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disadvantaged status

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by vm26, Oct 16, 2002.

  1. vm26

    vm26 Member
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    whats the deal with disadvantaged status, how much does it help? I filled out this section on amcas because there was a question about working before the age of 18 and because I paid for most of my education, which isnt that uncommon nowadays, anyway does anyone know if filing this actually makes a significant difference?
     
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  3. Mistress S

    Mistress S Don't mess with the S
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    I'm really curious about this as well, because I am applying this coming June and think I would qualify as socially/economincally disadvantaged (single parent/low income household, no dad, spent most of my childhood in foster care or living with relatives, etc.). However, I am not sure if it will really help my application to apply disadvantaged, as the feedback I have received about this has been inconsistent. I'm also not sure if I really feel comfortable writing an essay about such personal matters, which I think you have to do if you designate yourself as disadvantaged. I'm concerned that it won't be taken seriously by adcoms, and I don't want to risk sounding whiny or like I'm asking for special favors because of my screwed up childhood, which for the most part I have managed to overcome without any special help. I would really like to hear from others with more experience in this, especially anyone who has applied disadvantaged and can speak about how they feel this affected their app. I have heard different answers from almost everyone I have asked about this, I don't think it helps that the definition of "disadvantaged" is left pretty vague so that a lot of people could fall into that category who really didn't face any exceptional obstacles growing up or in college.
     
  4. vm26

    vm26 Member
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    you're right, it is pretty vague. I was uneasy about filling it out because there's no real measuring stick for this sort of thing. I'm a first generation american and I grew up in a single parent household so there were some hardships but I think my feelings about this are somewhat accentuated because I was lucky enough to grew up in a upper class area, I decided to just describe my circumstances and leave it up to the admission boards to decide on whether or not it is a factor, best of luck
     
  5. neuromd03

    neuromd03 Membership Revoked
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    Good advice. Best not to appear whiny or the glass-is-half-empty type. If you describe your circumstances objectively, the admissions committee can draw their own conclusions. If they feel that you were disadvantaged and you don't say that you were, then that's a bonus.
     
  6. whatsupdoc

    whatsupdoc Member
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    Hey I remember reading somewhere that Stanford uses this as part of their screening process (e.g., awards certain point value for checking the box) and recently read that UCSF had 25% of their class check the box. I don't know what that means but it looks like some schools care about it more than others.
     
  7. srabulldog

    srabulldog Member
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    My husband filled in the disadvantaged part of his AMCAS and I think it was to his benefit, but be careful to keep it positive. If you have a disadvantaged background, you can use that forum to complain about how much harder it has been on you, but that would be inadvisable. I came from an advantaged background myself, and personally I am inspired to hear about people making it in spite of bad circumstances. I had everything going for me, and I still managed to attempt to mess up my life beyond repair... My husband, who I met after my life was back on track, came from a migrant farmworking family, his parents have no education, he lived in a trailer with 14 other people, he didn't even have to go to school because nobody cared at all. But, in his disadvantaged statement he focused on what he learned from his background: hardworking family, learning to work independently, etc. He mentioned the hardships he faced, but didn't do it in a whiny way. Rather, it was *inspiring* if I may be so bold... He's been to 7 interviews, and almost all of his interviewers have been impressed by his story, much of which they learned through the disadvantaged statement. By all means, be personal in it because this is what will set you apart, and your ultimate goal is to get in. BTW, he got in. Hope this helps.
     
  8. zephyr_97

    zephyr_97 Member
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    The above posts summarized everything so well that I will only add some personal perspecctive. After some internal debate, I decided to apply under disadvantaged. Make sure you are honest and describe how your background has made you who you are today and helped you to decide a career in medicine. As for me, I also came out of the wood work in my applications. Fingers crossed, I have not had a rejection yet and just received an interview invite to my top choice school. Keep your chin up and good luck!


    Z.
     
  9. nidaqadir

    nidaqadir New Member

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    i also was unsure about whether or not to apply as disadvantaged, as the advice i was generally given was that if you weren't part of an ethnic minority that was underrepresented in medicine, you weren't considered disadvantaged. i grew up in a single parent family that went through a lot of financial hardship and general turmoil, which i thought gave me a very different experience from most of my peers that were applying to med school...the majority of them seemed to come from pretty stable backgrounds. i decided not to apply as disadvantaged, but rather to write about experiences related to my background in my personal statement. don't know what the admissions committees would advise, but i got into multiple schools, so i guess something worked.
     

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