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Do adcoms consider work obligations when looking at academic performance?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by biophysicbadass, May 28, 2002.

  1. biophysicbadass

    7+ Year Member

    Apr 25, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Hi all,
    I was wondering if anyone has applied to med school (or MD/PhD) with an academic record that suffered as a result of work or other. As soon as I went to undergrad my father became very ill, my family almost lost everything they had and my mom was working 90 hrs a week to keep things going. I worked full time to support myself and to contribute to my family. Needless to say my GPA suffered. After 4 years of battling with financial aid and being lost in red tape, I finally got some grant money in my fifth year and was able to cut down to part time work,maintained almost a 4.0 until graduation (dean's list and all). This was only enough to pull my GPA to a 3.1 though. I am currently in a grad program (medical physics, grad GPA 3.8), never considered the MD until the last year as a matter of fact. Now I'm worried that my undergrad record will screw me. I feel I have demonstrated academic excellence in the last 4 years, but do adcoms really care about circumstances, or just numbers? Are there certain schools that care about circumsatnce? If anyone has been in a similar situation any feedback would be EXTREMELY helpful!
  2. Doc Oc

    Doc Oc Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Nov 1, 2000
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    Resident [Any Field]
    I worked 50 hours a week while going to college full-time until second semester junior year, and did awesome when I actually had time to study. The change in my grades was brought up in every interview - but I also addressed it in my personal statement. I think they do look at that, if you put it in your primary application somewhere. I don't think they'd just give a poor GPA the benefit of the doubt. Most of my interviewers who brought it up said they were impressed by it, and that it showed dedication, etc. I think you can play that fact to your advantage.
  3. brickmanli

    brickmanli Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    Likes Received:
    One good way is to have your employer write you a recommendation, and if possible, have him/her address your circumstances.
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