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TMDSAS Controversial Optional essay topic

Fun1nth3sun1

Full Member
5+ Year Member
May 30, 2014
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Hey everyone,

I was having trouble thinking of a topic for the application optional essay for this prompt:
Briefly discuss any unique circumstances or life experiences that are relevant to your application which have not previously been presented. The optional essay is an opportunity to provide the admissions committee(s) with a broader picture of who you are as an applicant. The essay is optional; however, you are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity.

Once I thought about it, I realized that growing up with my sister (she is 1 year younger than me) having ADHD has affected my personality and a huge part of my life.
Growing up, my sister who was 1 year younger than me was very active and also a trouble maker. I am not saying this to make myself seem great but I have been told by my mother that I was a much easier child to deal with growing up. My sister used to scratch and pinch my face to the point where my face would have marks all over it as a child. My parents tried everything to stop that by cutting her nails or trying to talk to her but nothing worked. She would always try to steal my toys away from me and try to fight with me. Anyways, growing up she drove my mom and I insane, by throwing tantrums and getting angry and throwing plates and etc...just normal ADHD behavior...but we did not know that at the time.. When my sister was a child, my parents took her to a psychiatrist because they thought there was something mentally wrong with her but the doctor told them that her behavior is normal. Fast forward like 20 years later, and during college, my sister basically self-diagnosed herself with ADHD, and later on actually got diagnosed by an actual doctor. Because she noticed that she was having hard time focusing on her studies and many other symptoms. The thing is all this has affected me so much more than I first realized it. My sister would always disrespect me and call me names and put me down and fight with me and that has affected my personality negatively. I feel like now, I am way too nice because my sister and even my parents would use me as a doormat growing up when I did not know better. Now, I feel like everyone including my own family members take advantage of me and no one takes me seriously.........I am just now starting to realize that. That being said, my personality has grown a lot since going to college, getting married and becoming a mother ( I am a mother of a 1 year old).

I also come from a very conservative family. In my religion its also important to be obedient to your parents and respect your parents. But, I feel like I was overly obedient to the point where I would never talk back to my parents and if I felt like voicing my opinion I would not out of fear of hurting anyones feelings. In this way, I feel like I lost myself because I was so used to not voicing my opinion. My mother also likes to control everything in her household and so I feel like she made all the decisions for me, but never really let me make my own decisions for my self. When I first got married, it was something different to get used to because I was so used to asking my mother for everything and for her opinion that I started doing the same thing to my husband. Eventually I got used to being the woman of the house and making my own decisions and voicing my opinion. Anyways, I just feel like that is not a positive trait to have being a doctor...and so I do not want this to be looked at in a negative way..

My question is:

1. Is this even relevant to the ADCOMS?
2. Will it negatively affect my application? Will Adcoms view this in a negative light if I talk about how I overcame all these challenges?
3. My sister would I am referring to is actually also applying for med school this cycle,,, for AAMC not AACOMAS or TMDSAS like I am. Could that negatively affect her application as well?

Thank you everyone for your time :)
 
Last edited:
Jun 11, 2010
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I don't think that reporting that you had issues with your sister make for anything helpful.

Dealing with conservative parents and being a doormat won't help unless you explain how you have grown from that and what your coping skills are. This assumes that this wasn't asked about elsewhere.

Re-read this: Briefly discuss any unique circumstances or life experiences that are relevant to your application which have not previously been presented.
 
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Fun1nth3sun1

Full Member
5+ Year Member
May 30, 2014
121
36
146
I don't think that reporting that you had issues with your sister make for anything helpful.

Dealing with conservative parents and being a doormat won't help unless you explain how you have grown from that and what your coping skills are. This assumes that this wasn't asked about elsewhere.

Re-read this: Briefly discuss any unique circumstances or life experiences that are relevant to your application which have not previously been presented.
Thank you for your response. If I explained my experience
I don't think that reporting that you had issues with your sister make for anything helpful.

Dealing with conservative parents and being a doormat won't help unless you explain how you have grown from that and what your coping skills are. This assumes that this wasn't asked about elsewhere.

Re-read this: Briefly discuss any unique circumstances or life experiences that are relevant to your application which have not previously been presented.
Thank you for the reply! If I explained my experience growing up in the u.s but going to school in Canada for a year ( I am also canadian) would that be relevant if I explained the challenges I faced and how I overcame them? It was not an official study abroad program. I wanted to explain the transition from living with my parents to living on my own, and how that affected my academics. Once I moved back to the u.s it further affected my academics negatively because I overloaded my semesters . I even took like 21 credits a semester once. I felt like I needed to rush to make up for being one year behind as my credits did not count. Now, Looking back I wish I did not rush . The last thing I would want to do though is making it look like I'm using it as an excuse. Should I also address my undergrad gpa as its not as high as my grad gpa? Would that be something I could talk about?
 
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