Can't decide whether I should stay Pre-Med.. had a bad freshman year


New Member
May 14, 2020
  1. Pre-Medical
    This is my first time making a post on here so hey! I really want to stay on a pre-med track but I talked to my academic advisor and he basically implied I should start looking maybe start looking into things other than pre-med. I failed Bio 1 and General Chemistry 1 first semester so I took Gen Chem 1 second semester and got a B on it. Despite doing bad on Bio 1 I was able to take Bio 2 and I also happened to fail that(I was really close to passing, but my professor would not round my grade up). Now I plan on Gen Chem 2 over the summer along with Bio 2 and I plan on taking Micro Bio+Organic chem+ Bio 1 for the fall semester. Other than that, I have A's in all the other classes I'm taking(which are mainly humanities courses). I really want to stay on a pre-med track but after talking to my academic advisor and my biology professor I feel a little discouraged from continuing this path but I thought it would be better to get advice from experts on here:)


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    2+ Year Member
    Dec 25, 2016
    1. Pre-Medical
      What was the reason for your poor performance in classes? Were there extenuating circumstances that prevented you from doing better? If you worked as hard as you could, I think you probably need to seriously reevaluate the way you study.

      If you got 3 Fs (is your current science GPA a 0.75?) you will probably need to get at a 3.7+ from here on out until you graduate to get a 3.0 in science GPA (assuming you take 12-15 more science courses over 6 semesters). You'll also need to retake any class you got a C- or lower in. Getting a 3.0 is important because schools may auto-screen you if your undergrad GPA is lower than that. After you graduate with hopefully a 3.0 sGPA, a post-bacc or SMP is probably necessary as well a very strong MCAT score. I won't lie that your freshman year will be challenging to overcome, but I think a good number of schools will be willing to overlook one year of your academic career if you show a lot of improvement and can explain why you did so poorly. At the end of the day, I think that with the right study habits, work ethic, and drive, becoming a physician is within reach for any motivated person.
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      Full Member
      Mar 19, 2020
      1. Pre-Medical
        in order of importance

        1) start using Anki for every course. make a card for every concept, fact, detail, and review the cards every day. literally download Anki on your computer and phone right now before you move onto 2
        2) if you don't understand something, bother the **** out of the prof until you do
        3) sleep 7-8 hr/night
        4) exercise several times a week
        5) eat full, healthy meals
        6) have a social life, party hard on the weekends
        7) start studying slowly for the MCAT material as you learn it in your courses
        8) keep an eye on health policy. if medicine gets socialized, salaries may drop enough to dissuade you from applying
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        2+ Year Member
        Aug 7, 2019
        1. Medical Student
          It all depends on how badly you want it. You can’t go into medicine on a whim. If you truly wish to be a doctor, you’ll do whatever it takes whether it’s Anki, new studying methods, waking up earlier etc.

          Ps. Sure things don’t look the best right now but they’re far from the worst.
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          Kirby Smart

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          2+ Year Member
          May 21, 2017
          1. Pre-Medical
          2. Medical Student
            To be frank, you failed multiple of the easiest science courses you will take, so what makes you believe you will get B+ - As on all of the rest? This is basically required now for you to Have a competitive GPA by the time you graduate.
            You need to ask yourself if you put your mind to it do you have the ability to do that well on the rest of your science courses? Why is it that you struggled so much in the others? Just logistically speaking, if you continue to fail science classes from here on out then the pre-med track will probably not be possible for you due to the low GPA you will have, not to mention the fact that you would be at very high risk of failing out of med school if a school did let you in.
            This is the hard truth, but this is why your advisors were hinting at it. If you are capable of making drastic changes, then it is not too late for you. If not, you need to consider other options.
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            Full Member
            10+ Year Member
            Jan 31, 2011
            1. Resident [Any Field]
              I have to say I agree with Kirby Smart above. These are some of the easiest pre-med courses so it's just going to get harder from here on out, and med school will be even worse. Here are some things I would think about if I were you -- not asking that you post the replies but more of suggestions for you to reflect on personally.

              -How are you studying? Are you actually putting in the time or was it a matter of not doing the work? Or maybe it is that you are studying ineffectively? Or, are you a smart kid who didn't really have to put in the work in HS so maybe now you don't know how to study? Although some 101 humanities classes can involve studying facts (such as history), usually the approach for science/math studying is different than humanities studying so the divide here isn't necessarily surprising. Consider meeting with a study center, tutor or learning specialist at your school to help evaluate this type of thing.

              -Did something happen this year that played into how much effort you were able to put into the science classes? If so, maybe consider counseling to help learn effective coping skills, and/or think about an LOA if you need it.

              -Why do you want to be a doctor? How important is it to you? How deeply have you looked into the career and really thought about whether the time, money and stress investment will be worth it? Have you ever considered other careers (inside or outside of medical careers)?

              -Have you ALWAYS struggled with science? (How did you do in high school and did you take honors/AP classes or just regular classes?) If so, this would be a strong factor to me in terms of reconsidering pre-med. Sometimes being on the struggle bus the entire road to your career is not worth it. Flip it on the head and make it a positive. Maybe your strengths lie in the humanities? What are you GOOD at? What are your talents? How can you use those to find a career you can excel in? If you don't know the answers to these questions, maybe consider meeting with your advisor, a professor you get along with, an older student friend, or your school's career center to help you figure that out.
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