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To what extent will my mental health history affect my chances of becoming a doctor? Watch

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    My history with mental health is pretty bad, yet right now, and for the past four years, my mental health has improved drastically and I've been in such a better place. At one point the police had to come round my house because I was at a very high risk of suicide. I used to self-harm pretty bad, and have pretty huge and noticeable scars which have turned white in colour but are still noticeable. I can cover them with make-up but they are still noticeable to some extent because of the bumps. I've always wanted to go into the medicine industry but feel as though I have ****ed it up. I don't want to give up, but I feel as though I will not be allowed to work with patients in the future because I am "vulnerable" to mental illness and that I may trigger patients if they notice my scars. I want to get a tattoo to cover them, but I don't know to what extent tattoos are considered appropriate for doctors. I just don't know. Can someone please give me some insight on my question? x
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    (Original post by Anestic)
    My history with mental health is pretty bad, yet right now, and for the past four years, my mental health has improved drastically and I've been in such a better place. At one point the police had to come round my house because I was at a very high risk of suicide. I used to self-harm pretty bad, and have pretty huge and noticeable scars which have turned white in colour but are still noticeable. I can cover them with make-up but they are still noticeable to some extent because of the bumps. I've always wanted to go into the medicine industry but feel as though I have ****ed it up. I don't want to give up, but I feel as though I will not be allowed to work with patients in the future because I am "vulnerable" to mental illness and that I may trigger patients if they notice my scars. I want to get a tattoo to cover them, but I don't know to what extent tattoos are considered appropriate for doctors. I just don't know. Can someone please give me some insight on my question? x
    I can't speak for medicine but I'm a mental health nursing student and it hasn't been a problem for me. In fact loads of people on my course have significant mental health history and quite a few of us have SH scars - including one girl on her face. It can be a little embarrassing at times however I wouldn't say it's ever been a problem for me, if anything it has helped some patients relate and helped forming rapport.

    My occupation health doctor wasn't worried about me being vulnerable when working around others with mental health issues and if anything I would say my experiences help me empathise with some patients. I was however understandably upset when one of my patients killed themselves, but I think if you can recognise when you something is distressing to you and seek help it's not an issue.

    Unfortunately most tattooists are reluctant to work on SH scars as I'm told the ink may run.

    4 years is a long time to be stable for so well done. I'm pretty sure most doctors would respect this and not worry about your past.
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    Google the GMC fitness to practice criteria, this should help put your mind at ease.
 
 
 
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