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Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by KimR, Nov 29, 1999.
Is it harder for women to enter the profession than men?
I'm a guy, but from what I saw in the acceptance process, my answer would be absolutely not. It is probably even to your advantage. If you look at the literature from schools (every one that I applied to), they say something to the effect that they are particularly interested in applicants who are minority or female. Most schools, at least on paper anyway, seem to be trying hard to diversify.
[This message has been edited by togo (edited 12-02-1999).]
There are far more women in my premed classes than men. Their dedication and motivation is obvious!
There were far more women in my premed class too but now there are only about 40 women in my class in medschool compared to 130 men. I am not saying that it is harder for women I just wander where they are all going.
That's called a leaky pipeline...women in many science fields tend to drop along the way, it starts in middle school. Are there many women faculty to serve as mentors and role models for female students?
Define "harder". I am a 33 year old mother of three in my first year of med school. It is definitely hard; the course work is the same obviously for males and females. I do think, however, that there are some attitudes present both in school and in society in general that make it tougher for women. I think it all comes down to knowing oneself and being sure about your goals. There will continue to be those who frown upon women in medicine (among other fields); that should not keep women from pursuing the field if it is what they really want to do.
Generally speaking, women in the profession are more difficult to work with. A man may not like another doctor/resident, but still has little trouble working with them. The women tend to have a hard time separating themselves from the personality differences and just doing the work. Also, rounding with women attendings tends to take much longer than with the men, because they can't keep their mouths shut.
OUCH!! As a fellow man (I'm assuming perfontaine, or whatever, is male) not only do I find your comment stupid, I sense an impending storm of chastisement headed in your direction.
[This message has been edited by togo (edited 12-06-1999).]
I've heard that certain specialties are more difficult for women. I'm talking once they're there, not getting in--i don't know much about women's chances of getting into certain specialties vs. those of men.
A female pediatrician told me she thinks OB/GYN is more difficult for women, especially if they want to have families. Aside from the hours involved, I'm not sure I understood her logic. Her tone made me think there was something emotional about OB/GYN, for her anyways.
As for prefontaine's comment, I think he's trying to start something (as usual?). I'd hate to work with someone who thinks women are "more difficult to work with". Way to go PR-boy!
This is for ReneeWB (but anyone - please respond) -
First of all - CONGRATULATIONS... I don't know you but I'm so proud of individuals like you who can excel in so many things in life.
My question is:
Do you think admissions committees look
unfavorably on women who do have children? Obviously in your case, you got in so there's no problem there but I'm asking in general, is there a perception that if you have children that you may not do well? When you were applying, did you get any negative feedback from admissions people or others?
I'm asking because I have a 9-month old and am still very much interested in applying for med school.
Without dwelling too much on the negative, I find Prefontaine's response sexist and rude! Regardless of the experiences he has had, positive or negative, in working with women in the medical field, to make widespread generalizations about all women in medicine is ridiculous and insulting! I'm sure much, if not all, of Pre's experience is shaded by a bigoted view of women. As a man, I appreciate the different approach to life, and I am sure medicine, that women can offer. I think we, men, have much to learn from them. And medicine, a traditionally male dominated and directed field, must grow and change as more "female" approaches and attitudes are integrated and internalized. It will only make the profession, and us as physicians, better!
[This message has been edited by dlbruch (edited 12-06-1999).]
since you said anyone was welcome to respond, here I go
I think you will be under closer scrutiny as an applicant with children, particularly being "mom". Some places may look at it as a "negative" on your application but, fear not, there will be plenty of places that will be still sincerely interested in you as an applicant.
The important thing is to have a "game plan" figured out as to time management and child care, when you go to the interview. You are very very very likely to be asked what your plans are for child care and family life while in med school. It is a fair question, after all the admission committees want to make sure that people who are accepted are realistic about the demands of medical school and have plans to cope with them, and plenty of support. There is nothing more disheartening that loosing a good student due to "family problems" and, from the student's point of view, go through many sacrifices just to have to withdraw. So I think it behooves all medical students with children, to have made a good plan for childcare and family life while in med school, and a couple of backup plans too, because, as you know, "the best plans of men and mice..."
As long as you offer your interviewers a good game plan, so that they can be fairly assured that you can handle all your commitments, in and outside of school, being a mom will not be regarded at all disfavorably.
Being a mom in med school will have many added stresses but it can be done with a support network, be it your spouse or other relatives or friends. There will be a need to let go of guilt, because your time with your child will be somewhat more limited. By the same token, your time studying and in school activities will be also more limited. So, it will be best if you are not too keen on being among the top 10% of your class.
I agree with ReneeWb, that it is more demanding on "moms" than on "dads" because of societal and family expectations. Even if one's husband is the most understanding man in the world, there may be outside pressure to conform to the more traditional "mom" role. Additionally, there is no denying that kids relate differently and put different demands on mom than on dad. Just wait till it is the night before a very hard final, you are pooped and stupidified from studying so much, and you child is sick with a bad cough or cold and she "only wants mom"...
It can definitely be done, though, with some extra sacrifices.
I am the mother of two children (ages 7 and 10) and a first year student at Des Moines U. Many schools do have a harder time accepting women with children because of the extra responsibilities and time they require. However, there are many schools out there that will accept parents (mothers and fathers alike). DMU is one school that accepts a large number of students with dependants and I have heard of several others. Have realistic expectations and plans going into an interview so you are well prepared for any questions on the subject.
I, too, am a 1st year in Des Moines and there seem to be many of my classmates with children. In fact, I know of one of my classmates that is currently pregnant with her 1st child. I don't have any kids, but our school seems to be really family friendly. There also appears to be a pretty even split between men & women in our class. I'm sure it's not exactly 50-50, but women are certainly represented well. I would be surprised if there wasn't still some discrimination in the "old boy network" specialties, but I think that is improving. Just my two cents...
Kansai and Louigee,
Thanks for sharing. Does either of you know Mary Arlandson? She's in your first year class at Des Moines. She and I went to the
School of Public Health in MN together.
I'll definitely keep Des Moines in mind when I apply.
"But he that dare not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose."
l3T chA05 Re1gN!
I dont really understand what difference it makes if its harder or not. If you want it, you will do it anyways.
I applied as a single mother, and made it known I was a single mother in my personal statement (as it makes me the person I am today). The issues mentioned above (eg daycare, how will I balance school and family) never came up. I presented myself as an independent, responsible, resourceful person. I guess the admissions committe assumed if I could get myself through undergrad and grad school as a single mother, I'd likely be okay in med school too.
At the risk of sounding insensitive, here goes...
When applying to schools, I considered myself as "stepping up to the plate with two strikes already" - that is, I was white and I was male.
Schools, corporations, hell even McDonalds, they're all looking to be as diverse as possible. Medicine/Medical Schools are no different! How many white male doctors are there in the US? I don't have stats, but I would imagine that an overwhelming majority are. So if you are female, or a race other than caucasian (or both!) I can't help but think that you may have an advantage - how huge or slight is debatable.
I hope this doesn't come off as sounding sexist, IMHO if you are qualified for anything then you should get in regardless of class, race, gender, etc. But I'm just an idealist...
The question about being treated differently by adcoms if one was a mother is an interesting one. I see many sides to that argument...
Is it just me or do a lot of asians work at McDonalds? Thoughts?
um, i think it depends where you live...i've never seen an Asian work at McDonalds
Has anyone else realized that this thread originated in 1999? I guess it doesn't matter either way.