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disadvanatged status

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Mistress S, Jul 24, 2002.

  1. Mistress S

    Mistress S Don't mess with the S 10+ Year Member

    Apr 15, 2000
    I know this question has come up before, but as everyone's situation is different I thought I'd ask for opinions about mine. I'm going to apply to med school next June and am considering whether or not to claim disadvantaged status. I am not sure that doing so would confer any actual benefits to me as a med school applicant, and may therefore require me to talk about personal and family issues that I would rather not discuss unless it will be seriously considered by adcoms. Basically, I am a non-URM from an economically disadvantaged background (no dad, mother with only HS education and sporadic work history) as well as socially disadvantaged (in and out of foster care, lived with various relatives, etc. due to physical abuse in the home throughout my childhood). Obviously, this background affected me, but I have done well in college in spite of it (3.8 gpa, full scholarship at state school, good ec's). I honestly don't know if I should bring any of this up by marking disadvantaged on my application- on the one hand, I know my background is not typical of med school applicants, and it is relevant to who I am today and how hard I have had to work. I am also concerned that it may come up in interviews anyway (I have heard that some schools ask about your family and childhood), in which case I might as well be up front about it on my application. On the other hand, I am under the impression that adcoms don't really give any special consideration to disadvantaged students, so I would rather not delve into these personal matters and risk looking unstable or whiny. What do you guys think about applying disadvantaged? I obviously meet the criteria, but I should have a reasonably strong application without it and I don't want to waste my time writing an extra essay about such personal issues if adcoms don't really care.
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  3. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    first off, I congratulate you for your accomplishments in the face of adversity.

    Whether or not the adcoms care I dont think is really the issue at hand here..rather, do you care? Of course without sounding whiny, but do you feel your less than advantageous upbringing helps defines your character and resolve? If it is an important part of your life, and affects in any way your decision to apply to medical school, why wouldn't you put it down?

    ..this above all, to thine own self be true......
  4. jaeida8

    jaeida8 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 21, 2001
    Harlingen, TX
    I think you should apply under disadvantaged status. I also placed myself in that category when I applied last year and I included some of the information about my family situation in my personal statement. I included it in a way in which it showed that I am a dedicated, tough, resolved person. The only real questions I was asked in interviews was whether or not it was still an issue. Other than that, I think it helped my application.
  5. usarmybrat

    usarmybrat Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 19, 2002
    San Francisco, California

    i think that you qualify as a disadvantage student. i know that you probably don't like the label and have achieved so much without have to reveal your background, but whether or not you choose to disclose this in your application, you will probably end up discussing aspects of your background during the process whether in your personal essays or in interviews. i also feel that you can discuss your background in a way that does not sound whiny, but does show that you are a strong, accoplished, and determined person. in other words, you can put the information out there in whichever way you choose. it's not a sob story. it's just the truth - your truth, which is what matters most.

    if possible, you should lay all of you cards out on the table, and see what happens - it could really help your applications (more than it could hurt them) and provide a way for you to stand out as someone who had to overcome some truly unusual challenges to get to where you are now. good luck.

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