tqtraq

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My main reason why I want to become a physician is because of an experience I had with an illness. I discussed this in my personal statement and mentioned the specific illness but didn't describe it, only mentioning that it is not going to hinder me as a medical student/physician. Is it a good idea to mention the illness and describe a little bit about it i.e. symptoms during the interview but also mention that it won't affect me? For example, if I mention something like Lyme's disease(just an example) and mention a few symptoms and how it affects me. I already put it in my PS, and wanted to make my story more personal rather than mentioning that I was sick and became interested in medicine, leaving the interviewers wondering. I'm afraid that they will be judgemental, but at the same time I already stated in my PS and received interviews.
 
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More_Medz

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Mar 18, 2015
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I am in the same boat and would say only talk about if asked.

The medical community, including the people who interview you, know best about illness and are very good about about not holding negative connotations against you for having one.

That being sad, you have discussed it already in your PS. Therefore, I would say, only talk about it asked or if it is relevant to a particular question.

It has not affected me in the application process whatsoever.
 
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tqtraq

7+ Year Member
Mar 20, 2012
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I am in the same boat and would say only talk about if asked.

The medical community, including the people who interview you, know best about illness and are very good about about not holding negative connotations against you for having one.

That being sad, you have discussed it already in your PS. Therefore, I would say, only talk about it asked or if it is relevant to a particular question.

It has not affected me in the application process whatsoever.
So I know a lot of schools will ask me "why do I want to become a doctor", should I discuss a little about the illness ? Again, I wanted my story to be unique and interesting to them rather than saying I was "just sick." It may backfire though but Im not sure
 

More_Medz

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Of course you should, because that is the actual reason you wanted to go into medicine.

I am most positive that it won't backfire. It shows them that you understand better than anyone what a patient may be going through. Overall, just tell them the truth and be yourself!
 
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mathnerd88

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Jan 4, 2013
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So I know a lot of schools will ask me "why do I want to become a doctor", should I discuss a little about the illness ? Again, I wanted my story to be unique and interesting to them rather than saying I was "just sick." It may backfire though but Im not sure
Be honest in your interview, but avoid making negative implications that the illness may do to you in the future, if anything.
 
Oct 27, 2013
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My main reason why I want to become a physician is because of an experience I had with an illness. I discussed this in my personal statement and mentioned the specific illness but didn't describe it, only mentioning that it is not going to hinder me as a medical student/physician. Is it a good idea to mention the illness and describe a little bit about it i.e. symptoms during the interview but also mention that it won't affect me? For example, if I mention something like Lyme's disease(just an example) and mention a few symptoms and how it affects me. I already put it in my PS, and wanted to make my story more personal rather than mentioning that I was sick and became interested in medicine, leaving the interviewers wondering. I'm afraid that they will be judgemental, but at the same time I already stated in my PS and received interviews.
If it is a physical illness, I think it is okay to talk about it, it shows you have some kind of understanding of what its like to be a patient, if you are talking about other issues, might as well keep quiet.
 
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Goro

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Chill.

You'll be fine.



My main reason why I want to become a physician is because of an experience I had with an illness. I discussed this in my personal statement and mentioned the specific illness but didn't describe it, only mentioning that it is not going to hinder me as a medical student/physician. Is it a good idea to mention the illness and describe a little bit about it i.e. symptoms during the interview but also mention that it won't affect me? For example, if I mention something like Lyme's disease(just an example) and mention a few symptoms and how it affects me. I already put it in my PS, and wanted to make my story more personal rather than mentioning that I was sick and became interested in medicine, leaving the interviewers wondering. I'm afraid that they will be judgemental, but at the same time I already stated in my PS and received interviews.
 
Oct 27, 2013
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1,359
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Resident [Any Field]
My main reason why I want to become a physician is because of an experience I had with an illness. I discussed this in my personal statement and mentioned the specific illness but didn't describe it, only mentioning that it is not going to hinder me as a medical student/physician. Is it a good idea to mention the illness and describe a little bit about it i.e. symptoms during the interview but also mention that it won't affect me? For example, if I mention something like Lyme's disease(just an example) and mention a few symptoms and how it affects me. I already put it in my PS, and wanted to make my story more personal rather than mentioning that I was sick and became interested in medicine, leaving the interviewers wondering. I'm afraid that they will be judgemental, but at the same time I already stated in my PS and received interviews.
Talking about a physical impairment is not going to hurt you, some other issues will probably perceived differently.
 
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I disagree. See my previous post. Also, Goro has already commented on the manner. I think that is an indication that no more input is needed on the matter.
Talking about a physical impairment is not a problem, but something like ADHD well, so many people get "diagnosed" with that. And you got to choose your words really carefully that you do not make yourself look like a potential liability to the school.

There are a lot of students who wind up not meeting academic standards, ie failing grades, then claim they have ADD or ADHD as the justification or excuse for not meeting certain standards.
 
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More_Medz

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Talking about a physical impairment is not a problem, but something like ADHD well, so many people get "diagnosed" with that.
That is a very good point. Psychiatric disorders especially A.D.H.D. or other learning disorders definitely become the scape goat when a parent's child isn't doing well in school. They can even be misdiagnosed by psychiatrists, pediatricians, etc.. especially when the patient's parent is looking for a quick fix. I would love to discuss this subject further but that is a whole other ballpark and for the sake of the OP's question, I don't think this is the place to discuss it.

I agree with your viewpoint on physical impairments.

On the subject of psychiatric impairments, I would say, go ahead and talk about it if it was diagnosed, you received documented treatment for it, and you were able to overcome and develop some unique characteristics and hard learned lessons from the situation.

Thank you for comments @Seth Joo
 
Oct 27, 2013
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That is a very good point. Psychiatric disorders especially A.D.H.D. or other learning disorders definitely become the scape goat when a parent's child isn't doing well in school. They can even be misdiagnosed by psychiatrists, pediatricians, etc.. especially when the patient's parent is looking for a quick fix. I would love to discuss this subject further but that is a whole other ballpark and for the sake of the OP's question, I don't think this is the place to discuss it.

I agree with your viewpoint on physical impairments.

On the subject of psychiatric impairments, I would say, go ahead and talk about it if it was diagnosed, you received documented treatment for it, and you were able to overcome and develop some unique characteristics and hard learned lessons from the situation.

Thank you for comments @Seth Joo
At most universities students can receive mental health care on a confidential basis which means the details of such treatment are never shared with administrators. There is a good reason why its confidential. I also think its a good idea for students who suffer from such issues to get treatment and keep such matters confidential, many schools do not have a good track record when it comes to the treatment of students with such disorders.
 

IntheClouds4ever

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Sep 10, 2014
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If its pivotal in your decision, then go for it. I mentioned overcoming chronic illness and then elaborated in secondaries on specific illness, using it as motiviation for research and community service, and the experience allowing a different perspective as a patient/*future* physician