Mar 27, 2010
9
0
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Pre-Medical
Hi!

I'm beginning to get ready to apply to med school next Fall and I'm starting to freak out a little bit. I have a very minor disability. Thanks to an injury in my left foot, I walk with a slight limp and my balance can be a bit off. I don't have any problem walking on even or even uneven surfaces, but stairs can be difficult. Other than that, my mobility is fine. I walk unassisted. The largest issue is that I'm unable to stand for long periods of time without rest in between. All of my other motor skills are excellent and I have no other circumstances which might impede my ability to do clinical rotations/residency. I'm looking for FP/IM. I have always thought I would be capable of undertaking medical school and the thought has never crossed my mind. Now I'm having horrible fantasies where I go to interviews, they see I'm midly disabled, and make up some excuse not to accept me. Am I overreacting?
 

Ismet

PGY-almost done!
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You are overreacting. You cannot be discriminated against due to disability as long as you meet the technical standards set forth by the school (most schools publish these on their websites). From your description of your disability, there's nothing that disqualifies you from being a medical student or physician. Here's an example of the technical standards (see #3, motor): http://www.medadmissions.pitt.edu/admissions-requirements/documents/technicalstandards-website12-15-2010.pdf

There have been students at my school completely confined to wheelchairs, along with other disabilities. And if a school rejects you due to your disability (although they'll never admit it because it's illegal to do so) then that's not a school that you want to attend anyway.

Best of luck!
 

darkjedi

how did this get here I am not good with computer
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Oct 14, 2009
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This is definitely not something that any med school would reject you over at all. You may have some issues during your surgery rotations standing during the cases however, and some attendings may be more understanding than others.
 

BillrothI

5+ Year Member
Feb 8, 2013
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The largest issue is that I'm unable to stand for long periods of time without rest in between.
This could potentially be a problem during your surgery rotation. Your preceptor should be able to accommodate you, but make sure that they know ahead of time so that they make the appropriate arrangements.

Good luck!

-Bill
 
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malaika

advocate for forgiveness
May 30, 2013
335
83
Petersburg, VA
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Medical Student (Accepted)
Hi!

I'm beginning to get ready to apply to med school next Fall and I'm starting to freak out a little bit. I have a very minor disability. Thanks to an injury in my left foot, I walk with a slight limp and my balance can be a bit off. I don't have any problem walking on even or even uneven surfaces, but stairs can be difficult. Other than that, my mobility is fine. I walk unassisted. The largest issue is that I'm unable to stand for long periods of time without rest in between. All of my other motor skills are excellent and I have no other circumstances which might impede my ability to do clinical rotations/residency. I'm looking for FP/IM. I have always thought I would be capable of undertaking medical school and the thought has never crossed my mind. Now I'm having horrible fantasies where I go to interviews, they see I'm midly disabled, and make up some excuse not to accept me. Am I overreacting?
You have nothing to worry about. If anything it should work at your advantage.

I think what he means is: some attendings will understand. But you might get labeled as 'lazy' by the others if you can't stand for 10 hours straight.
:uhno: Stand for 10 hours? Damnnn!!! I can't even sit for 10 hours ... wtf! Is this accurate?
When i was a cashier as a teenager - i could stand for 6 hours (with 30 min break in btw) but 10 hours? Pls tell me ur kidding
 

Gauss44

5+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2012
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Go to your doctor and get a letter stating that you cannot stand for whatever length of time and that you will need breaks and classrooms accessible by elevator or without going up/down stairs. Then after getting accepted, proceed to the medical school's disability office and request disability accommodations of: 1. accessible classrooms and, 2. the allowance of breaks when standing is required. The first accommodation (no stairs), can be made confidentially so that instructors don't know who it's for. This way, if there's no standing in a class, you're instructors won't know YOU are being accommodated. They might need to know that someone is, but WHO should remain a mystery.

The instructors who have to give you a break while standing, will (obviously) need to know the accommodation is for you. However, you can imply that it's a temporary situation so they hopefully they won't ASSUME that you are unfit in any long term way.

IMO, requesting accommodations WHEN NEEDED shows self respect.
 
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Jan 3, 2013
15
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27
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Pre-Medical
This is really good to hear. I'm planning on applying this application cycle but have gotten diagnosed with a rare syndrome called Mal de Debarquement Syndrome. It is triggered by prolonged travel, but theoretically self limiting each time it occurs (within a few months at the very least). When it acts up I am very dizzy, and need a cane to feel secure while walking, though technically my balance is fine.
I was starting to feel concerned because getting to medical school interviews will involve *flying* which could set things off again, and make me need a cane while I'm interviewing. Since it gets better within a few months of being triggered at the longest it shouldn't be a problem while I'm studying/practicing (I'll just make my parents come visit me for holidays instead of vise versa :) ), but I was concerned of what the admissions committees might think.
 

Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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Quit fussing, you're fine. I've known doctors with grand mal stutters, one with a withered left arm, and read of two who were completely blind (who became psychiatrists).

Hi!

I'm beginning to get ready to apply to med school next Fall and I'm starting to freak out a little bit. I have a very minor disability. Thanks to an injury in my left foot, I walk with a slight limp and my balance can be a bit off. I don't have any problem walking on even or even uneven surfaces, but stairs can be difficult. Other than that, my mobility is fine. I walk unassisted. The largest issue is that I'm unable to stand for long periods of time without rest in between. All of my other motor skills are excellent and I have no other circumstances which might impede my ability to do clinical rotations/residency. I'm looking for FP/IM. I have always thought I would be capable of undertaking medical school and the thought has never crossed my mind. Now I'm having horrible fantasies where I go to interviews, they see I'm midly disabled, and make up some excuse not to accept me. Am I overreacting?
 

DokterMom

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Mar 1, 2013
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This is really good to hear. I'm planning on applying this application cycle but have gotten diagnosed with a rare syndrome called Mal de Debarquement Syndrome. It is triggered by prolonged travel, but theoretically self limiting each time it occurs (within a few months at the very least). When it acts up I am very dizzy, and need a cane to feel secure while walking, though technically my balance is fine.
I was starting to feel concerned because getting to medical school interviews will involve *flying* which could set things off again, and make me need a cane while I'm interviewing. Since it gets better within a few months of being triggered at the longest it shouldn't be a problem while I'm studying/practicing (I'll just make my parents come visit me for holidays instead of vise versa :) ), but I was concerned of what the admissions committees might think.
Well that one's wild -- o_O Sounds very debilitating - sorry.

In your particular case, when you get an interview invitation that would require flying, I might consider disclosing your condition and asking if they would consider a Skype preliminary interview so the trip doesn't trigger an episode. Or maybe move your interview so you could condense your travel schedule and knock them all out together??
 

Great White Buffalo

5+ Year Member
Nov 13, 2013
456
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Medical Student
Hi!

I'm beginning to get ready to apply to med school next Fall and I'm starting to freak out a little bit. I have a very minor disability. Thanks to an injury in my left foot, I walk with a slight limp and my balance can be a bit off. I don't have any problem walking on even or even uneven surfaces, but stairs can be difficult. Other than that, my mobility is fine. I walk unassisted. The largest issue is that I'm unable to stand for long periods of time without rest in between. All of my other motor skills are excellent and I have no other circumstances which might impede my ability to do clinical rotations/residency. I'm looking for FP/IM. I have always thought I would be capable of undertaking medical school and the thought has never crossed my mind. Now I'm having horrible fantasies where I go to interviews, they see I'm midly disabled, and make up some excuse not to accept me. Am I overreacting?
Check out this link for the Chairwomen of Neurosurgery at U of M (she has spinal bifida). A truly inspiring person:

http://www.michigandaily.com/news/muraszko

Dr. Muraszko is only 4' 9", and needed a special wheelchair to prop her up when she use to do surgeries. U of M also has a Family Medicine Chair who is deaf, a Dr. Zazove. Don't let a mild disability hold you back!!
 
Jan 3, 2013
15
0
27
Status
Pre-Medical
Well that one's wild -- o_O Sounds very debilitating - sorry.

In your particular case, when you get an interview invitation that would require flying, I might consider disclosing your condition and asking if they would consider a Skype preliminary interview so the trip doesn't trigger an episode. Or maybe move your interview so you could condense your travel schedule and knock them all out together??
Yeah I've considered that approach. For now I'm working on tackling the MCAT, and then I'll seriously consider what I'm going to do. I'm just now getting to where I can consistently function without a cane from the episode set off in December...My ENT thinks that if I take Ativan throughout the flight it should prevent a re-occurrence though.