kstater

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What do you guys think about being on the interview trail visibly pregnant? Would that make a bad impression and lessen your chances of being accepted?
 

LADoc00

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kstater said:
What do you guys think about being on the interview trail visibly pregnant? Would that make a bad impression and lessen your chances of being accepted?
Sounds interesting if nothing else. Im trying to envision it. If anything it would work in your favor.
 
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kstater

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how would it help? I would think it might come across as a distraction.
 
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I can't imagine it would help either. However, the amount of "distraction" it will case will undoubtedly vary from specialty to specialty and program to program.

For example, women applying to more female/family friendly residencies (ie,traditionally FP and Ob-Gyn) have received more favorable responses than those applying to programs like Surgery and its subspecialties. The fear in these latter fields is that you will need more time off, want to leave early, essentially put in less than your fair share of the required work load. From what I've seen, the reverse is often true - the pregnant resident works even harder to try and "prove" herself. This must be you as well, if you are pregnant during residency or even medical school.

Another factor is how far along you will be when interviewing. Since you mentioned "visibly pregnant" this would presume that you would deliver before starting residency. Hopefully you will deliver far enough in advance of July 1 that you will have a daily routine worked out, breast feeding completed, etc. You should expect some questions about your plans for family care once starting residency given that you have "advertised" your intent to have a family, but these questions cannot be used to discriminate against you.
 

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Depending on how pregnant you are - people might not notice it or might be afraid to say anything in case they are wrong! In the month before I delivered my daughter I had a professor who didn't beleive me when I told her I was pregnant. I was 30lbs heavier with a giant basketball stomach. I think I saw on another thread somewhere that if programs ask illegal questions - you should lie...maybe "I am a surrogate for my sad infertile sister". If a program has a problem with women having babies and you want to have a baby - you probably wouldn't be happy at that program anyway so I wouldn't sweat it.
 

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Just a clarification about "illegal" questions.

The questions (ie, about family plans, issues relating to gender, age, ethnicity, etc.) are not THEMSELVES "illegal" unless they are only asked of certain groups (ie, only asking women about their plans for family) and/or your answers are used in a discriminatory fashion to deny you a residency position. You are not requied to answer such questions but not doing so is obviously awkward. Bear in mind that most faculty asking these questions are not doing so maliciously but rather they are likely to be unaware of the potential for discrimination in those questions or that some candidates might feel uncomfortable being asked such things.

From the AAMC site: The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race; religion; national origin, age, sex, and handicap status. If a program is particularly flagrant in its pursuit of these questions, you may want to contact the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the state agency that handles discrimination claims. If you feel that the answers to any of these questions have cost you a job, and that you were at least as qualified (or usually more qualified) than the person who got the job, you may file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC or the appropriate state agency. The law prohibits discrimination in hiring decisions on the basis of sex. It is not illegal for an interviewer to ask questions based on any of the above subjects unless only certain people, i.e. white, African-Americans, etc., are asked. If a program chooses residents on the basis of answers to these questions and charges are filed, the fact that the questions were asked can be used against them at that time.
 

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Kimberli Cox said:
The fear in these latter fields is that you will need more time off, want to leave early, essentially put in less than your fair share of the required work load. From what I've seen, the reverse is often true - the pregnant resident works even harder to try and "prove" herself.

Unfortunately, I disagree. In my experience, it's been the opposite. They do in fact take more leave(paid or unpaid), do want to leave early, and call out if their child is sick.

A friend of mine in a neurosurgery program that shall remain nameless has never had a female resident in their program for fear of these reasons.

Not saying it's right...but I can see their point.
 

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DigableCat said:
Unfortunately, I disagree. In my experience, it's been the opposite. They do in fact take more leave(paid or unpaid), do want to leave early, and call out if their child is sick.
I agree with the above. It's really not fair for you to have to work double while your fellow resident is so big they can't run to a code, can't stay on their feet long enough to get their work done, can't enter a patient's room because of exposure to infectious disease, etc. Plus I personally feel that getting that extra 2-3 month vacation while still finishing on time is unfair. Why can't I have that extra time off to use as I wish if I promise not to get pregnant at any time during my residency? I however disagree with not taking female residents because of this. Many females have no intention of getting pregnant during residency. (By the way, I am a female.)
 

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DigableCat said:
Unfortunately, I disagree. In my experience, it's been the opposite. They do in fact take more leave(paid or unpaid), do want to leave early, and call out if their child is sick.

A friend of mine in a neurosurgery program that shall remain nameless has never had a female resident in their program for fear of these reasons.

Not saying it's right...but I can see their point.
Sounds like we've had different experiences. The female surgical residents I know who have been pregnant have either had stay at home husbands or husbands with more adaptable careers who could stay home when the kid was sick and took no more than the allowed maternity leave. All of them however, went into the lab either during pregnancy or after so they were able to be more flexible with work hours but once out of the lab I never noticed any of them coming in late, leaving early, or taking more time off. It seemed to be the opposite...but as we all know, there are always exceptions (either those I know or those you know).
 

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Kimberli Cox said:
Sounds like we've had different experiences. The female surgical residents I know who have been pregnant have either had stay at home husbands or husbands with more adaptable careers who could stay home when the kid was sick and took no more than the allowed maternity leave. All of them however, went into the lab either during pregnancy or after so they were able to be more flexible with work hours but once out of the lab I never noticed any of them coming in late, leaving early, or taking more time off. It seemed to be the opposite...but as we all know, there are always exceptions (either those I know or those you know).

Welll...you guys are surgical, and a female surgeon can be a different breed altogether. ;) Now, you just have to convince the more male dominated specialties(read: good ole boy network) of this. And good luck with that...
 

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DigableCat said:
Welll...you guys are surgical, and a female surgeon can be a different breed altogether. ;) Now, you just have to convince the more male dominated specialties(read: good ole boy network) of this. And good luck with that...
Maybe I'm missing something, but the good ole' boy network usually IS the surgical specialties.
 

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DigableCat said:
Welll...you guys are surgical, and a female surgeon can be a different breed altogether. ;) Now, you just have to convince the more male dominated specialties(read: good ole boy network) of this. And good luck with that...
While I agree that female surgeons may be a different breed than other females in medicine, don't for a moment mistake that I believe the "good ole boy network" is delighted or even accepts (at least privately) pregnancy in their female residents. They realize that at least publicalyl they must accept it if and when it happens, and that legally they cannot discriminate against applicants or their residents who are pregnant. But just let it slip one day that you feel ever so slightly nauseated and the first question out of many a faculty's mouth is, "are you pregnant?". :rolleyes:
 

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Kimberli Cox said:
I can't imagine it would help either. However, the amount of "distraction" it will case will undoubtedly vary from specialty to specialty and program to program.

For example, women applying to more female/family friendly residencies (ie,traditionally FP and Ob-Gyn) have received more favorable responses ...

i'm not sure that OB/GYN has been traditionally "family-friendly."
 

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plm said:
Kimberli Cox said:
I can't imagine it would help either. However, the amount of "distraction" it will case will undoubtedly vary from specialty to specialty and program to program.

For example, women applying to more female/family friendly residencies (ie,traditionally FP and Ob-Gyn) have received more favorable responses ...

i'm not sure that OB/GYN has been traditionally "family-friendly."
but it has been traditionally female, no?
 

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I interviewed for med school when I was about 5 1/2 mos pregnant. I wore a suit with a mid-length jacket that covered my belly. I did not want my pregnancy to be an "elephant in the room" that my interviewers noticed, but couldn't ask me about. The MD I interviewed with had no idea I was expecting (I spoke with him a few months later after I was accepted) and he was very surprised that he didn't notice.

If you are big as a house and just can't hide it - don't sweat it and just be honest. If you can dress to minimize your body "bulge", I think it helps keep the interview focused on what really matters.
 

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kstater said:
What do you guys think about being on the interview trail visibly pregnant? Would that make a bad impression and lessen your chances of being accepted?
I think it would probably affect the program's ranking of you even though that's illegal, but if you are a good candidate you'd probably still get a spot. I would worry less about the interview and more about being an intern with an infant. I do know a few people who gave birth during intern year, but it's definitely something I would avoid if at all possible. Many babies don't sleep through the night till 6-8 months--you could be up every few hours with the baby at home, on top of not sleeping on call. At the very least you'd need a very flexible partner and hopefully nearby family to help you out.
 

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I wouldn't try to hide or avoid the topic of pregnancy.

Even if they rank you lower, maybe that's a good thing. Programs who rank you lower are probably more demanding on their residents' time. You'll wind up higher on the list in places where they think being a well-rounded person is more important, and that's where you want to be, right?
 
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