oralcare123

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I do not know how to explain the lack of experiences in the last few years. The thing is I had health problems, which prevented me from doing much, but I do not want to look like someone incapable to graduate. Please advise me on how to approach this subject, they will definitely ask me
 

DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines

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Put a positive spin on your health issues. Tell them that the experiences and hardships you've faced with your own health challenges turned you on to the idea of practicing medicine.
 
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oralcare123

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It was more an injury inflicted on me and it did take me a long time and a lot of effort to recover. How can I put a positive spin on the fact, that I had PTSD and was not able to volunteer in order not to scare people around me? I feel better,but this is not a condition, which suddenly disappears. They still might have an impression that my abilities are compromised
 

DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines

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Everyone loves a hero. Honestly, if you can see the silver lining in your situation - i.e. having PTSD made you more appreciate of a potential career in Psych for instance - they will applaud you for being so "brave." Trust me, I rock my battlescars as badges of courage and they + my lady parts and disadvantaged URM status (plus the killer grades and MCAT score I will bust my ass to get) will ensure acceptances across the board to anywhere I choose.

Look, suck it up buttercup. I know you can find a way to look at the silver lining. In fact, go watch Silver Lining Playbook or read the book. Then reflect on your life situation. Draft a personal statement about why medicine, why now, and why YOU. Read it over and over so it becomes talking points. Make up some potential interview questions you think they'll ask you. Better yet, have a friend/mentor do a mock interview without giving you a clue about which questions he/she will ask - attend said mock interview after you've already programmed yourself to address the health issues via writing down an informal statement of purpose for yourself. Brainwash yourself into believing your health issues made you a BETTER applicant because you're going into the HEALTH field. It's not just all about numbers, or ECs - people have various LIFE experiences, for better or worse.

Change your attitude, change your life. Believe in yourself. And breathe. If all else fails, pop a Xanax before the interview so you won't have a panic attack during the interview. I take Klonopin occasionally for those god-awful moments I never let anyone witness...

Be a tough cookie and you'll win respect and admiration (and admission). Just my two cents. Oh, and listen to other people on here with more experience. But also DON'T listen to those who try to steer you away from good schools or say disparaging though well-intentioned things regarding your potential. Negativity can be contagious.

It sounds like you are making excuses for not having had past experiences - they might wonder if PTSD is not something that goes away, how will you ever be able to take on the rigors of a medical education? Maybe some deep soul-searching is in order.

Give me a lemon and I will bake you some lemon bars...my biggest advice to you is to learn to do the same. After all, how can you help others if you cannot first help yourself overcome (or cope with) your own issues?
 
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gyngyn

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Illnesses that prevent you from performing need to be resolved before applying.
It is not the illness but the failure to perform that cannot be accommodated.
 
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Goro

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You still need to demonstrate:

that you know what you're getting into
that you want o be around sick people for the next few decades
that you know what a doctor's day is like
that you are capable of academic excellence
that you are an altruistic person

That you can handle a rigorous medical school curriculum. No med school in the world will do you any favors by giving you a bye due to illness, and then have you leave school or the medical profession, either because you can't physically or mentally deal with it, or you decide that it's not really for you.


I do not know how to explain the lack of experiences in the last few years. The thing is I had health problems, which prevented me from doing much, but I do not want to look like someone incapable to graduate. Please advise me on how to approach this subject, they will definitely ask me
 
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oralcare123

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It seems it would be better to look lazy or to lie, then to say the truth
 

Xenith

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I sincerely believe that if your have gotten over the problems you faced, you will be able to convince them with a compelling argument and interpersonal skills. If you still suffer from debilitating attacks/episodes (even if they are sporadic,) then be honest with both yourself and the committee. You don't want to fold under the stress of medschool and ruin the progress you have made so far. You can always complete your recovery and apply later with better stats, better experiences, and an absolutely amazing story. I apologize if I assumed too much.
 
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oralcare123

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Do not worry - my skin is pretty thick. The main problem, in my opinion, that I feel somewhat ashamed, that I did not recover faster. Need to convince myself how wonderful I am first. So far I decided to say that I had some health problems and had to concentrate on recovery, instead of spreading myself too thin and risk a relapse
 

Xenith

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Absolutely, you have nothing to be ashamed about. Things take their time and by focusing on your recovery you demonstrated maturity and understanding of your situation.
 

DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines

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OP, at the risk of sounding like an a-hole, are you in therapy?

Some CBT or DBT or even just a life/wellness or interview coach might help boost your confidence which will come across to the Adcoms during your interviews. Also, it will probably be best since you have this debilitating PTSD you need to work though.
 
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Goro

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look lazy : Reject

or to lie: Reject

then to say the truth: Reject, when you haven't demonstrated that you're competitive for medical school.

Wanna be a doctor? Prove it to us. Stats get you to the door, but ECs get you through the door.
 
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oralcare123

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Yes because medical schools actively recruit morally bankrupt people and trust them with patients' lives. I pray to God my doctor is dishonest and lacks a strong work ethic. SMH.
When I started to have issues, I realized, that people do not have patience, if recovery takes too long. Even friends and relatives get irritated if you continue to have problems, that is why I literally withdrew from the society. With all that, I have a life long dream, I am not ready to completely give up, even if it will be difficult. The problem is, people judge by stereotypes - sick means incapable, disability means problematic student. I understand, that no one wants to have a problematic student, if there are plenty of young and healthy around. I decided to disclose minimally - after all it is too personal, otherwise it is just impossible to look trustworthy.
Thank you for the concern - I am receiving good help, just some things cant be repaired. A person, who went through a traumatic experience will never be as the one, who did not. With all the bad stuff, we get to feel more compassion and understand some problems better
 

DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines

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OP: I wasn't referring to you when I made that post you quoted. I have the utmost concern and compassion and empathy for you, having gone through many extreme hardships and disadvantages myself. I'm actually hopefully *crosses fingers* one day going into a combined Family Med/Psych. I guess my point was that to disclose or not is entirely up to you, but adcoms will most likely not judge you if you choose to make it a positive - i.e. opportunity for growth.

I did not mean you lacked a moral compass or a strong work ethic. I'm firmly in your corner. So please forgive me if I come across as brassy, I just know from personal experience, you can do ANYTHING you CHOOSE to do.

xoxo and GL
 
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oralcare123

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OP: I wasn't referring to you when I made that post you quoted. I have the utmost concern and compassion and empathy for you, having gone through many extreme hardships and disadvantages myself. I'm actually hopefully *crosses fingers* one day going into a combined Family Med/Psych. I guess my point was that to disclose or not is entirely up to you, but adcoms will most likely not judge you if you choose to make it a positive - i.e. opportunity for growth.

I did not mean you lacked a moral compass or a strong work ethic. I'm firmly in your corner. So please forgive me if I come across as brassy, I just know from personal experience, you can do ANYTHING you CHOOSE to do.

xoxo and GL
No, I had no problems with your post - I was thinking of my own previous experiences. You see what I mean, when I say, that I had to stay away from people - my way of thinking and explaining is totally f.d up. Pardon my language
 

Xenith

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No, I had no problems with your post - I was thinking of my own previous experiences. You see what I mean, when I say, that I had to stay away from people - my way of thinking and explaining is totally f.d up. Pardon my language
OP I don't think your way of thinking and explaining are f.d up. You are quite right about how people tend to get irritated with someone recovering from experiences such as yours. No need to blame yourself at all! It may be tough, but with the right support I hope you are able to realize your dreams.
 

jl lin

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No, I had no problems with your post - I was thinking of my own previous experiences. You see what I mean, when I say, that I had to stay away from people - my way of thinking and explaining is totally f.d up. Pardon my language

My stupid, tiny opinion from just reading your responses is this: You need more grace, truth, and time rooted/united firmly together. When the right proportions are in place, you will be ready. People resist the issue of time; b/c they think of the healing aspects of time in isolation. Stay with optimal treatment/therapy. Do not "stay away" from all people. Use the benefit of group therapy. I am sure this has been offered to you in some way. If not find out about it. Seriously people that have a similar connection are powerful when sharing together. Find those that can identify. Deal with grace and truth there.

As you get stronger, start small...like volunteering to read to children at the library, and then maybe teaching people to read. Volunteer at a crisis center--if you are ready--or perhaps in a remote way at first--shuffling papers or whatever. As you move through grace and truth over the right amount of time, you will be able to help more. Baby steps. With those helping hands and feet, you will find that it helps you as much as others--an amazing benefit of outreach. Most importantly, allow the fusing together of the three elements, while being patient as they come together in the right proportions of grace, truth, and time. It's an incredibly powerful combination when it's made of the right proportions. These are not as powerful when in isolation of each other.
 
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