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To tell or not to tell?

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by anxiousnadd, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. anxiousnadd

    anxiousnadd Junior Member
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    Hey everyone,

    I'm a third year student that's going to be applying to EM residency programs for the match of 2010. I'm going to spare giving you all a long narrative, so I'm going to jump to the point. My sibling has a diagnosed medical condition that will be requiring a bone marrow transplant from me. Needless to say, I've been juggling family and medical school for the past 2.5 years and when it came time for boards, family won out (at the expense of my step I board score).

    My question is, I fear that if I tell the residencies in my personal statement or in my interview about that, that it might reflect negatively on my ability to work through adversity, etc etc. If it's going to sound like I'm giving an excuse for the red flags in my application, then I'd rather not even bring it up. Or even worse, I'm afraid that the programs won't want to invest in a resident that may have attached drama from family medical issues. Seeing it typed out makes me feel like it's dumb to think about that, but it's certainly been something bothersome to me. So, is there any particular way that I should approach this?
     
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  3. willlynilly

    willlynilly Senior Member
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    rock step 2, and you'll have great interview fodder. no one is going to fault you for everything you wrote about, but dude, if you rock step 2 (which isnt that hard to do) and do well in your EM electives, you'll get into the EM residency of your choice.
     
  4. EC3

    EC3 Member
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    Tough call. I think in most scenarios, though, that telling the truth would probably be more beneficial. It's always better to have an explanation for any "red flags," and I think family emergencies are legitimately extenuating circumstances. If you don't tell them, they're going to assume the worst: that the problem is a lack of motivation or intellect. If you do tell them, the worst they can think is that you might, at some point, put family ahead of your residency program; and if any program holds that against you, well, that's a pretty good indicator you shouldn't want to be there.

    I think the choice is obvious, but I'm just a resident. Also, if any doctor or healthcare professional faults you for siding with your family in a time of medical need, they are hypocrites. IMO you made the right choice and I personally would strongly stand behind that choice; nothing to be ashamed of at all.
     
  5. copacetic

    copacetic Copacetic Was Here!
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    ditto. if you're busy saving a family members life at the expense of yourself, i see that as very altruistic. i wouldn't hold it againts you as an adcom
     
  6. roja

    7+ Year Member

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    When in doubt, disclose. Programs know that family emergencies happen. This is not 'drama'. Its just what happens sometimes. Any program that wouldn't respect and understand is probablynot the one that is right for you.

    Also, if you don't give (valid) an explaination, programs will just wonder and try and fill in the blanks.
    better to fill them in yourself with the truth.
     
  7. kungfufishing

    kungfufishing Senior Member
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    And remember there is some social skill to the disclosure - matter of fact, don't make it sound like you are making an excuse.
     
  8. anxiousnadd

    anxiousnadd Junior Member
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    Thanks everyone! I'm gonna just pray that nothing else even worse comes up before (or after or ever) step 2. The past couple years of med school have been pretty rough. Anyways, I'm definitely going to take the opinions!

    Thanks again.
     

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