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Why stick to your guns during an interview?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by potuhusky, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. potuhusky

    potuhusky Will fix broken hearts
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    when reading interview feedbacks, i read over and over the advise that one should stick to their guns on a certain issue. "stand strong on the position you're arguing because the interviewer may just be trying to get you to change your mind."

    has anyone found that the opposite may have worked to their benefit?

    i walked into my interview ready with my opinions and thought nothing was going to budge me. an issue came up. i explained my beliefs. they countered with a really good reason to consider something else. i considered it. i opened it to possibility.

    if you really stick to your guns on an issue and the counter argument is fair and you don't budge, can they consider you closed minded?

    maybe its really about the way you hold yourself and maturely consider important issues by including your strong beliefs but never excluding other possibilities.
     
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  3. Adapt

    Adapt 2K Member
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    I remember at one interview the Dr. gave me this scenario. If you were a doctor that knew how to perform an abortion but due to your beliefs you were firmly against it, and a girl came to you who needed an abortion, what would you do.

    I said I would refer the patient to another doctor who would perform the abortion because I would be against it. Then he said what if you were the only doctor in the state that could do abortions and the girl was raped. Then I said well in that case I guess I would do it even though I would think it was wrong.

    I changed my stance and even to this day I don't know what the correct answer was. All I know is, I'm not going to be doing abortions when I'm a physician.

    Needless to say I was waitlisted, and what's worse is that it was at AZCOM, a DO school. :(
     
  4. :confused: Sounds like you just went from pro-life --> pro-choice? (Why does it matter if you were the only doctor in town? Because you felt an abortion would then be the right thing to do?)

    Just wondering, that's all.
     
  5. uclakid

    uclakid Senior Member
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    or you could say that your decision lies in the specific situation...if the girl was raped, then that's probably where you would do the abortion. But for convenience purposes, you're against it...
     
  6. misconception?

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    There is no "correct" answer, but a good way to handle that question is to differentiate your personal values from your professional responsibility to optimize the wellbeing of the patient.

    You could say that as a physician it is my responsibility to provide needed treatment for my patients. Based on a situation, the laws governing that situation, and professional ethics, I will sometimes have to make choices that directly oppose my personal beliefs because they are in the best interest of the patient.

    Here's the real question, why would you be the only person who knows how to abort a fetus if you're so strongly against it? These interview questions are full of holes...
     
  7. mlw03

    mlw03 Senior Member
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    To follow this up, does this mean that people that will not perform abortions for ethical beliefs are obligated to avoid specialties where they would be forced to perform them? the only one i could think of would be emergency medicine, but i suppose rural family practice or rural ob/gyn might also be forced to perform an abortion.

    while i don't agree with this stance about the patient's role in abortion, i can at least respect it as long as the future-physician does not put themselves in a situation where they may be forced to choose.

    in general, shouldn't the physician let his/her personal morals subside to the choice of the patient/family? another example could be constructed regarding cases with futile infants. anyone considering neonatology could face a situation where their morals conflict with the patient's family's wishes.

    in reference to the original question, don't fold like a chair, but don't be a mule either. it's all about making INFORMED arguments, not just saying you think a certain way "because I do."


     
  8. coldchemist

    coldchemist Biowulf
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    I love low-stress interviews.
     
  9. Adapt

    Adapt 2K Member
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    Either way you respond to the question, it makes you look bad. If I would have said I would do it, then I would be going against my beliefs and only doing what the patient wants. This could mean whatever the patient wants, as a physician, I would yield to it even if it may not be the best for the patient. If I did the abortion what's to say I wouldn't do euthanasia.

    If I said no, I wouldn't do it, then I would look like I was letting my personal beliefs interfere with what the patient wants and what might inevitably be best for the patient. You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.

    I thought this in my head in a few seconds so my best answer was to refer to another physician in an attempt to circumvent the question. But the doctor didn't allow me to get off that easy and stuck it to me again with added circumstances. What was I to do?

    They must really not have wanted me anyway if they put me in that situation. Anyways I'd say misconception's reply would have been the more tactful answer.

    For the record, I will not be performing any abortions or euthanasias even if I was the only physician in the state that knew how to do it. I think it's morally wrong and also goes against my religious beliefs.
     
  10. AlternateSome1

    AlternateSome1 Burnt Out
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    So, if you knew a patient was going to go home and use a coathanger if you would not perform the abortion, would you still not do it? Is it worth risking the patient's life/health if the baby is going to die regardless?

    Just so you know, I am undecided on this topic. I am just trying to play devil's advocate at the moment.

    ~AS1~
     
  11. Seaglass

    Seaglass Quantum Member
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    I don't usually come in here, but I got this exact same question when I was applying to Med school. I stuck to my guns.

    There was a comment made that you may have to put your personal beliefs aside and do something you are personally opposed to if it is in the best interest of the patient. In my opinion, that is exactly wrong. You never are obligated to do something you find morally irresponsible. Patient need does not trump your personal values. That said, if are going to go into a specialty that would require you to act contrary to your values (e.g. bankrobbery) you might want to rethink one or the other.

    The question is flawed. No one "needs" an abortion except in very rare circumstances where the health of the mother is in danger. Personally I don't have a problem with that, but I am opposed to elective abortion as a form of birth control. Also, you would never be the only doctor in a state who could perform abortions. Last, the patient is making a moral choice about an elective procedure - you are not medically obligated to comply.

    you already know my opinion from above about the first part. In my experience so far I have only encountered this situation once. There is a FP here who is Catholic and won't prescribe BC. Is she obligated to just because she is a doctor? No! One of her partners prescribes it when necessary. Your personal beliefs should SHAPE your practice, not be shaped by it (well I guess ideally there would be some give and take).

    A patient's health is in their own hands. If they decide to try to do it at home that's their own choice, I am not morally obligated to prevent them from making bad choices. I am obligated to make sure they are as informed about their choices as possible (which would include referral to someone who would do the procedure).

    No, I have met many people against abortion who do OB. They learn the procedure so they can use it in an appropriate medical situation, but do not do elective Ab's.

    C
     
  12. Adapt

    Adapt 2K Member
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    Thanks Cg for the response. It makes sense. Now I won't feel bad saying no to someone who wants an abortion from me.
     
  13. beastmaster

    beastmaster Senior Member
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    Hitler's mother seriously considered having an abortion but was talked out of it by her doctor.
     
  14. AlternateSome1

    AlternateSome1 Burnt Out
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    I was not asking about referrals because the hypothetical world introduced was one in which there were no other doctors which could help the patient obtain an abortion. I do believe that a patient's health is in their own hands up until the point where they request help that you have the ability to give. At that point it is a physician's responsibility to do all that they can. You won't be able to save the fetus one way or another, so why not help the mother? I believe this is the stance of programs which hand out clean needles to IV drug users. You might find the drug use reprehensible and morally irresponsible, but not giving out needles isn't going to stop drug use. Similarly, not handing out condoms to kids isn't going to prevent them from having sex. You can't control the behavior of the patients, but you should do what you can to help them.

    ~AS1~
     

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