wes431

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I started off college with wanting to be a doctor. I didn't think much about it and didn't really care that much. I was going out and hanging out with friends. I slacked off in my classes and was studying the night before my exams and sometimes not even studying at all. I wasn't driven at all. I was doing really bad in bio so I withdrew pass. I was going to retake it the next year. I also made a C in ochem. My first two years cumulative gpa was probably around 3.1. About a month before my junior year started, I was involved in a really bad incident. I was jumped, beaten really badly, and robbed by two guys. A witness was able to get their license plate. I went through the whole criminal process, which lasted about a year and was the most dreadful thing I've experienced. They were eventually convicted. When college started again during this time, I was mentally messed up. I was really angry, couldn't focus, was having nightmares, and didn't get much sleep. I didn't get any help but probably should have now that I look back. I retook bio and made a C in it after getting a WP a year ago. I was at a point I wanted to give up, but eventually I realized I'm not going to let this incident and experience bring me down and only let it make me a stronger person. I feel like I matured 10 years within several months. I made all A's within the next two years, except one B in anatomy and another one in english. Finished one semester with a 4.0 and another with a 3.9. I became more determined than ever to be a doctor and was really disgusted at myself for slacking off my first two years. My question is how do I explain this? Do I talk about it in my personal statement or wait for interviews? I apologize for the length of my post, but I'd really appreciate some advice.
 

eagle34

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I would mention this in your PS. It seems like your personality was changed a lot by this incident, and it has been an important changing factor in your life. This is what PS is for.
 

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I would mention this in your PS. It seems like your personality was changed a lot by this incident, and it has been an important changing factor in your life. This is what PS is for.
While I agree that this is the place it should be, I would keep it brief if I'd mention it at all. If your cumulative g.p.a. is 3.5 or above, I wouldn't say a thing. If not, it's up to you. You want to keep your entire application as clean and amazing as possible. If you emphasize your weaknesses, your interviews will reflect your weaknesses. If you emphasize your strengths.......you get the point. If during your interview it gets brought up, be honest and spin the answer in a way that reflects your maturity and growth.

I had multiple W's on my transcripts, and you know how many times someone brought it up.........ZERO.
 
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wes431

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While I agree that this is the place it should be, I would keep it brief if I'd mention it at all. If your cumulative g.p.a. is 3.5 or above, I wouldn't say a thing. If not, it's up to you. You want to keep your entire application as clean and amazing as possible. If you emphasize your weaknesses, your interviews will reflect your weaknesses. If you emphasize your strengths.......you get the point. If during your interview it gets brought up, be honest and spin the answer in a way that reflects your maturity and growth.

I had multiple W's on my transcripts, and you know how many times someone brought it up.........ZERO.
Thanks for the response. Cumulative gpa was 3.4 in college. Took a couple summer classes which should raise it. Science gpa is about 3.3.
 

Cegar

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Yes. Mention it and how it has affected your personality/world view. If it altered your ideas in a great enough way, it would be perfectly acceptable to use it as a central theme. Especially if it impacted the way you view healthcare. People love that sort of thing.
 
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wes431

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Yes. Mention it and how it has affected your personality/world view. If it altered your ideas in a great enough way, it would be perfectly acceptable to use it as a central theme. Especially if it impacted the way you view healthcare. People love that sort of thing.
I wouldn't really say it altered the way I view healthcare. It was more something that matured me and made me look at life in a different manner. I stopped taking things for granted and being selfish. I became more generous, wanting to helping others, and making a difference and not being a bum wasting my time with unimportant things. My priorities went under a drastic change.
 

1956Goldtop

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Definitely mention this in your PS because if there is no explanation for a lower than average GPA, you won't get looked at. Giving a good explanation for your grades (which I think your story qualifies as) in your primary application will help you get over the GPA hurdle.
 

Cegar

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I wouldn't really say it altered the way I view healthcare. It was more something that matured me and made me look at life in a different manner. I stopped taking things for granted and being selfish. I became more generous, wanting to helping others, and making a difference and not being a bum wasting my time with unimportant things. My priorities went under a drastic change.
Well, that's fine too.
 
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wes431

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The problem I'm having is where to begin to talk about something like this. Should I use it as my central theme and start the intro with it? Feels kind of awkward. Someone told me it might be a little too personal. I'm so confused.
 

flaahless

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Definitely mention it in your PS and tie it back to "why you want to be a doctor." Your great gpa for the last 2 years speaks volumes about your persistence, resilience and your determination to triumph through difficult situations. Discuss it with sincerity and eloquence and you should have a pretty nice personal statement. Good luck.
 

LizzyM

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Good physicians are curious people. Admissions office people are curious, too. We like to know the story of the person behind the application. Someone with a 3.nothing gpa who suddenly turns a corners and gets a 3.9 for four semesters has a story. You need to tell that story in a way that shows how you've changed over time, why you want to go into medicine and how you've found the strength/maturity to do what you need to do to make it happen.
 

matt24

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Sorry to hijack the thread but I also had a question about this. I was also involved in a similar incident that changed my outlook on everything, except it had to do with a pissed off ex-girlfriend. Should I mention my ex-girlfriend as being the reason when I tell the story in my PS so they don't think I'm involved in bad things like drugs or something and got jumped for that reason. I don't want to make the wrong impression.
 

mimivirus

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another potential place where this 'could go' if you dont feel that it fits or could be spun well in your PS is in a letter from your pre-med committee (if you have one)...my pre-med committee was able to explain a W in a class for me...(due to bLAh circumstances) good luck
 
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wes431

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Sorry to hijack the thread but I also had a question about this. I was also involved in a similar incident that changed my outlook on everything, except it had to do with a pissed off ex-girlfriend. Should I mention my ex-girlfriend as being the reason when I tell the story in my PS so they don't think I'm involved in bad things like drugs or something and got jumped for that reason. I don't want to make the wrong impression.
No problem. Sorry to hear that dude.
 

TexPre-Med

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Definitely mention this in your PS because if there is no explanation for a lower than average GPA, you won't get looked at. Giving a good explanation for your grades (which I think your story qualifies as) in your primary application will help you get over the GPA hurdle.
Are you on an admissions committee? I know a white female with a 25 MCAT and 3.6 g.p.a. and another white female with a 26 MCAT and 3.2 gpa get in without explaining anything. They both elaborated on all of their other accomplishments, etc. You don't have to explain anything if you aren't at a serious disadvantage. I wouldn't consider a 3.4 gpa anything serious. 50% of everyone accepted has a gpa under 3.6, and I don't see many people explaining anything. Don't dwell on the negatives unless you have nothing positive to explain.

Sorry to hijack the thread but I also had a question about this. I was also involved in a similar incident that changed my outlook on everything, except it had to do with a pissed off ex-girlfriend. Should I mention my ex-girlfriend as being the reason when I tell the story in my PS so they don't think I'm involved in bad things like drugs or something and got jumped for that reason. I don't want to make the wrong impression.
Without more details on what she did to screw with your application, it is hard to say. However unless it involves a major illness that kept you out for a semester or multiple family deaths, etc., I would not explain anything. Why point out something that schools may not see? Its like showing your house for sale and picking out every flaw to the buyers. If it gets asked during your interview, by all means explain what happened. If not, admissions would much prefer your caring story about aiding kids in Africa than why your ex (that you chose as a gf) is a bia***