Talking about anxiety/panic disorder when applying

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loopybasket

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Hi there!
My brother is a doctor and told me to not share my story about how I conquered social anxiety/panic disorder as ADCOMs would view this as potential risk for the future. I truly took the hard road and faced my panic disorder head on and dealing with this hardship is one of my greatest achievements as it is extremely difficult and proves my tenacity, but I don't even want to mention it if it is going to come off badly.

I'm currently writing my personal statement for cycle #2 and considering completely removing this section. I spoke in-depth, first paragraph, about my experience/overcoming panic disorder last cycle and got 4 interviews, 1 A (I decided to not attend this school because I did not think I would be happy here nor get a great education ((subpar facilities and hospital system recently dismantled)) and on top of this, it was very expensive), and 3 WL so it seems like it didn't screw me over too much by speaking of it, but it could potentially be why I'm still on WLs. What do you guys think? Should I leave it in to prove my determination during hardship or leave it out due to it potentially posing risk for the future in their eyes?
 
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Damson

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@Goro is going to yell at you for giving up the acceptance. and yeah why did you forgo it?

As for your question, I think it would be okay to talk about it. But add in a few statements to allay the adcoms' concerns. such as
I developed tools to help me effectively overcome anxiety, so that even if emerges again, I know exactly how to manage it
The skills I gained through fighting anxiety will serve me well throughout medical school as well as the rest of my life.
 

KnightDoc

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Hi there!
My brother is a doctor and told me to not share my story about how I conquered social anxiety/panic disorder as ADCOMs would view this as potential risk for the future. I truly took the hard road and faced my panic disorder head on and dealing with this hardship is one of my greatest achievements as it is extremely difficult and proves my tenacity, but I don't even want to mention it if it is going to come off badly.

I'm currently writing my personal statement for cycle #2 and considering completely removing this section. I spoke in-depth, first paragraph, about my experience/overcoming panic disorder last cycle and got 4 interviews, 1 A (I decided to not attend this school), and 3 WL so it seems like it didn't screw me over too much by speaking of it, but it could potentially be why I'm still on WLs. What do you guys think? Should I leave it in to prove my determination during hardship or leave it out due to it potentially posing risk for the future in their eyes?
Did you formally give up the A yet? If so, this might be fatal in future cycles, at least at some schools. If not, please reconsider. In any event, why would you value the opinion of a bunch of strangers here more than that of your very own successful physician brother?

Also, why seek this advice here now when whatever you did last time did not keep you from getting 4 IIs and 1 A? You are still on 3 WLs because of whatever happened during your interview, or just how your file stacks up when compared to the rest of their pool. If this was an issue, at least at these schools, they wouldn't have wasted a precious II on you.
 
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loopybasket

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@Goro is going to yell at you for giving up the acceptance. and yeah why did you forgo it?

As for your question, I think it would be okay to talk about it. But add in a few statements to allay the adcoms' concerns. such as
I developed tools to help me effectively overcome anxiety, so that even if emerges again, I know exactly how to manage it
The skills I gained through fighting anxiety will serve me well throughout medical school as well as the rest of my life.

I gave up the A because I didn't think I'd be happy at the school (I did not have a good interview day experience) and it was extremely expensive. I don't think it's a bad thing to have boundaries during this process.

Thank you for your input!!


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loopybasket

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Did you formally give up the A yet? If so, this might be fatal in future cycles, at least at some schools. If not, please reconsider. In any event, why would you value the opinion of a bunch of strangers here more than that of your very own successful physician brother?

Also, why seek this advice here now when whatever you did last time did not keep you from getting 4 IIs and 1 A? You are still on 3 WLs because of whatever happened during your interview, or just how your file stacks up when compared to the rest of their pool. If this was an issue, at least at these schools, they wouldn't have wasted a precious II on you.

I did give up the A because I did not think I'd be happy at the school and might not get a great education (subpar facilities and hospital system recently got dismantled) and on top of all of this, it was expensive. I don't think that's a bad thing to have these kinds of boundaries nor is it unheard of. I'd rather reapply and go another cycle than spend a long time and lots of money where I wouldn't be happy!

Why would this be fatal for future cycles?

And I simply wanted to get more opinions. It's never wise to just fully trust one person's opinion on something that could make or break my chances.

I sense quite a bit of undue animosity in your response... truly just trying to fix last cycle's mistakes for this cycle. I applied to many schools and could have potentially received far more than 4 interviews. Maybe they didn't offer one because I mentioned mental illness


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KnightDoc

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I did give up the A because I did not think I'd be happy at the school and might not get a great education (subpar facilities and hospital system recently got dismantled) and on top of all of this, it was expensive. I don't think that's a bad thing to have these kinds of boundaries nor is it unheard of. I'd rather reapply and go another cycle than spend a long time and lots of money where I wouldn't be happy!

Why would this be fatal for future cycles?

And I simply wanted to get more opinions. It's never wise to just fully trust one person's opinion on something that could make or break my chances.

I sense quite a bit of undue animosity in your response... truly just trying to fix last cycle's mistakes for this cycle.


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No animosity at all. It's just that we are all a bunch of strangers and your brother is family, so why would our collective wisdom carry more weight than a close family member in the profession, especially when you were successful last cycle after ignoring your brother's advice?

With respect to turning down As and reapplying, search SDN. It is considered a huge red flag at some schools, because the seats are a precious and rare commodity with an overall 40% acceptance rate. Others don't seem to care, so YMMV. But, if you happen to see the question on a school's secondary, you might want to save some money and stop right there at that school. Hopefully a few adcoms will weigh in with their specific, knowledgeable perspective regarding this.
 
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loopybasket

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No animosity at all. It's just that we are all a bunch of strangers and your brother is family, so why would our collective wisdom carry more weight than a close family member in the profession, especially when you were successful last cycle after ignoring your brother's advice.

With respect to turning down As and reapplying, search the thread. It is considered a huge red flag at some schools, because the seats are a precious and rare commodity with an overall 40% acceptance rate. Others don't seem to care, so YMMV.

Input from family doesn't mean that it's going to be more correct than that from strangers. It's totally fine to seek further advice. (also I didnt ignore his advice - he told me recently that it could have impacted my last cycle)

So other schools in this upcoming cycle can see that I received an acceptance from another school that I won't be applying to again? How would they even know?

Very weird to me that schools can be selective to the moon and back but applicants have to just take any A that comes at them, even if they don't wish to attend for valid reasons? So so odd.
 

KnightDoc

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Input from family doesn't mean that it's going to be more correct than that from strangers. It's totally fine to seek further advice. (also I didnt ignore his advice - he told me recently that it could have impacted my last cycle)

So other schools in this upcoming cycle can see that I received an acceptance from another school that I won't be applying to again? How would they even know?

Very weird to me that schools can be selective to the moon and back but applicants have to just take any A that comes at them, even if they don't wish to attend for valid reasons? So so odd.
Schools won't see it (actually, hopefully someone on the inside can answer this -- the AAMC website schools can run a report in the fall to see where their applicants matriculated. I'm not sure if there is any way to see if a current or prior applicant ever received an A anywhere), but some will ask, and you'll either answer the question honestly or not. Your point is very well taken regarding how schools treat us; that's why this is referred to as a seller's market. It is totally unfair, and is a result of 50,000 mostly well qualified people competing for 20,000 seats.
 

loopybasket

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Schools won't see it, but some will ask, and you'll either answer the question honestly or not. Your point is very well taken regarding how schools treat us; that's why this is referred to as a seller's market. It is totally unfair, and is a result of 50,000 mostly well qualified people competing for 20,000 seats.

Just so I fully understand what you're saying - schools will have no indication that I turned down an A this cycle, but they will explicitly ask "did you have any acceptances last cycle?"
 

KnightDoc

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Just so I fully understand what you're saying - schools will have no indication that I turned down an A this cycle, but they will explicitly ask "did you have any acceptances last cycle?"
Please read my edit to the prior post -- I don't know for sure if there is a way for them to see (I don't think so), but some definitely ask because they consider it a big red flag, and you will certify that all of your responses are truthful before you submit. And the question won't be "did you have any acceptances last cycle," it will be "have you EVER been accepted to medical school?" which presumably includes both MD and DO.
 

Shotapp

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If you were accepted previously and are reapplying, all schools can see that you were accepted before.

Also, many schools ask if you have ever applied to any med schools before in their secondaries, although some don’t. It depends on the school.
@Goro
 
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loopybasket

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Please read my edit to the prior post -- I don't know for sure if there is a way for them to see (I don't think so), but some definitely ask because they consider it a big red flag, and you will certify that all of your responses are truthful before you submit. And the question won't be "did you have any acceptances last cycle," it will be "have you EVER been accepted to medical school?" which presumably includes both MD and DO.

I see. thanks for clarifying. And I would answer honestly and state my very valid reasons... if that works against me, so be it I guess because in my mind, I see absolutely nothing wrong with not settling. If I'm willing to go through this process another time as opposed to going there, it must be for good reason and no one is obligated to attend where they get an A... I even turned it down prior to April 30th so I wasn't screwing other applicants over. The fact that it could affect me negatively is ridiculous to me but it is what it is I suppose.
 
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AnonymousDoctorGuyPerson

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I think you really need to cross your fingers for those WLs now. Applying after receiving an A is a death sentence at most, if not all, schools.

How much has your application changed since last cycle? It sounds like your application will be roughly the same except now with the addition of a red flag (the withdrawal of the A). I dont think changing your PS will have any net impact and I believe schools you applied to this cycle can still see it next cycle anyways but dont quote me on that.
 
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loopybasket

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I think you really need to cross your fingers for those WLs now. Applying after receiving an A is a death sentence at most, if not all, schools.

How much has your application changed since last cycle? It sounds like your application will be roughly the same except now with the addition of a red flag (the withdrawal of the A). I dont think changing your PS will have an impact and I believe schools you applied to this cycle can still see it next cycle anyways but dont quote me on that.

I had no idea that was the case... That truly blows my mind. I wish I knew that before because i truly never heard that before

I have added a research position to my application. Guess it doesn't quite matter if I'm absolutely screwed anyway
 

AnonymousDoctorGuyPerson

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I had no idea that was the case... That truly blows my mind. I wish I knew that before because i truly never heard that before

I have added a research position to my application. Guess it doesn't quite matter if I'm absolutely screwed anyway

Yeah, not to be crass, but your brother gave some pretty bad advice. I don't think anyone "settles" for a med school. Many applicants apply again and again to never get in and you really should've considered yourself lucky to have been admitted to a US med school.

Since you have physicians in your family I'm sure you felt pressure from that end, and I get your hesitations with that specific school considering the CoA, but you really should've done more research into this before you made that decision. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but the problems with that school you listed would not have held you back in the future, while this action very well may.

I'm sure a lot of people will be offended by your decision, and honestly, they have a right to be, but it clearly came from a misguided place. I genuinely wish you luck, I'm sure you're feeling all sorts of ways right now.
 
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loopybasket

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Yeah, not to be crass, but your brother gave some pretty bad advice. I don't think anyone "settles" for a med school. Many applicants apply again and again to never get in and you really should've considered yourself lucky to have been admitted to a US med school.

Since you have physicians in your family I'm sure you felt pressure from that end, and I get your hesitations with that specific school considering the CoA, but you really should've done more research into this before you made that decision. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but the problems with that school you listed would not have held you back in the future, while this action very well may.

I'm sure a lot of people will be offended by your decision, and honestly, they have a right to be, but it clearly came from a misguided place. I genuinely wish you luck, I'm sure you're feeling all sorts of ways right now.

In order to have done more research on it, I would have had to have some idea that it was bad. To me, choosing to do this all over again sucks for me but it's the decision I made for mental, educational, and financial reasons. It never would have occurred to me that this would hurt me. I certainly am feeling absolutely awful now.
 

KnightDoc

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Yeah, not to be crass, but your brother gave some pretty bad advice. I don't think anyone "settles" for a med school. Many applicants apply again and again to never get in and you really should've considered yourself lucky to have been admitted to a US med school.

Since you have physicians in your family I'm sure you felt pressure from that end, and I get your hesitations with that specific school considering the CoA, but you really should've done more research into this before you made that decision. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but the problems with that school you listed would not have held you back in the future, while this action very well may.

I'm sure a lot of people will be offended by your decision, and honestly, they have a right to be, but it clearly came from a misguided place. I genuinely wish you luck, I'm sure you're feeling all sorts of ways right now.
For the record, the brother gave advice on not disclosing a medical condition. OP apparently made the not accepting the A decision all by himself, not realizing it was an issue.
 

AnonymousDoctorGuyPerson

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For the record, the brother gave advice on not disclosing a medical condition. OP apparently made the not accepting the A decision all by himself, not realizing it was an issue.

Ah, sorry, I should've pointed out I was going based on an older post OP made "Thank you! my brother is an orthopedic surgeon (much much smarter than I) and told me to not settle and supported my decision" about withdrawing his A.


To OP I do hope some ADCOM folks on SDN can chime in though, I'm curious what their input is.
 
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loopybasket

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Ah, sorry, I should've pointed out I was going based on an older post OP made "Thank you! my brother is an orthopedic surgeon (much much smarter than I) and told me to not settle and supported my decision" about withdrawing his A.


To OP I do hope some ADCOM folks on SDN can chime in though, I'm curious what their input is.

he didn't tell me to decline the acceptance - he was supportive of my decision after I told him. He went through this process 16 years ago so he isn't privy to the way things are now, which is why I even asked the original question.
 

AnonymousDoctorGuyPerson

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he didn't tell me to decline the acceptance - he was supportive of my decision after I told him. He went through this process 16 years ago so he isn't privy to the way things are now, which is why I even asked the original question.

Ah, got it. Sorry for the confusion, I'm sure hearing all my assumptions aren't helpful to your mental state.
 
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KnightDoc

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Ah, sorry, I should've pointed out I was going based on an older post OP made "Thank you! my brother is an orthopedic surgeon (much much smarter than I) and told me to not settle and supported my decision" about withdrawing his A.


To OP I do hope some ADCOM folks on SDN can chime in though, I'm curious what their input is.
Adcoms have already, multiple times in multiple threads, opined that it is a huge red flag that is difficult if not impossible to overcome at the schools that ask. OP is correct about the inherent unfairness, but this is a manifestation of the mindset you expressed above, as well as schools simply taking the position that OP, for whatever reason, ended up wasting the time of the adcom that admitted him before, and they are not going to devote resources to him on the chance he might do it to them. Fool adcoms once, shame on you, ....
 
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