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Thread: PhD Programs with Epilepsy

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    PhD Programs with Epilepsy

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    So I知 not sure if this is the best place to ask this but I知 not sure where else to start. I have been accepted to a few programs so far but some of the best ones are 9+ hours from where most of my family and friends are. I have epilepsy and have had 4 seizures in the last 2 years even on medication. In extreme cases , I have had to take a week or two off of work to recover (like if the seizure is especially long or when I got a concussion when I fell during the seizure). As of now I live alone a few hours from my support network and I am wondering how I would ask my professors/program about this (especially those far away). How likely are professors or students to be willing to help in these situations? (e.g. hospitals may require I leave with someone else, etc). How should I go about approaching this? Also how much better is a program ranking 55 vs 63 (the better ranked is much further)? Do you think the career opportunities are substantially different?

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    Re: PhD Programs with Epilepsy

    You should be upfront with your program about your medical condition. I'm pretty sure most schools can cater to your needs.

    As for comparing the two programs, the difference between 55 and 63 is trivial. Go for the program in which you can find the most professors doing what you want to do.

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    Re: PhD Programs with Epilepsy

    Grad school is hard. We all need a support network. Your medical situation makes life even more complex. I would consider trying to find a suitable program closer to home.

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    Re: PhD Programs with Epilepsy

    I'm the DGS at a good program ranked in the 50-80 range.

    I agree with tm_member above, though add the following: people put way, way too much weight on these rankings. Some rankings are based on reputation (you'd laugh if you saw the form that US News sends out to elicit rankings). Some are based on citations/publications. They are good attempts but are noisy and imperfect. The differences in quality of instruction, peer quality, and placement quality are not that different in the thick of the distribution. My school is "mid sized". We are never going to be ranked that high because we have a smaller faculty. We specialize in a small number of fields. Our placements are about as good as those from schools ranked 25-40. Our students are very happy. They get much more individualized attention that students in large departments.

    Best wishes and feel free to PM me if you'd like to talk more.

    So, if you are looking at a small number of schools, through away the rankings. You have more information about which program is best for you. There is no hidden aspect of quality that you can't figure out, but the rankings do. Talk to current students about what they like about their program. Focus on programs that are a good fit for your research interests. A place that is ranked 63 might be very good at something and fairly weak at other things.

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