MD Program Admissions

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Session for Interviewees – Jan 25th, 12:30, Libin Theatre

January 22nd, 2018 by Dr Ian Walker

I will be hosting a brief presentation for interviewees (present, and if you wish, future) this Thursday 12:30-1:30.  I will be talking about the format of the interview experience and a bit about the format so that interviewees have some idea of what is coming.  There will be time for questions as well.  Hope to see a few of you there.  The whole session will be recorded and posted on our website within a week or two, however, so don’t panic if you can’t make it.

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18 responses so far ↓

  • Is the MMI still scored based on two rubrics, each out of 10, for a total score of 20 on each MMI station? I remember reading somewhere that one rubric is in place to grade content of response, and one allows the interviewer to gauge an overall impression.

  • Hi Dr. Walker,

    Thanks for the info session! I just wanted to double check: are we allowed to bring the sheet of paper we write on outside the MMI room into the MMI room to look at for reference when we talk to the interviewer? Thank you!

  • Please where can we find the link to this presentation?

  • Hey Taylor! As someone who has attended U of C med (I won’t reveal when in order to maintain the privacy of those in the CSM’s transgender community), I can tell you that there have been folks who have transitioned while medical students at U of C. Hope that gives you some peace of mind!

  • Dear Dr. Walker, it took me a while to gather the courage to ask this question, and sought advice from people outside the admissions process but want to hear your take on it. I’m interviewing at the CSM and listened to your MMI podcast and you pointed general pointers about appearance. I recently started the process of gender transitioning from male to female and am gaining confidence in dressing up as my gender identity in public. However, I asked around medical students and residents, a few physicians whether I should a) not disclose this (and I did not in my application) and b) dress in a suit like most male applicants. Some of them, from the LGBTQ community said medical schools should not have a problem with it. But most of them Informed me that a) they do not know anybody in the history of their tenure in medical school who transitioned while a medical student in a public way and b) it is a very high stake interview and I would not know how interviewers, fellow interviewees and medical school staff would react and best to play it safe. There’s no other forum where I feel I can ask this question safely but if you have any advice, I would love to hear it as it is causing me anxiety as I prepare for interviews.

    • That’s very bold of you, Taylor. I am an openly gay man and I am also interviewing but your situation is very different. UofA has a very strong LGBTQ group of medical students who advocate for our communities, I assume you applied to UofA as well. Ask them:

      I have not directly come across any trans med students or residents As well. But there is a growing number of trans physicians. But I’d imagine that if you transition during medical school this will send a very positive signal to trans youth who suffer unnecessarily from mental health issues among other things. That will be groundbreaking for the LGBTQ community.

      Would also be great to have a trans physician who can augment the needs of trans people in Cowtown as I’m sure you know there’s only one psychiatrist for you here and accirding to my trans friends the waitlist to see him takes forever.

      Best of luck and I hope we both get in the same school and be classmates. You can teach us many things that can inform how we care for this population

    • Hi Taylor,

      The poster presentation that won the Advocacy Symposium this year was by a student who is currently working to bring more information and training on transgender healthcare into the med curriculum. It was a really interesting project to hear about and the student behind it is a passionate advocate. There is definitely a recognized need within the student body and faculty for more education on providing safe, accessible and informed healthcare to members of the transgender community (many of whom have been denied this basic right for far too long).

      The attitudes are changing in medicine across the country (though frustratingly slowly) and I think you will see more LGBTQ+ inclusive medical education initiatives in the coming years. I hope regardless of your decision on your attire that you find U of C a place where you feel welcome on interview day.

      I’m sorry I don’t have anything to say as to your specific question, but I want to leave that question to those who have more insight.

      • Thank you for all the kind, intelligent and informative comments you all shared here. I’m definitely less anxious and more excited to go through the interview process. Sounds like CSM is a welcoming, progressive and proactive on LGBTQ2+ health issues.

    • Great discussion. Probably the most interesting question anyone has posed in the history of this blog. Also very tough to answer, particularly from the advice standpoint. Hard to give advice without really understanding your personal situation and circumstances. That said, I think a few things are worth saying or acknowledging. First, I think it is very safe to say that the medical school at the U of C (and I strongly suspect the same is true at all Canadian medical schools) would strive to make your experience a welcoming and safe one. Certainly we have an active LGBQT+ community of students and faculty who have a noticeable presence and integrate within the class and the CSM leadership well. Second, we actually have had a medical student transition from male to female during the course of her studies. I have been a bit slow to respond because I wanted to touch base with her to see how comfortable she was with me making that public acknowledgement. Of course we may well have had other transgender students over the years who simply chose not to self-identify as is their perogative.
      The advice part is hard, and I am going to put on my cynical-realist persona here for a minute. Although we clearly instruct our interviewers on the imperative that things like religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, etc… do not play a role in our selection processes and I am confident that they are uniformly on board with that view, the literature on interviewing clearly tells us that ALL interviewers bring to the interaction some level of implicit or unconscious bias and there can be little doubt that it affects their assessments. They will try to guard against it, but it is there. One of the values of a multiple assessments format is that those biases get diffused over many different individuals and thus many different sets of bias. So, what does one do with that recognition? While certainly we have had medical students admitted while making no bones about their minority sexual orientation or gender identity, I don’t think it follows that there have not been others for whom these issues did not create obstacles. We just don’t know.
      I guess at the end of the day, there are four possible outcomes based on which gender you chose to present as, and whether you ultimately get in or not. If you present as a man, and don’t get in, then you probably just did not get in. If you present as a woman, and get accepted, then everyone is happy. Its the other two possibilities that I would encourage you to think about. If you present as a man, and you get accepted, how will you feel about that? Will you regret the decision? Similarly, if you present as a woman and don’t get in, will you have regrets and second guess that decision? These are questions that really only you can answer, so I am afraid I am not really in a position to advise you. I hope that my reflections on the issue are in some way helpful to you however.
      Lastly, our student who has transitioned indicated that she would be more than happy to talk to you about her experience, and may be in a better position than me to offer advice. If you would like to connect with her, I would need you to connect with me directly so that I can give her your contact information. I hope you can trust that the attendant self-disclosure to me will have zero impact on your application outcome, but for obvious reasons I cannot provide you with her contact information on a public forum.
      Let me know if we can be of any further assistance.

    • When I read your comment my mind was drawn to one consideration that hasn’t been addressed yet.

      The MMI is incredibly stressful, and the best way to do well (In my opinion) is to stay true to who you are, and to demonstrate that consistently. My question to you is, which gender presentation will provide you with the tools you need to present yourself (besides gender presentation) as consistent and most closely to who you are? What I mean more precisely is, if you present as male will that allow you enough personal comfort to otherwise present yourself honestly or will you distract yourself by feeling dishonest to yourself in the interview? Conversely if you present as female will you be distracted by wondering how you are being perceived, and whether you are being judged, or will you feel more comfortable and more likely to have an otherwise (gender independent) presentation of yourself.

      I say this because how ever you choose to present yourself as that day (and you should know what ever you choose is OKAY) it should be the person that you can connect with most easily where you will have the easiest time attending to the task at hand, with the least intrusions into the process otherwise. Good luck in this decision, it must be incredibly difficult for you to make. Congratulations on the interview invite!

  • Hi Dr. Walker, where will this session take place?