Will seeing a psychologist hur your application?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by sikesalt, Sep 21, 2002.

  1. sikesalt

    sikesalt Junior Member
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    For some reason I thought I read here once that seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist will go on your record and hurt your chances of getting into medical school (i may be mistaken). Does anyone know if this is true? It sounds rediculous to me. It has been a tough year and I was thinking about seeing a psychologist. It nothing serious however that I need to do.
     
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  3. FutureM.D.

    FutureM.D. Psychology major
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    why would seeing a psy ruin your chances? That is sooo stupid.
     
  4. The Hulk

    The Hulk Official Green Monster
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    Future MD, come now... I majored in psych too, let's not get overly defensive... after all, the only stupid question is the one that goes un-asked, right? ;)

    Anyway, as for your question, it is really a two-parter:
    1) Can they find out?
    2) Will they try and find out / Can it hurt me?

    As for #1, I can give you the information that I know. As long as you see a psychologst or psychiatrist in private practice there is no way for anyone to find out from your therapist because they are bound to confidentiality as per the rule of the doctor-patient relationship. There are two caveats to this, namely if you check into a hospital with a psychiatric emergency or if you have insurance pay for it. In either case, there will be records showing your medical need for counseling that are outside of the control of your physician (be it either the hospital or the insurance company), and they may give it out to others (such as your Med school) without your expressed consent and without violating any laws.

    As for #2, I don't honestly know. I sincerely doubt they do, because I know a handful of people who are currently attending or who have attended top medical schools who were seeing therapists throughout most of their college and graduate careers.

    My advice to you, take it or leave it, is that if you can afford it, get the counseling. But don't try and use your insurance to cover it if at all possible. Your mental health is more important than anything else. Sometimes we forget that in the rush to be successful students, physicians and people in general. Your obviously in touch enough with your emotional needs to realize you need to sort some things out. Take advantage of that now. Otherwise, you'll find your functionality, your ability to handle the ups and downs of daily life, will start to be impaired. And that's not something a med stundent can really afford to have.

    Good luck
    :)
     
  5. FutureM.D.

    FutureM.D. Psychology major
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    Oh I'm sorry. I didn't mean the question was stupid, just whoever told him/her that. Miscommunicaton! Sorry!:oops:
     
  6. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    sikesalt, Welcome to SDN! :) The Hulk's advice is very good. Hope you find someone to talk to soon, and that it helps. I can't remember any secondaries that inquired about whether or not one had seen a psychologist/psychiatrist. Best of luck to you!! :)
     
  7. amelie

    amelie Member
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    get the help you need without worrying...many medical schools have in-house clinics (staffed by studying psychiatrists) that treat people in the community...and from the medical school itself! seeking help when you need it shows personal maturity. and i third all of the hulk's points re: confidentiality, etc. so have no fears.
     
  8. woolie

    woolie Intermountain West
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    I am a big fan of social workers and counselors and find my best friends are often social workers. Being able to express our feelings and work thru weird sh%t in a supportive environment is really important.

    They say the healthiest people are the ones who seek out help when they feel a little freaked and who wouldn't feel stressed doing this pre-med stuff? Therapy can be like a tune up in a car, sometimes things make a rattling noise and it's good to get it checked out by a trained mechanic so then it can run better. I have never regretted seeing a counselor and I can't imagine any health professional would ever look down on it, but respect the desicion to ask for help in a stressful time. ;)
     
  9. Tweetie_bird

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    I haven't read the above answers so I may be repeating some stuff. First, did you know that a LOT ...( and I mean LOTS) of medical students utilize psych services during their 4 year period in med school? In fact, that is going to be one of my major questions i ask at interviews. Counseling servies are a MUST in graduate school, whether it's MD or PhD. How do I know? I am actually helping to write an NIH grant about an issue similar to this. Med school is no easy task, and you will need all the help you can get. So, to start with, don't let something like "what will they do IF (and this is a BIG "IF") they find out. If you feel like you could use some counseling, do it. A lot of stress and coping will be required out of you in medical school, and trust me, there is no shame in using a service that is present to help you in situations you are in now. So if anybody makes you feel ashamed or you feel some ...stigma against going to a psychologist, remember that your peers in medical school do the same thing.

    It's out there for you. Use it. Good luck!!
     
  10. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member
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    I don't see how they can find out about it, unless you put it as an EC on your AMCAS.
     
  11. dr.day

    dr.day Junior Member
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    I certainly hope it doesn't hurt your chances if you've seen a psychologist because I saw one for the entire year during my 2nd year of college! I actually have a full year of W's on my transcript because I had such a hard time that year that they gave me a medical withdrawal. I spoke to my cousin (who is a Dr.) about this when I decided to try to get into med school and she said that a lot of schools will see this as a very responsible and "grown- up" thing to do. After that sucky year I turned my grades around and got involved with volunteer work and pretty much turned my whole life around. I'm hoping the adcom's see this as something that built character and that I overcame something really big. Besides, I wouldn't want to go to a school that didn't understand that type of thing!
    Good luck to you and take care of yourself above all else!
     
  12. ckent

    ckent Membership Revoked
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    :laugh: That's funny. Hopefully most people will be smart enough not list it as an EC.
     

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