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Is This Reason Enough to Give up Medical School?

jacksweeds

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Nov 17, 2014
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    Hi - first time poster here. I'm in the midst of my cycle, having been granted 5 ii's which have resulted in two wait lists, a rejection, and an acceptance (albeit at a school that was lower on my list). I'm waiting on another 8 schools to get back. My stats are 3.6 cgpa/3.9 sgpa/35 MCAT.

    Despite the successes I've had so far, I'm wondering if I should back out of this whole process and save myself time and money of flying to more interviews. For as long as I can remember, I've stuttered. It used to be terrible when I was in grade school, but has slowly improved as I've gotten older. I'm at the point now that I can speak mostly fluently, but every paragraph or so of spoken word, I'll get a word I simply cannot get out. This will lead to a 5-10 second block of silence as I struggle to get this word out. Unfortunately, this sometimes occurs when I have to say my name, which creates a bad first impression.

    Obviously, speaking in public gives me great anxiety, but nonetheless, is something I haven't shied away from....I think this is what has helped me improve my stutter. I remember in grade/high school, people used to give me a really hard time in class, which only made the problem worse. I'd like to think future doctors would be a bit more empathetic, but I also know medical school is highly competitive. I would hate to be tormented by my classmates due to my stutter. Is the medical school atmosphere likely that this would happen?

    During my interviews I had one student interviewer suggest maybe a career in medicine isn't the best thing for someone like me. Additionally, a physician I've shadowed told me I wouldn't be able to gain the trust of my patients ( I did NOT ask for a letter of rec from him :) )

    Basically, will my stutter pose a serious problem to my aspirations if it pops up during my presenting to attendings, speaking to patients, speaking up in class, etc?
     

    allantois

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      You can't just get this far and give up now. Life is about overcoming obstacles and you seem to have done it just fine. I'm sure there are medical specialties that will suit you well.
       
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      Lamel

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        Don't let others put you down. One school already thinks you are good enough despite your stutter, and I'm sure you already know there are ways to improve your stuttering, keep at it.
         
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        ThisCouldBeYou

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        Oct 27, 2013
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          Think of it this way: if one school has already accepted you, the adcoms obviously think you'd be successful. If this is the ONLY reason for wanting to back out of the medical profession and you've already had great success, keep moving forward. I'm sure you've already done this, but you might want to discuss your stutter with a speech therapist or a doctor who can help you with your feelings of anxiety?
           
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          jacksweeds

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          Nov 17, 2014
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            Think of it this way: if one school has already accepted you, the adcoms obviously think you'd be successful. If this is the ONLY reason for wanting to back out of the medical profession and you've already had great success, keep moving forward. I'm sure you've already done this, but you might want to discuss your stutter with a speech therapist or a doctor who can help you with your feelings of anxiety?

            Definitely have done this. I've been working on this issue since 4th grade. Like I said, I have improved 95%. Only issue is, my current state of speech hasn't improved in nearly 6 years. I've been told there may never be full, 100% fluency for some people...though, I am so grateful for the improvements I've made.
             
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            Jrcomsto

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            Jun 12, 2014
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              @jacksweeds - as a fellow applicant with a stutter (I too have overcome it mostly, though there are still words that give me trouble) I completely understand what you are going through. I found this article to be very encouraging to me, and I think you will too. You never know when your experience with the challenges of having a stutter will help you to relate and understand your patients better!

              http://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...b632e6-45a0-11e4-b437-1a7368204804_story.html

              I agree with what others have said, the fact that you have been accepted means that the adcom believes you will be a great doctor. Congratulations on the acceptance and get ready for the excitement of starting med school!!
               
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              AllThatRacket

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              Jul 8, 2014
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                I don't have any great advice or insight into this situation. I just wanted to let you know that I think it is so admirable to work through any type of speech impediment. I know that it would never cause me to not take a doctor seriously or anything like that, in fact, it would just remind me that they are human.

                Being accepted shows you can do this! It's true that having a stutter could make life as a doctor a little harder, but you can definitely overcome that!
                 
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                jacksweeds

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                Nov 17, 2014
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                  I really appreciate all the overflow of positivity.

                  Truth be told, I think I'm just scared of what my classmates might do/say about me. It was such a long, painful experience growing up, that I am a bit afraid of going through that torment again. Hopefully my future classmates will be as kind and understanding as all of you!
                   

                  blueharbor

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                    I would hate to be tormented by my classmates due to my stutter. Is the medical school atmosphere likely that this would happen?
                    I would be really, really, really surprised if your medical school classmates teased you about your stutter. Don't let fear of that hold you back.
                     
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                    baxt1412

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                      it's pretty obvious when something is a stutter vs losing track of what you were saying. these ADCOMS don't think you're just an idiot who can't remember your own name. they are realizing that you have a stutter and know you will not always be able to say what you want when you want.
                       
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                      Doug Underhill

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                        SDN is filled to the brim with neurotic people with 3.6s who think they have no chance at medical school, but this is the first time I've seen someone who was accepted to one state it.

                        I know a pharmaceutical company executive and medical school adcom member who has the exact same problem you have of having a word he can't get out. It hasn't stopped him from having a long and fulfilling career. It won't stop you unless you let it.

                        Have you considered speech therapy?
                         
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                        BubbleT

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                        Jun 24, 2014
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                          There was this inspiring TEDxtalk speech by Dr. Leana Wen who was also stuttered when she was a teenager. She ended up overcoming her fear of speaking with others and went on to attend Harvard Medical School. So don't give up OP!
                           
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                          jacksweeds

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                          Nov 17, 2014
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                            SDN is filled to the brim with neurotic people with 3.6s who think they have no chance at medical school, but this is the first time I've seen someone who was accepted to one state it.

                            I know a pharmaceutical company executive and medical school adcom member who has the exact same problem you have of having a word he can't get out. It hasn't stopped him from having a long and fulfilling career. It won't stop you unless you let it.

                            Have you considered speech therapy?


                            Been in speech therapy off and on for almost 14 years. It has helped so much, but as mentioned, Ive been told 100% fluency isn't always possible for some.
                             

                            Make Or Break

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                              Hi - first time poster here. I'm in the midst of my cycle, having been granted 5 ii's which have resulted in two wait lists, a rejection, and an acceptance (albeit at a school that was lower on my list). I'm waiting on another 8 schools to get back. My stats are 3.6 cgpa/3.9 sgpa/35 MCAT.

                              Despite the successes I've had so far, I'm wondering if I should back out of this whole process and save myself time and money of flying to more interviews. For as long as I can remember, I've stuttered. It used to be terrible when I was in grade school, but has slowly improved as I've gotten older. I'm at the point now that I can speak mostly fluently, but every paragraph or so of spoken word, I'll get a word I simply cannot get out. This will lead to a 5-10 second block of silence as I struggle to get this word out. Unfortunately, this sometimes occurs when I have to say my name, which creates a bad first impression.

                              Obviously, speaking in public gives me great anxiety, but nonetheless, is something I haven't shied away from....I think this is what has helped me improve my stutter. I remember in grade/high school, people used to give me a really hard time in class, which only made the problem worse. I'd like to think future doctors would be a bit more empathetic, but I also know medical school is highly competitive. I would hate to be tormented by my classmates due to my stutter. Is the medical school atmosphere likely that this would happen?

                              During my interviews I had one student interviewer suggest maybe a career in medicine isn't the best thing for someone like me. Additionally, a physician I've shadowed told me I wouldn't be able to gain the trust of my patients ( I did NOT ask for a letter of rec from him :) )

                              Basically, will my stutter pose a serious problem to my aspirations if it pops up during my presenting to attendings, speaking to patients, speaking up in class, etc?
                              Not cool, especially the interviewer telling you that. Follow your dreams. Don't let negativity from others stand in your way. Its obvious you have worked super hard to get to where you are at. Keep on going!
                               
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                              j4pac

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                                A decent percentage of medical students have a problem with speaking the ENGLISH LANGUAGE. Though your speech pattern may be a distraction...your instructors and patients will likely forgive you unless it is overboard.
                                 
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                                mspeedwagon

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                                  My gf, now a third year surgery resident, stutters. It has not impacted her medical career at all. The only time I remember her fearing her stuttering was when she was taking Step 2 CS, which she ended up passing without issue.

                                  During rotations she fell in love with surgery and I think that is a good career in medicine for those that stutter. I think any field other than maybe peds (kids may make fun of you) or psych (where you might need to talk quite a bit) would OK. I don't think stuttering should stop you from pursuing medicine. I'd recommend additional speech therapy (I'm assuming you've had a decent amount to date... I know my gf even went to some sort of camp to help with stuttering) and holding your head-up high knowing that despite a limitation you've done better than people like me (have yet to receive an ii) that have none.
                                   
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                                  Pierre Escargot

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                                    Your accomplishments are already very impressive and are more than innumerable people without a speech difficulty have achieved. It would be silly to think that a stutter could hold you back from a medical career seeing as one school has already deemed you fit for the job. Keep going and realize your goal. Best of luck.
                                     
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                                    Goro

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                                      See this guy right here?
                                      http://profiles.utsouthwestern.edu/profile/17917/perrin-white.html
                                      I knew him when I worked at Sloan-Kettering , before I went to grad school.

                                      He has a world-class, grand mal stutter.

                                      Didn't stop him.

                                      Why should it stop you???






                                      Hi - first time poster here. I'm in the midst of my cycle, having been granted 5 ii's which have resulted in two wait lists, a rejection, and an acceptance (albeit at a school that was lower on my list). I'm waiting on another 8 schools to get back. My stats are 3.6 cgpa/3.9 sgpa/35 MCAT.

                                      Despite the successes I've had so far, I'm wondering if I should back out of this whole process and save myself time and money of flying to more interviews. For as long as I can remember, I've stuttered. It used to be terrible when I was in grade school, but has slowly improved as I've gotten older. I'm at the point now that I can speak mostly fluently, but every paragraph or so of spoken word, I'll get a word I simply cannot get out. This will lead to a 5-10 second block of silence as I struggle to get this word out. Unfortunately, this sometimes occurs when I have to say my name, which creates a bad first impression.

                                      Obviously, speaking in public gives me great anxiety, but nonetheless, is something I haven't shied away from....I think this is what has helped me improve my stutter. I remember in grade/high school, people used to give me a really hard time in class, which only made the problem worse. I'd like to think future doctors would be a bit more empathetic, but I also know medical school is highly competitive. I would hate to be tormented by my classmates due to my stutter. Is the medical school atmosphere likely that this would happen?

                                      During my interviews I had one student interviewer suggest maybe a career in medicine isn't the best thing for someone like me. Additionally, a physician I've shadowed told me I wouldn't be able to gain the trust of my patients ( I did NOT ask for a letter of rec from him :) )

                                      Basically, will my stutter pose a serious problem to my aspirations if it pops up during my presenting to attendings, speaking to patients, speaking up in class, etc?
                                       
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                                      Ismet

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                                        That student interviewer had no business telling you what he told you. Completely disregard that, and if you feel strongly enough I would report it to the school.

                                        This is not a reason to give up medicine. And if a school rejects you based on stutter, that's not a school you want to attend anyway. Most med schools are extremely supportive.
                                         
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                                        Heplayer92

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                                          First of all, congrats on all of your success this cycle!

                                          Secondly, have you read about King George the VI? The film "The King's Speech" is basically about how he overcame his stutter. Inspirational. You can tots do this OP, good luck!
                                           
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                                          Snakes

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                                            I must confess that when I first read your thread subject and your first paragraph, I thought I was going to encounter a whiny pre-med who is complaining about the fact that they didn't get into a top-choice school yet, despite holding an acceptance in their hand.

                                            Paragraph 2 changed all of that--very inspirational story and you deserve all of your success. Do not give up. A stutter (while I'm sure it is a huge thing to you, because of how it has affected you during your life) is simply not a big deal. I cannot imagine that your fellow med students would point it out, make fun of you for it, or make your life difficult. If any of them would, they are not fit to be doctors. Understanding and having empathy for the physical challenges of others is the definition of what a doctor does. I really don't think you're going to have to give this a second thought.

                                            Also, don't think twice about what your student interviewer told you. There are idiots everywhere in the world. I had a current med student ask me last year if I didn't think it was a better idea for me to be a stay-at-home mom for my kids instead of doing classes to apply to med school. Um, I'm already a lawyer, so that ship sailed about 20 years ago. But thanks for the advice, 23 year old. :eek:
                                             
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                                            ridethecliche

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                                              I'm pretty sure I read an Oliver Sacks story about a surgeon that had tourettes.

                                              A stutter, is something that you can work on and improve as you already have. Regardless, it should pose little hindrance. I'd concentrate on learning to better deal with stress so you don't feel overwhelmed if it happens. I've personally found that things like this often become worse as one gets self conscious. Just deal with it and move on. If you're good at what you do people will get over it.
                                               
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