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maenyt

McMaster interview... with a visible disability? Help.

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Hi everyone,

I just received an interview invite this morning for McMaster and am super excited, but also a bit nervous. My concern is that I have a very visible disability (I walk with a cane, it's due to a progressive genetic disorder so it's not a temporary thing). It's not as if I can just "forget the cane" for my interview: I guarantee I will look worse attempting to walk/stand/move around without it. I know if asked, I can provide a coherent, concise answer on how my disability does not limit me and has given me valuable insight into the experiences of those with disabilities and thus will help me be a better advocate for patients. I'm just worried it might be held against me, and am wondering if anyone who has interviewed before with a visible disability (I mean, I "look different" too but can't do nothin' about that :rolleyes:) or has other insight has handled interviews and the possibility of being discriminated against for a disability...

Thank you in advance! I really appreciate it.

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Thank you, I appreciate it! I would certainly hope so- from the looks of Mac's policies/etc. on their website they certainly look more supportive than my current undergrad school.

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Why would they discriminate against you? More likely it's going to help you out. It's a pretty unique experience having lived with a disability. Besides, schools these days are obsessed with diversity and representation. They salivate like dogs when they see disabled, Aboriginals, LGBTQ, etc people.

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I’ll definitely be rooting for you! Medicine is such an ableist profession because the system favours healthy individuals who can manage to pull off a stellar GPA on a full course load, while working on extra-curricular activities, and studying for the MCAT at the same time. The fact that you made it to the interview stage is a testament to your character and resilience! I know you’ll make an amazing doctor because your experiences will allow you to relate to your patients in ways most doctors can’t. Don’t fret about being discriminated against! Just be honest and be yourself and you’ll do great! Hope to hear some good news soon from your end!

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11 hours ago, Anon1213 said:

^this comment right here shows why GPA/MCAT/Casper don't tell you shit about a how good of a candidate for med someone is. Good luck on your interview bud.

Thank you for the luck! No idea how I did on Casper, but my MCAT/GPA helped me land an interview. Honestly, I kind of like the way McMaster chooses applicants for an interview: essay readers all have implicit biases and these might cause some otherwise very qualified and competent applicants to not get interviews at other schools.

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9 hours ago, TrustTheProcess21 said:

I’ll definitely be rooting for you! Medicine is such an ableist profession because the system favours healthy individuals who can manage to pull off a stellar GPA on a full course load, while working on extra-curricular activities, and studying for the MCAT at the same time. The fact that you made it to the interview stage is a testament to your character and resilience! I know you’ll make an amazing doctor because your experiences will allow you to relate to your patients in ways most doctors can’t. Don’t fret about being discriminated against! Just be honest and be yourself and you’ll do great! Hope to hear some good news soon from your end!

Thank you so much for your encouraging words! I'll keep you guys posted.

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13 hours ago, IMislove said:

If it doesn't interfere with this https://www.ouac.on.ca/omsas/omsas-essential/, then I do not seeing it harming you. These interview marks are based on what you say, do you look and act professional, but they can't be discriminatory. Good luck! You do you, and let luck and your performance on the MMI do the rest.

My disability absolutely does not interfere with OMSAS's essential abilities (though the phrase "motor movements" in reference to emergency situations is a bit ambiguous: I'm not going to be running anywhere in any ER any time soon but I don't think that's what they mean!). Thank you, and I really hope so too!

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20 minutes ago, maenyt said:

My disability absolutely does not interfere with OMSAS's essential abilities (though the phrase "motor movements" in reference to emergency situations is a bit ambiguous: I'm not going to be running anywhere in any ER any time soon but I don't think that's what they mean!). Thank you, and I really hope so too!

You should be fine as others have said as long as it again doesn't specifically block a required skill that cannot be compensated for in a reasonable way. There are many doctors that have various disabilities - some obvious - and as examples at the schools I have served as an interviewer they have specific training to make sure it doesn't become an issue. 

Only thing I would consider is if you have a mobility issue that might slow you down somewhat moving from various interview rooms then you may need to bring that up just so they are aware (significantly slower than walking speed I suppose?). One school I was at had an embarrassing event where the rooms had an annoying corner that blocked a wheelchair - we all felt pretty stupid having not set that up correctly (although 10 med students jumped on it to clear the way ha). We are trying to promote the school of course during interviews and want everyone to feel welcome.  

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2 hours ago, rmorelan said:

You should be fine as others have said as long as it again doesn't specifically block a required skill that cannot be compensated for in a reasonable way. There are many doctors that have various disabilities - some obvious - and as examples at the schools I have served as an interviewer they have specific training to make sure it doesn't become an issue. 

Only thing I would consider is if you have a mobility issue that might slow you down somewhat moving from various interview rooms then you may need to bring that up just so they are aware (significantly slower than walking speed I suppose?). One school I was at had an embarrassing event where the rooms had an annoying corner that blocked a wheelchair - we all felt pretty stupid having not set that up correctly (although 10 med students jumped on it to clear the way ha). We are trying to promote the school of course during interviews and want everyone to feel welcome.  

Oh man, that is embarrassing: it reminds me of my current undergraduate school, which is absolutely not as accessible as it claims to be (just one example, but salting only the stairs in the dead of winter? A student I know who uses a wheelchair was really struggling with that!). That's a good point, but if the rooms are reasonably close together I can't foresee there will be too much of an issue. I'm slower, yes, but I can't imagine it's significantly slower in a way that would actually hold anyone up. 

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7 hours ago, maenyt said:

Oh man, that is embarrassing: it reminds me of my current undergraduate school, which is absolutely not as accessible as it claims to be (just one example, but salting only the stairs in the dead of winter? A student I know who uses a wheelchair was really struggling with that!). That's a good point, but if the rooms are reasonably close together I can't foresee there will be too much of an issue. I'm slower, yes, but I can't imagine it's significantly slower in a way that would actually hold anyone up. 

You should be fine (I should only mention the reason I was talking about time to the rooms is the interviews run like clock work with exact timing - the school can easily accommodate  but you want to not just get to the next room but have the same amount of prep time to read whatever prompt you may have as anyone else - and not just you but the school would want you to have the same amount of time as well). 

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