If your family has experienced any form of social, economic, or educational disadvantage – at any time in your child’s life – your child can apply to medical school as a disadvantaged applicant. To receive this designation means that your applicant will need to complete an additional essay on the AMCAS Application.
The character limit for this short essay is 1,325. Examples of each of the three forms of disadvantage are listed below:
Was your child treated differently due to ethnicity, language, or religion?
Did your child receive any form of government aid or grow up in a single parent household on one income that is below the poverty threshold?
Did your child overcome a learning disability or attend a low performing public school?
It can be difficult to know what to include in the Statement of Disadvantage. I recommend your child approach it by using the following strategies:
• Create a timeline that includes any form of social, economic, or educational barriers that they experienced, from birth through college.
• State the facts; no need to express any emotions or to emphasize any details.
• End the Statement of Disadvantage on a high note.
It’s important to remember that these applications will be treated with the utmost respect and that your children are heroic for overcoming obstacles that would have prevented many people from applying to medical school. Congratulate them for making it to this point in their education!
The advantage of applying to medical school as a disadvantaged applicant is that most medical schools will not reject an application with a Statement of Disadvantage until it has been reviewed by at least one admissions officer.
If you’re unsure whether your child should apply as a disadvantaged applicant or not, please feel free to contact us.
Do you want to help your premed child get into med school…without having to nag or stress them out? This series has loads of concrete, actionable advice that will help your premed discover their competitive advantage and get accepted!
Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.