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Greatest Obstacle You've Overcome?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MajorBubblez, Oct 30, 2014.

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  1. MajorBubblez

    MajorBubblez

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    I know in general medical schools don't really care about what you did in high school. However, I was thinking about the interview question "What was the greatest obstacle you've overcome" and my honest answer occurred in high school. I was in talks with the coach to play D-1 soccer at a good school, everything was in place, then I tore my ACL. I was out for 8 months, missed my chance, and had to redirect my life. Would this be an okay answer even though it happened my junior/senior year of high school?
     
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  3. TxC

    TxC 2+ Year Member

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    Haha I talked about something that happened back in 7th grade - moving to the US.

    I think you'll be okay. Just talk about it thoughtfully of course.
     
  4. sunflower18

    sunflower18 Master of Naps 5+ Year Member

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    My greatest obstacle was my freshman year of high school. If I said anything else, it would be a lie, and nobody has asked me to pick something more recent. In fact, my answer to my greatest accomplishment is also from high school. The conversation typically goes like..

    Interviewer: What's your greatest accomplishment?
    Me: Is it okay if I say something from high school, or would you prefer a more recent accomplishment?
    Interviewer: Oh gosh, from any time is fine! High school is great!

    YMMV.
     
  5. pluto101

    pluto101

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    It's very frustrating. I don't have a good answer, because the truthful answer is how I overcame my depression. It's under control now, but getting on a good medication regimen and dealing with my own issues was a huge challenge.

    Of course, I can't talk about any of that. So... that time I founded a club?
     
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  6. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Thank You for Smoking Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

    I wouldn't say that topic is a strict no-go. You just need to talk about it intelligently and in a way that makes it clear that it's something you have under control. Issues like this are somewhat commonly brought up in this context.
     
  7. AspiringERMD

    AspiringERMD 2+ Year Member

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    +1. I had severe mental illness-related problems years ago, totally controlled now. I feel like I was perceived as sheltered because the next-most believable thing was my parents separating, which was cake to go through by comparison.
     
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  8. pluto101

    pluto101

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    Same with the separating thing. I've sort of danced around the issue. When I talk about my volunteer position in an adolescent mental health ward, I talk about the history of mental illness in my family. It's widely prevalent in the background of both my parents.
     
  9. pluto101

    pluto101

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    The impression I've gotten from previous threads on the subject has been that it's too risky to bring up. My understanding is that some ADCOM members believe the stress of medical school frequently causes relapse, even in those who have the disease under control. If that's the case, I honestly don't blame them - that seems like a valid concern.
     
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  10. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Thank You for Smoking Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

    It all depends on how you present it. If you want to bring it up don't be afraid to do so, but I would make sure that you have a few people look over what you plan on writing to make sure it comes across appropriately. As a general rule you shouldn't do it because you risk not presenting it well, but it's not a rule that I would consider written in stone - particularly with something like depression, which is pretty common.
     
  11. Sirphillup

    Sirphillup China berraca 2+ Year Member

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    Definitely overcoming an eating disorder during my adolescence. It was the most difficult thing I've ever done, especially because I hurt important people around me.

    I've mentioned this in some of my interviews and, though I'm sure there are those that may be skeptical about me overcoming an ED or even having one, there are those who have been very interested in this aspect of my story.
     
  12. hmockingbird

    hmockingbird 5+ Year Member

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    I feel like with these questions they are more interested in your coping skills than what it was exactly, so you could always just say you had a general "serious illness" that you have since recovered from, and just make it about how you dealt with it.
     

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