How do I prove my girlfriend's illness affected my studies?

Dec 13, 2013
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My high school girlfriend of 3 years got really sick and for insurance reasons she had to move back to her home country for treatment. Long distance didn't work out. I got a few F's (4 in all). Most of them writing classes that I can only take every other year, unique to this institution. I'm a senior now, on track for medschool, well 3.0 gpa now, decent MCAT. I wouldve had a 4.0 if it wasn't for such a tragic event though. How do I convince adcoms that I can handle med school? Will they understand my situation?
 
Aug 8, 2013
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Medical Student
I think that if you have a 4.0 GPA otherwise, you don't have to worry too much - that semester will clearly stand out as an anomaly. I don't know what to recommend for your explanation though....you could just say "personal reasons"...but you also need to come up with something you took away from the experience, can you come up with something?
 

DokterMom

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My high school girlfriend of 3 years got really sick and for insurance reasons she had to move back to her home country for treatment. Long distance didn't work out. I got a few F's (4 in all). Most of them writing classes that I can only take every other year, unique to this institution. I'm a senior now, on track for medschool, well 3.0 gpa now, decent MCAT. I wouldve had a 4.0 if it wasn't for such a tragic event though. How do I convince adcoms that I can handle med school? Will they understand my situation?
You can start by trying to convince *us* that you can handle it. From just the above post -- which is all we've got to go on -- it sounds like misfortune struck, and instead of coping or rallying, you fell apart. Medical schools are full of students whose parents got divorced, who experienced a death in the family, who has serious illnesses themselves - and overcame those obstacles to succeed. Right now, just from what you wrote, it sounds like your resiliency may not be what it needs to be.

Four F's is a BIG problem. (Recent?) It will stick out like a sore thumb and you will need to explain it. How much of that was a simple matter of time-commitments taking care of her? How much was emotional turmoil and couldn't think straight? How much was LDR-induced depression?
 
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Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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You don't. You go back to school in some format, like a post-bac or a SMP, and then prove you can handle medical school.

Like I tell my 11 year old: "Words are easy. Doing is hard".

My high school girlfriend of 3 years got really sick and for insurance reasons she had to move back to her home country for treatment. Long distance didn't work out. I got a few F's (4 in all). Most of them writing classes that I can only take every other year, unique to this institution. I'm a senior now, on track for medschool, well 3.0 gpa now, decent MCAT. I wouldve had a 4.0 if it wasn't for such a tragic event though. How do I convince adcoms that I can handle med school? Will they understand my situation?
 

Mavs88

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Jul 15, 2013
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SMP sounds like a wonderful idea for you. Sorry about what happened, gotta keep truckin' along, that's life.
 

calvnandhobbs68

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What you're telling us here is that you were unable to stay focused in a situation which was (arguably) not even that stressful. You had to go long distance with your girlfriend and you guys broke up? Come on, I know people whose immediate family members died and still managed to keep it together during medical school (not that they even should have had to). You're also showing medical schools that you don't know how to adapt in a stressful situation. Instead of reacting in some way (dropping classes, taking a semester off) you just froze and failed four classes.

You can give a shot applying but Fs don't look good, especially if theres no way to retake the course and show you can handle it on repeat.
 

KindofBlue

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Dec 31, 2010
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What you're telling us here is that you were unable to stay focused in a situation which was (arguably) not even that stressful. You had to go long distance with your girlfriend and you guys broke up? Come on, I know people whose immediate family members died and still managed to keep it together during medical school (not that they even should have had to). You're also showing medical schools that you don't know how to adapt in a stressful situation. Instead of reacting in some way (dropping classes, taking a semester off) you just froze and failed four classes.

You can give a shot applying but Fs don't look good, especially if theres no way to retake the course and show you can handle it on repeat.
A bit harshly put, but in essence I have to agree also.

For those who are in a really tough situation, there are things called "Incomplete Grades."
If you really are not able to put in the required work due to personal/family emergencies, this gives you more time to finish the quarter/semester and complete the final exam, lab, projects, homework etc at a later date, just FYI.