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Medical How do your parents' past behaviors affect your application?

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Oct 14, 2011
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  1. Academic Administration
Hi All,

I've received a lot of valuable feedback on here regarding school lists, etc. This time it's more personal. I'm opening AMCAS tomorrow and AACOMAS the next day. I have my personal statement and disadvantaged statement written and something kind of just struck me...

Do med school adcoms judge you based on your parents' behaviors? Both of my parents had substance abuse issues. Both have been incarcerated. At first I thought I could use that to show "distance travelled" but now I am second-guessing.

Furthermore, AMCAS has a statement on their site about checking social media. *I* do not have any form of social media (unless SDN counts). However, my dad (who is now sober, many years later!) does post some rather polarizing political/medical/educational comments on his Facebook at times.

I'm hoping to hear from people in similar circumstances or from people who have served on committees. From a medical standpoint, I couldn't blame them for assuming I am genetically predisposed to substance abuse issues (despite, on the contrary, how my mother's addiction in particular has inspired me toward narcotic-free pain relief methods, etc.)

How do I handle this without sounding like a bad investment? Should I just leave this info out? And will my family/friends' social media impact me at all? Thanks so much for any feedback!
I'm not really sure I can speak for all admissions committees, but I think we look at your situation within proper context in explaining obstacles you have personally had to overcome. That is something for the "diversity" essay prompts you will likely encounter. We don't use it to anticipate problems you as an applicant will have, and those who are expert can probably advise us the perils of such assumptions.
 
Oct 14, 2011
7,463
3,732
226
  1. Academic Administration
Okay, thank you. It helps to know that it might fit into a "diversity" essay prompt. I'll be honest, the "...those who are expert can probably advise us the perils of such assumptions..." bit kind of went over my head, but I think I get the gist.
Just saying in very vague terms, you never know who on an admissions committee may share your experience or have studied it.
 
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