Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Should I disclose a previous mental illness on my medicine application Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hope someone can help. I'm going to be writing my personal statement for medicine this year and was wondering whether it would be beneficial or detrimental to my application to mention that i used to have an eating disorder (i'm now fully recovered) . I had an eating disorder about a year ago and was hospitalized for about 7 months. My hospital admission was literally right before my GCSEs but I still managed to get good grades (grades high enough to apply for medicine) despite not being in school for most of the GCSE course. Do you think an experience like this would put me at an advantage as it shows that I am determined/committed and have personal experience of mental illness, the NHS and hospitalisation? Or do you think that the university would just be worried about me relapsing and therefore not accept me? If anyone has been in a similar situation then please let me know what you did. Many thanks.
    • Very Important Poster
    • PS Reviewer
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    PS Reviewer
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by caitlin1999)
    Hope someone can help. I'm going to be writing my personal statement for medicine this year and was wondering whether it would be beneficial or detrimental to my application to mention that i used to have an eating disorder (i'm now fully recovered) . I had an eating disorder about a year ago and was hospitalized for about 7 months. My hospital admission was literally right before my GCSEs but I still managed to get good grades (grades high enough to apply for medicine) despite not being in school for most of the GCSE course. Do you think an experience like this would put me at an advantage as it shows that I am determined/committed and have personal experience of mental illness, the NHS and hospitalisation? Or do you think that the university would just be worried about me relapsing and therefore not accept me? If anyone has been in a similar situation then please let me know what you did. Many thanks.
    Informing universities is an advantage - but this information belongs in your reference and not in your PS.

    When you say it it sounds like an excuse - when your referee says it it sounds like an achievement.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    If it doesn't effect you now, it might be best not to mention it - especially if your GCSEs still came out glowing (otherwise this would be extenuating circumstances relevant). I know this will sound bad, but the attitude of medical academics regarding mental illness varies a lot - some think it doesn't matter as long as you would know to seek help if it came back, some think anyone who has had any serious episode before should not be allowed to do Medicine full stop, and some believe in a 'blank slate' at starting uni. If you think it has any significant chance of relapsing, then you should make the school aware of it once you've passed the application stage, so you're made aware of where to seek help if things start to go that way (there will be many opportunities to make them aware once you have an offer). Unless UCAS has a box demanding you inform them about it, you're under no obligation to mention it at this stage.

    One thing I wouldn't try to do is make it a central part of your application - personal stories of hospital experience as a patient/visitor don't tend to be so well received.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    I'd only mention it if you worry it could happen again, and from reading your post you state that you're fully recovered so I don't think it's necessary. Your application is only 4000 characters anyway (about one page) so you don't have that much room to discuss anything in debt. Mine literally focused on my work experience and one of my a level subjects which I felt was relevant to the uni course.
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    PS Reviewer
    I suffered from anorexia before applying to vet school - this did affect me academically but my referee was vague and said that I repeated a year of sixth form due to medical reasons (but did not mention this was due to mental health specifically). I was very concerned about this affecting my application to vet school and I planned to not disclose this to them (unless I had to or relapsed whilst at uni). Like medical school, it can be a very demanding course both physically and mentally, and I felt my mental history would be seen as a negative. In fact, one University wrote in black and white that they recommended not to apply to such as "demanding" course (vet med) if one has had serious mental health issues in the past. Perhaps it is different since I applied, perhaps the stigma isn't what it used to be, but at the time I didn't want my mental health to be counted against me in any way. To be honest, most applicants to medicine would have used the NHS in one capacity or another so I don't think being going through the system would make you stand out in any case.

    Just my 2 cents. Do what you like obviously. Well done on beating your ED and good luck with your application!
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Brussels sprouts
    Useful resources
    Graduates celebrate

    How to write a good personal statement

    Expert PS advice from the people who will read it

    Uni match

    Find your perfect uni course

    Don't know where to apply? Let our uni match maker be your guide

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.