2+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2015
I am currently a rising fourth year student at a well accredited university. I immigrated to the United States several years ago and despite my inability to speak any English at that time, I quickly pulled up my grades and became the top student at my high school. During my HS senior year, I was diagnosed with a debilitating physical condition (tumor/vicious migraines) that led to serious clinical depression. However, I was still lucky enough to find my way into an excellent university. My grades suffered during the first three semesters due to these conditions. I believe being an immigrant (lack of language proficiency) and being the first in my family to attend college (lack of guidance) put me at a disadvantage as well. Nonetheless, I believe I showed strength in dealing with my problems by choosing psychology as my field of study in order to learn skills that could help me change my lifestyle. Many people believe that mentioning mental disorders on graduate school applications shows weakness, but I believe the strength of my story lies in how I dealt with my problem. My semesterly GPAs changed in this manner: (2.941, 2.938, 2.488, 3.4, 3.7, 3.65).

Here are my questions:

1. Considering my story, is it still a bad idea to mention depression?
2. Given that I will not finish prereqs by the time I graduate, is there a postbac program that allows repeating some courses while finishing the remaining requirements?


5+ Year Member
May 12, 2013
I think the story works without mentioning depression. Others can give you more help with the prereq situation.
Aug 17, 2015
It sounds like you've been through a lot.

Fortunately, you will have a chance to write about the difficulties you faced, and how you overcame these obstacles in your personal statement. You will also write about what you have learned and how this will make you a better physician.

Alternately, many schools will send you secondary essays on dealing with adversity/major roadblocks, so you could save the details and mention it there.

Nobody has a perfect, clear-cut road to medicine, but I think you are on the right track. Given your history of self-improvement, a post-bacc will be able to help you. I would seek advice from others who have gone through this route. You would need to complete the remaining prereqs and search out more clinical experiences (volunteering, shadowing) prior to applying. Have you written the MCAT? You should do that too.