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Are schools able to pull your med records?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by hannahx, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. I ran a search, but didn't really get anything.

    Does anyone know if schools ever pull your medical records with or without your consent? Just curious..
     
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  3. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    HIPAA would make this illegal, so I say the answer would be no.
     
  4. Thanks Flopotomist, I thought so! (I've got debate going and I couldn't think of what I should google!) You rock. :thumbup:
     
  5. beary

    beary Pancytopenic
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    You are absolutely right. This would be WAY illegal!
     
  6. prana_md

    prana_md springing
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    Just because it's illegal, doesn't mean they don't do it. I'm completely paranoid about this, I know. But it would be so easy ... and they could reject you for some made up reason, and never admit it was acutally because you have irritable bowels.

    EDIT: The situation I'm thinking of is if you've gone to the medical center connected to the school you're applying to. Otherwise, I don't know how they'd do it.
     
  7. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    OK - if your bowels are irritable, we are no longer sharing an office chair!
     
  8. prana_md

    prana_md springing
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    Hypothetical!
     
  9. drmota

    drmota 2K Member
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    on a similar note, do you think a major surgery (invasive back surgery) could affect admissions? i debated this with my dad (a urologist) who tried to explain to me that picking med students for the adcommers is like picking a horse, they want the best and most fit ones they can find (mentally and physically). but nonetheless i wrote about my back surgery a lot in my secondaries because it gave me a good glimpse into the medical profession etc. what do you guys think?

    p.s. yes, i did just officially hijack your thread (but i think your question was answered)

    -mota
     
  10. Bluntman

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    Yea, I believe it could negatively affect you through the line of reasoning you pointed out. After all, adcoms are human, and thoughts like "how the **** is this guy going to be able to care for patients when he's an obese diabetic amputee?" are bound to cross some people's minds. Then again I am an dingus. lol. That being said, and getting back to a more realistic case like yours, it seems 1) very unlikely unless you have a major disability resulting from your surgery, and 2) if not, it will for sure be far overshadowed by many other more important factors.

    The example that comes to mind whenever this topic comes up is always the case of the blind doctor. I read a crazy article about one once...the guy managed to do intubations and the whole bit. Mota...if you don't mind, what was it for? trauma/genetic/disease?
     
  11. Studiente34

    Studiente34 New Member

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    I was looking into the original topic as well. At the schools I checked they stated that if you have chronic illnesses they can refuse admission. This is an excerpt from UT-Houston Med School that directly addresses this in their Admission Criteria, Technical Standards part:

    CHRONIC CONDITIONS: A candidate must not possess any chronic or recurrent illnesses, including infectious, psychiatric or substance abuse problems that can interfere with patient care or safety and are not compatible with medical practice or training

    How would they find out about this? In the TMDSAS application, they don't specifically ask a Y/N to this question to the best of my knowledge. THey might have some crazy database since they are a public institution? Well, the above quote tells me they want to know if someone has had any serious run-ins with medical personnel and has been diagnosed in their full history with anything. I would like to believe that they don't care about medical records, but from what I have seen, they do.

    There is very very little on this on the internet b/c I believe most applicants that are concerned about this must be as secretive about their personal medical history when applying.

    I, particularly, am concerned because I had to drop classes for one semester (got Withdraw Passing on all my classes for that semester) for a medical disorder that is labeled chronic (rather not go into the details here), but I have been treated and I have not had any 'flare-ups' or recurrent run-ins AT ALL with this ever since (about 4 years now). My illness has a genetic compenent, but only one person in my family suffered from this, and she only had one instance of it her whole life, and it was during college, the same time mine occurred. I don't believe that this will not ever effect my ability to go through the medical training or treating patients. But I don't know if the med schools would take the time to understand this nuancy or my personal situation, and their general stance seems to place a harsh stigma on that sort of thing.

    On the Texas application they ask if you have had your education interrupted and if so, please explain FULLY. Now, I did miss a semester right in the heart of my premed studies so this will have to be explained somehow. THis puts me in a very uncomfortable situation!!! I don't think they will have access to my appointments and the prescriptions written for me (they all occurred in private institutions with private physicians, none in the med center of a school I am applying to either), but I seriously don't want to be dishonest (or not fully honest, rather) on my apps!!! I think being openly honest about this would have a negative effect on the app process though I am not sure how severe. But I am sure that the Withdraw Passing semester will come up at my interviews as well. Man, so what do I say about this? How should I explain it? If you were in my shoes, what would you do????

    I am pondering just stating that there was a "family emergency" that required me to drop classes and go back home immediately and it was a very tough decision and a tragic thing, etc., etc (but I guess that would not be explaining things fully and be a little vague). But I really don't know....I have honestly just been thinking about this for the last two days. I could really use some advice. I haven't applied yet and I will be applying in June at the next cycle. But the more I read, the more I know I don't want to fully disclose my personal medical history.
    :(

    An interesting excerpt I googled:In the same book (The Power of Psychiatry) Dr. Robitscher (JD/MD)described the case of a medical school applicant who had graduated from college magna cum laude, who was admitted to Phi Beta Kappa, and who scored in the upper ninety-ninth percentile in the Medical College Admission Test - but who was denied admission to medical school because she had sought psychiatric treatment (pp. 238-239). He said this is typical of "prejudicial policies of not admitting or readmitting students who have had or are undergoing psychotherapy" (p. 239). (Note: this was the only excerpt about this on the internet site, I don't know how they found it, I'm guessing this guy just told them what happened during an interview or app)

    Any suggestions, thoughts, comments would be greatly appreciated. :confused:
     
  12. drmota

    drmota 2K Member
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    it was an L5-S1 microdiscectomy for a pretty severe herniated disk. great success and i'm fully recovered.
    crazy that you brought up the blind doctor...i was thinking about him yesterday in class for like 10 minutes...i was trying to think about what he might possibly be doing at that exact moment but couldn't come up with anything productive.
    -mota
     
  13. smartreader

    smartreader Senior Member
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    You've had back surgery??? Well, that's a major red flag amongst most admissions commitees. It's all over, you might as well get a job as an underwater basketweever, because there's nothing else you can do. You have as good a chance getting in as a lame horse.
    Seriously, I doubt that there are any critereon that admissions committee's look at to assess your physical ability to study and practice medicine. If you have a major disability, then that may be an extra obstacle, but it definitely doesn't make it impossible. There are plenty of examples of physically handicapped people studying medicine.
     
  14. jackets5

    jackets5 Senior Member
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    Thats a pretty nice injury, how did it occur. anything with your back is hell. Last year i had minor back problems during the football season, nothing close enough to require surgery but it was painfull as could be and there was nothing I could without it hurting. Needed weekly injections, and pregame shots just to get through the rest of the season. i would never wish a back injury on anyone.

     
  15. pagemmapants

    pagemmapants Unknown Member
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    I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that I know what your illness is - if I'm correct, my current roommate also has it (she came back from a caribbean cruise REALLY pissed off because her "sun allergy" prevented her from tanning at ALL). What you COULD say is that you withdrew because of personal health problems, but what I'd suggest is that (assuming this IS the illness I'm thinking of) medical schools are quite aware of the weird-ness of it and the fact that there are many hundreds of highly functional people with that diagnosis that never have any sort of impairment at all (my roommate's mother, for example). Even if you did actually tell them fully what it was and how it affected you and how it is now being controlled I don't think they would view it as a potentially crippling/debilitating/disabling diagnosis.

    If I'm WAY off base about your illness, then please disregard this & don't hold it against me. :oops:
     
  16. jebus

    jebus Membership Revoked
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    I don't think it could. My brother wrote extensively about his kidney transplants for his applications to graduate school. He got in everywhere he applied (Stanford, Harvard, UCSF, Rockefeller, etc.), got an NSF pre-doctoral fellowship, and an HHMI pre-doctoral fellowship.
    His current employer knew all about his continuing health problems, it didn't affect his ability to get a great postdoctoral position.
    He wrote about his transplants again (he even added another one to the list, he's so greedy with kidneys) and just got into law school.
    If nothing else, I think it shows your ability to overcome challenges, learn from them, and otherwise develop personally. Use it as an avenue to show how you would be a perfect fit at the schools you're applying to and what you can contribute to the other students. Talk about how you saw that you were treated by a healthcare team led by the physician (of which you, as a patient, played an integral part, and were treated accordingly by the other members of the team), and the school's curriculum would uniquely foster these skills and train you to become a partner in care.
    Oh, but try not to steal it all from me.
     
  17. Bluntman

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    That's intense...glad you're ok man. Yea the blind doctor story is insane...It'd be crazy to sit down and talk with the guy about it all or shadow him for a day or something.
     
  18. Uncle_Tbag

    Uncle_Tbag Of the DrGeddyLee Tbags
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    :laugh: awesome
     
  19. drmota

    drmota 2K Member
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    i just copy and pasted this. excellent work.
    -mota
     
  20. Yeah, I think thats closer to my question/musing..

    I guess it makes sense that your admission could be refused if you have chronic condition (which I think is very wrong) but I've heard of offers on employment (in numerous fields) conditional upon a physical exam!

    I share your concerns about explaining any break/gaps in academic records. Its easy to think, well what does it matter what I did during those times, so long as I didn't rack up a criminal record and once I returned I maintained a decent gpa.. But I don't think adcoms think the same way. They want to know.

    For example, applying to colleges.. I first went to a university that I was forced to withdraw from due to medical reasons. This was noted and documented along with a note from my doctor (because I couldn't get a refund after a certain date w/o it) When I returned back to my hometown and applied for transfer to the state school (makes sense, considering the school I went to, it was a curious transfer). I was asked about my "medical reason" Though I'm not sure about the legality of their inquiry, I finally told them. After this, my advisor suggested I used this in personal statements. I know it happened to work out for the better, but the whole situation left me feeling REALLY uncomfortable!

    Personally, I don't think that I will be using my illness as my answer to the what motivates you to go into medicine question, because it didn't really. I already wanted to be a physician. It did however, give me a good glimpse into what its like to be a patient in a large medical center and problems with delivering healthcare to the masses.. (I just may use that)

    And DaMota - Get your OWN thread!! :cool:
     

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