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bad grade in organic chem but still got into med school??

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by pb0108, May 7, 2007.

  1. pb0108

    pb0108 2+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2007
    Is there anyone in here that got not-so-great grades (Cs or Ds) in Organic Chemistry but still got into medical school? What do you think helped you application other than your grades? More activities? volunteer? etc?
    athenna likes this.
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  3. bluesTank

    bluesTank Zombie 5+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    College Station, TX
    An amazing MCAT, in my opinion, will probably make up for anything.
  4. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    MCAT does not negate grades. The ideal applicant does well in both, and there are plenty of people in the applicant pool who will have done so. However just one bad grade won't usually keep someone out of med school. If you get a D in a prereq, you really need to retake it.
  5. pb0108

    pb0108 2+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2007
    I have to retake it anyway for my major. But I'm just freaking out right now because everyone says Organic is an indication of how you'll do in medical school and right now it says I'm a failure at life. haha :(
  6. tredici

    tredici Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    organic is generally one of the first weed-out classes when a lot of people do bad and give up on being premed. or at least that's how it works at my college. a lot of people that I knew as premeds were no longer after they tried taking organic. obviously a good grade in any class will help, but since there's a stigma associated with ochem, perhaps a good grade in this class goes a bit further.

    but anyways, i'd suggest retaking it. i had a friend that got a C in organic, but retook it and got an A. he's now at duke. so, the moral of the story is: get an A in organic and you get into duke
  7. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Just fix it and move on. Orgo is a better indication of med school than a lot of college courses because you have to memorize a lot more (fewer calculations, more remembering reactions and structures). But if you can master it the next time around, and get through the MCAT, I wouldn't worry. Med schools do a decent job of accepting people who will make it through.
  8. Doctormo24

    Doctormo24 Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Apr 13, 2005
    I took organic chem last semester and had to drop...this semester I finished Ochem with an A-

    How would that be viewed?
  9. Biscuit799

    Biscuit799 7+ Year Member

    Oct 29, 2004
    I got a C in Ochem 1, B in 2, A in the Lab.
  10. emaj1n

    emaj1n M1 2+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    I'm not an adcom, but I would naturally think organic is the only class where one C could pass for one semester. If you did well in lab that semester, and then the following semester did much better in lecture and stayed solid in lab, I'd think you'd be fine as long as your targets weren't a top ten.
  11. HristosKaran

    HristosKaran Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Ehhh...I semi-agree, but I think Organic is one of the classes in which your grades are really looked at. It shows you can handle a class with higher difficulity as well as a harder workload...I'm not an adcom either, but I think a C in something like art will fly much better then a C in orgo...
  12. emaj1n

    emaj1n M1 2+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    I agree. I envisioned C, A, A, A for lecture, lab, lecture, lab. You might be able to get away with that until the interview.
  13. SuperSlacker

    SuperSlacker Master Procrastinator 10+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2007
    -I get the feeling that some adcoms never look at the grades of individual classes closely (most interviewers never asked me about them)
    -some may care more about total BCPM gpa, overall gpa, more than just a bad grade (as long as it's not C's across the board, or a negative trend you are usually OK)
    -However, for very competitive programs, it could make/break your application

    Better MCAT score do help, but be prepared to explain the grade and show that it was just a fluke...

    Obviously, if you didn't pass or have an opportunity to repeat, do so. Just make sure you kick butt.
  14. fido

    fido 2+ Year Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    i should advice every body here to come to my school (xxxxxxx) which has a professor of O chem. gives A just for attending the lab with no report and curve all the test to make the weakest student catch a B+

    I got A in both lecture and lab and was easy. I have registered to take Org 2 with him during summer 1 (5 weeks class)

    Good luck
  15. TheGreatHunt

    TheGreatHunt High Performance 7+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    That's sad... I had to work damn hard for my A's in Ochem 1 and 2. :mad:

    But in response to the OP, no one gets into Medical School without all A's. If you get a B, you better just apply to a PA position, and if you ever get anything lower than a B, then you should go to a nursing program. That's just how it's done. :smuggrin:
  16. eugoogley


    Nov 15, 2006
    This may make you feel better:

    I got a C+ in the first semester of O Chem at Berkeley and a B in the second semester. I still got into 2 med schools this cycle, so no worries. I think they realize that people mess up freshman year and that as long as your later grades show vast improvement they are willingly to forgive you :)

    But when I say vast improvement, I will tell you that at the end of my college career I went two semesters with all A's (no minuses), followed by a semester with an A and 2 A-'s. So you'd really have to pick it up, but it is definitely NOT unheard of :luck:
  17. DMBdoc

    DMBdoc 5+ Year Member

    Sep 10, 2006
    Got a B in Ochem1, D in Ochem 2 (retook and got B), and A in the labs--was asked about this in 2 of my interviews, gave them an answer regarding persistence and learning to approach things from a new angle which was one reason for not doing well in 2nd semester, and they both said 'good answer'. i was accepted to those schools as well as others, and I didn't 'dominate' my mcat either. PEOPLE are human and aren't perfect robots, med school admin committees know this and are looking for 'balanced' people so do your best and don't fret over small bumps along the way...
  18. g3pro

    g3pro Dr. Mogley 7+ Year Member

    Dec 7, 2003
    Organic chemistry has little to no bearing on how you will do in medical school. Case in point: the decline in percentage of MCAT questions relating to organic chemistry as a whole and more of an emphasis in the biochemistry relative to organic chemistry I topics; the increasing rates of substitution of biochemistry for organic chemistry II; the decreasing emphasis on reactions in favor of pathology of biochemical systems.

    Don't freak out. The stigma of organic chemistry is due more to pre-med pricks who justify their pseudo-intelligence in medicine with a good grade in one class than to pre-meds who fall out due to a bad grade in one class.
    LeenoRocks likes this.
  19. ericana_83

    ericana_83 5+ Year Member

    Nov 7, 2006
    I got a D in o-chem the first time, and retook it and got an A. Of course I am not an expert, but it seems to me that if you can't take the pace and intensity of o-chem, medical school is going to rock your world. Why not take it again, and if they ask just tell them that you were willing to go through that hell AGAIn just to prove to them that you wanted to be a doc so bad....
  20. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

    Feb 23, 2007
    I got an F in Organic I the first time I took it. The retake a year later was an A or B (not sure which).

    No problem getting admitted in my region where I just needed an MCAT score.

    Higher tier schools? No shot for me.
  21. Bacchus

    Bacchus Administrator Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    My school does it first semester in Bio I. Its a horrible class and probably the most difficult first year class. Oh well, it made us that got through it stronger.
  22. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    At a lot of schools, your interviewer isn't the person that closely analyzed your file and decided to offer you an interview. Some of them got your file about shortly before your interview, and some of them are closed-file interviews, so they won't even know. But somebody probably looked at your o-chem grade.
  23. Bengalswillwin

    Bengalswillwin Banned Banned

    May 6, 2007
    How about Anatomy and Physiology?
    These require some extensive memorizing, esp Anatomy.
    How about Biochem courses that involve citric acid cycle, fatty acid breakdown/synthesis, amino acid break down/sythesis - some pathways are only for bacteria and some are exclusive to mammals?
    I am sure other classes do get looked at.
    I think they compare ochem since not everyone take other classes.
    it is because there are so many "not-so-bright" individuals that want easy way out by majoring in ENGLISH or ANTHROPOLOGY while taking pre-req courses - hence, they never take A & P, Biochem, etc.
  24. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    Oh, shut up.
  25. vincikai

    vincikai Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    i second that lol :thumbup:
  26. KardiacKiehl

    KardiacKiehl 5+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2005
    I got a C in Orgo II and did just fine. Seriously, don't stress about just one class. It's not going to keep you out of medical school.
  27. MedStudentWanna

    MedStudentWanna Banned Banned 5+ Year Member

    Apr 14, 2006
    You really shouldn't make generalizations. I know plenty of English majors who are smarter than the science majors I know. I also know plenty of English, Art, Theater, etc. majors who aced A&P and Biochem, including myself. Next excuse please?
  28. TheGreatHunt

    TheGreatHunt High Performance 7+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    I think English majors might be at a disadvantage come Medical School, but I highly doubt that they would make less capable Doctors. They may have to try harder to catch up on some principles, but it's doubtful that the majority of SELF SELECTED medical students would even apply if they thought they couldn't do it.
  29. brianmartin

    brianmartin 10+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Yakima, WA
    Here is a conversation I had with an EM Attending at OHSU who is on the admissions committee:

    Me: "So how important are grades?"

    Doc: "Past a certain point, they don't matter. What really matters is your passion and drive."

    Me: "But it seems like so much emphasis is placed on grades..."

    Doc: "Well, we look at O-chem."

    O-chem is considered a difficult course and your performance in it is a good indication of how well you work under pressure. Intricate knowledge of organic chemistry may not make you a better doctor, but it IS an indication of how hard you are willing to work, and how well you can digest large amounts of information and synthesize it quickly.

    Most of the people I know who did poorly in O-chem just weren't willing to put in the time. They are smart, but they refuse to just sit down and do problems.
  30. thewarehouse

    thewarehouse Member 5+ Year Member

    Jul 1, 2006
    I'm glad you asked this- I remember asking everyone I could find the same question 3 years ago when I took O-chem and ended up with a grade that wasn't all that great.

    People gave me mixed answers then about the importance of organic chem, but having personally gone through the app cycle now, I'm confident in saying that if you get solid grades in other classes and a good score on the MCAT your organic chem scores will be pretty unimportant. You'll still be able to get acceptances and merit scholarships from top-10 schools if you do everything else fairly well (and that's not to say I didn't get any other B's) so repeat it if you need to, move on, and focus your energy on doing well in every other area you can. You'll be fine!
  31. SeaBreeze12

    SeaBreeze12 2+ Year Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    I HATED orgo. I had to drop orgo 1 the first time and then I got a B the 2nd time and then a B in orgo 2. I know they say that it is suppose to judge how you well you will do in med school, but I think studying for organic is NOTHING like studying in medical school. Even the worst lectures I have had in med school are 100 times better than a 'good' day in organic.....

    *shudder* I break out into a cold sweat everytime I think about organic, esp the lab, that is the one part of undergrad I do not miss!
    LeenoRocks likes this.
  32. wont

    wont 2+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2007
  33. Dr2Bee

    Dr2Bee 2+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 2006
    Ochem has always been known as the class that weeds out pre-meds. But if youre really determined to do medicine, your chances arent over yet. Personally, I've received a C in Ochem before and I got into several med schools.

    A few bad grades wont keep you out of med school. You'll just have to find ways to improve other parts of your application... excellent MCAT score, advance degrees, research, more volunteering experience. All these things will matter. But keep in mind that if you are very deficient in one area, it will raise red flags. Focus on presenting yourself well in these other areas and bringing up/ or maintaining a good gpa.

    ICCONFETTI 7+ Year Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    i got a C in o chem 1. B in o chem 2.

    Got multiple acceptances/interviews/waitlists.

    :) :)
    so yes, it's possible.

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