Medical How does it look to pass/fail grading for pre-med courses in grad school?

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Goro

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Hey everyone, feeling pretty defeated and looking for some advice. I am a graduate student with a non-traditional background for medical school (majored in math but didn't do all the pre-req courses, did well for my program [top 5%]). I planned to finish the rest of my pre-reqs for medical school in graduate school but since transitioning to online learning, I've been struggling a lot. I also have been working on a lot of COVID-related work on top of normal research, which has made keeping up with pre-reqs at a competitive state school nearly impossible. I did well in my pre-reqs before online learning (all As) but since starting online I have done them all pass-fail (gen chem 2 and physics 1 and 2). Next quarter I will complete my last pre-med course (biochem) and I plan to do it graded since I will be done with the major COVID study I am working on.

How badly do these pass/fail pre-reqs hurt my chances at an MD program?

It doesn't tell Adcoms how capable you are.
 

GoSpursGo

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There's no way around it, it hurts. Trying to pin down exactly "how badly" is probably a fruitless exercise, since you can't go back and undo it now. In my mind it is going to put a tremendous amount of weight on your MCAT.

If your goal is to go to med school, then stop this extra research that you're doing on the side and focus on your biochem class next quarter. There are only 24 hours in a day, and nobody can "do it all"--prioritization is a key skill that is necessary to make it through med school.
 

TheBoneDoctah

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It will depend on the school how much it matters/hurts you. Do not do any more prereqs P/F. Medical schools need to know how well you can do in science courses. You could have literally gotten 75% in every course and no one knows that from the student who got 95% in the course...how is that fair?

No more research. Focus on the big things that matter for medical school. MCAT, grades, LOR, clinical experience, non-clinical volunteer.
 

Goro

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This is helpful, and I definitely needed to hear this. It is difficult because my funding comes from my research and I have no family support. Without funding, no food. It's hard to see how anyone does this post-bad thing at all without a lot of money! But I agree with you, and maybe I'll have to consider taking out some loans to cut out research.
Unfortunately, this is an expensive process, especially GPA repair.
You're in a marathon now, not a sprint. So work for a few years and save up some money. Med schools aren't going anywhere.
 
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GoSpursGo

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At a minimum, you said the COVID research was on top of normal research--meaning THAT research has nothing to do with your funding.

I'm not naïve enough to imagine that it's easy to tell your PI that you need to stop doing the work that is not directly related to your funding, but you need to protect yourself and your career. If you're not being compensated for your efforts, you need to stop them, and if you can't stop them then you may need to delay finishing your pre-reqs until you can focus on them.
 

TheBoneDoctah

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At a minimum, you said the COVID research was on top of normal research--meaning THAT research has nothing to do with your funding.

I'm not naïve enough to imagine that it's easy to tell your PI that you need to stop doing the work that is not directly related to your funding, but you need to protect yourself and your career. If you're not being compensated for your efforts, you need to stop them, and if you can't stop them then you may need to delay finishing your pre-reqs until you can focus on them.
Totally agree. Research as a pre-med should be something that is done after all other boxes are checked. Putting time/energy into research when you need to focus on post-bac is a good way to end up empty handed.
 
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