TeddyBoomBoom

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Hi everybody, I am taking the time to post this thread as a source of hope to those non-trads who are afraid that they have no chance at getting into med school.

I am a 35 y/o white male with SEMESTERS worth of failing and withdrawn grades due to non-attendance of classes. For years, I enrolled in classes, and later decided whether to attend. I was not, to put it lightly, very focused or motivated.

Because of my lack of focus or sense of consequences, my app has literally 20-30 F's and W's across a span of ten years.

As I turned 30, I realized what I wanted, and how long and difficult the road would be. Some people flat out told me it was impossible to get into medicine with my record. However, one person had a different outlook. His advice was "Anybody can do it; it just depends on how much work they are willing to put in to get there." This guy is a member on this forum (WorldChanger36.)

I returned to school and finished my bachelors degree with excellent grades. I retook EVERY class that I have failed. I entered and excelled in an M.S. program.

I studied EXTREMELY hard for the MCAT, using a slightly modified version of SN2's protocol from this forum, and rocked a 33.

I quit the job I had maintained for over a decade to work as a scribe in a local hospital for a year and half, and benefited from fantastic advice and LOR's from numerous physicians. The qualities of my LOR's were brought up in my interviews as a specific factor in my invitations.

End result? In my first application cycle I have already received 3 D.O. interviews, and have been accepted to all three schools!

If you own your mistakes, and move forward, it *is* possible to overcome enormous obstacles to acceptance.

Don't think it's impossible. If I can do it- you can, too!

~TeddyBoomBoom

(also if any mod wants verification of my story, I will be happy to provide it)
 
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desdes

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Dec 28, 2010
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Hi everybody, I am taking the time to post this thread as a source of hope to those non-trads who are afraid that they have no chance at getting into med school.

I am a 35 y/o white male with SEMESTERS worth of failing and withdrawn grades due to non-attendance of classes. For years, I enrolled in classes, and later decided whether to attend. I was not, to put it lightly, very focused or motivated.

Because of my lack of focus or sense of consequences, my app has literally 20-30 F's and W's across a span of ten years.

As I turned 30, I realized what I wanted, and how long and difficult the road would be. Some people flat out told me it was impossible to get into medicine with my record. However, one person had a different outlook. His advice was "Anybody can do it; it just depends on how much work they are willing to put in to get there." This guy is a member on this forum (WorldChanger36.)

I returned to school and finished my bachelors degree with excellent grades. I retook EVERY class that I have failed. I entered and excelled in an M.S. program.

I studied EXTREMELY hard for the MCAT, using a slightly modified version of SN2's protocol from this forum, and rocked a 33.

I quit the job I had maintained for over a decade to work as a scribe in a local hospital for a year and half, and benefited from fantastic advice and LOR's from numerous physicians. The qualities of my LOR's were brought up in my interviews as a specific factor in my invitations.

End result? In my first application cycle I have already received 3 D.O. interviews, a current acceptance, and I am still waiting from results from my last two interviews.

If you own your mistakes, and move forward, it *is* possible to overcome enormous obstacles to acceptance.

Don't think it's impossible. If I can do it- you can, too!

~TeddyBoomBoom

(also if any mod wants verification of my story, I will be happy to provide it)
Great story and thanks for sharing it gives me hope, congrats on acceptance
 
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TeddyBoomBoom

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MDApps or it didn't happen ;)


In all seriousness, though, that is a baller story. Well done.
Ya know... I never did make an account on MDApps, nor do I really check it out. But like I said - if verification is needed, I can provide it :)
Great story and thanks for sharing it gives me hope, congrats on acceptance
Thanks!
 

didymus

5+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2013
447
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Ya know... I never did make an account on MDApps, nor do I really check it our. But like I said - if verification is needed, I can provide it :)
It definitely isn't needed; I was just pulling your leg. Your story sounds legit. It shows that you had to start over completely, and, that, with years of hard work and determination, you achieved what only years of such can achieve. That's the real deal, and your story is an inspiration. Again, well done.
 

TwinsFan

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Aug 9, 2010
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Congrats!

It's always awesome to see an underdog comeback story. I'm sure your motivation and gratitude will make you a great and focused med student. We are a rare breed :)
 

WorldChanger36

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Hi everybody, I am taking the time to post this thread as a source of hope to those non-trads who are afraid that they have no chance at getting into med school.

I am a 35 y/o white male with SEMESTERS worth of failing and withdrawn grades due to non-attendance of classes. For years, I enrolled in classes, and later decided whether to attend. I was not, to put it lightly, very focused or motivated.

Because of my lack of focus or sense of consequences, my app has literally 20-30 F's and W's across a span of ten years.

As I turned 30, I realized what I wanted, and how long and difficult the road would be. Some people flat out told me it was impossible to get into medicine with my record. However, one person had a different outlook. His advice was "Anybody can do it; it just depends on how much work they are willing to put in to get there." This guy is a member on this forum (WorldChanger36.)

I returned to school and finished my bachelors degree with excellent grades. I retook EVERY class that I have failed. I entered and excelled in an M.S. program.

I studied EXTREMELY hard for the MCAT, using a slightly modified version of SN2's protocol from this forum, and rocked a 33.

I quit the job I had maintained for over a decade to work as a scribe in a local hospital for a year and half, and benefited from fantastic advice and LOR's from numerous physicians. The qualities of my LOR's were brought up in my interviews as a specific factor in my invitations.

End result? In my first application cycle I have already received 3 D.O. interviews, a current acceptance, and I am still waiting from results from my last two interviews.

If you own your mistakes, and move forward, it *is* possible to overcome enormous obstacles to acceptance.

Don't think it's impossible. If I can do it- you can, too!

~TeddyBoomBoom

(also if any mod wants verification of my story, I will be happy to provide it)
Anybody can make it, it just depends on how bad you want it. I remember that quote and I am glad my words modulated you to your best.
 
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Carl Seitan

Best poster ever
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TeddyBoomBoom is my homeskillet. I lay my exemplary reputation on these fine forums on the line to vouch for his story.

In all seriousness, we were both in the same Master's program. He's the man.
 
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Goro

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Very glad to hear of your good news! Many of my students have stories similar to this.

Hi everybody, I am taking the time to post this thread as a source of hope to those non-trads who are afraid that they have no chance at getting into med school.

I am a 35 y/o white male with SEMESTERS worth of failing and withdrawn grades due to non-attendance of classes. For years, I enrolled in classes, and later decided whether to attend. I was not, to put it lightly, very focused or motivated.

Because of my lack of focus or sense of consequences, my app has literally 20-30 F's and W's across a span of ten years.

As I turned 30, I realized what I wanted, and how long and difficult the road would be. Some people flat out told me it was impossible to get into medicine with my record. However, one person had a different outlook. His advice was "Anybody can do it; it just depends on how much work they are willing to put in to get there." This guy is a member on this forum (WorldChanger36.)

I returned to school and finished my bachelors degree with excellent grades. I retook EVERY class that I have failed. I entered and excelled in an M.S. program.

I studied EXTREMELY hard for the MCAT, using a slightly modified version of SN2's protocol from this forum, and rocked a 33.

I quit the job I had maintained for over a decade to work as a scribe in a local hospital for a year and half, and benefited from fantastic advice and LOR's from numerous physicians. The qualities of my LOR's were brought up in my interviews as a specific factor in my invitations.

End result? In my first application cycle I have already received 3 D.O. interviews, a current acceptance, and I am still waiting from results from my last two interviews.

If you own your mistakes, and move forward, it *is* possible to overcome enormous obstacles to acceptance.

Don't think it's impossible. If I can do it- you can, too!

~TeddyBoomBoom

(also if any mod wants verification of my story, I will be happy to provide it)
 
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Mavs88

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Jul 15, 2013
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This is incredible! kudos to you. How come you kept enrolling for 10 years while getting F and Ws all over? Anyway, thank you for the motivation. I suddenly don't feel bad about the two Ds and two Cs on my transcript.
 

TeddyBoomBoom

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This is incredible! kudos to you. How come you kept enrolling for 10 years while getting F and Ws all over? Anyway, thank you for the motivation. I suddenly don't feel bad about the two Ds and two Cs on my transcript.
This is question I have asked myself numerous times. Probably a combination of wishful thinking and poor planning, with lack of meaningful change of attitude.
OP, could you provide us with your GPA's before and after the makeover?
At one point I had a cGPA in the one's, with a high number of credit attempts. After retaking all those classes, my AMCAS GPA was about 2.7 (remember an F to an A is a C in that world.) My final AACOMAS GPAs were around 3.6, and my graduate GPA was 3.9+
 
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TeddyBoomBoom

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Anybody can make it, it just depends on how bad you want it. I remember that quote and I am glad my words modulated you to your best.
TeddyBoomBoom is my homeskillet. I lay my exemplary reputation on these fine forums on the line to vouch for his story.

In all seriousness, we were both in the same Master's program. He's the man.
Good to see you guys on here!
 

Gauss44

5+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2012
3,190
402
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Hi everybody, I am taking the time to post this thread as a source of hope to those non-trads who are afraid that they have no chance at getting into med school.

I am a 35 y/o white male with SEMESTERS worth of failing and withdrawn grades due to non-attendance of classes. For years, I enrolled in classes, and later decided whether to attend. I was not, to put it lightly, very focused or motivated.

Because of my lack of focus or sense of consequences, my app has literally 20-30 F's and W's across a span of ten years.

As I turned 30, I realized what I wanted, and how long and difficult the road would be. Some people flat out told me it was impossible to get into medicine with my record. However, one person had a different outlook. His advice was "Anybody can do it; it just depends on how much work they are willing to put in to get there." This guy is a member on this forum (WorldChanger36.)

I returned to school and finished my bachelors degree with excellent grades. I retook EVERY class that I have failed. I entered and excelled in an M.S. program.

I studied EXTREMELY hard for the MCAT, using a slightly modified version of SN2's protocol from this forum, and rocked a 33.

I quit the job I had maintained for over a decade to work as a scribe in a local hospital for a year and half, and benefited from fantastic advice and LOR's from numerous physicians. The qualities of my LOR's were brought up in my interviews as a specific factor in my invitations.

End result? In my first application cycle I have already received 3 D.O. interviews, a current acceptance, and I am still waiting from results from my last two interviews.

If you own your mistakes, and move forward, it *is* possible to overcome enormous obstacles to acceptance.

Don't think it's impossible. If I can do it- you can, too!

~TeddyBoomBoom

(also if any mod wants verification of my story, I will be happy to provide it)
Thanks. I find your post very refreshing.

When I read this, my sense is that you are really trying to help motivate people. I like how this is definitely not bragging disguised as helpful advice, and not a huge oversimplification. In avoiding those two gigantic pitfalls of motivating statements, you've created something that feels humble, realistic, and truly positive and uplifting. Being able to motivate people is an excellent quality.
 

TeddyBoomBoom

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Thanks. I find your post very refreshing.

When I read this, my sense is that you are really trying to help motivate people. I like how this is definitely not bragging disguised as helpful advice, and not a huge oversimplification. In avoiding those two gigantic pitfalls of motivating statements, you've created something that feels humble, realistic, and truly positive and uplifting. Being able to motivate people is an excellent quality.
Thanks Gauss. I intentionally worded my post so as not to appear to be "humble-bragging." I understand how the journey to medicine can really seem insurmountable to some of us with past lives of dubious record. And yeah... it took a lot of work. But hey, I'm going to 45 in ten years anyway. At least this way I'll be in a career I worked for.

Congrats TeddyBoomBoom. Love the avatar too :)
haha awesome, I have no idea where I found the pic.

Congrats, buddy! =) Inspiring story.
Thanks!
 

escanoke

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Nov 10, 2013
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OP thanks for the hope you've injected into me. Btw, what was your major originally? I'm in a similar situation where I had my fair share of Fs and Ws. But those Fs and Ws were from engineering and mgmt courses.

Does that mean I'll have an easier time (for a lack of a better phrase) bringing my cumulative GPA up (uGPA 2.17)? Since I've been taking my pre-reqs I'm at a 3.3 and am just half way through

I've been on the internet searching for people in a similar situation as mine and have been reading comments and stories that have just added more self doubt. Your post has given me hope and inspiration.

Congrats with your acceptance and for overcoming your past mistakes. I hope one day I can look back and experience the same thing.
 
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TeddyBoomBoom

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OP thanks for the hope you've injected into me. Btw, what was your major originally? I'm in a similar situation where I had my fair share of Fs and Ws. But those Fs and Ws were from engineering and mgmt courses.

Does that mean I'll have an easier time (for a lack of a better phrase) bringing my cumulative GPA up (uGPA 2.17)? Since I've been taking my pre-reqs I'm at a 3.3 and am just half way through

I've been on the internet searching for people in a similar situation as mine and have been reading comments and stories that have just added more self doubt. Your post has given me hope and inspiration.

Congrats with your acceptance and for overcoming your past mistakes. I hope one day I can look back and experience the same thing.
Hey. My major has always been Biology, so the majority of my F's and W's were indeed in science classes. With your issues mostly being in eng and mgmt courses, it's kind of a two-edged sword. On the plus, many of those courses (at least the mgmt courses) would not count towards your sGPA, but on the minus, it would suck to retake courses that won't help your new direction. I certainly wouldn't retake old courses from a past degree not related to medicine. I would jus

Just keep chugging on your new path. Even though it is hard to watch time pass, it is specifically that time which I think allowed AdComs to believe that I have indeed changed. Had I applied 5 years ago, I never would have gotten in.

Best of luck, and feel free to hit me up if I can help answer any questions.
 

katiemaude

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Congrats, OP! I love your story. For those looking for a quick fix for their GPA, they will see this and realize it's incredibly hard work but not impossible.

Off topic, but whenever someone starts talking smack about DO schools accepting lower quality students vs students who have overcome challenges and proven themselves, I want to show them this. I really appreciate that some schools take on students who took the long road to get there and had to earn it, like us.
 

TeddyBoomBoom

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Congrats, OP! I love your story. For those looking for a quick fix for their GPA, they will see this and realize it's incredibly hard work but not impossible.

Off topic, but whenever someone starts talking smack about DO schools accepting lower quality students vs students who have overcome challenges and proven themselves, I want to show them this. I really appreciate that some schools take on students who took the long road to get there and had to earn it, like us.
Many of the students that I have metduring interviews have similar, albeit less extreme, stories. Some were career changers, or non-trads returning to school. I will say that most of my fellow interviewees have been pretty chill people, that I would be thrilled to go to school with.
 
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Yossarian Lives

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Apr 11, 2012
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It's nice to hear "Anybody can do it; it just depends on how much work they are willing to put in to get there," but reading your story drives home that it really is true. Congratulations on you acceptance. You've clearly earned it, and provided some great encouragement for those of us still working at it.
 

TeddyBoomBoom

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It's nice to hear "Anybody can do it; it just depends on how much work they are willing to put in to get there," but reading your story drives home that it really is true. Congratulations on you acceptance. You've clearly earned it, and provided some great encouragement for those of us still working at it.
That's why I posted! :)
congrats on your success ted!!
just curious as to what your Masters degree was in?
Thanks! My M.S. is in a traditional thesis-based program in Biology. I am molecular guy doing bench research on mechanisms and regulation of skeletal muscle atrophy.
 

tigers2007

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May 26, 2012
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Very motivational. I plugged in my edu-career grades spanning seven schools plus hypothetical A- average for my sci prereqs and came up with an AMCAS sGPA 2.6 and cGPA 3.3. With AACOMAS grade replacement I fly to sGPA 3.8, cGPA 3.6

I'm still not losing hope for either MD or DO. Just a long long way away. See you guys at the class of 2021!
 
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Back 5

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Congrats, OP! I love your story. For those looking for a quick fix for their GPA, they will see this and realize it's incredibly hard work but not impossible.

Off topic, but whenever someone starts talking smack about DO schools accepting lower quality students vs students who have overcome challenges and proven themselves, I want to show them this. I really appreciate that some schools take on students who took the long road to get there and had to earn it, like us.
I second this. My AMCAS gpa ended up being less than 3.0 due to F -> A being averaged to a C. My AACOMAS gpa was over a 3.5. I don't think I would have gotten looked at in the MD world, but I am happy with my DO acceptance. Gives me a little chip on my shoulder to prove myself. Unfortunately, we are all beholden to our performances > 10 years ago.

Congrats OP! You deserve it with all of your very very hard work.
 

wiloghby

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There has been a lot of talk of AACOMAS vs AMCAS GPA calculation on this thread. I just thought I would share my rather unusual perspective:

I went to a Top 10 school and majored in engineering. The engineering major courses at my undergrad are structured serially with lots of integration across subjects that are typically taught separately at most schools.

For similar reasons as OP, my transcript was kind of a mess -- though I started in a much easier position than OP. My cGPA was a 3.11. Almost all the A's on my transcript were in humanities courses -- which I loved, while my engineering coursework killed me.

In my case, the engineering courses are so unique to that institution, that I could not retake them anywhere else in the country for DO grade replacement! Furthermore, engineering courses count toward sGPA for DO while they do not for MD.

So when I went to do my post-bacc (I never took gen chem/orgo/bio), I was in a bind.

My DO sGPA before starting would have been 2.7 with tons of credits and no replacement opportunity..so the final sGPA would have been ~3.3 even after ~80 more credits of A's in post-bacc science classes.

Meanwhile, my MD sGPA before starting my post-bacc was a 2.3. But according to AMCAS, I only took 3 "science" courses -- a math course and two physics courses! So that 2.3 sGPA turned into a 3.8 sGPA with the ~80 credits of A's in BCPM from my post-bacc.

In both cases (because of no grade replacement) my cGPA is 3.5 - 3.6.

So I went into this app cycle which two choices:
1) Apply DO with a ~3.5c/3.3s and 36+ MCAT
2) Apply MD with a ~3.5c/3.8s and a 36+ MCAT

I suspect I could have gotten some love from DO programs...but in my rather unusual case, I was more competitive for MD admissions than DO. So I simply applied allopathic to save $$$.

TL;DR
DO GPA calculation worked against me rather than for me. Rather unusual.
 

Dogcat1290

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Sep 27, 2010
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Amazing story! Im currently finishing my degree while recovering from a bad junior year. Now that its getting closer to the end the self doubting is starting to come forward and so is the bad past and me wishing I could change my mistakes. You have no idea how much your post put me at ease. Thank you!
 

TeddyBoomBoom

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There has been a lot of talk of AACOMAS vs AMCAS GPA calculation on this thread. I just thought I would share my rather unusual perspective:

I went to a Top 10 school and majored in engineering. The engineering major courses at my undergrad are structured serially with lots of integration across subjects that are typically taught separately at most schools.

For similar reasons as OP, my transcript was kind of a mess -- though I started in a much easier position than OP. My cGPA was a 3.11. Almost all the A's on my transcript were in humanities courses -- which I loved, while my engineering coursework killed me.

In my case, the engineering courses are so unique to that institution, that I could not retake them anywhere else in the country for DO grade replacement! Furthermore, engineering courses count toward sGPA for DO while they do not for MD.

So when I went to do my post-bacc (I never took gen chem/orgo/bio), I was in a bind.

My DO sGPA before starting would have been 2.7 with tons of credits and no replacement opportunity..so the final sGPA would have been ~3.3 even after ~80 more credits of A's in post-bacc science classes.

Meanwhile, my MD sGPA before starting my post-bacc was a 2.3. But according to AMCAS, I only took 3 "science" courses -- a math course and two physics courses! So that 2.3 sGPA turned into a 3.8 sGPA with the ~80 credits of A's in BCPM from my post-bacc.

In both cases (because of no grade replacement) my cGPA is 3.5 - 3.6.

So I went into this app cycle which two choices:
1) Apply DO with a ~3.5c/3.3s and 36+ MCAT
2) Apply MD with a ~3.5c/3.8s and a 36+ MCAT

I suspect I could have gotten some love from DO programs...but in my rather unusual case, I was more competitive for MD admissions than DO. So I simply applied allopathic to save $$$.

TL;DR
DO GPA calculation worked against me rather than for me. Rather unusual.
Wow! That is quite the unusual story. I can see where having specialized engineering classes could complicate everything.

Either way, I'm glad it worked out!
 
Aug 22, 2013
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Thanks. I find your post very refreshing.

When I read this, my sense is that you are really trying to help motivate people. I like how this is definitely not bragging disguised as helpful advice, and not a huge oversimplification. In avoiding those two gigantic pitfalls of motivating statements, you've created something that feels humble, realistic, and truly positive and uplifting. Being able to motivate people is an excellent quality.
Word!
 

TeddyBoomBoom

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Amazing story! Im currently finishing my degree while recovering from a bad junior year. Now that its getting closer to the end the self doubting is starting to come forward and so is the bad past and me wishing I could change my mistakes. You have no idea how much your post put me at ease. Thank you!
If a career in medicine is important enough to you, then I am confident that you will do what is necessary to make that happen. IMO, a lot of people change plans because to "fix" past mistakes would just take too much time, or too much money, or too much effort. There's nothing even wrong with that. There are numerous ways to be happy in life. We hear people say "if there is anything else that you can you see yourself doing instead of medicine, do that instead." For me, there just wasn't. If you feel the same, you'll make it.
 

WorldChanger36

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congratulations! Awesome story.
Which MS program did you do by the way? and where did you retake all our courses again?
Teddyboomboom did a standard hard science research masters of science program in biology. Many of the courses he could not retake as many of the classes did not exist anymore or he was no longer enrolled at the school that did offer the courses. He was also wait list at a US MD school so he has received awesome results this app cycle. When he gets back from vacation he may add more details.
 

TeddyBoomBoom

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congratulations! Awesome story.
Which MS program did you do by the way? and where did you retake all our courses again?
Teddyboomboom did a standard hard science research masters of science program in biology. Many of the courses he could not retake as many of the classes did not exist anymore or he was no longer enrolled at the school that did offer the courses. He was also wait list at a US MD school so he has received awesome results this app cycle. When he gets back from vacation he may add more details.
Just to clarify, I did retake almost *all* of my old failed courses! :)
 

Jewels86

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Such a great story of a comeback!! I hope to post my story some day!! Wish you all the best ~ and keep us updated on your journey!!
 

vhle

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Just to clarify, I did retake almost *all* of my old failed courses! :)
I am probably on the way to the same thing but I was afraid it might look really bad if I repeated all the courses I didn't do so well in; I guess not though! I wonder, however, if it's going to matter that I didn't take any time off before I retook the classes.
 

TeddyBoomBoom

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I am probably on the way to the same thing but I was afraid it might look really bad if I repeated all the courses I didn't do so well in; I guess not though! I wonder, however, if it's going to matter that I didn't take any time off before I retook the classes.
If anything, I would guess that time off would be a GOOD thing.

I think what saved me is that as bad as things were, ONCE I turned things around I never looked back. It took me a loooong time to get here. Like they always say, if there was ANYTHING else I would have been happy doing, I would have done that instead. For me, there's just nothing else I wanted to do but this, so I had to suck it up and keep trudging, lol. Best of luck!
 

WorldChanger36

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If anything, I would guess that time off would be a GOOD thing.

I think what saved me is that as bad as things were, ONCE I turned things around I never looked back. It took me a loooong time to get here. Like they always say, if there was ANYTHING else I would have been happy doing, I would have done that instead. For me, there's just nothing else I wanted to do but this, so I had to suck it up and keep trudging, lol. Best of luck!
I agree with TBB on this. Getting to Med school is not a race. Take things as slow as you need. What matters is performance and if you are taking 18 to 20 hour loads and getting Bs and Cs but you get done fast you only get bad grades. If you have to take a year off to figure yourself out or you need to take 9 hour loads to get As do it. You can become a doctor at age 30 , 40 and beyond.
 
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