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Getting into MD school with F/D on transcript but A on re-take

jmu29

Full Member
Apr 2, 2020
53
10
11
  1. Pre-Medical
Hi guys,

I have been trying to find an answer to this question forever and can't seem to find any insight. I just graduated and took a year off to study for the MCAT and do a research year. My CV is pretty strong, I have about 4000+ research hours, 3000+ clinical hours, volunteer hours, and some published papers. I also have good LORs. I took the MCAT last year and didn't so so hot because I thought I can take it with only studying for 2 weeks and got a 491 (shouldn't have taken it) but that didn't really bother me because I knew I was much better and would improve after studying. I have been studying for 2/3 months now and am at the 513 range which I think is pretty decent. My biggest question is my GPA. I know AAMC and MD Schools don't replace failures with re-taken grades, they count everything. If I calculate my GPA under those circumstances I have a 3.4 cumulative and a 3.2 sGPA. If I calculate my GPA, replacing failures with the re-taken grade my cumulative is 3.6 and s-GPA is 3.4 non-science 3.8 GPA which isn't much of a difference but definitively noticeable. Every class I re-took I got an A in. Besides that, all of my bio classes I got an A and 2 B+. Physics is kind of a killer I got a B+ and a C+ and Orgo I got an A and a C+. Not that "excuses" matter but there is a pretty fair reason for the failing grades I had. I had an F and a D my sophomore year while I was at WVU and my fiancé and I had our first baby so I had to drive back and forth from NY to WV and I missed a crazy amount of classes. The semester I got a C+ in Orgo II and Physics II I was taking 18 credits, while working full-time, and I just had a baby so I was definitely having some trouble adjusting. Any input???
 
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Ostkoshbgosh

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Mar 27, 2019
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As long as you have an upward trend i think you should go for it. Do your research on what MD/ DO schools have GPA/ MCAT near your range. DO schools do factor D/Fs into your GPA since they changed the rule for 2018/2019 cycle. You had a baby and i think thats a reasonable explanation for what happened to your grades. Try your best not to go Carib. Also don't let the people here persuade you not to apply. Research which schools are reasonable for you to apply and do it, I had an average GPA with several Cs freshman year and a D in Orgo 2 sophmore year.... I did slightly above average on my MCAT and i got into 2 programs. There is always a chance IF you have an upward trend in GPA and you do well on MCAT
 
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jmu29

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Apr 2, 2020
53
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  1. Pre-Medical
if you are getting 513+ on MCAT i think that can make up for the gpa tbh
Thats what im hoping for. Like I said, I know my CV is good and im hoping my MCAT will be solid with a 513+ I was just concerned with the GPA. I was wondering if MD schools will care that I retook classes and got an A or it just doesn't matter at all to them. Ive heard so many mixed opinions from it doesn't matter as long as you show you know the material on the MCAT to it doesn't matter how I do on the MCAT. Curious to see. As long as my MCAT score is good I am definitely going to apply.
 

Ostkoshbgosh

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yeah, you want to apply to schools that will take a holistic approach to your application and university career. A school like Harvard probably won't like that you failed a class but just find schools that work for you and take into consideration that you did well on your second try. There are also a lot of DO schools that take this holistic approach, they appreciate a lot of non trads experiences
 
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jmu29

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Apr 2, 2020
53
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yeah, you want to apply to schools that will take a holistic approach to your application and university career. A school like Harvard probably won't like that you failed a class but just find schools that work for you and take into consideration that you did well on your second try. There are also a lot of DO schools that take this holistic approach, they appreciate a lot of non trads experiences
Thanks for your reply, I definitely agree!
 
D

deleted1039640

Don't listen to builderstorch, seems like the common kind of kansr you'd find on SDN.

I have a friend who got a D in Orgo I and II, retook them, and got accepted into Stanford MD. It all comes down to MCAT, try to shoot for a 520+ and you should be golden!
 
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jmu29

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Apr 2, 2020
53
10
11
  1. Pre-Medical
I had a crap ton of Fs on my undergrad transcript and have gotten the A to a USMD. Granted I took a lot of extra courses after the fact and landed a 520+ MCAT but it's certainly not the end of the road.

Good luck! <3
Awesome, congrats. Any advice on how you got that 520+? When i started studying i flew from sub500 to 510 and its been a slow rise since then. My goal is definitely 515+ so im close but ive been stuck for 2 weeks now, getting the same scores over and over.
 
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smp702

New Member
May 14, 2020
2
4
1
  1. Pre-Medical
Hi guys,

I have been trying to find an answer to this question forever and can't seem to find any insight. I just graduated and took a year off to study for the MCAT and do a research year. My CV is pretty strong, I have about 4000+ research hours, 3000+ clinical hours, volunteer hours, and some published papers. I also have good LORs. I took the MCAT last year and didn't so so hot because I thought I can take it with only studying for 2 weeks and got a 491 (shouldn't have taken it) but that didn't really bother me because I knew I was much better and would improve after studying. I have been studying for 2/3 months now and am at the 513 range which I think is pretty decent. My biggest question is my GPA. I know AAMC and MD Schools don't replace failures with re-taken grades, they count everything. If I calculate my GPA under those circumstances I have a 3.4 cumulative and a 3.2 sGPA. If I calculate my GPA, replacing failures with the re-taken grade my cumulative is 3.6 and s-GPA is 3.4 non-science 3.8 GPA which isn't much of a difference but definitively noticeable. Every class I re-took I got an A in. Besides that, all of my bio classes I got an A and 2 B+. Physics is kind of a killer I got a B+ and a C+ and Orgo I got an A and a C+. Not that "excuses" matter but there is a pretty fair reason for the failing grades I had. I had an F and a D my sophomore year while I was at WVU and my fiancé and I had our first baby so I had to drive back and forth from NY to WV and I missed a crazy amount of classes. The semester I got a C+ in Orgo II and Physics II I was taking 18 credits, while working full-time, and I just had a baby so I was definitely having some trouble adjusting. Any input???
Dont be discouraged you are still better than so many people out there. You have amazing volunteer hours and experience in the field. GPA is not the only thing they look at. I know people who got accepted with very low GPAs and fewer volunteer hours. Try searching for schools that has a holistic approach, look into a masters program that guarantees your acceptance into med school. Such as Drexel pathway to medical school program. There are several other master programs which has linkage with medical schools. Look into DO programs if not MD at the end of the day you will be a physician either way. APPLY to schools if you dobt get accept it then try applying to the masters programs.
 
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Damson

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i'm like him in a sense - didn't do so hot on the first try due to insufficient studying, but know that I have what it takes to nail it the second time as long as i switch things up - so not too worried
if he's even scoring 513 on practice exams, he's got this
 
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DrStephennmnm

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Oct 17, 2019
148
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There's outliers for every school, so take that into consideration. I will comment thought that just about every applicant and their mother believes they have a strong app, meaning that part is highly subjective. Unfortunately for your case what is not subjective is your GPA/MCAT.
 
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jmu29

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Apr 2, 2020
53
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  1. Pre-Medical
Dont be discouraged you are still better than so many people out there. You have amazing volunteer hours and experience in the field. GPA is not the only thing they look at. I know people who got accepted with very low GPAs and fewer volunteer hours. Try searching for schools that has a holistic approach, look into a masters program that guarantees your acceptance into med school. Such as Drexel pathway to medical school program. There are several other master programs which has linkage with medical schools. Look into DO programs if not MD at the end of the day you will be a physician either way. APPLY to schools if you dobt get accept it then try applying to the masters programs.
Awesome advice, thanks for the input!
 
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Hi guys,

I have been trying to find an answer to this question forever and can't seem to find any insight. I just graduated and took a year off to study for the MCAT and do a research year. My CV is pretty strong, I have about 4000+ research hours, 3000+ clinical hours, volunteer hours, and some published papers. I also have good LORs. I took the MCAT last year and didn't so so hot because I thought I can take it with only studying for 2 weeks and got a 491 (shouldn't have taken it) but that didn't really bother me because I knew I was much better and would improve after studying. I have been studying for 2/3 months now and am at the 513 range which I think is pretty decent. My biggest question is my GPA. I know AAMC and MD Schools don't replace failures with re-taken grades, they count everything. If I calculate my GPA under those circumstances I have a 3.4 cumulative and a 3.2 sGPA. If I calculate my GPA, replacing failures with the re-taken grade my cumulative is 3.6 and s-GPA is 3.4 non-science 3.8 GPA which isn't much of a difference but definitively noticeable. Every class I re-took I got an A in. Besides that, all of my bio classes I got an A and 2 B+. Physics is kind of a killer I got a B+ and a C+ and Orgo I got an A and a C+. Not that "excuses" matter but there is a pretty fair reason for the failing grades I had. I had an F and a D my sophomore year while I was at WVU and my fiancé and I had our first baby so I had to drive back and forth from NY to WV and I missed a crazy amount of classes. The semester I got a C+ in Orgo II and Physics II I was taking 18 credits, while working full-time, and I just had a baby so I was definitely having some trouble adjusting. Any input???
Grades do NOT get replaced; you're with those Fs and Ds...they hget avergaed out by the As and Bs on retakes.

As of right now, without seeing a massive rising GPA trend (hence you need to answer gonnif's question), you're DOA for MD, but OK for DO.

BUT, rising GPA trends are always good.

I took the MCAT last year and didn't so so hot because I thought I can take it with only studying for 2 weeks and got a 491 (shouldn't have taken it) but that didn't really bother me because I knew I was much better and would improve after studying.
This is always dangerous type of thinking. Just make sure to make good choices from now on. Do NOT retake the MCAT until you are 100% ready for it.

Not that "excuses" matter but there is a pretty fair reason for the failing grades I had.

No there isn't. If you had some life event going on, like getting sick, or having to work three jobs, you should have withdrawn from classes instead of trying to bulldoze your way through.
 
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Nugester

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3 Fs and 2 Ds and numerous Cs (what the hell was I doing back then?) here from undergrad, but I have 3 years of upward trend from post-bacc + masters so it can be done (admitted MD). If you rock the MCAT, you will need to be selective with the MD schools you apply to + submit DO.
 
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smol9877

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Apr 25, 2018
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Hi guys,

I have been trying to find an answer to this question forever and can't seem to find any insight. I just graduated and took a year off to study for the MCAT and do a research year. My CV is pretty strong, I have about 4000+ research hours, 3000+ clinical hours, volunteer hours, and some published papers. I also have good LORs. I took the MCAT last year and didn't so so hot because I thought I can take it with only studying for 2 weeks and got a 491 (shouldn't have taken it) but that didn't really bother me because I knew I was much better and would improve after studying. I have been studying for 2/3 months now and am at the 513 range which I think is pretty decent. My biggest question is my GPA. I know AAMC and MD Schools don't replace failures with re-taken grades, they count everything. If I calculate my GPA under those circumstances I have a 3.4 cumulative and a 3.2 sGPA. If I calculate my GPA, replacing failures with the re-taken grade my cumulative is 3.6 and s-GPA is 3.4 non-science 3.8 GPA which isn't much of a difference but definitively noticeable. Every class I re-took I got an A in. Besides that, all of my bio classes I got an A and 2 B+. Physics is kind of a killer I got a B+ and a C+ and Orgo I got an A and a C+. Not that "excuses" matter but there is a pretty fair reason for the failing grades I had. I had an F and a D my sophomore year while I was at WVU and my fiancé and I had our first baby so I had to drive back and forth from NY to WV and I missed a crazy amount of classes. The semester I got a C+ in Orgo II and Physics II I was taking 18 credits, while working full-time, and I just had a baby so I was definitely having some trouble adjusting. Any input???

Personally, I feel that my Personal Statement, experiences, and upward trend in my grades got me a med school interview and acceptance. So definitely go ahead and apply. If you have good references and personal statement I think you have a chance. I failed Organic 1 because I was also in a severely compromised situation where I had no time for it and if I dropped the class like some people think is a good solution, I would have lost all of my scholarships and honestly would have had to drop out until I had the money to finish. Obviously not a good idea. I talked about that F in my personal statement very briefly and an admissions advisor, without me even bringing it up, said it was an incredibly valid excuse and they didn’t take the F into account especially considering I had all A’s for the remainder of undergrad. Again, they take upwards trends into account. If you can lock down that high MCAT score I think you may have a solid chance at a middle/low tier MD school or a DO school if you get it in soon. The sooner you apply, the better. I had thousands of clinical and volunteer hours, a 3.7 science and overall gpa if you don’t count the F, and a seriously **** MCAT score not close to 513. If you have an interest in primary care, DO is an obvious answer, if not you can still go DO. You’ll have to jump through a lot more hoops than an MD school if you want to specialize, but it’s better to get there as a DO than not get there at all. Don’t be one of those people who keep reapplying over and over when you could have a chance at a DO school where really the only major downside is most don’t have a teaching hospital for 3rd and 4th years. They ship you off around the country, which is not necessarily a bad thing if you want to network. Bottom line is if you put in the work necessary in medical school, either route will get you where you want to go. Now take that MCAT, apply to a wide variety of schools, and don’t submit your application in October like I did.
 
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Icebird

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1 D (B+ on retake), numerous Cs; but I made sure to get nothing but As from that point forward.

Got around 18 II offers and 6 acceptances; a couple of blips in the road don’t matter as long as you make up for it with an overall strong application in other areas and a good come back trend.
 
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rosegoldkitten

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Numerous C's and a couple D's thrown into my BCPM (one with a B- retake). Assuming a good trend, I'd have hope, especially with the retakes. I'm sure it'll help to do a good job explaining the grades while taking responsibility for the failures. It could be a gamble, but I was too and I got 3 A's with a 510. I wish you the best of luck on the MCAT, kill it.
 
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differentiating

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Assuming you get a 513 on the retake, your average would still be only 502. I think it’s reasonable to try for lower-tier and possibly select middle-tier MD schools if you want, but you’ll likely need to apply DO as well, whether as an initial backup or planned if the first cycle fails.

The issue isn’t just poor GPA, unfortunately; it’s both GPA and MCAT counting against you. A retake doesn’t erase the 491, and you don’t have a good explanation for that score.
 
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BlackMathMajor

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Goro and Differentiating are right. As you are now, even with a 513, you're DOA for MD schools. You need 30 credits' worth of 3.7+ in hard sciences and a 514+ MCAT to be competitive for MD schools. However, the 513 alone would suffice for DO schools.
 
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jmu29

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Goro and Differentiating are right. As you are now, even with a 513, you're DOA for MD schools. You need 30 credits' worth of 3.7+ in hard sciences and a 514+ MCAT to be competitive for MD schools. However, the 513 alone would suffice for DO schools.
Question, I have never heard someone say “30 creds 3.7+ in hard sciences” before? What do you mean by this? My last 40 creds are nearly 4.0 (1 c+)
 

smol9877

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I don’t know where you’re applying, but the highest MCAT score of my group of friends who got into an MD medical school was a 504.... I wouldn’t apply to schools who average your MCAT scores because not all of them do that. I’m not saying a low score is a good idea to apply with, just saying you should 100% apply with a decent MCAT. Also don’t want to freak you out, but I took maybe 6 or 7 full length Kaplan/ AAMC practice tests and scored 5-7 points lower than my practice tests.
If you’re questioning whether or not you should apply, I would definitely say yes. Every school has their own list of priorities. Some care more about GPA, some care more about MCAT. Use variety when applying but don’t apply to a school you would hate to attend.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Cspine

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Similar story to OP, except I started as a poor student from day 1 even before I had my first child during junior year. 5 F's, 2D+ through junior year. Used my daughter as motivation to be a better me, received 3.95 over the next 1.5 years before graduating. Then did post-bacc to get med school pre-reqs. All F's retaken for A's (including phys, anat, and gen chem 2). 510 MCAT. Nowhere near the ECs as OP.

3 IIs to Iowa, UW-Madison, and MCW (all pretty decent), 1 II to DO. Only attended IS (WI) interviews, but accepted to both. All of my interviewers (except 1 as part of a panel) thought highly of my ability to turn things around despite becoming a parent in the process. Its absolutely not an excuse for poor grades, so own your mistakes, but it does make good grades look even better.

Do your research on which schools are more holistic, how they look at MCAT scores (MCW superscores, so best sections added together, while some only take the best, and others average), and which ones take decent amounts of OOS. Find some MD programs that are appropriate to apply to, as well as a fair share of DO. Either way you will become a physician when all is said and done.

Feel free to message me if you want more info.
 
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