Oct 9, 2019
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey guys,

I'm gonna try and keep this post as short and sweet as possible. Long story short, I transferred into my current undergraduate institution as a molecular biology major, and my academic performance was nothing short of abysmal. I stayed on this path for 3 semesters before I ultimately decided switching my major to public health. Ever since I took up that path I have received a 4.0 GPA every single semester, and am on track to receiving my BA in PH next semester. I was able to bring up my uGPA to a 3.0 even from a 2.381. Now, I do still intend on some day eventually attending medical school because my ultimate goal is to become a physician. I just need advice on how to get there because I am completely lost. I've taken two semesters of biology, chemistry, and physics. I took one semester of organic chemistry as well as one semester of calculus. My grades for these courses are listed below:

BIO I - C
BIO II - C
Chem I -C
Chem II - C
Calculus I - C
Physics I - C
Physics II - C
Orgo I - F

Pretty much, I'm torn between enrolling in a "career-change" SMP or a "record enhancer" SMP. I was leaning more towards enrolling in a "career-change" seeing as all the courses that encompass that program are the pre-med prerequisites, and I just want to ensure if I am doing the right thing for my future. I'm currently enrolled in a MCAT course, and have been studying for it a little over six months now. Ultimately, I know I am in no position to apply/enroll into medical school anytime soon. I'm just looking for the best course of action to help me achieve that goal.

Also, just a little disclaimer - I was going through a very rough period of my life that involved me losing a parent, and coping with that through means of substance abuse. I nearly was kicked out of my institution (why I did so horrible), which helped me come to my senses, enroll in therapy, and buckle down to achieve my goal.

I appreciate all of your input in advance! Thank you for your help on this matter - it is greatly appreciated. :)
 

JanetSnakehole

I’m a very rich widow with a terrible secret.
Gold Donor
Jun 18, 2018
483
894
the West Coast
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey guys,

I'm gonna try and keep this post as short and sweet as possible. Long story short, I transferred into my current undergraduate institution as a molecular biology major, and my academic performance was nothing short of abysmal. I stayed on this path for 3 semesters before I ultimately decided switching my major to public health. Ever since I took up that path I have received a 4.0 GPA every single semester, and am on track to receiving my BA in PH next semester. I was able to bring up my uGPA to a 3.0 even from a 2.381. Now, I do still intend on some day eventually attending medical school because my ultimate goal is to become a physician. I just need advice on how to get there because I am completely lost. I've taken two semesters of biology, chemistry, and physics. I took one semester of organic chemistry as well as one semester of calculus. My grades for these courses are listed below:

BIO I - C
BIO II - C
Chem I -C
Chem II - C
Calculus I - C
Physics I - C
Physics II - C
Orgo I - F

Pretty much, I'm torn between enrolling in a "career-change" SMP or a "record enhancer" SMP. I was leaning more towards enrolling in a "career-change" seeing as all the courses that encompass that program are the pre-med prerequisites, and I just want to ensure if I am doing the right thing for my future. I'm currently enrolled in a MCAT course, and have been studying for it a little over six months now. Ultimately, I know I am in no position to apply/enroll into medical school anytime soon. I'm just looking for the best course of action to help me achieve that goal.

Also, just a little disclaimer - I was going through a very rough period of my life that involved me losing a parent, and coping with that through means of substance abuse. I nearly was kicked out of my institution (why I did so horrible), which helped me come to my senses, enroll in therapy, and buckle down to achieve my goal.

I appreciate all of your input in advance! Thank you for your help on this matter - it is greatly appreciated. :)
So it looks like you're dealing with a few things at a minimum:

- Retaking organic chemistry I and finishing organic chemistry II
- Institutional actions
- Poor uGPA
- Very poor sGPA

You can look at Goro's advice for pre-meds who need reinvention to start, but you've got a long road ahead of you. You will likely need to put many years in between you and your difficulties to have a serious shot at medical school. An SMP would probably be best in your scenario, but depending on the number and nature of the institutional actions you received, it may not be enough. So, if you don't mind sharing, the following information might help us better tailor our advice to you:

- How long has it been since you've turned things around?
- What are you doing to ensure you won't fall back into substance abuse in the future?
- How many IAs do you have and what were they for? (don't share anything too specific to preserve your anonymity)
 
Last edited:
OP
D
Oct 9, 2019
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
So it looks like you're dealing with a few things at a minimum:

- Retaking organic chemistry I and finishing organic chemistry II
- Institutional actions (how many of these do you have and what types of IAs are they?)
- Poor uGPA
- Very poor sGPA

You can look at Goro's guide to premed invention: Goro's advice for pre-meds who need reinvention to start, but you've got a long road ahead of you. You will likely need to put many years in between you and your difficulties to have a serious shot at medical school. An SMP would probably be best in your scenario, but depending on the number and nature of the institutional actions you received, it may not be enough. So, if you don't mind sharing, the following information might help us better tailor our advice to you:

- How long has it been since you've turned things around?
- What are you doing to ensure you won't fall back into substance abuse in the future?
- How many IAs do you have and what were they for? (don't share anything too specific to preserve your anonymity)
Thanks for your reply, and the link to Goro's advice - I'll check it out ASAP. The only IA that I faced was I was placed on Academic Warning, which warranted a mandatory meeting with an advisor. In doing so, my advisor was really able to help me straighten out the issues I was facing in my personal life. I don't even believe that the IA actually shows up on my transcript - it served more as a warning to me than anything else. In regards to how long since I've turned things around - I swapped my major to public health, and took the required courses needed to graduate with the degree. I have taken 31 out of the 34 credits needed to graduate with that degree and received an A in every single course - I guess you could say I've been on the "straight and narrow" for approximately a year now. Also, I regularly attend AA meetings, and am very close with my sponsor. Also, reaffirming the relationship I have with my surviving parent is very helpful.

Yes, I am well aware of the long road ahead that awaits me, and I feel prepared as well as energized to tackle it.
 

JanetSnakehole

I’m a very rich widow with a terrible secret.
Gold Donor
Jun 18, 2018
483
894
the West Coast
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for your reply, and the link to Goro's advice - I'll check it out ASAP. The only IA that I faced was I was placed on Academic Warning, which warranted a mandatory meeting with an advisor. In doing so, my advisor was really able to help me straighten out the issues I was facing in my personal life. I don't even believe that the IA actually shows up on my transcript - it served more as a warning to me than anything else. In regards to how long since I've turned things around - I swapped my major to public health, and took the required courses needed to graduate with the degree. I have taken 31 out of the 34 credits needed to graduate with that degree and received an A in every single course - I guess you could say I've been on the "straight and narrow" for approximately a year now. Also, I regularly attend AA meetings, and am very close with my sponsor. Also, reaffirming the relationship I have with my surviving parent is very helpful.

Yes, I am well aware of the long road ahead that awaits me, and I feel prepared as well as energized to tackle it.
You'll still be required to report the IA on your medical school applications, even if it doesn't show up on your transcript. The good news is that an academic IA is more recoverable than an IA for violence/theft/hard drug possession etc. You'll get a chance to explain this on your personal statement/applications, and it will track with your grade history - it shouldn't be a big deal if you excel in your remaining classes and/or post baccalaureate coursework.

It looks like a SMP is your best bet at this point, so try to find one with a linkage to a medical school. You'll still need to retake the organic chemistry series and possibly biochem (a required prerequisite at many medical schools, but virtually essential for the MCAT) at the undergraduate level. SMPs aren't really in my area of expertise (I did a DIY/career changer postbac) so I unfortunately can't provide specific recommendations.

Remember, even when things get tough, your #1 priority is your sobriety and your mental health. I'm really encouraged to hear that you've been in a better place for a year now - keep it up! The more years you can put between you and your struggles, the better. Medical school is incredibly difficult and stressful, so ensure you're continuing to remain stable and that you have a robust support network before embarking on this path.
 
OP
D
Oct 9, 2019
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
You'll still be required to report the IA on your medical school applications, even if it doesn't show up on your transcript. The good news is that an academic IA is more recoverable than an IA for violence/theft/hard drug possession etc. You'll get a chance to explain this on your personal statement/applications, and it will track with your grade history - it shouldn't be a big deal if you excel in your remaining classes and/or post baccalaureate coursework.

It looks like a SMP is your best bet at this point, so try to find one with a linkage to a medical school. You'll still need to retake the organic chemistry series and possibly biochem (a required prerequisite at many medical schools, but virtually essential for the MCAT) at the undergraduate level. SMPs aren't really in my area of expertise (I did a DIY/career changer postbac) so I unfortunately can't provide specific recommendations.

Remember, even when things get tough, your #1 priority is your sobriety and your mental health. I'm really encouraged to hear that you've been in a better place for a year now - keep it up! The more years you can put between you and your struggles, the better. Medical school is incredibly difficult and stressful, so ensure you're continuing to remain stable and that you have a robust support network before embarking on this path.
Thanks so much - I very much appreciate you taking the time out to reply! I was looking at Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Health Professions Preparation | The City College of New York this program. Do you think if I perform well academically in a program of this structure it would essentially make up for my poor undergraduate performance?
 

Sephirakra

SDN Gold Donor
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Jun 16, 2017
233
670
Status
Medical Student
Hey guys,

I'm gonna try and keep this post as short and sweet as possible. Long story short, I transferred into my current undergraduate institution as a molecular biology major, and my academic performance was nothing short of abysmal. I stayed on this path for 3 semesters before I ultimately decided switching my major to public health. Ever since I took up that path I have received a 4.0 GPA every single semester, and am on track to receiving my BA in PH next semester. I was able to bring up my uGPA to a 3.0 even from a 2.381. Now, I do still intend on some day eventually attending medical school because my ultimate goal is to become a physician. I just need advice on how to get there because I am completely lost. I've taken two semesters of biology, chemistry, and physics. I took one semester of organic chemistry as well as one semester of calculus. My grades for these courses are listed below:

BIO I - C
BIO II - C
Chem I -C
Chem II - C
Calculus I - C
Physics I - C
Physics II - C
Orgo I - F

Pretty much, I'm torn between enrolling in a "career-change" SMP or a "record enhancer" SMP. I was leaning more towards enrolling in a "career-change" seeing as all the courses that encompass that program are the pre-med prerequisites, and I just want to ensure if I am doing the right thing for my future. I'm currently enrolled in a MCAT course, and have been studying for it a little over six months now. Ultimately, I know I am in no position to apply/enroll into medical school anytime soon. I'm just looking for the best course of action to help me achieve that goal.

Also, just a little disclaimer - I was going through a very rough period of my life that involved me losing a parent, and coping with that through means of substance abuse. I nearly was kicked out of my institution (why I did so horrible), which helped me come to my senses, enroll in therapy, and buckle down to achieve my goal.

I appreciate all of your input in advance! Thank you for your help on this matter - it is greatly appreciated. :)
Pardon my ignorance if I missed it, but in what way are you a non-trad? Advice will differ based on outside experiences.
 
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OP
D
Oct 9, 2019
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Pardon my ignorance if I missed it, but in what way are you a non-trad? Advice will differ based on outside experiences.
I transferred from a private university to a public university, and took a year off in the process. I didn't mention that in my initial post. I do apologize!
 

JanetSnakehole

I’m a very rich widow with a terrible secret.
Gold Donor
Jun 18, 2018
483
894
the West Coast
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks so much - I very much appreciate you taking the time out to reply! I was looking at Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Health Professions Preparation | The City College of New York this program. Do you think if I perform well academically in a program of this structure it would essentially make up for my poor undergraduate performance?
Well, you'd be retaking a bunch of your prerequisites, and it's generally not advised to retake any prerequisites in which you earned a grade of C or higher. Options like the CCNY post bac program are typically most useful for career changers who lack all science prerequisites, not students trying to rectify a poor undergraduate showing. Also, if you really wanted to retake your prereqs, you could just do that on a DIY basis at a local state school on the cheap.

The advantage of the SMP is that it's like an audition for medical school. A program with some kind of link to a medical school (e.g., a guaranteed interview or admission after meeting a certain performance threshold) will get you to your goal faster. Again, though, I'm not well versed in the different programs - you might want to spend some time in the SMP forums while researching.
 
OP
D
Oct 9, 2019
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Well, you'd be retaking a bunch of your prerequisites, and it's generally not advised to retake any prerequisites in which you earned a grade of C or higher. Options like the CCNY post bac program are typically most useful for career changers who lack all science prerequisites, not students trying to rectify a poor undergraduate showing. Also, if you really wanted to retake your prereqs, you could just do that on a DIY basis at a local state school on the cheap.

The advantage of the SMP is that it's like an audition for medical school. A program with some kind of link to a medical school (e.g., a guaranteed interview or admission after meeting a certain performance threshold) will get you to your goal faster. Again, though, I'm not well versed in the different programs - you might want to spend some time in the SMP forums while researching.
Got it, thank you!