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I think my interviewer was prejudiced!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by BasesofHumanity, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. BasesofHumanity

    BasesofHumanity Cardiology Rules, so far
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    I’m almost hesitant to post this, but I will. I recently, less than 24 hours ago had an interview across country and my interviewer asked me questions about my birth country that were blatantly prejudiced. Granted, I start my AMCAS essay by talking about my immigration experience and in a way I opened the door for the questions.

    I’m not sure if I should complain to their Dean or just leave it and wait for their decision. The school is notorious for giving relaxed and non-stressful interviews and this point was emphasized during the orientation, but maybe the interviewer was trying to ask me tough questions.

    Has anyone else had similar experience?
     
  2. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search
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    Elaborate???
    :rolleyes:
     
  3. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    If you left without saying anything, you're probably out of luck.
     
  4. MissMary

    MissMary Senior Member
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    well since it was very recent, i think that if you sent a letter to someone or spoke to the Dean as you have suggested then I would like to think that they would take what you've said under careful evaluation. not quite sure how it would affect your chances tho.... if you think the interviewer had something (personally) against your country and therefore you, then you might want to bring it up. it's really unfair that you would have to be interviewed by help someone who held some prejudice against you.

    But I'd be interested to know what type of questions the interviewer asked you.
     
  5. QuikClot

    QuikClot Senior Member
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    Really not enough here to go on. I would be surprised, in these diversity-conscious days, is they hadn't asked you. Maybe it was supposed to be a softball question. You do realize that being born somewhere else could be seen as a plus, not a minus? Your interviewer wasn't necessarily putting you down by drawing attention to the fact that your family didn't come over on the Mayflower. These days, that's a good thing.
     
  6. fpr85

    fpr85 "newbie"
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    Perhaps you're just a bit paranoid, the interviewer was curious about your background -- proceeded to ask questions and you just took it the wrong way.
     
  7. gary5

    gary5 Senior Member
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    People aren't always going to behave the way you want them to. This is the reality in life, in school, and in the workplace. You need to be careful which battles to start and which to let go. You haven't even begun at this school and you're already considering complaining to the Dean. More important than creating a world where no one offends you is to have control of how you handle the situation. You may be surprised. That person may have recommended you for acceptance and they may not have intended to offend you.

    I wouldn't be surprised that, if you complained to the Dean, that the interviewer would be removed from interviewing and that you would be declined. Schools want students that they have confidence will fit in, and even if justified, a complaining applicant is most likely to keep complaining.
     
  8. MissMary

    MissMary Senior Member
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    While I don't think its fair to assume that she is being paranoid esp since none of us know the types of questions this interviewer asked her (however we should note that her original post said that he asked her questions about her birth country that were blatantly prejudice), gary5 may be right. you might have to decide whether this is a worthy battle to fight. only you can make this decision. plus, you really don't know if this interviewer is going to recommend you or not. but i would understand u feeling upset if u knew for a fact that this interviewer was really out of line.
     
  9. BasesofHumanity

    BasesofHumanity Cardiology Rules, so far
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    Thanks for all your responses. While I don't want to post the exact question, I do believe that the question was blatantly prejudice, but it also gave me a chance to professionally and politely express myself. By the way, I'm a guy.
     
  10. pagemmapants

    pagemmapants Unknown Member
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    . . .
    Sorry, but this is driving me nuts.
    It's "prejudiced" as an adjective.
    . . .

    as you were.
     
  11. gary5

    gary5 Senior Member
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    LOL! That's very OCD of you. Obviously, OCD would not correlate with COPD, but maybe in the long term with HTN and maybe even CHF.
     
  12. jebus

    jebus Membership Revoked
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    Ha ha! Whatever, your ******ed. The grammatical errors on these posts provide me hours of entertainment - don't tell people to fix them. "Whose" instead of "who's", "less" instead of "so few", etc.
    Yes, I used "your" instead of "you're". The ironing is delicious.
     
  13. tkdusb

    tkdusb Senior Member
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    I can't imagine a school rejecting you for complaining about prejudice in the interview process. If there were inappropriate questions asked/comments made, the school would probably invite you for another interview.
     
  14. pagemmapants

    pagemmapants Unknown Member
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    Boy, that's an awful lot of alphabet soup. Nope, no hypertension yet and I'm far too young for pulmonary disorder or heart failure. . . OCD? Nah. Maybe OCPD, as they are indeed quite different, but who's to say?

    Mm. Tasty ironing. I like some starch in my diet.
     
  15. temmie

    temmie Senior Member
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    You know what? If the school is going to reject you because you report a racial remark, then maybe it's a school you dont want to attend.
     
  16. BasesofHumanity

    BasesofHumanity Cardiology Rules, so far
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    Is that better? Anymore mistakes?
     
  17. Dr.Pdizzle

    Dr.Pdizzle Member
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    grammar police are in fule affect.;, If gramor erors provided U with hours of entertanment then. I think I ajust a made , ; your weekend! :thumbup:
     
  18. badlydrawnvik

    badlydrawnvik Senior Member
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    my eye doctor once told me a story of how one interviewer at a very med good school commented on his armenian background and made an association between his heritage and terrorism. he was born and raised in the united states, needless to say he withdrew his application right after the interview because he was so insulted. then again he did end up going to penn.
     
  19. baby4you

    baby4you SDN Angel
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    my first interview did not like me or my country of birth, I didnt complain about it and Im was waitlisted.
    I dont know if saying something would have made a difference, but at least I would have felt better about it.
    my advice, say something if you feel you need to.
     
  20. nicholasblonde

    nicholasblonde Senior Member
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    Consider the fact that most interviewers at most schools have been interviewers for a long time. Most are well-respected faculty and clinicians at the school. Regardless of whether this certain individual who interviewed you was being bigoted or merely naive with the question about you and your country, consider the fact that the school doesn't know YOU from some kid off the street, while they do know and respect the guy who interviewed you (even if he is, in fact, a bigoted jerk).

    Do you think a medical school would side against one of their own all because someone was offended by a question asked in an interview? What are they going to do, fire the guy all because you say he offended you? That interviewer has already forgotten your name...don't remind him and the admissions committee of who you are in a negative manner. You're going to come off as a whiner who can't take a little cultural unawareness from a higher-up...so you're wasting your time if you complain...that's the sad truth about the ivory tower, and if you don't learn to deal with those politics now, you're going to face a tough road through school, residency, and medical practice...don't you think you'll ever come across a patient who is bigoted against you? Or a residency director? Take a stand on issues like this AFTER you've gotten into the school...until then, you're nobody to them. Negative challenges to authority (i.e. complaining) are usually ineffective, wheras positive challenges (i.e. starting a movement to lobby for protocols on what is PC and not PC in interviews as a 1st year medical student through AAMC or AMSA) are always more effective and more beneficial to your resume.

    I know this from experience man. Don't complain or you'll get burned. Just take that anger and emotion and turn it against them later on in life after you get in a position where you can make a change.
     
  21. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Just post the question. These threads that skirt around the issue endlessly are annoying.
     
  22. UCSBMed1

    UCSBMed1 SoCal Hater
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    Tell me about it.

    How do you expect us to give you an unbiased answer without knowing what he said? Why do you not want to say?
     
  23. QuikClot

    QuikClot Senior Member
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    Should be "Any more mistakes." "Anymore" is exclusively an adverb, as in, "I don't find these grammar flames amusing anymore." :)
     
  24. BasesofHumanity

    BasesofHumanity Cardiology Rules, so far
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    Are you British?
     
  25. medstylee

    medstylee 1K Member
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    the thing is, if you're going to notify the dean about this interviewer, you need to do it asap. this comes from personal experience. i had a very unprofessional interview experience last year, and i believe it ended up affecting my final decision. in any case, i was hesitant to make the dean aware of what had happened until weeks later. at that point, she said it was too late but that she would have gladly set me up with another interviewer if i had contacted her earlier (DAMN!). anyway, just be sure you know that. oh, and deans do take these kinds of things very seriously. best of luck with everything.
     
  26. QuikClot

    QuikClot Senior Member
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    No, just a Churchill fan. I'm trolling for a new avatar, though. Maybe Lisa Simpson?
     
  27. dura

    dura Member
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    I learned this lesson last year while I was applying to medical school. I am an M1 despite it all, sigh. NEVER INCLUDE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR RELIGION, SEXUALITY, FAMILY, WEALTH, MENTAL STATUS, IMMIGRATION ETC. (You get the idea.) Learn this lesson now so it doesn't keep biting your [email protected][email protected]!. When you bring it up in an essay it become fair game. Just like if you bring up research, GPA, clubs, volunteering. So, just as much as an interviewer has opinions about these topics, so will he/she have opinions about your personal information. Diversity? HUH? This is true. . .but know this secret: interviewers are focused on your scientific potential first and foremost. Second to that is anything they feel personally makes a good doctor. Looks play a huge role in interviews too (hence all of the good looking people at my school) as well as manners. My experience is that keeping your "diverse" experiences (I would say your personal life) out of the mix is the surest way to play it safe in an application. Immigration is a huge controversy in many ways (it is anywhere in the world).

    I mentioned my religious affairs and marriage in my application since it fueled a lot of my academic pursuits that I had to explain and time spent abroad. I regret it all. I say don't bring it up in an application. I had one interviewer flat out criticize my marriage to a Muslim (Arab) and questioned me about what my parents felt about it. He even asked about the prominence of my family and my husband's. He even criticized my grades because his daughter did better in classes that I took. I was stunned. But I realize he would have never asked me if I didn't share this info. So, no matter how much you wanna share, (even with good reason) DON'T! I didn't complain (should have, although this school was 2nd to the botton on my list of top schools) and I was rejected. I left the experience very pessimistic about and disappointed in what my life will be like as a med student and doctor. BUT I am *&*& glad I ended up where I did. And I basically keep my relations with people associated with med school on a professional and distanced level.
     
  28. hardy

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    I disagree...
    the only things you should never bring up are religion and politics (maybe sexuality too, can't see how you include that in an essay anyway!), which is true for any application and interview. Everything else has to be spun in the right direction and it can be an advantage.
     
  29. BooMed

    BooMed Optomist
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    I disagree as well. My "alternative" upbringing is a big strength in my application. It sets me apart from other students. It's all about the spin... :D
     
  30. Chrissy

    Chrissy Senior Member
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    was the question true/valid?

    I'm just playing devil's advocate here and I, in no way mean to further offend but i'm just wondering if the question was valid. It's hard to give advice because i dont know the dialogue but in my opinion one of two things happened.....one, he asked a question which was justified (albeit not politically correct) and it offended you.....or two, he asked an outrageous, uneducated question...in which case why didn't you politely defend yourself and your opinion? that may have been all he wanted.

    Also, just to be a pain i agree with what you said that you did invite this as you mentioned writing about it in your statement. I'm starting to think for better or worse the diversity card is getting old in the eyes of adcoms. I know someone (and this doesn't at all sound like you but) whose father is jewish and mother is a muslim immigrant and he wrote his whole essay about what that was like...bottom line is his family is less religious and 'ethnic' than my 4th generation Irish family and he said he got slammed in the interview because he couldn't tell stories or recount experiences....i dunno i mean maybe he was trying to call you out or hes an idiiot....either way I think you should have respectively offered your perspective.

    did u?
     
  31. Chrissy

    Chrissy Senior Member
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    [sorry just read dura's post. well said.
     
  32. Slide

    Slide Finally, no more "training"
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    Hate to say it, but the diversity card is way overplayed these days. Most med schools have diverse demographic anyways, so including stuff about culture and ethnicity is only useful if it directly affects your decision to become a doctor, or how it has strengthened your potential.
     
  33. BasesofHumanity

    BasesofHumanity Cardiology Rules, so far
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    Your argument is valid and the answer to all of your questions is YES. The questions he asked were valid and now that I think about it more, I realize that my personal statement clearly opened the door for such questions. His tone of voice was not at all offensive and his question was valid. Since the question was not completely directed to me and more towards people with similar ethnic origin as mine, I am beginning to think that he was simply satisfying his curiosity and that I am being sensitive. As mentioned earlier, I did give him my opinion in a professional way and I certainly had enough stories to back up my claims.
     
  34. MissMary

    MissMary Senior Member
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    Slide, if you don't mind sharing what data are you basing these conclusions on?
     

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