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AMCAS Question

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Prospective Doctor, Jun 8, 2002.

  1. Prospective Doctor

    Prospective Doctor Member 10+ Year Member

    May 20, 2002

    Did anyone of you fill out AMCAS section on disadvantaged/childhood information? I'm debating if I should fill it or not. I was financially disadvantaged. Being a recent immigrant, my parents did not make much either. Although, I participated in many EC's, yet I believe I could have done better if I were financially strong. Worked full-time while in first two years of college, so didn't have much time for lot of EC's. I guess now you understand what I mean by disadvantaged in my case. Would adcom look down on it. I posted a similar thread earlier, but not much response perhaps b/c I was not complete.

    Please reply.
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  3. laviddee

    laviddee Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 5, 2002
    personally- i don't think you should fill it out 'disadvantaged'.

    that's obviously something that they'd want to talk about while you were interviewed, but if it came out to be something that they don't consider as 'disadvantaged' then i think it'd actually work against you.
    I'm asian, and i have a lot of friends whose parents immigrated when they were young, and yet they did well in school without having money. I just don't think it'll fly.
    Plus don't you want to get in, b/c you deserve to get in rather than getting any extra help?

    i don't know-- up to you. but i don't it's worth it.
  4. ellerose

    ellerose Member 7+ Year Member

    I see the disadvantaged status section as a way to explain some of the circumstances you had that made education and/or the premed route somewhat difficult for you. Or at least more difficult than someone whose parents had enough money where they didn't have to work during college, went to the best schools, were able to travel extensively, etc. If you don't include this portion of your application, then the schools will look at you with what you have on your app., maybe not taking into consideration that you weren't able to volunteer in Kenya/start a clinic/find the cure for breast cancer/etc. because you had to work full time, as opposed to the student right next to you who was able to spend a semester volunteering in Ecuador because they could afford the time off of work/school. If you don't feel comfortable doing it, then don't do it. From what I heard, I think you are more than able to utilize this portion of the application. Personally, I think giving the adcomms more information is better than giving them less. They can't read your mind or assume that you had it a bit rougher than your peers unless you tell them. I disagree with laviddee that designating "disadvantaged" confers "extra help" in the application process. It just gives the adcomms more insight into what you as a person had to overcome personally to make it where you are today. I think it is valid to be able to let the adcomms know this information. In the end, if you don't feel comfortable filling out this section, then simply don't do it. If you do, yes the interviewers will ask you about it, but they don't focus on it--they just want to know if you will make a good doctor.
  5. BlueJayBill

    BlueJayBill Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 25, 2002
    if i were in your situation, I defintely would.

  6. SMW

    SMW Grand Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2001
    anchorage, ak
    Welcome to SDN!! :) Definitely fill it in. I don't think it can hurt, only help.
  7. laviddee

    laviddee Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 5, 2002
    Yes I think ellerose is right with her assessment. so yes i'm disagreeing with my evil twin self.. he only comes out in the afternoons when the sun is out and he's stuck at work :(

    i wasn't looking at your situation from your shoes but mine of course. And I think it just struck a chord with me b/c I have 1 friend who had changed his name from Michael to Miguel- in order to make it more apparent he was Mexican. Although this kid was totally not 'disadvantaged' in anyway like you. But he was mexican, and hey- he did get into a top 10 school.
    Also my sister- this is really piss poor, but for undergrad she put down that english was her second language. And I said, 'WHAT?!' just b/c her first words were in korean, like Mom and Dad and other small sentences, she used that to perhaps get an edge. She ended up at DUKE- and I don't know, I think I haven't been scarred, but I've been put off by people who use the 'disadvantaged' term over-extensively if you know what i mean.

    But she is right-- it does distinguish you, and it does give a reason why you might not have as many ec's as the person right next to you. i think i was just acting like a 4 yr old.
  8. Tweetie_bird

    Tweetie_bird 7+ Year Member

    Nov 20, 2001
    hi guys
    I am in a similar situation, and don't know what to do about it. I had been in the US 3 years when I started college. Although at that time, we were not dirt poor, we did go through some tough times. . . Luckily I got a scholarship that paid for my first year. I have always had to work atleast 50% to pay my fees for college..I perhaps paid for 75 percent of my college, rest was handled by my parents. There were times I couldn't take time off b/c I needed money, so I couldn't take time off. Most of my summers were spent making enough $$ so I could work lesser hours during school and try to focus in classes..I haven't been able to go back to India in all the 9 years I've been here b/c I couldn't afford it. I might finally bite the bullet and do it this Dec b/c my grandfather is ill.

    I don't want to sound like a sob story, but does this sound disadvantaged? I would like to use any extra help I can get, and i am not ashamed of putting it down if indeed, it CAN strike a chord of an AD COM person...I am just not sure..
    what do you think? Please, if you disagree with whatever I have said, don't come down too hard on me. Thanks.

  9. efex101

    efex101 attending Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 19, 2002
    Tweetie when I read the disadadvantage questions on amcas it seemed that they think of it as being extremely poor. Like you have to be on all kinds of government aid and what not. Many people have to work while going to school like yourself but that exclusively does not qualify you as being disadvantaged (I think). Anyways it seems that you did have some hard times and that merits to be written about on your PS, I think (but hey who am I) that would suffice.

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