call me x

word.
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2008
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Hi everyone,

I am currently finishing up my personal statement so I can finally submit my primary (I know I'm late, but let's just ignore that for now haha). I am re-applying after receiving 1 interview invite/waitlist. A major issue with my application was my low gpa (3.33 sci, 3.5 cum) which is almost entirely due to sophomore year, during which time I was diagnosed with anxiety/depression and being prescribed a whole mess of different medications. Everything is on track now, however I realized I do not really provide an explanation anywhere in my application for the gpa drop. I know it is somewhere in my undergrad committee letter (my interviewer asked me about my situation so I know it's in there) but I was wondering if anyone thinks that I should mention this situation in my personal statement? I am really torn as to whether or not this should be brought up, and any advice on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much,
X
 

Mattabet

Doctor Thunder
10+ Year Member
Jun 8, 2008
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I don't know that I would use it in the personal statement. The prompt for the PS is "why medicine", and it seems like a reach to incorporate sophomore year depression as an impetus to pursue a career in medicine.

But this sort of information might be appropriate in the "challenges" or "additional information" essays that pop up on secondaries. Given that it's already incorporated in your LoRs, I wouldn't beat it to death though. You don't want your entire application to revolve around your worst year. Highlight the positive.
 

BBender716

Med school drop out!
10+ Year Member
Jan 12, 2009
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Illinoisville
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After reading these threads a ton, I can say that the consensus is generally to mention only positive things in your PS. Talk about how you came to choose medicine and why you feel that you would excel as a physician. Do not use the PS as an opportunity to explain extenuating circumstances.

There are sections on secondaries that ask for "other information not presented elsewhere on your application." This is the spot you explain extenuating circumstances.

On a more controversial note, I don't know how specific your undergrad committee will get in their letter but some adcoms discriminate against those with a history of anything resembling mental instability/illness. I am NOT saying that that is your case or that I think that's right. I absolutely disagree and sympathize with you. I'm only saying that many have suggested that if you can beat around the bush without lying that that may be preferable to mention the "health problems" + "many medications" without specifying the mental nature of the problem.

However, I feel that you should come clean if clearly asked. If a school discriminates against you for it, do you really want to be a part of that? Best of luck to you and keep on fighting!
 
OP
call me x

call me x

word.
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2008
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thank you both very much for your input,

I was leaning quite heavily towards leaving it out, I just read something that made me all of a sudden think, "Oh s**t do I need to talk about this."

As for what the committee letter says, I'm not really sure, I just know I briefly explained to them that my study habits were altered due to some of the various side effects of medications before finding a suitable one.....I really hope this does not keep me out of schools, I'm ok with rejection based on my credentials but not based on that!

Thanks again for your input,
X