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stop baiting me to talk about my personal health struggles but then go ballistic if it is anything psychiatric

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deleted1020355

A lovely secondary prompt.
Why is my courageous defeat of obsessive compulsive disorder (an illness I never knew I had) not "okay" to mention on this application? Why is my Zoloft usage framing me as a poor future physician? When they ask for illness, do they really mean adolescent cancers/fibromyalgia/etc.?
What about psychiatric illnesses that are also real and agonizing?

Overall, it just hurts that I can't be genuine. I cannot share what is under my sleeve that positions me as empathetic and compassionate.
If you want to see if an M.D. candidate (talking to adcoms) can practice personal growth, then let him speak.
 

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deleted480308

A lovely secondary prompt.
Why is my courageous defeat of obsessive compulsive disorder (an illness I never knew I had) not "okay" to mention on this application? Why is my Zoloft usage framing me as a poor future physician? When they ask for illness, do they really mean adolescent cancers/fibromyalgia/etc.?
What about psychiatric illnesses that are all real and agonizing?

Overall, it just hurts that I can't be genuine. I cannot share what is under my sleeve that positions me as empathetic and compassionate.
If you want to see if an M.D. candidate (talking to adcoms) can practice personal growth, then let him speak.
I also dislike the suffering porn part applications
 
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Mad Jack

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A lovely secondary prompt.
Why is my courageous defeat of obsessive compulsive disorder (an illness I never knew I had) not "okay" to mention on this application? Why is my Zoloft usage framing me as a poor future physician? When they ask for illness, do they really mean adolescent cancers/fibromyalgia/etc.?
What about psychiatric illnesses that are also real and agonizing?

Overall, it just hurts that I can't be genuine. I cannot share what is under my sleeve that positions me as empathetic and compassionate.
If you want to see if an M.D. candidate (talking to adcoms) can practice personal growth, then let him speak.
The stigma is real, my friend. Certain things just won't work in your favor. Is it right? No. But you've got to work with the inherent biases of the system we've got not the one you wish we had.
 
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cbdblmad

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In an MMI I was asked if I had long term mental health problems from an event I went through, with the undertone from the interviewer it shouldn't have had a large impact on me. Of course I lied and pretended it was only a great learning and growth experience because I was afraid to be truthful. Same interviewer then goes on to ask me what I think of implicit bias in the selection of medical school candidates. Like???? The whole process and the preference towards people with "acceptable" trauma or the country club 4.0/528 clone who has never experienced anything of real worth is incredible.
 
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deleted480308

I
I overall don't really understand what response they want to hear.
I am suspicious that it’s seeking what I call “brochure diversity”. The kind of crap you can mention in advertisements. X% of this demographic, x% first generation college etc. I doubt they are truly looking for x% with bipolar.

If I decide to assume the best it’s maybe a chance for someone to expose being really out of touch. You might be able to state “I had to work hard in school but otherwise I’ve had a great life and no major adversity “ and do it well. But if your big adversity is coming in 3rd In miss universe instead of winning or your butler making mediocre lobster thermadore you have a chance to sink yourself.

just play the game
 
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deleted480308

In an MMI I was asked if I had long term mental health problems from an event I went through, with the undertone from the interviewer it shouldn't have had a large impact on me. Of course I lied and pretended it was only a great learning and growth experience because I was afraid to be truthful. Same interviewer then goes on to ask me what I think of implicit bias in the selection of medical school candidates. Like???? The whole process and the preference towards people with "acceptable" trauma or the country club 4.0/528 clone who has never experienced anything of real worth is incredible.
Other than the implication that suffering is the only thing “of worth”, I agree fully with you
 
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cbdblmad

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Other than the implication that suffering is the only thing “of worth”, I agree fully with you
Didn't intend for it come across like that. Suffering is not the only thing of worth and I think that it is overplayed. My point is there are lots of people who have spent college/the time before college/the time after college having to work to support themselves and learn how to function in the real world who can get screened. With the push for diversity in medicine and the realization that a physician that can relate to their patient is likely to make that patient feel more comfortable and provide better care for them, why are applicants who lack any experience outside of academics still likely to have an advantage?
 

readmypostsMD

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I feel like the stigma stems from a perspective that certain mental illnesses are/should be more under your own self-control and you should be able to exercise the willpower to overcome something like OCD. As opposed to something like type 1 diabetes or perhaps Parkinson’s, both of which it seems like you have little self-control over.

I presume some people will believe that even if you say you defeat it, you could relapse under the severe pressure in medical school?
 
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mwsapphire

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A lovely secondary prompt.
Why is my courageous defeat of obsessive compulsive disorder (an illness I never knew I had) not "okay" to mention on this application? Why is my Zoloft usage framing me as a poor future physician? When they ask for illness, do they really mean adolescent cancers/fibromyalgia/etc.?
What about psychiatric illnesses that are also real and agonizing?

Overall, it just hurts that I can't be genuine. I cannot share what is under my sleeve that positions me as empathetic and compassionate.
If you want to see if an M.D. candidate (talking to adcoms) can practice personal growth, then let him speak.
Same. Same. I felt the same thing last year. I did. I really did. Especially since the side effects of meds I had to take were physical.
 

mwsapphire

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I feel like the stigma stems from a perspective that certain mental illnesses are/should be more under your own self-control and you should be able to exercise the willpower to overcome something like OCD. As opposed to something like type 1 diabetes or perhaps Parkinson’s, both of which it seems like you have little self-control over.

I presume some people will believe that even if you say you defeat it, you could relapse under the severe pressure in medical school?
And to think that doctors should know better than that!

Is my executive dysnfunction a lack of self control? Maybe...because I often forget to eat for 6+ hrs at a time! Hahahaha
 
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A lovely secondary prompt.
Why is my courageous defeat of obsessive compulsive disorder (an illness I never knew I had) not "okay" to mention on this application? Why is my Zoloft usage framing me as a poor future physician? When they ask for illness, do they really mean adolescent cancers/fibromyalgia/etc.?
What about psychiatric illnesses that are also real and agonizing?

Overall, it just hurts that I can't be genuine. I cannot share what is under my sleeve that positions me as empathetic and compassionate.
If you want to see if an M.D. candidate (talking to adcoms) can practice personal growth, then let him speak.
Calm down. The prompt is about what might have caused you to have bad grades, and how you overcame them. Academic excellence goes a long way to allaying any Adcom member's concerns about health issues.

TLDR, the prompt is looking for resilience, coping skills, and what my wise pal @Angus Avagadro calls "grit"; all admiral traits we want to see in med students!

I feel like the stigma stems from a perspective that certain mental illnesses are/should be more under your own self-control and you should be able to exercise the willpower to overcome something like OCD.

Adcom members don't think this way. We do work from the perspective of seeing medical careers crash and burn from mental health issues. Again, evidence of resilience and coping skills go a long way.
 
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deleted1020355

Calm down. The prompt is about what might have caused you to have bad grades, and how you overcame them. Academic excellence goes a long way to allaying any Adcom member's concerns about health issues.

TLDR, the prompt is looking for resilience, coping skills, and what my wise pal @Angus Avagadro calls "grit"; all admiral traits we want to see in med students!
I understand that, and I obviously will discuss something financial about my family and/or something academic. Just, um, the most meaningful and powerful display of tenacity/grit for me was... defeating my obsessions and delusions (sans risperidone may I add!!!!). and well, I should be able to speak about that without fear.
 
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I understand that, and I obviously will discuss something financial about my family and/or something academic. Just, um, the most meaningful and powerful display of tenacity/grit for me was... defeating my obsessions and delusions (sans risperidone may I add!!!!). and well, I should be able to speak about that without fear.
Yes, you should. That's what the prompt is asking for.
 
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JanetSnakehole

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then why do I hear about how risky it is to talk about these things in application essays? perhaps it varies per school, per administrator.

Probably depends on all of it. I think applicants are given this blanket guidance to avoid discussing mental health issues because so many applicants write about these things badly, or overshare extremely personal/private details, or it’s just not apparent to the reader that the issues have been left in the past. We are often bad judges of our own writing, and everyone thinks they’re going to be the one to successfully pull it off. Since so many cannot, it’s just easier to say “avoid it altogether.”

I think the more precise answer is that, yes, an applicant can write about mental health struggles if it’s truly the strongest narrative they have, BUT it requires incredible care, especially if they have a condition that’s exacerbated by stress. But it’s so individual and requires enough nuance that the internet is probably not the best place to be getting personal guidance. If someone were really gung ho about using mental health struggles as a theme in their PS/essays, I would advise them to work with a professional editor or writing center.

I knew a woman who applied to graduate school using her battle with anorexia nervosa as a main theme in her essay. Rejected everywhere. I looked at her statement and though I knew she was several years into her recovery, that timeline was unclear in her writing. Given AN’s high death rate, she assumed (probably correctly) that schools were scared off. She reapplied to new programs with a new statement that significantly downplayed/reframed the severity of her disorder while emphasizing her recovery and then she got in.
 
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then why do I hear about how risky it is to talk about these things in application essays? perhaps it varies per school, per administrator.
It depends. OCD is nowhere near as bad a worry as say, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, in my own view. I've had to deal with clinical depression several times in my life, so I'm more sympathetic to candidates who have overcome that.
 
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deleted688779

Oh but the baits continue.

One of my interviewers asked me about my future plans. I discussed a genuine interest in something related and peripheral to medicine, something not too uncommon, and he proceeded to lecture me on how he disagrees with my response and doesn't believe the school needs more students with those interests. Talks about his view of what most doctors should do. Then he tangents into saying how he doesn't believe I deserve to be working under someone like my PI. Fun stuff.

Spoke to a few other interviewees who ran into the same interviewer, same story if they mention something outside of his ideal of a physician.
 

LizzyM

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Oh but the baits continue.

One of my interviewers asked me about my future plans. I discussed a genuine interest in something related and peripheral to medicine, something not too uncommon, and he proceeded to lecture me on how he disagrees with my response and doesn't believe the school needs more students with those interests. Talks about his view of what most doctors should do. Then he tangents into saying how he doesn't believe I deserve to be working under someone like my PI. Fun stuff.

Spoke to a few other interviewees who ran into the same interviewer, same story if they mention something outside of his ideal of a physician.

But did you get admitted? Some interviewers can be twits but in the end the adcom will "consider the source" and give you a fair shake.
 
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Angus Avagadro

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Yes, you should. That's what the prompt is asking for.
Exactly. This is also what the interview is for. I am trying to see if I would like for you to be my doctor someday. Your performance under stress is important, and face it ...it is stressful no matter how many softball questions I throw. I get it. A doctor must be able to think and function in stressful situations, even if it is only asking about STD's or do you feel safe at home? If I ask a question and then challenge the students response, merely if it is to see how far I can take them out their decision making tree, and they burst into tears, or begin berating me for questioning their response, then I guess we will say the interview didn't go very well. If a student chooses to discuss their struggle with a mental disorder, that is fine. If they struggle during the interview, then I might have some doubts about their ability to handle the stress during medical school. Exacerbations of mental illness are not rare in medical as @Goro has mentioned in the past. Just my opinion OP. Seem like you are doing well. Good Luck and Best Wishes!
 
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deleted688779

But did you get admitted? Some interviewers can be twits but in the end the adcom will "consider the source" and give you a fair shake.
Nope, waitlisted but likely not accepted.

I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt because it might have been a "stress interview". Though he continued to be rude to the very end when he refused a handshake. The person after me said he was very pleasant to talk to.
 
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