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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by EW1779, Sep 29, 2001.

  1. EW1779

    EW1779 Senior Member
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    Hey everyone, I have been reading all the posts on this site, and eveyone seems so supportive......it's a pleasant change from the typical pre-med atmosphere. :D

    I have a couple of issues that I would like some input on.......first of all, I am not your typical med school hopeful. Not by far....I'm gay. I don't usually announce my sexuality like this, I don't want it to become my identity. But I can't help being exceptionally nervous as my interviews approach. (I got interviews at Einstein and Stony Brook a couple of weeks ago, and last Friday I got Rochester and UVa!! I didn't think I would get any.) I am not sure how to appraoch these kinds of issues if they are broached in an interview, and I am finding out that more and more people are being asked hot they feel about gay/lesbian issues. I realize that medicine is an age old profession, and can be very conservative. I am sure there are some that are reading this that thing homosexuals should not be doctors. I am unsure, and my interview at Rochester is October 11th. It's my first choice, and I don't want to blow it. But I feel that I should be true to myself as well.

    I hope I have not offended anyone, I just want to know if there are any other aspiring physicians out there that might be in the same position. Even if you are not gay, and there is a 90% chance that you aren't, I would like to know how you feel.

    That issue aside, I just want to thank everyone for making this site what it is. It's a great resource and I for one am thankful for it. Everone onjoy the rest of the weekend, and I hope the interview invites keep on rolling in for everyone.

    :D :D :D
     
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  3. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member
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    don't tell them anything, why hurt your chances? you don't know what they think and the worst possible case scenario is they may be homophobic even though they might not show it during interview. Being gay has nothing to do with your desire for becoming a doctor anyways. Why should your patients or adcoms care who you sleep with? I won't even go in this area in your interview...
    just an opinion.
     
  4. Neuro4All

    Neuro4All Junior Member

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    Unless you mentioned it in your personal statement, I seriously doubt it would come up in an interview, and even if you did mention it, most interviewers probably wouldn't go near it fearing discrimination issues.
     
  5. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    I'm curious where you heard that people are being asked about how they feel about gay & lesbian issues. I certainly haven't heard anything about it on this board. But I haven't been checking out interviewfeedback.com either, as I'm still waiting for Aug. MCAT scores before I have any chance of interviews.

    Anyway, if it comes up, and I doubt that it will,I would think that you could just say you feel everyone is entitled to equal rights and that a person's sexual orientation is irrelevant in providing them medical care. I agree with lady in red that there's no reason to announce your sexuality in an interview. It's none of their business, and in some cases (hopefully few) it could hurt you.

    CONGRATS on all those interviews!! Best of luck. Glad you found this site. :D
     
  6. Barton

    Barton Senior Member
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    I know a number of gay medical students. I don't think it's usually an issue, but with some older or more conservative interviewers (or anyone else that's ignorant!), it might be realistic to assume that there is some prejudice. I wouldn't lie if asked directly (which they won't, but if they do, file a complaint and they won't dare reject you!) but maybe just don't broach the subject if itt doesn't come up. You have a right to be who you are, but sexual orientation shouldn't have any bearing on the process (whether one is straight or gay), so I think it's kind of innappropriate to bring it up.
    Good luck!!
     
  7. EW1779

    EW1779 Senior Member
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    Thanks for your comments guys, keep them coming.

    I definitely will not bring it up, I think that would be inappropriate as well, I dont think anyone would say, "Nice to meet you, by the way I am straight." So I would not do that. As for where I have heard of people being questioned about gay issues, the question is popping up all over the place on those "Questions You May be Asked" lists. In addition, I know some students personally that have been questioned. I don't know of anyone that has been asked point blank. That would be PR suicide I think.

    Anyways, I had my suit dry cleaned today (!!!!) and I am preparing for interviews...I really did not imagine that I would get interviews. I am beginning to think I should not have applied to 16 schools! This is a dream come true for me. Can anyone suggest medical current events to be familiar with other than HMO/PPO, stem cells, and the other obvious ones?

    H to the Izzo just came on. I love that song. I am going to go eat, everyone have a good night.
     
  8. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    How about the need to be prepared for biological warfare? :(
     
  9. EW1779

    EW1779 Senior Member
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    I REALLY hope that conversation about the WTC tragedy does not dominate my interviews, I might get sad :(

    On the lighter side, seeing those doctors run to the aid of fallen americans friends made me want to be a doctor even more.

    :cool:
     
  10. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    I think it's likely we'll all be talking about it a lot. People who interviewed during the racism conference that we walked out of were asked about that, for pete's sake! In case bioterrorism and our unpreparedness does come up, check out this NY Times article.
     
  11. coop

    coop Senior Member
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    back to the original question, most schools include "sexual orientation" in their anti-descrimination statements, so if you suspect that something discriminatory has occurred with one of your interviewers I would bring it up with a dean/director of admissions. best of luck on your interviews.
     
  12. Trek

    Trek Grand Uranium Member
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    The fact is, and this is based on a few interviews already, that many older medical professionals tend to be stodgy old dudes, well entrenched into the establishment. For these people, the fact you're gay will be a problem. Most others, students included, are open minded enough to know that cos you like guys and I like girls, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be a doctor. So keep it down. Someone asks you, don't lie, but try to evade. I can't think of it ever coming up(although i did refer to my girlfriend a time or two, the conversation never steered that direction in 5 interviews so far) so you shouldn't worry. Coming onto your interviewer or student host is a strict no-no, but Trek's pretty sure you already know that ;) Act decent, be (mostly) honest and you will be fine. That many interviews this early is truly a sign of success. --Trek
     
  13. EW1779

    EW1779 Senior Member
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    Ok, now i am getting that warm and fuzzy feeling. HAHA

    Thanks for all your replies guys, you basically hit the nail right on the head, this is how i had decided to go about it, but I wanted a "second opinion." No pun intended.......

    Trek, where have you interviewed?? Sound like you are knee deep in success yourself, great job. Why do you think that interview invititions this early is a sign of success? Thanks for the comment of course, but i still have only guarded optimism for my chances at admission. Thanks guys....

    :D :D :D
     
  14. MSN1

    MSN1 Member
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    I think if the question is asked at all it would be to determine if you are willing to treat all patients the same and with respect.
     
  15. r124c41

    r124c41 Member
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    Do NOT, absolutely do NOT tell them that YOU are gay. You can be openly anti-anti-gay [not the same as pro-gay]. Remember that you've passed the academic qualifications test when they offerred the interview. Now they're filtering people based on personality traits. Don't piss anyone off. Once you're in, you can wear ribbons in your hair all you want. To make the most of your potential, you have to learn to be tough, to bend and not break. That's my sermon for today....
     
  16. EW1779

    EW1779 Senior Member
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    I think I should reiterate that I have no intention of bringing it up in my interview; that's simply not me. I was just wondering what I should do if it's initiated by the interviewer. But thankks for your comments anyway, any input is appreciated.

    And by the way, I don't wear ribbons in my hair. They are at the cleaners. ;) ;) ;)

    Actually, if you met me, you probably would not know I am gay. That's what I have been told at least.

    :D :D :D
     
  17. CVPA

    CVPA Senior Member
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    If it is initiated by the interviewer, I would highly recommend that you do the following...

    1) Lie
    2) Lie
    3) Lie

    I don't usually enourage dishonesty, however, in this situation honesty is not the best policy. Your sexuality has absolutely nothing to do with your qualifications as a physician and only has the potential for discrimination. If they are idiotic enough to attempt to broach the topic by asking how you feel about homosexuality, then they deserve a dishonest answer.
     
  18. mongoose

    mongoose Membership Revoked
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    I am an atheist yet I would never bring this up in an interview because it can only hurt me....I think the same applies in your situation. In fact, if I were to get interviewed by someone who was, say, openly Catholic, then for that day I would be Catholic, too. Whatever it takes to get in.
     
  19. jasmine

    jasmine Member
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    While I wouldn't recommend wearing ribbons in your hair, even if they get back from the cleaners in time, I would say that there is no reason to lie about your sexual orientation, even while there's really no need to bust out of the closet right there at the interview, either (which is what you said you're not about to do).

    Two things.
    First, does your sexual orientation affect your interest in medicine? Are you interested as serving as a medical liaison, or in promoting good sexual health (for example), to the gay community? If so, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't say so. Stating your intentions as a physician won't be the same as coming right out and saying that you're gay, but it does give the interviewer an idea of what your focus will be in medicine.

    So let's assume that you are interested in serving the LGBT community as a physician, so the topic comes up - I think you might want to take into consideration the location of the school before you make any judgement about how open about your sexuality you want to be. Folks at schools up in the NE (Yale, Columbia, Harvard, NYU, etc.) and California, I think, would hardly bat an eyelash, while in the South or midwest you might want to be more wary. (Please don't think I'm trying to say that all southern/midwestern schools are conservative, I know that's not true).

    I hope I'm not assuming too much.

    I understand the need for discretion, but I don't see a reason to hide, either.

    PS Maybe I'm an optimist, but I think that academic physicians are mostly thoughtful people that appreciate those who are different, so long as you express yourself articulately, or know yourself - I don't think there's a reason to convert yet, mongoose. =)
     
  20. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper
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    mongoose,

    No need to be deceptive. Tons of physicians are athiests. Scientists, in general, have a higher population of athiests than the general public. An openly Catholic physician would likely have no qualms about letting an athiest into the profession. After all, they work with people like us all the time. I don't intend to claim a religion if I am asked. Take pride in your beliefs. I'm sure you have put a lot of thought into your decision not to accept a god, as I have mine.

    DON'T LIE, whatever you do.
     
  21. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member
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    I dont think anyone would say, "Nice to meet you, by the way I am straight."

    Too funny! Plus, it just puts a spotlight on how irrelavent your sexuality is to becoming a fine Doc. You sound like you have your head screwed on incredibly straight. (Whoops! No pun intended!). I'm sure you'll do fine--color me envious! I wish I had so many interviews this early!

    Also, I agree however that it's best to lay low on controversial issues. I too am an atheist, but totally respect (and am sometimes jealous of) other people's faith in a loving higher power. I have my convictions, but there's no way I would wear a big THERE IS NO GOD button to my interview. Nor would I however, claim a religion to which I don't belong in an interview.

    Anyway, Good Luck, and I'm glad you found this site. Make sure you keep us updated on your progress!
     
  22. jasmine

    jasmine Member
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    I disagree strongly that sexual orientation is completely irrelevant -- irrelevant to one's ability to be a good doctor, yes, but not wholly irrelevant to your ability to serve an underserved population.

    Are medical school admissions really as backwards and conservative as people seem to think they are? I don't think anyone aware of today's public health issues would deny that LGBT count among the underserved in America.

    This of course opens up a whole new discussion on do you have to be the ethnicity/race/sexual orientation/etc of the population you're trying to serve... (cue cultural competency experts)

    Anyway, EW1997, your sexuality is obviously an important part of your identity, or else you would not have brought it up here. Anyone have any ideas on how to feel out how gay-friendly a school is?

    OK must sleep. 'Nite.
     
  23. EW1779

    EW1779 Senior Member
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    racergirl......you seem really fun. there seems to be a lack of fun among premeds, at least where i am from. thanks for your kind words, although i am still approaching the whole process with much trepidation. i have a mock interview this week at my school, but my interview at rochester is next thursday so i am terrified. i am telling myself to chill and be myself, but it's easier said than done. i think my plan about the gay issue will be to not deny it if asked,(i know i am more likely to be struck by lightning than have this happen) but i won't lie about it. with any luck, it won't come up and i will have nothing to worry about. like i said, i don't really fit any gay stereotypes, so unless my rainbow colored suit is back from the cleaner in time, it prolly won't be an issue.

    as for serving an underserved patient community, i would be interested in doing that, but have no intention of making that my only goal or life's mission. i want to be a doctor more than anything, but that's it. the last thing i want is to be labled as a practitioner that treats exclusively homosexuals. isn't that reverse discrimination, anyway?? :cool:
    actually, i want to be a pediatric surgeon, so i think that would limit my client base a bit. ;)

    anywho, if you really are interested in my progress, i got an interview from VCU today as well. more nervousness! for more information, see the posting, "VCU interview confusion." elton john has a great new song, "i want love," hop on morpheus and czech it out. that, or chop suey, by system of a down, if that's more your speed.

    thought for the day: i spoke to a med student friend of mine the other day, and he told me about how he bloodied a pateint's nose, both nostrils, while trying to pass an NG tube. will any of us ever look at going to the hospital in the same way again?

    :D :D :D
     
  24. postbacchus

    postbacchus Senior Member
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    EW -

    I'm gay, and I've had 3 interviews so far. I, too, have been concerned about the gay question, especially because as an undergrad, I took classes which show up on my transcript as "Gay & Lesbian Lit" and "Gay & Lesbian Studies." I got some advice from a med school application advisor, who said basically, if being gay is significant to your future role in medicine, bring it up. Otherwise, don't mention it. I.e. - if you want to be an HIV specialist serving the gay community, mention that. I also know a gay guy in med school, and he said that he had 1 activity listed (LGBT club as an undergrad) and he thinks that may have hurt his chances at some of the schools where he applied. He got into some very good schools, but thinks that some of them may have excluded him only for that.

    Another thing to consider is that if the school is that backwards/uptight to exclude you for being gay, you probably don't want to go there, anyway. A good litmus test I've been using is the presence or absence of an LBGT student group. (GW has one, Tulane doesn't.)

    Email me at [email protected] if you have further questions.

    My 2 cents... [email protected]
     
  25. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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