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funnymedstudent

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Hey all. I'm feeling a little discouraged about my grades. I am trying to do the best that I can and I usually do well I just struggled in a few classes and I want to know your thoughts on whether or not I can still get into medical school. This isn't a GPA thing... it's just a matter of whether or not I am academically capable. Thank you.

Prerequisite Grades

Gen Chem I w/ Lab: A and A
Gen Chem II w/Lab: A- and A
Organic Chemistry: C
Organic Chemistry: C
Physics I: A
Physics II: A-
Calculus: A-
Statistics: A-
Gen Bio I w/Lab: B and A
Gen Bio II w/Lab: B- and B+
A couple upper division Bio courses, I got some B's here and there and some A's as well. So far in Genetics I am doing decently but it's still a difficult class for me. I hope I can do better...

I'm not sure I am academically capable of going to medical school because of my B's in Bio courses and C's in Organic... My friends told me that med school is a lot like these Bio courses in that you have to understand and memorize a whole bunch of information in a short amount of time. How would I be able to do that when I clearly can't even do well in the Bio courses? I am doing well in some easy A's such as animal science and another upper division class I am currently taking... I'm just really worried and want to do the best I can...
 

chemdoctor

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Many premeds struggled in Orgo but you did well in most of those courses. I think you're fine. A couple B's won't keep you outta med school.
 
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Goro

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Hey all. I'm feeling a little discouraged about my grades. I am trying to do the best that I can and I usually do well I just struggled in a few classes and I want to know your thoughts on whether or not I can still get into medical school. This isn't a GPA thing... it's just a matter of whether or not I am academically capable. Thank you.

Prerequisite Grades

Gen Chem I w/ Lab: A and A
Gen Chem II w/Lab: A- and A
Organic Chemistry: C
Organic Chemistry: C
Physics I: A
Physics II: A-
Calculus: A-
Statistics: A-
Gen Bio I w/Lab: B and A
Gen Bio II w/Lab: B- and B+
A couple upper division Bio courses, I got some B's here and there and some A's as well. So far in Genetics I am doing decently but it's still a difficult class for me. I hope I can do better...

I'm not sure I am academically capable of going to medical school because of my B's in Bio courses and C's in Organic... My friends told me that med school is a lot like these Bio courses in that you have to understand and memorize a whole bunch of information in a short amount of time. How would I be able to do that when I clearly can't even do well in the Bio courses? I am doing well in some easy A's such as animal science and another upper division class I am currently taking... I'm just really worried and want to do the best I can...
GPAs please?

You're not the only premed who got dinged by Orgo...a few Cs are't going to keep you out of med school.

Have you been mistakenly informed that you need a 4.0 to get into med school???
 
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chemdoctor

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GPAs please

Have you been mistakenly informed that you need a 4.0 to get into med school???

LEMME GUESS... your PREMED ADVISOR said so...
 
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funnymedstudent

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GPAs please?

You're not the only premed who got dinged by Orgo...a few Cs are't going to keep you out of med school.

Have you been mistakenly informed that you need a 4.0 to get into med school???

Thank you.. My cGPA is a 3.33 and I’m a junior right now. My sGPA is around a 3.23ish. I still have a lot of science classes left to bring it up though I’m just really discouraged. I’m a junior right now and have no clinical experience or any volunteering. I have shadowing and research, club stuff and SOME volunteering at a homeless shelter. Obviously can’t apply next year but...

It should be noted that I retook an ecology course. Got a D and then a B- in the summer :-( I’m also not the best at the MCAT so not hoping for an incredible score either
 

Goro

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Yes. She said it’s an uphill battle and my friends said that I’ll struggle in med school. Maybe it’s time to look into other careers?
You still have what, 2 years? Plenty of time to reinvent yourself and there are plenty of medical schools that rewards at reinvention along with a good MCAT score.

Your GPA as of right now is fine for any do school, including mine. As of right now it's too low I think for MD schools, but again you have plenty of time to bring it up.

The field of pre medical education is littered with thousands of bodies of students who were badly advised by their ignorant advisors.
 
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OdysseanUnderdog

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Hey all. I'm feeling a little discouraged about my grades. I am trying to do the best that I can and I usually do well I just struggled in a few classes and I want to know your thoughts on whether or not I can still get into medical school. This isn't a GPA thing... it's just a matter of whether or not I am academically capable. Thank you.

Prerequisite Grades

Gen Chem I w/ Lab: A and A
Gen Chem II w/Lab: A- and A
Organic Chemistry: C
Organic Chemistry: C
Physics I: A
Physics II: A-
Calculus: A-
Statistics: A-
Gen Bio I w/Lab: B and A
Gen Bio II w/Lab: B- and B+
A couple upper division Bio courses, I got some B's here and there and some A's as well. So far in Genetics I am doing decently but it's still a difficult class for me. I hope I can do better...

I'm not sure I am academically capable of going to medical school because of my B's in Bio courses and C's in Organic... My friends told me that med school is a lot like these Bio courses in that you have to understand and memorize a whole bunch of information in a short amount of time. How would I be able to do that when I clearly can't even do well in the Bio courses? I am doing well in some easy A's such as animal science and another upper division class I am currently taking... I'm just really worried and want to do the best I can...

1. Are you spending enough time doing focused, undistracted studying in whichever environment/way works best for you?

2. Have you tried using Anki? If not, do. It's free. Google Anki.

3. Is your stress level impairing your ability to slow down and spend time with the material in a somewhat enjoyable way? It sounds like it might. If so, I like to go outside to a park, sit barefoot on the grass, and breathe as deeply as I possibly can into the heart and then the belly. Bonus points if I think of things I'm grateful for when I do this. If I do this for about 20 minutes, it feels amazing and makes whatever I'm facing seem more manageable. Others prefer to meditate in other ways, do adult coloring books, run, lift weights, etc. FInd what works for you and do it.
 
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MedicineN'Jazz

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Thank you.. My cGPA is a 3.33 and I’m a junior right now. My sGPA is around a 3.23ish. I still have a lot of science classes left to bring it up though I’m just really discouraged. I’m a junior right now and have no clinical experience or any volunteering. I have shadowing and research, club stuff and SOME volunteering at a homeless shelter. Obviously can’t apply next year but...

It should be noted that I retook an ecology course. Got a D and then a B- in the summer :-( I’m also not the best at the MCAT so not hoping for an incredible score either
Hun, if becoming a doctor is your dream, then make it happen and to hell with what other folks say. My pre-med advisor straight up laughed in my face when I said I wanted to go to medical school. I had grades similar to yours, and freaking bombed the MCAT....four consecutive times. But unlike many other applicants, I was highly highly motivated, persistent, and it definitely payed. Though, I was rejected my first time around, I gained two acceptances by two great schools with a nice little chunky scholarship. That didn’t happen because I was at the top of my class, or scored a 520 on my MCAT. It happened because I showed the medical school administrators I was a fighter. Hope this motivates you somewhat! I hate to see bright stars give up on their dreams
 
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chemdoctor

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@Goro is OP really at the point of reinvention? Or is a GPA dip to that level common? I would assume it happened either at the start of freshman year or during Orgo like most applicants. Isn’t this close to a normal range that a student would be at after the Orgo beast?
 
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Goro

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Thank you.. My cGPA is a 3.33 and I’m a junior right now. My sGPA is around a 3.23ish. I still have a lot of science classes left to bring it up though I’m just really discouraged. I’m a junior right now and have no clinical experience or any volunteering. I have shadowing and research, club stuff and SOME volunteering at a homeless shelter. Obviously can’t apply next year but...

It should be noted that I retook an ecology course. Got a D and then a B- in the summer :-( I’m also not the best at the MCAT so not hoping for an incredible score either
Med schools do not replace grades when retaken. Are the GPAs you showed above reflective of the D?

Do NOT take the MCAT until your practice scores are consistent with success (505+)

To answer @chemdoctor 's question..you already know the answer. OP has to ace everything from now on.
 
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funnymedstudent

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Med schools do not replace grades when retaken. Are the GPAs you showed above reflective of the D?

Do NOT take the MCAT until your practice scores are consistent with success (505+)

To answer @chemdoctor 's question..you already know the answer. OP has to ace everything from now on.

Yes the GPA is reflective of the D and the B- retake. Yes I am trying my best. By "ace" do you mean constant 4.0's? Or are a few B's here and there acceptable? Yes I know, I will take the MCAT when my practice exams are good enough. I'm considering double majoring, so I can take more credits to raise my GPA even higher... I figure med schools will average the grade, so that grade would average to a C-ish which I think would raise my GPA a bit higher too... So I think I MAYBE should be OK... Hoping anyway haha
 

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What happened when you took O-chem?

One of the reasons why medschools care about O-chem grades is because this subject tests how well you can apply basic concepts to solve new problems. You also need to apply this skill well if you want to pass/do well on the boards. O-chem grades play a huge role in selecting candidates for interview. If you want a solid shot at US MD schools, you should consider retaking O-chem.
 
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chemdoctor

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What happened when you took O-chem?

One of the reasons why medschools care about O-chem grades is because this subject tests how well you can apply basic concepts to solve new problems. You also need to apply this skill well if you want to pass/do well on the boards. O-chem grades play a huge role in selecting candidates for interview. If you want a solid shot at US MD schools, you should consider retaking O-chem.

Really? I don’t think it’s beneifical to retake a class OP already passed. Retaking a C is brutal isn’t it? @Goro can weigh in...
 
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chemdoctor

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@HomeSkool your thoughts?

Don’t worry OP. Keep doing well... I’m asking some other adcom members to alleviate your stress haha
 

Goro

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What happened when you took O-chem?

One of the reasons why medschools care about O-chem grades is because this subject tests how well you can apply basic concepts to solve new problems. You also need to apply this skill well if you want to pass/do well on the boards. O-chem grades play a huge role in selecting candidates for interview. If you want a solid shot at US MD schools, you should consider retaking O-chem.
This is very poor advice. Its foolish to retake any course with C or higher.

Adcoms , unlike premeds, do not focus on single metrics, nor single courses. Rather we take as evidence that one can handle med school from the entire app.
 
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Goro

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Yes the GPA is reflective of the D and the B- retake. Yes I am trying my best. By "ace" do you mean constant 4.0's? Or are a few B's here and there acceptable? Yes I know, I will take the MCAT when my practice exams are good enough. I'm considering double majoring, so I can take more credits to raise my GPA even higher... I figure med schools will average the grade, so that grade would average to a C-ish which I think would raise my GPA a bit higher too... So I think I MAYBE should be OK... Hoping anyway haha
OK, I think as of right now you still need to ace everything, which means 3.7+ from now on.

More As than Bs, if you're boning for the MD. AND you'll need to get > 508 for them on the MCAT as well.

So far, fine for DO.
 
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chemdoctor

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This is very poor advice. Its foolish to retake any course with C or higher.

Adcoms , unlike premeds, do not focus on single metrics, nor single courses. Rather we take as evidence that one can handle med school from the entire app.

Exactly. OP, I struggled in Organic just like many premeds. I struggled in this stupid intro Bio course as well. But I'm doing well in all my upper divisions ...

Also, when I took Organic, I took it with seven other courses (Yes... SEVEN other courses)...
 

Goro

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Exactly. OP, I struggled in Organic just like many premeds. I struggled in this stupid intro Bio course as well. But I'm doing well in all my upper divisions ...

Also, when I took Organic, I took it with seven other courses (Yes... SEVEN other courses)...
The OP ideally will have a U or Nike swoosh-shaped GPA trend when done. This is common.
 

chemdoctor

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The OP ideally will have a U or Nike swoosh-shaped GPA trend when done. This is common.

Yes. Just like ME!! Now for the Nike swoosh, does Junior year HAVE to be higher than freshman year? What if Junior year is higher than sophomore year but not higher than freshman year and senior year is higher than them both?!
 
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Goro

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Yes. Just like ME!! Now for the Nike swoosh, does Junior year HAVE to be higher than freshman year? What if Junior year is higher than sophomore year but not higher than freshman year and senior year is higher than them both?!
No, and you're way overthinking this. V shaped trends are common too
 
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Chlorophyll Oracle

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My understanding OP is that a few bad grades wont kill you. Just focus on moving forward and try to limit the number of bad grades you get from here on. My suspicion is that if you finish undergrad with stellar grades, the adcoms will see those C's as a misstep and not hold it against you too much.
 
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funnymedstudent

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Thanks everyone. It's just in addition to grades, I have no clue how to go about with studying for the mcat. I don't have ANY clinical experience, except a few hours here and there. Where can I volunteer for clinical experience? And where can I volunteer for nonclinical volunteering? How much do I even need to have for any shot at a successful application? I've looked online and it said around 250. Is this legit? Also, I will try my best by continuing to study hard. I mean, I took Physics and stats with Orgo and did well in those. Organic was just so hard for me :'( Sigh. Thanks again though everyone. I really hope I don't have to retake Organic Chemistry :( The class was a beast...
 

ciestar

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They say about 150 hours of each clinical and nonclinical volunteering

Nonclinical can legit be anything, just try to ensure it is service to the less fortunate.
 

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My first semester, I had a 2.7 or something unholy bad.

I got a C in a 5 hour math course. I got a couple of B's in Gen Ed classes. I got a 46 on the first Gen Chem Test, so I took that W.

My biggest problem now is refinancing and paying off my 200K+ of student loan debt.

I don't know you or anything about you. But for me, I had convinced myself I was trying hard. I'd sleep in until 730 and stumble into 8 o clock class disheveled. I'd play on my phone during classes, because I didn't pay attention in high school, why the hell should I now? #Wizkid. I'd meet up with a buddy for lunch. We'd shoot the bull. I'd finish out my classes,, and then it was social time. Then late at night, I might look at some notes here and there. Then 2-3 days before a chemistry test, I'd try to learn 6 weeks of material. Again, always worked in high school. What's the big deal now?

And maybe you're not as over the top negligent as I was with it. Maybe you study more than I did at that time. But, I bet you could dedicate yourself to it more than you are.

In college, I felt overwhelmed and considered give up. In med school, I felt overwhelmed and considered giving up. Residency--was in my director's office telling him I couldn't cut the mustard. Post-call, codes all night, some didn't make it. Hadn't slept.

"Son, go home and go to bed."

This won't be the last time you feel like giving up. I've found most of the time, this happens when you're tired. Sleep will make it better. Stepping back and giving yourself a mental break will make it better. Now days, I don't ever think about giving up.

If your GPA isn't all that and a bag of chips, consider applying DO. The smartest guy in our group is a DO. If you have no clinical experience, volunteering, etc--start.

Go shadow, go to a clinic, hospital, nursing home, etc. I did a lot of habitat for humanity. A lot of people do big brothers big sisters. If you don't have the hours before the application cycle--then maybe consider waiting until the next cycle.
 
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funnymedstudent

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You guys are great. I don’t feel like giving up that much anymore! I just feel like crap Bc my advisor told me it’s an uphill battle and I’ll have to look into other careers...

Anyway, my ECs are OK, I need to start volunteering. I’m just mad Bc I retook a course and didn’t get an A the second time!! I read on here that that’s like an automatic rejection :( can the adcoms weigh in on this?
 

chemdoctor

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You guys are great. I don’t feel like giving up that much anymore! I just feel like crap Bc my advisor told me it’s an uphill battle and I’ll have to look into other careers...

Anyway, my ECs are OK, I need to start volunteering. I’m just mad Bc I retook a course and didn’t get an A the second time!! I read on here that that’s like an automatic rejection :( can the adcoms weigh in on this?

I think it’s still fine... It’s not about one course grade. @Goro can weigh in
 

Goro

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Thanks everyone. It's just in addition to grades, I have no clue how to go about with studying for the mcat. I don't have ANY clinical experience, except a few hours here and there. Where can I volunteer for clinical experience? And where can I volunteer for nonclinical volunteering? How much do I even need to have for any shot at a successful application? I've looked online and it said around 250. Is this legit? Also, I will try my best by continuing to study hard. I mean, I took Physics and stats with Orgo and did well in those. Organic was just so hard for me :'( Sigh. Thanks again though everyone. I really hope I don't have to retake Organic Chemistry :( The class was a beast...
Not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, Planned Parenthood, nursing homes, rehab facilities, crisis hotlines, camps for sick children, or clinics.

Some types of volunteer activities are more appealing than others. Volunteering in a nice suburban hospital is all very well and good and all, but doesn't show that you're willing to dig in and get your hands dirty in the same way that working with the developmentally disabled (or homeless, the dying, or Alzheimers or mentally ill or elderly or ESL or domestic, rural impoverished) does. The uncomfortable situations are the ones that really demonstrate your altruism and get you 'brownie points'. Plus, they frankly teach you more -- they develop your compassion and humanity in ways comfortable situations can't.


Service need not be "unique". If you can alleviate suffering in your community through service to the poor, homeless, illiterate, fatherless, etc, you are meeting an otherwise unmet need and learning more about the lives of the people (or types of people) who will someday be your patients. Check out your local houses of worship for volunteer opportunities. The key thing is service to others less fortunate than you. And get off campus and out of your comfort zone!

Examples include: Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Humane Society, crisis hotlines, soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless or women’s shelter, after-school tutoring for students or coaching a sport in a poor school district, teaching ESL to adults at a community center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or Meals on Wheels.
Your have, ideally, > 200 hrs in each category (clinical vs nonclinical). > 300 is really really good!
 
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chemdoctor

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@Goro what about OP not doing well after a withdrawal? I think that’s OK stop right? You don’t HAVE to get an A the second time but it doesn’t look good either
 

Goro

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@Goro what about OP not doing well after a withdrawal? I think that’s OK stop right? You don’t HAVE to get an A the second time but it doesn’t look good either
No, you're supposed to do better after retaking a class, not withdrawing. Supposed someone withdrew in the first week of classes?
 
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chemdoctor

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No, you're supposed to do better after retaking a class, not withdrawing. Supposed someone withdrew in the first week of classes?

I’m assuming OP, retook a W for a lower grade? Or maybe referring to the prior course she got a D in... Either way that’s not a good sign obviously right? You guys expect an A in a retake...
 

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Ahh... Well that's not going to look good. But I don't think it is a total loss of face.

@Goro
 

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Thank you for the help everyone. Yeah I am doing well in my upper division courses now. They are mainly 3000 and 4000 level courses. No sense in retaking anything I got a C in I guess. I will try to do my best. Thank you. @Goro @chemdoctor

I will keep you updated. Thanks again.
 
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funnymedstudent

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@Goro @chemdoctor

I'm only worried bc I know that Orgo is a weed out course. If I BARELY survived and passed, doesn't that mean that I was technically weeded out? WOuldn't that prove that I'm basically not cut out for this path and this field? Isn't the weed out course doing its job in this aspect? I feel like I totally suck now and am not good enough for it. Is it even worth it having dreams of being an MD?!
 

Goro

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@Goro @chemdoctor

I'm only worried bc I know that Orgo is a weed out course. If I BARELY survived and passed, doesn't that mean that I was technically weeded out? WOuldn't that prove that I'm basically not cut out for this path and this field? Isn't the weed out course doing its job in this aspect? I feel like I totally suck now and am not good enough for it. Is it even worth it having dreams of being an MD?!
You're doing well in every other course, except where you got the B-, and even that's not lethal. You can't narrow your fate down to a single grade or course. It's really how you do with a rigorous course load. If you can maintain a 3.3, you can handle med school. It won't be easy, but you won't wash out. Will you get into an MD school? No, but you can into a DO schools.

If you can maintain a 3.5+, then you can get into MD schools.

All of this is dependent upon your MCAT score and the rest of your app, of course.
 
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funnymedstudent

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Thanks @Goro

Yeah the stupid class is NOT even in med school. IT's not even an upper division elective! It's a 1000 level course -_- It's a stupid course honestly

I'm doing well in some upper division electives now, (3000/4000) level courses... Yeah the 3.3 is really just due to some bad grades... Honestly I had a bad semester my freshman year and then the Orgo series killed me my sophomore year... But I did well iN Gen Chem, Physics, the maths, etc... So I'm assuming I haven't been weeded out entirely... And yeah, I could do DO with a 3.3 RIGHT NOW but you said I still have two years to bring it up so maybe MD isn't out of the question after all! Yeah the B- was complete BS.. Anyway... I retook that over the summer so... But it's complete nonsense... Anyway, a 3.3 isn't terrible I guess but I KNOW I can do better. It's just this semester is stressful but it's smooth sailing from here on out. I am confident about the other upper divisions i am taking next semester

Yeah I still have time to bring up the 3.3, that's just what it is assuming I apply at this moment now... But I WILL bring it up.

Yes the MCAT score, and other stuff in the app are important. I will be presenting my poster this November (for research)...

I HOPE
 

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I'm sure you're doing fine. You still have time to bring it up. Most premeds struggle in Orgo. Look on the bright side. You di dwell in all these other science courses, which is still something. Physics can be hard... Gen Chem can be hard for some people as well as Calc!
 

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So you definitely think I still have a chance? Just curious. Are you an adcom?

Also, would you say I still have a chance at MD schools and not just DO schools?

@Goro
 

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Medical school is less about scientific ability and more about time and stress management. If you have those and strong study skills, then keep working your butt off. Don’t let undergrad science courses alone determine if you will succeed in medical school.

That being said, enjoying studying and learning science is imperative.
 
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