MD & DO Diagnosed with adult ADHD at the end of my college career - is it too late?

Dec 13, 2013
52
13
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello everyone, I've been a long time forum follower but first time poster. This past month I was diagnosed with adult ADHD. Going through college, I never realized that my attention span of a few minutes was abnormal so I never questioned it. This of course made studying for exams sometimes excruciatingly difficult. What someone was able to study within maybe an hour or two took me nearly 3 times longer to understand and retain. My undergraduate career took me nearly 7 years to complete and even now I am still trying to finish my prerequisite classes to apply to medical school. When I graduated with my B.A, I had a 3.3 cumulative and a 3.1 science.

I just completed my first semester of organic chemistry at a community college a few days ago. At the beginning of the semester, my first two midterms were dismal. I scored roughly 60% when the class average was around 75%. When I was diagnosed in mid November and began my treatment, I literally felt unlike I've ever felt before. During study sessions, my brain felt like it had laser sights built in. When the final exam came around, I scored a 98% when the class average was 64%, but because of my dismal midterms, my final grade was a C.

I still have about another year of prereqs to go (physics, biology and the rest of organic). Did my diagnosis come too late to save my academic grades? I have yet to take the MCATs, but would scoring high on the MCATs and doing well for the rest of my classes show medical schools that I am still competent?

In terms of extracurricular, I have nearly two thousand of hours of shadowing/clinic work and a few publications incoming in reputable medical journals. I also founded a humanitarian project aimed at providing free immunizations for patients in poverty that is still going strong.

I am a California resident and would really love to get in to one of the UCs, preferably UC Davis so I could be close to family, but I wouldn't mind travelling far and wide for school. Any advice on what I should do at this point would help so much. With the upcoming cycle just around the corner and the new MCATs expected in 2015, should I just learn all the material myself and take the MCATs and apply this next cycle? Or should I wait until 2015 to apply and deal with the new MCAT?
 

DokterMom

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My first thought is for you to take a a little more time so you'll have another year's academics on the record as evidence of what you can do -- medicated. You're in a bit of a hole, but not an especially deep one. I think you can dig yourself out.

Normally, folks are advised not to disclose things like ADHD, but in your case, assuming you pull nearly 4.0 from here on out, it might not be a bad idea. It certainly explains your poor performance before (which, sadly, will need explaining) and can make for a compelling story.

Don't fear the new MCAT any more than the old MCAT. It's just as new and different for everyone else...
 
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CapCrunch

5+ Year Member
Oct 31, 2012
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You can absolutely do it, and it's nowhere near too late. Your GPAs aren't even close to taking you out of the game. The good thing about having a lot of pre-reqs left is that you can drastically boost your sGPA. Pull a 3.6+ and score well on the MCAT and you'll be fine.

As for when to apply, I'd wait and make sure you are 100% ready to ace the MCAT. Don't take it early and apply before you're ready just so you can have a nice neat story to tell the relatives at family gatherings. Live life according to YOUR schedule, and don't commit until you're ready.
 

Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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Your numbers are not competitive for MD schools (especially the highly competitive UC system) but you're fine for DO.

As someone with a relative who has ADHD, and seeing his scholastic struggles, I also suggest that you do NOT even think about medical school until your ADHD is under control.

Re-take any F/D/C science coursework, and Western or Touro-CA will take you instantly.

Do not take the MCAT until you're fully ready to, either.

Hello everyone, I've been a long time forum follower but first time poster. This past month I was diagnosed with adult ADHD. Going through college, I never realized that my attention span of a few minutes was abnormal so I never questioned it. This of course made studying for exams sometimes excruciatingly difficult. What someone was able to study within maybe an hour or two took me nearly 3 times longer to understand and retain. My undergraduate career took me nearly 7 years to complete and even now I am still trying to finish my prerequisite classes to apply to medical school. When I graduated with my B.A, I had a 3.3 cumulative and a 3.1 science.

I just completed my first semester of organic chemistry at a community college a few days ago. At the beginning of the semester, my first two midterms were dismal. I scored roughly 60% when the class average was around 75%. When I was diagnosed in mid November and began my treatment, I literally felt unlike I've ever felt before. During study sessions, my brain felt like it had laser sights built in. When the final exam came around, I scored a 98% when the class average was 64%, but because of my dismal midterms, my final grade was a C.

I still have about another year of prereqs to go (physics, biology and the rest of organic). Did my diagnosis come too late to save my academic grades? I have yet to take the MCATs, but would scoring high on the MCATs and doing well for the rest of my classes show medical schools that I am still competent?

In terms of extracurricular, I have nearly two thousand of hours of shadowing/clinic work and a few publications incoming in reputable medical journals. I also founded a humanitarian project aimed at providing free immunizations for patients in poverty that is still going strong.

I am a California resident and would really love to get in to one of the UCs, preferably UC Davis so I could be close to family, but I wouldn't mind travelling far and wide for school. Any advice on what I should do at this point would help so much. With the upcoming cycle just around the corner and the new MCATs expected in 2015, should I just learn all the material myself and take the MCATs and apply this next cycle? Or should I wait until 2015 to apply and deal with the new MCAT?
 
OP
I
Dec 13, 2013
52
13
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you all for your encouraging words. I received my final grade for my physics class today and I am ecstatic that while I struggled even worst in physics than ochem throughout the semester, because our grade could be divided up into 2 midterms, the final, and our lab score, or 80% final and 20% lab, my final exam grade was a 96% when the class average was a 44% (my midterms were around the 40s~ as well). The final and my Professor's grade breakdown ended up giving me an A in physics. I look to my future classes now with a happiness and excitement I really have never experienced before. I will take your words of advice and continue to take my classes to show that I can be competent in my work before I apply.

Oh and also, is this something that I should disclose on my application? Seeing as how drastic the score differences are, should I consider getting letters of recommendations from these professors?
 
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DokterMom

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Oh and also, is this something that I should disclose on my application? Seeing as how drastic the score differences are, should I consider getting letters of recommendations from these professors?
The general rule is not to disclose ADHD, anxiety or depression on your application, but I think there are times to make an exception, and your situation might be one of them. For your paper application, if your GPA still needs explaining, I'd probably be vague about how starting treatment for a recently diagnosed chronic medical problem allowed you to perform up to your potential for the first time in years. In your interview, you could be more specific it if the topic comes up.