Sep 27, 2015
21
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm planning on going to medical school to become a plastic surgeon. Some of the surgeries I want to perform are chest masculinization surgery, breast augmentation, facial feminization surgery, and facial masculinization surgery as I want to help transgender people feel more comfortable in their own skin. My brother is transgender and will be getting chest masculinization surgery in December. I want to talk about my brother and his influence on my decision to be a plastic surgeon, but obviously it's a controversial topic. Should I avoid the topic in my secondary applications?
 

gyngyn

Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2011
24,112
39,976
Status
Attending Physician

gyngyn

Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2011
24,112
39,976
Status
Attending Physician
That wasn't the question.
There are many ways to serve trans-gender people. Plastics is only one way. Very few medical students will be competitive for this residency and it will appear naive/presumptuous to make this specialty the cornerstone of an application. The controversy is not trans-gender care, it is a focus on plastics.
 

ChrisMack390

2+ Year Member
Jan 15, 2015
3,379
4,506
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
That wasn't the question.
The point is, mentioning trans-gendered people, an obvious underserved community, is not controversial. Applying to medical school as if you are one of the 100 best medical students in the country before actually setting foot on a medical campus is going to be a problem.
 

Gryffindor20

2+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2015
256
349
Dumbledore's Office
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
OP, if I were you, I would write about your brother's challenges in transitioning and how it gives you insight into the diverse ways that physicians can help their patients. It is unwise to specifically talk about wanting to specialize in plastic surgery, particularly if you have an MCAT score <520, GPA <4.0, and you don't yet have a Nobel prize. Plastics is one of the hardest specialties to match into, and you're going to look foolish if you start talking about matching into plastics when you haven't even taken your first medical school exam.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,541
78,720
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
You're going to shoot yourself in the foot because your description of your interests sound 100% starry eyed (and ignorant of how hard it is to become a plastic surgeon to boot.)

Psychiatrists will help TG people be comfortable in their own skin far more than any plastic surgeon will.


I'm planning on going to medical school to become a plastic surgeon. Some of the surgeries I want to perform are chest masculinization surgery, breast augmentation, facial feminization surgery, and facial masculinization surgery as I want to help transgender people feel more comfortable in their own skin. My brother is transgender and will be getting chest masculinization surgery in December. I want to talk about my brother and his influence on my decision to be a plastic surgeon, but obviously it's a controversial topic. Should I avoid the topic in my secondary applications?
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
23,144
32,678
Status
Academic Administration
@lesil, as you can see, you've stirred up a hornet's nest by expressing a desire to go to medical school to become a plastic surgeon. Medical schools are hesitant to admit applicants who are focused solely on one medical specialty such as plastic surgery. Go to medical school because you want to be a medical doctor. Prepare and do your best in the Step 1 exam after M2 year and then assess whether you are even in the ballpark for a match in plastics. Then go into your clerkships with an open mind and the understanding that you may change your mind after getting some experience in specific rotations. Only after you have completed your clerkships will you sit down with someone in the Dean's office and talk about your residency applications.

Don't put the cart before the horse.

That said, your sibling's need for specialized clinical care and taking inspiration from that is not controversial and won't be an issue.
 
Last edited:
Jun 15, 2016
137
69
Status
Pre-Medical
Apparently my friend said he wanted to get into plastics on an application. Is he screwed then? Kinda advised him against it in the first place but he felt strongly about it
 

gyngyn

Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2011
24,112
39,976
Status
Attending Physician
Apparently my friend said he wanted to get into plastics on an application. Is he screwed then? Kinda advised him against it in the first place but he felt strongly about it
Imagine you are a school that hasn't sent anyone into a plastics residency lately. Will this applicant go to your school if he gets in anywhere else?
It isn't recommended, but in an otherwise excellent application, it can be overlooked (especially at a state school).
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Jun 15, 2016
137
69
Status
Pre-Medical
Imagine you are at a school that hasn't sent anyone into a plastics residency lately. Is this person going to go to your school if he gets in anywhere else?
It isn't recommended, but in an otherwise excellent application, it can be overlooked (especially at a state school).
Okay yeah that makes sense! Well, hopefully it works out for him!
 
  • Like
Reactions: gyngyn

precisiongraphic

2+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2015
767
764
Status
Non-Student
@lesil - I recommend reading the LGBTQ thread on SDN especially http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/ask-a-trans-med-student-anything.1209903/#post-17973081 and posts by @Promethean. You have an inside source in your brother but talking about being the surgeon for such procedures at this point is a real reach that will not benefit your application. Instead, talk about your exposure to the trans community via your brother and your ability to relate to their challenges and your desire to provide appropriate care as a physician.
 
Jan 14, 2016
23
16
Status
Pre-Medical
First guy has a good point, and on top of that, its stupid to limit yourself in specialties. Doesn't look good to reject everything but plastic surgery without having taken a single class in med school. Instead, use your brothers story as an example of something that inspires you to medicine and particularly to this field, but express that you are open to every specialty at the time being.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Crayola227