More Medical School Admission Advice: Addressing the Diversity Puzzle (Real Questions from Real Readers)
December 6, 2007 | Leave a Comment
(Once again I dig deep into the archives to answer questions about the medical school admissions process-PB)
In order to take advantage of affirmative action, I lied about my race. Good move or not?
Plain Vanilla Pre-med
(Eating a Baloney Sandwich, on White Bread, With Mayonaise, somewhere in Minnesota)
I also lied about my race. I said I was black. At first my interviewers didn’t want to believe me because not only am I actually Greek but my ancestors are Macedonian Greeks, i.e. the Swiss of the Hellenic world.
So we went around and around. I’d give some proof, they’d refute it. I tried busting a rhyme, they cited Vanilla Ice. I railed against “the Man,” they yawned as every white liberal does this. I even tried a few break dance moves but despite my baggy pants, apparently MC Hammer sold out and is now considered a white man.
Finally, I dropped the big one. Let’s just say that they didn’t call him “Alexander the Great” for nothing.
But generally you need to leave this kind of thing alone unless you can produce the goods.
P. Bear, MD
No Moussaka, No Peace
Dear Uncle Panda,
During the admission interview I was trying to be conversational and asked my interviewer how their medical school reconciled their primary care rural setting with their research goals. As they also have a homogenous, rural population, I asked how they increase student’s exposure to diverse patient populations. My point was not to be intense or to show intellectual superiority but to ask about genuine issues that the school faces. I think I threw my interviewer for a loop because he ended the interview shortly thereafter. Were these not appropriate questions?
Trepidatious in Tacoma
Sweet smiling baby Jesus. I admit it. I must come from a different planet than a lot of you guys. Who actually thinks like that? Or cares about that kind of crap anyways? Diversity is a totally meaningless concept. I know it has become something of a growth industry and sucks hospital resources from important things like patient care and paying the residents a little more but if there is one thing you are going to learn, despite all of the “Sprit Catches You and You Fall Down,” the diversity seminars, the multi-cultural gestapo, and the linking of hands to sing Kumbayah, efforts to promote diversity only serve to drive a wedge between people, particularly Americans, who should be striving for a little more conformity.
(Ah…Sweet, sweet conformity. What a great society it would be if we all stopped whining about our past and looked to the future. A society where we could put away the emphasis on our differences and strive to live like Americans, embodying as this does our best traits as a people which include enterprise, courage, self-reliance, generosity, and an abhorrence of being perceived by our fellow citizens as a whiner.)
Come on. ‘fess up. If they offer you a spot you’ll still have the freshly opened acceptance envelope in your sweaty hands when you call and say, “Thank you, I will certainly come.” All of that crap you mention above (and it is meaningless, irrelevant crap) won’t matter a bit.
I weep for the youth of today. When I was in my early twenties I did normal things like chase girls, drink too much, and get in minor scrapes here and there. Somebody please tell your Uncle Panda that you kids still know how to do these kinds of things.
P. Bear, MD
Dear Dr. Bear,
I secured an interview at a prestigious Eastern medical school and everything was going fine at the interviews until my interviewer asked me if I had any questions. Now, to be honest, they had done a pretty good job during the tour answering our questions. To be even more honest I really want to attend this school and would accept admission there even if a pre-requisite was having a nest of rabid weasels lighted on fire and packed in my ass. I’m afraid I blurted out the first thing that came to mind which was, “What qualities are important for your graduates to possess?”
Did I blow it?
Depressed in Dallas
Man. Must everyone be a tool all the time. How do you expect them to answer that?
“Gee, buddy, if we can get them to stop yelling racial epithets and molesting the patients by the time they graduate we put ‘em in the ‘win’ column.”
I repeat, it is not necessary to be a tool all the time. It’s all right to make small talk and perfectly acceptable to ask, “So, how’s the nightlife around here?”
I think you blew your shot at that medical school. Sorry.
P. Bear, MD
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