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Quoted: Applying to med school, history of suicide attempt

Discussion in 'Confidential Consult' started by Tildy, May 14, 2008.

  1. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Faculty Moderator Emeritus SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    My master's house
    I am not Simon Cowell, although he does look like a dog. I would not see any reason to discuss the suicide attempt. I would suggest you spend time now on your personal essay to focus down the story you've told here and make sure your essay discusses your history of problems briefly, but is more focused on your future and goals.

    This thread isn't for "What Are My Chances?" posts, and we can't tell you anything much without your MCAT score. However, I'm sure if you post an edited version of this in pre-allo or post-bacc forums, they can discuss options with you there.
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  3. nu2004

    nu2004 5+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2008
    Los Angecagoveland
    i'm sympathetic to and humbled by your profound and emotional experiences with disease. phrased correctly, such experiences can enhance your personal statement by serving as a powerful endorsement of your commitment to medicine.

    i don't think you are obligated to discuss your suicide attempt any more than i am obligated to disclose the fact that i got fall-down drunk and peed my pants once. i'm not trying to make light of your situation; just saying that hurting or attempting to hurt yourself isn't a diagnosed medical condition until a physician puts a label on it. as long as you've never been diagnosed as having a psychiatric disorder, it is nobody's business but your own.

    as far as your independent coursework, it may be worth speaking with a formal pre-med adviser somewhere (previous university?) or someone on an admissions committee (if you can locate one) to get their sense of this work. the next week or so may be quite busy for some admissions offices, but after that is the calm before the storm of the next admissions cycle; a good time to speak to them.

    sounds like you have things back together and are on the right track. good luck!
  4. sparkleflower

    sparkleflower 2+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2007
    Were you involuntarily hospitalized after your attempt? If so, I wonder if it would affect your application/licensing. I'm a crisis worker in the ED, and I recently assessed a physician after a suicide attempt. I chose to allow him to go to the psych unit voluntarily, with the warning that if he left AMA I would proceed with commitment. I figured a voluntary hospitalization might have less impact on his license/practice, but no one seemed to be sure. Perhaps someone here might know...
  5. DrDre311

    DrDre311 Makaveli 2+ Year Member

    Apr 14, 2008

    Whatever else may be involved, you certainly have a gift for prose. Don't underestimate your ability to be articulate. Being able to speak openly, honestly, and elegantly (which, judging by your post, should not be a problem) about your past certainly gives you an advantage if these issues come up during an interview.

    I can't honestly say how a past suicide attempt will affect your application to medical school and I don't know if you will be required to disclose it, unless you were hospitalized (and even then, I'm not sure).

    If you write your personal statement (and speak in person) with the same passion you devoted to this post, then your family history--as tragic as it is, and I am sorry that you had to go through those experiences--will make a much better reason for your desire to become a physician than the ol' standby's "I want to help people" or "I really like the intellectual challenge." I admire your dedication and urge you to write that memoir at the conclusion of your medical training.
  6. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Faculty Moderator Emeritus SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    My master's house
    From the OP - a f/u comment.

    I am deeply touched by everyone's kind words... it certainly proves to me that there are people out there who really do care enough to consider more than my ability to produce perfect grades or MCAT scores.

    With that said, however, I must admit that I was indeed hospitalized following the initial incident. Seeing as to how this was a serious attempt to take my life, I was intubated and remained so for days. Upon extubation, I was moved to a phychiatric unit and, later, admitted to the adult unit at a nearby psychiatric facility (although I am not sure if this was an involuntary hospitalization or not-- I did sign my own intake paperwork and such, so I assume it was voluntary...). While there, though ashamed of my position, I was shocked that my attending physician actually encouraged me to continue in my efforts to pursue a medical education.

    This past weekend I met with the admissions advisor at a well-respected osteopathic school only a hour from my home. He seemed unconcerned about the incident and assured me that I will still be a relatively competitive candidate provided that my MCAT scores are good. He claims that my progress since the incident actually prove my ability to overcome personal trauma and might actually help my chances rather than hinder them. This of course has put the wind back into my sails, so to speak, and I am now more poised than ever to push forward with my application (if not this year, then definitely next). In the meantime, I'll continue to be an active participant in the SDN forums and I'll be sure to keep everyone posted on the progress of my efforts-- maybe I can even inspire someone else out there to go for it.

    Thanks agian for your support, everyone.

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