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How can I fix this? Do I still have a shot?

SweetenedKitten

New Member
Jun 9, 2020
3
0
  1. Pre-Medical
    Hello everyone!

    I’m new here and not exactly sure if this is the right place to ask this; but, I was hoping you guys might be able to help me figure out how to dig myself out of this hole.

    I’m a sophomore in college and my GPA is in a REALLY bad spot right now.. I don’t even know how I managed to get it this bad without getting academically dismissed! My GPA is currently a 2.14 cumulative and a 2.88 sGPA.. Unfortunately, that’s not the worst of it either.. This was from four semesters taken. I’ve only successfully completed two semesters worth of courses..

    Okay, so backstory: Long story short, I had a lot of health problems my first two semesters. Literally hundreds of tests done, half-a-dozen hospitalizations, and numerous office visits with several different specialties for treatment of complicated diagnoses. The first semester, I failed to withdrawal properly and I have WF grades on my transcript. The next two semesters, I decided to try and keep working on my degree despite still being ill. It went as badly as you could expect. I’m currently petitioning my university to remove these grades with the medical documentation, but I know that AMCAS wants these grades reported even if my university approves my request. I’m honestly debating just leaving them because of that reason alone.

    So, my only saving grace is that I have evidence of my poor health even before enrolling in college courses; so I can prove that I didn’t feign illness to get the easy way out of poor performance. I also earned A’s in every single course that I successfully completed. Most of them were A’s earned first time, but, I did earn a B and a D that I retook and earned an A the second time. That was during parts of my worst illness. Additionally, I switched majors from a business major to a pre-med Chemistry major after I fell in love with Chemistry (from my general education requirements non-majors Chemistry course) and medicine (from all my time in the hospital and doctor’s offices) and I wasn’t applying myself the best I could and that was part of the reason why I thought I would just complete my degree despite being so sick.

    Oh, one last important detail is that for all the courses I’ve taken in the pre-med Chemistry program, I’ve earned all A’s.

    So far in this program I’ve taken:
    General Chemistry I (A);
    Gen Chem I Lab (A);
    Calculus (A);
    English 1010 (A); (Don’t ask why I waited so long to take this, I don’t really know)
    Biology (A); and
    Biology Lab (A).

    Is there anything I can do to salvage this? Do medical schools have exceptions for bad grades earned due to medical illness? Will I have a shot if I continue to show that I can earn a 4.0 GPA every semester from now on?
     

    red_tangoes

    Full Member
    5+ Year Member
    Apr 4, 2016
    645
    851
    1. Medical Student
      It's often said here that schools enjoy seeing an upward trend, so if you manage to get A's the rest of your classes it could prove your academic ability to adcoms. You have a legit excuse to why you had low grades the first two years of school, so I think that may give you some leeway, but I'm not sure. Maybe one of our adcom users will give some insight on that?

      There's also post-baccs and SMP's you can do post-graduation to prove yourself.

      Is there a way you can check what your final GPA will be if you received A's the rest of your undergrad career? It's the best case scenario.

      Plus, there's DO schools which, from what I've heard, reward re-invention. They also accept low GPA's (3.0-3.5 which may be the best you can get if you score A's from here on out).
       
      Last edited:

      Goro

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      Jun 11, 2010
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      1. Non-Student
        Hello everyone!

        I’m new here and not exactly sure if this is the right place to ask this; but, I was hoping you guys might be able to help me figure out how to dig myself out of this hole.

        I’m a sophomore in college and my GPA is in a REALLY bad spot right now.. I don’t even know how I managed to get it this bad without getting academically dismissed! My GPA is currently a 2.14 cumulative and a 2.88 sGPA.. Unfortunately, that’s not the worst of it either.. This was from four semesters taken. I’ve only successfully completed two semesters worth of courses..

        Okay, so backstory: Long story short, I had a lot of health problems my first two semesters. Literally hundreds of tests done, half-a-dozen hospitalizations, and numerous office visits with several different specialties for treatment of complicated diagnoses. The first semester, I failed to withdrawal properly and I have WF grades on my transcript. The next two semesters, I decided to try and keep working on my degree despite still being ill. It went as badly as you could expect. I’m currently petitioning my university to remove these grades with the medical documentation, but I know that AMCAS wants these grades reported even if my university approves my request. I’m honestly debating just leaving them because of that reason alone.

        So, my only saving grace is that I have evidence of my poor health even before enrolling in college courses; so I can prove that I didn’t feign illness to get the easy way out of poor performance. I also earned A’s in every single course that I successfully completed. Most of them were A’s earned first time, but, I did earn a B and a D that I retook and earned an A the second time. That was during parts of my worst illness. Additionally, I switched majors from a business major to a pre-med Chemistry major after I fell in love with Chemistry (from my general education requirements non-majors Chemistry course) and medicine (from all my time in the hospital and doctor’s offices) and I wasn’t applying myself the best I could and that was part of the reason why I thought I would just complete my degree despite being so sick.

        Oh, one last important detail is that for all the courses I’ve taken in the pre-med Chemistry program, I’ve earned all A’s.

        So far in this program I’ve taken:
        General Chemistry I (A);
        Gen Chem I Lab (A);
        Calculus (A);
        English 1010 (A); (Don’t ask why I waited so long to take this, I don’t really know)
        Biology (A); and
        Biology Lab (A).

        Is there anything I can do to salvage this? Do medical schools have exceptions for bad grades earned due to medical illness? Will I have a shot if I continue to show that I can earn a 4.0 GPA every semester from now on?
        No, you don't get slack for poor grades. You should have withdrew instead of trying to bulldoze your way through when you weren't at your best.

        Ace everything from now on and you'll find that rising GPA trends are always good.
         
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        SweetenedKitten

        New Member
        Jun 9, 2020
        3
        0
        1. Pre-Medical
          No, you don't get slack for poor grades. You should have withdrew instead of trying to bulldoze your way through when you weren't at your best.

          Ace everything from now on and you'll find that rising GPA trends are always good.

          Yeah, that’s what I was worried about. But that makes it sound even worse than it seemed at the time. Can’t I put a positive spin on it? Not to be untruthful or deceptive or even give a sob story. I don’t even want to get into the facts too much, I will let the documentation speak for itself if I’m permitted to include it with my personal statement.

          Also, do medical schools consider the fact that I was taking business courses which could be considered “easy” in comparison to the science courses I am taking now? There is a night and day difference between the performance during my business major and my Chemistry major. I have yet to take the truly hard courses like O Chem and Physics, but I’m actually a really good student and I met with the professors I would take and I’m certain I can achieve exceptional grades. Even in the classes I failed I was previously the top student in each class prior to being unable to complete them.

          But I have no room at all for errors now. Best case scenario is 4.0 GPA from now on only to earn a 3.3 cumulative GPA and a 3.7 BPCM GPA..I don’t think I’ll even get past the computer screening. I was really hoping for tips on what I can do to ensure a manual review of my application because I feel I’d have a much higher chance of an acceptance that way. Or maybe tips on how I can have these grades excluded from the computer screening?
           

          SweetenedKitten

          New Member
          Jun 9, 2020
          3
          0
          1. Pre-Medical
            It's often said here that schools enjoy seeing an upward trend, so if you manage to get A's the rest of your classes it could prove your academic ability to adcoms. You have a legit excuse to why you had low grades the first two years of school, so I think that may give you some leeway, but I'm not sure. Maybe one of our adcom users will give some insight on that?

            There's also post-baccs and SMP's you can do post-graduation to prove yourself.

            Is there a way you can check what your final GPA will be if you received A's the rest of your undergrad career? It's the best case scenario.

            Plus, there's DO schools which, from what I've heard, reward re-invention. They also accept low GPA's (3.0-3.5 which may be the best you can get if you score A's from here on out).

            I’ve been looking into some post-bacc programs and found a few I like. But I was doing some research and I may not even be able to get into those with how bad my GPA is. But, I haven’t come across SMPs yet. What exactly are those?

            My best case scenario isn’t looking very good. If I manage to maintain a perfect 4.0 every single semester from now on, I will graduate with a 3.3 cumulative GPA and a 3.78 BPCM GPA. The science GPA is honestly not too bad it falls into the average at most of the medical schools I was looking at. But, the cumulative GPA probably won’t get past computer screening..

            Yeah, that sounds like DO might be my best bet. I do want to try to apply to MD programs anyway and just pray that I can get manual reviews because that’s my only shot at this point. But I’ll be focusing a majority of my efforts into DO programs
             

            Cornfed101

            Full Member
            2+ Year Member
            Aug 10, 2017
            2,593
            5,136
            1. Medical Student
              My best case scenario isn’t looking very good. If I manage to maintain a perfect 4.0 every single semester from now on, I will graduate with a 3.3 cumulative GPA and a 3.78 BPCM GPA. The science GPA is honestly not too bad it falls into the average at most of the medical schools I was looking at. But, the cumulative GPA probably won’t get past computer screening..

              Oh relax. I had 4 MD interviews with a 3.3 cumulative and your sGPA would be much better than mine. You need to just chill. You won't have an issue with computer screening if you ace your classes from here on out. That's the key, figure out how to ace your classes from now on. Also, no you don't get slack for doing poorly earlier. Why? Because there are thousands of applicants that didn't do poorly earlier in undergrad. You have to work with what you've got though. I got accepted to med school and so can you.
               
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              red_tangoes

              Full Member
              5+ Year Member
              Apr 4, 2016
              645
              851
              1. Medical Student
                I’ve been looking into some post-bacc programs and found a few I like. But I was doing some research and I may not even be able to get into those with how bad my GPA is. But, I haven’t come across SMPs yet. What exactly are those?

                My best case scenario isn’t looking very good. If I manage to maintain a perfect 4.0 every single semester from now on, I will graduate with a 3.3 cumulative GPA and a 3.78 BPCM GPA. The science GPA is honestly not too bad it falls into the average at most of the medical schools I was looking at. But, the cumulative GPA probably won’t get past computer screening..

                Yeah, that sounds like DO might be my best bet. I do want to try to apply to MD programs anyway and just pray that I can get manual reviews because that’s my only shot at this point. But I’ll be focusing a majority of my efforts into DO programs
                Not sure where you are reading about screens. Some schools have them, but not all. And even then, I would say they would only screen out applicants with GPA's below a 3.0, and then some offer holistic reviews for those that were screened.

                For example, UTRGV has a secondary application screen with a minimum of 3.0 cGPA and 3.2 sGPA and 50th percentile MCAT. Those that are screened go through this process

                " UTRGV School of Medicine evaluates applications via "Holistic Review". If an applicant does not meet the minimum requirements, he/she will be reviewed by an admission special evaluation sub-committee. The sub-committee will determine if the application merits consideration. "

                However, they do not accept anyone with a MCAT score below a 495.

                It's too early to worry about screens. Just focus on getting your GPA up and then when it comes time to apply, make a realistic school list and check each school's admissions page to see if they screen out low GPA's since you are worried about it.
                 
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                candbgirl

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              • Jul 14, 2005
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                  You’ve got a long way to go before you even think about applying. Plan for at least one gap year. Focus on your grades at this point and when you feel secure in your study plan expand to various ECs. If your grades start to slip cut back on the ECs. As far as your previous grades trying to put a “positive spin” on them will come off as excuses, excuses. Own them, admit them and don’t blame anyone but yourself. Illness sucks but you should have withdrawn . Nothing you can do about that now. Just keep moving forward.

                  SMP=Special Masters Program
                   
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                  Goro

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                  1. Non-Student
                    Yeah, that’s what I was worried about. But that makes it sound even worse than it seemed at the time. Can’t I put a positive spin on it? Not to be untruthful or deceptive or even give a sob story. I don’t even want to get into the facts too much, I will let the documentation speak for itself if I’m permitted to include it with my personal statement.

                    Also, do medical schools consider the fact that I was taking business courses which could be considered “easy” in comparison to the science courses I am taking now? There is a night and day difference between the performance during my business major and my Chemistry major. I have yet to take the truly hard courses like O Chem and Physics, but I’m actually a really good student and I met with the professors I would take and I’m certain I can achieve exceptional grades. Even in the classes I failed I was previously the top student in each class prior to being unable to complete them.

                    But I have no room at all for errors now. Best case scenario is 4.0 GPA from now on only to earn a 3.3 cumulative GPA and a 3.7 BPCM GPA..I don’t think I’ll even get past the computer screening. I was really hoping for tips on what I can do to ensure a manual review of my application because I feel I’d have a much higher chance of an acceptance that way. Or maybe tips on how I can have these grades excluded from the computer screening?
                    Med schools don't know what courses are "easy" or "hard" . All they want is for you to do well in them.

                    Your grades don't excluded. They're always there to see. YOU need ot prove that the you of now is not the you of then. You need to demonstrate that you have good copinbg skills, good time mgt, and most importantly, good judgement (see my last sig line).

                    Yes, you're going to have to ace everything from now on. And read this:
                     
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