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Diversity Secondaries

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Gabgab

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I am a white female, but I think I have been exposed to slightly different environment than applicants with a similar profile to me. They are all related to blue collar, low middle class income:

1. Deep understanding of how addiciton impacts every aspect of life: my brother battled alcohol and narcotic addiction for my entire childhood- he spent holidays in rehab, ngot expelled from college, nearly died several times, and spurred family fights. My dad has also become violent/ showing extreme rage while drunk. My sister's fiance commited suicide in her appartment during a relapse into alcoholism and it has been really hard on her. Since these experiences, I have spent a lot of time volunteering with addicts and have come to understand how addiction erodes society on a larger level.
2. Although I am well above the poverty line, I grew up always worrying about money. I am the youngest of five, my dad is a carpenter, and my mom is unemployed. My dad would throw fits about money a lot. As a result, I always feel guilty spending money, and I am frugal. This will make me conscientious in limiting the economic burden I place on my patients wherever possible.
3. Exposure to domestic unrest. I have gotten good at identiying when I need to hide in my room or prefferably the basement when my dad is throwing a fit. Unfortunately, there is no where to hide from the stabbing feeling I get in my stomach when he is screaming. This has gotten a lot less frequent in recent years, but I did have to learn how to cope with really strong emotional reactions. I will write out what I am thinking rather than erupting violently. Rather than dwelling on negativity, I divert my energy into academics and extracurriculars.

Sorry if this sounded like a therapy session- I wanted to explain the extent of these experiences to see if anyone thinks they are enough to make me "diverse." If so, which one is most compelling to adcoms? Should I combine them under the umbrella of "low middle class" problems?
 
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deleted972488

I think #1 would make the most compelling essay.
 
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Moko

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The first option is by far your best choice here. However, I would recommend holding off on the details portraying your dad as a violent drunk, even if that may be true. There are more neutral and tactful ways to convey the same information. I agree with focusing on how these events prompted you to pursue volunteering with this challenging patient population.
 
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deleted972488

It's important not to come across as a victim.

Would you mind clarifying this? I understand the focus of these essays shouldn't be "woe is me" but is it not important to indicate how difficult circumstances motivated us to help other people?
 

Gabgab

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How you describe your background and the experiences you have had will be critical to a successful essay on this topic. It's important not to come across as a victim.

Rather, you should focus on how these experiences have made you sensitive to vulnerabilities in others, heightened your awareness of dysfunction, especially family dysfunction and allowed you to develop resiliency. You need to close by explaining how this makes you a better medical student, classmate and physician.

Diversity does not have to be tied to socio-economic background; it can include diversity of talents.

"Diversity does not have to be tied to socio-economic background; it can include diversity of talents."- true! I am also a classical violinist but that came up a lot in my AMCAS application so I think it might be to my advantage to highlight something that ADCOMS do not already know about me in secondaries.
 
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curbsideconsult

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"Diversity does not have to be tied to socio-economic background; it can include diversity of talents."- true! I am also a classical violinist but that came up a lot in my AMCAS application so I think it might be to my advantage to highlight something that ADCOMS do not already know about me in secondaries.
I think you can merge this and #1. Most classical violinists come from a background of privilege (who else has the time and money to play the violin well?). You can write about the difficulties you overcame from dealing with family addiction to become a classical violinist.
 
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