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Significant others discussion in interview

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Adcadet, Jul 28, 2002.

  1. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27 10+ Year Member

    The interviewer asked if I had any reservations about going to med school. I explained that I was concerned about the effect med school would have on my fiance. He didn't say much (he never did say much to anything), so I followed up his question with "do you have any advice about balancing medical education and and personal obligations?"...1again, he was pretty silent. I asked if he was married, and he simply said "no". So I tried to move on to another topic. The interview ended a few minutes later with him saying something about how he had to now write a little letter to the adcom that basically had no affect whatsoever, and he told me that he had no clue what my chances of admission were.

    I can understand prohibiting interviewers from specifically asking about significant others, but it seems awfully shallow to prohibit discussing personal matters that can be extremely important to one's happiness during his/her medical education. Any thoughts?
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  3. Tweetie_bird

    Tweetie_bird 7+ Year Member

    Nov 20, 2001
    Hey AdCadet,

    Sorry to hear about your poor interview. i haven't gone to any interviews yet since I'm applying this year, but I can tell you that this is not true of just U of MN. I noticed on the directions for LOR writing at my Undergrad that specifically mentions not writing anything about a person's age, race, nationality, personal/marital situation etc. Apparently, it's considered unprofessional even if the LOR writer says something like, "I know XYZ for ABC years, and have seen his ability to balance a career life alongside his/her family obligations." I was speaking with my LOR writer specifically about this and he mentioned that he too, would keep my personal life out of the LOR.

    It's kinda sad but that's just how the game is played. :(
  4. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27 10+ Year Member

    Talk about a bunch of crap. Don't these people realize that people have a life outside of their professional/academic life that must be taken into consideration at times? Shouldn't the minority student who successfully deals with racism on campus be given credit in LORs? What about the person who has a bad semester due to a death in the family?

    I can see advising people not to ASK about personal details, but to encourage people to ignore them is stupid. </Adcadet's $0.02>
  5. GuitarMan

    GuitarMan Guitarman for President 7+ Year Member

    May 21, 2002
    I don't think all schools shun discussion of personal affairs. In fact, Loyola's secondary specifically asked about a difficult personal problem you have encountered, and how you dealt with the difficulty. For what it's worth, I made reference to my fiancee throughout my AMCAS, secondary apps, and interviews, and still got into 75% of the schools to which I applied.
  6. spacecadet

    spacecadet Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2001
    Houston, TX
    My understanding is that they are not allowed to ask about personal matters (age, family, etc), but if you bring it up then it is fair game. I mentioned that I have a child in my PS, and almost every one of my interviewers asked about him (i.e. what are you going to do with your kid when you are in school?).

    It seems that you had the opposite problem. It also sounds like your interviewer was drafted into doing interviews - like he wasn't too excited about it.

    It's possible that the interviewer was instructed not to ask illegal questions, and so he shied away from personal matters altogether.
  7. Zack90

    Zack90 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 6, 2001
    Philadelphia, PA
    On several of my interviews this past year I was asked about my age, "marital status", if I had children, etc.... For the most part, I answered the question telling about my partner of 10 years, our newborn, etc... These questions aren't "legal", but it's the medical profession, and from my experience of working in heath care for many years, you're going to be asked a lot about your personal life....
  8. trout

    trout Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    The great blue ocean
    I was actually asked in almost all of my interviews about my so but it came up in the conversation usually in a casual way, when I was asked about if I would go to a particular uof rochester, I stated that I would be split from my so of 7 years and it didn't effect my admissions.....however, GW asked if I planned on having children during medical school and he then proceded to tell me that if I chose to have children during school it would ruin my career... I of course having attitude about it asked him if his wife had had children during his medical school years...he didn't seem to appreciate the question....
  9. poloace

    poloace Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 3, 2001
    what an ass... i would have called my son up (if i had one) and let him speak to the interviewer. wow... i can't believe some interviewers are like that.
  10. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat 7+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2002
    I think that schools want to avoid discrimination lawsuits, so they would rather not have people bring up info on a person's marital status because that would open the sexual-orientation can of worms. Plus there's the issue of disrciminating against women who have children or want to.
  11. Tweetie_bird

    Tweetie_bird 7+ Year Member

    Nov 20, 2001
    it indeed is sad.

    There's tons of literature out there on how med students' social and family lives are hard because schools don't have family support programs. School itself is hard, and sometimes it feels as if they want us to completely put our lives on hold until we get out of school and then plan to have families. I guess it's really what *is* needed, to have a "successful" med school life...whatever that is.

    After speaking with profs AND med students, I have realized that the two groups are in completely different opinions. The profs seem to think that a personal life like having babies etc, should be put on hold until you're out of med school. But after speaking with my FEMALE med student friends, I have gathered that they think there's nothing wrong with having a baby in between. . . . if you expand one of your years. Apparently, there are a handful of students at my school who have chosen to expand on one of their years due to family lives.

    I personally chose to get married before my med school starts (hopefully 2003) because i knew that *I* did not want to deal with issues about planning a wedding during med school. This required a LOT of thought...gosh, I thought I was going to go crazy while I was making this decision. And now I am happy I made this choice. But there's a flip side--what if I have to move away? I will be moving away from my hubby of 6 months to a new city, without him being able to follow me for ATLEAST 8 months to a year. Med schools want to know that ::nothing:: will stand in way of us graduating once we are in their school because they lose money by losing a student. I guess that is why they don't seem to support family stuff while in med school.

    Anyway, I've digressed. . . . . .
  12. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 28, 2002
    trout.... nice "come-back."

    If someone asked me that I'd refuse to answer. I'd say something like "with all due respect, I do not feel comfortable being asked that question..."
  13. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27 10+ Year Member

    Sad indeed.

    You'd think schools that openly discussed family life, and had family services readily available would get a number of older, more mature students applying and matriculating. The only school that's mentioned family services in their info to my knowledge is Jefferson (I think). While med school may be more difficult on women than on men (since women have to physically carry the baby and give birth), I suspect there are many men who are concerned about this topic as well. I for one would appreciate having something as simple as a support/social group for my future wife (we're getting married in May '03...months before I hopefully start med school). I love medicine, but I don't want to put my future wife through excessive pain just for my career.:(
  14. lola

    lola Bovine Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    This is depressing :( If I have one reservation about going to medical school it has to do do with how it will affect my relationship with my boyfriend. I feel badly about putting him through it and also wonder if I'm going to have to postpone having kids until I finish my residency. I'm getting up there in years and really don't want to have to wait until I finish my residency, but it seems really difficult to have a child while in medical school (and virtually impossible while in residency).
  15. Tweetie_bird

    Tweetie_bird 7+ Year Member

    Nov 20, 2001
    It really is, AdCadet. :(

    I am getting married on Jan 1st, 2003 and I feel a bit nervous about how med school is going to affect our relationship, and what my fiancee will have to go through if and when I have to move. did you know that there was a huge study done in the 90's on physicians, and they found that family problems was one of the main problems physicians faced alongside their HMO concerns etc. They rated family probs to be as chronic as the HMO BS they have to put up with. Obviously, family life is as important to physicians as their professional lives. If only med schools realized that and opened some programs for families. I guess you only know how good/bad the problem is once you are in a specific school and see what they have to offer.

    I have a friend at UW who raved about the school's programs (including social life etc), but in his first year told me they hardly have anything to offer his future wife and how he regrets not having thought about the choice more. But he's trying to make the best of it . . . . so it all depends on the person, I guess.
  16. jalan2

    jalan2 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tweetie Bird, first of all, best of luck on your wedding planning. When your day comes, just enjoy every minute of it.
    I was fortunate enough to do all of those before starting this crazy journey of med school apps...

    Which UW were you talking about? Washington or Wisconsin?
  17. Tweetie_bird

    Tweetie_bird 7+ Year Member

    Nov 20, 2001
    U of Washington. Sorry about that, I should have specified.

    And thanks for the well wishes! With having to plan the entire event from another continent, it's proving to be a challenge. I shall be wed in India; can't wait for the day. :)

    Jalan sounds like a Hindi name/word :)

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