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I have a friend who is considering applying to medical school. We were talking about some of the challenges he would have going to school. He has 4 young children and a spouse who has stage IV cancer.

Like me, he is interested in studying hematology/oncology. Does anyone, who has any experience with admissions, think he has a prayer of getting accepted provided he has competitive grades and MCAT scores?
 

DrMidlife

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Med schools will only know about the family if they're told about it.

If this guy's thinking he'll start the process now, then he's a douchebag with an escapist fantasy.

If he's got a dream that he'll defer while he has a sick spouse and a bunch of scared kids, then dream away. Having kids doesn't prevent you from going to med school.
 

7starmantis

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Nyce. :rolleyes:

OP, I dont see why it would be a huge issue especially if its not a major part of his application. Its a very personal issue and one not to judge from the outside. If they both really want this, then there is no reason not to go for it.

Its going to be a massive undertaking but it depends on their own goals and decisions. I'm sure if he puts it in his app, he will get asked about it for sure.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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Unless your friend discusses this information in his application or during an interview, it would obviously have no bearing on the decision to admit him.
If he were to mention this information, it may reflect positively on his sincerity for a career in health care, but it may also raise flags regarding his motivations and ability to complete the training. Depends on who reads the application.

Having said that, your friend should strongly reconsider his decision to go to medical school. When someone close to you is stricken with disease, it's natural to want some control over the situation. While this, to a certain extent, can be attained by becoming a physician, the path there would likely further burden an already ill spouse and his children. He should spend every last minute with his family.
 
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I have a friend who is considering applying to medical school. We were talking about some of the challenges he would have going to school. He has 4 young children and a spouse who has stage IV cancer.

Like me, he is interested in studying hematology/oncology. Does anyone, who has any experience with admissions, think he has a prayer of getting accepted provided he has competitive grades and MCAT scores?
Hi OP,

First of all, I don't think anyone in this thread can possibly understand what it would be like to begin med school while having 4 young children which may possible become fully dependent and a spouse who has stage IV cancer. Let's break this problem in half before you can advise your friend:

  1. First of all, having a spouse with cancer is going to take an emotional toll and a physical toll (lack of sleep) amongst many other things. :(
  2. Second of all, I would have no idea about the questions of 4 young children. But it is good to separate this out instead of combining this into the first issue, because although related, they are both huge issues alone!
That being said, he needs to first judge himself ready to be accepted before he lets a medical ad-com judge his readiness for matriculation into their med school. Does your friend think he can do it all? I have every bit of faith in your friend if he has faith in himself. Some people can rise to any occasion and tap into some inner strengths that we all as humans have when the times & environmental factors call upon these strengths. Obviously your friend needs to ask himself the question fairly of his ability to do all this. If he has a lot of resources lined up (family, nurses/caretakers, etc..) then sure--go for it! I would bounce the idea of a few people to make sure his assessment is reasonable because if he is ready to become a doctor and has good gpa, mcat, extracurriculrs, etc... then he probably knows what he is doing.

Your friend should use his discretion if he is going to list these things on personal essays or on admissions application because it will likely raise flags for those who interview him. He has a chance at getting accepted if he has competitive grades and mcat scores; but, remember to apply broadly and maybe a few DO schools as backup options. I personally would not apply unless I have family members supporting me (especially his wife's parents, brothers and sisters really need to step up to the occasion and help support his wife) and I would want to have plenty of money for nurses/hospice/caretakers etc... The main point is to analyze the two problems separately and do pros/cons and weaknesses/tradeoffs analysis. Good luck to your friend! :luck:
 

sindadel

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I think your friend would be a jerk if he started med school with a spouse with stage IV cancer and 4 small children. Can he do it some day? Of course. Can he maybe take a class or two, volunteer a few hours a week? Maybe - depends on how much support he has.

Sometimes as adults we have to defer our own desires due to the community in which we live.