How to bring up sexuality/LGBT in app or interview?

arc5005

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So, I think being LGBT doesn't separate me from competition, but it is an important part of my identity. And with it has come difficulties and awkward situations.

I mean, they might(not really sure) be able to tell I'm gay during the interview, but that is different than actually bringing it up in conversation. I was part of my LGBT group in undergrad as well, so that should go on my application???

I do want to discuss how being gay is part of why I want to go into medicine. While not the only reason, having a gay PCP really helped convince me to go into medicine. Being able to connect with my physician and not having awkward conversations about "giving" or "receiving," being able to joke with my physician, or talk about guys just felt so much more comfortable than many other physician-patient experiences I've had. I felt that I not only had a PCP, but that I made a friend as well. I want to be able to talk about this experience, obviously making it seem professional. I'm not sure how medical schools are going to look at my application and/or a topic like this one. Suggestions?
 

IsWhat

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If it's on your primary application - I would imagine it is fair game to bring up since the school gave you an interview knowing you're LGBT. I recommend going with your gut on this one.
 

Goro

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It's important to you, but what you really need to consider is "will this be important to an Adcom member reading this?" I like the idea of how you related to your own clinician, and if discussed this way, I think it's a fair thing to mention.

If you can spin your gayness to the problems that gays face with medical issues (suicide rates in teens, HIV/AIDS, higher cervical Ca rates in gay women, problems with finding sympathetic clinicians in the more rural/conservative areas of the US) I think it will also strike a better chord.

But mentioning it for the sake of mentioning it because it's "who you are" is like saying to me "I'm a Presbyterian".

And for Gawd's sake, don't apply to LUCOM!!

So, I think being LGBT doesn't separate me from competition, but it is an important part of my identity. And with it has come difficulties and awkward situations.

I mean, they might(not really sure) be able to tell I'm gay during the interview, but that is different than actually bringing it up in conversation. I was part of my LGBT group in undergrad as well, so that should go on my application???

I do want to discuss how being gay is part of why I want to go into medicine. While not the only reason, having a gay PCP really helped convince me to go into medicine. Being able to connect with my physician and not having awkward conversations about "giving" or "receiving," being able to joke with my physician, or talk about guys just felt so much more comfortable than many other physician-patient experiences I've had. I felt that I not only had a PCP, but that I made a friend as well. I want to be able to talk about this experience, obviously making it seem professional. I'm not sure how medical schools are going to look at my application and/or a topic like this one. Suggestions?
 
Oct 27, 2013
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There are three issues I advise applicants to not discuss, sexuality, religion, and politics, mostly because what the other person is thinking is a question mark, you really do not know what they are thinking, you do not know that person. These are issues that often create irrational and often strong emotional responses in people and often unexpected responses, its best to leave it out, and to stay more relevant to experiences that relate closely as to why you want to enter Medicine. That is just my opinion on the matter.

These are topics of discussion to steer clear of with fellow students, faculty, and staff once you are in school as well.

That being said its up to you what you want to write in you personal statement, if you want to talk about your PCP and issues that LGBT people face in healthcare I think that is a great topic, but if you are talking about your own personal life and issues, I think you should keep that private.
 
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arc5005

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It's important to you, but what you really need to consider is "will this be important to an Adcom member reading this?" I like the idea of how you related to your own clinician, and if discussed this way, I think it's a fair thing to mention.

If you can spin your gayness to the problems that gays face with medical issues (suicide rates in teens, HIV/AIDS, higher cervical Ca rates in gay women, problems with finding sympathetic clinicians in the more rural/conservative areas of the US) I think it will also strike a better chord.

But mentioning it for the sake of mentioning it because it's "who you are" is like saying to me "I'm a Presbyterian".

And for Gawd's sake, don't apply to LUCOM!!
Thanks!
 

IntheClouds4ever

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I would try to focus less on your sexuality and more on your open-mindedness towards LGBT issues. You could say something along the lines of "I feel I can honestly discuss/relate with high risk patients who could potnetially benefit from prophylactic treatments such as Gilead's PReP (Truvada) pill for HIV." "openly discuss sexual/emotional health issues that may differ from heterosexual patients so that I may iprove the well being of LGBT patients in need."
 
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Oct 27, 2013
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I would try to focus less on your sexuality and more on your open-mindedness towards LGBT issues. You could say something along the lines of "I feel I can honestly discuss/relate with high risk patients who could potnetially benefit from prophylactic treatments such as Gilead's PReP (Truvada) pill for HIV." "openly discuss sexual/emotional health issues that may differ from heterosexual patients so that I may iprove the well being of LGBT patients in need."
That would be a better strategy, it would demonstrate to the admissions committee how you would be able to serve LGBT issues as a future physician.
 

IntheClouds4ever

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Saying this as an LGBT person.. No one cares if you're gay; it doesnt set us apart. However, it does give us a different perspective on how to improve the health care of an underserved minority group. Tell them how you can do that. Best Wishes!
 
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OrdinaryDO

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This is just my personal opinion and you should take it with a grain of salt, but what you mentioned sounds like you connected with the physician BECAUSE he was gay, because it was something related to medicine. Everyone who has taken psychology knows that people tend to identify with people who are most like themselves. If this doctor had some influence on you in terms of medicine, then that is fair, but not for the sake of just saying it. I agree with the above posters, don't bring up hot topics.
 
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arc5005

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Psychology also says we project our emotions onto others. He may have had a better connection with the physician because the physician was gay but that only underscores the emotional turmoil a gay or lgbt patient goes through with a Hetero physician. (They won't ask about the near daily enema use and the potential harms. They will feel more comfortable with a more open-minded physician or one who identifies as lgbt) He could use this experience as a demo to say he wants to provide the safe open atmosphere for other LGBT people while providing quality, professional service.

-example- I have HIV. Went to ER with appendicitis. Surgeon asked how I contracted HIV. I asked if it was relevant to the case and there was an awkward silence. This happened in a rural area hospital and he was an older Hetero white male. He stuttered and realized he overstepped his boundaries and quickly averted the discussion to HIV related complications (VL was undetectable so concerns were negligible). LGBT minded physicians are a valuable asset to LGBT patients, even if it's only because they identify with the gay aspect.
I completely agree.
 

AsianPersuasion

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OP, I'm going to be mentioning it in my app, but that's because I've been involved heavily with the community. Good luck to you!
 
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arc5005

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OP, I'm going to be mentioning it in my app, but that's because I've been involved heavily with the community. Good luck to you!
My volunteer work is with HIV vaccine trials and the LGBT and low-income communities, so I believe my experience has also been heavily involved in the LGBT community.
 
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My volunteer work is with HIV vaccine trials and the LGBT and low-income communities, so I believe my experience has also been heavily involved in the LGBT community.
Well I think that would help your application and would communicate to the school as to why you could serve the LGBT community as a future physician. I think merely identifying yourself as LGBT or saying that an LGBT physician inspired you to apply to medical school would really make no impression.