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    Hello,

    I have completed 2 undergraduate degrees. I did poorly my first time around but did exceptionally well the second time around. I’ve been asked to complete an adversity questionnaire and disclose anything that I feel may provide additional context to my previous poor performance. I was dealing with some personal health problems at the time but I can’t help but feel that disclosing such information would prejudice my application. Admissions is clearly fishing for something but should I take the bait. Depending on how I disclose the nature of the past issues, it could be the kiss of death. I think it one would be delusional to think that we live in a society where people are not judgemental. Essentially I don’t want to give anyone ammunition that could be used to take down my application if I’m already on the borderline as it would appear given my past academic history.

    Does anyone have any advice on how best to proceed?
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    Given that you did "exceptionally well" in your second degree I take it that you are over these health problems? Am I also right in assuming that they were mental health problems? Tbh I'd probably disclose the nature of the problem you had previously provided it wasn't still there. Did you see a psychiatrist /take medication? You could include letters from professionals you saw confirming it is not still an issue, you are not still on medication, and they believe your exceptional 2nd degree results are a much better indication of your true abilities. I think you do need to submit some kind of explanation definitely because other wise it'll just look even worse.
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    Given that you did "exceptionally well" in your second degree I take it that you are over these health problems? Am I also right in assuming that they were mental health problems? Tbh I'd probably disclose the nature of the problem you had previously provided it wasn't still there. Did you see a psychiatrist /take medication? You could include letters from professionals you saw confirming it is not still an issue, you are not still on medication, and they believe your exceptional 2nd degree results are a much better indication of your true abilities. I think you do need to submit some kind of explanation definitely because other wise it'll just look even worse.
    Thank you for taking the time to respond. Yes, I am now over them, and yes the issue was psychological in nature. Yes, I saw my family physician as well as counsellors, and a psychiatrist and was on medication for a short time period, however, I was strongly opposed to the use of medications as they generally don't tend to work in the long term, and was more in favour of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. When you say "some kind of explanation" do you feel it would be in my best interest to be explicit or vague? Maybe I'm being paranoid but stating that you once dealt with a mental issue could send up a red flag, and greatly increase their reluctance to invite you for an interview, although I don't see what other choices I have but to state that I have nothing to disclose, which as you pointed out would be detrimental. I definitely do not want to portray myself as a liability who may under the pressure of medical school revert back to their old ways. I would find the whole thing to be sort of ironic if met with resistance given that mental health issues are all too common amongst medical professionals.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you for taking the time to respond. Yes, I am now over them, and yes the issue was psychological in nature. Yes, I saw my family physician as well as counsellors, and a psychiatrist and was on medication for a short time period, however, I was strongly opposed to the use of medications as they generally don't tend to work in the long term, and was more in favour of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. When you say "some kind of explanation" do you feel it would be in my best interest to be explicit or vague? Maybe I'm being paranoid but stating that you once dealt with a mental issue could send up a red flag, and greatly increase their reluctance to invite you for an interview, although I don't see what other choices I have but to state that I have nothing to disclose, which as you pointed out would be detrimental. I definitely do not want to portray myself as a liability who may under the pressure of medical school revert back to their old ways. I would find the whole thing to be sort of ironic if met with resistance given that mental health issues are all too common amongst medical professionals.
    If it was me applying, I would be explicit in order to say "yes, this happened, but I took these measures and look I recovered and got a 1st" (I'm assuming you got a first). I think being explicit would look more honest and less like you're trying to hide something, and if they suspect you're trying to hide something they might be led into thinking that you're not quite over it and you're trying to gloss over that fact. That's why I suggested getting the letters of support from medical professionals to show that you are indeed fine now and that your second degree shows the "real" you and what you're capable of. However, I am not the one applying and I haven't recovered from a MH problem so I may be completely wrong with that. What you said about stigma is very true, sadly it does still exist in a lot of people's minds when it comes to mental health.

    It might be an idea for you to ask this question in the medical students forum and see if anyone there has experience applying for med school having suffered from a psychological issue and recovered from it. They would probably be more help than me. I could either move this thread over there for you or you can create one there. You can find the forum here:
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=195

    Sorry I can't be of more help.
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    Actually I would say that medical schools are extremely supportive and this is your opportunity to explain why there’s such a difference rather than theirs to find an excuse to not take you. My friend managed to take three years out for mental health reasons no problem. Another has been allowed to resist two separate years, and I’ve recently been allowed to rearrange two exams to attend a funeral. They will do what they can to help you out when they can, but they can’t if they don’t know.
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    If it was me applying, I would be explicit in order to say "yes, this happened, but I took these measures and look I recovered and got a 1st" (I'm assuming you got a first). I think being explicit would look more honest and less like you're trying to hide something, and if they suspect you're trying to hide something they might be led into thinking that you're not quite over it and you're trying to gloss over that fact. That's why I suggested getting the letters of support from medical professionals to show that you are indeed fine now and that your second degree shows the "real" you and what you're capable of. However, I am not the one applying and I haven't recovered from a MH problem so I may be completely wrong with that. What you said about stigma is very true, sadly it does still exist in a lot of people's minds when it comes to mental health.

    It might be an idea for you to ask this question in the medical students forum and see if anyone there has experience applying for med school having suffered from a psychological issue and recovered from it. They would probably be more help than me. I could either move this thread over there for you or you can create one there. You can find the forum here:
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=195

    Sorry I can't be of more help.
    Yes, I managed to achieve a first. I really appreciate your feedback, and I do agree that withholding information would probably be suspect and raise some alarm bells like you said. I guess I don't really have anything to lose, and my reluctance to come forward is based on a fear that is purely speculative. Yes please, if it's not too much trouble I would very much appreciate it if you would transfer the forum over to the medical student forum. Thank you.
 
 
 
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