Mental Health, Possible IA's, and a few W's help

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Jun 20, 2020
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Hey all, looking to sort through some skeletons in my closet that has been giving me anxiety over the past few weeks. I am currently in Texas and will be applying to both the TMDSAS and the AMCAS. Any advice you can give on any of the bullet points would be great!

1. Back in 2008 while I was a senior in high school I was having a hard time coming to terms with my sexuality (roman catholic family). As such I started nose-diving pretty hard and am very sure I got caught with some plagiarism in a dual credit English course. However, I honestly don't remember much besides that as it was over a decade ago during a fairly hard transition period in my life. Since it was in high school I never met with any Dean from the college, have no idea if there was an email as I never logged into the portal, and at this institution, the academic disciplinary action records are only retained for 7 years before being shredded. I had to have gotten a 0 on the assignment but again, I honestly cannot remember and haven't even thought about it for the past decade until I saw another post on this forum about IA's. My transcript shows a C in the course but I'm pretty sure that's it (to be honest, not sure what it would look like if there was an IA on it does it just say IA?). How should I handle this?

2. It took me an extra year to graduate high school, I chose to go to a community college to finish out the classes I needed to graduate but still heavily struggled academically due to a lot of internalized homophobia. I ended up getting 3 C's (2 from the community college 1 from the dual credit course) and 2 W's (from the community college) before I decided to join the military during the era of Don't Ask Don't Tell in an attempt to 'man the gay out of myself'. Is there a chance I may have been put on academic probation from the community college for 2 C's and 2 W's before I left? Again I don't see anything on the transcript but I honestly don't know what I am looking for.

3. I had multiple combat deployments, lost some friends, and had all the hallmark signs you would expect from it. It took me a long time to find the help I needed (had residential stays which lasted for longer than 30 days, PHP's, was on 12 different meds, etc.) This resulted in me getting medically retired from the military and now have a 100% disability rating. Since being out of the military I have really started to thrive due to the change in environment and strong support system. I am currently starting strong with a 4.0 GPA from my first year back at college, actively practicing as a PRN nurse, involved in some research, volunteering, and currently am down to only 1 scheduled medication which my psychiatrist is keeping me on (partially for mood partially for migraines) but we are planning on me being Rx free by the time I apply to medical school. I fully plan to talk about my deployment experiences as they are without a doubt the reason I am now pursuing medicine. I am aware of the stigma that surrounds mental health. I dealt with it in the Infantry, I dealt with it as a Nurse, and I will deal with it as a pre-med student. My life experiences have only made me a stronger advocate for my patients, and I see no reason to hide that. However, I will be sure to avoid all of the red flag words and have plenty of eyes run over my PS before submitting it. My question is, will I be forced to disclose my disability rating or my previous diagnosis at any point in the medical school application or future MD licensure process?

Thanks for reading.
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Mar 30, 2014
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1. You can determine this by asking the registrar if there is anything on your transcript and/or by contacting the dean of students office for guidance. Make sure you have a copy of the AAMC’s description of IA ready for the dean.

2. Same as the above.

In response to questions 1 and 2, should the answer be the affirmative that you did have IAs taken against you, they occurred well over a decade ago. You certainly will be able to explain the circumstances and demonstrate that you have changed since then. I wouldn’t let this deter you from applying.

3. This one I am not sure about in terms of disclosure of disability. You need to be able to meet the technical requirements listed for medical students or make accommodations with the school. This wouldn’t need to occur until matriculation. I don’t believe anything regarding mental health would need to be disclosed while applying or attending medical school. The only thing might be if the medication you are prescribed comes up on a drug test, you may be asked for a prescription. Licensure may be a different story as some states have incredibly involved forms that they require, like Florida. Whether it is legal is an entirely separate matter.

Best of luck to you!
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