medicienne

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During a recent interview at a small town I was asked some personal questions that could potentially lead to discrimination on the basis of marital status.

I was asked about my marital status, what my spouse does and if we have children. I was also asked where else I am applying and interviewing (!)
This was a small town and they probably had concerns about whether I would switch after PGY-1 if my husband can't find a job there. I already thoight about this before applying, spent money applying to that program and flying in, and what I thought it was very unfair that I would be judged negatively on this basis.

I am not sure what is the right way to answer these questions? How much right do I have to protect my privacy so that the rank list is not influenced by things other than my qualifications?
 
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Law2Doc

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During a recent interview at a small town I was asked some personal questions that could potentially lead to discrimination on the basis of marital status.

I was asked about my marital status, what my spouse does and if we have children. I was also asked where else I am applying and interviewing (!)
This was a small town and they probably had concerns about whether I would switch after PGY-1 if my husband can't find a job there. I already thoight about this before applying, spent money applying to that program and flying in, and what I thought it was very unfair that I would be judged negatively on this basis.

I am not sure what is the right way to answer these questions? How much right do I have to protect my privacy so that the rank list is not influenced by things other than my qualifications?

Where else you are applying and interviewing is not an illegal question, and nearly all residency programs will ask some form of this. It's just a way to gauge whether you are likely to be interested in their program. So don't think that's illegal, it's not.

Marital and family planning questions are off limits. But the general rule is that if you don't feel uncomfortable with those questions you ought to answer them.
 

dragonfly99

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medicienne,
In theory it should be illegal for residency and fellowship programs to ask about marital or relationship status and children or plans for marriage or children at some point in the future. However, if you are female (and even if not) you are likely to encounter such questions. As a trainee you really don't have much power and you kind of have to answer the questions...or risk irking the program director and then not getting ranked. There was actually a resolution passed at the recent AMA meeting to try to get some of these types of residency interview questions squelched, but we will see. I'm not sure it will work but I think it's a laudable effort. These types of questions wouldn't be tolerated in most all of the business world, even in fields where hard work and long hours are the rule.

Getting asked what other programs you have applied to is par for the course, and as lawdoc points out it isn't illegal. There's no rule saying that you have to tell them the unvarnished, truth though ;).
I think they ask this question to see how competitive you are (i.e. if it's their program vs. Harvard, UCSF and Duke, they might think they are screwed and you won't rank them, but if it's their program vs. super podunk community hospital 1 and 2 they might think perhaps you aren't too competitive of an applicant). When I got asked this question I was mostly truthful, though sometimes I left off a few programs from the list I told them...didn't want them to feel insecure b/c I was interviewing at a lot of places.
 
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If there is a potential that you could bail on the program after one year, it is a valid question. They can't ask about marital status, religion, etc, for the purposes of discrimination. But if these issues may lead you to transfer from their program before you finish, I would suspect that these are very valid and legal questions. I would defer to someone with more knowledge of the process though.

There is also a chance you are overreacting - many interviewers are simply making conversation and want to hear about your family. It doesn't mean they are using it against you. They want to hear about your family so that they can then respond by saying, "this is a great place to raise a family!" or "there are several residents who also have young children." That is, they are asking so that they can make a better impression on you.
 

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There is also a chance you are overreacting - many interviewers are simply making conversation and want to hear about your family. It doesn't mean they are using it against you. They want to hear about your family so that they can then respond by saying, "this is a great place to raise a family!" or "there are several residents who also have young children." That is, they are asking so that they can make a better impression on you.

I was asked about my family by a program who wanted to offer help in finding my partner a job (he is also in healthcare). Depending on the context, it can be very positive!
 

Law2Doc

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If there is a potential that you could bail on the program after one year, it is a valid question. They can't ask about marital status, religion, etc, for the purposes of discrimination. But if these issues may lead you to transfer from their program before you finish, I would suspect that these are very valid and legal questions. I would defer to someone with more knowledge of the process though.

No. they are never valid questions. Not because of how they will be used, but how they could be used. So law/rulemakers took the issue out of the employer/interviewers hands and said you simply can't ask about race, religion, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, marital status, family planning, and certain military career issues (national guard status, or whether you have been honorably/dishonorably discharged from the military). Any program could always make the argument that they had a valid reason and needed to know to see whether you'd be likely to finish their program. But some subset of these people would also want to know for less reasonable reasons -- like they don't want to work with one of those classes of people. So for this reason, these questions are deemed not acceptable for any reason.

So as interviewee, you are entitled to decline to answer. If you are smart, and decide it won't hurt you, you probably will answer anyhow, and not report anything. eg If you call a PD a racist, you aren't getting in, even if he was wrong to go down that road, and so most people grin and bear it unless they have some major concern about what the PD is trying to illicit. But informed interviewers will steer clear of this kind of stuff, even when making idle conversation. If you don't bring up that you are married, or have kids, most of the time an interviewer won't ask. If you bring it up, it becomes fair game.
 

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I have a pretty laissez-faire attitude about this "OMG-illegal-questions!!" stuff. I've been asked a hundred times about my marital status, what my husband does for a living, whether we have kids, what baseball teams we like, etc. It's just small talk. Everything a program needs to know about your qualifications is in your application - the interview is about finding out if you're a person whose personality and attitude is one that would fit well with their program, and vice versa. They're just having a conversation with you, and sometimes the conversation is very serious (health policy, philosophy of education, what-have-you) and sometimes it's light and friendly (hobbies, family, et cetera).

Yes, technically it's illegal to ask some of those questions, but I've never felt that the interviewer was looking for an angle. And even if I did, I don't want to be the person who says, "That's an illegal and inappropriate question, and I don't plan to answer it."
 

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Rtrain,
I agree with you that in general most people who ask about marital status, etc. are doing it in a benign, small-talk sort of way. But I have no doubt...absolutely none...that some people sometimes ask about marital status and kids solely for purposes of discrimination.

I am a single female who applied to cardiology, and I can tell you that I was asked about marital status (sometimes repeatedly) at about 80% of my interviews or more, although I was pretty much never asked about that (unless I brought it up) during medicine residency interviews. I even had one interviewer ask whether I was married...when I said no he then asked whether I had a fiancee...when I said no he then asked whether I had a boyfriend or not...then the next question was whether or not I had kids. And these were the very first questions in the interview. Also, questions about marital status and kids were on several of the secondary applications for cardiology fellowship. So I think that some programs want to know, and the reason they want to know is that they think a female who is married and/or has kids will work less hard and be less dedicated to her training than other candidates. But I don't believe most of them would feel that way about a male fellow who has kids, or plans for kids. So even though I am not married and have no kids (therefore the "ideal female" for these programs I suppose) I feel like we should be asking ourselves questions as a society about why we feel this way about women. Why do we think it's cool for a woman to have a career but then we don't have many expectations for men to be helping out with the child rearing and we haven't really done a lot to create flexible daycare options for dual-career couples? I also resented spending a significant chunk of several of my interviews explaining my dating/relationship and lack of kids...it just seemed an unnecessary use of interview time.

I do have a nonscientific observation, though...the better-tier programs seemed to ask these types of questions a lot less.
 

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No. they are never valid questions. Not because of how they will be used, but how they could be used. So law/rulemakers took the issue out of the employer/interviewers hands and said you simply can't ask about race, religion, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, marital status, family planning, and certain military career issues (national guard status, or whether you have been honorably/dishonorably discharged from the military). Any program could always make the argument that they had a valid reason and needed to know to see whether you'd be likely to finish their program. But some subset of these people would also want to know for less reasonable reasons -- like they don't want to work with one of those classes of people. So for this reason, these questions are deemed not acceptable for any reason.
Can a program ask generic questions about whether or not you plan on staying in the area, finishing the program or if there are any issues that will cause you to be late or miss work on a regular basis? Can they ask without specifying if you are planning to take any blocks of time off?
 

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I don't see why any of those questions would be illegal or inappropriate. They can ask you things relevant to whether and how you are going to be able to do your job well.
 

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As someone on the other side of the questions:

we like you. we want to find out if there are any barriers to YOU matching wtih US that we can resolve....like finding a job for the spouse, pointing out which neighborhoods have the best schools. Hey, we have a great organization of spouses. oh, you have to talk to this resident, their spouse is in the same field as yours, they could compare notes...

we are trying to be helpful, not hurtful.

we may be unusual. don't know. but please don't be offended, it is not meant that way at all.
 
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As someone on the other side of the questions:

we like you. we want to find out if there are any barriers to YOU matching wtih US that we can resolve....like finding a job for the spouse, pointing out which neighborhoods have the best schools. Hey, we have a great organization of spouses. oh, you have to talk to this resident, their spouse is in the same field as yours, they could compare notes...

we are trying to be helpful, not hurtful.

we may be unusual. don't know. but please don't be offended, it is not meant that way at all.

While perhaps the majority of folks asking this kind of question are "trying to be helpful", the laws are set up to protect applicants from the minority who are asking these kinds of questions NOT to be helpful, but for discriminatory reasons. Since it's impossible to know who is noble in heart and who is a jerk, the law makes all these questions illegal. Meaning you cannot ask them, period. Doesn't matter your motivation. IT IS AGAINST THE LAW. Because the law is protective of the potentially discriminated against applicant, not the "helpful" employer. You are being kept in line because some of your colleagues aren't helpful and need this kind of legal framework. So don't declare yourself above the law because your motivations are pure. Others' motivations aren't and rather than figure out how to identify the bad apples, the feds have made it impossible for any apples to go rotten by passing a law.
 
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LadyGrey

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I think it gets especially complicated because there's the real interview, and then there's all the other stuff that's not quite an interview, but still evaluating you (pre-interview dinner, lunch with residents, time in between interviews chatting with residents). Is it still illegal for residents to ask questions about marital status, given that they may have some evaluative role, albeit much much smaller than the PD, etc?
 

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I think it gets especially complicated because there's the real interview, and then there's all the other stuff that's not quite an interview, but still evaluating you (pre-interview dinner, lunch with residents, time in between interviews chatting with residents). Is it still illegal for residents to ask questions about marital status, given that they may have some evaluative role, albeit much much smaller than the PD, etc?

Legally, yes. It's inappropriate for a "representative of the program" to ask you these questions, regardless of the setting. Doesn't have to be an interviewer -- when the program sends someone out to meet with you, they effectively "deputize" that person to act for the program.
 

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I can't stand people who think it ought to be off-limits to ask questions about family planning. Shouldn't a program be allowed to know whether it's likely that a potential future employee will be GONE AND/OR USELESS FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS?! This, to me, sounds like something that would be important to any company, let alone something as sensitive as adequately covering and caring for patients. It also adversely affects the other residents.

Women having a child during residency ought to be forced to take the year off and retake it at a later date. Either that, or everyone else should get spontaneous, massive amounts of time off.
 

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I can't stand people who think it ought to be off-limits to ask questions about family planning.

It's not about people "thinking" it's off-limits -- it is, legally, off-limits.

And, attitudes like yours are precisely why these questions are illegal. Am I understanding you correctly that you think you should be able to ask about marital status and family planning so that you could choose not to accept any resident contemplating pregnancy during her residency?
 
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jumpingjax

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I can't stand people who think it ought to be off-limits to ask questions about family planning. Shouldn't a program be allowed to know whether it's likely that a potential future employee will be GONE AND/OR USELESS FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS?! This, to me, sounds like something that would be important to any company, let alone something as sensitive as adequately covering and caring for patients. It also adversely affects the other residents.

Women having a child during residency ought to be forced to take the year off and retake it at a later date. Either that, or everyone else should get spontaneous, massive amounts of time off.

Its pretty fair at most programs - women have to make up their time off at the end of residency and end up graduating late.

My only advice is that the other residents in the program should get paid "moonlighting $" for all the extra shifts we have to take to cover for the women having kids. Seems fair.

Btw, I've heard getting private practice jobs as a chick is tough b/c of the whole pregnancy thing.
 

Law2Doc

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I can't stand people who think it ought to be off-limits to ask questions about family planning. Shouldn't a program be allowed to know whether it's likely that a potential future employee will be GONE AND/OR USELESS FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS?! This, to me, sounds like something that would be important to any company, let alone something as sensitive as adequately covering and caring for patients. It also adversely affects the other residents.

As mentioned above, it's not about what people "think" ought to be off limits, it's about the law. It IS illegal to ask these questions. The law doesn't just cover residencies, it covers all business interviews. Folks can't ask these questions because some interviewers may use this kind of a question as an excuse not to hire women. Now, you may think that's reasonable -- that a company can decide not to hire a woman because they may decide to have a child -- but the nation, through its legislature, disagrees with you. If you don't like it, all you can do is take it up with your congressman.
 
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In order to know what is legal/illegal with regards to residency questions you would have to ask someone that knows this particular area of law because as residents we are "unique" in the legal world.

We are not always treated as employees, hence the match has been ruled legal by the courts. No other business could do that, but the courts said for that particular issue we are considered students so it doesn't violate anti trust laws (I think the NFL has an exemption as well).

By the same token, we can't use student deductions on taxes etc because for that portion of the law we are considered employees even though for the match we are students.

As a matter of fact I think they have even allowed programs to set limits on the number of maternity leaves people can take, and other businesses can not do that.

At any rate, there are things that apply to regular businesses/employers that do NOT apply to residency programs and vice versa. I don't pretend to know if this is one of those or not, but I would be careful assuming that employment law for employers and what they can ask would apply to residency programs.

If I remember correctly the match site has a list of prohibited questions. Keep in mind that just because it's a "match" violation doesn't mean it is illegal in the legal sense, just a violation of the match. For example, asking where you will rank them doesn't violate any employment law, but it is a clear violation of the match.
 
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Law2Doc

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In order to know what is legal/illegal with regards to residency questions you would have to ask someone that knows this particular area of law because as residents we are "unique" in the legal world.
...

At any rate, there are things that apply to regular businesses/employers that do NOT apply to residency programs and vice versa. I don't pretend to know if this is one of those or not, but I would be careful assuming that employment law for employers and what they can ask would apply to residency programs.

It is taken for granted by programs that they are not permitted to ask the same questions deemed illegal of employers. I don't think anyone wants to test your theory in court that they should be held to a different standard. This isn't so much a matter of employment law as it is a matter of federal discrimination law. So yeah, you can actually assume that the same law that applies here. Most residency programs are certainly assuming this.
 

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I'm not sure about that.
A lot of residency programs still ask these questions, so I think they may believe they are not bound by the antidiscrimination laws that generally apply to those interviewing folks for jobs. They might in fact be exempt if they argue that residency is not a job but is education or training and NOT a job. I know the AAMC says that these types of questions shouldn't be asked, though. It's on their web site. It seems like for medical school interviews it seems to be more off limits, whereas for some residency or fellowship interviews it seems more like it's open season for them to ask whatever they want (whether it's about marital status, racial background, whatever...). I'm not sure why that is, but I'll bet it's some combination of
less well trained interviewers and the fact that residency programs think they are not bound by the same federal laws that govern employers who are hiring employees.
 
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I'm not sure about that.
A lot of residency programs still ask these questions, so I think they may believe they are not bound by the antidiscrimination laws that generally apply to those interviewing folks for jobs. They might in fact be exempt if they argue that residency is not a job but is education or training and NOT a job. I know the AAMC says that these types of questions shouldn't be asked, though. It's on their web site. It seems like for medical school interviews it seems to be more off limits, whereas for some residency or fellowship interviews it seems more like it's open season for them to ask whatever they want (whether it's about marital status, racial background, whatever...). I'm not sure why that is, but I'll bet it's some combination of
less well trained interviewers
and the fact that residency programs think they are not bound by the same federal laws that govern employers who are hiring employees.

It's almost totally the "less well trained interviewers" group. No way a program is going to go out on a limb, despite AAMC website statement, and the high likelihood that if a residency program tested the issue in court, they would be found bound by the same anti-discrimination laws (and subject to federal penalties). Even with private employers, you come across plenty of people who don't know the law and ask these questions. But ignorance of the law is no defense, and thinking you aren't bound by a law (and turning out to be wrong) is also no defense. Arguing that they are exempt is something that can be tested in court at a programs risk -- no way the typical interviewer asking these questions has the permission of his program to test the waters in this way. He just simply doesn't know he's on thin ice. Which is a really bad idea for a program to allow. Because nobody chooses to be the test case, unless they have to.
 

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Not excusing it, as they really shouldn't ask, but if you have a great answer that makes it sound like you really would be a great fit there, I'd make a point of getting it in there. I can't ask, but you can volunteer. The more you can convince me that you will be happy at my program, the more likely I am to break ties in your favor. I want my program full of happy residents. I can easily fill it up with competent residents 5 times over, but them being happy at home makes my life easier as they come to work happier.

When I was interviewing for residency, I made a point of talking about my marital situation even when not asked so I could suss out which residencies would not be supportive of my plan to stay married during residency. Something to think about.
 

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We are not always treated as employees, hence the match has been ruled legal by the courts. No other business could do that, but the courts said for that particular issue we are considered students so it doesn't violate anti trust laws (I think the NFL has an exemption as well).

The recent court challenge to the NRMP match was not decided by the courts but instead exempted from anti-trust suits by Congress. I do not believe the wording had anything to do with student status, rather that the match is exempt from antitrust suits as long as there is no outright price fixing.

By the same token, we can't use student deductions on taxes etc because for that portion of the law we are considered employees even though for the match we are students.

Not sure what you're getting at. Student tuition can be deductible depending on your situation. As a resident, you get paid -- so there isn't a "deduction" for that.

If you're referring to the issue of FICA taxes -- that is actually still being hotly debated. Programs would love to consider resident payments as "student stipends", as this would exempt them from FICA taxes which are paid half by the resident and half by the program. The IRS is in control of this issue, not programs. The fact that different branches of the IRS have interprested and applied the rules differently does not surprise me in the least.

As a matter of fact I think they have even allowed programs to set limits on the number of maternity leaves people can take, and other businesses can not do that.

This is not true, to my knowledge. Maternity leave does not count towards training credit in many fields (and neither does any other type of leave), hence anyone with a leave of absence from residency will need to make up the training months at the end. Some programs offer paid maternity leave, some offer only FMLA / unpaid leave -- similar to many other businesses. If you have a specific reference to this, I would be interested as I think it's completely illegal.
 

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dragonfly, the anti-discrimination laws apply specifically to education as well as to employment, so there is no loophole for programs at all. They are simply asking questions they shouldn't, period.

Getting away with breaking the law doesn't make you exempt from it.
 

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If programs can ask about what other places you have applied to and likely not accept you if you have already applied to far "better" programs, can you answer that question by saying that you have not yet decided where else you are going to apply? Or only mention the similarly ranked programs that you're considering? If they can't find out themselves where else you have applied, then I think this would be a fair answer since it will prevent any bias against you. I presume some might apply to more prestigious programs but choose to attend the lesser one because it fits them better. A prejudice about where else you have applied doesn't seem logical.
 

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Question for those attendings who do residency interviews. Did anyone actually receive training in this? As to what constitutes an inappropriate/illegal question? I certainly didn’t. When I was asked to participate, I figured I should start reading up on questions/job interview techniques. Came across the anti-discrimination stuff on my own.
 

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I don't think all of the illegal questions that get asked are due to the poorly trained interviewers. I definitely think that is a big part of it, but I'm telling you I went to several fellowship interviews where the PD and/or the department chair was the one(s) asking the illegal questions, and it's hard for me to assume that the PD is not well trained to do interviews. I actually think that programs know they can probably get away with this, and that nobody is going to challenge them, so they choose to take the risk (because they want to know certain information and know they can get it from the applicants, regardless of what is supposed to be legal/permitted).
 

dragonfly99

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Excelcius,
I think the technique of mentioning several other programs of similar competitiveness to the one where you are interviewing is a good way to deflect the question of, "Where else have you applied?". It might not be a bad thing to mention 1 or 2 more competitive ones also, because it shows them you are a strong applicant, but if you mention 5 or 6 top 20 programs, then the other (not as prominent) program where you are interviewing might decide you're unlikely to go there and not rank you as high. Similarly, if you are interviewing at Hopkins and they find out no other top 20ish institution invited you to interview, they might wonder if you are really competitive for a spot in their program. Programs do not really have a way of determining all the other places you applied to and/or where you are interviewing unless they took the time to call up all the other PD's, which is very unlikely. Therefore, sometimes I'd leave off a few programs when I got asked that interview question...no reason for them to know I was interviewing @12 places if I wanted them to think I was only interviewing at 8 or 9.
 

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I answered the "where else did you apply" question by specifying geographic regions. If pressed further I'd mention another program of similar "rank" as the one I was interviewing at. They really are just looking to see if you're competitive for their program. A mid-level program may think that you won't bother ranking them if you also got Hopkins, BWH and Stanford.
 

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"I'm interviewing at a wide variety of programs within this region, but what I really want is a program that is x and y" where x and y are characteristics of the program you're at. No one has pushed me for anything more specific.
 

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Fully and truthfully.

If the program is one that doesn't want residents like you (whatever "like you" happens to be), then you don't want to be there.


That's all well and good, but frankly the residency match is a seller's market, and we poor buyers have little negotiating power.

I'd rather match at a program who's not interested in 'people like me' and force them to change their prejudices (or suffer for 6 years) rather than go unmatched.

And I think thousands before me have tripped down that particular decision tree too, which is why no one ever, ever, ever challenges the interviewer when asking questions. The reward is too small and the risk is too great.
 

dragonfly99

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Well I wouldn't say nobody EVER challenges the interviewer. I've never refused to answer any question...but I did ask one PD, "May I ask why you want to know?" when he kept repeatedly asking me about my marital status...then whether I was +/- a fiancee...then whether I had a boyfriend vs. not. It just was getting a little excessive with the "personal life" questions one after another...and I felt like we had an OK rapport such that he wouldn't bite my head off or anything. I certainly had no illusions that it would make them rank me higher but I felt safe that I would match somewhere so I was being a tiny bit reckless at that point.
 

doctah27

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I had a young resident ask me "if I had a husband, or boyfriend" and "what I like to do for fun" ...

has no relevance at all to gettin a residency spot. But I have to say, he was pretty cute! :laugh:
 

dragonfly99

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LOL!
Sounds like he was trying to hit on you. That's not what I'm talking about, though.
I'm talking about the PD and/or other faculty interviewers asking about marital and dating status. Sometimes it's probably meant as an innocuous "getting to know you" type of question, but sometimes it is not. They want to find out if female candidates are married and/or engaged because they some of them think that we are walking uteruses and all of us are ready to pop out a baby at a moment's notice.
 

OTD

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As far as the maternity leave thing, when I was interviewing a few years ago a couple of the contracts stated the maximum number of maternity leaves a person (male or female in the contract) could take.

The number was something like 2-3, not sure which, just remember being completely taken off guard at the "limit" because as someone that worked in a factory before that was a complete no-no in the regular work place but was out in the open in the residency contract.

It was stated that was allowed becuase residency programs were educational and not just work so they had more latitude. It was right there in the contract in black and white so I would think they had their lawyers OK to do it.

Law 2 doc, it's not my "theory". It's fact that residency programs have different rules in regards to employment law in SOME areas. However, I fully stated that I didn't know if it was different in this PARTICULAR aspect, just that several areas are different and it might be wise before crying wolf to find out the actual rulings from somewhere besides a free for all message board.

It was just food for thought, nothing more.
 

NotAProgDirector

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I answered the "where else did you apply" question by specifying geographic regions. If pressed further I'd mention another program of similar "rank" as the one I was interviewing at. They really are just looking to see if you're competitive for their program. A mid-level program may think that you won't bother ranking them if you also got Hopkins, BWH and Stanford.

I just want to point out that this makes no sense, given the match. It doesn't hurt me to rank people who will not match with me, other than going down farther on my list. Although some suggest that us PD's brag about how low we go on our rank lists, we really don't. It doesn't cost me any more to rank 1000 people than 10.

As far as the maternity leave thing, when I was interviewing a few years ago a couple of the contracts stated the maximum number of maternity leaves a person (male or female in the contract) could take.

The number was something like 2-3, not sure which, just remember being completely taken off guard at the "limit" because as someone that worked in a factory before that was a complete no-no in the regular work place but was out in the open in the residency contract.

It was stated that was allowed becuase residency programs were educational and not just work so they had more latitude. It was right there in the contract in black and white so I would think they had their lawyers OK to do it.

This is illegal. Employers may be able to limit the number / length of paid maternity leave, but not leave itself. FMLA would apply (assuming you have worked there for > 1 year) and would guarantee emplyees unpaid leave for a pregnancy.
 

dragonfly99

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apd,
I disagree that programs don't care how far down their rank list they end up going. I agree with you that it shouldn't matter, but for some programs it does. I did have certain programs state at my fellowship interviews that they "never went below #8 or so on our match list" (for 5 spots or so), or "We only went to #9 last year" (to fill 6 or 8 spots...I can't remember). Also the fellowship program director at my residency program and some other faculty admitted that is a concern for a lot of programs that they don't want to go far down their rank list, so will be more likely to take an applicant who they think is ranking them #1. I didn't think this seemed much of an issue, or really an issue at all, for IM residency, perhaps because every program has such a long rank list anyway? But for the more "competitive" medicine specialties I definitely think it comes into play.
 

slowlybutshelly

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I was asked ' are there any secrets in your family'? after I was already in a medical school. I wanted to transfer asap; and when I told a new dean why he just laughed 'they asked you that?' I said yep; he then said ' well everyone has secrets in their family'. Just FYI.

Is that an illegal question?
 
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