History of bad grades - steps to take to get back on track?

jyang1492

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2014
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Back story: I had a lot of trouble adjusting to college. There was a lot of negativity from my parents b/c I had not been accepted to the school they wanted me to go to. And my grandfather, who was the main support for me to go to pre-medical route passed away my sophomore year. I fell into an abusive relationship. It's probably not a wonderful excuse, but I did have a lot of trouble during college and my grades suffered, although I never failed any classes I did receive multiple C's and D's. After I changed majors from Molecular and Cell Biology to Bio-environmental science, my grades began to improve, but slowly. I graduated this past May with a 2.397 GPA overall.
In the past 80 hours since my major switch, my GPA has been 2.615 overall.
My GPA for the last semester of school was a 3.411.

Junior year I took the MCAT during finals. I did not study - I guessed on most of the questions. I should have voided it. I received an 18. I plan on taking the new MCAT early 2016, and improve my score. I've been taking practice tests, and my scores are around 514.

Since graduation, I have been working as a scribe in a local ER. The experience I've gotten and the immersion in medicine has solidified my resolve - I want to be a doctor.

I've gotten to know several MDs and DOs pretty well, and they are willing to write me wonderful letters of recommendation. I am also keeping in touch with several professors who saw me improve in those last semesters, and they are willing to recommend me as well.

I looked into applying to post-bacc programs - but they all require a 2.75 or 3.00 GPA or above.

I looked into perhaps getting a masters in public health, or health administrations and then applying to medical school afterwards. They also require a minimum 3.00 GPA to even apply.

I don't know how to raise my GPA other than these two options.

What I'm wondering is, what can I do in order to ultimately be accepted into medical school? I do understand that people with my GPA are accepted into medical school maybe 3-6% of the time. But there must be something they did that I can also do.

I'm based in Texas if this helps
 
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Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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Don't your your real name in these forums.

Retake all F/D/C science coursework. AACOMAS is all about reinvention.

Don't even think about taking the MCAT until you're fully ready.

And you're an adult now, old enough to vote, drink, drive, smoke, work, pay taxes and fight and die for your country. So grow a spine and stand up to whatever familial pressure you're facing. You do things on YOUR terms, not theirs, and make them understand that Tiger parents do a huge amount of damage to professional careers.
 
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Sep 19, 2015
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Don't do a MPH. It wont do anything for your science GPA. If you cant get into any post bac programs, what you might need to do is a DIY post bac program and show you can handle science classes. Either enroll at a local community college or local college so that you can retake the pre-reqs and get your 4.0. Then you can look into SMP's. Then afterwards, you can look into applying to medical school. You need to stop making excuses and get your ish in order. First and foremorst, fix your science GPA. Forget about volunteering, research and all that (maybe reduce it to 2-3 hours a week AT MOST). You need to get your pre-req grades up. Its gonna be a long journey but if you have the maturity and discipline, you can do it.
 
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jyang1492

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2014
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Don't do a MPH. It wont do anything for your science GPA. If you cant get into any post bac programs, what you might need to do is a DIY post bac program and show you can handle science classes. Either enroll at a local community college or local college so that you can retake the pre-reqs and get your 4.0. Then you can look into SMP's. Then afterwards, you can look into applying to medical school. You need to stop making excuses and get your ish in order. First and foremorst, fix your science GPA. Forget about volunteering, research and all that (maybe reduce it to 2-3 hours a week AT MOST). You need to get your pre-req grades up. Its gonna be a long journey but if you have the maturity and discipline, you can do it.
Are your saying I should quit my job as scribe? I'm not volunteering currently.

I lot of the doctors I've been working with said that they had a low GPA out of undergrad, and did an MPH before applying to medical school again. Has this fallen out of practice since they graduated from medical school then?

What does SMP stand for?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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its all relative on what they mean by low. Some doctors say a 3.3GPA is low. Others say 3.5. In that case, an MPH can help just by making you stand out since they are borderline competitive. But you have a 2.4GPA. Theres no way around that other than retaking those courses. An MPH WONT help.

No, im saying you need to retake your pre-req science classes (orgo, chem, physics, bio). If you can handle working while taking classes, then go ahead work. But you MUST MUST MUST devote all your time in getting a 4.0GPA in these classes. If you can take biochem and/or anatomy after you take those pre req classes, even better.

and SMP's = special master's program

https://apps.aamc.org/postbac/
 
Jul 25, 2011
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I graduated this past May with a 2.397 GPA overall.
I do understand that people with my GPA are accepted into medical school maybe 3-6% of the time.
The real number is one - as in one person:



You need to straighten up and do what Goro says.
 
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studpremed

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Aug 26, 2013
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Don't be too discouraged! The fact that your gpa is increasing shows your study habits are improving. Study habits don't change overnight. Most people I know including myself took more then one semester to finally figure out what's right for themselves. Right now your best bet is consider taking a 5th year in college if you can afford it and retake anything you got c or lower. That should bump your gpa up above the 3.0 threshold. Retake the mcat after you retake some of your pre-req classes. Your gpa shows that your science foundation is weak and you need a strong science foundation for the mcat.
 
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jyang1492

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May 26, 2014
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I was looking at the same table you were looking at. I was just assuming 3.397 would round up to 3.40 - but yes I could be wrong, and the prospects might be even less desirable.
Honestly I was just looking for advice. I'm aware that my stats are dismal and I need to put in a lot more work.
However, I don't think it was necessary to be so condescending.
Everyone goes through different struggles in life. To blanket and tell me that I need to grow a spine or straighten up is pretty presumptuous when you don't know my mental status currently - or much at all about me, really. If any of you were having trouble, I'm sure you wouldn't want strangers to attack you like that.
 

mathnerd88

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Jan 4, 2013
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I was looking at the same table you were looking at. I was just assuming 3.397 would round up to 3.40 - but yes I could be wrong, and the prospects might be even less desirable.
Honestly I was just looking for advice. I'm aware that my stats are dismal and I need to put in a lot more work.
However, I don't think it was necessary to be so condescending.
Everyone goes through different struggles in life. To blanket and tell me that I need to grow a spine or straighten up is pretty presumptuous when you don't know my mental status currently - or much at all about me, really. If any of you were having trouble, I'm sure you wouldn't want strangers to attack you like that.
You have to be realistic with yourself. Goro is right. You blamed your failures on your outside influences- your family, your abusive relationships, etc. You never admitted that your failures are actually your own fault.

What Goro is trying to say is to man up. You want to become a doctor? Stop letting your outside influences get to you and work hard. Nobody is saying you can't do it. You absolutely can. You need to be mentally healthy to become a physician, and not let what others say on a forum get to you.
I understand where you're coming from, but there are plenty of applicants who have probably suffered worse than you and still kept their head up and ended up becoming physicians. Stand up for yourself! You have to convince medical school admissions that you are a strong enough candidate, so stop letting people get to you and work on yourself.

You have really good MCAT practice scores, which means you have the ability to also excel in your classes. Retake all your bad grades, and get a good enough GPA to get into medical school. It's that simple.
 
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