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Let me preface this with the word "political" meaning something that is controversial, predominantly supported by only one of the major political parties, and does not relate to science (vaccines, climate change, etc are fair game).
At one of my interviews, my interviewer was the person in charge of the school's diversity department. The entire 30 minute interview consisted of questions regarding the BLM protests and police brutality. I was asked, "As a physician, what would you do about police brutality?" and "As a medical student at our school, how would you support the Black Lives Matter movement on campus and in our community?"
I happened to be on the same page as him/her on these topics, so I answered honestly and ultimately received an acceptance to this school (I will not be going here).
I just thought that these questions had very little to do with medicine, and it was almost like he/she was trying to filter out applicants with differing views. And the most frustrating part was we didn't even discuss any of my clinical, research, volunteer experience, or literally anything. It was 100% about the current political climate. Nothing on my application indicated my stance on police brutality/BLM with possible the exception that I spoke about the importance of diversity in one of my activities.

I'm just curious if any other premeds were asked political questions during interviews, or if any adcoms/interviewers here have asked political questions? This was my only interview where I encountered this and I'm not sure how it's beneficial for the school or applicant.
 
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I would argue that this has a lot to do with medicine and public health and that just because one political party supports these movements and the other does not, does not make it an inherently political topic. This is one of the most important things happening in the world right now and will have a huge impact on our lives as physicians and on our patients. Health extends far beyond prescriptions and surgeries and social movements are extremely impactful. I would personally strongly desire my classmates to have an idea of the importance of these movements for sure and I'm a bit confused on what the differing views on police brutality could possibly be. This seems more about whether the candidate has awareness of the world around them more than anything else.

The fact that the interviewer comes from the office of diversity makes these questions even more relevant to them and interviewers, in my experience, always ask questions on things they are personally interested in if they are given the leeway to do so.
 
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CricB4Tube

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I would argue that this has a lot to do with medicine and public health and that just because one political party supports these movements and the other does not, does not make it an inherently political topic. This is one of the most important things happening in the world right now and will have a huge impact on our lives as physicians and on our patients. Health extends far beyond prescriptions and surgeries and social movements are extremely impactful. I would personally strongly desire my classmates to have an idea of the importance of these movements for sure and I'm a bit confused on what the differing views on police brutality could possibly be. This seems more about whether the candidate has awareness of the world around them more than anything else.

The fact that the interviewer comes from the office of diversity makes these questions even more relevant to them and interviewers, in my experience, always ask questions on things they are personally interested in if they are given the leeway to do so.
I answered the questions in a similar fashion in the interview, talking about how these could certainly be health issues (especially police brutality). But I think it's naïve to say there aren't differing views on these topics right now. Yes, everyone thinks police brutality is wrong, but a lot of people would argue that many of the high profile cases of police brutality are just police doing their jobs (hence why many juries/prosecutors fail to punish the police). And there are definitely a lot of people opposed to BLM protests simply due to the destruction that follows many of those protests.
 
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Man! If I asked questions like that, I'd be banned from interviewing forever.

The types of questions in the OP will force some people to lie.

Two obvious answers to what OP was asked in the first question was:

1) Vote
2) Run for public office

To the second q, "I'd come ask for your advice" and or "I'd march in BLM parades."

Was this at an HBC??
 
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Man! If I asked questions like that, I'd be banned from interviewing forever.

The types of questions in the OP will force some people to lie.

Two obvious answers to what OP was asked in the first question was:

1) Vote
2) Run for public office

To the second q, "I'd come ask for your advice" and or "I'd march in BLM parades."

Was this at an HBC??
I'm shocked and disappointed to hear you'd be disciplined for asking these questions as they are so incredibly relevant to medicine today. They don't appear pointed or political in the slightest. I also had different initial answers to the questions posed in the OP and I think there is quite a bit of room for folks to expand and discuss.
 
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I'm shocked and disappointed to hear you'd be disciplined for asking these questions as they are so incredibly relevant to medicine today. They don't appear pointed or political in the slightest. I also had different initial answers to the questions posed in the OP and I think there is quite a bit of room for folks to expand and discuss.
There are a lot of other social justice and Medicine interview questions that could be asked instead.
 
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Man! If I asked questions like that, I'd be banned from interviewing forever.

The types of questions in the OP will force some people to lie.

Two obvious answers to what OP was asked in the first question was:

1) Vote
2) Run for public office

To the second q, "I'd come ask for your advice" and or "I'd march in BLM parades."

Was this at an HBC??
Agree with Goro!

And I don't think interviewers should be focusing significant time on political issues. Questioning along these lines is both inappropriate and ultimately useless in determining who gets accepted to medical school. Sure almost every single political issue is "relevant to healthcare" in some way, but the point is that these are highly contentious areas and should not be the primary discussion during interviews. They can also serve to alienate interviewees and interviewers. People will have variable and complex opinions about these topics, and I don't think asking about BLM is appropriate in the same way I wouldn't ever ask about abortion, gun control, family planning/pregnancy, tax codes, sexual orientation, opinions on current/previous presidents, foreign policy, or any other hot button issues in an interview.

Simply put, there are far more important/relevant things to discuss in a medical school interview, and any person who's not a complete idiot can and will lie and give the most PC answer they can or that they think the interviewer is looking for. I don't think this actually helps anyone and just helps select for people who are good at lying. While I think these are all important topics, and I love to discuss them outside of work/school, I just don't think that the 30-60 minutes of interviews should focus on these topics when there is so much else to cover, and these topics lead to favorable/unfavorable biases depending on the interviewer.

If we are going to ask about political questions I think they should be ones that are very directly related to healthcare systems and open ended such as:
"What is your understanding of surprise billing and out of network providers?"
"What can you tell me about the opioid epidemic in America?"
"What are some potential issues surrounding end of life care in the American health care system?"
"What are some concerns that physicians may have about the incorporation of midlevels into modern medical practices?" -- EDIT: Upon further thought, I feel like this topic is probably too political right now as well to where applicants might fear speaking honestly or even objectively about the issue. Even advocating for something so univerally appropriate and innocuous such as "supervised practice" is unfortunately a dangerous thing to say to the wrong person. So I don't think that this would be a good question in 2020 onward, despite it being one of the biggest issues facing medicine today :(

Questions like these test to see if the applicant has an awareness of some of the very complex issues in the healthcare system and give them a chance to talk objectively about these issues and what different perspectives may exist. Questions should focus on "what are the issues" not "pick a stance on these issues"
 
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What are some concerns that physicians may have about the incorporation of midlevels into modern medical practices?"

I’m glad I haven’t encountered this topic on the interview trail. This can go south for the applicant fast by referring to NPs/PAs as a midlevel and not an APP (looking at you, University of Utah).

‘Patients at Risk: The Rise of the Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant in Healthcare’ is what I’m currently reading but I definitely won’t reveal this during my interviews.
 
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I’m so glad I haven’t encountered this topic on the interview trail. This can go south for the applicant fast by referring to NPs/PAs as a midlevel and not an APP (looking at you, University of Utah).

‘Patients at Risk: The Rise of the Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant in Healthcare’ is what I’m currently reading but I definitely won’t reveal this during my interviews.
Yeah, for sure this is a really dicey topic right now to the point where I feel like it's probably too political to ask anything too detailed about right now. I am very much against inappropriate and unsupervised use of midlevels and even I would be terrified to give an honest answer about my thoughts for fear of being blackballed by an angry adcom. And I saw that horrible post about U of Utah and their midlevel who was blacklisting interviewers...
 
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I mean at least midlevel encroachment is actually an issue that involves physicians. I don't see why an interviewer is asking about police brutality for admission to medical school.
 
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There are a lot of other social justice and Medicine interview questions that could be asked instead.

One interview question I've received that caught me most off-guard (but led to the most interesting conversation) was: how do we address racial biases in medicine / the workplace when research shows that 'diversity and inclusion' training and workshops don't actually work that well?
 
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I mean at least midlevel encroachment is actually an issue that involves physicians. I don't see why an interviewer is asking about police brutality for admission to medical school.

Anyone who works in the office of diversity and inclusion is likely geared to think a certain way. They are (either intentionally or unconsciously) screening out people for “wrongthink.” That is why they phrased the question “HOW would you support the protests, HOW would you contribute to the movement on this campus” rather than “would you support the protests and if so why or why not? What do you think needs changing in society regarding social justice and if so, why?” Anything else, any different opinion, any notion that someone wouldn’t support the protests and STILL be a good doctor/person is literally inconceivable to them. It’s how brainwashed people act, and it’s the same tactic used by governments all over the world to keep “undesirables” out of jobs, schools, and any places of power. Those who risked their lives to escape such governments recognize this trend, and are terrified by the slow, small steps to dehumanize the opposition, to call them names, to keep them quiet and afraid of either not gaining jobs or losing their livelihoods, until everyone must fall in line with the “morally right” (which by the way, is subjective, no matter what anyone says— you can be against brutality without supporting the protest tactics). When someone implies that their way is the ONLY way to think, the moral way, the way of truth and justice, and anyone who dares ask questions or disagree must have their ethics or capabilities questioned/fired/not hired/a bigot (add whatever name you want here)... you need to be very cautious, because that path has a very long and dark history.
 
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One interview question I've received that caught me most off-guard (but led to the most interesting conversation) was: how do we address racial biases in medicine / the workplace when research shows that 'diversity and inclusion' training and workshops don't actually work that well?
Now THAT is a good question!!!
 
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Let me preface this with the word "political" meaning something that is controversial, predominantly supported by only one of the major political parties, and does not relate to science (vaccines, climate change, etc are fair game).
At one of my interviews, my interviewer was the person in charge of the school's diversity department. The entire 30 minute interview consisted of questions regarding the BLM protests and police brutality. I was asked, "As a physician, what would you do about police brutality?" and "As a medical student at our school, how would you support the Black Lives Matter movement on campus and in our community?"
I happened to be on the same page as him/her on these topics, so I answered honestly and ultimately received an acceptance to this school (I will not be going here).
I just thought that these questions had very little to do with medicine, and it was almost like he/she was trying to filter out applicants with differing views. And the most frustrating part was we didn't even discuss any of my clinical, research, volunteer experience, or literally anything. It was 100% about the current political climate. Nothing on my application indicated my stance on police brutality/BLM with possible the exception that I spoke about the importance of diversity in one of my activities.

I'm just curious if any other premeds were asked political questions during interviews, or if any adcoms/interviewers here have asked political questions? This was my only interview where I encountered this and I'm not sure how it's beneficial for the school or applicant.
Honestly those questions are kind of...bad. Like as a human being you can focus on police brutality, which (I believe to be, but could be wrong) is strongly linked to the BLM platform.

However, as a physician or medical student, I don't think that police brutality should be your racial disparity focus. Because, sadly, there's a lot of other things that need addressed which are unique to medicine. Like the fact that two identical patients, one white and one black, can go to the hospital with an MI, and the black patient is more likely to suffer morbidity/mortality adverse effects. Or that black women have the highest racially stratified rate of intra- and post-partum death. Or that black patients in the ER are consistently undertreated for pain which is readily treated in their white counterparts.

My point is: Yes, don't let the police come in and beat your patient. Support the cause as a private citizen if that is an injustice which you feel strongly about. But racial disparities in healthcare put doctors and med students in a unique position of being a limited group of people who can do something to fix it- and in my opinion, that would be a more appropriate focus for questions. *steps down from soapbox*
 
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Now THAT is a good question!!!
For that topic, we had an excellent guest speaker in an otherwise rather lackluster Societal Determinants of Health course.

He basically endorsed the "checklist"/double-check approach. This mainly applied for physicians with experience, of course. But it was basically setting a little alarm for yourself when ordering a workup or treatment for a minority patient. Ask yourself if you have done/would do the same thing for a non-minority patient; and if not, why?
 
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For that topic, we had an excellent guest speaker in an otherwise rather lackluster Societal Determinants of Health course.

He basically endorsed the "checklist"/double-check approach. This mainly applied for physicians with experience, of course. But it was basically setting a little alarm for yourself when ordering a workup or treatment for a minority patient. Ask yourself if you have done/would do the same thing for a non-minority patient; and if not, why?

It’s very bothersome to me to think that someone can treat the two patients differently— like... it never even enters my head, and I would like to think it would never enter any doctor’s head. I WILL say that I change my treatment based on the patient’s social issues (like if they’re financially strapped I cannot do certain procedures that require them to do complex therapy they can’t afford, and instead try to do things where I can maximize immediate self-directed exercises)— but that’s just part of patient care. I don’t fix the fracture differently because of how they look. Sigh.
 
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It’s very bothersome to me to think that someone can treat the two patients differently— like... it never even enters my head, and I would like to think it would never enter any doctor’s head. I WILL say that I change my treatment based on the patient’s social issues (like if they’re financially strapped I cannot do certain procedures that require them to do complex therapy they can’t afford, and instead try to do things where I can maximize immediate self-directed exercises)— but that’s just part of patient care. I don’t fix the fracture differently because of how they look. Sigh.
Firstly, thank you for having that attitude.

I unfortunately saw this right away during my first year of medical school. I was shadowing in the ER, and two patients with largely similar medical histories/medication lists/social situations (basically: no red flags) came in with hip pain. The white patient received hydromorphone and hydroxyzine as first line analgesics. The black patient received toradol and tylenol.
 
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Firstly, thank you for having that attitude.

I unfortunately saw this right away during my first year of medical school. I was shadowing in the ER, and two patients with largely similar medical histories/medication lists/social situations (basically: no red flags) came in with hip pain. The white patient received hydromorphone and hydroxyzine as first line analgesics. The black patient received toradol and tylenol.

Ya know... ironically, as an ortho surgeon, I think the black patient got (likely unintended) the more effective treatment here. Opiates, as addictive and bad as they are, should never be first line in what’s likely an inflammatory condition (which most hip pain complaints are) because opiates don’t work on inflammation. I’m sure it wasn’t the intention in your case, haha, so I understand your point ... but speaking as a physician I’d give toradol to both patients, any day of the week.
 
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Ya know... ironically, as an ortho surgeon, I think the black patient got (likely unintended) the more effective treatment here. Opiates, as addictive and bad as they are, should never be first line in what’s likely an inflammatory condition (which most hip pain complaints are) because opiates don’t work on inflammation. I’m sure it wasn’t the intention in your case, haha, so I understand your point ... but speaking as a physician I’d give toradol to both patients, any day of the w
Oh no, I completely agree. I thought it was wild that the white patient who walked in with an antalgic gait was so heavily medicated- the disparities sometimes end up harming everyone. :(
 
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Oh no, I completely agree. I thought it was wild that the white patient who walked in with an antalgic gait was so heavily medicated- the disparities sometimes end up harming everyone. :(

Then if they’re elderly they’ll fall and break their hip because they are too sedated and it’s dark when they go to the bathroom at night. :( happens way too much.
 
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Then if they’re elderly they’ll fall and break their hip because they are too sedated and it’s dark when they go to the bathroom at night. :( happens way too much.
Don't worry, they had poor proprioception from advanced diabetic neuropathy in their feet. 🙃
 
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Man! If I asked questions like that, I'd be banned from interviewing forever.

The types of questions in the OP will force some people to lie.

Two obvious answers to what OP was asked in the first question was:

1) Vote
2) Run for public office

To the second q, "I'd come ask for your advice" and or "I'd march in BLM parades."

Was this at an HBC??
This was not an HBC, just a normal MD school in the midwest. I try to think of myself as someone who considers all sides of a situation but I knew exactly what my interviewer was looking for so instead of presenting the issues from multiple angles to justify my position, I answered it from the exact angle they clearly wanted me to. Any white-supremacist-Nazi applicant could have given just as good answers as me. I think in court they refer to these questions as "leading."
 
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definitely think question two is worded to garner a specific response, but otherwise the ignorance in this thread is astounding. Politics and race affect every fabric of our lives, and if you don’t believe it does, well, that certainly means something. BLM is as relevant to medicine and healthcare systems as anything else. The “groupthink” and brainwashing takes are tired. That’s not what groupthink is. However, I personally could not imagine having a view different from ‘it is bad that black people are being murdered by the state with no recourse.”
 
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definitely think question two is worded to garner a specific response, but otherwise the ignorance in this thread is astounding. Politics and race affect every fabric of our lives, and if you don’t believe it does, well, that certainly means something. BLM is as relevant to medicine and healthcare systems as anything else. The “groupthink” and brainwashing takes are tired. That’s not what groupthink is. However, I personally could not imagine having a view different from ‘it is bad that black people are being murdered by the state with no recourse.”
I think the point is everything can be related to medicine and health in one way or another, but there can be more than one right answer to a lot of hot button issues. And I also think you're simplifying the issues at hand. Trump, Republicans, and their followers were clearly opposed to most things BLM and knowing many people on that side of the aisle, I can say many of them are not against it because they're racist, but rather they see the issues through a different lens. Failing to acknowledge that literally half of the country (and half of your future patients) disagree with you is rather close minded.
 
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However, I personally could not imagine having a view different from ‘it is bad that black people are being murdered by the state with no recourse.”
Neither could I. However, implying that this view is different for anyone that opposes BLM rests on a bunch of assumptions. It is entirely possible to have the view that is is bad for black people to be murdered by the state with no recourse, and also believe that black people are currently not being murdered by the state with no recourse in disproportionate numbers. It is also entirely possible to 1) believe the first claim, to 2) also believe that black people are currently being murdered by the state with no recourse, and 3) believe that some of the "protesting" this past summer went way too far. It is also possible to believe everything prior is justifiable and true, yet still believe that BLM has expanded beyond its original mandate into other controversial issues (for example, many of my Jewish friends are disappointed in the stance the movement seems to have taken towards Israel.)

Reducing this to "everyone who disagrees with me is racist" is a pretty simplistic way of going about this.

Edited a few things for clarity
 
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Free thinking is dead.

Stay in line or suffer the consequences.

Crazy.
 
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Anyone who works in the office of diversity and inclusion is likely geared to think a certain way. They are (either intentionally or unconsciously) screening out people for “wrongthink.” That is why they phrased the question “HOW would you support the protests, HOW would you contribute to the movement on this campus” rather than “would you support the protests and if so why or why not? What do you think needs changing in society regarding social justice and if so, why?” Anything else, any different opinion, any notion that someone wouldn’t support the protests and STILL be a good doctor/person is literally inconceivable to them. It’s how brainwashed people act, and it’s the same tactic used by governments all over the world to keep “undesirables” out of jobs, schools, and any places of power. Those who risked their lives to escape such governments recognize this trend, and are terrified by the slow, small steps to dehumanize the opposition, to call them names, to keep them quiet and afraid of either not gaining jobs or losing their livelihoods, until everyone must fall in line with the “morally right” (which by the way, is subjective, no matter what anyone says— you can be against brutality without supporting the protest tactics). When someone implies that their way is the ONLY way to think, the moral way, the way of truth and justice, and anyone who dares ask questions or disagree must have their ethics or capabilities questioned/fired/not hired/a bigot (add whatever name you want here)... you need to be very cautious, because that path has a very long and dark history.
Spot on analysis as usual, Ortho. That interviewer was looking for someone who would spout the party line, and wasn't interested in any sort of intellectual evaluation of the OP as a potential doctor.

We had a Diversity Dean like that, who was really annoying. Our Chair of Clinical Medicine hated him. Ditto the wily old Admissions Dean, after the DD tried to hone in on our Admissions Dept and turn it into his own fiefdom.

Perversely, he did little for our school's diversity and ended up leaving (I suspect before he could be fired!)
 
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definitely think question two is worded to garner a specific response, but otherwise the ignorance in this thread is astounding. Politics and race affect every fabric of our lives, and if you don’t believe it does, well, that certainly means something. BLM is as relevant to medicine and healthcare systems as anything else. The “groupthink” and brainwashing takes are tired. That’s not what groupthink is. However, I personally could not imagine having a view different from ‘it is bad that black people are being murdered by the state with no recourse.”
That's not the point.

The questions were designed, as I mentioned above, to look for the ideologically pure, which could easily be evaded by simply lying or some creative BSing. No one is denying that social determinants in Medicine don't exist, and if anything, med schools are finally getting around to addressing it. We don't expect med students and doctors to be social workers or to right all the ills of society, but being aware of implicit bias and doing something about it is something we all agree on.
 
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Name drop the school! Outrageous interview question.

Obviously I see the value in these conversations, but they should not impact your admission to medical school, and OP implies that this comprised almost the entire interview.
 
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I answered the questions in a similar fashion in the interview, talking about how these could certainly be health issues (especially police brutality). But I think it's naïve to say there aren't differing views on these topics right now. Yes, everyone thinks police brutality is wrong, but a lot of people would argue that many of the high profile cases of police brutality are just police doing their jobs (hence why many juries/prosecutors fail to punish the police). And there are definitely a lot of people opposed to BLM protests simply due to the destruction that follows many of those protests.
Many people (not me) believe that there is no race element involved in police brutality, or even that white people are targetted by police more often. I've actually heard this often lol.
 

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If twitter can ban the POTUS for inciting violence when others who incite violence are not banned, and if platforms like apple, amazon, etc can ban conservative apps like Parlor, you best believe a medical school can give you a big fat rejection for not answering in line with what they want to hear.

Students, I am dead @$$ serious when I say this:

It is NOT safe to answer with conservative answers to your interview questions. If someone is asking about politics or social justice in an interview it is because they want a left leaning or main stream answer. Do with this what you will.

If you are in the middle like me you are really screwed cause conservatives think you are a communist, and liberals think you are a racist bigot.

Sucks. Heading down a scary road in this country.
 
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Neither could I. However, implying that this view is different for anyone that opposes BLM rests on a bunch of assumptions. It is entirely possible to have the view that is is bad for black people to be murdered by the state with no recourse, and also believe that black people are currently not being murdered by the state with no recourse in disproportionate numbers. It is also entirely possible to 1) believe the first claim, to 2) also believe that black people are currently being murdered by the state with no recourse, and 3) believe that some of the "protesting" this past summer went way too far. It is also possible to believe everything prior is justifiable and true, yet still believe that BLM has expanded beyond its original mandate into other controversial issues (for example, many of my Jewish friends are disappointed in the stance the movement seems to have taken towards Israel.)

Reducing this to "everyone who disagrees with me is racist" is a pretty simplistic way of going about this.

Edited a few things for clarity
Just like many Jewish people I know are on the front lines of opposition against Israel :)
 
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The “groupthink” and brainwashing takes are tired. That’s not what groupthink is. However, I personally could not imagine having a view different from ‘it is bad that black people are being murdered by the state with no recourse.”

Tired? Takes? I’m literally a refugee from a country whose leaders used its own people to murder thousands of their friends and neighbors because of brainwashing. I’ve had family members sent to camps because they disagreed with evil masquerading as morality. My grandparents had suitcases hidden under their beds in case the police came for them at night because their neighbors reported them for thinking the wrong way. I love how people bloated with the freedom to run their mouths use idiotic words and platitudes like “tired” when they haven’t lived a day in the hellhole that these tactics turn countries into. You have no idea what “tired” is.

The fact that you don’t even begin to question the narrative of “someone who disagrees with BLM’s tactics must by necessity be against black people being murdered by the state” is as clear an example of the exact warning I gave about brainwashing as I could ever give. That’s why you “can’t imagine” it. They gave you one way of thinking, and everyone who disagrees must be morally deficient or racist. There is no possible way they could be normal people. Millions of people lost their lives throughout history in the endgame of this exact way of thinking.
 
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RangerBob

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For many political topics (such as the one the OP presents) I, as an MD, have no outsized role/ability to effect change as compared to every other citizen/person in the country. If we’re talking health disparities, yes, I can do something—mostly just not be a jerk (which also solves the police violence issue/protest riots/etc). But regarding health disparities, I can also volunteer my medical services at a free clinic, etc. That will make a difference.

There are a lot of political topics that, as fascinating as they are, aren’t the place of medicine to fix. We take care of the individual in front of us, plain and simple. I’ve rehabbed the drunk driver and the person they hit—just as surgeons like OrthoTraumaMd have operated on them—though that part comes first. We don’t ask a patient who they voted for or how they feel about x-protestors. She sees a bone that needs fixing—I see a bone that needs to start moving. Doesn’t matter if the patient is nice or a bigot, or nice but thinks/believes something different than I do.

After he was shot, Ronald Reagan apparently said to his surgeons, “I hope you’re all republicans.” Apparently the attending surgeon said “we all are today Mr President.” No idea if it’s a true story, but the sentiment is spot on.
 
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Let me preface this with the word "political" meaning something that is controversial, predominantly supported by only one of the major political parties, and does not relate to science (vaccines, climate change, etc are fair game).
At one of my interviews, my interviewer was the person in charge of the school's diversity department. The entire 30 minute interview consisted of questions regarding the BLM protests and police brutality. I was asked, "As a physician, what would you do about police brutality?" and "As a medical student at our school, how would you support the Black Lives Matter movement on campus and in our community?"
I happened to be on the same page as him/her on these topics, so I answered honestly and ultimately received an acceptance to this school (I will not be going here).
I just thought that these questions had very little to do with medicine, and it was almost like he/she was trying to filter out applicants with differing views. And the most frustrating part was we didn't even discuss any of my clinical, research, volunteer experience, or literally anything. It was 100% about the current political climate. Nothing on my application indicated my stance on police brutality/BLM with possible the exception that I spoke about the importance of diversity in one of my activities.

I'm just curious if any other premeds were asked political questions during interviews, or if any adcoms/interviewers here have asked political questions? This was my only interview where I encountered this and I'm not sure how it's beneficial for the school or applicant.

Please out the school.
 
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CricB4Tube

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Please out the school.
I don't think it would be a good idea for me to out the school. 1) Everyone would be able to pinpoint the exact interviewer if I did. 2) The school may be able to find out who I am and even though I'm not going there, they may be able to retaliate somehow. 3) Even though I'm a fairly progressive person, I am afraid that "calling out" a school for asking these questions may put me in a politically incorrect light which may hurt my future career prospects.
I've also read through this year's application thread for this school and I don't see any other students complaining, so maybe what I experienced was an isolated incident?
I understand the merit behind calling out the school since many here think the questions and motive behind them was unprofessional but in this political climate, I have to tread carefully and watch out for myself. Sorry.
 
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Goro

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I don't think it would be a good idea for me to out the school. 1) Everyone would be able to pinpoint the exact interviewer if I did. 2) The school may be able to find out who I am and even though I'm not going there, they may be able to retaliate somehow. 3) Even though I'm a fairly progressive person, I am afraid that "calling out" a school for asking these questions may put me in a politically incorrect light which may hurt my future career prospects.
I've also read through this year's application thread for this school and I don't see any other students complaining, so maybe what I experienced was an isolated incident?
I understand the merit behind calling out the school since many here think the questions and motive behind them was unprofessional but in this political climate, I have to tread carefully and watch out for myself. Sorry.
you can at least complain to the admissions Dean.

It's The only way for the system to rid itself of bad interviewers
 
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I am afraid that "calling out" a school for asking these questions may put me in a politically incorrect light which may hurt my future career prospects.

but in this political climate, I have to tread carefully and watch out for myself. Sorry.

“If you want to know who is in power, look at those whom you don’t dare question.”

This makes me very sad.

OP, if there is a way to bring up the behavior anonymously, do it. Use another email if you must if you’re scared (I can’t believe I am saying this in the United States and not in the country I escaped from - a person fears for their job and livelihood for questioning someone...). If you report bad interviewers, it less likely that this kind of behavior will spread or (god forbid) become the norm.
 
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LizzyM

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At one of my interviews, my interviewer was the person in charge of the school's diversity department. The entire 30 minute interview consisted of questions regarding the BLM protests and police brutality....

I happened to be on the same page as him/her on these topics, so I answered honestly and ultimately received an acceptance to this school (I will not be going here).

That's the whole story. The interviewer could guess your position before you even answered and agreed with it. The interviewer elicited responses from you that could be given a positive spin in a report to the admissions committee so that you, someone with a position with which the interviewer agreed, would be admitted.

You may have been assigned to the diversity department head because you "spoke about the importance of diversity in one of my activities." The adcom may have wanted to probe more deeply to see if you could walk the walk and had some ideas of how you would put your sentiments toward BLM into action. The school might also be trying to weed out those who would go too far and give the Board of Trustees a headache and those who were just blowing smoke on the application and are all talk and no action.
 
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The Med-Peds Dude

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Let me preface this with the word "political" meaning something that is controversial, predominantly supported by only one of the major political parties, and does not relate to science (vaccines, climate change, etc are fair game).
At one of my interviews, my interviewer was the person in charge of the school's diversity department. The entire 30 minute interview consisted of questions regarding the BLM protests and police brutality. I was asked, "As a physician, what would you do about police brutality?" and "As a medical student at our school, how would you support the Black Lives Matter movement on campus and in our community?"....
I appreciate what the interviewer was getting at, but the manner the questions are worded makes all the difference. It might be more helpful to find out what someone understands/believes about the apparent difference POC experience in law enforcement encounters compared to whites. The question as you describe it is leading and will not lead to a thoughtful response.
 
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Let me preface this with the word "political" meaning something that is controversial, predominantly supported by only one of the major political parties, and does not relate to science (vaccines, climate change, etc are fair game).
At one of my interviews, my interviewer was the person in charge of the school's diversity department. The entire 30 minute interview consisted of questions regarding the BLM protests and police brutality. I was asked, "As a physician, what would you do about police brutality?" and "As a medical student at our school, how would you support the Black Lives Matter movement on campus and in our community?"
I happened to be on the same page as him/her on these topics, so I answered honestly and ultimately received an acceptance to this school (I will not be going here).
I just thought that these questions had very little to do with medicine, and it was almost like he/she was trying to filter out applicants with differing views. And the most frustrating part was we didn't even discuss any of my clinical, research, volunteer experience, or literally anything. It was 100% about the current political climate. Nothing on my application indicated my stance on police brutality/BLM with possible the exception that I spoke about the importance of diversity in one of my activities.

I'm just curious if any other premeds were asked political questions during interviews, or if any adcoms/interviewers here have asked political questions? This was my only interview where I encountered this and I'm not sure how it's beneficial for the school or applicant.
What most people who have had privilege all their lives in America do not understand is that not everybody has received similar/same privileges in this country so I am sure this is why the BML questions may seem a nuisance to you. However as a minority who live on the other side of that privilege and who receives none of it, I want these conversations to be ongoing because Black Lives Matter and it is time for a change in this country. A lot of people speak about diversity just like you do, no offense, because it is a comfortable to throw diversity word around all the time but we need action not the 'diversity hype' they try to feed us minorities all the time. You can only be authentic with such questions considering that you want to help ALL people by becoming a doctor, so that when you have a minority patient in front of you, those questions will linger in your mind how such issues impacts your patient population who may be experiencing trust issues to the care you will be trying to provide. Social issues among minorities have medicine all over them including Tuskegee Study, black newborns more likely to die when looked after by white doctors and criminal justice etc.

 
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CricB4Tube

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“If you want to know who is in power, look at those whom you don’t dare question.”

This makes me very sad.

OP, if there is a way to bring up the behavior anonymously, do it. Use another email if you must if you’re scared (I can’t believe I am saying this in the United States and not in the country I escaped from - a person fears for their job and livelihood for questioning someone...). If you report bad interviewers, it less likely that this kind of behavior will spread or (god forbid) become the norm.
I just sent an email to the dean of admissions from a burner account about my experience. Thanks for the idea. I'm still not convinced they're going to do anything about it, but I guess it's worth a shot.

What most people who have had privilege all their lives in America do not understand is that not everybody has received similar/same privileges in this country so I am sure this is why the BML questions may seem a nuisance to you. However as a minority who live on the other side of that privilege and who receives none of it, I want these conversations to be ongoing because Black Lives Matter and it is time for a change in this country. A lot of people speak about diversity just like you do, no offense, because it is a comfortable to throw diversity word around all the time but we need action not the 'diversity hype' they try to feed us minorities all the time. You can only be authentic with such questions considering that you want to help ALL people by becoming a doctor, so that when you have a minority patient in front of you, those questions will linger in your mind how such issues impacts your patient population who may be experiencing trust issues to the care you will be trying to provide. Social issues among minorities have medicine all over them including Tuskegee Study, black newborns more likely to die when looked after by white doctors and criminal justice etc.

I'm a minority who grew up homeless (as in sleeping outside for years), have been wrongfully arrested by the police, never had parents or guardians outside of the system, never had health insurance, and grew up in one of the worst school districts in the country.
But yeah, my unchecked privilege is probably why I found these questions a nuisance and my speaking about diversity is just getting on the hype train.
Or maybe while I agree with the BLM movement, I can acknowledge why some people don't agree with it and how it is a controversial and political topic.
 
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Rusino

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I just sent an email to the dean of admissions from a burner account about my experience. Thanks for the idea. I'm still not convinced they're going to do anything about it, but I guess it's worth a shot.


I'm a minority who grew up homeless (as in sleeping outside for years), have been wrongfully arrested by the police, never had parents or guardians outside of the system, never had health insurance, and grew up in one of the worst school districts in the country.
But yeah, my unchecked privilege is probably why I found these questions a nuisance and my speaking about diversity is just getting on the hype train.
Or maybe while I agree with the BLM movement, I can acknowledge why some people don't agree with it and how it is a controversial and political topic.
So what you are saying is... people can consider nuance and other perspectives regardless of their core identity? Madness.
 
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JoyFairy

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It’s very bothersome to me to think that someone can treat the two patients differently— like... it never even enters my head, and I would like to think it would never enter any doctor’s head. I WILL say that I change my treatment based on the patient’s social issues (like if they’re financially strapped I cannot do certain procedures that require them to do complex therapy they can’t afford, and instead try to do things where I can maximize immediate self-directed exercises)— but that’s just part of patient care. I don’t fix the fracture differently because of how they look. Sigh.
I think you bring up a good point. Bias in surgery looks different than bias in internal medicine which looks different from the bias URMs experience as practitioners. There’s not a one-size fits all approach here.

I will say that as a POC, I think about how two people can be treated differently every single day. Not because my family spends a lot of time talking about racism, but because I grew up wondering why (even coming from one of the most liberal, educated parts of the country), I was so often treated as less than compared with my peers.

I’m doing research on the patient-provider communications in primary care settings. Bias seems so easy to address, but it’s insidious. This is really one of those things where acknowledgment of the problem is essential for making progress.
 
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Anyone who works in the office of diversity and inclusion is likely geared to think a certain way. They are (either intentionally or unconsciously) screening out people for “wrongthink.” That is why they phrased the question “HOW would you support the protests, HOW would you contribute to the movement on this campus” rather than “would you support the protests and if so why or why not? What do you think needs changing in society regarding social justice and if so, why?” Anything else, any different opinion, any notion that someone wouldn’t support the protests and STILL be a good doctor/person is literally inconceivable to them. It’s how brainwashed people act, and it’s the same tactic used by governments all over the world to keep “undesirables” out of jobs, schools, and any places of power. Those who risked their lives to escape such governments recognize this trend, and are terrified by the slow, small steps to dehumanize the opposition, to call them names, to keep them quiet and afraid of either not gaining jobs or losing their livelihoods, until everyone must fall in line with the “morally right” (which by the way, is subjective, no matter what anyone says— you can be against brutality without supporting the protest tactics). When someone implies that their way is the ONLY way to think, the moral way, the way of truth and justice, and anyone who dares ask questions or disagree must have their ethics or capabilities questioned/fired/not hired/a bigot (add whatever name you want here)... you need to be very cautious, because that path has a very long and dark history.
Agreed! this is terrifying to me. It's impossible to have differing opinions today. I couldn't have said it better. Thanks for this response. People that ask these kinds of questions (many) create a false dilemma that if you are against rioting and destruction of your city you are pro-racism. If you aren't actively doing something that they think is "antiracist" then you are a racist. If you are quiet and just trying to live your life then you are a terrible person. It's nuts what our country has become. And I fear that medicine will be infiltrated by these kinds of politics soon. Is it no longer okay to disagree. I mean people are afraid to come out and say they voted for a major party candidate today. Our country is no longer free.
 
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