larger ladies?

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    I’m a medical school applicant and at 5 foot 5 weigh 236lbs. I’m wondering how much of an issue my weight is in the application process? What happens when I get in? Are there any other larger ladies out there who can share their experiences?

    I’m feeling lonely and in need of a :grouphug:


    The bad news is, of all the many many medschool students I’ve seen and met (at 12 different med schools), none were really heavy. A small few were perhaps a bit on the chubby side, but none had what I would call real wieght problem.

    The good news is… that doesn’t necessarily mean that admissions commitiees reject people based on wieght. With all of thier anti-discrimitory policies, I can’t imagine they would openly discriminate against heavier applicants.

    When are you applying? If you’re sending the AMCAS this summer… then you have at least 8 months to try to lose weight. If you’ve already applied, well there’s no much you can do know… just hope for the best. Usually in interviews they ask you what one of your weaknesses are… or if there’s one thing you could change about yourself what would it be… maybe you could talk about it there.


    Okay, no way! Maybe that is why i am having a hard time getting in. why is weight a factor?


    Hard to believe but it’s true. In fact, after awhile, I actually started LOOKING for heavier med school students. I just couldn’t find any. I was worried myself b/c I got a little cubby over the summer (husband kept taking me out to eat… so I’m going to blame it on him :blush: ) but then I lost the wieght as fast as I could (in ~3 months)… in time for my later interviews. It may be just a coincidence, but I didn’t get in (waitlisted) at my 3 earliest interviews (when I was still a bit chubby). Still waiting to hear from the later ones…

    Unfortunately, I think med schools might discriminate. As unfair as it might be… I’ve asked a few people about it… and most pre-med believe that med schools look down on wieght because they see heavy doctors as being hypocritical. They want a doctor that “practices what they preach.” I’m not saying I agree with this (I know a very good OBGYN doctor who was very heavy)… but apparently that’s what a lot of medical schools think these days.


    there should not be any discrimination

    I have know several overweight physicians

    what can be a problem is getting patients to do what you say (ie maintain a healthy weight) if they see their physician not doing the same that they recommend.

    Last Updated: 2003-01-06 16:18:45 -0400 (Reuters Health)

    By Charnicia E. Huggins

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Patients are less likely to follow the treatment recommendations of obese rather than non-obese physicians, according to new study findings.

    “For some patients, the perceived health status and health behavior of the physician may be a factor in the readiness to accept advice and or counseling,” lead author Dr. Robert B. Hash, from Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia, told Reuters Health.

    Previous reports have found that physicians who practice a particular health behavior are more likely to counsel their patients about that health behavior. Other reports have found that physicians who try to improve their own health habits are more likely to advise their patients about general health habits.

    Few studies, however, have looked at whether a physician’s own health status–obese versus nonobese–affects patients’ perceptions of his or her healthcare advice.

    To investigate, Dr. Hash and colleagues surveyed 226 patients from five physicians’ offices in Georgia. Two male physicians were classified as obese, with weights of 125 kg and 102 kg. The remaining three physicians–one man and two women–were not obese.

    Overall, patients said they were more receptive to treatment advice from non-obese physicians than from obese physicians, the researchers report in the January issue of Preventive Medicine.

    This may be because patients looking at a trim, fit physicians are more likely to think, “This person appears to know what he’s talking about,” Dr. Hash said.

    Yet, for reasons unknown, the patients were equally receptive to advice from all five physicians about general weight control and fitness, the report indicates.

    In general, among obese physicians, “the ‘do as I say’ mentality is possibly at work,” Dr. Hash said. “But…practicing positive health behaviors is much harder than talking about them.”

    Since the study was conducted in Georgia, where more than 60% of the adult population is overweight or obese, it is not known if the findings would apply to other states, Dr. Hash noted.

    Prev Med 2003;36:41-44. [/i]


    It’s not an issue for me, but I resent the :scratchchin: If you want to lose weight before your interviews, that’s a personal choice. When you go, be the smart, confident, capable person that you are. If the adcoms are impressed with you as an applicant, your dress size shouldn’t be an issue.

    I’ll get off my soapbox now! :boxedin:



    I almost forgot in my tirade there…



    thank you for your comments. Unfortunately my entire life has been a battle with weight and diets. I’d love to lose weight, may be I could lose 10 or 12lbs by interview time, but this is not my goal. I’ve already had one interview, so this issue is now. I really appreciate your comments and I will let you know what happens. :scratchchin:


    I would not bring attention to your weight in your interview… what does that have to do with being a smart, caring doctor. Emphasize that you have a lot of energy, enthusiasm, perserverence etc. weakness…. sometimes too compulisive and perfectionistic are always good weaknesses that are also considered a positive…plenty of big male docs… they don’t apologize for who they are..


    Hi everyone I too have struggled with weight all my life my higest was 205 pounds 5 foot 7. when I discovered that med schools tend to discriminate against the heavier people of society I decided then and there what I really wanted:food and depression or becoming my dream job, a doctor I picked my dream job and right there begun on my path to self discovery. I first lost 10 pounds my first month then 15 my second I was so pleased, and then I only lost 4 my third and fourth! On my 5th and 6th month I lost a total of 15 bringing me down to about 160 I still looked heavy though I felt healthier. Over the next 3 and a half monthes I lost 20 pounds I am now about 142 I still have 12 more to go to reach my goal and I know you can do it curvymama what did i do? I did an exercize video called Taebo 2 times a day totalling an hour after a few monthes I added more things like crunches weight training swimming, bike riding. If you put your mind to it im sure you’ll beable to lose more then 10 or 20 pounds in eight monthes it’d be more like 30-50 pounds ….maybe even more i wish you the best of luck there’s no point of getting angry at med schools because theres nothing we can really do but change ourselves! But hey im sure your perfect just the way you are! 😀 so good luck!


    Weight has been an issue with me since my first pregnancy. I do believe that being overweight presents problems. Whether it is PC or not, being overweight is still looked at as simply being ‘weak’ and not ‘in control’.

    I’ve been working hard at losing the weight (I’m down 20 pounds and counting) and I’ve noticed a significant difference already in how I’m being treated. Maybe it is just that I am becoming more confident…and maybe it is that others see me as being more ‘in control’ now or more attractive? I don’t know…

    I did see a tv show about obesity once where they were testing the response of average people to pictures of individuals on a screen. The subjects were shown pictures of real, white, fat, thin…etc and were then asked to try and match the person to their real life profession. The overweight woman was actually a physician…but not one person guessed it.

    Sad but true.



    Weight is an issue. I think it will be something that I will have to watch forever. Because I love food. I think a lot of us love food.

    The only way to lose the weight is to start with the underlying issue. We have to love ourselves more than that hamburger, taco, greasy french fries, etc. Even though they taste sooo good, they aren’t doing us any favors. These are the things that I had to come to terms with when I started my weight loss journey. I started 6 months ago.

    I am on the slim-fast diet. I exercise 4 times a week and I do resistance training. As of today, I have lost 28 pounds. I still have 29 pounds to go. I would love to help anyone that wants to lose weight. I feel so good about the weight that I have lost.

    Dear curvymama: I think you are so awesome to get through school and to have such high goals of becoming a doctor. You just have to remember that when you go into those interviews. Think positive thoughts about yourself when you go to those interviews, and your inner beauty will shine through.

    I made an observation tonight from watching t.v. I noticed that if a person is overweight that is a stand-up comedian, their weight stands out when they first get on stage, but right after they start talking and making jokes, their weight disappears.

    Just go in with confidence.

    Take care,


    I’m overweight and I got accepted to medical school just fine. There are several overweight people in my class, too. Don’t even worry about it.



    I second that, Elise!

    curvymama, I posted the same question on a forum at I was REALLY worried since I am 5’4″ and weigh 320lbs (338lbs at the time of my post). The answer came in a picture and the same answer Theresa gave: When you go, be the smart, confident, capable person that you are. If the adcoms are impressed with you as an applicant, your dress size shouldn’t be an issue.
    There are quite a few overweight med school students and residents who are intelligent, articulate and have much more going for them than their clothes size.
    I am working on my weight because it is MY issue. I want to walk into that med school interview in 2005 feeling confident and not wanting to cover up my belly. If I don’t lose the weight, I know that my track record will prove that I’m more than qualified to be a student there.
    The best advice I got was not to worry about the actual weight but just to work on being healthy. Get exercise because it is good for your brain! Everything else will fall into place.
    By the way, I lost the 18 lbs by walking and getting out more with my kids playing.
    Don’t let your weight stop you from your goals!


    Beckie, while it is good to be willing to help, remember that all larger women do not have an overeating problem. i know that it sounds weird but i have been large all of my life and the only time i was able to lose weight was when i starved myself when i was 15. I found out when i went through an bout of infertility before i had my son (he’ll be a year in feb) that i have a hormonal condition and even while finding this out there are supposed to be medications and diets that will help, i am working on this and have not lost weight yet. i work out 3-4 times a week too. so what works for one person will not always work for another. heck I’m even on xenical and haven’t seen a weight loss yet. it’s only been a little over a week though.
    With regards to med schools, i would hope that they wouldn’t reject me just because I have a medical condition but i guess you never know why they reject you.

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