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For anyone who has sat on an adcom

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spyyder31

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This pertains to undergraduate GPA. Now, I had a lot of different things happen during my college years that have left a pretty big scar on my record.
1. A drop mishap (completely my fault) which resulted in an F. I quickly re-took the class for an A the next semester.
2. Was a RA for a semester, but resigned just before the semester ended...LONG story. But there was a peer leadership class attached to the job in which they promptly failed me, and there is no opportunity for retake. This and the above happened just last year.
3. The fact that before I was a premed, I was a slacker! I was a musician with no focus, anyway you get the picture. I got a "few" F's Most of them are in 1-2 cr. music classes.
Anyway, the thing is that I have been doing really well since turning around, aside from a couple of hardships. But I have been taking heavy classloads with up to 4 science class/semester, and doing well. I pull off a B average, but when taking Ochem, physics, Genetics, and Parasitilogy in a semester, and still working and having a family i think that is pretty darn spectacular!. Will this be looked at, even though with all the PAST bad grades being calulated by AMCAS???. I will be truthful, I will NEVER be able to get my GPA really high with out taking classes til I am 90! But the trend (- the outliers) is really good! Also, I believe that the MCAT on Sat. went really well. It comes down to...I just want to be given a chance! If I can get an interview, then I feel that I have a hell of a shot. Thanks for reading, sorry it was a long one. Any insight would be great!
 

Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

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"F's" do not look good. If you really want to get into med school you need to retake those classes. Otherwise adcom would not think that you are a serious person. There is also a fact that if there is more discussion around an applicant, there are less chance that he/she will get it.
 

Scooby Doo

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•••quote:•••Originally posted by RNA Ladder 2003:
•"F's" do not look good. If you really want to get into med school you need to retake those classes. Otherwise adcom would not think that you are a serious person. There is also a fact that if there is more discussion around an applicant, there are less chance that he/she will get it.•••••Do you say this from experience?
You are not on an adcom are you?

I doubt it. Don't spout things off for fact unless you know for real what is going on.
 

Scooby Doo

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Personally, I don't think it will make a huge difference. What will be noted is your lowered GPA. So make a HUGE POINT of this in your Personal Statement and how you have grown and changed. :wink:

Don't listen to this other ladder chick / dude....
 

darkmatter

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Some medical schools offer consultation. The best way to get peace of mind about this is to go to the medical school you're interested at and try setting up an appointment with the director of admissions. In my opinion, the problem with F's is that courses can be mistakenly overlooked, and with the vast number of applicants, it can be someone's lazy way of cutting down the numbers. I don't know if people would like to reveal themselves as adcoms officers, but it will be in your advantage to personally speak with one in the school you're most interested with.
 

pipper

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OK, I have never been on a medical school adcom, but I do have a personal experience that might put a smile on yer face. A close friend of mine was in a similar situation. He was not really into the whole school thing until later. He failed out of college his first year and had some other not so great things on his record. After taking two years off and doing some work in the medical field, he decided that medical school was for him and he really buckled down and ended up doing well. He called the different schools he was interested in and told them about his situation. Although some schools were dismissive, he ended up at his state school and now is a brain surgeon. It can be done! Good for you for really working hard and good luck to you.
 

spyyder31

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Darkmatter:
About the consultation, some schools let you plead you case to an admissions officer? I nkow that this technically can't "help" during selection, but does this maybe get your application past an initial "tear-up"? I hope that my state school gives me this opportunity, I am going to contact them today.
>About the F's. I have retaken the two that I could. I would have done all, but that was not possible.
>I am thinking about changing my PS from a neutral "Here's who I am, why I want to be a doc, and why I am qualified" to a heart felt explanation of my discrepencies. I know that this can be dangerous, and I have been told by almost everybody that this is bad. But I think that if I try to "play it off" then I am going to fail, because if I try and place myself with the "standard" applicant, then I am screwed.
> I have "some" things going for me. I was a musician, not just a college musician, but a semi-professional in Las Vegas. I played in a rock/ska band and toured the western coast, and released a sellout debut CD. I have also worked as a private instructor (trumpet) since I graduated high school, and still do it today. I know that these things are very "thin" as far as beeing an advantage tomy application. But it is the only weapon that I have to fight with. I am trying to stay FAR AWAY from using URM status, because I don't believe that I fall into that catagory.
 

Rads

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The purpose of the AMCAS personal statement when accompanied by an application that questions the minimun academic success expected of an application is to explain the circumstances surrounding the poor grades and emphasize the positive turn that was taken. The MCAT will also be a critical part of this application, a stellar performance is needed. There are too many well-qualified people applying who don't have to explain anything in their personal statment except their reasons for wanting a career in medicine. You are not necessarily dead in the water, but you definately have an uphill climb ahead of you. Good luck!!
 

ussdfiant

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•••quote:•••Originally posted by spyyder31:
•I am trying to stay FAR AWAY from using URM status, because I don't believe that I fall into that catagory.•••••If you fall into that category, why would you not try to use that to your advantage? From what you stated, you have some things working against you, why not take advantage of something that could work in your favor. BTW, why are you not sure if you fall into that category?
 

Mary Jane Watson

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•••quote:•••Originally posted by spyyder31:

> I have "some" things going for me. I was a musician, not just a college musician, but a semi-professional in Las Vegas. I played in a rock/ska band and toured the western coast, and released a sellout debut CD. I have also worked as a private instructor (trumpet) since I graduated high school, and still do it today. I know that these things are very "thin" as far as beeing an advantage tomy application. •••••I would have to say that this makes you a very interesting applicant! I come from a very non-traditional "pre-med" background as do many of those who post here. I was a news photographer for a few years before I decided medicine was for me. This was the one thing ALL of my interviewers wanted to know about and one even told me it was "fascinating." They didn't seem to care so much about my volunteering (which I've done) or ask about my lack of research experience (I have zilch). So use this for sure - try to relate your musical experiences to medicine. You love to teach the trumpet and look forward to teaching students and residents when the time comes... stuff like that.

Well, good luck! :D
 

Mary Jane Watson

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Oops, one more thing. No, I'm not on an adcom. I just wanted you to know that the thing that I thought would be a hinderance to me (a VERY non-science background) was the thing that made me stand out and a successful applicant. Every experience (good or bad) we have in our lives is valuable - it makes us who we are. Use them to your advantage and you will be fine!
 

spyyder31

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ussdfiant:
The main reason is that I really don't speak ANY Spanish! My father was very adamant about me NOT being thought of as Mexican...he had BAD experiences as a youngster. I have come to love my heritage, and I tried to get involved in the Hispanic community, but it is difficult to fit in if you cannot converse. I guess I don't want an adcom to look down upon me if I try to apply as an URM and cannot even speak the language.
 

spyyder31

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kiddoc2B:
That's true! I just have to find a way to integrate my explantation of my grades, and my musical experiences.
 

lady in red

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I was a musician with no focus, as well. I had an F for a 2-unit course (i did not drop it and did not attend it), and a "C-" my second semester. Then, I had a C in general chem. I did not retake the music classes, but I did retake the chemistry. This KILLED my GPA--I had to get straight As for 2.5 years. I don't think the adcoms cares, b/c my sciences were all As.
 

mpp

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And they very well might do that. However, on the AMCAS application, you choose your ethnicity from a drop down box and you must make a choice. The choices are:

Not Spanish/Hispanic/Latino/Latina
Spanish/Hispanic/Latino/Latina

If you choose the Hispanic choice, you then select Mexican, Puerto Rican, or other. If you choose other you can type in any ethnicity you want.
 

ussdfiant

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Spyyder31,

You may know more about this than me, but I don't think that one's ability to speak Spanish has anything to do with one's classification as an Hispanic URM. If the search was working I would do a quick search myself because I know I've seen this before, but I would research this and see. IMHO, at this stage of the game you need to use whatever means are at your disposal in order to achieve your goal.
 

Doctora Foxy

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•••quote:•••Originally posted by spyyder31:

The main reason is that I really don't speak ANY Spanish! My father was very adamant about me NOT being thought of as Mexican...he had BAD experiences as a youngster. I have come to love my heritage, and I tried to get involved in the Hispanic community, but it is difficult to fit in if you cannot converse. I guess I don't want an adcom to look down upon me if I try to apply as an URM and cannot even speak the language.•••••Personally, I don't think it matters at all how well you can speak the language. As a Latin American Studies major, I learned that it is very common for second generation immigrants not to speak the language. Speaking another language is not the basis of URM status, IMHO. Other URMs, whether they be African American or Native American, mostly don't speak another language. What's important here is not that you are bilingual, but rather you are bicultural. Due to society's prejudices based on other cultures/heritages, URM status in the amcas application was created to overcome those prejudices, whatever they may be. So I recommend you use your "biculturalness" (is that a word?) to your advantage, and declare your URM status. The fact that your father was adamant about your americanization and that you had to deal with that can only contribute postitvely to the uniqueness of your application. Your application is about overcoming struggles such as your bad grades, and this struggle falls into the same theme. :)

Please don't flame me for this anyone, these are just my opinions. :)
 

Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

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I was not on Adcom. Scooby, you are the most sarcastic dude/gal <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> out there.
 
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