Dismiss Notice
Check out the new Application Assistant, where you can calculate your LizzyM score, see how you rank compared to other applicants, and see a list of schools where similar students were accepted.

Destroyed my second chance...is there any hope?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Osteopathic [ DO ]' started by teddywestside, 05.19.14.

  1. SDN is made possible through member donations, sponsorships, and our volunteers. Learn about SDN's nonprofit mission.
  1. teddywestside

    teddywestside

    Joined:
    05.19.14
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Hey Everyone,

    Long time follower, first time poster. Coming out of my undergrad (May 2013) with a 2.56 cGPA, and a 2.4 sGPA. Took a few bad hits with my grades in total. My girlfriend was diagnosed with Melanoma and was put through hell, given more drugs than I can name and had multiple surgeries. It hit me pretty hard, and took a toll on my grades. Although I knew school was important, it was painful to know how sick my girlfriend was and I felt guilty for leaving her to study. The beginning of my senior year, she was put in remission and starting recovering, and I was able to get my grades up to mostly B's. This past year I re-took a lot of my classes, in hopes of getting A's across the board. In the Fall, I did pretty well. However, back in January, my girlfriend had a small recurrence, which resulted in surgery. She does not need any chemotherapy thankfully. This ended up screwing my grades up again, and although I ended up killing myself to pull 90-95's on my final exams, I still ended up with decent-meh grades. I don't know what to do, and I was planning on taking my MCAT's this summer with hopes to apply broadly to DO.

    Gen Chem I - C (retook and got an A)
    Gen Chem II - D (retook and got a B)
    Bio I - C (retook and got a B+)
    Bio II - C (retook and got a C again)
    Organic Chem I - D (retook and got an A)
    Organic Chem II - was planning on taking over the summer
    Physics I - C (retook and got a B-)
    Physics II - C - was planning on re-taking in the Fall

    I have pretty good EC's despite my low GPA (my volunteer ambulance company became my second home when I wasn't in class or at my gf's), and good LOR's. Still haven't taken the MCAT, but was planning on taking this summer (took the AAMC exam #3 as a diagnostic timed and got a 24 with no studying...not sure if that means anything). I feel pretty helpless and disappointed in myself, so any advice would honestly be really appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. medickdb

    medickdb 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    02.24.11
    Messages:
    932
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I'm sorry life has thrown you these curveballs. I hope the both of you are doing better.

    Now, some real talk. I don't mean to sound harsh, simply realistic.

    Taking the MCAT right now would not be a good idea. Your GPAs are nowhere near competitive. Did you factor in your retakes in the GPAs you listed? Remember, the old grade gets replaced.
     
  4. DoctorKrieger

    DoctorKrieger Exit Van Left 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.28.13
    Messages:
    633
    Calculate your AACOMAS cGPA and sGPA and that will give you a more realistic view. From the courses listed it looks like you did alright in retakes but it's not clear how the 2.56 and 2.4 are included (are those average of all courses or only counting the retake grades?). A 24 with no studying might bode well, which is good because MCAT is very important.

    No need to be disappointed, with your retakes you are obviously capable of getting into med school. It just may take a little extra effort given your unfortunate circumstances. Hope your girlfriend is doing well now.
     
  5. teddywestside

    teddywestside

    Joined:
    05.19.14
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Thanks for both your replies. Those GPA's are not factored with the re-takes. I'm going to go calculate it now to see where I stand.
     
  6. teddywestside

    teddywestside

    Joined:
    05.19.14
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    As it stands now, my science is a 3.06, and my cumulative is exactly a 3.00. This is not including Organic Chem II, and the retake of Physics II I was planning. Any hope in applying this cycle at all, even with a good MCAT?
     
  7. medickdb

    medickdb 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    02.24.11
    Messages:
    932
    Status:
    Medical Student
    You want to be above a 3.0, preferably above a 3.2. The closer to those numbers, the more you want to make sure you have all of your ducks in a row and apply early.
     
  8. medickdb

    medickdb 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    02.24.11
    Messages:
    932
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Use this year to prepare for the MCAT and retake a couple more classes. Get those GPAs close to 3.2. Take the MCAT before the next cycle opens (2015) with enough time to retake if needed. Apply early next year if everything looks good.
     
  9. DoctorKrieger

    DoctorKrieger Exit Van Left 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.28.13
    Messages:
    633
    Alright, just to make sure, you know that AACOMAS (the DO app) factors in only the retaken grade, not averaged like AMCAS (the MD app)? If that's how you figured the 3.06 and 3.00, then *I* would apply this year if you think you can ace ochem II over the summer and get a good MCAT score. Not saying that would make you competitive, but I just personally would not want to wonder 'what if I applied this year?' for an entire cycle. Any chance you could retake another course you got a C or lower in over the summer?
     
  10. teddywestside

    teddywestside

    Joined:
    05.19.14
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    That's definitely a good plan. I don't want to mess up the MCAT, especially since it's kind of a make or break for me in my opinion.
     
  11. teddywestside

    teddywestside

    Joined:
    05.19.14
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Yeah, I just typed in all my grades and then replaced all the ones I took with the most recent grades and that's how I got the 3.00/3.06. I totally agree, and I feel like putting it off for another 2 years might just be digging a deeper hole for me. I'm gonna look up some classes and see if I can do a re-take online. That may make things easier.

    The other thing I'm worried about is I really don't want to use my girlfriend's illness as my sob story excuse for why I didn't do well in my classes. But at the same time, I don't want adcoms to think I didn't get good grades because I partied every night and didn't care about my schoolwork. I feel like writing my whole personal statement around her diagnosis just seems like whining and drawing excuses. How can I get the message across?
     
  12. DoctorKrieger

    DoctorKrieger Exit Van Left 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.28.13
    Messages:
    633
    So with your retakes it seems like you've gotten mostly Bs in all your science courses to be that close to a 3.0. I was kind of hoping there would be a few Cs or worse in there to make it easier to bring that up to around a 3.2 but I guess you're really just going to have to buckle down and get nothing but As in your sciences from now on.

    I understand the whole 'no excuses' thing, but life happens and events like that can affect your grades. I know from my own experience. It seems like the SDN consensus is not to focus on negative things or excuses in your personal statement, but to give you the best advice on that I'm going to summon @Goro as he knows much better than I on how adcoms think.
     
  13. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    07.27.13
    Messages:
    25,895
    Location:
    4th Dimension
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Without a successful SMP, you're done son. Even a SMP will be extremely hard for you to get into at this point. For cereal, I feel bad for you, but it doesn't look good at all.
     
  14. DoctorKrieger

    DoctorKrieger Exit Van Left 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.28.13
    Messages:
    633
    Looking back at your original post, I would highly advise taking bio II a third time. It seems like you are easily capable of making an A in that course.
     
    teddywestside likes this.
  15. teddywestside

    teddywestside

    Joined:
    05.19.14
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Thank you for all the input, I truly appreciate it. I also remembered that I have some college courses I took back in HS (not AP), which came out to about 20 credits that I recall doing pretty well in. I'm going to look into that too, hopefully that'll bump me over to at least 3.2. Thank you for the advice, any more would be greatly appreciated.
     
  16. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    06.10.10
    Messages:
    29,379
    Location:
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Verified
    Faculty
    You should be OK with the retakes, but concerns me greatly is the lack of coping skills. I would worry about you going to pieces at the next bad thing that comes into your life.

    Work on these before you try medical school... it's a crucible.


     
  17. teddywestside

    teddywestside

    Joined:
    05.19.14
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Medical

    Absolutely. It is by far my biggest weak point. I think the best for me is to take the next year off, be able to take the MCAT with a clear mind and work on maturing in terms of coping. Thank you very much!
     
  18. StIGMA

    StIGMA Doctor Professor 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    07.06.08
    Messages:
    1,015
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Verified
    PhD
    There is some bad and some good advice in this thread. I hope you find the following useful:

    You need to demonstrate you can handle upper level science courses (to yourself and to the adcoms). See which course of the following has a decent grade distribution at your school (eg: don't jump into biochem if only 5% A's are handed out) + is a course that works for your major: human physiology, biochem/molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, microbiology, or comparable "intro" upper level science course. It is not impressive to re-take a course and do well- it only serves to increase your GPA, not prove your readiness for an intense science load ie: medical school. One reason (but not the only reason) DO schools allow retakes is so their 'average matriculant GPA' looks better, but they still want to know you will excel once admitted.

    If you cannot excel in intro or upper level science courses, I'd be highly concerned whether you could handle med school. The more upper level science courses you can excel at, the better. Of course, this is in addition to your grade replacement strategy. Do these upper level courses while still enrolled in your degree, which is preferred over a post-bac for a few reasons including future time/cost. To avoid overloading yourself, you do not want to take more than 2 difficult science courses at once (3 at the most once you have proven you can take 2 at once).
     
    Last edited: 05.20.14
    Goro likes this.

About the ads

Share This Page