Should You Mention Having Children in Your Application?

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Session 205

If you are a parent applying to medical school, this one’s for you: should you mention kids in your application / personal statement?

Your questions answered here are taken directly from the Nontrad Premed Forum. If you haven’t yet, please register for an account to join a community of collaborative students. Also, be sure to check out all our other episodes on the Meded Media.

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

[01:17] OldPreMeds Question of the Week

“Did any of you mention your children in your application, especially if it adds to your narrative of why you want to become a doctor?”

[01:30] Will It Be a Red Flag in Your Application?

The question surrounds whether you should mention your children in your application. Many students think this is a potential red flag.

'There's a lot of fear among women about mentioning kids in an application.'Click To Tweet

Humans are reading the applications and humans have judgments and biases. So you may come across a reviewer that may not like what they see for mentioning having kids in your application.

With that said, there is not any reason not to put this in especially if it adds to the narrative of why you want to become a doctor.

[Related episode: What Are Med School Red Flags & How Do You Talk About Them?]

[03:15] The Goal of the Personal Statement

The same goes for a mental health condition. If it has been the foundation of why you want to be a physician, then obviously, that has to be in your application.

'The personal statement is all around why you want to be a physician.'Click To Tweet

If you are a parent and your reason for wanting to become a physician includes being a parent, then it has to go in your application because it’s a part of your story.

You can’t avoid pieces of your story about why you want to be a physician including your parents being physicians or close family members. You can’t avoid talking about that stuff because your story will not make sense otherwise.

Your story doesn’t make sense without it because you’re trying to connect all of these dots. So there’s that one large dot there.

[05:10] Hide It or Lay It All Out There?

There may be consequences around avoiding certain parts of your story that are integral to your story especially around why you want to be a doctor and you’re not doing it right.

But if you go to medical school and hide the fact you have kids. You get in and then the school is not flexible with the idea you have a kid and then you’re penalized, this isn’t the school you want to be at. Or you can lay all those cards out and let the school decide. Sometimes this works out, sometimes it doesn’t. This then becomes your decision algorithm on whether or not you talk about something in your application.


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