Posted for a member
I am currently beginning the process of applying to medical school.
I have a good GPA (3.87) and I attend a high-ranked school.
I was abused when I was a child, and since then I have been suffering from severe mental illness (recurrent major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, and borderline personality disorder).
I began receiving treatment last year, after having a massive episode that resulted in my having to drop out of school for a semester.
My GAD/MDD/PTSD are all currently in remission, and my BPD is controlled and getting better all the time.
Even while extremely sick, I have managed to achieve a high GPA and both my psychiatrist and I believe that I will be able to handle the stresses of medical school (I figure she'd know, being an MD herself).
However, I am interested in a career in psychiatry because of my experiences. Also, my volunteer experiences (crisis line work, running support groups for abuse survivors, LOTS of work related to mental illness and supporting others with mental illness) are REALLY tied to my own illness.
I'm not sure how to best present this in my applications/interviews.
I know that I can explain the gap in my transcript by just saying that I had a medical reason, but I feel like I will have to talk about my illness in at least some detail to really say why I want a medical career, and why I am qualified. Just by looking at my extracurriculars, it's pretty obvious that I'm mentally ill.
I'm not really sure how to spin this so that it doesn't look like I'm incompetent to practice medicine, but also have the chance to talk about my real assets and skills and reasons for wanting to be a doctor. Thoughts?