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Gay and Out - Curious about experiences of other applicants!?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by jamylk02, Nov 6, 2002.

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  1. jamylk02

    jamylk02 Junior Member
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    I was just curious if anyone else on here is going through the med school process as an out gay applicant or has already gone through it. I would be very interested to hear about interview experiences especially and just thoughts on the process in general.

    I outed myself in my AMCAS personal statement to highlight the experience of being an openly gay athlete at a conservative school and the impact this experience had on me and on the social climate at the school. My composite writer also requested to use this experience in my recommendation.

    I have had three interviews so far with mixed reactions. One who didnt bring it up (im not sure what to make of that), one who didnt know (closed file), and one who was very impressed.

    Curious if anyone has similar stories or advice about different schools specifically. (I am interviewing at NYU, Georgetown and UPenn this week)

    Thanks

    James
     
  2. GoodMonkey

    GoodMonkey sproutmobile
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    good luck on the interviews! :) just be yourself, in my opinion. i'll bet you may hear different opinions on this one, but if a school isn't comfortable w/your being out, then would it really be somewhere you would want to go? bear in mind, i'm not saying one side is right, one is wrong... just that you will prolly be happiest at a school that is ok w/it. be yourself. (my $0.02)
     
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  3. GoodMonkey

    GoodMonkey sproutmobile
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    oh yeah, and there are a couple other threads like this one out there... do a search for similar ones; i'm sure you'll find more info there than i can provide. i don't have any experience w/this subject, only an opinion. :)
     
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  4. whyadoctor?

    whyadoctor? Senior Member
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    darn, i forgot to mention that i was heterosexual in my personal statement i wonder if that hurt me.
     
  5. tBw

    tBw totally deluded
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    it's unlikely being heterosexual has presented you with many challenges...except perhaps getting a date....
     
  6. whyadoctor?

    whyadoctor? Senior Member
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    you're right, i forgot that this process was about who's had a more challenging existence and not about qualifications. is it true that gays get dates easier! ****, i'm switchin tomorrow.
     
  7. MeganRose

    MeganRose Senior Member
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    Why would anyone make reference to their sexual orientation in application to medical school? I understand that medical schools want to know about you personally, but I would have thought writing an essay that included your sexual orientation to be too personal.
     
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  8. whyadoctor?

    whyadoctor? Senior Member
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    can't agree with ya more!
     
  9. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg 1K Member
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    what if someone was into pedophilia or beastiliaty? That is their sexual preference....should they be discriminated against? Surely not! That is their individuality! NAMBLA unite!

    ;)
     
  10. marakah2

    marakah2 Member
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    I would have to imagine that each of us, in our own way, discussed personal issues which have challenged us as human beings.

    who cares if this particular applicant wrote about the difficult choice to come out of the closet--i'm sure his essay shows alot about him as a person----which IS the point of a "personal statement"

    i bet it was a great essay that shows that this applicant can deal with stress/complications and still come out ahead.
     
  11. whyadoctor?

    whyadoctor? Senior Member
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    let me understand this correctly...

    gays = pedophiles = beastiality? that's dangerous blitz
     
  12. MeganRose

    MeganRose Senior Member
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    As usual, you astound me. I wasn't trying to say that the guy was a freakshow, comparisions between homosexuality and beastiality just don't make sense. Although I can respect that being gay caused challenges in the applicant's life, I still don't think that sex has a place in the application process...
     
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  13. whyadoctor?

    whyadoctor? Senior Member
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    anything to get in...that seems to be the theme. maybe i should've been gay that way i would've had a more challenging life and a better chance of getting in. if i could just start over, man.
     
  14. Bounty

    Bounty 1K Member
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    Amazingly insensitive and just plain rude. Who do you think you are?
     
  15. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg 1K Member
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    um..

    did I say that

    homosexuality=beastiliaty=pedophilia?

    NO.

    I said that each (including heterosexuality) is a sexual preference.

    Do you deny this fact?

    LoL, once again megan, you distort the facts. Please don't tell me that you're also a frustrated pedophiliac!
     
  16. jamylk02

    jamylk02 Junior Member
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    My goal of posting was to try to connect with some other students who might be dealing with the same issues. I will be the first to admit that this process is pretty stressful, and I was hoping to try to reduce my stress by talking with someone who shared the experience.

    Opinions are very nice, and this debate is important and interesting, but it is rather off topic. I understand everyone is stressed and frustrated with the process.

    Thanks to some people for being nice and supportive, and for everyone else just realize that it is a pretty complicated issue. I undestand your annoyance at my post and please feel free to start another thread to discuss, but just don't ruin the one I started. Thanks.

    James
     
  17. Joe Joe on da Radio

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    i don't think any of us are in a position to say what is appropriate or inappropriate for someone else's "personal" statement.
     
  18. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg 1K Member
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    in all honesty,

    I think that at some schools you will have severe problems, some not so bad..it all depends on the individual interviewing you.
     
  19. zephyr_97

    zephyr_97 Member
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    hi James and others,

    I am glad that you are being true to yourself, because closet gets too stuffy sometimes. Like you I am a current applicant and though I did not out myself in my personal statement, 4 out of my 15 AMCAS extracurricular, I did mention about the works that I did in LGBT groups. So far, knock on wood, I have not received any rejections, in fact, I have gotten all the secondaries from the 29 med schools that I am applying to, including UCs.

    In my interviews so far, I only came out voluntarily once and I could not gauge the response. Nonetheless, since I am applying to MD/PhD programs mostly, I stayed within the confines of my research background and interests. What I can say is that what med schools are looking for are overall package. Being LGBT will not automatically exclude or include in the process. Other factors matter as well. A good doctor can be gay or straight. Good luck on the process. You're welcome to PM me if you have any questions and concerns.

    Peas ,

    z. :)
     
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  20. tBw

    tBw totally deluded
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    sex doesn't. however, your personal growth, health-related activities, life-challenges, society and your interaction with it, all are legitimate information. I assume the OP focused on the latter. Being gay should be just about who you choose to have sex with; unfortunately, due to attitudes and problems in society, it ends up being about much more.

    ...and 'whayadoctor?' - I think you would have, perhaps, a legitimate gripe if being homosexual in and of itself increased an applicants chances of admission. However, I very much doubt that this is the case. I would think that it might give context to a persons life, but I imagine the only prejudice introduced would be negative (from individuals points of views eg if someone that believed gay=pedophile=bestiality were reviewing the file). I doubt it gives any positive marks to the applicant. However, that is just my opinion.
     
  21. whyadoctor?

    whyadoctor? Senior Member
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  22. whyadoctor?

    whyadoctor? Senior Member
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    what's the point of stating that they are all sexual preferences? what does that have to do with discussion on writing a personal statement whining about challenges faced due to lifestyle choices? i don't see the point, even if i agree with you that they are all preferences.
     
  23. lola

    lola Bovine Member
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    :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    thank god i live in sf, so that i don't have to waste my time on anti-gay crap.

    whyadoctor? just look at the sort of responses you've made and imagine being gay and having people say lame things all the time. of course that would be an obstacle for you to overcome, and it is perfectly legit to write about it in a PERSONAL statement.
     
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  24. MeganRose

    MeganRose Senior Member
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    I didn't mean to ruin your posting. But you have to admit many a thread starts off with the originator having one point and the discussion taking another direction. So sorry if I ruined it--I'll stop sharing my opinion so your thread can get back on track.

    To Blitz, I would say that bestiality is a sexual preference. But I really feel that homo&heterosexuality are orientations. Homosexual animals in nature exist, french skunks in love with cats don't (oh wait...) I still say that the comparision was foul.
     
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  25. Tweetie_bird

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    I don't want to propogate any anecdotes, but I have been told on more than one occasion that it's safe not bringing sexual or married/single orientation into recommendation letters AND personal statements.

    I was told by a specific advisor at UCSF that one can make the same point, without getting "too personal." Another issue to think about is the following--

    Open gay person goes to interview. Interviewer has read the personal statement. Interviewer is having a bad day. Interviewer brings it on with the interviewee. Interviewee believes that it's the "out of the closet" fact that's bothering the interviewer when in fact, the interviewer is only having a bad day. Tensions rise.

    Interviewee does not get in (for whatever reason).

    How easy would it be to shout "discrimination" in a situation like this? Schools are weary of the fact that students will indeed do anything to get in. I am not claiming that you are doing it, but I have heard anecdotes like that. In such situaitons, schools want to avoid somebody yelling 'wolf' and just accept the applicant. One specific one that comes to mine is somebody who applied and got in at JHU with a 2.__ GPA that claimed in his PS that he was gay and how it had affected his life. Again, this is just an anecdote and I have seen no proof of this. Just what a med school friend told me.

    What you do in your bedroom is your own business. And i can understand that growing up and going through puberty is hard. Mix that in with coming out. It's a tough world, and i am sure you have had your ups and downs. And I am even more sure that you are a better person because of what you're been through. Yet, I feel like there is a time and place to disclose certain facts. I personally feel, that this could have been brought up at an interview instead. Instead, it is likely that your application **might** revolve around that. Again, this is just my "traditional, old fashioned opinion." You have obviously already sent in the PS so it's too late to discuss it now. Just be aware of the fact that not everybody will be as receptive toward you. In schools where you don't feel accepted, you're better off not going there anyway.

    But since you have 6 interviews lined up already, obviously you are doing something right. So, more power to ya!!

    Tweetie

    PS: I'm just curious. How did you tie in the two things about being openly gay and why somebody should accept you to medical school? Doctors hardly go through the "not getting accepted" in society phase.....what lessons did you learn that are going to make you a better candidate?
    I assume you said something about being egalitarian..treating everybody alike...etc.

    PPS: I think you should do a search on this issue. There was a really huge thread about this issue just a few months back.
     
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  26. whyadoctor?

    whyadoctor? Senior Member
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    which animals are gay? how do you know they're gay? maybe they're just horny.
     
  27. Tweetie_bird

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    I actually have an intellectual answer to that because I studied a bit in college. :laugh: Seriously, I do. I have a hint for you: look up Bonobo monkeys.

    Anyway, stop the anti-gay crap whyadoctor. I don't want to get ban happy with our members.
     
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  28. Joe Joe on da Radio

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    gay sheep study
     
  29. lola

    lola Bovine Member
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    gay animals rock :cool:

    there really are gay animals. yeah!
     
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  30. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    I agree
     
  31. jtheater

    jtheater Senior Member
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    I outed myself on some of the secondary questions that asked what was your biggest personal challenge. Coming out was. I don't wear a rainbow flag tatood to my ass (can you imagine how that would sag when i was 50 years old, yuck... let's think before we put tatoos on places that won't always stay firm:laugh: ) I don't feel like my being gay defines what kind of physician I will be, but I think my experiences will have some influence on how I practice. I feel as though I would be better equiped to deal with a gay or transgendered patient (I am not transgendered, but have worked with many). I think that can be of value in a medical school class or a ward team. If anyone wants to email me with comments or questions, feel free... [email protected]. Interested in hearing from others out there and their experiences.

    And an aside since I am still at work and still bored (btw, these are your tax dollars at work ;) ) Why do so many straight men hate gay men? We take 10% of the male population out of competition. And this is a somewhat skewed 10%, as we are the best dressed, generally work out more than your avg straight man, and most women fall for gay men (some do it over and over again). I mean, if it weren't for gay men, many guys out there would never get laid. So give us a break :laugh:

    Ok, so I will get trashed for this post.
     
  32. wallie

    wallie Member
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    Hey jamylk,

    I think it's great that you are out on your personal statement--I wish I could have found an appropriate way to weave it into mine, but I couldn't. (I did write about being gay in one of my secondary essays, but that's it.) I was never very involved in GLBT stuff on campus and my coming out process was comparatively smooth, so it wasn't relevant to many of the questions I've had to answer on secondaries. It definitely feels a little weird NOT to be out to most of the schools that I've applied to, though, given that it's such an important part of my identity.

    Hopefully, I'll have interview experiences to share with you guys soon....but none so far....

    Good luck, guys!
     
  33. jamylk02

    jamylk02 Junior Member
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    I really don't want to debate whether people think it was smart or appropriate for me to use my sexual orientation and the issues that surrounded it in my personal statement.

    I don't really see a need to defend myself to random people who don't know me. But at the same time. I also don't want someone who is gay and not sure whether to be open during the application process to be scared by these responses.

    So I will just say that I definitely don't regret being open. I did not make my essay about being gay, but rather about a moment in my life where I stepped up to a challange, fulfilled a dream, and in the process made a very large impact on my undergraduate school. This is not a claim everyone can make.

    My grades and MCATs are strong and I think my application paints an accurate picture of who I am. I think about it this way. I know who I am and I want to go to a school where I will be a good fit. Therefore I made sure my application represented me well. If the system works than I will be happy whereever I end up.

    Ok thats all I am saying on the subject. Please anyone who has similar experiences respond and we can talk about it.

    James
     
  34. Gumshoe

    Gumshoe LARGE Member
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    This is my honest opinion ...

    I'm not sure how you will be affected by this action. Gays seem to me to be always defining themselves through their sexuality, almost solely. It's sad to a certain point. Like others have said, it's about how you are as an applicant, not your what you decide to do sexually in your life. Who cares.

    Just be yourself, seek truth and help people. That is all that is necessary.

    Take care and good luck.

    Gumshoe
     
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  35. poloace

    poloace Senior Member
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    whyadoctor-
    we should really change your screen name...
    maybe, whyanass, or whya****ingdickhead would be more appropriate. which do you prefer? come on dude... what kind of insensitive person are you... rot in hell.
    p
     
  36. Because you steal all our ladies
    :laugh:
     
  37. yes, this statement is very funny. b/c it is ridiculous. it really annoys me the way that people think that most women delude themselves at one time or another into thinking they love a gay man as more than a friend. If I have a gay male friend or co-worker who is honest and open about his sexual orientation with me, then I personally assume that he is NOT available for a relationship and turn my attentions elsewhere. When we say, "oh, so and so is cute, shame he's gay", we mean only that someone is nice and physically attractive, not that we have an obsessive wish to date or marry the person.

    I understand that the original poster doesn't want anyone who is not gay to post on this thread, but if you admit that there is anything "different" about you then you are bound to get all kinds of responses from all kinds of people, not all of them encouraging. Although whyadoctor's posts are immature and extremely rude, at no point does he use profanity or homophobic slurs or perverse descriptions to attack homosexuals. I may not like what he has to say, but don't think he should be banned from here (esp. since you all refused to ban monster2 who hated women, gays, white people, etc.). Hell, there are plenty of rude and insensitive people on here demanding that their often stupid opinions should be respected. I can tell you that I received just as many stupid attacks for my thread on being a "larger woman", with people telling me that I was brutally attacking "naturally thin" women and the men who love them as has the poster here as received for discussing his situation as a homosexual. I'm not saying these attacks are deserved, but just to not expect them to stop on here (cause let's face it, the maturity level isn't phenomenal on here) and to deal with them. good luck to you.
     
  38. although some of whyadoctor's posts were rude and anti-gay, I believe that this is a legitimate question. A recent study observing brain patterns in homosexual sheep defined homosexual sheep as those that mates with ONLY sheep of the same sex. Hope that answers your question.
     
  39. Joga

    Joga Junior Member

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    I'm applying to med school next year and I too am thinking of talking about my gay self and my work with the LGBT population (I've also volunteered with non-LGBT related causes). For non-LGBT people, it's easy to just say "why do LGBT people always talk about their sexuality", well the gay teens that I've worked with in homeless shelters are there because their communities and families defined them as "gay" and most either got kicked out or left home because of all the crap that they have to go through. It's unfair that these teens have to deal with surviving in the streets day in and day out, I was almost in the same position but good thing I didn't come out until I was in college where I was able to have more options. Medicine is for everyone. If some of you future docs can't handle gay patients without having to feel "oh why do they have to keep bringing up their sexuality" well, I guess bringing up our sexuality in med school apps will alleviate you from that burden, and I wouldn't mind helping out a gay person in need. :love:
     
  40. cheeeeillll katie.... just kiddin babe
     
  41. whyadoctor?

    whyadoctor? Senior Member
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    rot in hell? that's so sensitive poloace. anyway, if there really are gay animals i'm sure it's also some sort of genetic defect otherwise the gay gene would've worked it's way out of the gene pool through natural selection a long time ago.
     
  42. isidella

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    YOU rock, Lola!:)
     
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  43. ComplexPuzzle

    ComplexPuzzle shakin dat a**
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    I did not out choose to speak about my sexual orientation because I did not feel that it was a significant aspect of my life deserving attention in my personal statement. I was also aware of the unfortunate fact that in our society several people tend to lose focus of a person as soon as they learn the details of their sexual orientation. The individual becomes a homosexual, bisexual, transgende rather than a person with sexual tendencies that are not necessarily strictly heterosexual. I mean God forbid, right.

    But in my case, I am bisexual which is an even harder concept for people to digest. So I tend to stay away from the subject. After all the only people that need to know about my sexuality are the ones in my bed (or the ocassional car, club coatroom etc ;) ) And hopefully these people are painfully aware of my sexual orientation by that time.

    So speak on the subject if you want and don't if you don't. But f*&k the people who will judge either way. Its your life, your essay and your world. You do you cuz your the only person who can do it so well.
     
  44. nappy kat

    nappy kat Membership Revoked
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    Whyadoctor?, You've effectively unmasked the hypocrisy of 85% of the users who post on threads regarding this subject matter. I'm flabergasted that they don't see their own double standard. I guess they don't want to. If you would have said "I don't agree with your convictions (gay people)-rot in hell, you would have immediately been reported to the moderators and banned from posting on the network. BTW, your reply makes perfect sense.
     
  45. womansurg

    womansurg it's a hard life...
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    jamylk02, although times-they-are-a-changin', medicine is still one of the last bastions of deeply conservative thought within the world of higher education. You will find many more people like whyadoctor than you ever would choose to associate with - as classmates, administration, and teachers. People who make policy and who wield power over you.

    One of my med school classmates - a good friend - was one of the founding members of the GLB support group at our school. He went through tremendous emotional and social challenges: harrassment, physical threats, ostracism. Everything from threats in the men's room to instructors inserting homophobic jokes and cartoons into their lectures in support of the vocal anti-gay minority. The administration was in flux regarding their position on the subject and he received very little in the way of official protection and support. I believe he came very close to leaving the field of medicine.

    Thank god for his bravery and self sacrifice. In part because of his efforts, school policy is now well defined and students are protected from such bigotry.

    I believe if you are 'out' during the admissions process, the opportunity to explore the subject of the school's environment with regard to GLB issues is there, and that may be helpful in your decision process. Medical school is hard - damn hard. Having the friendship and support of classmates and administration goes a long way in helping to deal with the tremedous stresses. Depending on your fortitude and what you need for yourself to be successful in medical school, you may need to choose carefully with this fact in mind.

    best of luck
    -ws
     
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  46. GoodMonkey

    GoodMonkey sproutmobile
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    i'm sad this thread turned into a gay/anti-gay thing. please please can we not continue down that road? the poor OP was just looking to see if anyone had any experiences similar to his and would want to share them. and nobody even welcomed him to SDN, i think (it was his first post).

    so - welcome to SDN jamylk02. sorry your first post was all swabbed on and muddied. hopefully you found some advice among all this.

    to reiterate - do a search for threads of a similar nature, they may be helpful. or PM (private message) one of the other members who said they had similar experiences.
     
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  47. siempre595

    7+ Year Member

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    I think it's great he chose to talk about this in his personal statement, cause that's what it is, personal. We get something like 1500 words to show admit committees who we are and why that means something to them as well as to the medical profession. If this even means a lot to him (which is obvious), or has bearing on who he is and what kind of person he will become, I cannot think of a better thing to discuss. We all choose moments in our life that our significant to talk about in that statement. If that makes admissions committees uncomfortable then i wouldn't want to be at that school anyhow. If that makes people on this board willing to say the ridiculous things that have so far been posted, then i start to wonder what kind of physicians some people here will become. Good luck James, you have a lot more strength then many applicants out there.
     
  48. lll505

    lll505 Senior Member
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    I think it is brave to come out and even braver to write about it in your personal statement. I think you should write about whatever you truly feel reflects you - that is why it is a "personal" statement - but really, it is not for any of us to judge anyway.

    It seems as if certain people on SDN are jealous or something b/c they don't seem to have an obstacle or difficulties to write about.

    As Lola put it, thank god I live in SF!

    Good luck with your interviews - I'm sure honesty counts for a lot.
     
  49. ExistentialistPhilosopher

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    Jamylk02,

    I just wanted to say that I'm sorry that this thread degenerated to such a level. I do admire your bold decision to come out in your personal statement, and even though some people seem to be questioning that decision, they're not the ones on the adcoms looking at your app. And the fact that you're willing to risk medical school acceptances and further social discrimination to be open about yourself speaks volumes about your character. Good luck!
     
  50. Gumshoe

    Gumshoe LARGE Member
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    What philosophers do you like, Jamy? I was into existentialism for a while, and Dostoevsky is my favorite author, but then I found out what truth really is. PM me or reply and I can discuss further.

    Gumshoe
     
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