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Paranoid about talking about my LGBT identity in secondaries

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Henry101, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. Henry101

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    Hello all,

    I have written many of my secondaries and I am getting ready to submit however I am getting paranoid and insecure about discussing my identity as a gay male in the diversity statements of my secondaries.

    Although I don't have much volunteer experiences with LGBT causes (I didn't mention it in my personal statement because I didn't think it was relevant to the themes I wanted to discuss), my identity has played a tremendous role in my own development and my understanding of health disparities that affect minority communities.

    I am just insecure about talking about this in my secondaries due to fear of adcoms questioning my sincerity or being dismissive of my background. I don't even know if this personal insecurity is a legitimate concern or if it's just my internalized homophobia telling me to shut up and write something more PC.

    PS: Yes, I know to avoid discussing this at LUCOM, Loma Linda, St. Louis, Creighton, and Western Michigan (?).
     
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  3. steelersfan1243

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    YOU WROTE ABOUT BEING LGBT IN YOUR DIVERSITY ESSAY? With gay marriage finally becoming legal, gay rights advocacy at its highest, and emotional intelligence for once being valued, this is probably the worst day in age to bring that up

    EDIT: It seems a large amount of people are misinterpreting this post. This post is sarcasm. He or she is worried about using LGBTQ for their diversity essay because they are afraid of being rebuked or judged by ADCOMs. However, I was trying to point out that we are at a time where LGBTQ is being accepted more than ever and should not be his or her fear. However, I still stand by my statement, if he or she has not done much to advocate or provide a voice for the LGBTQ community, it serves as a weak diversity statement. It would read as a black person saying they're black in their diversity statement.
     
    #2 steelersfan1243, Aug 16, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
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  4. Goro

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    Frankly, in the is day and age, I don't see what it adds anymore, unless you have a dog in the fight like having been an activist or volunteer with GBLT causes. The risk of you getting on the wrong side of some conservative or religious extremist is vastly less than a reader who will think "Yeah, so?"

    As I must remainder SDNers yet again, the diversity prompts are less, "how are you different?" as opposed to "what do you bring to the Class?" What's makes you cool?"


     
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  5. neurotroph

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    Rolling my eyes at people in this thread who think it's all rainbows and roses for LGBT people now. The gays can get married now so all their problems have been solved! LGBT health disparities are still a big issue but an applicant being a part of that community is totessss irrelevant. These kinds of responses are so predictable though so I'm not surprised.

    Anyways, OP, a lot of schools specifically mention that they value diversity of sexual orientations. It's safe bet mentioning it in secondaries for those schools. I'd recommend looking up the diversity statements of the places you're applying to and going from there. Also seconding the idea that you probably wouldn't want to be at a place that would reject you for your sexuality anyway. I also recommend checking out the LGBTQ applicant thread, where you'll surely get more helpful responses.
     
    #4 neurotroph, Aug 16, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  6. hueso

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    Can I like this more than once?
     
  7. demosthenes102

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    Don't get concerned about mentioning whether you're LGBT or not at a Jesuit school. I had gone to both a Jesuit high school and am at a Jesuit medical school, and I can tell you, the Jesuits are very liberal and accepting (and tolerant to boot), and there are plenty of LGBT students out there. It would have been a different scenario if you were talking about schools that are religiously conservative, but the Jesuits are the exact opposite.
     
  8. steelersfan1243

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    The equivalent of someone using the diversity essay to talk about LGBT is a black person using it to talk about how they're black. No one says they do not struggle, but as Goro says, unless they spearheaded the BlackLivesMatter movement (not saying this is a good or bad thing) or started a program that introduces a large amount of black youth to the sciences, there is no reason to use it as a diversity essay. There is better use for this space.

    Also OP, my previous post was in sarcasm, hence the all caps at the beginning. I do not know if that was seen, but I think LGBTQ is something that does not make someone any more unique than being a minority in this country.
     
    #7 steelersfan1243, Aug 16, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
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  9. Henry101

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    Thank you all for your constructive responses. It means a lot.
    I feel like the "So what?" could be said about any answer to the diversity prompt.
    In any case, I understand where many of you are coming from. As I mentioned in my OP, I, too, had some of these concerns when writing this out.

    One of my earliest drafts for the diversity prompt was totally different. I talked about my hobby of playing basketball and how I traveled to a small country in Asia to play during one of the summers in college. It was something I deliberately left out of AMCAS's extracurricular's list because I thought it wasn't important enough for the list and thought it would be better put in essays. I thought the adcoms would be like, "So, you play a sport, so does the rest of the applicant pool." I felt like it was a more typical/boring answer than the sexual identity essay. After reading these comments, I am becoming tempted to go back and revisit this draft.
     
  10. Doug Underhill

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    I feel like being LGBT is going to be a better answer than playing basketball in Asia. That brings very little to the table (unless you learned a language or something while you did it), while being LGBT allows you to emphasize with a population with unique health needs that has a significant stigma against them.
     
  11. USvWindsor

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    Don't talk about it in the secondary if you aren't comfortable. But it sounds like you have a good amount to talk about, especially realizing the disparities in accessing competent and nonjudgmental healthcare for the LGBT population. Depending on the prompt you use it for, show what you as a gay male or LGBT person would bring to the class/why this part of your identity is significant/how you overcame a challenge etc. You do you.
    -LGBT
     
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  12. Henry101

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    Yes! I mean, it's a truthful answer. I'd be totally lying if I said playing basketball or being fluent in 6 languages (my other draft) really had an impact on me as a person as much as frequently changing my PCP because I felt shameful talking about depression or reconciling my identity with my faith. I mean, I totally recognize that I have had a very privileged young-adulthood, as in attending a prestigious university, not being homeless, being raised by 2 parents, but, to be honest, this is the one thing that makes me slightly different from other people and I can bring this perspective to my class and add a unique dimension to the education the other students will receive.

    But, as Goro mentioned, if someone asked, "What makes Henry unique or cool," the answer would probably be that he knows how to speak 6 different languages or (maybe) he played basketball in Asia for a month or he does research.

    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    as;lkjhlm;dshmgilxd
     
    #11 Henry101, Aug 16, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
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  13. Goro

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    THIS is cool!!!!

     
  14. Chelsea FC

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    My brain huNow im confused , diversity doesnt that mean what do you bring differently?? ... I was going to talk how I grew up in a poor area in the Caribbean then moved to america to one of the highest crime areas of Brooklyn. While doing this talk about how I understand and can relate with these individuals and can bring this prospective to the classroom . I wouldn't classify it as cool but its different ..
     
  15. Goro

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    This is cool too.


     
  16. Chelsea FC

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    lol ok *Note to self you guys have a sick idea of cool*
     
  17. Goro

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    You have traveled a far road, both literally and figuratively. The road traveled is meritorious in and of itself.

     
  18. breezy16

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    The fact that individuals in this thread equated LGBTQ status to being the new trend is highly offensive. I'd challenge you to go to a physicians office, especially outside a city, and see how quickly it is made awkward and painful to go.

    The lack of knowledge and ability to communicate makes many of us stay away from primary care. There goes preventative medicine :/
     
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  19. steelersfan1243

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    I believe there is confusion arising from this thread due to an overlooked sarcastic post. I provided an edit to reason things. No one states LGBTQ to be a trend, this is not the 60s we are living in....
     
  20. breezy16

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    No, it's not from one post. It was derived from a compilation of posts that had similar attitudes.
    Simply put, there are many things that make us diverse. Is being part of this community the most defining? No. But the knowledge and experience that you've faced will allow you to be a more compassionate doctor based on the disparity you've seen and experienced.

    Just my two cents.
     
  21. PREDOCSIMP

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    I would advise writing whatever you feel makes you happy;however, it is a gamble. As someone asked before, and asked a very similar question , I provided the following response
    " putting your admission to medical school on a very controversial issue is very risky" . Personally, I would not tell them that I am a heterosexual. In honesty, I don't think being a homosexual or heterosexual makes you different when speaking mentally or striking. It is just preference. Especially when compared to other things you could mention.
     
  22. steelersfan1243

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    Okay, I guess my point is this. Talking about having to face racism is not a good diversity prompt.

    If a black person talked about how they face frequent traffic stops, get stares at while walking in certain neighborhoods, always being asked if you needed assistance when you went shopping, etc. The person is not bringing anything new to the table, they are just stating their identity. Only if OP had done something to alleviate these acts for him/herself and others of the like (started an outreach program, volunteered in a high black population community), would it serve to be a good diversity prompt.

    No one here is insensitive to the needs of LGTBQ, this is a matter if it will serve as a good diversity prompt for OP
     
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  23. Chelsea FC

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    I would be careful of your words when talking about such issues .. I would think people would not like a part of their identity called a preference.. Me preferring to only drink tea while im pooping is different than part of someones identity..
    @Henry101 OP goro is on admission so I would take his word more than people who arent going to be making those decision , and also from fellow LGBTQ individuals who have done so and saw the results first hand ... Too many freshmen on here without a clue trying to give "expert advice". While advice from anyone who is willing to spend the time is much appreciated for something as specific as this I would chose who to listen to carefully
     
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  24. PREDOCSIMP

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    I would also be careful in your tone. Your bigotry is outstanding and lack of acceptance is bizarre. The question was directed to SDN. Biologically, a natural affinity might be outside of choice, but at the end of the day, it remains a choice.
    Therefore, it would not be necessarily in mind as constructive to mention.
    Which ADCOM do you sit on?
     
  25. Chelsea FC

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    No need to get aggressive , I do not sit on any ADCOM i am just letting the OP know this is a very specific issue that he should be careful whose advice he is taking , and refer to goro as someone who will be making these decision a little more knowledgeable in this area than most . I in no way tried to offer any advice on the matter because i am not fit to do so .. And i really didnt see how I was being a bigot and if I was I sincerely apologize .. I just said your tone about his/her sexuality as a preference was the wrong choice of words when describing part of what Makes the OP who he is.. I didnt say anything about Biology or was referring to such. Also I dont see where I was not accepting of the OP
     
  26. PREDOCSIMP

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    No, you were not accepting of my view point on the issue of using a LGBT diversity statement. Last time I checked, even ADCOMs are human too, contrary to belief.
     
  27. Chelsea FC

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    Yes ADCOMs are humans who have experience to answer the question OP asked .. And then I followed that up by saying that the OP should try and listen to what other LBGTQ individuals whom may have done this in the past and see what their results are. Which is much more tangible advice because they have done what the OP asked and saw the results of it .. At no point Have I said your view point is wrong and I challenge you to find where I said so .. All i said was you saying Homosexuality is a Preference may not be the best way of talking about ones identity . Then you started to attack my character calling me a bigot and derailing OP thread ...
     
  28. Chelsea FC

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    Yeah he is a Troll I should have known better :troll: . I apologize to the OP for letting his thread get derailed and I hope someone gives him a answer that he finds satisfactory
     
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  29. TUVIX

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    Please forgive my ignorance, but what do you mean when you say "a lot of medical providers simply do not know how to speak to LGBT patients"? I am not part of the LGBT community and if I was speaking with an LGBT patient about their sexual health (or any health) I would assume it was ok to just speak to them in the same way I would speak to any patient, with respect and openness to their individual self. Are you talking about physicians that might be uncomfortable or homophobic? I'm genuinely curious. Tell me what I need to know so I can serve my future LGBT patients in the best way I can.
     
  30. PREDOCSIMP

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    No one is trolling here. You need to stop.
     
  31. breezy16

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    Absolutely agree. :)

    Everything must be spoken in a manner that benefits our future patients; I think OP brings that to the table for many lgbtq Americans without medical voices.

    Unfortunately, many do not see it this way, maybe that's why I came off a bit strong. I apologize. :)
     
  32. PREDOCSIMP

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    No physicians are homophobic, there is no evidence of the such. It is against the law to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
     
  33. steelersfan1243

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    It would be the same manner in which a black physician would be able to treat black patients best and why affirmative action is needed to have them in our community
    Oh gosh, niceness on SDN? This is an uncomfortable feeling. But, yeah I just did not want to come off that I was against the LGBQT community, but thanks for helping me reason it out!
     
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  34. breezy16

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    You'd be amazed at what I've personally heard and seen, and also professionally. The lack of knowledge is outstanding and the inability for many to just simply communicate even more so. Furthermore, the behind scenes bashing and name calling... Just imagine if the patient hears those things ?
    Again, cities have been much better, but the training is different, typically.
     
  35. breezy16

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    False.
     
  36. PREDOCSIMP

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    I am going to have to see some real publications on "physicians" who are homophobic or heterophobic.
     
  37. Henry101

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    No need to apologize. All the answers were beyond satisfactory and I got more than I asked for from this thread. Thank you.
     
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  38. TUVIX

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    Makes perfect sense. Thanks for clarifying that. It's obviously inexcusable and Im sorry that you had to deal with that.
     
  39. PREDOCSIMP

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    When a physician treats his patient, he or she does not care one thing about his or her sexual orientation. I understand what you are trying to imply though, basically the same case as a URM. As I said before, no physician discriminates against people on the basis of sexual orientation. Therefore, there is no need for LGBT patients to be afraid of going to emergency services or any other service offered.
     
  40. Henry101

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  41. breezy16

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    +1 this a thousand times, well said.
     
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  42. allantois

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    Not everyone is as stuck up as you are.
     
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  43. Chelsea FC

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    As I said before @PREDOCSIMP is a troll a bad one as well :troll:
     
  44. Chelsea FC

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    This is the best case of projection if I ever seen it .. NO NO no doctors discriminate against Gays , neither do they discriminate against people of color .. And to use your words "Last time I checked, even ADCOMs are human too, contrary to belief." and doctors can be humans too who discriminate against individuals either consciously or sub consciously ...
    @Henry101 This is the exact point I was making earlier PREDOCSIMP was trying to give advice on this topic and he clearly has no clue about this issue..
     
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  45. TUVIX

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    Thank you very much for this perspective. I have definitely learned something valuable from this post. Now I'm trying to think of ways to reduce this anxiety and improve open communication between LGBT patients and their docs. Would it be helpful to put a statement on the paperwork that patients fill out at the beginning of their appointment about the physician being open and comfortable discussing such things? Something to put the patient more at ease and let them know that the physician they are seeing will respect their orientation?
     
  46. allantois

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    A lot of physicians did not meet any LGBT patients, or at least they think they did not meet them. I don't think that there is much a homophobic physician can do to improve their patient care. Your attitudes do have an effect on the care that you provide and there is nothing wrong with it. I think any LGBT person would want a physician, who if not gay themselves, is at least not judgemental and is knowledgable of the current trends in LGBT health. One way to demonstrate that your practice is all-inclusive would be to include forms where patients can check whether they are sexually active and if yes, then with what gender. I think that would be the simplest and best way to encourage patients to open up about issues they may otherwise feel hesitant bringing up due to being unsure how their provider may react to it.
     
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  47. PREDOCSIMP

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    Let me get this straight.
    You are proposing a way of enforcing all physicians to change their attitude towards a factor that does not matter in healthcare. According to your words " current trends LGTB health" , then enforce them to take a class on the bias and discriminatory practices of physicians. I don't think you have enough evidence to accuse the people who serve our communities of a federal crime. I would expect a health professional to think twice about making such reports(especially without evidence).

    In addition, "I think that would be the simplest and best way to encourage patients to open up about issues they may otherwise feel hesitant bringing up due to being unsure how their provider may react to it" . Most patients, regardless of sexual orientation are not comfortable with sharing that information.
     
  48. touchpause13

    touchpause13 nolite te bastardes carborundorum
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    Just for my own life and from the lives of those I've talked to in the community there are a few things that stand out. I read as straight to most doctors. I read as straight to most straight people, so being misidentified isn't exactly new territory for me. When it becomes particularly incidious is when my sole sexual partner is female (I'm also female) and I go in and check the yes box for sexually active and the no box for contraception. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten a long lecture about how irresponsible I am for not using birth control without the nurse or doc stopping to see whether or not I'm actually in need for contraception. this is something that has happened to pretty much every queer woman I know. Theres also a lot of myths about lesbian sexual health (aka that pap smears are unnecessary) that lead to increased rates of cervical cancer and other gyn problems.

    Probably the population with the most trouble seeking healthcare is trans folks, who are often just denied healthcare period by doctors who don't want to treat trans people. Transmen have huge difficulties getting regular gyn care, if they so need it. Trans people are often very hesitant to reveal their status to their doctors for fear that they won't be treated if they do, or they just avoid going at all costs for fear of discrimination and cruelty, which leads to greater suffering.


    That's just wrong on both counts. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not federally protected classes. Also there are doctors who are racist, sexist, and homophobic dinguses. No profession is immune to asswipes.

    Here is the website of the gay and lesbian medical association http://www.glma.org
    If I have any choice in who I'm going to see, I look them up on here first, as there is a directory of LGBTQ friendly doctors.
     
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  49. touchpause13

    touchpause13 nolite te bastardes carborundorum
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    Also thank you @TUVIK for asking questions in a respectful way. I appreciate that, and am more than willing to answer any others you may have
     
  50. TUVIX

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    No problem. I can't understand why some people on here can't have a respectful conversation. It's a little scary that these are future doctors.
     
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  51. touchpause13

    touchpause13 nolite te bastardes carborundorum
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    Unfortunately the ones who are actually doctors are worse :yikes:

    Also, just a sidenote for the peanut gallery - don't ever let anyone tell you a question is too personal to ask a patient. There is no such thing. Patients have concerns about sexual health, they have histories of abuse they would like to talk about, they have weird moles on their butts they want you to look at - but they are waiting for you to give them the opportunity to share. The Dr has to take the lead and ask questions in a non judgemental way.
     
    HomemdeMacarrao and breezy16 like this.

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