About the ads

  1. Check out PREMED.me!
    Offers FREE service to help premeds manage their applications and MCAT study calendars and identify schools to target.
  2. Free Financial Webinar with White Coat Investor! Monday evening at 7:00 PM EDT, hear about the Top 5 Financial Considerations for Starting Residents from White Coat Investor's Dr. James Dahle. Register here. Hope to see you there!

Medical School Admissions: Special Circumstances

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by Tildy, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. SDN is a nonprofit organization. Services are made possible through the generous support of SDN members and sponsors. Thank you.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Madame

    Madame SDN Mentor

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    Messages:
    235
    SDN 5+ Year Member

    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    You absolutely must report the instutional action of having been on probation. This is actually a plus because it gives you a place to explain the Ws on your transcript without gumming up your Personal statement which can focus on your positive attributes and your interest in medicine.

    Yes, you were on probation due to the failure to progress. This failure to progress was due to the 4 withdrawals that were necessitated by the family emergency that led you to leave school before the end of the term. Close your paragraph on the Institutional Action with a sentence about how you focused your efforts when you got back to school.
  2. Madame

    Madame SDN Mentor

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    Messages:
    235
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    At the very least, you will need to provide the transcript from DO school and list the coursework on your AMCAS. Whether DO school "counts" in the question concerning "previous matriculation" is something you may want to check with AAMC.
  3. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Moderator SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    My master's house
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Faculty SDN Published Author hSDN Member SDN 7+ Year Member
    It would not usually be expected to provide such letters on an application. Certainly you should be able to explain the situation in your essay or other application material and your letters of recommendation may be of help.
  4. Professor Plum

    Professor Plum with the candlestick...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    ...in the lab
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    First check to see if AMCAS will allow you to amend your activities on your application; I'm not sure whether they will. If not, then you might try writing a brief paragraph to explain that you were not able to participate in that activity after all, and send it to each school yourself as a file update.
  5. Miss Scarlett

    Miss Scarlett With the revolver

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    In the study
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Your MCAT score is very good and an upward trend in your GPA is always better than the opposite. Some secondary applications will ask if there is anything else you would like the admissions committee to know. That might be a good place to explain the situation with the community college classes.

    Best of luck to you.
  6. Professor Plum

    Professor Plum with the candlestick...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    ...in the lab
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Have you thought things out thoroughly and explored your other options? In other words, if you quit your current job now, do you have another job you can start instead, or are you potentially going to be sitting around doing nothing for a year? I think if you do quit your job, you need to have a plan about what you're going to do to support yourself this year and to replace this job. Don't quit your current job before you have a new one lined up. Also, if and when you do quit, don't burn any bridges. Science is a small world, and you never know when you might run into your bosses again. Give your supervisor two weeks notice and offer to finish any outstanding projects or train your replacement if they need you to. Good luck.
  7. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Moderator SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    My master's house
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Faculty SDN Published Author hSDN Member SDN 7+ Year Member
    I don't think anyone can answer hypotheticals such as this. In general, I recommend that people think very carefully before revealing personal medical information of any type. In the hypothetical situation you describe, it is likely that there would be a range of responses among adcom members, including some negative reactions. Nonetheless, it is impossible to know how that might affect your application without seeing your letters of recommendation and essays.
  8. Professor Plum

    Professor Plum with the candlestick...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    ...in the lab
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    You should make an appointment with your premedical advisor; we really can't answer this question. But definitely try not to take the MCAT in September of the year when you apply, because it will make you a very late applicant.
  9. Professor Plum

    Professor Plum with the candlestick...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    ...in the lab
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I think you can say more or less what you just said here. Try to keep your essay positive and focus on the learning experience aspect rather than being defensive or trying to make excuses for your poor grades freshman year. Good luck.
  10. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Messages:
    22,701
    Location:
    Cube Farm
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    Pharmacist SDN Partner SDN Published Author NCPA Kappa Psi SDN 7+ Year Member
    Do you need assistance figuring out how to enter your work or activities in AMCAS? There is a fantastic thread in pre-allo that addresses just that. Check there first before asking your question here. You may just find what you are looking for!

    Entering Work/Activities into AMCAS
  11. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Moderator SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    My master's house
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Faculty SDN Published Author hSDN Member SDN 7+ Year Member
    In terms of the rules that schools have, then clearly you would need to write to each school and see what they say. However, I think you are asking for a more general comment on how we might see the absence of a committee letter from a graduate of a school we know to have such letters.

    Personally, and I know I am not alone in this, I do not like committee letters and have, at times, felt they did the applicant a disservice. This is especially true of committees that actually have an interview process. Inevitably those interviews are harder than ours and the report we get not very useful. Especially for an applicant who has graduated more than a year previously, it would be hard to see the value of a committee letter. Of course, YMMV and some adcoms must like them or else why do they still exist?

    I would not even think about why an applicant didn't have such a letter, but I think if it was a large school and the places you were applying were used to seeing these letters, a very brief email or other note indicating that you "chose" to forgo that process for the reasons you described about time and distance would suffice. If adcoms want more info, they can ask you. I bet they don't in most if not all cases.

    Never have someone write a letter, committee of otherwise, that may include something "bad" in it. These red flags can greatly harm an otherwise good application. Better to have a few folks ask why you didn't get a committee letter.
    Try to have a letter from someone who has worked with you in a scientific or medical capacity since you graduated.

    Good luck and don't stress about this issue too much. I know that if committee letters disappeared completely I'd be thrilled.
  12. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Moderator SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    My master's house
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Faculty SDN Published Author hSDN Member SDN 7+ Year Member
    I doubt that schools will automatically dismiss your application for this. It is certainly best to directly communicate any issue such as this with each school. Email or phone call should be a good start.
  13. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Moderator SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    My master's house
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Faculty SDN Published Author hSDN Member SDN 7+ Year Member
    There's no magical approach. Schools will see the trend and you may be asked about it. As we have suggested in the past, be brief in mentioning this issue in essays. Don't make excuses (meaning don't whine or complain about bad profs, etc, just give a simple explanation) and focus the essay not on past problems but on why you now are the person the medical school wants to interview. At interviews, take the same approach. Simply indicate that you were not prepared for college but that you rapidly improved and have demonstrated your ability to handle the medical school curriculum. If they invited you for an interview then they fundamentally believe this about you anyway, but may question you about it to see how you respond.
  14. montessori2md

    montessori2md Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    730
    Location:
    On the Road Again
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Tildy edit: I'm leaving this part of montessori2md's post up so everyone can see how cute the avatar is!
  15. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Moderator SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    My master's house
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Faculty SDN Published Author hSDN Member SDN 7+ Year Member
    I would do it at the time of sending in secondary applications or at latest when scheduling interviews if one is offered. Email or phone is fine.

    But the real reason I answered this is that assuming your avatar is your kid, s/he is really cute and Tildy sure hopes they have a dog to play with :). If you are a Montessori teacher, make sure to talk about that in your essays, etc. It'll be a unique conversation topic for interviews!
  16. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Moderator SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    My master's house
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Faculty SDN Published Author hSDN Member SDN 7+ Year Member
    Unless you are asked a question about it specifically by a school, or are specifically asked a question about ongoing medical treatment, I woudn't bring it up during the application process. There are better ways to discuss your interest in ID. If you are accepted, you should discuss it with the school health officer.

    I have deleted your name as I don't think it's needed for this post. If you would prefer your name back here, post and I will put it back in.
  17. The CookieMonster

    The CookieMonster Re-Applicant Mentor

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    8
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm a little unsure if this is the right place to do this, but here goes:

    I'm a somewhat recent (2004) graduate of a small liberal arts college with degrees in chemistry and religion. I applied once unsuccessfully (2004) and decided to take some time off to improve my application. I applied this past year and I am happy to finally say that I will be attending medical school this fall. Since SDN has been such a great resource for me during college and both my application cycles, I'm here to help pre-meds, and in particular, re-applicants any way I can. I'm pretty much an open book, so barring any inappropriate personal questions, anything is fair game -- PMs are welcome! :)
  18. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Moderator SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    My master's house
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Faculty SDN Published Author hSDN Member SDN 7+ Year Member
    If it weren't for reading SDN, it would never have even occurred to me that there was something less than optimal in terms of demonstrating academic capability about working or caring for a family while taking a partial course load. I never have thought of it as an issue nor heard it considered as one in any discussions of which I have been part. I don't think giving up a job or abandoning your family just so you can prove you can go to school full time is a good thing for schools to expect and I doubt that most do. If you can get A's in the classes while holding a job or raising a family (and studying for the MCAT and doing well on it) I have no concern about your ability to handle the class work of medical school. But, obviously somewhere, some adcoms must care. Or so I've heard on SDN.
  19. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Moderator SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    My master's house
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Faculty SDN Published Author hSDN Member SDN 7+ Year Member
    This is not a simple question and ultimately only you can make this decision. First you have to decide whether this is something you want to discuss. You do not have to mention it in your essay. Assuming that it will be apparent during your interview session, then you will likely want to discuss it then, but even at that point it isn't necessary.

    But the real question is whether you wish to describe your route towards medicine and your careeer plans by including your experiences with hearing loss. If so, then include it in your essays and be prepared to discuss it at the interviews. If you feel these are completely separate, then don't.

    In general, medical schools cannot use your hearing loss in evaluating your application. In my experience, this type of thing has relatively little impact one way or the other on your application. However, as with anyone, if what has gone on in your life related to hearing explains an important part of your passion for medicine, then you are doing yourself a disservice by leaving it out of your application.

    In summary, from what you have written and the appearance of comfort you have with discussing your hearing, I would describe your path to medicine in the essay and include your hearing issues and how that affects your future. But do so only to the degree that you feel comfortable doing so, not based on how it might affect your application.
  20. oxeye

    oxeye Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    6,265
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    I'm sorry, but our mentors are not able to answer these types of posts. I would suggest asking in pre-allo or pre-osteo:

    Pre-allopathic: What are my Chances/Where to Apply?
    Pre-osteopathic: What are my chances?
  21. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Moderator SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    My master's house
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Faculty SDN Published Author hSDN Member SDN 7+ Year Member
    Pick the pathway that you would like to do. There is no race to get into or through medical school and schools will not look down on you for spending time with a group like Americorps. By spending time doing activities that provide service to others, enrich your experiences, and hopefully help you develop some independence and maturity, you are making yourself a stronger applicant. Medical schools will not criticize that. Try to continue some medically-related shadowing or the like while working, but this is not absolutely critical. I would generally not recommend applying with the intent on deferring since there is no guarantee you will be allowed a deferral, especially if you are accepted off a wait list.
  22. Professor Plum

    Professor Plum with the candlestick...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    ...in the lab
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    My opinion is that if you've already explained your disciplinary action once, and the school still sent you a secondary, then there's no reason to flog yourself a second time for the same offense. Unless there's a question on the secondary that explicitly asks you to explain your disciplinary action in further detail, I'd talk about something else. Use that space to tell the adcomm something positive about yourself that they can't get from reading your AMCAS. If they want more clarification about your disciplinary action, they will ask you about it at your interview.

    Tildy or Madame, will one of you weigh in on this one also?
  23. Adcom2

    Adcom2 SDN Mentor

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    313
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Hi everyone,
    I'm a new moderator for admissions, a third year medical student who just spent a year on my school's committee as a voting member. I have special expertise in non-traditional students and students with challenging undergraduate records.

    Standard Questions.
    1. Why did you choose your field of study?
    I'm not sure why I wanted to be a physician back in high school, if in fact I really did. I started college as a pre-med, but quickly gave up after nearly failing organic chemistry and calculus. After sliding through two successful but un-looked-for careers, I went back to school to get credentialed in my second career. I did well in courses I had really bombed as an undergraduate in the 80s, and decided that as long as I was paddling my canoe, I may as well be paddling it toward a long-held goal. I'm fascinated by the doctor-patient relationship, and like the triple aspect of the career: patient care, scientific advancement and teaching.

    2. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
    In practice. Possibly emergency medicine, or anesthesia. I'm just starting third year and leaving my options open.

    3. What advice do you have for students planning to enter the field of medicine?
    Be sincere, get some good experiences, study hard, and play the game. It takes both, I think. Good luck!

    (cross posted for your safety :))
  24. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Moderator SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    My master's house
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Faculty SDN Published Author hSDN Member SDN 7+ Year Member
    I agree with Professor Plum's answer but I'm not entirely sure anyone can tell you what to do based on this information. For each school, you need to provide a complete explanation of what happened and why you are not the "same person" now. Optimally, at least one of your letters of recommendation should address this issue. If this has been done in your AMCAS or in other information sent to the schools, then you do not need to write the same things again on secondaries.
  25. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Moderator SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    My master's house
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Faculty SDN Published Author hSDN Member SDN 7+ Year Member
    This is an interesting question. I don't really know how different adcom members would feel about it. I think some would find it worth talking about, some would challenge you about it, and others wouldn't say much but might think less of you. What the proportion of each of these is can't be even guessed at!

    My recommendation is to go carefully with this area. Indicate an interest in considering using these techniques or at least studying them. Be prepared to explain why you think they have value. Make sure you indicate that you will focus on standard allopathic/osteopathic techniques. In general, there is more risk than likely benefit to you in saying too much about this. However, if it is important to you, then you should talk about it. Just be cautious and emphasizes integrated care including standard medicine and you may make some friends on the adcom and avoid alienating anyone.

    One final point relevant to this. Make sure you phrase things positively. That is, do not say things like "Physicians don't know what they are doing" or "Most doctors use too many medications." You are applying to medical school and do not have the basis for these opinions, in addition to the obviously bad idea of criticizing those who are interviewing you.
  26. Professor Plum

    Professor Plum with the candlestick...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    ...in the lab
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I'm sorry, but I don't think we can tell you what to do either. You really should contact one or two of the medical schools where you want to apply and arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone from the admissions staff who has all of the facts in front of him or her and can give you the right advice. Good luck.
  27. Professor Plum

    Professor Plum with the candlestick...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    ...in the lab
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Sorry, but we can't answer WAMC questions.
  28. Professor Plum

    Professor Plum with the candlestick...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    ...in the lab
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Why don't you just get all three of them to write you letters? Most schools will allow you to submit up to six letters.
  29. Professor Plum

    Professor Plum with the candlestick...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    ...in the lab
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Many applicants take some classes P/F, and AMCAS will allow you to enter your HP/P/F grades into their system. Before you apply, you will need to obtain an unofficial copy of your transcript from every school that you have ever attended. Enter the coursework from each transcript on your AMCAS application EXACTLY as it appears on the transcript. AMCAS will then check your transcripts against what you entered into their system, and they will automatically calculate a GPA for you based upon your graded work.
  30. Professor Plum

    Professor Plum with the candlestick...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    ...in the lab
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    If your job influenced you to go into medicine, then by all means, discuss it. Are you applying M.D./Ph.D.? If so, then it is definitely important to discuss your research experiences. Good luck.
  31. Professor Plum

    Professor Plum with the candlestick...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    ...in the lab
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Most people do finish all of the basic pre-requisites before applying because you need to take them before you sit for the MCAT. But you're talking about extra pre-requisites, and I think as long as you have a plan to get them all done before you matriculate into medical school, you should be ok. You might want to contact a few of the TX schools and double check with them.
  32. Adcom2

    Adcom2 SDN Mentor

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    313
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    It's too early to be thinking about that question. Do well this year, focus on learning, medical and volunteer experience, and also having a life outside of school. And don't worry about medical school admissions, at least for another year :)
  33. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Moderator SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    My master's house
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Faculty SDN Published Author hSDN Member SDN 7+ Year Member
    There is no magic in this, even for strong applicants. I'm not sure your MCAT is going to be available in time for you to apply early decision to UCLA, but you could check with them about this. Failing that, and recognizing that there is more than one medical school in southern California, you should apply to a range of schools in the general area. Only you can decide if you wish to tell the schools in your secondary applications about your fiance. It may or may not help any, but it probably won't hurt. They'll know you're serious about their school (eg UCLA), but that doesn't necessarily mean they will look more favorably on your application than they would otherwise.
  34. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Moderator SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    My master's house
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Faculty SDN Published Author hSDN Member SDN 7+ Year Member
    An interesting question. The problem is that you are directing your efforts towards one or two schools with some unusual policies (these are not schools I am at). Since most schools do not add GPA points or allow one to omit prereqs, it is impossible to assess how someone at a school that does those things would look at the application. Although I personally make absolutely no attempt to consider the relationship between an MCAT score and what classes an applicant took (we have no idea if an applicant took prep courses, etc), that might not be true at the schools to which you are applying. All you can do is apply and hope that they see it in the way you wish them to view it.
  35. MSmentor028

    MSmentor028 Nontraditional, with family

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    To begin with, you need to realize that there is no quick fix for what you are trying to achieve. And while your cumm. GPA is close to 3.0 and in the competitive level, your BCMP is quite low.

    You need to ask yourself, what can you do to properly raise your GPA without sliding back down. If this takes more than a year so be it. Your best bet maybe a post bac program. Contact the post bac program that you are interested in and speak to the councilors there to discuss your personal situation.
  36. Tildy

    Tildy 12 yrs old, feels like 84 Moderator SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    My master's house
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Faculty SDN Published Author hSDN Member SDN 7+ Year Member
    These are difficult questions and there is no absolute answer. My general sense is that if you were completely cleared of all responsibility that this is something you should be very up-front about in your essays. If you do discuss this episode in any essays it will be fair game at interviews though, so be prepared for that. I think "personal problems" will not sound good and it would be better to not say anything about that semester UNLESS you are going to be completely honest about what happened (as I personally recommend).

    If and when you do tell the story, try to do so in a way that makes it clear that although you did nothing LEGALLY wrong, you recognize that you made mistakes from which you have learned. Provide evidence, via letters of rec, grades, volunteer service of the type of person you are and that the episode did not reflect on you as a person. This type of contrition will get you farther than attempting to only blame the other person, etc. Remember, an interview is not a court of law. Contrition and using the experience as a learning experience will get you the farthest.
  37. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    17,479
    Location:
    Florida
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician PhD Faculty SDN 7+ Year Member
    I took a look at your profile; with a 2.5 GPA and a 15 MCAT, your academic profile is currently too weak for you to apply to medical school successfully. I suggest that you start by thinking long and hard about what you want to accomplish. Is an MD or DO really necessary to do it? What other options (ex. RN, PA, NP) are open to you that would allow you to accomplish your career goals? If you decide that you really do need an MD, what about going to medical school offshore? In addition, you should get some counseling about what you can do to improve your study habits and earn all As and Bs from here on out. Regardless of what kind of program you wind up choosing, improving your study habits will be essential. If you cannot get counseling from your college, look into hiring a professional career counselor who can help guide you.

    Best of luck to you. :)
  38. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    17,479
    Location:
    Florida
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician PhD Faculty SDN 7+ Year Member
    I am reviving this thread for those of you who are interested in asking about how to explain special circumstances on your apps to adcoms. I am a third year nontraditional med student and a student adcom with full voting privileges.

    Rules:

    1) Please read the first post on this thread before posting a question to make sure that your question hasn't already been answered.

    2) Please do not PM questions to me or any of the other adcoms who answer questions in this thread. If you have an unanswered question that is worth asking, other people will want to know the answer too. So please post it here.

    3) I am an adcom, not a fortuneteller. So please, no "what are my chances" (WAMC) posts. There is a subforum especially for WAMC threads that is even called the WAMC subforum. You can find it listed under the pre-allo forum.

    4) Please respect the time of those who are trying to help you. No one wants to read your entire PS and secondary essays in order to answer your question. So please decide what the salient features of your issue are, and only post a *brief* message. To me, a brief message is one normal-sized paragraph, maybe two at most. If you can't explain your issue in that amount of space, you probably need to go make an appointment with your premed advisor.

    Best of luck to all the applicants. :)
  39. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    17,479
    Location:
    Florida
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician PhD Faculty SDN 7+ Year Member
    To say you've had a rough first semester is an understatement, and it sounds like this was fairly recent. I think you should slow down and take things one step at a time. Make sure that you are healthy both in body and in mind, and don't take on too much before you are ready to handle it. It's great that you are trying to help others cope with their problems based on your experiences, but I hope that someone is also helping you!

    First, it's fine for you to be at a community college for the semester. I don't think anyone who knew about your circumstances would begrudge you withdrawing from your first school after all you went through there. That being said, transferring to your state U is a good idea when you are ready.

    Second, what you explain on AMCAS is entirely up to you. It is not necessary for you to give all of the details; you can simply say that you had an illness as well as some major personal and family issues that all came up at the same time. Remember that anything you write in your essays or on your app is fair game come interview time. If you feel unable to discuss things like your cancer, your brother's death, and the sexual assault with a perfect stranger, you might want to consider *not* discussing these events on your app.

    Finally, disadvantaged status is usually based on your family's income level. You didn't provide any info concerning your family's finances or other significant difficulties you may have had before you got to college, so I don't know if you'd qualify as disadvantaged or not.

    Best wishes for your recovery and lots of luck to you. :)
  40. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    17,479
    Location:
    Florida
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician PhD Faculty SDN 7+ Year Member
    First, I am very sorry to hear about what happened to you; I think anyone would be traumatized if they were falsely accused of rape.

    Unfortunately, I don't think any of us can answer your question about how "understanding" med schools will be. I am trying to imagine how I would react if I had your app in front of me and read that you had been accused of rape and charged with receiving stolen property, and I honestly don't know what I would think without seeing your entire app and having more details about the circumstances.

    It's also not clear to me whether you have any criminal record of being accused, charged, or convicted of rape, or only for stealing the computer. The situation is a lot more difficult if you were convicted of rape, particularly if it was a felony conviction. Regardless, you will have an opportunity on your secondaries to explain any criminal record.

    In the meantime, you cannot go back and change the past, but you still have control over what you will do now. You already know the importance of having a strong academic record, ECs, and faculty relationships, and you should continue doing all of these things. I am a little concerned though that you don't trust your school's administration and yet you are going back there. I wonder if it might help you to transfer to another school where the environment would be more supportive for you, especially if a lot of people at your old school know about the accusations and believe that you are a rapist. You could be in for a very long year and a half under those circumstances. If your ex-boyfriend is still in school there, I suggest thinking even more seriously about going somewhere else.

    Best of luck to you. :)
  41. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    17,479
    Location:
    Florida
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician PhD Faculty SDN 7+ Year Member
    I'm not sure exactly what your goals are that require you to go to "some of the top medical schools in the US," but you should realize if you don't already that even many stellar candidates do not attend these schools for various reasons. My main advice for you would be to focus on getting into medical school *period.* Unfortunately, no one, even if they look perfect on paper, has the luxury of insisting on attending a particular school until the acceptance is in hand. In addition, there is nothing you can accomplish at a school highly ranked by USNWR that you can't do at any medical school. If your future school somehow does not offer the opportunities you want, you can still choose to do away rotations and research at other institutions as a visiting medical student.

    How medical schools will evaluate your record is probably school-dependent. My school is "non-trad friendly" in the sense that a high post-bac GPA will be taken into consideration even if your old grades and overall GPA are below our averages, especially if you have a competitive MCAT score. (You didn't mention whether you've already taken the MCAT, but getting a good score, ideally 33+, would be very helpful for you.) On the other hand, giving the impression that you mainly want to attend this school because of its "prestige" would be a turnoff to many of the adcoms, including me.

    Ok, so what would I do if I were in your position?

    1) Apply to DO schools as well as MD schools. Especially if you are retaking classes you did poorly in the first time, you can replace lower grades with better ones and raise your GPA to a competitive level much more quickly.

    2) Continue to maintain a 3.8+ GPA in your post-bac. Consider taking some upper level science classes to demonstrate academic capability. Prepare thoroughly for the MCAT and aim for a 33+. You could do an SMP if you want, but I personally don't think it's necessary if you have good post-bac grades. Other adcoms may disagree.

    3) Your ECs sound interesting and worthwhile. The only concern I have is that you may not have enough clinical exposure. Do you shadow physicians or otherwise interact with them during your rotations?

    4) When you go to apply, make sure to apply *broadly.* Go through the MSAR and pick schools that you think would be good fits and that take residents of CA. You are coming from a very competitive state, and there would be no guarantees of getting into a CA school even if you didn't have a (hopefully) rehabilitated academic record. Also, my personal advice is to focus on schools in the Midwest and South. Many premeds prefer living on the coasts, and there are a lot of great schools in the middle of the country that don't get nearly as many apps as schools located in CA, NYC, Boston, etc.

    Hope this helps, and best of luck to you. :)
  42. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    17,479
    Location:
    Florida
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician PhD Faculty SDN 7+ Year Member
    I am very sorry to hear about your situation. My advice is that you postpone taking the MCAT until a time when you feel better prepared to take it. Consider also that anything you put on your application is fair game for interviews. Ideally, you would avoid discussing anything about this situation on your app. But if you do choose to tell the adcom about it, you must be prepared to discuss it at your interviews as well, which could potentially be awkward or uncomfortable for you. Hope this helps, and best of luck to you.
  43. Hopey1984

    Hopey1984

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Hi, it'd be great to receive some feedback about my situation.

    I'm 24 years old, and still have not completed my undergrad.
    I have switched universities, from an okay/mediocre school to an ivy league.
    My majors are psychology and biology.
    I have not completed my undergrad and have taken multiple semesters off/never taken full course load because:
    1) My mother was ill with and passed away from cancer and took time off to be with my family/returning to school after her death, but with reduced course load.
    2) I have struggled with an eating disorder and took time off for treatment.

    Thus, I have to account for my Ws, random semesters of disappearing, and perhaps why I switched universities midway my education.

    My questions are twofold:
    [1] I know I can explain in person, but how do I even get the opportunity to explain in an interview if (some? all?) adcoms will automatically say "oh, she never took 5 courses per semester, so she's out!"
    Will they even read my personal statement even if they don't like the looks of my transcript? (For what it's worth, my GPA is 3.87; I have not yet taken the MCAT)

    [2] What SHOULD I say? I have to present myself as the less mentally stable one in fear of reducing my chances. ( I have not recovered from my eating disorder but continue to live with it so that it's not interfering with my life like it once was, and I don't want to wait for "the magic day" when it vanishes, because I don't think that will happen... (I want to continue to work towards my goal of being a GREAT DOCTOR! which I firmly believe that I can be if my disorder is under control even if it's not *gone*, and I believe that time in itself will continue to help me.)
    Granted, these experiences have definitely shaped who I am as a person and have influenced my desire to be a physician: (I have always wanted to be a doctor but it is with my own personal experiences that I have actually narrowed my focus and internalized the desire to help others...)

    So I'm thinking, just account for ONE thing (and not appear like a headcase with a gazillion issues), namely what is less of a stigma: my mothers' illness.

    What do you guys suggest?? Sorry for being longwinded, I tried to describe what IS a complicated situation, in as much of a simplified was as possible. :oops:
  44. Torongo

    Torongo

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    32
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Hi,

    I was arrested for shoplifting in 2006 and I had to take a class to get it removed from my record. Now, do I have to say 'yes' to the question of have you even been convicted of a misdemeanor...? If yes, then how much will it hurt my application? I am really tensed about this situation and my other stats are average! So I am really worried about this situation, please give me an advice.
    Thanks
  45. Ichiro

    Ichiro

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    43
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Hello,
    I plan to apply for medical school in the next application cycle and I have a misdemeanor conviction for receiving stolen property. I really have no idea that the property was stolen but according to the DA I SHOULD'VE known. I did serve 30 days of community service for the charge. Now I would appreciate it if anybody can tell me how medical school admission committee view applicants with prior record. Would they deny me admission solely based on the fact that I was convicted or would they look at the circumstances as well and give me a chance to explain myself?
  46. Ichiro

    Ichiro

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    43
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Hello,
    I plan to apply to medical school in the next application cycle but I was charged with a misdemeanor for receiving stolen property recently. A former friend used stolen credit card to buy things and use my house as a shipping address. Would medical schools reject my application because of this or would they give me a chance to explain myself in the interview (if my stats are strong enough to get me an interview of course)? I also have some concerns about medical licensing boards; I did some research for CA medical boards and it looks like that if the charge is not durgs, alcohol, or violent then they would give you a chance to explain yourself. Can anybody help me with my situation?
  47. slalom skier

    slalom skier

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I am a junior at an Ivy league UG. I started off in the engineering school as a bio engineer and did so for the first 3 semesters. As a freshman i took 5 and 6.5 classes in my fall and spring semesters respectively with 10.5 of them being math sciences classes with 5 labs. As a result of taking these classes so early on and all at once my gpa is less than ideal (plan to have about a 3.4 science and a 3.45 regular gpa by the time I apply). I have since switched out of engineering and into the honors program for neuroscience which involves two semesters of independent research and I am on course to recieve a chem minor. I worked full time this summer at the neuro dept of the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia where I will continue my research and have been published.

    I also do EMT work with ample volunteer hours and have logged hours in the ER and shadowing, so I figure research and clinical experience should be fairly strong aspects for me. I also have athletics leadership and foreign language fluency, and I tutor inner city kids in chess which I figure can't hurt. I plan to take the MCATs this spring, but I'm curious as to what score I should aim for. I understand that every school has different requirements but to be a competitive applicant at a mid level school. I guess what this really boils down to is that I am unsure as to the extent to which my engineering begining and my UG school will be taken into account for GPA, and how much I must make up for it on the MCAT.

    Is it worth it to take a year off? I have mostly filler classes left to take senior year so my gpa would be higher if I took a year off, but I have already completed most all of the science classes so I don't forsee any significant change in my science GPA, so I am reluctant to do so.

    I appreciate any input you may have.
  48. 9876543210

    9876543210

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    Hello,
    I took the DAT July 2009 and did not score at a competitive level (18AA 19TS 20PA), so I decided to pursue my backup plan, which was optometry. I applied to numerous optometry schools and was accepted to all. Currently I'm a first year optometry student and have regretted my decision to ever attend. I've come to realize that my true passion and desire has always been dentistry and because of the pressure I felt from my family to not take a year off inbetween undergrad and professional school, I applied. I'll be finishing up my 2nd quarter and want to leave the program.

    My questions are: I'll be leaving the program regardless, but should I leave after I've completed my first year or after I complete this quarter? I'd be willing to take an SMP or Master's program will continuing to shadow dentists in the meantime. I know professional programs frown upon students already applying or attending other programs, so will this have a major impact on my applications to dental school or just result in complete rejection?
  49. ncase1016

    ncase1016

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Hi,
    I am not sure if I should post here to ask someone in the Military Medicine section, but here is my current situation.
    I am 20 years old, married, and have a 2 month old. I had to grow up very young due to family circumstances, was emancipated at 16, went to Germany for a year as an exchange student, and ended up staying there till last year. I started going to school at UCF spring of 2010.
    My grades are not perfect, mainly because I had my daughter while going to school and made things a little tough. I have and will continue to take more classes than my peers and classes during the summer to catch up. Is that a bad thing? Should I slow down and get A’s? or continue at a fast and strenuous pace will raising a child and get B’s and A’s?
    I plan on going to USUHS (Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences) in MD, and want to go into Ortho. I also currently volunteer at the Orlando VA Hospital and I go on medical missions and help run a pharmacy off the Amazon and Black rivers in Brazil with my in laws. (They are missionaries)
    So basically, what should I do to improve my chances and what in your opinion do I need to do with volunteering, gpa, and mcat?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!
  50. JulianaW

    JulianaW

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    51
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Here's my story:

    • Solid 4.0 at strong research university for first two years of college
    • Spring semester of junior year, struggled with eating disorder and had to withdraw all my classes and leave on medical leave. This put me on academic probation.
    • Continued to senior year and had problems with eating disorder again. I had no choice but to withdraw/drop all classes for fall semester and was asked to leave school for awhile (since once you are on academic probation you HAVE you get off it the next semester).
    • Remained out of school for spring semester (of my original senior year) and returned the following fall. Finished school that year and I'm graduating tomorrow with a 3.88 in Biology. Eating disorder is CONQUERED!
    I'm not sure of a few things. First, my school's request that I take time off is not on my record and never was. Is this something that I need to report in applications? I feel like it is but my registrar says no. Is this going to look terrible if it's on my app?/How should I explain this?

    Second, I have to take my MCAT this August (my previous score expired). Since I have a spotty record, would you advise waiting until next year to apply so that I can get my apps in early? Or will having a 2 year gap between med school and undergrad look even worse since I was already out of school for medical problems?
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page


About the ads