, or even necessarily most of the time in this day and age, but it definitely still happens.

    I'm hetero myself, and I wholeheartedly agree that physicians should be judged strictly on competence alone. However, to simply dismiss the struggles of the queer (or whatever term you prefer) population as trying to play "the victim card" ignores the reality of the situation; in reality, they will probably face challenges that those of us who aren't simply can't understand, having not faced it ourselves. There's simply no way around it- all of those terms (queer, gay, lesbian, bi, transexual, etc) have been given negative connotations by society, and it will take several more years, if not decades, to change popular perception.

    Therefore, for those of you who do consider yourselves "queer," I truly do applaud your perseverance, and wish you all the best.
     
  40. BTC

    BTC
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    Maybe it's your rush to judge, eagerness to condemn, and spiteful attitude that are the reasons you feel alone.
     
  41. chiz2kul

    chiz2kul t.roll.ed for Banning
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    #40 chiz2kul, Dec 22, 2008
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  42. chiz2kul

    chiz2kul t.roll.ed for Banning
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    #41 chiz2kul, Dec 22, 2008
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  43. Nevadanteater

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    You're right that came out a bit catty, but it is the best way I know how to explain to other people why the word queer is okay. I deffo didn't intend it to come out as a question about your logic or observations...
     
  44. Caesar

    Caesar In Memory of Riley Jane
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    Folks lets calm down a bit. Calling people names is a no-no, you all know this. Derailing threads (i.e. making stupid, irrelevant comments) is also a no-no. Lets keep it respectful, on topic, and within the T.O.S. please.

    We encourage diversity across our forums and hate closing down threads like this and/or infracting accounts, but that doesn't mean we won't if it get's out of hand. Consider this your warning.

    Please stay well within the T.O.S. in this thread.
     
  45. Caesar

    Caesar In Memory of Riley Jane
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    thank you. Much appreciated.
     
  46. airplanes

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    Totally agree with Spurs...I thought the OP was initially asking about how it would affect his chances of getting into med school, which I think it could if he ended up with a homophobic interviewer or adcom. This process is incredibly subjective and I don't think there is any accountability for something like an intolerant adcom.

    As far as practicing goes, I agree with most of you who said that it could play a part in relating to similarly oriented patients and life experiences, But I feel like sexual orientation (and other personal attributes) shouldn't really come out in the professional doctor-patient relationship.
     
  47. sirius08

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  48. ChemEngMD

    ChemEngMD No need to hide behind private profiles
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    I got respect for the "queer" community especially when you've had to come out to everybody around you and you know what some of their reactions are going to be. It's very brave. Personally, my skin has always been brown so people have always known that I was "different"...except on a few occassions where people just assumed that since I spoke English properly that I couldn't possibly be a Puerto Rican...lol

    Anyways, mad props to all of yall holding it down and I wish you all the best of luck on your med school journeys!
     
  49. amp3r5and

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    Sometimes it isn't necessarily knowing information, but the perception. This is especially true in the case of gender identity and gender-variant individuals, (who also fall under the "queer" umbrella) as well with sexual orientation. People will perceive you to be gay or bi or straight or as a man or as a woman or as a freak or as a good-old boy or white or black etc. regardless of whether or not they have all the information or are "guessing" correctly. It's for these reasons that many hate-crime legislations (again, speaking from knowledge of gender identity laws), consider all crimes resulting from the victim being perceived as having a different gender identity regardless of how that person actually identifies.

    So, even if a patient or colleague thinks you might be queer (or straight), you might feel the results, whatever they may be.
     
  50. squrlgrl007

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    Its nice to have this thread, I was fairly certain I was the only queer applying to med school. I don't know why I felt that way, but I just figured everyone was straight. As for bringing it up in interviews, both of the interviews I've had so far had an essay based on an overcoming adversity question, which was pretty much coming out to my family and my dad kicking me out (for more than just bing gay, but that was the last straw), so it got talked about, but I didn't mind. I was actually happy to explain how others reactions to coming out prepared me for facing conflict and confrontation in med school.
     
  51. NCDocWannabe

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    This is all to real for me. I am a swim coach for a team with 300+ swimmers. One of the fathers of a kid on the team went to the head coach of the team and demanded to know my sexual orientation. Seeing as this was none of his business and I certainly never broadcast it, the coach withheld the info. This guy then obviously became very emphatic in convincing the coach that I was "different". Ultimately decided that he wasn't allowing his kid to be coached by some "blankity blank blank gay slur." Although he was right (even a blind squirrel gets a nut) and I'm sure some of the other parents knew it was never a problem because I am well regarded as a coach. But this one guy's perception of me imdemnified every accomplishment and all of the work I put in to becoming a great coach. The even sadder part is that the kid was getting better under my coaching and since he's switched to another team he's regressing considerably :(
     

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