MD & DO How can I stop MD admissions people from just writing me off?

MegCC

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    I was diagnosed with clinical depression at 15; I have a severe, treatment-resistant case that required 5 hospitalizations and 7 years of trying more than 10 different medications, in more than 20 different combinations. It wasn't until about a month ago that I found a combination of medications that actually worked.
    Here's the problem: because of my depression, I've failed classes (only the liberal arts ones; math and science was always kind of 'therapeutic' for me). My overall GPA is barely 3.1, but my science/math GPA is around 3.8 and my MCAT score is 40.
    The thing is, if I could explain all of this to an admissions counselor, my record makes it obvious that I'm a capable student. During semesters where I wasn't in an intense episode of depression, my grades are very good. My MCAT scores are impressive (from what I've read), and I've been working full-time in a direct-care position for the past three years.
    My concern is that because of my GPA and failed classes, my application will be rejected immediately, without anyone reading any personal statements from me explaining the situation and that the issue is resolved. Is there any way to get someone to review my application with all of this in mind? I think that if the admissions people understand the full story, they might be willing to give me a chance, but they probably won't take the time to learn the whole story. My application will be weeded out before it is ever properly reviewed.

    Thank you
     

    md-2020

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      Your MCAT is excellent and a 3.1/3.8/40 should get you some IIs.

      With that being said, I'm not sure that w/ depression this serious and treatment-resistant you should enter medicine (which causes the highest depression/suicide/burnout rate among normal individuals). Please consider this.
       
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      Banco

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        I don't think you will be thrown out, your sGPA and MCAT are excellent, and will warrant some extra diligence when analyzing your application. But be sure to get your depression treated first before worrying about med school.
         
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        md-2020

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          I don't think you will be thrown out, your sGPA and MCAT are excellent, and will warrant some extra diligence when analyzing your application. But be sure to get your depression treated first before worrying about med school.
          Apparently it's treatment resistant, that's my concern. 1 type of medication won't work forever. You need medical certainty that this can be managed long-term.
          I was diagnosed with clinical depression at 15; I have a severe, treatment-resistant case that required 5 hospitalizations and 7 years of trying more than 10 different medications, in more than 20 different combinations. It wasn't until about a month ago that I found a combination of medications that actually worked.
           
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          gyngyn

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            The dissonance between your gpa and MCAT will inevitably invoke a deeper look by by those schools that don't screen gpa's. There are only so many things associated with this type of dissonance. Mental health problems are right at the top of the list. A month of recovery is insufficient for such a high stakes gamble. A sustained period of health in the face of sufficient academic stress would go a long way toward reassuring risk averse admissions officers.
             
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            Banco

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              Apparently it's treatment resistant, that's my concern. 1 type of medication won't work forever. You need medical certainty that this can be managed long-term.

              Yeah but if the latest combo of meds/treatment works then it is important to see how long it can last. I agree though, your health is > med school.
               
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              GrapesofRath

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                it is in your best interest to take some time and evaluate your health over a long time before committing to such a path; not just for the purpose of swaying ADCOMs to accept you but for your own benefit. Best of luck to you
                 

                mw18

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                  To answer your issue (somewhat), almost every secondary gives you the opportunity to explain these types of issues. Honestly, I think every single one I did had the option. So you will have your venue. A school will be intrigued by your science pedigree and your mcat.

                  Otherwise, I'm impressed but not surprised at the level of sincere and caring advice you've received. Medical school and the practice of medicine would likely present your highest chance for the return of the issues you have worked through. Know that putting time between you and your depression will only put adcoms more at ease and will show maturity, but it is also in your best interest as a person.
                   
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                  MegCC

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                    I've definitely worried about that. I don't worry about med school causing the depression, because I'm good at handling stress as long as my depression isn't an issue. I'm more worried that I might devote years and a lot of money to med school, and then have a relapse halfway through. Just like I know I can handle it without depression, I know that there's no way I can with depression.
                    But I'm also worried that one day I'll regret letting my illness run my life. I've always wanted to be a doctor and I worry that if I don't, I'll look back one day and regret it.
                    With that being said, I'm not sure that w/ depression this serious and treatment-resistant you should enter medicine (which causes the highest depression/suicide/burnout rate among normal individuals). Please consider this.


                    OP, I've seen med school break even healthy students. It's a furnace.
                     
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