oddjobmd

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I'm in a sort of awkward position, so I could use some ideas.

I applied in the 2010 cycle and got accepted very late to a school, in July. Since I had no clue that school "X" was going to accept me during the summer, I submitted a 2011 application on June 1st, and in it I marked that I had not matriculated or enrolled elsewhere., since I wasn't even accepted at that point.

I enrolled at my current school, but then my mother, who I am the primary caretaker of, became extremely ill. She has a PCP in our home state whom I prefer that she stays with. I'm temporally too far off from a transfer possibility, so I decided to continue my 2011 application cycle and I'm starting to get some interviews. The catch is I haven't mentioned to everyone that I was enrolled and am leaving/have left... To the schools I talked to about the situation, half took my application, half didn't. There are a handful that don't know the situation, which are unfortunately where I am getting interviews to...

Since not telling them isn't an option [I believe... I've heard enough about the "Student Clearinghouse" (which school "X" isn't in, interestingly) and the AAMC "Student Record Service" to convince me that that would be a very bad idea]:

Anyone have any ideas for how I should go about telling the schools that want to interview me the situation(and still walk away with an interview)?


PS:I spoke to AMCAS about getting my application changed to reflect this-- no dice, since it's been certified, I can only change stuff like my address, or throw more money in their coffers by adding schools.
 

zebalong

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I'm in a sort of awkward position, so I could use some ideas.

I applied in the 2010 cycle and got accepted very late to a school, in July. Since I had no clue that school "X" was going to accept me during the summer, I submitted a 2011 application on June 1st, and in it I marked that I had not matriculated or enrolled elsewhere., since I wasn't even accepted at that point.

I enrolled at my current school, but then my mother, who I am the primary caretaker of, became extremely ill. She has a PCP in our home state whom I prefer that she stays with. I'm temporally too far off from a transfer possibility, so I decided to continue my 2011 application cycle and I'm starting to get some interviews. The catch is I haven't mentioned to everyone that I was enrolled and am leaving/have left... To the schools I talked to about the situation, half took my application, half didn't. There are a handful that don't know the situation, which are unfortunately where I am getting interviews to...

Since not telling them isn't an option [I believe... I've heard enough about the "Student Clearinghouse" (which school "X" isn't in, interestingly) and the AAMC "Student Record Service" to convince me that that would be a very bad idea]:

Anyone have any ideas for how I should go about telling the schools that want to interview me the situation(and still walk away with an interview)?


PS:I spoke to AMCAS about getting my application changed to reflect this-- no dice, since it's been certified, I can only change stuff like my address, or throw more money in their coffers by adding schools.
I believe you need to talk to your school and get them involved with this discussion... if it is truly for your mother who is with you already at medical school, i'd say just suck it up and search out good medical care and a good PCP out where you go to school (if there is a medical school out there, then there should be a good pool of docs to choose from.)

If she isn't with you, then I'd talk to my medical school about my situation FIRST before applying and interviewing at other places... it seems like the way you are going about it definitely puts your whole future at un-necessary risk.
 
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oddjobmd

oddjobmd

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actually, I have been in dialog with my school and they are aware of the situation. While they're not pleased, i think they understand that there's not a whole lot they can do to stop me from going elsewhere, or at least trying to get in. It's not an endorsement BUT there is no disciplinary threat either. Thanks for your concern. I've been very cautious about preserving my education.

with regards to my mother, she is not with me and is undergoing highly specialized care that we would have to travel hours for, if she was here. The PCP is a big part of making that a possibility for her.
 
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Dianyla

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anybody??
If I were you I would attempt to negotiate a deferral at this school that had accepted you. Did you already leave the school where you had matriculated?
 
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oddjobmd

oddjobmd

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I have not left my current school ("school x").

What do you mean about deferring? I have not yet been accepted to "school y" and I am midyear with "school x."
If you mean taking a leave of absence with "x", I would still have technically matriculated/enrolled elsewhere, a mark on my record (I am told) is accessible by all the schools I have applications with.

as far as I can tell the only thing left to do is tell "y" about "x" and hope that they don't rescind my interview invitation. OR I can go to the interview and tell them face-to-face. Unless anyone has any other ideas??
 

Dianyla

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This really depends on how long your mom's medical condition is anticipated to last? Do you need to permanently relocate to live near her for the foreseeable future? Or is this a shorter-term crisis that will be over within a year?
I have not left my current school ("school x").

What do you mean about deferring? I have not yet been accepted to "school y" and I am midyear with "school x."
If you mean taking a leave of absence with "x", I would still have technically matriculated/enrolled elsewhere, a mark on my record (I am told) is accessible by all the schools I have applications with.
I mentioned deferring because I've lost track of time and for some reason I was thinking we were only a few weeks into the semester. Sorry. :oops:

If your mother's health issues are shorter-term in nature, I think your best chance of protecting your chance at any MD school is to ask for a LOA from your current School X, go take care of Mom, and then return in a year. Once you're holding a seat at a school, they will often work very hard to help you stay in.
as far as I can tell the only thing left to do is tell "y" about "x" and hope that they don't rescind my interview invitation. OR I can go to the interview and tell them face-to-face. Unless anyone has any other ideas??
Telling them before the interview seems like the kiss of death, to me. OTOH, showing up on interview day and surprising your interviewer (who may be some random faculty/attending, and not anyone connected with the dean's office who could actually be in a position to help you) can also go over rather poorly.

There is also the idea of attempting to transfer to this other school, but from what I know not all schools will do this and the majority only allow transfers after M2 and successful completion of Step 1. I think you would have a much better chance of success by working with the dean of your current school and the dean of the other school. Trying to come back in through the front door of regular application cycle is going to come off as odd.

Has your current school's dean given you any advice on how to handle this?
 
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oddjobmd

oddjobmd

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finally, real suggestions!

I have considered the LOA idea. However, it is capped at 2 years, which is problematic in this scenario. Without divulging too much, my mom is receiving what most would consider "end of life" care. I have much more hope than most...hopefully this sheds some light on why LOA would not work and on why moving her to be with me is extremely unfeasible.

I'm willing to take a chance on the interview. My thoughts are that I have nothing to lose (other than travel expenses) and if I get a chance to speak to someone who is moved enough to help me, I have everything to gain.

You're right about xfer chances. It is no practical between these two institutions until after M2. I have yet to meet or have a conversation with a dean of "y" and going to said interview will give me that chance.

My current dean suggested the LOA, as you have have, or xfer into M3 at a location closer to my mom. M2 transfer is not possible in any institutions near her.
 
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oddjobmd

oddjobmd

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btw mods, if you're out there, do you think this thread should be moved to allo or someplace else? It's sort of a transfer thread...ish
 

Dianyla

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I'm willing to take a chance on the interview. My thoughts are that I have nothing to lose (other than travel expenses) and if I get a chance to speak to someone who is moved enough to help me, I have everything to gain.

You're right about xfer chances. It is no practical between these two institutions until after M2. I have yet to meet or have a conversation with a dean of "y" and going to said interview will give me that chance.
When is your interview? I would write up a very strong letter ASAP to the dean of school y and come clean. You're in a precarious situation because you have misrepresented your current situation to them, but if you tell all they will likely be more ready to meet with you, especially given the situation.
 
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oddjobmd

oddjobmd

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its not until Feb 1st, so there's still time.

I don't know how I feel about letters/emails since it will be very easy for them to dismiss, without giving me an opportunity to answer questions or try to appeal to their empathetic side as fully as face-to-face would be.

also, it would be easier for them to misinterpret the situation as me being deceptive on purpose; I just didn't really think through the issues of professionalism involved here. talking to me might help them see the immense difficulty im facing and elicit some compassion.

what do you think?
 

Dianyla

in denial
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also, it would be easier for them to misinterpret the situation as me being deceptive on purpose; I just didn't really think through the issues of professionalism involved here. talking to me might help them see the immense difficulty im facing and elicit some compassion.

what do you think?
Key detail that will determine whether you need to eat a small cornish-pastie sized crow pie, or a full 9" crow pie: When did you submit the secondary for school y and how does that compare to your matriculation at school x?

If you actually did the secondary before matriculating at school x, you could reasonably claim that you sent the secondary in because you didn't think you would be getting off of the waitlist. You could reasonably claim ignorance/forgetfulness (oops, forgot to withdraw all those open apps!) and then sudden astonishment about having received an interview invite and the subsequent realization that you're caught in a pickle.

If you did the secondary after matriculating at school x, you have a much bigger crow pie to eat. You consciously continued applying to school y while knowing you were actively enrolled at school x. What you would have to do in this situation is come completely clean, apologize fully, and admit that you made a poor choice and that you understand now that you must do the ethical thing and clear this up. You can offer that you've been distraught about your mother's illness, which certainly impaired your judgment, but you must acknowledge that there is no excuse for what you did.

One way or another, you must come clean, and the sooner the better. I personally think you would have a much higher chance of conveying these thoughts clearly in written form, rather than trying to explain in person. That also allows the people reading it to carefully re-read and process their reaction to this information, and gain their composure. I'm sure there are some folks here who would help you proofread such a letter.

I'd really love to hear what LizzyM has to say on this matter.
 

LizzyM

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You are currently an M1 student. The school you are attending has offered you the opportunity to take a LOA.

You would prefer to leave your current school if offered admission at a school closer to your ailing mom. I presume you would drop out of med school, relocate and start fresh next "fall" at the closer med school.

The issue is that you had not yet been admitted to medical school when you submitted an application earlier this year and you have not yet disclosed to the schools where you have applications pending that you are currently enrolled in medical school. It is November??? It seems unfair not to have withdrawn your applications after you were admitted in July.

I think that the first thing an adcom or dean of admissions might ask is, "why isn't this student taking a LOA from the current med school?" the second might be, "is this poaching?" and "How would we feel if another school interviewed & offered admission to one of our current students who wanted to leave 'here' for personal reasons?" There may be a concern that you are fickle and if the circumstances change, you'll change your mind and decide not to accept the new offer of admission and will stay at your current school. This more or less circles back to the LOA option.

You have an option that makes it possible for you to care for your ailing mother. Take it.
 
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oddjobmd

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my question is, how is this so different than students who make xfer requests? Every single one of them is enrolled somewhere trying to go elsewhere, whatever the reason. School "X" loses out on the rest of that tuition if school "y" has an opening for them. Yet we do not call this poaching. And they obviously do not ask the question "what if she/he was doing this to us?" because otherwise they wouldnt even allow xfers in the first place...

You're right, LOA is a real worthwhile option. But if "Y" is willing to accept me with everything on the table, going there is a FAR better option.
 
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LizzyM

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my question is, how is this so different than students who make xfer requests? Every single one of them is enrolled somewhere trying to go elsewhere, whatever the reason. School "X" loses out on the rest of that tuition if school "y" has an opening for them. Yet we do not call this poaching. And they obviously do not ask the question "what if she/he was doing this to us?" because otherwise they wouldnt even allow xfers in the first place...

You're right, LOA is a real worthwhile option. But if "Y" is willing to accept me with everything on the table, going there is a FAR better option.
What if everyone were doing it??

You are basically asking for admission in this cycle to a school that didn't admit you in the last cycle (assuming you applied to a school so close to "home") although you accepted an offer of admission to another school.
Transferring after the pre-clinical years is a different situation and far more difficult than you might imagine-- but it is a fact of life and often works out to be a wash as schools often can fill a slot freed up by someone who transferred elsewhere or left for some reason.


On second thought, go ahead and put it all out on the table. Write a letter explaining that you were offered admission to school X on a specific date and matriculated (began orientation) on a specific date. Give your mother's name, diagnosis, living arrangements and the location where she is receiving her medical care. State that you are her next of kin and have durable power of attorney for health care or whatever the case may be and that there are no other kin to assume this responsibility. State that you will drop out of school X upon receiving an offer of admission to school y and that you are prepared to begin the M1 year at school y in 2011. I, myself, would think that you are nuts to do that rather than take a LOA but that's just me.
 
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