Are pregnant applicants to medical school seen differently? Are there any mechanisms to protect their chances for acceptance?
The questions on this podcast directly are pulled out from Nontrad Premed Forum. If you haven’t yet, join a community of like-minded students and get your questions ready for discussion!
Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.
[00:50] OldPreMeds Question of the Week
“I will be 30 when I apply to medical schools next year. I already have one son, who is 15 months, and my husband and I are planning on trying to have another before I enter medical school (hopefully in fall 2020).
We want to have a second child in Jan-April 2020, so that by the time I start, the baby will be hopefully sleeping through the night (or close to it), have some of the important vaccinations to better protect him or her in daycare, etc.
My husband has a flexible work schedule and will be the primary caregiver for our kiddos and I will only be applying to medical schools in locations where we have family or friends because we will need a strong support system.
If all goes well and as planned, this may mean that I am visibly pregnant during medical school interviews.
Does anyone know how that may affect me?
I don’t think schools can technically discriminate against pregnant women, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t or that a pregnant person may be regarded as less likely to be successful in medical school because she will have a young infant. Thoughts? Experiences? Thank you!”
[Related episode: USMLE and COMLEX Prep: 26 y/o Pregnant Immigrant]
[02:01] Is There Any Bias on Pregnant Women?
Students ask a lot about disabilities and mental health concerns in their personal statement anywhere in their application. And during the interview, what does being pregnant have to do to the perception of who you are as a student, and more importantly, your ability to complete medical school in four years?'Medical schools want you to complete medical school in four years.'Click To Tweet
If you are pregnant during your interviews, some schools may question your ability to be a medical student. That’s human nature.
There are going to those sorts of negative biases out there. Talking to a lot of people in this process, a lot of the negative bias actually comes from other women – surprisingly. And this especially comes from women who don’t have kids yet.
There are other people within this spectrum who are going to question your abilities. But on the flip side, you will also have people who think of you as being responsible. They would even thank you for having your baby before you start medical school, and not during medical school when you’re going to have to take time off. This actually shows some maturity, planning ability, and some organization. This is an amazing plan.
Understand there may be people out there who are going to judge you. There are maybe going to be some biases out there that may prevent you from getting into a medical school – but not all medical schools.'At the end of the day, you have to be you and live your life.'Click To Tweet
[Related episode: Premed Q&A: Pregnancy, Canadian Students, and Much More]
[04:38] Final Thoughts
I’m actually getting a lot of questions concerning things like having a baby or moving to a specific part of the country, and other lifestyle questions. Almost always, my answer comes down to – you do you.
Live your life. You can’t be concerned about what the perception will be from the medical schools.
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