Do medical schools and residency programs have access to you medical/psychological history?

sam2c

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Weird question....but I have to get to the bottom.of this. I just had a concersation with a close friend of mine who refuses to see a mental health professional to treat a very minor learning disability out of fear that its going to come back to haunt him when he applies for residency years down the road. He has been told by...ahem...."insiders" that that your psychological medical records are accessable to these programs. Is there any shred of truth to this? do they require you to disclose your treatment history? It sounds illegal and quite honestly....sinister.

Would someone who shows potential for, let say surgery, be marginalized because of the fact that they were treated for things like ADHD/dyslexia/depression/anxiety etc etc?
 

IlDestriero

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Unless you tell them, they'll never know. It's not like a criminal background check.
The exception would be if your mental illness was significant enough for you to have problems in medical school that the deans letter comments on.
I mean your "friend's" problem.
 
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out of curiosity, wouldn't certain drugs pop up in a UDS? Like stimulants if being treated for ADD?
 

Raryn

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The residency programs don't, but many of the state licensing boards do.
 
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link2swim06

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out of curiosity, wouldn't certain drugs pop up in a UDS? Like stimulants if being treated for ADD?
Well if you had a prescription I don't think there is really going to be a problem.

Plus people could test actually negative because stimulants clear fast. If you knew you were getting a UDS it would be very simple to just not take it a few days before.

Either way I don't think it could hurt you.
 
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sam2c

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The residency programs don't, but many of the state licensing boards do.
Perhaps thats what he heard and misunderstood...what do the licensing boards look for when they look at your medical records?
 

SouthernSurgeon

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The residency programs don't, but many of the state licensing boards do.
I'm not sure they can actually access your medical records. They shouldn't (at least according to my limited knowledge) be legally "discoverable" information - you have the same patient privacy rights as anyone else.

However, they can and do ask you to disclose medical conditions (including psychiatric) that would affect your ability to practice. And lying to the board would be grounds for revoking your license.

Someone with more knowledge of the legal system w/r/t this may be able to provide better information.

But as others have said, I really doubt anyone would care that OP's "friend" is getting treatment for ADD. It's not like we are talking about schizophrenia or major substance dependence here...
 
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MSTPlease

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But as others have said, I really doubt anyone would care that OP's "friend" is getting treatment for ADD. It's not like we are talking about schizophrenia or major substance dependence here...
FWIW, a more severe mental disease isn't a disqualification necessarily either. I have a friend who's cousin had a psychotic break during the PhD portion of his MD/PhD (bipolar disorder which at the time was unknown). He got into his top choice residency (a university hospital in the top 20 for med schools - I wouldn't know its prestige within his field) and now fellowship (at another university with top 20 med school) so clearly it didn't hurt him too much. To be fair, he's brilliant but if a psychotic break doesn't make you dead in the water, no way a learning disability would.
 
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thefritz

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Weird question....but I have to get to the bottom.of this. I just had a concersation with a close friend of mine who refuses to see a mental health professional to treat a very minor learning disability out of fear that its going to come back to haunt him when he applies for residency years down the road. He has been told by...ahem...."insiders" that that your psychological medical records are accessable to these programs. Is there any shred of truth to this? do they require you to disclose your treatment history? It sounds illegal and quite honestly....sinister.?
Yes, if you have a documented learning disability and use it to obtain extra time on standardized exams, your score reports sent to residency programs will be annotated with a comment that you received an accommodation for a disability without mentioning what the disability is.
Additionally, if the medical school is aware of your disability, they will either unconsciously or consciously take this into consideration when judging you for evaluations and letters of recommendation. If you take time off of medical school for a mental health condition, this LOA is required to be listed on your ERAS and will most likely be immediately mentioned on your dean's letter and you will be forced to explain it. The medical profession is extremely unforgiving of learning disabilities and the stated policies make accommodations virtually impossible to obtain and imply that either most people who claim to have LDs are lying and trying to cheat their way to the same goal by doing less work than their peers, or that they do not view LDs as true disabilities. It is frustrating and borderline legal IMO.
 

thefritz

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But as others have said, I really doubt anyone would care that OP's "friend" is getting treatment for ADD. It's not like we are talking about schizophrenia or major substance dependence here...
If the student is getting treated for ADD, it would be advisable not to make the medical school aware of this and not to request testing accommodations if at all possible. The NBME is so worked up about people trying to use ADHD as a way to boost their scores, they even have a special policy for it requiring special hoops to jump through:

http://www.usmle.org/test-accommodations/guidelines.html#guidelines-adhd

Also notice the DOJ settlement link on the same page.
 
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sam2c

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Just carify, my friend believes he has dyslexia. He doesn't plan on asking for special accommodations, he only wants to see a doctor about it. He might not even be dyslexic. It just angered me that he hold this kind of mentality. Dyslexia is not a huge issue, but who knows, maybe down the line he develops a more serious psychological condition and doesn't seek treatment out of fear of it be held agaist him. I care deeply about him and I dont want him to go on thinking this way.....especially if he gets into med school where your sanity hangs by a thread

I hope you see this A.N.