1lastchance
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I know i have posted a lot about mental illnesses, however today i have been really worried after talking to a group of people who said any mental illness will make my application be discarded.
This is really worrying for me, and i am prepared to not give details or my mental illness to admissions (i know this isn't a good idea) but will do anything to get into med school.

i asked what mental illnesses would it be ok to be a doctor with and their reply was none. In fact one person went as far as saying no career with a mental illness is feasible.
(i have psychosis and have been told if it doesn't go away within 5 years i have schizophrenia, and i think if any med school saw this they would immediately reject me because they won't think i am fit to be a doctor.)
the people i was talking to were telling me to reconsider career choices, but i can't think of anything i would enjoy as much as being a doctor.
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junior.doctor
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From what I've seen, you've asked for similar advice before and people have explained the situation with prospective / current medical students and mental illness, but here goes:

It is perfectly possible to be a medical student / doctor and have a mental illness. Plenty do. There is no set list of illnesses that are automatically ok / not ok.

The most important factor, is that you've sought appropriate help, and that your illness is felt by your health professionals to be under control and that you're up to the rigors of medicine, be that studying the intense course, or working as a doctor. That doesn't mean that you can't take medication - part of getting things under control might well include taking medication and again plenty of medical students and doctors take medication for mental health problems.

You are not asked to declare anything to admissions panels. The people that require this information are occupational health, and this bit comes later once you have any conditional offer. As part of any offer to study medicine, you *will* be required to complete an occupational health questionnaire. This will cover all aspects of physical and mental health, and clearance by occy health wil form part of the conditions of your offer. Part of the occy health form is giving the details of your GP / other significant health professionals so that they can write reports on any health conditions. You are required to be honest on this form, and lying on this form would be a massive probity issue that would bring you before fitness to practice panels.

Whilst the occy health system is not perfect, the aim is, as much as possible, to make sure that people are supported appropriately to undertake a demanding medical degree, not to punish them and stop them from doing it. Obviously nonetheless in certain circumstances it might be determined that someone has a severe mental or physical health problem that's going to require them to defer starting medical school for another year or more / not be able to start medical school at all if it is felt that there is not much likelihood of getting the problem under control and stable enough to enable someone to study medicine.

The best time to think about applying for medicine is when things have been stable and under control for a period, whether that's with or without medication. it is probably worth talking to your various health professionals and asking them what sort of reports they would write / recommendations they would give to occy health for you - as this is going to happen if you apply, and this will be your best indicator of what they are likely to say and how feasible it is for you to think about doing medicine. Best wishes.
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HopelessMedic
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(Original post by 1lastchance)
I know i have posted a lot about mental illnesses, however today i have been really worried after talking to a group of people who said any mental illness will make my application be discarded.
This is really worrying for me, and i am prepared to not give details or my mental illness to admissions (i know this isn't a good idea) but will do anything to get into med school.

i asked what mental illnesses would it be ok to be a doctor with and their reply was none. In fact one person went as far as saying no career with a mental illness is feasible.
(i have psychosis and have been told if it doesn't go away within 5 years i have schizophrenia, and i think if any med school saw this they would immediately reject me because they won't think i am fit to be a doctor.)
the people i was talking to were telling me to reconsider career choices, but i can't think of anything i would enjoy as much as being a doctor.
Have a read through this, hopefully it can answer some of your questions.

http://www.gmc-uk.org/education/undergraduate/26588.asp
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Sprout73
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(Original post by 1lastchance)
I know i have posted a lot about mental illnesses, however today i have been really worried after talking to a group of people who said any mental illness will make my application be discarded.
This is really worrying for me, and i am prepared to not give details or my mental illness to admissions (i know this isn't a good idea) but will do anything to get into med school.

i asked what mental illnesses would it be ok to be a doctor with and their reply was none. In fact one person went as far as saying no career with a mental illness is feasible.
(i have psychosis and have been told if it doesn't go away within 5 years i have schizophrenia, and i think if any med school saw this they would immediately reject me because they won't think i am fit to be a doctor.)
the people i was talking to were telling me to reconsider career choices, but i can't think of anything i would enjoy as much as being a doctor.
My daughter is a 2nd year med student who suffers from anxiety ,she declared this at the time of application and the med school have been fantastic and supportive, however it's not anxiety about exams or med school pressure in itself but a lot more generalised ie she tends to have ( worry of the day) .I think you need to be upfront with everyone including yourself best wishes
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nexttime
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(Original post by 1lastchance)
I know i have posted a lot about mental illnesses, however today i have been really worried after talking to a group of people who said any mental illness will make my application be discarded.
This is really worrying for me, and i am prepared to not give details or my mental illness to admissions (i know this isn't a good idea) but will do anything to get into med school.
Who were these people? Why are you attaching such huge, life-changing authority to what they said?
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1lastchance
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(Original post by junior.doctor)
From what I've seen, you've asked for similar advice before and people have explained the situation with prospective / current medical students and mental illness, but here goes:

It is perfectly possible to be a medical student / doctor and have a mental illness. Plenty do. There is no set list of illnesses that are automatically ok / not ok.

The most important factor, is that you've sought appropriate help, and that your illness is felt by your health professionals to be under control and that you're up to the rigors of medicine, be that studying the intense course, or working as a doctor. That doesn't mean that you can't take medication - part of getting things under control might well include taking medication and again plenty of medical students and doctors take medication for mental health problems.

You are not asked to declare anything to admissions panels. The people that require this information are occupational health, and this bit comes later once you have any conditional offer. As part of any offer to study medicine, you *will* be required to complete an occupational health questionnaire. This will cover all aspects of physical and mental health, and clearance by occy health wil form part of the conditions of your offer. Part of the occy health form is giving the details of your GP / other significant health professionals so that they can write reports on any health conditions. You are required to be honest on this form, and lying on this form would be a massive probity issue that would bring you before fitness to practice panels.

Whilst the occy health system is not perfect, the aim is, as much as possible, to make sure that people are supported appropriately to undertake a demanding medical degree, not to punish them and stop them from doing it. Obviously nonetheless in certain circumstances it might be determined that someone has a severe mental or physical health problem that's going to require them to defer starting medical school for another year or more / not be able to start medical school at all if it is felt that there is not much likelihood of getting the problem under control and stable enough to enable someone to study medicine.

The best time to think about applying for medicine is when things have been stable and under control for a period, whether that's with or without medication. it is probably worth talking to your various health professionals and asking them what sort of reports they would write / recommendations they would give to occy health for you - as this is going to happen if you apply, and this will be your best indicator of what they are likely to say and how feasible it is for you to think about doing medicine. Best wishes.
Thank you so much. You say to apply to med school when things have been stable for a while. I've been in hospital for 4 years and was discharged about a year ago. This seems like quite a long time for me given I was in for so long. What do you think
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1lastchance
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(Original post by nexttime)
Who were these people? Why are you attaching such huge, life-changing authority to what they said?
Some strangers. I take notice of what they said because they represent the public opinion. Basically, they don't want to be treated by a psychotic doctor, and who am I to blame them?
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nexttime
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(Original post by 1lastchance)
Some strangers. I take notice of what they said because they represent the public opinion.
If the public were in charge then the entire NHS would be staffed by blonde blue eyed aryans from Buckinghamshire and everyone would be glowing green from as many 'why don't we just do a scan doc' full body CTs those 20 or so people could physically perform. The public are not in charge, and with good reason: they're mostly idiots full of irrational fears.

Basically, they don't want to be treated by a psychotic doctor, and who am I to blame them?
You would not be able to practice when acutely psychotic, no.

But other times if you're able to make a clear judgement you'd be fine. Lets not pretend it won't be difficult, nor that you'd be subject to closer monitoring than most, but is it impossible? No. There are doctors with schizophrenia out there. Not that many, but some. You wouldn't exactly be a pioneer or anything.

I think this is not an easy decision, but to come to this apparently dramatic and sudden conclusion based on some strangers' opinion is just silly, come on.
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junior.doctor
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(Original post by 1lastchance)
Thank you so much. You say to apply to med school when things have been stable for a while. I've been in hospital for 4 years and was discharged about a year ago. This seems like quite a long time for me given I was in for so long. What do you think
?
There's no set time period really. It sounds as though you've made some great progress to be discharged from hospital after a long stay. Often, just being out of hospital does not necessarily mean that things are stable / well controlled, it often takes another further period after being discharged from hospital, even though you've done a lot and worked hard to get to where you are at the moment. I really do think that it would be useful to have a chat with your current mental health team / psychiatrist. These are the people that will be writing reports for occupational health giving their opinions on whether you are well enough to study medicine at the moment, and so they can give you a good idea as to what they think. I know you're reluctant to disclose things, but you WILL have to - not to admissions, so it would have no bearing on the admissions team's opinions on offering you a conditional place, but you WILL have to disclose your mental and physical health history to occupational health.
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1lastchance
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(Original post by nexttime)
If the public were in charge then the entire NHS would be staffed by blonde blue eyed aryans from Buckinghamshire and everyone would be glowing green from as many 'why don't we just do a scan doc' full body CTs those 20 or so people could physically perform. The public are not in charge, and with good reason: they're mostly idiots full of irrational fears.



You would not be able to practice when acutely psychotic, no.

But other times if you're able to make a clear judgement you'd be fine. Lets not pretend it won't be difficult, nor that you'd be subject to closer monitoring than most, but is it impossible? No. There are doctors with schizophrenia out there. Not that many, but some. You wouldn't exactly be a pioneer or anything.

I think this is not an easy decision, but to come to this apparently dramatic and sudden conclusion based on some strangers' opinion is just silly, come on.
It isn't a sudden decision. i have been thinking about this for a while now. and what do you class as being acutely psychotic? is there a difference between being acutely psychotic and psychotic? I don't know the difference. i would guess hearing voices wouldn't fall into the acutely pschotic category as i do now and am not a risk to myself or anyone else. it is controlled and hopefully if i am ever up against a fitness to practice panel, they will be able to see the difference between hearing voices (which never go away) and not. it is not possible for me t o not hear voices. i hope this doesn't mean i will be thrown onto the not fit to work pile.
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1lastchance
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(Original post by junior.doctor)
There's no set time period really. It sounds as though you've made some great progress to be discharged from hospital after a long stay. Often, just being out of hospital does not necessarily mean that things are stable / well controlled, it often takes another further period after being discharged from hospital, even though you've done a lot and worked hard to get to where you are at the moment. I really do think that it would be useful to have a chat with your current mental health team / psychiatrist. These are the people that will be writing reports for occupational health giving their opinions on whether you are well enough to study medicine at the moment, and so they can give you a good idea as to what they think. I know you're reluctant to disclose things, but you WILL have to - not to admissions, so it would have no bearing on the admissions team's opinions on offering you a conditional place, but you WILL have to disclose your mental and physical health history to occupational health.
yes i think i will talk to my psychiatrist about it. i'm sure his impression will be 'no way does that person think they can practise as a doctor' but it is my main thing which i have wanted to do all my life.
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