This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.
Aug 4, 2016
Reaction score

Members don't see this ad.
Hi! This is my first time posting on here so go easy on me. And sorry it's long, I just wanted to provide all the facts!
Like many of you, I was a stellar student in high school, and got into my dream school: University of Notre Dame.
I entered directly into our Arts and Letters Pre-Health Program with a primary English major because (1) I love literature and (2) I think it is important as a primary care physician (what I would like to be) to be well rounded and able to connect with your patients on a level deeper than one's physical ailments--something that I have learned in my literature courses.
As a first generation college student from a mediocre high school, academics at a top 20 US institution have been a bit overwhelming, and in conjunction with some other stresses, I do not have the greatest GPA. For full transparency here are my grades:

English Major: 3.8 (invited into the honors program; will be writing a thesis on Irish literature)
Science GPA: 2.8 (completed all pre-reqs, will take biochem and anatomy next year)
Overall: 3.2
I have not taken the MCAT yet.
(I am also technically multi-cultural [50/50 Irish Spanish], with grandparents from the Basque Country in Spain [it's like being a Native American in the US], but I don't quite look it, so I do not think I would apply as a URM)

To be completely honest, I let the difficulty of my science classes overwhelm me and simply gave up on a few of them. I was not entirely sure if I wanted to go to med school at the start, and I let my classmates' aggressive, go-getting attitudes get the best of me. My biggest draw towards medicine has always been the humanity behind the science, so the combination of extremely high caliber science courses with an unsure attitude towards med school was a recipe for disaster. It has not been until extremely recently--when I began to look towards (and be interviewed for) other careers (i.e. business positions)--that I have realized becoming a physician is what I really would love to do. I have a myriad of extracurriculars and volunteering, public health research, medical trips to Nicaragua; as a poverty studies minor I took a course about healthcare in Appalachia that culminated with an immersive education component in West Virginia. I think my mind is finally in the right spot--but my grades definitely are not. The thing is, not only would I not mind going to medical school abroad, I would almost prefer it. After a semester in London, I would love the chance to head abroad again (and yes I know it is tough to get matched with a US residency after, but I am not positive if I would be returning to the US). I have been looking at 5 year programs in Ireland that do not require the MCAT and might just throw an application in at NUI Galway just to see. I was planning on taking a gap year to study for the MCAT, and since I am not an unintelligent person (simply made some unintelligent choices in my undergrad years) I think I could do well. To put this in perspective, when I finally decided I needed to take med school seriously, I got an A in Physics II. Previously, I was getting grades anywhere from a C in Orgo to a B+ in Cell Bio, depending on how much I enjoyed the material and would actually study (I know...)

And as you can tell I am definitely an English major and have written entirely too much. If anyone has any advice at all, it would ease my mind, and be much appreciated.
Last edited:


Full Member
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2005
Reaction score
Would being a Basque Spaniard even be considered UIM whether you look it or not? Do what gyngyn said and stay in America if there is a chance you want to practice in America. Look into DO and their grade replacement policies. Do you have any clinical work in the US? How about shadowing? Your medical mission trips aren't looked upon with positivity by ADCOMS. ( search voluntourism on SDN). What are your advisors telling you to do? Notre Dame has(or had) a very high percent of their pre health students accepted to med school. They have a good reputation with medical schools but your GPAs are too low for MD and your sGPA is too low for DO. Research DO and think about that as a possibility. You might also think about a SMP. So research the positives and negatives of the SMP route and think about that.

Sent from my iPad using SDN mobile app
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users