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Hey everyone,

Thanks for your replies and different perspectives! I understand that they aren't acting in a discriminatory way, rather, they just have very strict scheduling that applies to everyone, no exceptions. I wanted to express that I made my comment out of frustration, because I felt like wow this is so amazing that they are offering me an interview, but it is also very hard for me to attend for my religious reasons... and like the rest of you this is something I've always dreamed about, so it was quite a bummer to get that news. I actually was making the comment almost facetiously and definitely didn't intend to make a charged comment (however, I understand if it came out that way and I could have been more careful).

I would like to inform you guys a bit about the situation just to ensure there is no confusion. It would be quite difficult for me to attend the interview because I observe the Sabbath, which has strict guidelines about what one can and cannot do on Saturday (e.g. using electronic devices, writing, driving etc. is not permissible on the Sabbath). It is not just services that I would be missing, it is much more complex than that! I agree that this may not be "discrimination", but it is definitely preventing me from having equal access to an opportunity (or at least making it much harder for me to have that same level of access). 

I do think that, like McMaster, med schools could be a bit more sensitive to the fact that both Saturdays and Sundays are religious days for some people and/or that people might have other long-standing commitments well in advance of being informed of an interview. Maybe (just a suggestion) they could act pre-emptively and ask the entire pool of applicants if for some reason they cannot make a certain interview date for legitimate reasons and then plan accordingly (like Mac does). I just think this demonstrates respect for all applicants with legitimate limitations. 

This would definitely make for an interesting MMI station :P

Goodluck to everyone, I appreciate the comments, and I'm sorry if other people are having scheduling difficulty as well!

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1 hour ago, yuwu said:

Hey everyone,

Thanks for your replies and different perspectives! I understand that they aren't acting in a discriminatory way, rather, they just have very strict scheduling that applies to everyone, no exceptions. I wanted to express that I made my comment out of frustration, because I felt like wow this is so amazing that they are offering me an interview, but it is also very hard for me to attend for my religious reasons... and like the rest of you this is something I've always dreamed about, so it was quite a bummer to get that news. I actually was making the comment almost facetiously and definitely didn't intend to make a charged comment (however, I understand if it came out that way and I could have been more careful).

I would like to inform you guys a bit about the situation just to ensure there is no confusion. It would be quite difficult for me to attend the interview because I observe the Sabbath, which has strict guidelines about what one can and cannot do on Saturday (e.g. using electronic devices, writing, driving etc. is not permissible on the Sabbath). It is not just services that I would be missing, it is much more complex than that! I agree that this may not be "discrimination", but it is definitely preventing me from having equal access to an opportunity (or at least making it much harder for me to have that same level of access). 

I do think that, like McMaster, med schools could be a bit more sensitive to the fact that both Saturdays and Sundays are religious days for some people and/or that people might have other long-standing commitments well in advance of being informed of an interview. Maybe (just a suggestion) they could act pre-emptively and ask the entire pool of applicants if for some reason they cannot make a certain interview date for legitimate reasons and then plan accordingly (like Mac does). I just think this demonstrates respect for all applicants with legitimate limitations. 

This would definitely make for an interesting MMI station :P

Goodluck to everyone, I appreciate the comments, and I'm sorry if other people are having scheduling difficulty as well!

how are you going to do call on saturdays?

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8 hours ago, yuwu said:

I do think that, like McMaster, med schools could be a bit more sensitive to the fact that both Saturdays and Sundays are religious days for some people and/or that people might have other long-standing commitments well in advance of being informed of an interview. Maybe (just a suggestion) they could act pre-emptively and ask the entire pool of applicants if for some reason they cannot make a certain interview date for legitimate reasons and then plan accordingly (like Mac does). I just think this demonstrates respect for all applicants with legitimate limitations. 

You've been criticized a lot in this thread and your response was thoughtful, so I commend you for that. I actually agree with you that you are facing a challenge that is indeed preventing you from having equal access to opportunity. I am disappointed that this is being portrayed in some comments as less of an issue of inequality because it is based on faith. I imagine patients who strictly observe the Sabbath are also facing barriers within the healthcare system due to the restrictions you have posted above (thank you for sharing that btw, as I don't really know much about the Sabbath). I also agree it would be nice if schools could provide some accommodations around this. That being said, this barrier is only going to get more problematic as you move forward in medical training, at least if you are training in the system as it exists now. 

This has obviously been put forward by others already, but I think it's VERY important for you to carefully consider this issue before attending your interviews: Medicine REQUIRES Saturday and Sunday call from students in a vast majority of programs and, as you have seen, programs have differing amounts of flexibility. It's not every Saturday, but if you strictly observe the Sabbath then it's enough that it's going to be a pretty big challenge for you. If you can get an accommodation through medical school, you may also have trouble with this in residency as most residency programs also require weekend call (even FM residents here get weekend call). At least in my program there is almost no way you could get out of doing at least some weekend call (it's specifically written in our requirements that X amount of call must be on weekend days and not weekday days).

This isn't intended to stomp all over your medical school goals. There are obviously physicians of every faith practicing today and some very well may strictly observe the Sabbath. It might be valuable to start reaching out and try to find some of those physicians to talk to them about how they are balancing their religious obligations with medical practice. This is a solution you will want to find BEFORE you shell out a whole bunch of money and time into training only to get derailed at the clerkship or residency level. I hope there is a way around this, and I'm sorry you will have to do much more work than the average student to find a way to stay true to your faith during your training, but I truly wish you the best in doing so. 

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9 hours ago, yuwu said:

I do think that, like McMaster, med schools could be a bit more sensitive to the fact that both Saturdays and Sundays are religious days for some people and/or that people might have other long-standing commitments well in advance of being informed of an interview.

The main issue is that the school is full of students during weekdays, so they wouldn't have the space to run MMIs then, since the rooms they'd need for the MMIs are being used for teaching. That plus the fact that they have to organize hundreds of volunteers and dozens of paid actors makes it difficult to be as accommodating. I hope you're able to attend your interview, good luck!

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15 hours ago, yuwu said:

I do think that, like McMaster, med schools could be a bit more sensitive to the fact that both Saturdays and Sundays are religious days for some people and/or that people might have other long-standing commitments well in advance of being informed of an interview.

6 hours ago, Persephone said:

The main issue is that the school is full of students during weekdays, so they wouldn't have the space to run MMIs then, since the rooms they'd need for the MMIs are being used for teaching. That plus the fact that they have to organize hundreds of volunteers and dozens of paid actors makes it difficult to be as accommodating.

Not to mention that you then run into the issue of applicants currently in school having midterms or other exams during weekday interviews, which I personally think would be a far more widespread problem. The way interviews are currently run at Queen's just would not work on a weekday, since first years organize the interview weekends apart from the actual interviewing/MMI. This year's first interview weekend falls right in between our three final exams. You can't just cancel an entire five days of classes for students to do weekday interviews when the schedule is already pretty tight.

The entirety of medicine requires individuals to make personal sacrifices. Sometimes it just sucks that the timing happens on a certain day as something else that is very important (e.g. a doctor I worked with in the past missed the birth of his own child and his sibling's wedding because of being on-call/patient deteriorating rapidly), but that's the system you need to consider if you're planning to enter it. I would definitely talk to current clerks, residents and staff who also observe the Sabbath before you make the decision to pursue medicine should you be accepted down the road. While it seems people at other schools have been able to make it work most of the time (again, most, not all), keep in mind that Queen's has a much smaller class size (100 compared to Mac's 206) and therefore fewer clerks to switch with and also fewer clerks to schedule in the first place. If your religion is so important to you (nothing wrong with that, it's a personal opinion), then maybe it's worth considering if the career you think you want to pursue is compatible with what you believe in. (I think that all comes down to personal opinion again - how flexible you want to be with your faith and how much you believe medicine is compatible with your religious practices.)

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