Diversity and Inclusion in Medical Schools: The Reality

More students are coming from marginalized groups, but when they arrive they’re often told to hide what makes them different

Patrick Thompson worked his entire life to be a surgeon. He started training his hands to tie surgical knots in middle school, and by high school, the smell and sounds of the operating room already felt familiar. He published research on bone regeneration at age 18. Thompson had a dream, and he had drive. He was determined to do whatever it took to call the hospital his home.

Patrick entered medical school enchanted by the field of orthopedics. But after a few months, he felt his interests pulling him towards gynecologic surgeries. When he brought up his dilemma to a supervising physician, he was quickly shut down. “You really shouldn’t tell people you’re interested in ob-gyn,” the chief resident warned. “They’ll think you’re gay.”

Patrick was shocked. But as he opened his mouth to respond, he remembered earlier that morning another physician had told him to be careful—making one wrong comment to a doctor could guarantee he would be barred from the program come residency application season. He bit his tongue. Read more…

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