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Tough Question

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Halaljello, Apr 25, 2001.

  1. Halaljello

    Halaljello Hot Oil
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    I was wondering, what if during an interview, you're asked your view on an aspect of medicine that you dont totally agree with or that conflicts with your religious beliefs?
    For example in my religion, a woman cannot get an abortion unless her life is in danger or somthing like that...abortions are not allowed just because a woman was irresponsible...neway If in an interviewer asks me somthing about what i would do if i was asked to do an abortion on a woman who just didnt want to have a baby, should i just lie through my teeth and say that im pro choice and that I'd do it? Or should i tell him i'd refuse to do it regardless of it being legal because its against my religion? i dont like to lie, but i really dont wanna get screwed in an interview...any suggestions?
     
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  3. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    It really depends on how the question is asked. I was asked something similar -- essentially a long-drawn out role-playing question, where abortion was a very viable option. Basically, you just have to find an elegant way of answering it -- possibly something along the lines of "I'd advise my patient of all the available options at that time, and do my best to be supportive of her decision, regardless of my personal opinion on the matter. If her decision fell outside my area of expertise, it may be necessary to transfer part of her care to another physician more well-suited to her needs at that time." I don't think AdComms are looking for right or wrong answers on these issues, but rather just that you are not the type of person to summarily pass judgment against someone else because of differing beliefs.
     
  4. gower

    gower 1K Member
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    Always tell the truth and defend your own position, without anger, even if you think the interviewer may disagree with you. Often enough, such questions are raised only to see how well and calmly you can argue your own views. Sometimes, the interviewer may even agree with you but is playing the role of what is called the "Devil's Advocate."

    Questions impinging on religious belief normally should not be raised. Medical schools instruct interviewers on what they can and cannot ask about, but some interviewers may forget themselves. If you truly feel any question was improper or offensive, report the incident immediately (NOT after you leave) to the admissions office and request another interviewer while you are there. If you are afraid to, consider that if the interviewer did not like your response you may not get admitted.

    If you are still afraid to complain, when you return you might ask your premedical advisor to make a call to ask for an explanation of what happened. Your name need not be disclosed although, to be truthful, there will be no difficulty in knowing who you must be.

    Medical schools are not happy with interviewers who violate the rules, as some do, and will remove them from interviewing.

     
  5. coop

    coop Senior Member
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    Halaljello,
    I think that you need to be honest, however if you cannot come up with a better explaination than "abortion is not an option due to my religious beliefs" than they would be right not to allow you to become a doctor. I would not want you to be my doctor if I thus only was allowed to access the subset of procedures allowed by your particular religion. It is alright not to want to perform an abortion, but it is not alright to push your beliefs on pts. Saying something like, "if I felt in this situation abortion would be an option for the pt then I would refer her to someone else who does and counsels for such procedures". Be safe in your interview never say something so controversial like "no abortions for my pts" unless that is how you really feel, in which case medicine is not the best career for you and hopefully the AdComs will figure that out. good luck
     
  6. pcl

    pcl Senior Member
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    I was asked this in an interview. I told my interviewer that I would advise the patient that I didn't perform such procedures, offer other options such as adoption, and if she was still ultimately interested, suggest another physician who might be able to assist her. I think it was fine, but I think the key point is to not get angry about it during your interview or come across as judgemental towards the patient.
     
  7. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Lilycat has given an excellent response, one to which I only have to add one comment.

    If faced with such a discussion please do not use phrases such as "because a woman was irresponsible". This is a highly judgemental statement , neglecting the role of the man in the equation, equipment failure, and psychosocial issues. I'm afraid such a comment, while it might be your belief about an unwanted pregnancy, would offend others as it has me.

    Just my 2 cents...

    ------------------
    PGY1
    Penn State University
    Department of Surgery
     
  8. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    What if it's true? [​IMG]

    Jamie
     
  9. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Now you're just going Tiffany on me Jamie - don't start something you can't finish. Remember I have kinfolk in your area who can come over there and whip your little behind! [​IMG]
     
  10. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    I am truly sorry Kimberli. On the other hand, since your "kinfolk" are around here, they're probably *MY* kinfolk too, so your threats don't scare me [​IMG]

    Jamie

    [This message has been edited by jamier2 (edited April 28, 2001).]
     
  11. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Well, I'm sure grandmother would have a tough time finding Munfordville from her home in Louisville. How far out in the sticks are you? She doesn't like to drive after dark!

    As for our kinfolk possibly being related...hope you're not suggesting any illegal shenanigans there are ya? [​IMG]
     
  12. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    How far in the sticks? Well, once you pass the sticks, you turn off the gravel road onto the dirt road by Old Man What's-His-Name's place... You get the idea.

    Actually, your grandma shouldn't have any trouble, there's a sign and an exit for my town right out there on I-65 [​IMG]

    Jamie
     
  13. OleDoc

    OleDoc Junior Member

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    Halaljello -- I believe the answer to your your question is fairly straightforward and involves nothing more than perfect honesty.
    Your examiner will much better at detecting
    "ethics pro tem" than you will be at inventing on the fly. Your examiner will be at ease, you will not. If there were indeed cut and dried answers to such questions they would not be asked. It is more your ability to wrestle with the issue than which side you come down on in this situation. You either have a "belief" or "standards which are your own" or you do not.If so,stick with them until you and only you decide you should change them. Then they are yours.
    Medicine is hard enough as it is but you will daily be challenged to make tough decisions and unless you have standards and clarity about what they are you are lost. If it had not already been decided that you could probably "do the work" you would not be at the interview! The interview is another attempt to separate the cream from the milk and to pick those who believe in "something" rather than "nothing". Fortunately the system has been fairly successful.

    The question of abortion is one that involves ethics and religion. There are similar lower level problems that involve being able to simply say to your self
    "I don't like that procedure", or "I'm not qualified to do that", or "that is common practice but I don't think it should be". In those cases the honest and best thing is to simply tell the patient your position, advise them what you think best and if you do not come to agreement either refer them to another physician or ask them to choose another doctor. This can and should be done in a friendly,non-confrontational manner. You will find that some will leave but some will become good patients and even friends. So far , physicians are still able to choose patients just as patients choose physicians but this may be changing rapidly--unfortunately.
     
  14. peppercat

    peppercat Senior Member
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    I don't think that a physician should tell a woman who wants an abortion their moral standpoint on the issue. Hypothetically if I had an unwanted pregnancy and I went to my physician to talk about abortion , that decision would be hard enough for me and I wouldn't need the doctors personal, moral beliefs on the subject.
     

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