A column in Stat points out the ways cultural gaps can thwart interviews for residencies and fellowships.

What I learned from shared stories is that when the interviewees shared similar backgrounds with their often white and male interviewers, the interview focused on their common bond. For interviewees without that shared background, interviewers often relied on assumptions about their gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, or religion.

For example, a white colleague shared this with me about her interviewer: “It turned out our grandparents went to the same high school.” Compare that with a Latina friend interested in basic science research who was asked by an interviewer why she did not want to help out “her” community instead. My friend’s ethnic background and the interviewer’s assumptions about how she should help Latino communities seemed to dictate what “should be” her career trajectory, rather than her demonstrated research experience and interest.

Get the whole story at www.statnews.com