2+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2017
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Hi Everyone,

I'm applying this round and getting very excited now that my AMCAS application is nearing completion. I'm applying as Native American/Alaska Native (I listed my tribe on my application) and White. I'm an enrolled member of federally-recognized tribe. I’m very light-skinned and I spend a lot of time in non-Native circles trying to justify my identity to non-Native people. A primary focus of my PS is my identity and my participation in tribal activities. These are things that I am very much looking forward to talking about in my interviews if they come up and have had a large influence on my journey into medicine, hence my openness with them in my PS. However, I’m worried that, when I get to interviews and Adcoms see my white skin and features, implicit bias may lead them to:

1) categorize me as a pretendian (someone claiming Native identity for personal benefit) and thereby discredit my honesty/identity/character

2) ask me to prove my tribal enrollment on the spot (which I can do if I bring my tribal ID)

3) Ask me “how much” I am ... a question I really don't like and almost always try to side-step/redirect when coming from a non-Native person (I have Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood, but I just find it offensive to have to justify the “degree” of my heritage to non-Native individuals, like a dog or racehorse). In my opinion it'd be highly inappropriate and unprofessional to be asked this question in an interview, but I wonder if it's a possibility I should be prepared for?

I’ve been told by folks here on SDN that if I’m “actually” Native, or as long as I’m in a federally-recognized tribe, that I’m fine. But how do Adcoms go about verifying those things?

I’m primarily looking for advice on two things:

1) What to expect on interview day, primarily from non-Native adcoms (i.e. are worries 1,2, and 3 listed above legitimate or would those things never happen?)

2) Should I bring my tribal ID with me, just in case?

I'm looking for advice primarily from Adcoms and/or other Natives in the field, but all voices and input are welcome.


medical shmedical
2+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2017
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I'd be surprised if they asked for it, but if you carry it with you it's one less thing to be worried about
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