About the ads

HELP, failed a class

Discussion in 'Allopathic' started by drseanlive, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. SDN is a nonprofit organization. Services are made possible through the generous support of SDN members and sponsors. Thank you.
  1. drseanlive

    drseanlive

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    67
    SDN 2+ Year Member

    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    after doing marginally well this year, i finally failed my first class.....i am an MS2 and now realy have my confidence shot for the boards and am afraid that i am going to be screwed for residency....i think i need to retake the test over the summer and then take my boards later, so that i'll have enough time to study....but i feel like this one test that i didn't do well on is going to have a major impact on my residency, confidence, and step 1 score....anyone been in the same position and have anything to say? also, how many med students actually fail a class....in my school its really not hard to fail at all..i wonder how big of a deal it is...heeeelp.
  2. drseanlive

    drseanlive

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    67
    SDN 2+ Year Member
  3. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee. Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    9,793
    Location:
    Where I hang my hat.
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician SDN 10+ Year Member
    A lot of how this will play out depends on your school. You need to figure out what your school policies are. Many schools will say you can "retake" an exam within 10 days (but you can only do this one or two times). Other schools say you need to remediate the entire class - sometimes you can do this over summer, other times they'll make you come back from rotations. Some schools will make you wait to take your boards, some will allow you to take step I (but not step II until you successfully remediate).

    Many med students fail an exam. Go talk to your professor ASAP and make a game plan. The very very worst thing you can do is wait and let it hang over your head.
  4. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    May 30, 2001
    Messages:
    9,059
    Location:
    Gone Walkabout!
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Judging by the recent applications for residency that I have reviewed, you are not alone in terms of having failed a class. Do your remediation during the summer and study for boards. Take one thing at a time and don't look back. I can tell you that many people fail a class in medical school and other than the most competitive residencies (which may or may not interest you), you have nothing to worry about unless you can't complete medical school (highly unlikely).

    My guess is that 5% of medical students may fail either a course/test during first or second year. Things happen but they don't necessarily knock you out of much (except perhaps AOA which most medical students would be eligible for in the first place). Review solidly for USMLE and put this behind you. Make sure that you have a strong third year; get some great letters from your preceptors and keep looking forward.

    All medical schools in this country have some kind of remediation so find out what you need to do and what kind of timeline for USMLE you will have. It's not where you come from but where you are going. Keep positive and don't beat up on yourself. Most people who fail a class/test actually know much more than that class or test indicates. Just put in a little extra review. The remediation is going to make that weakness a strength anyway. Medical school is a very long process and many folks have a bump or two along the way.
  5. drseanlive

    drseanlive

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    67
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    has anyone had personal experience with failing one isolated block and then did well for the rest of med school and obtained a good residency?

    I think i will ultimately want to do IM or Gen surgery...do you think this will set me back at all?

    Also, how does a failure appear on the transcript? does it just become a pass after you remediate it?

    thanks for the help, i'm really angry this happened to me as i usually HP things, i had a friend kill himself a few days before this test and it messed up up bigtime . . .
  6. Nodelphi

    Nodelphi Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    170
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Are you talking about failing an entire class or just one exam in the class?

    If you're talking about the latter it's really no big deal at all and won't show up in any meaningful way on your residency applications. If you're talking about the former then it will show up but it's not a huge deal as long as you remediate and your board scores and clinicals are solid. In any case we're not the people to talk to, go talk with your course director and your student affairs people asap.
  7. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    May 30, 2001
    Messages:
    9,059
    Location:
    Gone Walkabout!
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    A course failure shows up as a failure (or unsatisfactory) with the remediation showing up as a pass. I don't think that this will mortally wound you in terms of IM or General Surgery if everything else (USMLE Step I and third year) are sound. If asked to explain it during a residency interview, then do so but you probably won't be asked as long as you keep the rest of your academics sound.

    If you just failed a test, you school may give you a conditional pass notation on your transcript for that class and it may turn into a pass once you have re mediated. Some schools use this system for those who just fail one test or a portion of a block of material. If this is the case, it won't show up at all.

    How your transcript looks is dependent on your school. A good person to ask about this would be your Dean of Education. In any event, review solidly for USMLE Step I and score your best (General Surgery needs to be well above 200 (220-range)). Have a solid third year and you should be fine.
  8. Taliesinrk

    Taliesinrk PM&R Hopeful

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    476
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    5% huh? I guess that makes my class a bit odd considering 25% of students (I'm a first year) have failed at least one class, while 2 of those have failed two classes. Of course I'm at a satellite campus (w/ only 22 in our class), but the class above us failed out 2 students last year too. .
  9. Re3iRtH

    Re3iRtH Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Messages:
    445
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Yes that does make your class a bit odd. I would say no more than
    5-10% is the average. I can't see the number being above 0% at
    Mayo. :cool:
  10. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,130
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    So sorry to hear about your friend. I had a similar sort of situation in undergrad with my O-chem final, except my friend was in a car accident. I also had a difficult time during my own MS2 year after learning my Dad had liver cancer, though I didn't do poorly academically that time as fortunately I didn't have a test right away afterwards. But it's hard. :(

    But if you're normally getting HP's, then you are doing very well and if you put in a good effort for the rest of the year and on studying for the boards, you should have no problem with Step 1. This was an extenuating circumstance. I would first talk to the course director, and then the Dean's office about your situation. Sooner is better. They may try to make a special effort accommodate you given your situation. They may also be able to counsel you on how to approach the situation if you do end up with a "mark" on your academic record. My opinion is, however, that if a program wants to screen you out for one bad grade because of a personal tragedy, then I wouldn't want to go there anyway.

    As your friend's death has clearly had a big impact on you, you might also consider some counseling. Medical school is very stressful anyway, and having all this going on must not be easy. Hang in there. :thumbup:


    edit: Just realized this thread was a year old. Oops. Well anyways, I hope you are doing better now, OP.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
  11. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    May 30, 2001
    Messages:
    9,059
    Location:
    Gone Walkabout!
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 5+ Year Member

    Take one thing at a time. Many medical students fail a class, remediate over the summer and go on to residency without missing a beat. Your first step is to put that failed class behind you, finish your last semester of your second year and then do your remediation.

    The good thing is that remediation is far easier than learning the class from scratch in the first place. You can also be confident that you will know the material from that class quite well once you start reviewing for Step I. Get your remediation out of the way, take a couple of days to rest and then set a good review schedule for Step I.

    Failing one class does not make you anything other than a person who needed a little extra time with one subject. Once your remediation is done, your transcript and record will look just fine to a residency program director. As I said, many medical students have to remediate something and you likely will not be alone in the remediation process. This is not a major deal unless you allow this to be.

    Get your Board review done and take your boards with confidence. After that, have a strong third year (which really counts heavily for residency). Look at the situation like this, you had a bit of trouble and your overcame it. That is the way that a residency will look at your situation. How you handle this is good practice for how you will handle any tough situation in medicine in the future.

    Don't "beat yourself up" because it won't change anything and don't worry that this will stigmatize you forever because it won't. This summer, you will move past this, get boards out of the way and head into third year with the rest of your class ready to do what you came to medical school for in the first place. Good luck!

Share This Page


About the ads