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Residency Interviews and LGBTQ

Discussion in 'LGBTQ' started by Member 8095721, Jun 24, 2017.

  1. Member 8095721

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    Hi All,

    I'm just heading into my MS4 year and getting ready to apply for residency. I was just wondering, as someone who is newly LGBTQ and out to friends/family, but not necessarily professionally, does anything like this come up in residency interviews?

    I have a partner who will be moving with me (not in medicine) and the reasons for geographical preference are related to:
    1. My partner's job prospects
    2. Tolerability of LGBTQ people in various states

    Does it help to bring these up in interviews? Should I anticipate having these come up in interviews? On the outside, I am not identifiable as LGBTQ. I'd ask some other residents or med students at my school how they handled things, but I honestly don't know of anyone who is out in my class or the class above me.

    Any advice? Thank you so much!
     
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  3. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    It won't come up at interviews and no one cares. I know that being new to the LGBTQ umbrella must feel so fascinating and magical that you'd just figure people would care, but the truth is it's nbd in the real world like it is to you personally. It may come up later on down the line as you become close with your co-workers, but it's not an interview topic.
     
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  4. Amygdarya

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    The rule of thumb at job interviews (and residency interviews) is that personal questions (like sexual orientation, married or single, if you have children, what's your religion) are illegal to ask (because this can lead to claims of discrimination) unless you bring up the topic yourself, then it's fair game. Another rule is, don't bring up anything you're not comfortable discussing during the interview. It sounds like at this point you're not comfortable discussing your relationship in professional situations, so just don't bring this up.

    As a side note, any LGBTQ related activity on ERAS CV may be considered a disclosure of belonging to LGBTQ (while there are some awesome straight allies, let's face it, the vast majority of LGBTQ activities are conducted by LGBTQ people). Just keep this in mind.

    Also, while some programs in more conservative areas of medicine (like surgery) and more conservative geographic areas may be wary of LGBTQ applicants, many programs actually look forward to recruiting LGBTQ folks for diversity purpose. So disclosing one's LGBTQ status can go both ways. Then again, would you want to be in a place that's biased against LGBTQ people?

    As to the program/geographic area LGBTQ friendliness, I think it may be a better idea to ask informally during resident dinners. This is a way of disclosing yourself, too, but it should be easier since it's in an informal situation. Also, you'll be able to gauge the program's LGBTQ friendliness by people's reactions to your questions.

    I'm writing this as a rising MS-4 myself, so take this with a grain of salt.

    Happy Pride! :)
     
  5. fantasty

    Physician

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    Well... 99% of the time. Interviews sometimes include spouses / SO. And, although there are questions that are officially off-limits (intentionally or not), it does come up in conversation. Some places try to sell you on the local economy because they understand many residents (regardless of marital status) are supporting family members and/or need a job. Just like quality of school districts may come up. 99% of the time, it'll still be within the normal bounds of conversation and doesn't mean you have to disclose anything personal that you don't want to. But, as I'm sure you appreciate, when you're part of a couple, a lot of life decisions are no longer just up to you [as the applicant]. It's no longer "my" decision, it's "our" decision.
     
  6. fantasty

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    hehe... I'm such a child but I giggled.
     
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  7. Amygdarya

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    :nono::p
     
  8. Serbli

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    Even though this is illegal question, you need to be prepared to face it. I was interviewed in NYC in a community hospital and was not quite ready when my interviewer asked me- where does your wife work, even though I expected this. So I mumbled something like "actually, its He" which was kinda stupid and spoiled the moment and made both us feel uncomfortable for a moment, which for sure negatively impacted the interview. So, be ready to deal with this situation in a positive way and good luck in the Match! :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  9. kidshrink

    kidshrink kidshrink

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    As an old-timer to this process, I can tell you what I did in 2002 when I was doing interviews. I did not out myself in my essays (some of my friends did - I am not sure if this impacted the invites). I was applying in Psychiatry and knew that it was more accepting than others. I had a pretty strong CV and knew that I would be heavily recruited, so when I went for interviews I made sure to out myself at some point in the process. This was my way of testing the institution's interest and resources for LGBTQ residents. The process worked well. Some programs really seems to fumble and didn't know what to say. The best places (and the ones that I ranked high) had great responses like "we have a number of LGBTQ faculty and residents and would be happy to set-up some additional meetings for you to talk to them so you understand what life would be like here for you." In the end it worked out very well for me, and I was then able to continue to help expand opportunities for LGBTQ residents and students at the school that I matched at - and I think I continue this tradition now as a faculty member.
     
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  10. tapatio4life

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    honestly the only people who probably care are old conservative a holes. most students of our generation don't give a f***.
     
  11. PedsAttending

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    Well, I guess this is my first post, but I'll give my perspective. First of all, I graduated medical school in 2005, so the general public view on LGBT rights was a bit different then. I was interviewing in Pediatrics, which is usually a pretty liberal and accepting specialty. But I chose not to disclose during the application process. That said, if you are specifically interested in working with LGBT patients or have had a lot of LGBT advocacy experience, then disclosing might be appropriate.

    One thing you need to know about me is that I easily "pass" as straight. You won't know I'm gay until I tell you I am.

    At one of my interviews, I was chatting with the chief resident when she mentioned that she lived with her partner nearby and that her partner was an OB/GYN resident. I asked: "Wait a sec...a female partner?" "Yes." "Oh, thank heavens! OK, so what's it like being gay here?" And she totally filled me in on that program and the other two programs in the area at which I had interviewed. But at most of my interviews, there wasn't really anyone like that to ask the question.

    Once I got to residency, my initial policy was to come out to my fellow residents. You're going to be very intimate with these people and with a program that had three men and 12 women, I figured I'd better get that out of the way up front. It turns out that I was one of two gay guys in my residency class. Most of the attendings knew by the end of the first year. By the end, most everyone knew. It was fine.

    I will tell you that when I interviewed at a couple of programs in the South, while I couldn't ask residents, I did hit up gay bars and ask guys there. Many cities in the South have a beltway circling the city. I'd often get told that I was fine as long as I stayed inside the beltway. That's hardly reassuring: "It's fine, but if you cross this line you might get lynched." Those programs got ranked at the bottom.

    It's 13 years later and times have changed. I think that you're less likely to face discrimination for being gay and if you do...maybe you wouldn't want to go to that program, anyway. But I would still not volunteer the information. It's a personal matter and you are interviewing for a professional position.
     
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  12. tantacles

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    It's hard to say if this will help. I will say that there are programs that will heavily recruit LGBTQ residents, and outing yourself in your personal statement may get you a closer look than you might have gotten otherwise. LGBTQ health is a hot topic in urban areas, and if it's something you're interested in, it's probably good to be open about that interest.

    When I interviewed, I couples matched (openly, you have the choice not to disclose if you are doing this) with my partner, and we pursued residency spots the same way a straight couple might - e-mailing to say that we were both interested in a program if one partner got an interview. This resulted in my getting interviews at many programs I don't think I would have had a shot at otherwise.
     
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  13. Guero

    Guero 2QT2Bcis Plaidapus
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    I agree with most of the advice above, especially situational relevance. Discussing your orientation is an effective tool to identify affirming and non-affirming programs. Mutual geography of one's SO and the program may also help clarify your dedication to the program's selection committee. The rise in LGBTQI visibility since SCOTUS has led to much needed strides in reform. One year after the ruling, the NIH officially designated sexual and gender minorities under the health disparity population umbrella, allocating much needed federal research funding to a population it deemed criminals less than 50 years prior. The LCME and AAMC have also instituted LGBTQI policy protections and inclusive curricular reforms.

    It's definitely a hot topic right now. But it doesn't seem so hot to many within the gender minority spectrum, a fairly touchy issue that hasn't yet been discussed in this thread. One's specific identity within the gender and sexual minority spectrum may lend unique positives and negatives to each situation. The current political climate has thrust LGBTQI rights, and especially gender minority rights, into a fervent debate. Several of my colleagues and mentors identifying as transgender, non-binary, and/or genderqueer have faced exceptional challenges compared to their cis-gender identified gay, lesbian, and bisexual counterparts over the last few years--myself included. We've seen considerable variances in professional receptivity as a function of one's gender presentation. Being out, "flying under the radar" (i.e., discretely presenting as cis-gender after gender affirming treatments), or remaining closeted each has its unique challenges. Even the LGBTQI community itself is prey to in-group discrimination and prejudices. It seems like gender minorities require a more vigilant and individualized approach to navigating these grey areas until stronger protections are in place at the state, federal, and occupational levels.

    TL;DR
    I spent way too much time on this post. Gender identity and presentation uniquely affect residency program receptivity and fit.

    Additional reading (I'm a nerd and love sociology.)

    Sociologists have long been studying these phenomena. My favorite introduction to this concept of additive marginalization was written by Patricia Hill Collins in her section on Black Feminist Thought in the Matrix of Domination. Basically, each ascribed trait/status (e.g., racial minority, female) that marginalizes or empowers one within society has an additive effect in overall marginalization or empowerment (e.g., narratives of a white woman vs. a Black man vs an Hispanic woman). Sociologists recently found their own fervent debate about gender and sexual minorities within the realm of queer and feminist theory. Trans-exclusionary feminism (TERF) is a particularly relevant example. Here's a great Stanford resource that summarized the birth of TERF, its evolution, and the ensuing politico-academic debates.
     
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