Pinkfluffybunny

2+ Year Member
May 31, 2018
27
30
Hi! I posted about not wanting to include any element of being sexually assaulted on my application a while ago but @gonnif encouraged me to think about it and I did a lot of thinking + talking with my therapist and I think I'm okay with mentioning it in my application now - I just had a few questions about how I could do that if anyone has any input!

1.) Since my incident was pretty violent and a lot of school officials know about it I was told my university's sexual assault center could write a letter that I could submit (the event happened finals week and I literally could not take a single exam because of how not okay I was at the time so I have one bad semester but all my other semesters are 3.75+) - basically the letter would just say that something traumatic happened and the school doesn't believe my academic record for that semester is representative of me as a student since before I got assaulted I was doing well in the classes. Should I have this addition?

2.) My main clinical experiences are working as a first responder specifically for victims of sexual assault/domestic violence at the hospital and I have done 200 hours in the last 6 months (shifts range from 15-24 hours and we have a minimum monthly requirement so it definitely gets to be a lot) and I work as a self employed doula and I have about 100 hours over the course of 10 months for that! in total I'm hoping to get the first responding to 300 hours and the doula work to 150 hours or so before I submit
Are these experiences too focused on women's health? Should I try to find something that isn't so specific??? Would people look down on me for being selective with the subset of people I work with??

3.) I alluded to the incident in my personal statement, but does this mean people will ask me exactly what happened in interviews? I'm fine with saying I was assaulted but honestly I'm still in the process of recovering and I don't want to get into the details of what happened so would they ask that?

4.) and lastly this isn't exactly tied in with everything but would it be weird to list myself as a self contact for the doula work? I take individual clients via the doula match website - I also am a volunteer with a local organization but I haven't been assigned anyone yet so I don't know if I should put them down as a contact

Sorry for the super long post and thanks to anyone who replies!
 
  • Care
Reactions: 3 users

Goro

SDN Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2010
65,319
100,511
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status (Visible)
  1. Non-Student
First off, very, very sorry to hear of these travails. No one should ever have to go through this!

1.) Since my incident was pretty violent and a lot of school officials know about it I was told my university's sexual assault center could write a letter that I could submit (the event happened finals week and I literally could not take a single exam because of how not okay I was at the time so I have one bad semester but all my other semesters are 3.75+) - basically the letter would just say that something traumatic happened and the school doesn't believe my academic record for that semester is representative of me as a student since before I got assaulted I was doing well in the classes. Should I have this addition?

It can't hurt and can always put that semester in context. If you have confided in any of your LOR writers, they can mention this in their letter, making the University letter redundant.
2.) My main clinical experiences are working as a first responder specifically for victims of sexual assault/domestic violence at the hospital and I have done 200 hours in the last 6 months (shifts range from 15-24 hours and we have a minimum monthly requirement so it definitely gets to be a lot) and I work as a self employed doula and I have about 100 hours over the course of 10 months for that! in total I'm hoping to get the first responding to 300 hours and the doula work to 150 hours or so before I submit
Are these experiences too focused on women's health? Should I try to find something that isn't so specific??? Would people look down on me for being selective with the subset of people I work with??
Nothing wrong with this!
3.) I alluded to the incident in my personal statement, but does this mean people will ask me exactly what happened in interviews? I'm fine with saying I was assaulted but honestly I'm still in the process of recovering and I don't want to get into the details of what happened so would they ask that?
While we use the rule of thumb that "if it's in your app, it's fair game", in reality, there are some places we can't go as interviewers. I've seen this first hand, when an interviewee was asked (in an oblique way, not directly) about a trauma that they had written about, said interviewee burst into tears. I surmise that you might go so far as to ask the Admissions dean, if you get an interview, to please not have the interviewers ask about this. If some interviewer has the attitude of "you wrote about it, so you need to be tough enough to talk about it", then that's not a school I'd want my kids to go to.
 
  • Like
  • Care
Reactions: 5 users

Rapsidy

2+ Year Member
May 6, 2019
238
467
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
1. I’ll defer on number one, I think adcoms would have better insight on that.

2. I don’t think the experiences are too focused on women’s issues. As a social worker with years of experience working with psych patients my app was very heavily focused on mental health and psychiatry and my interviewer with a school teacher (that I got accepted to) said that it showed passion for the field and dedication to helping others, it might even be a good way to subtly tie your experience to your passion with this population.

3. No one can say for sure, but I can say that I also talked about an assault in my personal statement that led to a poor year of grades and nobody mentioned it other than briefly in passing. They want to see how you grew from the experience and how you handle yourself going forward, they are looking for resilience (IMO) not salacious details. If in the unlikely event someone did ask for more detail you can steer the conversation into how you overcame and what protective factors you have implemented to keep your mental health strong in med school.

4. I’m not sure about 4, but I don’t think you lost yourself as a self contact for any type of work? Again defer to someone with a better answer.

Sharing personal information is tough especially when it comes to a situation that was out of your control and completely life altering, and completely scary sharing it with total strangers who are there to judge you. I prepared myself for my interviews in case anyone asked by saying I survived this assault and am stronger because of it, I can easily survive professionals asking me about my experience. Continue going to therapy to become more comfortable talking about it and just remember that what happened doesn’t define who you are but it does show the incredible strength you have to persevere and thrive.
 
  • Love
Reactions: 1 user
About the Ads

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
25,110
42,070
Status (Visible)
  1. Academic Administration
1) Letter would be an excellent way to put some contexxt to your academic record.
2) Your experiences are fine... having a focus is great and will be seen as a plus, not a minus.
3) As an interviewer, I would see no value in asking an applicant "what happened?" to get more details about a violent assault, a death in the family, or any other catastrophe. It is completely unnecessary to the task at hand which is judging your suitability to be a medical student and, eventually, a physician.
4) self-employed people can certainly list themselves as the contact for that employment.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 2 users
About the Ads

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.