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Sexuality in the PS and Secondary Essays

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by grandslam521, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. grandslam521

    grandslam521 Junior Member

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    What does everyone think about discussing ones sexuality in essays? I imagine it can help you in some cirumstances as being more diverse and understanding of diversity in others. However, besides the obvious conservative schools (Loma Linda, Albert Einstien, etc) do you think this could hurt you? Despite some school's policy of not discriminating based on sexual orientation, do you think many still do?
     
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  3. kovalchuk

    kovalchuk Banned
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    Go for it. I'm planning on working my heterosexuality into my ps as well.
     
  4. VPDcurt

    VPDcurt 2K Member

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    If it is relevant, bring it up. However, don't just bring it up as a reason to show some diversity - many people will not view it in this light.
     
  5. EndSong

    EndSong Senior Member

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    Some do and some don't it really depends. The better question you should ask yourself is how do you feel about spending 4 years in a place that would be intolerant? Most however pretty much don't care and you shouldn't talk about it unless its really relevant, it was a big challenge, your family wasn't accepting, a lot of your clinical interests are working with the LGBT community.
     
  6. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    If it's a good compelling essay and it's relevant to the topic at hand, i.e. helps explain why you are interested in medicine etc. then go with it, some might find it intriguing and adding to class diversity. If it is really more of a catharsis for you to write about your sexuality, or you are grandstanding about orientation issues in medicine then you probably should file it away and try again -- you can bring it out for the med school newsletter later, once admitted.
     
  7. plainolerichie

    plainolerichie Senior Member

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    Is Albert Einstein a conservative school? :confused: I've heard NYMC and Loma Linda are, but never Albert Einstein.
     
  8. grandslam521

    grandslam521 Junior Member

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    Actually, calling AE a conservative school may be off base. However, I have read testimonials from students there who are discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. I suppose I was implying that they were conservative towards this issue at least.
     
  9. jackieMD2007

    jackieMD2007 ***MVI***

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    I am sure there are things that are unique and interesting about you that don't have to do with race, sexual orientation, religion, etc.

    This is a pretty conservative profession. I am not sure what bearing your race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, etc have on you being a good candidate for medical school. Surely there are other things you can talk about.
     
  10. GoodDoctor

    GoodDoctor Senior Member

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    Good points. Is it really a key reason why you want to be a doctor? Have you worked in clinical settings with LGBT folk? Do you have a special passion for working with HIV patients because your codependent-other died from it? Being a URM (which you technically aren't) isn't enough in and of itself to justify being a doctor. Do black applicants want to be doctors just because they're black? They would not simply say that being black makes them want to be a doctor because they understand diversity and had a rough challenges (that pretty much describes everyone). They don't want to come across as saying "accept me, I'm black", and you don't want to come off as saying "accept me, I'm gay." On the other hand, if they show they are committed to working in underserved areas because of personal experience, and have already shown this in their volunteer choices, it can become a more compelling argument. The same goes for you. Having emotional/social challenges growing up is not unique to gay folk. Proven dedication to academics and helping others does make you unique (well, outside of the pre-med world).

    Also, I think the possible added benifit of saying "I'm gay" to show diversity is outweighed by the possiblity that someone somewhere will find it offensive and look upon you negatively (beggars can't be choosers at this point in the game... change the system once you've made it to the top of the system). You can show your diversity through your volunteer and clinical choices. I'm white, but have a special affinity for the hispanic community and culture due to where I grew up, and so have expressed this through my volunteer choices, not by saying "I grew up in a 95% hispanic town and so love brown people." That I have compassion for the LGBT community is shown through volunteering at the LGBT Center and doing HIV counseling at the AIDS Foundation, not by saying "I'm queer, I'm here".

    I think it's a nice bonus that being a doctor brings automatic respect. If you happen to be part of a group that has unique problems or stereotypes, being a doctor can do a small part in giving other gay folk hope, and in helping those outside of the culture to understand that gay folk aren't so different after all. These two reasons, though, are not the key reasons I want to be a doctor -- they're just nice bonuses.
     
  11. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    ^Bravo, Good Doctor. Excellent essay.

    You won't be like the applicant of whom an adcom member said after reading his PS, "We know he's gay but we don't know anything else about him!"
     
  12. kypdurron5

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    I agree. If you are a URM or an international student then you definitely bring diversity to the university. Who you have sex with, what kind of car you drive, and whether you wear underwear will not constitute “diversity” in the minds of many adcoms, at least not in the same way as the former. I’m not saying it would reflect poorly on you, but keep in mind that diversity for diversity’s sake is not necessarily a good thing. The reason there is such a huge emphasis on racial diversity is affirmative action. This does not apply to sexual activities.
     
  13. vtucci

    vtucci Attending in Emergency Medicine
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    I do not think I would include it unless it is really central to your decision to be a doc or written all over your ECs. It is very hard to judge who will be reading these.

    If you LBG, you might want to take care with some of the schools in the south too.
     
  14. grandslam521

    grandslam521 Junior Member

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    Why does being a URM differ in diversity from sexuali orientation?
     
  15. GoodDoctor

    GoodDoctor Senior Member

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    URM and diversity are by definition two different things, although there can be some overlap. URM means "under-represented minority" and was defined by AAMC as "blacks, Mexican Americans, mainland Puerto Ricans, and Native Americans", although I believe it's been updated to "African-American, Latino/a, and Native American".
    http://www.aamc.org/diversity/start.htm
    Notice that not all minorities are included. For example, there must already be enough asian applicants to serve the nation's asian population. The Native American population, on the other hand, don't have enough doctors (Native American or otherwise) to serve their needs. Even if the gov't could be convinced that Gay folk were a minority, they probably still would NOT be an "under-represented" or "underserved" minority. I've seen many gay folk on this board, but no Native Americans yet (not scientific, but you get the idea).

    Aside from this, I would speculate that some schools may want to have a class with diverse backgrounds and life experince from varying walks of life. For example, being a stand-out athelete, owning your own business, speaking multiple languages, lived in another country etc. are things that could make you stand out as an applicant. Not that these are going to get you in, but they can make you more memorable. Likewise, being openly gay can make you stand out, but not necessarily in a good way in eveyone's book (unfortunate, but true).
     
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  17. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    If a poll was taken in the medical field in which everyone fessed up to their sexual orientation, I don't think you'd find homosexuals particularly under-represented. At least not to the extend that usually defines URM.
     
  18. OSUdoc08

    OSUdoc08 Banned
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    YES.

    It's not going to "benefit" you to bring it up unless the admissions committee is gay themselves.

    I would only try it if you are applying to school in San Francisco.
     
  19. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    "Who you have sex with" and "sexual activities" can be different from sexual orientation. Homo- and heterosexuality are not choices you make like your brand of car and that nagging issue about going commando.
     
  20. AggieJohn

    AggieJohn Senior Member

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    Good point as well.
     
  21. jackieMD2007

    jackieMD2007 ***MVI***

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    :laugh: :thumbup:

    EDIT: I mentioned that I was married in my PS, but in the context of pointing out that I supported my husband through law school.
     
  22. frycek

    frycek Member

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    I'm am MS2 at Pritzker. When I was applying I ended up writing about my coming out story on a number of secondaries. Why? I wouldn't say that being gay has all that much to do with why I went into medicine, but my process of coming out during college (in a pretty conservative small Christian school in the Midwest) was a very significant event in my life, so for me it was the best answer for the essay questions that asked about "moral/ethical dilemma" or personal struggle or things of that type. Why in itself sexual orientation is (or at least in most places) a neutral fact, if you feel that being GLBT is somehow important and relevant in your answer, then I say include it. Don't edit it out. Will it backfire at some schools? I'd say the chances are very small, if it's included in a natural way. Maybe at some conservative schools like you mentioned... but you might not want to be at those places. I was aware that a side benefit of having writing about my sexual orientation was that it would serve as a kind of screening process for unfriendly schools - if it really was going to be a problem for them, then I wouldn't want to be there.
     
  23. grandslam521

    grandslam521 Junior Member

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    frycek,

    Thank you for your reply. I actually posted this thread shortly after I finished my second essay for Pritzker. I also discussed my coming out experiences and the struggles that ensued. As you, I don't think my sexuality influenced my interest in medicine much, but it has certainly made me a more compassionate, tolerant individual. That is what I tried to express in my essay, and I feel more confident about my decision to include this in my application now that I read your response.
     
  24. jstuds_66

    jstuds_66 Free cat to a good home

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    I agree.
     
  25. kypdurron5

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    That is your opinion. In reality, they are EXACTLY the same. Sure, you may not be quite as criticized for liking Honda's as you would for having sex with someone of the same gender...so I would agree there are greater social implications for the latter decision. Still, homosexuality is a choice about who you have sex with...it's about what you DO, not who you ARE. Someone's race/culture/ethnicity speak to who they are- and these are things that they can't change. If I wanted, I could choose to be a homosexual...just like I could choose to commit murder...just like I could choose to become a catholic. These would brand me with the titles of "homosexual," "murderer," or "christian." Things you cannot change like your race and ethnicity are what constitute who you are, and I would suggest that these are what adcoms typically think of when you say "diversity." I agree that there is indeed overlap, but we have to to separate these types of things in some way. The most important is those which you can change, and those which you cannot. If I just say the word "diversity" it means nothing...you must have context. Another post talked about diversity as having students who are great athletes and own their own businesses- in other words, students who stand out. I agree that those things are an example of diversity, but you ALWAYS have that kind of diversity when you look at ANY group of people. I'm certainly not saying that race/ethnicity is the ONLY kind of diversity adcoms consider, but I believe it's the first and foremost on their minds when you speak of "diversity."
     
  26. jamilla_w

    jamilla_w Guest

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    I don't think this topic would hurt your application because it is about sexuality. OTOH, I think it's a weak essay topic for med school admission unless you are answering a secondary about being compassionate.
     
  27. Haemulon

    Haemulon Slippery When Wet
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    This seems silly to me. Why do so many people want to add yet another level of risk into an already uncertain application process? If your going to go the unorthodox or controversial topic route for a PS, you better make darn sure that you can pull it off (ie, really have something important to say by it, and say it well). My advice: don't talk about sexuality. Surely there is something more relevant about you as a candidate to discuss.
     
  28. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Diversity is about diversity of experience and "world view". Race, ethnicity, social class, living situation, religious practices, even sexual experiences could come under the heading of "diversity".

    Students learn from one another as well as from instructors and not everything you might learn is in a book. Taboos and social customs in certain populations, for example, might be something you learn from a fellow student who has had experience in that culture.

    Doctors who know where patients are coming from can more easily solicit information and gain a patient's confidence. Understanding and being able to communicate information about risk reduction with regard to sexual behavior may be easier for someone who is familiar with the practices of particular patient groups. For these reasons, it may not be unreasonable to assume that gay physicians will be more likely to serve the needs of gay patients.

    How do you add to the diversity of the class? may mean that you have information based on your life experience as a gay man, an Orthodox Jewish woman, an Army brat who lived around the world, a Navy Seal, or a rancher's daughter from rural South Dakota that will provide one of a diverse chorus of voices within the medical school class and within the profession of medicine.
     
  29. cbennett

    cbennett Banned
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    I am guessing you are refering to them discriminating against lbgt groups. If you truly dont think your group should be discriminated based on their sexual or. then you also should believe people should not be given preferential treatment based sololy on sex or. because that is the same exact thing as discriminating only its from a different perspective. (this time on the benefactors end rather than before on the negitive end) If you dont like your side getting discriminated you probably should not use discriminating processes to your advantage.
    It seems to me you think you are entitled to some kind of admissions preference because of your sexual orientation. This is flat out discrimintory in and of itself. So if you are planning on putting it in to get an unfair advantage than i have a problem but if your doing to discuss yourself then go for it. But i really dont think sex or. make a diff in the quality of doctor you are but do what ever.
     
  30. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory.

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    You cant be serious..please....holding back...the urge to outright take a huge dump on this thread.

    For instance, would you vividly describe your adventures on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood where on a hot summer night you met your hairy daddy Larry near the outside bar at the Abby? You then slipped out and over to his place off La Cienga and got naked into his pool at the apartment complex getting your first glimpse at his hairy tattoed back...I can see the anticipation of the ADCOMs when reading your tale, its a real f-king pager turner!

    You would have to be ******ed, drugged out or a combination of both to mention "sexuality" in your PSs but go the f- ahead, there are WAY too many doctors as it is and I like to see natural selection kill a few off while they are still in their premed stage.

    Hasta
     
  31. cbennett

    cbennett Banned
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    :laugh:
     
  32. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory.

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    WTF, yeah Lizzy there is also diversity of "world view" in terms of sociopaths and you dont see ADCOMs clamoring for them. No, you will not get extra med school brownie points if you mention you were a hooker in Amsterdam, table dancer in Vegas or a tranvestite street walker in the Castro, so that blows your whole delusional concept completely out of the water. If there are med school out there who have affirmative action merely for people who have had sexual experiences with others of the same sex, then please post them! And I will work diligently to close them down.
     
  33. cbennett

    cbennett Banned
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    Once again :laugh:

    Very true

    Honest and hilarious. Now this dude will make a good doctor. I always heard laughter was the best medicine
     
  34. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Do people with sexual experience get preference in medical school admissions?

    No.

    Do med school admissions offices reject applicants because their applications indicate either directly or indirectly (based on volunteer projects, etc) indicate that they are of a particular persuasion? (sexual, religious, etc)

    No.

    My argument is that it takes all kinds to make a world and a class with a diversity of experiences is highly desirable. Different is interesting. There are a million different ways to be different. Being a sex worker would certainly be different... :eek: and might go over well at some medical schools but I would guess that if it were worked into an essay that made a case for the unique unmet needs of that population, and the desire to serve the people of that population, then it might not be a horror.
     
  35. frycek

    frycek Member

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    Hmmm... not sure whether this thread has devolved to the point of being worthless yet - and I think the OP's original concerns have already been answered from a variety of points of view in good ways. But if it's not too late, I'd like to make a broader point about med school admissions. I interviewed a few candidates last year for my med school's adcom, and so I know at least what the interview feedback forms look like and what kind of information the adcom is looking for from those student interviews.

    What I'm responding to is the implication in many people's posts that anything about you or any experience you've had that doesn't directly tie into medicine (research, clinical work, etc) is a "side issue" for getting into med school. Let me assure you that this is the opposite of the truth. Your numbers and your AMCAS primaries will pretty much tell the story of your involvement in science and the medical field. Yes, adcoms want to know that you're serious about medicine and have commitment to the field. This is essential. But what they're primarily looking for in the interviews that I conducted - and I believe in the secondaries as well - is something very far beyond your experiences in hospitals and in labs. It's about a sense of you as a person: your maturity, your ability to deal with conflict, your kindness, maybe even your basic decency. So maybe the story of your sexuality - or your race or your religion or whatever - doesn't have much to do with this and isn't worth mentioning. Or maybe those parts of your story have everything to do with who you are as a relating, caring human.

    Adcoms want to know who you, not just what you've done. Maybe "playing it safe" and saying things that sound nice will get you where you want to be - but I would say for everyone applying that taking a chance on revealing more of yourself and your real personal story might be the best thing you can do to impress them and stand out.
     
  36. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory.

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    Diversity has almost ZERO value when compared to raw intelligence, creativity and work ethic in the practice of medicine. Reread that sentence.

    Go beyond medical school and try to get a job in the real world riding the ivory tower bandwagon of "diversity" and see the truth: No one gives a crap! No one, its all about work, diligence, ability to put up with crappy personalities and business sense. You medical practice wont care you occasionally enjoy another man's erection in your mouth at the local bath house, they care about you getting your fricking work done and cases billed the hell out!!

    Medicine is a business, a business FFS. No one cares if you are going through a divorce, have 3 kids at home, your lesbian partner just took a skydive off a building in SF or your gay partner just tested positive for HIV, they care about the work getting down, cashflow, end of rant.
     
  37. GoodDoctor

    GoodDoctor Senior Member

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    I agree with you both on this. My previous posts were talking specifically about the PS, where I think it's likely less of a direct answer to "why do you want to be a doctor?" For secondary q's about diversity, overcoming a difficult problem, moral/ethical dilemmas, etc. it may be more relevent.

    There are certain experiences that only a gay person can understand. There have been some silly posts on this thread already that show this is true. ;) Going through the emotional, social, familial, cultural difficulties that can initially go with coming to terms with being gay are certainly something that can give you a new perspective. Dedication shown in struggling along side your spouse (yes, of the same gender) of 6 years for 3 long additional years to finally reach your dream of building your family together through adoption can make for a compelling story in which you surmounted difficult odds. As frycek eloquently pointed out (beautiful post, frycek);

     
  38. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory.

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    Yes and if they involve gerbils then yipee for diversity. Intelligence, work ethic and creativity still trump all.

    [​IMG]
     
  39. GoodDoctor

    GoodDoctor Senior Member

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    You're really not helping. We understand that you think only gunners should go to med school. You've made your point several times, and your crass manner really lowers the level of discussion. The OP is looking for helpful, objective advise. If your goal is to help, you're not. If your goal is other than that, it ends up ruining the SDN experience for the rest of us.
     
  40. grandslam521

    grandslam521 Junior Member

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    I am somewhat appalled at how some people on this board (LADoc00 especially) automatically depict homosexuals as having HIV, cruising for sex in West Hollywood, and always wearing leather. I think these comments are out-of-line and ignorant. I hope you won't approach your LGBT patiets with the same attitude as a physician.
     
  41. appleluver7

    appleluver7 Member

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    Maybe that's why people SHOULD write about their sexuality in their essays. It is people like LADoc and others who portray gays as "sluts" and "cruising for sex". Discrimination? Maybe...if people like them exist on this board, I'm sure people on committees sometimes react in this way. All the better reason to challenge the status quo and write about it...

    LADoc: Maybe you are religious and therefore have a negative of view of gays, but gays are no more slutty than anyone else. It's appalling to hear these comments.

    Being gay doesn't make you a good doctor. But the experiences that came out of being gay MIGHT help you be a more compassionate person. Not all gay people have had the same experiences, so it's a very individual process. Asking on a thread here whether writing a gay essay is a good idea can only be determined by the person writing the essay.

    It's interesting to hear people compare being gay to "choosing" to buy a Honda. If you were to talk to most gay people, I doubt you would hear them say being gay is a choice. Of course, there are two major choices for these people: 1.) remain celibate or force themselves to have sex with the opposite sex using Viagra and other PDE5 inhibitors or maybe just be really, really unhappy (clearly the choice encouraged by LADoc whose homphobia is obvious or 2.) do what their heart tells them
     
  42. Bubblehead-to-MD

    Bubblehead-to-MD Emergency Blow!

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    Forgive me for being ignorant. Does LGBT stand for Lesbian Gay Bi Trans?
     
  43. coralfangs

    coralfangs Senior Member

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    go for it

    say that u r a Bi, and comment how much love you will give to all the students regardless of their genders, that's the way to go
     
  44. frycek

    frycek Member

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    I don't think LaDoc is really very religious and maybe not even all that homophobic. I think he just intensely enjoys being obnoxious. Although I seriously question why someone who is a practicing physician (according to his profile) would get his kicks being obnoxious on an online forum for pre-medical students.

    danjo - You got it right - it's that ever-growing acronym. People add other letters sometimes - I, Q - can you guess what those stand for? That's why some people have given up and just say "queer" instead as a blanket term for all of it.
     
  45. crazy_cavalier

    crazy_cavalier T3-Weighted

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    You know, this topic has come up many times, and in the end, I always think the same thing: Keep it to yourself.

    Your sexuality is a "don't ask, don't tell" topic, and it has NO place in your profession. People on here will have you think that, if it's a big part of your life and means a lot to you (aka it is "relevant") then you should include it.

    It is never relevant.

    Does it make you a more diverse applicant? Perhaps. I say "perhaps" because, nowadays, EVERYTHING makes you a more diverse applicant. Every morning when I dress, I start with my left sock. Wow, that makes me so unique and I have the added insight and perspective of a person who starts his day with socks first, I should go add that to my personal statement.

    Will it hurt you? Probably. If I were on the admission end, I personally wouldn't give a rat's ass if you are straight, gay, bi, transexual, asexual, whatever. However, telling me what your sexual orientation is would make me uncomfortable (REGARDLESS of whether you are straight, gay, bi, whatever) and it would make me wonder why you feel compelled to reveal such a thing, when, as a professional, it would have no place in your line of work. The argument "gay doctors are better for the concerns of gay patients" is BOGUS. ANY professional doctor will be equipped to handle and accomodate those concerns. Here's another bad impression that I would have: I would also suspect that you were trying to pitch your sexuality as a selling point (i.e. "hey look at me I'm a super diverse applicant") and that would rub me the wrong way.

    So, in my opinion, you should keep it to yourself. :cool:
     
  46. crazy_cavalier

    crazy_cavalier T3-Weighted

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    Wow, the rest of that post is so vulgar I don't even want it to show up in the reply. All I wanted to say is this: show a little respect. Liz is an adcom, she doesn't need your rudeness, nor does she need you to tell her what has "ZERO value" and what qualities are best in the practice of medicine. Between you and her, it's pretty obvious who is more qualified to give meaningful advice on the topic of "what is valued in medicine".
     
  47. cbennett

    cbennett Banned
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    HOLD YOUR HORSES PALL. I SUGGEST YOU EDIT MY NAME OUT OF THIS BECAUSE I NEEEEVVVVEEEEEEEERRRRRRRR EVER SAID THAT OE ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. NEVER :thumbdown: :thumbdown: :thumbdown: :thumbdown: :thumbdown:
    HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF I STARTED SAYING QUOTES FROM YOU THAT WERE NOT TRUE. PLEASE EXTEND THE SAME RESPECT YOU WOULD WANT
     
  48. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    I do find it interesting that LaDoc00 keeps rotating between different avatars of sweaty, shirtless men. No inferences drawn, just making an observation here.
     
  49. Bubblehead-to-MD

    Bubblehead-to-MD Emergency Blow!

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    Thanks for clearing that up for me frycek!

    Wow. Things are getting pretty heated in this thread! Kinda knew it was coming though.
     
  50. NYMC MD 2B

    NYMC MD 2B Member

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    Sadly, homosexuals are discriminated against everywhere. It does not neccessarily have to be a conservative school. The nature of our entire society makes being gay taboo, even though I think this attitude is ignorant and rediculous. To the OP, I would not use your ps as a place to screem your sexuality from the rooftops. However, if you feel that descrimination has been an obstacle for you to overcome, maybe you can work that in. Also, you might talk about AIDS, and how it has affected the gay community, and how that is a possible motivation for you in the area of medicine. Just an idea....
     
  51. frycek

    frycek Member

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    Having been checking in on this forum for a couple years and being interested in gay threads, to me it seems like this one actually hasn't devolved as far as a lot of others ones do. Usually the OP can expect only about 2 or 3 rational on-topic answers before a couple people take it on complete tangents and anti-gay rants, and then people answer them, and it's entirely over. It's like there are people online just waiting for the word "gay" to show up in a topic and they swoop on in.

    What I find strange, but what seems to always be the case, is that the main point of these people is always some variation of "being gay doesn't make you special, don't tell anyone, stop forcing others to know about your sexuality, just keep it to yourself" - and then they (seemingly) spend all day obsessing over a forum about other people's sexuality. For some reason is just really riles them all up.

    Ha! Certain theories do address aforementioned irony.
     
  52. GoodDoctor

    GoodDoctor Senior Member

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    Well, here comes my soapbox statement for the month (NY and Wash court decisions aren't sitting well, so please allow my ramblings). Since "gay" is such a touchy political topic, it does seem risky to include it. I've posted before that I don't think it's as easy to work into a PS but might work for certain secondary questions. I'm a bit torn on this. Partly because I don't trust other's motives, especially with recent political/judicial/social developements. Partly because I believe I'm an intellegent, dedicated person, and recognize that it takes just such people to stand up and make a difference. I feel a bit sheepish for not wanting to rock the boat until I'm in a better position to be taken seriously (and not have the rug swept out from under me).

    In my state (the only one where Clinton finished 3rd in '92, the highest W vote the last two times, and highest % vote for the "destroy gay families" amendment), I feel a bit justified in doing things like dropping pronouns around people who can affect my future. I've got good relationships with a prof I've TA'd for and my PI. My codependent-other :p and I decided together that it would be unsafe for my future to have him come to the Christmas party or the Dept. pot-luck. Everyone else tells stories about their wife and kids, and I have to avoid talking about my "spouse" of 5 years and his child that I consider my own. I really do believe they would not care at all, but I just don't think I'm in a position to take that chance yet.

    OP, it worked out for frycek. You guys sound well-spoken and confident enough to be out to people who can affect your future on a whim. I applaud you for that. I generally have faith in people (perhaps why the recent political events have been so shocking) and especially smart profs, and think that educated adcoms will be fine with a well constructed response that involves being gay. Some might say it's dumb to do it, but that's just a step away from foolhardy, which is just a small leap up to couragous. :) Good luck.
     

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