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Mental health of a family member in personal statement?

cport028

Full Member
Apr 17, 2020
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Hey gang,

I know this topic has been discussed a lot, but I am looking for input on my particular situation. I am wondering how much of a "red flag" it would be if I wrote about how dealing with my fathers mental illness (bipolar 2) made me want to become a physician. Although there have been other things in my life that have lead me down the path to becoming a physician, my experience with my father was ultimately the "seed" that has motivated me along the way. It has lead me to become a CNA on a psychiatric unit where I have worked for the last 3 years. I have acquired a true passion for mental health (specifically in underserved populations) over the last 3-4 years.

I guess I am scared that adcoms would look at my fathers illness and be worried about a predisposition in me to suffer from the same illness (although I do not).

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
 
D

deleted972488

I say it's fine to mention briefly but I wouldn't make it the focus of your PS. It's also unnecessary to disclose the exact diagnosis.

Sounds like this experience might give you more material to draw from and should comprise a more substantial portion of the PS:
It has lead me to become a CNA on a psychiatric unit where I have worked for the last 3 years. I have acquired a true passion for mental health (specifically in underserved populations) over the last 3-4 years.
 
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Supahchungus

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Apr 29, 2015
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I say it's fine to mention briefly but I wouldn't make it the focus of your PS. It's also unnecessary to disclose the exact diagnosis.

Sounds like this experience might give you more material to draw from and should comprise a more substantial portion of the PS:

I agree with this! The personal statement should be more about you. So briefly mention your father's mental health, but transition into your CNA work right away.
 
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Jun 11, 2010
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Hey gang,

I know this topic has been discussed a lot, but I am looking for input on my particular situation. I am wondering how much of a "red flag" it would be if I wrote about how dealing with my fathers mental illness (bipolar 2) made me want to become a physician. Although there have been other things in my life that have lead me down the path to becoming a physician, my experience with my father was ultimately the "seed" that has motivated me along the way. It has lead me to become a CNA on a psychiatric unit where I have worked for the last 3 years. I have acquired a true passion for mental health (specifically in underserved populations) over the last 3-4 years.

I guess I am scared that adcoms would look at my fathers illness and be worried about a predisposition in me to suffer from the same illness (although I do not).

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
It's very common for people to discuss family mental health issues and how it motivated them.

Adcoms simply don't think in the way that you described in the bold.
 
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