My Personality (And Gender) Were “Liabilities” In Ortho

“I came into medical school not knowing exactly what I waned to do but knowing that I loved medicine and wanted to have absolutely every option open to me. And so I did everything possible to get make that happen. I sat in the front row of every class, was asking questions between every lecture.  244 & 260 on Step 1 & 2 and a 3.9 GPA, AOA, yadayada. In january of my 3rd year I realized that ortho was what I wanted – I’d loved anatomy, coached gymnastics for years, and luckily I had already been involved in some ortho research earlier in med school. I was already a strong candidate, but I still applied the same level of intensity to the specific path. During this time my relationship with my boyfriend of four years was starting to do really well and I was excited about him proposing soon, but I buckled down and took every externship i could during 4th year. I put in 100 hrs/wk at one site, which of course took things with him in the opposite direction. I sent out 58 applications, and got 9 interviews. I spent the summer between 3rd and 4th year doing more ortho research.

And I didn’t match.  I had to scramble into radiology.

Luckily, my boyfriend (now husband) was super patient and supportive and we got our relationship back on track (he proposed!)

I’m ‘sweet’, positive, ‘smiley’ and just a generally friendly woman. And the biggest frustration about the whole process was not that I lost – I can take losing in a fair ‘fight’ against someone that is just flat out better/more qualified than I am. But in this case I felt like my personality – which is FINE, thank you very much – was my biggest liability.  Like you can only do ortho if you are a man (85% are) and not too happy all the time”