Question About Deceased Parent

mayonnaisetheinstrument

Full Member
2+ Year Member
May 12, 2016
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  1. Pre-Medical
    Hey everyone,

    I'm currently part of the waitlist crew (#waitlistedandproud) and had a question I was hoping y'all could help me with:

    About midway during the application cycle, in January, my father passed away due to sudden complications from melanoma. In February I interviewed at 2 California schools (applied to 9 schools total this cycle) and was waitlisted at both. In my personal statement I had talked about how cancer affected my family throughout high school and college and how it contributed to my decision of wanting to become a doctor, so my question is: do I update the schools with this information? I don't want to come off sounding as if I deserve special treatment, so up to this point I have not updated either school with this info.

    Any and all help is greatly appreciated!
     

    kamakazi5

    Full Member
    10+ Year Member
    Nov 8, 2007
    583
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    Texas
    1. Medical Student
      I don't believe it would add anything to what you have already written about. If you end up needing to reapply you could put a small snippet about it in your new PS but the main point of why you want to become a doctor stands one way or the other. Sorry for the loss though.
       

      LizzyM

      the evil queen of numbers
      Verified Expert
      15+ Year Member
      Mar 7, 2005
      25,850
      44,793
      1. Academic Administration
        Very sorry for your loss.

        Updates to your file make sense when they show that you are now a stronger candidate than you were when you applied. This might be having a strong academic showing at the end of a semester, having a paper accepted for publication, or being awarded some research funding.

        I can't see how this loss 4 months ago makes you a better applicant for medical school. It doesn't make you a worse applicant, but it doesn't make you a better applicant and so it is information that the adcom and/or admissions office/Dean would take action on.

        That said, your AMCAS reapplication will reflect that your father is deceased (if you fill out that section about parents which almost everyone does) and you might mention something in the PS that his death occurred in early 2016.
         
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