Is speaking about a sibling being on suicide watch a red flag for medical schools?

Jun 8, 2020
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Hi! I heard that writing about mental health issues is seen as a red flag because if you had an underlying issue before, the stress from medical school may "crack" it.
 
Last edited:
Jun 8, 2020
9
3
Status
Pre-Medical
oh, this is tough. I do have a question though - is your sibling ok with you revealing this very personal information about them for medical school applications? I am not trying to criticize you, but they might not be, you know?
No worries, that is a very valid concern. He actually is okay with it and in fact helped me write them. Both of these events were some years ago, and he is in a much better place mentally now.
 
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M&L

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No worries, that is a very valid concern. He actually is okay with it and in fact helped me write them. Both of these events were some years ago, and he is in a much better place mentally now.
well, i personally dont see a problem with it, but i am just a medical student. I am sure faculty and admissions SDN members would be more helpful. I would consider somehow integrating the fact that your sibling knows about the essay and supported you through the process, because maybe there will be people reading it who would otherwise think that you are using your sibling to score compassion points with admissions (i do not think this way, i am just showing how some people might). But otherwise, if written well, i think it is a powerful topic for sure. Right now there is so much stigma about mental illness, and so many problems related with people not being able to talk about it.
 

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Hi! I heard that writing about mental health issues is seen as a red flag because if you had an underlying issue before, the stress from medical school may "crack" it.

For the “challenge” secondary essay I wrote about a sibling being on suicide watch and how that affected me (not yet submitted). I focus on what I did, speak a bit about how it affected my own mental health, but end on positive lessons learned on prioritizing mental health and balancing life. I have been told that "there could be a genetic component" and am worried this could be a red flag.

Further, for a different essay, I wrote about my sibling being bullied at school and how that affected his mental health. Again, I talk about learning about it, what I did about it, and end on the positive of him getting better. Is this concerning as well?

Any advice appreciated!
It's NOT your mental health in question here, but your sibling's.

And NO, we don't think "Oh, it runs in the family, so the applicant is more at risk".

The essays should be about you,not your sibling.
 
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