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Can I have some feedback on my disadvantaged explanation?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by mrh125, 05.20.14.

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  1. mrh125

    mrh125 Banned Banned Account on Hold

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    edited
     
    Last edited: 06.27.14
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  3. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Some of it is solid, not exactly sure how an adcom would view it. Maybe give a shout to Goro. The ending is very cheesy (like smirk cheesy) in my humble opinion...
     
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  4. hoihaie

    hoihaie Banned Banned

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    you should give example of how you were affected by lack of pediatric unit, not how your grandfather was affected. Ending is too cheesy...

    Again you focused the retirement community at the end, but talked about lack of pediatric unit as taking a toll on your community. Doesn't really fit together.
     
  5. mrh125

    mrh125 Banned Banned Account on Hold

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    I hoped to put multiple examples in this or briefly touch on a few different things because the lack of primary care doctors, hospital stuff, and specialists affect everyone in our community. The length is super small though.
     
  6. hoihaie

    hoihaie Banned Banned

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    you also have other bit cheesy statements, i.e. "I’m compelled to help my community through a career in medicine one person at a time"

    I think you should go over your paragraph again and take out the unnecessary fluff you have. Use those character counts towards better explaining/showing how the lack of access to healthcare qualifies you as a disadvantaged applicant.
     
  7. OneTwoThreeFour

    OneTwoThreeFour 2+ Year Member

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    I disagree with @hoihaie because you lost a loved one as a result of poor medical coverage in your area. Thus you were affected negatively by living in an underserved area.
    I would say that the writing is not very good, and specifically the phrase "I’ve seen this unfold several times and as a resident of my town" is troubling; what would be better in its place would be a list of other events ("I have a neighbor who lost a foot to diabetes because he had to wait 2 months to see a PCP, a friend who grew up without a father because he couldn't be treated appropriately", etc.).

    In the hands of the right editor, this will be much more effective (for what it is, I've heard underserved by medicine essays don't do too much)

    EDIT: Meant I disagreed with message #3. #5 I'm on board with.
     
  8. shiftingmirage

    shiftingmirage 7+ Year Member

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    Disadvantaged status is self-defined, and I believe being in a medically underserved area is grounds for being disadvantaged by the AAMC.

    IMO - you have a great story to tell about how your grandfather's care impacted your decision to pursue medicine as a career and a desire to work in rural areas, but I would not classify it as disadvantaged. A lot of the US is medically underserved, even areas you would think aren't like NYC and Chicago. I do think you could make a great PS with this, though.
     
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  9. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Not sure not having a PICU or H/O within ~60 miles is super underserved.
     
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  10. mrh125

    mrh125 Banned Banned Account on Hold

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    I was thinking that too although it gets pretty scary when the nearest hospital cannot provide for those in critical condition or give false hope. Every community should have access to a hospital and proper physicians of all specialities. We didn't even have a pediatric unit one doctor who is a friend of mine fought like no one else for it. The hospital is also teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.
     
  11. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Access sometimes means transfer arrangements 60 miles away. Every small town doesn't have the volume to support a full spectrum of specialists.
     
  12. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    You need to be short and sweet. Check the box if you think your community was underserved.
    Three lines should be sufficient to tell the story:
    There are very few primary care doctors and specialists in my small rural town. It’s especially troubling when treatment is needed for life-threatening conditions and help is over an hour away as it was for my grandfather who died after transfer to a hospital far from home.
     
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  13. mrh125

    mrh125 Banned Banned Account on Hold

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    Thank you so much :). I was worried this would turn into another personal statement.
     
    Last edited: 05.20.14
  14. drcrispmd

    drcrispmd 2+ Year Member

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    This is considered disadvantaged?
    I grew up in a town of 600 that had 0 doctors and no hospital. The closest hospital was 50 miles away. My family's and the rest of the town's doctors were 50 miles away. There are only 2 lane roads that go into my town so in winter it can be impossible to travel if needed.

    So tell me how bad you had it with your few docs and and a hospital in your town. This would be what I would say if I was interviewing you for med school.
    There are a lot of people from rural areas applying to med school. This will not help you and will not make up for other deficiencies in your application. If you are including it on your app, make it short and sweet.
     
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  15. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    ^
    This
    Sometimes it is hard news, but its likely better to hear it now that you are working on it, than if you run into this guy (or others who were in significantly more rural/disadvantaged areas) during the interview process.
     
  16. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    Being in an area that's underserved by doctors doesn't necessarily make you disadvantaged. Was your mom a single mom? Did you have a parent die while you were young? Did poverty affect your schooling? Were there gangs having turf wars on your block while you had to go to school? Was your family of food stamps? Welfare? Ever homeless?

    THAT'S disadvantaged.

    Better to discuss what the impact of the medical environment has on your decisiont o become a doctor. But do not make it an essay on health care in the US.

     
  17. mrh125

    mrh125 Banned Banned Account on Hold

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    Thanks.Makes sense I'll admit it does feel odd to put something about my community in something designed for that, but on the amcas app it says under disadvantaged status "
    Underserved: Do you believe, based on your own experiences or the experiences of family and friends, that the area in which you grew up was adequately served by the available health care professionals? Were there enough physicians, nurses, hospitals, clinics, and other health care service providers?
    "
     
  18. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun SDN Administrator 5+ Year Member

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    Look up the definition of medically underserved areas. I can't copy/paste the link right now because I have UWorld open, but I think it's based on a 1:3500 ratio (1 physician to 3500 people). Just having a lack of specialists or having to travel an hour to get tertiary care doesn't mean your area is medically underserved. If you have to drive an hour in order to get to the nearest doctor, then you can start talking underserved. Bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.
     
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  19. drcrispmd

    drcrispmd 2+ Year Member

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    By the way, I did not consider myself disadvantaged by growing up in a very rural area when applying. I think your story is better used as an experience that lead you to choose medicine.
     
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  20. mrh125

    mrh125 Banned Banned Account on Hold

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    Makes sense. My personal statement is done though and it's best left that way because If I add anything more to it I'll probably have to go through a few more edits since I'm not that strong of a writer. I suppose it's best leaving the disadvantaged status as no and just continue focusing on the slew of secondaries I hope to complete before june 1st. I still think there's some subjectivity involved in this underserved areas business (kind of like how drake claims he started from the bottom :p ), even though my circumstances are in no way equal to yours (yours are way way way way way way worse and I won't even pretend otherwise), my community is medically deficient, especially when cuts the hospital makes to remain above bankruptcy affect the quality of care it provides and if the hospital goes under, god help us. If I was asked about something like this in an interview I'd recognize the fact that my community isn't the most underserved, but it is underserved to the point where the addition of any new doctor to it can make a large difference I believe and I do have experiences that really brought this fact out. One of my focuses on medicine is also addressing the needs of the underserved (I volunteered in another nearby fundamentally underserved area) and if it isn't my community that I end up addressing the needs of I'd definitely want to work to assist other underserved communities such as yours.

    I'm leaning towards no and if leaving this in my app makes me application less credibly to adcoms, I'll take it out. I don't want to get into a competition for most underserved area.
     
  21. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    Look, this isn't a pissing contest.

    AMCAS asks "Do you believe" ... if the person believes that their community was underserved they should say "yes" and explain. You can do the same. It is taken into consideration.

    However, it shouldn't be answered with the hope of getting an advantage over any other applicant. It might not be to your advantage, does that change what you believe?
     
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  22. blueharbor

    blueharbor 2+ Year Member

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    The confusing thing, it seems, is that there is no opportunity to explain anything specifically in response to this question. The only opportunity to write an explanation is after the disadvantaged question, and only if you identify as disadvantaged. Many people, like the OP, would probably like to have a space to explain how their area is underserved, but not identify as disadvantaged because that implies larger issues during one's childhood.

    Oh, AMCAS.
     
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  23. mrh125

    mrh125 Banned Banned Account on Hold

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    Great post. How does this sort of question come up in interviews? I'm prepared to explain about my community and say how it furthered my interest in working w/ the underserved and more of a context. It just provides more of a context of my experiences. Is there any way that marking this and explaining this could be used against me or negatively affect my application? I was concerned about the whole pissing context thing with "you think your area is underserved?!".

    Yes, it's tricky and it makes me wonder if i'm best left avoiding it all together for the potential ramifications of marking it.
     
  24. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    So, you can say "yes" to underserved area and not identify as "disadvantaged"? That seems like win/win. I might ask "So, you grew up in a medically underserved area. What was that like?"
    There are so many areas that are underserved. Even if your area isn't officially designated, if your family had problems finding medical care you might believe that the area was underserved.
     
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  25. Cyberdyne 101

    Cyberdyne 101 Runnin' Down a Dream Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    I grew up in NYC, which has to be one of the more "physician populated" places out there. Yet I developed an MSK problem as a teen that was misdiagnosed and exacerbated by multiple medical practitioners. And this put me at a severe disadvantage in terms of everyday life. I feel that being "disadvantaged" can come from a myriad of sources.
     
  26. DK2014

    DK2014

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    Davis, CA , which is 20 minutes from Sacramento, CA, the capital of CA, is underserved?

    Lol. You don't think that is getting desperate? Sounds like your point of emphasis is the lack of a pediatric unit (back then) and lack of geriatric care. There are many areas in the U.S. where the care may be limited, but the area is not considered underserved.

    Underserved is not judged by how many units are in a hospital.
     
  27. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    NYC is underserved in terms of not having enough primary care providers; everyone is a subspecialist.
     
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  28. BeMD13

    BeMD13 2+ Year Member

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  29. BeMD13

    BeMD13 2+ Year Member

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    Also, I agree with what Lizzy is saying about answering "Do you believe..." but if you check that site and your community is not considered underserved, I would talk about it in the personal statement portion instead and let them see how passionate you are about making changes in that area. That is a good thing. You don't want it to be misconstrued as trying to have an advantage over other applicants.
     
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  30. shiftingmirage

    shiftingmirage 7+ Year Member

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    You'd be surprised were some underserved areas are. I live in Chicago in what is called the Illinois Medical District. Per the HRSA website, I am in a primary, mental, and dental professional shortage area and a medically underserved area. Rush University Hospital, U of Ill Hospital, Cook County Hospital, and the VA Hospital are within 4 blocks of my apt. Rush has a couple buildings pretty much devoted to outpatient care (mixed with administrative stuff), County has many outpatient clinics including subspecialty clinics in the hospital and primary care clinics in another building. I'm not familiar with UofI or VA, but I'm sure there is some form of primary care available, yet it is medically underserved.

    I think some of it has to do with supply vs demand. Despite all these docs, people still may have to wait 3+ months for an appointment.
     
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  31. mrh125

    mrh125 Banned Banned Account on Hold

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    my home town is not davis. it's farther south and more rural. If my hometown was davis, I wouldn't mark it as underserved UC Davis med center is amazing and the nearby kaiser aint bad. The hospital in my town, however is making significant cuts that really hurt the general populous and level of care to avoid bankruptcy.
     
  32. DK2014

    DK2014

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    If you want to serve in an underserved area and your home area doesn't work out, the Carribean is underserved :)
     
  33. drcrispmd

    drcrispmd 2+ Year Member

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    I have no issue about the OP talking about her home town as under served. Trying to use that to label themselves a disadvantaged applicant is what I have issue with. Undeserved does not equal disadvantaged otherwise most of the applicants could make that case. The experience is better used as a reason they want to go into medicine, and not to try to gain point on the app because they feel they were disadvantaged.
     
  34. drcrispmd

    drcrispmd 2+ Year Member

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    Not a pissing contest. Just wanted to give the OP some perspective that some do not even have half of the medical professionals or facilities. And honestly if I was interviewing. Someone who tried to say they are disadvantaged because of their story, that is how I would respond. Need to be prepared for that.
     
  35. mrh125

    mrh125 Banned Banned Account on Hold

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    no thanks unless it involves me replacing johnny depp in the next pirates movie and getting paid his usual salary :p.

    the amcas application lumps disadvantaged applicants with those in underserved areas together though.
     
  36. mrh125

    mrh125 Banned Banned Account on Hold

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    it's not like i'm trying to masquerade it as the WORST UNDERSERVED area ever. It's not even close, it's just underserved and I'm writing a secondary statement about wanting to work in tanzania now that's way more underserved than my area. I think's important to call attention to all underserved areas though.
     
  37. drcrispmd

    drcrispmd 2+ Year Member

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    There are a lot of applicants who are in medically under served areas and are going to telling stories similar to yours bClicking yes and telling a detailed story is not going to set your app apart from the many others. You want your app to stand out. Instead of telling a story of a lost love one you can say something like:

    I am from a medically underserved area that as a result my family has suffered. I do not see this as a disadvantage because my experiences living in an undeserved area allows me to understand and empathize with those currently struggling in those types of areas.

    Empathy is a big part of communications in med school and by including this will show you already have an understanding. Short but makes the point without going into a long story. Also you won't have to worry about admission's committee have the reaction I did. An interviewer may ask for more details and that is where you can explain more about it.

    Everyone applying to med school has good gpa, good mcat, shadowing, etc. you need to find ways to make you app stand out.
     
    Last edited: 05.28.14
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  38. O2Doc

    O2Doc 2+ Year Member

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    Just be careful not to write about this Tanzanian village:
    http://www.gomerblog.com/2014/05/med-school-admission-essay/
     
  39. mrh125

    mrh125 Banned Banned Account on Hold

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