Feb 28, 2013
15
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
3 years ago I was in a car accident that resulted in a severe traumatic brain injury. After starting back at school I began to discover a big interest in medicine,
I am doing well in school, and am almost done my second year with a 3.8 GPA doing a double major in psychology and criminology.
I know there are pre reqs that I need to take outside my degree to make it possible, and I will be taking 2 starting in September.

My problems:
Currently I am still in rehabilitation for my brain injury, and only am able to handle about 3 courses a semester (I take 3 semesters a year)
I had to start school at a community college because large class sizes make it difficult for me for multiple reasons because of my injury - but I am transferring to a university in September.
I have next to no work experience after the age of 19 because my car accident has left me unable to work. But I have volunteered at a crisis centre for two years now, although in comparison to being able to prove you can work it doesn't look good I'm sure.
I will have a lack of documented achievements that would show other areas of success in my life because I am currently confined to being able to do only certain things at the moment, although I still horseback ride (don't judge me, I wear a helmet!)
I also have a lot of problems stemming from my brain injury it's self, that I am working really hard on to compensate for.

Assuming I am able to get my sciences done and continue keeping a decent GPA, do I honestly even have a shot trying to go to medical school with my brain injury and lack of outside experience because of it?
I really want to become a psychiatrist, and I'm having doubts that because of my injury and documented difficulties that I will be faced with failure.

Thanks to anyone who chose to read my long and worried post.
 

yossarian444

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 3, 2008
114
14
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First of all, congratulations on your hard work toward maximizing your potential.

This is a complicated question that I doubt anybody on the internet can adequitely answer - especially on SDN since most of us here are from the US and I'm guessing you might be from elsewhere given your spelling of centre.

My advice: Find the nearest medical school to you. Contact their admissions department in May-June (this is their slow time of the year, at least in the US) and ask to meet with somebody in the admissions department in person. They might not be able to provide all the answers right away, but hopefully you can establish a relationship with them and you can go back to them again later during your rehab course should you have updates in your progress and can ask questions.
 

kimposibl

5+ Year Member
Oct 4, 2012
109
2
San Diego
Status
Medical Student
OP, you can also ask a premed adviser at your school, as I'm sure there is one. But following yossarian's advice will be beneficial, too. My advice is only if you don't have time or a med school is far for you.

Good luck! :)
 

DrMidlife

has an opinion
10+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2006
7,506
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There's no way a premed adviser is going to have any useful info on this, unless he/she just got a profoundly disabled premed into med school. Odds?

Meanwhile, I have a profoundly disabled classmate who is brilliant and brave and made it.

What you need to get into med school with a symptomatic TBI is a great deal of support from a bunch of people. You need to have family and/or friends who will back you without faltering. You need to have at least one medical school admissions office that will view your case with special consideration. You need to have your own doctors document your limitations. You probably need to have an analysis from an occupational therapist to document your requirements to succeed. You most likely need to have the resources to get legal help.

Fundamentally you have to get a med school to bet that you are going to make it through and that your contribution to medicine is worth taking risks on your behalf.

Pick a med school and review the technical requirements for med students. This should inform your plans and priorities.

Best of luck to you.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,218
77,685
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
You have a steeply uphill battle. The phrase "drinking from a fire hose" is not a cliche, it's a reality. You won't be able to take, say, anatomy here and physiology there...it's all got to come at once. Imagine getting a master's degree every semester, 30-40 credit hours a pop.

So, I think it's best to think about other careers.

3 years ago I was in a car accident that resulted in a severe traumatic brain injury. After starting back at school I began to discover a big interest in medicine,
I am doing well in school, and am almost done my second year with a 3.8 GPA doing a double major in psychology and criminology.
I know there are pre reqs that I need to take outside my degree to make it possible, and I will be taking 2 starting in September.

My problems:
Currently I am still in rehabilitation for my brain injury, and only am able to handle about 3 courses a semester (I take 3 semesters a year)
I had to start school at a community college because large class sizes make it difficult for me for multiple reasons because of my injury - but I am transferring to a university in September.
I have next to no work experience after the age of 19 because my car accident has left me unable to work. But I have volunteered at a crisis centre for two years now, although in comparison to being able to prove you can work it doesn't look good I'm sure.
I will have a lack of documented achievements that would show other areas of success in my life because I am currently confined to being able to do only certain things at the moment, although I still horseback ride (don't judge me, I wear a helmet!)
I also have a lot of problems stemming from my brain injury it's self, that I am working really hard on to compensate for.

Assuming I am able to get my sciences done and continue keeping a decent GPA, do I honestly even have a shot trying to go to medical school with my brain injury and lack of outside experience because of it?
I really want to become a psychiatrist, and I'm having doubts that because of my injury and documented difficulties that I will be faced with failure.

Thanks to anyone who chose to read my long and worried post.
 

survivordo

Gettin' through it
Jan 18, 2013
1,116
21
www.facebook.com
Status
Resident [Any Field]
To the OP,

I think you can make up or compensate for the other issues with your app that you are worried about. However, only being able to take 3 classes a semester is a big problem. As Goro mentions, there is no way you could get through med school doing this. That would be like a 10 year plan. However, it sounds like things are still improving with your injury. If you are able to increase your course load than I don't see what is holding you back.

Survivor DO
 

EmergDoc2B

5+ Year Member
Nov 22, 2012
492
267
Status
Medical Student
You have a steeply uphill battle. The phrase "drinking from a fire hose" is not a cliche, it's a reality. You won't be able to take, say, anatomy here and physiology there...it's all got to come at once. Imagine getting a master's degree every semester, 30-40 credit hours a pop.

So, I think it's best to think about other careers.
I usually agree with Goro's posts because obviously the advice and wisdom comes from someone in the know. But, here I respectfully disagree. I knew someone in undergrad that was severely handicapped and was told they should perhaps adjust there goals because the rigor of our University would be too much. he graduated with honors. was our institution comparable to Med School? No! But ,he had MD (wheel chair bound) and typed papers with an eraser tip.
To the OP I suggest you get in the University situation and push yourself and then evaluate your progress. I agree with everyone here that has stated that the info load in med school is no joke but your obviously a fighter and if becoming a physician is something you feel is worth the struggle it can be done.

I wish you the best of luck!
 
Nov 18, 2012
49
0
Status
I agree with DrMidLife. If you're intelligent (and it seems like you are) and are still recovering, then you'll probably be able to make it. If you're already working as hard as you can and can only take 3 classes and your condition won't improve, then Goro is probably right and you'll need to starting thinking about other careers.

Either way I admire your determination and best of luck to you.
 
OP
K
Feb 28, 2013
15
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
Thank you for your responses!
Part of the reason I can't make more than 3 classes a semester work is because most of my time is dedicated to rehab, I am hoping to make 4 classes work in September, then be able to bump it up to 5 after that.
I guess it can seem like a long shot to some people, I don't feel that I will have a problem by next year picking up a full course load. But it would be stupid for me to pick up 5 right now and fail miserably because I don't have the time to study (still see doctors weekly, 5 days a week in rehab, also have surgeries where I have to miss classes - not as easy to do with 5 courses lol)
I guess my biggest worry long term is my lack of outside experience due to my car accident. It's been a long road for me, and I am trying my best to succeed, but I am only human. It keeps me limited in outside options I guess.

I don't see myself changing my career choice, I will have back ups if by the time I'm finished I have no shot of getting in (ie: I apply to a bunch of universities and I get in to 0, with no possibility of a second chance to get in the next year)

I don't want to limit my options because of my disability, but I am still worried I will be disappointed due to issues I can't control like my lack of outside experience.

I wish you all the best, and once again thank you for taking the time to respond. It means a lot.
 

Gauss44

5+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2012
3,191
397
Status
Pre-Medical
Check your state's licensing requirements as well.

Good luck though. I hope it works out.