How detailed can I be when talking about a patient?

yungdoc

Full Member
5+ Year Member
May 27, 2015
101
238
  1. Pre-Medical
    I am working on my personal statement now and I am wondering how many details I can legally/ethically disclose about a patient.

    Obviously names will be kept confidential, but what about describing what the patient's diagnosis is?

    For example (and this is a fictitious person), can I talk about my experience with a patient diagnosed with MS AND ovarian cancer? I feel like it's pretty rare to have two significant diagnoses and it might give away who the patient is (although I'm not sure how people would get a hold of their medical records)
     
    I am working on my personal statement now and I am wondering how many details I can legally/ethically disclose about a patient.

    Obviously names will be kept confidential, but what about describing what the patient's diagnosis is?

    For example (and this is a fictitious person), can I talk about my experience with a patient diagnosed with MS AND ovarian cancer? I feel like it's pretty rare to have two significant diagnoses and it might give away who the patient is (although I'm not sure how people would get a hold of their medical records)
    Only provide enough details for context. Don't say "they were 46" say "they were placed on hospice before 50." For names use quotes and something 3 letters. I use "Sue" standing for pseudonym (because I am clever lol).For diagnosis, only if it is appropriate for the context of the patient - ie. mention cervical cancer if you want to talk about the HPV vaccine, or mention paralysis if you worked as a PT etc.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 1 user

    yungdoc

    Full Member
    5+ Year Member
    May 27, 2015
    101
    238
    1. Pre-Medical
      Sorry I just wanted to be more specific. I was a physical therapy aide and as part of my personal statement I want to talk about a patient I worked with who had multiple diagnoses who disclosed to me (after several weeks of us working together) that, as a result of one of their diagnoses, they were having issues with their significant other.

      is this disclosing too much?

      thank you

      @Goro @gyngyn
       
      About the Ads

      gyngyn

      Alta California
      Staff member
      Administrator
      Volunteer Staff
      Lifetime Donor
      10+ Year Member
      Verified Expert
    • Nov 4, 2011
      26,170
      47,987
      1. Attending Physician
        Sorry I just wanted to be more specific. I was a physical therapy aide and as part of my personal statement I want to talk about a patient I worked with who had multiple diagnoses who disclosed to me (after several weeks of us working together) that, as a result of one of their diagnoses, they were having issues with their significant other.

        is this disclosing too much?

        thank you

        @Goro @gyngyn
        The specific diagnoses add little to your tale.
        You could simply say "someone suffering from a serious chronic disorder as well as a new cancer diagnosis."
         

        Sleepingdoc

        Full Member
        2+ Year Member
        May 24, 2019
        473
        443
          Sorry I just wanted to be more specific. I was a physical therapy aide and as part of my personal statement I want to talk about a patient I worked with who had multiple diagnoses who disclosed to me (after several weeks of us working together) that, as a result of one of their diagnoses, they were having issues with their significant other.

          is this disclosing too much?

          thank you

          @Goro @gyngyn

          Unless you are a doctor already, I dont think talking about specificities of a patient is gonna help you in your personal statement. You can say that a patient(be nonspecific) was diagnosed with ----- and how this experience helped you.. I am sure you signed HIPPA when working with patients at PT aide.
           
          Last edited:

          Tenk

          Full Member
          10+ Year Member
          Jan 5, 2007
          2,815
          10,791
          1. Attending Physician
            Having MS and ovarian cancer is not rare enough to matter. You can say cancer or ovarian cancer, it does not matter just keep the identifiers vague. Ie age, name, location, dates.

            In other news, I bet this person was genuinely nice because that’s how the universe works.
             
            About the Ads
            This thread is more than 2 years old.

            Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

            1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
            2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
            3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
            4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
            5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
            6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
            7. This thread is locked.