Interview question: fair game or sexist/ momist?

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  • #140194
    G3PGY4G3PGY4
    Participant

    Is it inappropriate for an older male attending to ask (in a residency intv, in relation to you being a mother) if you’re going to be able to give 100% to the program? How would you answer that? If I don’t match there can I sue? I’m 53% kidding about suing. But it rubbed me the wrong way. Am I being over sensitive?

    #140196
    clee03mclee03m
    Participant

    No. That is total BS. Not over reacting.

    As far as suing, I don’t know. But that is sexist and illegal. Total BS. Makes me really angry and sick. And a little sad.

    #140198
    Baby EinsteinBaby Einstein
    Participant

    I had a jerk tell me “you can’t be a great mother and a great resident, you know that, right?”. Ranked… dead last.

    #140201
    lyn2006lyn2006
    Participant

    Yeah, I definitely remember leaving certain interviews with that feeling. I was pregnant while interviewing and there were a few people who went over the boundary of appropriate questioning. I just figured it told me a lot about the program and I wouldn’t want to go there anyways…

    #140203
    southernmdsouthernmd
    Participant

    I have had a lot of luck this season. At one prominent NE program, I talked about how I’ve made pumping work while being a mother (multitasking came up) and then the attending interviewing me started selling the program hard and talking about how the city was so kid-friendly. I have brought up being a mother at every single interview and talked about how important my family was to me. I listed “singing Elmo’s favorite songs” as something I did in my spare time to the chief resident interviewing me at another very prominent NE program.

    I haven’t had to discount any programs on the basis of being a mom yet. I hope I don’t have to, but I feel it is important to keep mentioning that we are moms. We are moms and we not only can do this, but are doing this …everywhere. I kind of made a pact with myself that I wouldn’t leave an interview without mentioning my son. That has also meant I’ve mentioned one of my favorite things to do in my spare time is go to playgrounds. 🙂

    Makes me angry you encountered this.

    #140205
    G3PGY4G3PGY4
    Participant

    I definitely talked about my family. Most people saw it as a positive or, at worst, neutral. Moms who intvd me told me about childcare options, schools, etc. some programs stressed (even devoting slides to it in the presentation) how family friendly they are. I really hope this was a one off thing because I love the program otherwise and had 5 other wonderful intvs there. I hope my answer didn’t toroedo me, because my primal mom instinct said something like “my children are more important to me than any patient. That being said, when I am here, I am here.” It honestly wasn’t much better than that. But it’s real.

    #140206
    annie501annie501
    Participant

    You are nicer than I am.
    I am almost positive that my real answer would have been, “do you not want me to come here? Why did you just say that to me?”

    Someone told me during one of my interviews that I wasn’t “interested in contributing to the field,” and just wanted to “mooch off of other people’s work” when I said I wasn’t interested in research. Some people will just use any excuse to be jerks, and sometimes something you say just hits someone else’s hot button. As long as it wasn’t the program director, I wouldn’t worry about it.

    #140207
    G3PGY4G3PGY4
    Participant

    Omg some people!

    #140208
    tr_tr_
    Participant

    Heh heh. Not related to motherhood, but on the topic of people being jerks: On one of my interviews the interviewer said (eyeing my application disdainfully – picture haughty Italian accent):

    “Well, [program director] says you are very good. Myself, I don’t see exactly what is so good, but he says this, so.” (shrugs)

    As lyn2006 said, don’t let it get to you – just consider it useful information for your rank list order.

    #140214
    southernmdsouthernmd
    Participant

    Do you think it is field-related? I am going into Anesthesia, and everyone – even at the “intense” programs – has been incredibly nice and supportive of family time.

    I definitely got the impression from some of my classmates that some fields i.e. surgery have been less than supportive of families on the interview trail this year.

    #140227
    G3PGY4G3PGY4
    Participant

    I think generally my field is pretty family friendly, so I believe it was a crotchety old dude comment. No more disrespect than he showed me 😉

    #140228
    asunshineasunshine
    Participant

    “That’s an interesting opinion. From my observations, it seems that nearly 100% of residents are of childbearing age, and it seems that many, if not most, reproduce before their residency or fellowship is over. I would like to point out that I have already started a family, and as you can see from my application, it has not been a detriment to my performance. I have a proven track record of responsibility, not only as a future physician, but as a parent.”

    Optional:

    “I’m surprised that there is such particular concern about a mother’s capability of meeting the demands of residency. This has given me a lot to think about regarding this program. Thank you.”

    That’s what I had in my back pocket in case something like that ever came up. To my utter surprise, I didn’t have a single negative comment about my motherhood in my interviews.

    FWIW, I had a very bad experience in med school–repeated, unwarranted negative comments about my motherhood from a faculty member in a specialty I was considering. I never reported it, and I regret it.

    Anyway, I guess my point is for every one of us who speaks up, there are 10 more people who don’t. Obviously one is in a vulnerable position when applying for residency (or trying to get a good grade); I wish there was a truly “safe” way to at least give feedback. Don’t you think the PD of that program would want to know what his interviewers are saying, Anon? I’d be mortified if I were the PD! (I also think the chair of said surgical subspecialty would have been mortified in my case as well.)

    #140233
    G3PGY4G3PGY4
    Participant

    That’s a good one asunshine. I think if I end up matching there I’ll raise the issue when it feels right.

    #140235
    G3PGY4G3PGY4
    Participant

    I think I looked at him like this

    https://headlikeanorange.tumblr.com/post/40371550049

    #140238
    clee03mclee03m
    Participant

    I think you can sue if you match at a less reputable program and can prove people at that program make less as a result for financial damage. Just saying…

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