1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Can going to therapy (psychologist) prevent me from entering med school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by shoosh, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. shoosh

    shoosh Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    So I have been wanting to go to a psychologist for a long time to talk about stuff that has happened in the past twenty some odd years of my life, but I don’t know if it will negatively affect my journey to medical school. Do med schools look to see if you have been to therapy? Can this prevent me from getting into med school? I know that there is a code of confidentiality among therapist patient, but can the sheer knowledge of a student having gone to therapy prevent them from entering med school?

    Any comments will be appreciated and has anyone been in similar situation as me?
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    15,489
    Likes Received:
    1,868
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Go talk to a therapist.

    It isn't looked down upon at all.
    In fact, when a major trauma happens they have debreifing sessions with the team where you can talk to a therapist about what happened.
     
  4. veridisquo

    veridisquo Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is no reason you can't get the help you need. A sound state of mind will only serve to better your life.

    More importantly, there is no way of med school officials knowing you are/were in therapy without you telling them. As far as letting them know you're in therapy, you've been hospitalized, you suffer from mental illness, etc. opinions seem to be varied. Personally (and I intend to follow this advice myself), I would avoid bringing it up unless you have something uplifting to share, and are obviously mentally stable.
     
  5. Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely go see a therapist if you think you need to do so. If you're even thinking about it, it probably means you should go do it. Whatever the reason.... just go.

    And don't give another thought to what a med school might think about it -- this is the sort of thing that they can't and shouldn't be thinking about (so long as it does not relate to impaired function on your part).
     
  6. nimotsu

    nimotsu 荷物
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    If you think it's something you need to do, then do it because there is nothing worse than regret. Maybe talk it over with your family first if you're close with your parents.
     
  7. Goodergirl

    Goodergirl Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I have been visiting SDN for quite a while now but had not gotten an account until I saw this post. My dad died recently and I have been having a hard time going through the admissions process on top of everything else that had happened with his illness preceding his death. By all means, go talk to someone- it doesn't even have to be a psychologist or formal therapist, but I've found that it really helps just to have a sounding board for your thoughts. I met with a grief counselor recently who was telling me that part of her job is to oversee physicians that rotate through hospice. She had one physician with her once that was very shook up when he had to deal with grieving patients because of past experiences that he'd had. The counselor's recommendation to him when she evaluated him was to work out his own issues first. I don't know exactly what your situation is and can only speak from the experiences that I've had but I know that for me, I want to have a means to cope with things before I become a doctor so that I will be better equipped to help others. Talk to someone.
     
  8. odrade1

    odrade1 UASOM alum
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    It won't hurt you for medschool unless you bring it up in interviews and the guy/gal interviewing you is a jerk.

    1) don't bring it up in interviews, unless you can spin it into a cool asset for your application

    2) be careful of accepting medication from now on, unless you don't mind hiding the fact that you have taken them. Many of my doc & dentist friends have been hurt by their honesty when applying for insurance. Apparently having previous prescriptions for antidepressants, antianxiety drugs, etc. can drastically complicate your ability to get coverage with some companies. (I am speaking about life and disability insurance for professionals, not malpractice insurance). My partner had trouble sleeping his last year of dental school, and the school health clinic gave him an anxiety drug. It worked, but it also invalidated him for disability insurance the first time he applied. The clinician said she wasn't writing it up as an anxiety disorder in his chart, but that is exactly what she wrote down.

    Don't let this keep you from going to a therapist. I used a psychologist many years ago & it really helped put my life back on track. However, be aware that certain diagnoses *can* hurt you. Talk to your psychologist/psychiatrist to see how much of your record has to be shared with insurance companies, etc. One friend of mine saw what happened to my partner & went to a private doc, and paid for treatment & prescriptions without using his health insurance. His arrangement should prevent the complications mentioned above.
     
  9. shoosh

    shoosh Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Wow thanks. Sorry for your loss and thank you so much for your encouragement. Getting involved with SDN can be time consuming and even pointless, but I'm glad you responded. I'll definately do it.
     
  10. Goodergirl

    Goodergirl Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Good luck with everything. ;)
     
  11. futuredo32

    futuredo32 Senior Member
    15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    1,233
    Likes Received:
    74
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    A LOT of med students are in therapy, some due to the stress of med school. A few of my med school friends are taking antidepressants or antianxiety medications. We have kind of a counseling center and if the counsler thinks you will benefit from therapy, she helps you set up your first appointment.
    If you think you would benefit from therapy, by all means, do it for yourself!
     
  12. JonnyG

    JonnyG IN the hospitals....
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,045
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    lets face it anyone has to be a little crazy to willing go to medical school. At least your smart enough to realize that talking with someone can help you better reach your goal.
     
  13. justskipee

    justskipee Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    1
    I was in this shyness seminar put on by the counseling department and it was fun and helpful. There were 8 people who attended the weekly sessions, and 3 of them were medical students. I think that medical schools should have a mandatory requirement that their students have a session or two with a counselor/psychologist. What do you guys think?
     
  14. odrade1

    odrade1 UASOM alum
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I agree. Actually, this should be required for both grad students (in every field) and med students. When I was in grad school, almost everyone was on some kind of mood drug. Also, I hear a lot of docs get depressed in the year after graduation, and in the year after completing residency.
     
  15. Psycho Doctor

    Psycho Doctor *** Angel
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    Messages:
    8,510
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Medical Student
    so sorry to hear about the death of your dad. unfortunately grief can not be accomplished overnight. couseling helps but won't take it away; pills help too but sometimes only masks the true feelings. grief has to be felt and worked through and it's a long arduous process. keep at it because i agree with your grief counselor; you can't very well help others when you ar ein such pain yourself. once you work through it, sometimes you can be more empathetic, compassionate and understanding by going through a similar experience. God bless you.
     
  16. Ms. Lippy

    Ms. Lippy Makin sure kids play nice
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I remember reading an article in the New England Journal of Medicine that addressed this issue. Unfortunately, there are some people out there that do look down upon it. Especially medication. Because of this backwards attitude medical students across the nation are suffering from depression. Seek help. Just keep it to yourself. Before helping others take care of yourself. :love:
     
  17. robotsonic

    robotsonic Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Messages:
    469
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I'm an MS4. A ton of med students are on psychiatric meds and have psych problems. If you are thinking about seeing a psychologist, then do it. (And if you don't like the first one you see, try again with someone else.)

    One thing, though: When you are applying to med school, or anywhere, DO NOT MENTION ANY PSYCH PROBLEMS. Just don't do it. There is a huge stigma attached to mental illness, especially among physicians. Do not screw yourself by mentioning that you took an antidepressant or saw a psychologist. It shouldn't affect your med school admissions because they should never find out about it.
     
  18. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Messages:
    9,770
    Likes Received:
    19
    Status:
    Other Health Professions Student
    Actually CISD (what you are discussing) has been proven to be more hazardous than other approachs. Brett, I can put you in touch with an ER doc who debunked this belief if you would like.
     
  19. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    15,489
    Likes Received:
    1,868
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Hmm...go figure. I believe you but what was the reasoning?

    Placing blame on the other members of the team?
     
  20. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Messages:
    9,770
    Likes Received:
    19
    Status:
    Other Health Professions Student
    Actually I believe it was that forcing people to confront the trauma or their feelings about it actually propogated the development of PTSD and several other negative outcomes. Often times in EMS (especially in the late 1990's) it was common that EMT's and paramedics were mandated to attend CISD sessions to "help" them through the trauma. I remember one case in particular where I was threatened with termination of my employment when I refused to take part in such a session.
     
  21. jbone

    jbone Herro!
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,274
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I think we all need therapy. Medical School? Are we nuts? Go see a therapist. It can only help. Best of luck. :thumbup:
     
  22. popbirch

    popbirch Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I was in therapy for about 9 months in 2001-2002, I was sort of forced to be there so I didn't find that it changed me a whole lot. I found that I would end up just telling the psych what he wanted to hear so that I could hear what I wanted to hear. I was on a bunch of different drugs that I didn't like either (Remeron, Geodon, Zoloft, and someother crap). I was already, and still am, a very introspective person and I didn't want to share that person with the doc so I didn't. I think partly because I was there somewhat involuntarily. So if you want some advice if I had to do it all over again and wanted to benefit from it I would try to be as honest and realistic with myself as possible and try to transfer that to the doc, I would also write a lot of stuff down to discuss becuase it can be hard to bring out the feelings in the sessions but if it is written down it is easier. But I applied this year to med school and have been accepted to 3 schools so far. The only time I even came close to talking about therapy was when one interviewer asked about the most difficult experience in my life, so I described the events that surrounded me going to therapy but never mentioned therapy itself. good luck and don't forgot to stop and smell the roses sometimes in the chaos of the world the only thing that can keep me in line is to appreciate the minutiae that this life has to offer. thats my 2 cents
     
  23. synapse lapse

    synapse lapse tokyo robotic
    15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Messages:
    1,671
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Just go, the school will never know anyhow and it sounds like you need it. I know plenty of people that have seen a pschologist, myself included, and I think the school told us like 30% or something of students get counseling in there 4 years (could be wrong about figure). Some people do attach a stigma to it but who gives a $hit, they're intellectual idiots anyhow.
     
  24. Timmythemic22

    Timmythemic22 Beep Beep Ribby Ribby
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,210
    Likes Received:
    24
    Absolutely, go. Just one word of caution, if you are applying to USUHS by any chance, (military medical academy), or doing anything with the HPSP scholarship, they DO look at those as a 'red flag'. I think it's ridiculous personally, therapy is a helpful and totally healthy thing, and will only serve to prepare you further for what we inevitably know will bury us at some point!! :eek:
     

Share This Page