Can I mention this in my medical school interviews? Two problems.

boltedbicorne

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A big part of my interest in medicine comes from growing up in an underserved community, where there aren't many doctors, the hospital is severely lacking in terms of critical care, and many of friends and family have travelled far to receive the care they need in really perilious situations. These sort of experiences have made me extremely proactive with doctors, create opportunities for those in my community and others (I've translated for several doctors and brought a lot of added perspective to practices I volunteered at) and I do a lot of research on my own.

Last week my mom had a heart attack, and it was a very scary situation because the hospital in our town really couldn't do anything and she had to be transported several hours away. I've been through many traumatic medical situations, but it's different and even harder when it's your own family, especially when you have to work with limitations such as 911 refusing to help you notify the hospital, when that is what could really make a difference in her life. What really made the difference for her during this critical time, was the fact that I've done extensive research on heart conditions due to my dad having a artheroschorsis, and I suggested the doctor prescribe, so we had nitroglycerin available when this happened. Because she was able to receive nitroglycerin during the critical period her heart is only stunted instead of significantly damaged and the doctors at cath lab several hours away were able to give her a stent. This is a very powerful experience for me because it's so close to home, draws me to pursuing further research in cardiology in medical school, and as someone who is interested in providing care to the underserved, when care and technology aren't available for them I'm a person, who will do everything in my power to make them available and find solutions for each patient. It also further illustrated to me the significance of preventative medicine, as one test could have made the difference in recognizing this may happen by identifying the plaque buildup in her heart. Needlessly to say, I really want to emphasize and bridge the gap in preventative medical knowledge in underserved communities.

Questions:
1) Is it appropriate to bring this up in out of state interviews? I'm worried that they're going to think "this student is a bad investment because he has close family in CA that have serious conditions and if anything happens he won't be able to handle it. He also probably won't go to our school if we accept him because he'd want to be some place closer to his family". Would it be viewed this way? Even with a family that faces health issues, I still am determined to seek out and pursue the best medical school education I can find, regardless of its location. Don't get me wrong, I'll always be there for my family too, but I'm not going to turn down acceptances for that reason.
2) I'm not trying to bring this up to sound like a hero or a hotshot bragging premed who touts medical knowledge, but really knows nothing. It's a very powerful experience that influences me and motivates me. It also shows some of my character and determinaton, as when resources aren't available I'll do anything in my power to work with what's given and work with the limitations we face. Can I bring it up without it being seen as another hotshot premed?
 

DrBowtie

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I think you're overestimating the effect some sublingual or dermal nitro had.
 
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boltedbicorne

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I think you're overestimating the effect some sublingual or dermal nitro had.

even then, the point still remains. I'm not here to debate the effect of nitro, rather illustrate an important experience and ask if it's appropriate to discuss in interviews. What are your thoughts on the matter?
 
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DrBowtie

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even then, the point still remains. I'm not here to debate the effect of nitro, rather illustrate an important experience and ask if it's appropriate to discuss in interviews. What are your thoughts on the matter?
I think that you think you'll look smart or a hotshot but really it shows you don't know how much you don't know.

You can certainly talk about your experience about being rural and interacting with healthcare but tread carefully with your self congratulatory commentary.
 
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DarknightX

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I think that you think you'll look smart or a hotshot but really it shows you don't know how much you don't know.

You can certainly talk about your experience about being rural and interacting with healthcare but tread carefully with your self congratulatory commentary.

I would definitely bring up the limitations to care that you experienced, and that being motivating for you.

I wouldn't mention the fact that you gave her nitro and that because she was able to "receive nitroglycerin during the critical period her heart is only stunted instead of significantly damaged and the doctors at cath lab several hours away were able to give her a stent." Sounds like you're patting yourself on the back here, and it won't come off well.
 
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boltedbicorne

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I think that you think you'll look smart or a hotshot but really it shows you don't know how much you don't know.

You can certainly talk about your experience about being rural and interacting with healthcare but tread carefully with your self congratulatory commentary.

Thanks for the response. The smart/hotshot stuff isn't what I'm going for at all. Good you mention what it would seem like though. What do you think about the whole OOS concern I have?

I would definitely bring up the limitations to care that you experienced, and that being motivating for you.

I wouldn't mention the fact that you gave her nitro and that because she was able to "receive nitroglycerin during the critical period her heart is only stunted instead of significantly damaged and the doctors at cath lab several hours away were able to give her a stent." Sounds like you're patting yourself on the back here, and it won't come off well.

Thanks for your response :). What do you think about the OOS concern I have? I'm worried out of state med schools, would view accepting me as wasting an acceptance, if they're inclined to believe I'd just go to some place closer for school due to family.
 

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I don't suspect that you will be asked about your status as an OOS applicant in an interview. In the case that you are, be sure to emphasize that you are focused on your career at this point in time. You'll miss your family, you'll worry about them, but you are cognizant of the fact that becoming a doctor will be of more use to your family and your community because you'll have experience, resources, and knowledge of which to make use.

If anything, they will ask about your experience in a rural community to give you opportunities to discuss what you have learned in this position. Talk about some of the things you mentioned: your awareness of the fact that rural medicine tends to be sub par. How your personal experience gives you insight into possible solutions to the problems you see in a rural setting. For example, how can preventive care assuage some of the secondary diseases that affect people in urban/rural areas? Mention how volunteering as a translator has allowed you to garner a sense of responsibility for and belonging to your community. You should highlight the fact that the skills you've learned are similarly employed in the setting of healthcare.

Talk about your experience. It is definitely unique and valuable. I come from a humanities background. Over there we learn that the questions we ask frame the answers we receive. As such, people with unique perspectives can change the game simply by being able to see things other people do not. Different perspectives expand the limits of our current discourse. Don't feel like your experience is a drawback at all because it is not.
 
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Goro

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You're not the first applicant who's applied to away-from-home schools who's had family health issues. You WILL need to answer the question "so what are you going to do if you mom gets sick again while you're in med school?" I've asked that question and some people gave well thought out responses and others telegraph that they'll make decisions that while are admirable to family, are not good for a medical student. And no, I'm not going to share the answers.


1) Is it appropriate to bring this up in out of state interviews? I'm worried that they're going to think "this student is a bad investment because he has close family in CA that have serious conditions and if anything happens he won't be able to handle it. He also probably won't go to our school if we accept him because he'd want to be some place closer to his family". Would it be viewed this way? Even with a family that faces health issues, I still am determined to seek out and pursue the best medical school education I can find, regardless of its location. Don't get me wrong, I'll always be there for my family too, but I'm not going to turn down acceptances for that reason.

I hate to let you down, but the doctor dealing with your mom was most probably not an idiot, and would have prescribed the right drugs for your mom anyway. I'd be worried that you'd set yourself up to a clinician/interviewer who would cut you down to size, if there was any hint of bragging. So, I suggest letting this one go.

2) I'm not trying to bring this up to sound like a hero or a hotshot bragging premed who touts medical knowledge, but really knows nothing. It's a very powerful experience that influences me and motivates me. It also shows some of my character and determinaton, as when resources aren't available I'll do anything in my power to work with what's given and work with the limitations we face. Can I bring it up without it being seen as another hotshot premed?[/QUOTE]
 
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