Aug 14, 2017
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Hello! I'm a freshman so I'm obviously not applying to med school anytime soon.
In reading other threads I've seen a lot of talk about med school applications relying on avoiding red flags.
I understand that academic dishonesty and illegal activity are definitely red flags but I'm not sure what else would be.
Out of curiosity what other things would raise a red flag?
For instance, I have a seizure disorder, would that constitute a red flag?



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Goro

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Hello! I'm a freshman so I'm obviously not applying to med school anytime soon.
In reading other threads I've seen a lot of talk about med school applications relying on avoiding red flags.
I understand that academic dishonesty and illegal activity are definitely red flags but I'm not sure what else would be.
Out of curiosity what other things would raise a red flag?
For instance, I have a seizure disorder, would that constitute a red flag?

Excellent academics make any health issue a non-issue.

The following would be a red flag:
Bad LOR
Multiple poor or meh MCATs (if you retake the exam, you should be improving your scores!)
Downward GPA trend
Multiple W's scattered all over the transcript (which signifies one is engaging in GPA protection)
 
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Aug 14, 2017
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Excellent academics make any health issue a non-issue.

The following would be a red flag:
Bad LOR
Multiple poor or meh MCATs (if you retake the exam, you should be improving your scores!)
Downward GPA trend
Multiple W's scattered all over the transcript (which signifies one is engaging in GPA protection)

Thank you for your response. This may sound stupid but what is LOR?
Also, in the beginning of my academic career I had 2 semesters of W's because of my seizures. My school has a very strict attendance policy where more than 2 absences (excused or I excused) gets you dropped from a class. Since I was having multiple seizures a day it was impossible for me to attend regularly. Even though I was maintaining a 4.0 gpa I was withdrawn from the classes.
Will those W's be a problem?
My seizures are under control now. 64 days seizure free :)


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OP, here's an article about a successful physician with epilepsy: Seeing Epilepsy From the Patient's Point of View You might find it interesting.

You don't have to report on your medical school application that you have a seizure disorder, and medical school admissions counselors have no right to discriminate on the basis of health status (as long as the individual's health conditions don't impede on his ability to work as a physician).

In the worst case scenario, the disorder would limit your choice of specialty... since you can't have a seizure while performing a high-stakes surgery.
 

Goro

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Thank you for your response. This may sound stupid but what is LOR?
Also, in the beginning of my academic career I had 2 semesters of W's because of my seizures. My school has a very strict attendance policy where more than 2 absences (excused or I excused) gets you dropped from a class. Since I was having multiple seizures a day it was impossible for me to attend regularly. Even though I was maintaining a 4.0 gpa I was withdrawn from the classes.
Will those W's be a problem?
My seizures are under control now. 64 days seizure free :)
LOR = letter of recommendation

Multiple Ws in a single semester indicate you did what W's were meant for; you withdrew due to some problem, instead of trying to bulldoze your way through. This is a sign of good judgement, in fact.

The seizures might be an issue if you do not fulfill the technical standards that med schools have. I don't know the exact details of these, but if your medication keep them under control, you're fine, and you have some relevant health info (if you wish to share) for your personal statement on the app form, as a motivation for Medicine.
 
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LOR = letter of recommendation

Multiple Ws in a single semester indicate you did what W's were meant for; you withdrew due to some problem, instead of trying to bulldoze your way through. This is a sign of good judgement, in fact.

The seizures might be an issue if you do not fulfill the technical standards that med schools have. I don't know the exact details of these, but if your medication keep them under control, you're fine, and you have some relevant health info (if you wish to share) for your personal statement on the app form, as a motivation for Medicine.

Thank you very very much :) I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions


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OP, here's an article about a successful physician with epilepsy: Seeing Epilepsy From the Patient's Point of View You might find it interesting.

You don't have to report on your medical school application that you have a seizure disorder, and medical school admissions counselors have no right to discriminate on the basis of health status (as long as the individual's health conditions don't impede on his ability to work as a physician).

In the worst case scenario, the disorder would limit your choice of specialty... since you can't have a seizure while performing a high-stakes surgery.

That's an amazing article, thank you for sharing.
I'd like to be a clinical geneticist so I think I should be fine


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numbersloth

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LOR = letter of recommendation

Multiple Ws in a single semester indicate you did what W's were meant for; you withdrew due to some problem, instead of trying to bulldoze your way through. This is a sign of good judgement, in fact.

The seizures might be an issue if you do not fulfill the technical standards that med schools have. I don't know the exact details of these, but if your medication keep them under control, you're fine, and you have some relevant health info (if you wish to share) for your personal statement on the app form, as a motivation for Medicine.

Not to hijack this thread, but I have a quick question about Ws. My sophomore year I had two withdrawals, one per semester. Lets just leave it at "I had a really tough year" in order to not get bogged down by details. Would this still be seen as ok? I've been acing my classes since.
 

SyllabusOrBust

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Thank you for your response. This may sound stupid but what is LOR?
Also, in the beginning of my academic career I had 2 semesters of W's because of my seizures. My school has a very strict attendance policy where more than 2 absences (excused or I excused) gets you dropped from a class. Since I was having multiple seizures a day it was impossible for me to attend regularly. Even though I was maintaining a 4.0 gpa I was withdrawn from the classes.
Will those W's be a problem?
My seizures are under control now. 64 days seizure free :)


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As Goro mentioned, I highly doubt that schools would hold those two semesters against you, based on the extenuating circumstances, as long as you fulfill the technical requirements of the school (usually listed on their admissions websites).

Also, I'm glad to hear that your condition has improved! I wish you the best of luck in your pre-medical journey :)
 
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Goro

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Not to hijack this thread, but I have a quick question about Ws. My sophomore year I had two withdrawals, one per semester. Lets just leave it at "I had a really tough year" in order to not get bogged down by details. Would this still be seen as ok? I've been acing my classes since.
You'll be fine
 
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