Monday, February 6, 2012

MiM Mailbag: Interviewing pregnant

MiM,

I am a fan of the blog and have been scouring looking for advice from anyone who has interviewed obviously pregnant for residency positions. I am down to Psych vs. Peds probably Peds, but was wondering if anyone had any advice on this one.  I would not want a non-family friendly program but at the same time don't want to end up scrambling because no one in their right mind considers a pregnant interviewee? 
 
Thanks! 

12 comments:

  1. If you're far enough along to look pregnant I'm assuming you will have already had your baby by the time intern year starts? I don't have personal experience but I know two people who interviewed visibly pregnant - one in Psych who matched her top choice and another who matched in surgery. B

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  2. It sounds like something to worry about, but it turns out it does not matter. I was visibly pregnant when interviewing for radiology programs and still matched at my #1 choice. It is amazing how supportive programs are of women having children!

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  3. Looking at this from the other side of the desk, I have done numerous interviews and hired (or not) physicians for my practice. The pregnancy isn't the issue if you are otherwise desirable. Your work ethic however, is super important. And babies don't get sick on schedule. So you have to be up front about the pregnancy, about your child care plans (even though the interviewer is not allowed to ask)and reassure them that you have thought things out as precisely as one can, with child care and back up and back up to the back up.
    And don't do anything stupid. I had one pregnant physician pat her abdomen and talk to the baby during the interview!

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  4. I interview 10 to 20 candidates for pediatrics residency every year and there are 3 or 4 women every year that are visibly pregnant. It really is a non-issue. It is illegal to ask interviewees about their plans for the baby etc. It does occasionally come up when candidates ask about the pictures of my kids on my desk, but for the ones that don't ask, the topic is not even discussed and that's okay. It's up to you if you want to bring it up, but if you do, make sure you have a reasonable plan and sound confident about it--family in the area, nanny etc. You can use it to your advantage as well, e.g. "It would be great to match here because my mom lives nearby."

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  5. I really love this blog. It fills a niche that no other blog I read does. It addresses issues I havent even thought of yet as a female pre-med with dreams of med school and concurrent childbearing. Thanks for all the awesome insights.

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  6. I do a lot of interviewing as well and agree with the above comments. Choose the field you will most enjoy, not what you think will be most " ok" with a pregnancy. On the upside, you will have likely delivered and (maybe?) finished maternity leave by July 1, so at least the program does not need to be concerned with you needing to take off 2 months your intern year.

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  7. Generally speaking, we look to see that you have an understanding of the challenges that being a resident entails, and whether you have and will have the drive, support, and commitment (to learning, to caring for patients) that you need to succeed and thrive during residency, but that would be with or without your visibly pregnant status. That you are pregnant should/will not be a factor in a pediatric residency program's decision-making.
    Be well and be who you are! Find that balance though... that you are not a pregnant applicant on the interview trail, but rather an applicant, stellar as you are (let's hope!), who is pregnant.

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  8. I don't think it will be an issue in either specialty. I interviewed quite pregnant (6 or 7 months) for family medicine, and got accepted at my first choice residency. Before I went to interview, I asked the family med program director at my med school (where I was not applying) whether I should "warn" the program in advance, and he said no, it happens all the time, they didn't need to know beforehand. During my interviews, the docs were always very relieved when I mentioned the pregnancy, because then they could ask how the baby and I were doing, pass along info about daycare and kids activities in the area, etc.. I'd anticipate peds being very similar!
    I did freak out at the last minute and buy nicer maternity interview clothes, which was probably overkill.
    Good luck with interviews and pregnancy both!

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  9. I am currently in the 2012 Match... I interviewed in peds visibly pregnant (delivered at the end of Jan) and have a toddler. I found most programs went out of their way to talk about being family friendly, mention daycares or schools in the area. I unfortunately had one inappropriate interview and have chosen not to rank that program. I don't know how the Match will turn out but I found most programs to be wonderful and understanding (offer bathroom breaks etc...). The one thing I would remember is that you never know how a pregnancy will go (bed rest, preterm delivery etc...)... having a family is a choice and you need to be ready to accept that even the most perfect plan may need some modifications! I love being a mom and I am looking forward to my residency training... I don't know that I will ever achieve the perfect balance but I am enjoying the journey.

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  10. Can someone give me advice on where to get really nice quality maternity clothes for interview? I'm willing to spend money - but I find everything is poor quality, cheaply made, or kind of tacky. I don't need to be a fashion queen but I do want a nicely made suit/outfit. Thanks! Lisa

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    1. Depends what you want to spend- I liked Pea in a pod (i'm from LA, though, so there is one nearby) but there is an online site also ... I interviewed for med school 5 months pregnant- I just bought a regular suit just 2 sizes up and a flowy-style shirt, not tucked in, and no one could tell I was pregnant.

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    2. I've never tried it, but I heard about some online maternity rental websites that rent out maternity suits, special occasion dresses, etc. (www.minefornine.com). It seems like a brilliant idea.

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