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Obesity for challenge essay?

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docE15

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I know mental health history is big no-no for challenge questions, but I haven't seen anything regarding obesity? I was obese for a large part of my life until a family member passed and it changed my concept of health entirely. I got myself into shape, taught fitness classes, made health my major and it was a large part of my decision to become a physician. Would this be looked down upon?
 
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NotASerialKiller

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Mental health issues are a bit risky because if someone talks about an anxiety disorder, an adcom might think that med school could bring it out again. I don't think anyone is going to think, "Hmm, I don't know if we should let in someone who might have a reoccurrence of obesity..."
 
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Thatsnotmyname.

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Not a problem at all. It was what I wrote about and I had some great conversations about it during interviews.

Being formerly obese gives you a lot of valuable insight. Understanding one of the most deadly illnesses of our country, understanding social determinants of health, understanding the psychological struggle of managing chronic problems, being able to share/understand the psychological struggles of patients trying to lose weight, related to the large portion of your patients who will be obese, etc.
 
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ConfusedChemist

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Sure. 30% of America is obese right? Insight can be a good thing, and the determination it takes to see through the changes
 
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Goro

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Not at all!!

I know mental health history is big no-no for challenge questions, but I haven't seen anything regarding obesity? I was obese for a large part of my life until a family member passed and it changed my concept of health entirely. I got myself into shape, taught fitness classes, made health my major and it was a large part of my decision to become a physician. Would this be looked down upon?
 

orangeblue

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Dont mean to hijack anyone's original topic. I'm also struggling with the SPECIAL Circumstances/ challenge essay (in Texas Common Appl - 400 words) b.c my diversity essay is also on personal life story topic.

Definately do not mention psychological stuff like anxiety, difficultly dealing with emotions, etc. CORRECT? It's really hard to put that stuff into a good light.
 

BeMD13

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I don't think anyone is going to think, "Hmm, I don't know if we should let in someone who might have a reoccurrence of obesity..."
Haha! I just recently lost a lot of weight myself and this is exactly what I am afraid will happen when I start school!
 
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I know mental health history is big no-no for challenge questions, but I haven't seen anything regarding obesity? I was obese for a large part of my life until a family member passed and it changed my concept of health entirely. I got myself into shape, taught fitness classes, made health my major and it was a large part of my decision to become a physician. Would this be looked down upon?
This is a good topic. It won't be looked down on.
 

squirtcrush

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I know mental health history is big no-no for challenge questions, but I haven't seen anything regarding obesity? I was obese for a large part of my life until a family member passed and it changed my concept of health entirely. I got myself into shape, taught fitness classes, made health my major and it was a large part of my decision to become a physician. Would this be looked down upon?

This sounds great! Especially since a majority of adults are overweight and you will be able to relate better with them, etc.

One doctor at the clinic I work at was obese at one point and then lost a ton of weight. He is always telling his patients "If I can do it, you can", and the patients seem to greatly respect him for it!
 
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njtrimed

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I know mental health history is big no-no for challenge questions, but I haven't seen anything regarding obesity? I was obese for a large part of my life until a family member passed and it changed my concept of health entirely. I got myself into shape, taught fitness classes, made health my major and it was a large part of my decision to become a physician. Would this be looked down upon?
I would think it's a fantastic topic. Not only have your overcome a challenge that is physical and mental, but it's something you can relate to a huge percent of the population.
 
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Law2Doc

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Someone does this every cycle, so it's not original. You need to be talking about losing substantial weight though, because there will inevitably be someone else who lost over 100 lbs trying to use the same hook at some of the same schools. And you'd better actually be thin when you show up for the interview.
 
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floured

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I think it's a great idea, I have a lot of respect for the discipline required to lose a lot of weight.
 

vellez

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I think most topics (including some psychological issues) can work so long as you can SHOW that you have conquered it.
 

docE15

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Thank you, everyone. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Someone does this every cycle, so it's not original. You need to be talking about losing substantial weight though, because there will inevitably be someone else who lost over 100 lbs trying to use the same hook at some of the same schools. And you'd better actually be thin when you show up for the interview.

Thanks. I never said I was trying to be original. Though, I don't think the amount of weight is a determinant of success in this situation. Shouldn't it be more illustrated by the actions I have taken to make the community healthier? Anyone can lose weight and keep to themselves the knowledge they gained in the process. My entire app is centered around health awareness, so although I didn't lose 100+ pounds, I do believe this challenge was significant in my life.
 

Shmoclo

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Am I the only one who doesn't like this topic? As a young adult health and fitness is pretty simple. So you don't stuff ur face with cake and do 30 mins of cardio and weights every other day, its not exactly groundbreaking.
 

DrCaffeinated

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Am I the only one who doesn't like this topic? As a young adult health and fitness is pretty simple. So you don't stuff ur face with cake and do 30 mins of cardio and weights every other day, its not exactly groundbreaking.
I think you're the only one who doesn't really understand the topic.
 

Law2Doc

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Thank you, everyone. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Thanks. I never said I was trying to be original. Though, I don't think the amount of weight is a determinant of success in this situation. Shouldn't it be more illustrated by the actions I have taken to make the community healthier? Anyone can lose weight and keep to themselves the knowledge they gained in the process. My entire app is centered around health awareness, so although I didn't lose 100+ pounds, I do believe this challenge was significant in my life.
I'm not saying it wasn't significant or a big part of your life. I'm just saying if a school gets a bunch of applicants with the same basic premise, the one who lost the most is going to have the wow factor.
 

Shmoclo

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I think you're the only one who doesn't really understand the topic.

No I get it. OP became overweight due to bad lifestyle and then lost the weight. Congrats you're at a normal BMI just like the rest of the applicant pool. I never understood why someone is praised for losing weight.

Its like saying going from being a criminal to a law abiding citizen is some sort of accomplishment. No that's just what is kind of expected.

I think a bigger obstacle is becoming a fitness instructor and being able to lead a class than getting in shape. maybe focus on that.
 
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docE15

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No I get it. OP became overweight due to bad lifestyle and then lost the weight. Congrats you're at a normal BMI just like the rest of the applicant pool. I never understood why someone is praised for losing weight.

Its like saying going from being a criminal to a law abiding citizen is some sort of accomplishment. No that's just what is kind of expected.

I think a bigger obstacle is becoming a fitness instructor and being able to lead a class than getting in shape. maybe focus on that.

I did become a fitness instructor, lol. I'm a personal trainer and have multiple clients who've lost weight and changed their lives. I volunteer to provide free meal plans and easy workouts for those who can't afford even the cheapest gyms. Obesity is not a crime, it is an epidemic. Its the future physicians such as yourself that these people are afraid of due to discrimination and judgment.
 
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Crayola227

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Am I the only one who doesn't like this topic? As a young adult health and fitness is pretty simple. So you don't stuff ur face with cake and do 30 mins of cardio and weights every other day, its not exactly groundbreaking.

it's actually far more complex than that, but thanks for breaking it down for us Dr. Premed
 
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DingoPingo

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Am I the only one who doesn't like this topic? As a young adult health and fitness is pretty simple. So you don't stuff ur face with cake and do 30 mins of cardio and weights every other day, its not exactly groundbreaking.

Is life really worth living if you don't get to stuff your face with cake?
 
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