Is it a smart idea to keep pursuing a premed track if you are too stupid for premed classes as evidenced by your grades and this path has given you li

Status
Not open for further replies.

hyperbolicinjuries

Membership Revoked
Removed
2+ Year Member
May 20, 2018
38
16
86
  1. Other Health Professions Student
**Disclaimer: Wrote this when I was very emotional and pissed. It's also the time of the month which does not help.**

Long story short, I’m 21 now, but I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was 10 or so, of my own accord, mostly. No family pressure or anything like that.

I started off as a molecular and cellular biology major but struggled a lot in Organic Chemistry 1, earning a B-minus, the lowest grade I’ve ever earned in my life.

What made it worse is that I knew a handful of people who excelled in the class (A’s) whereas I literally had to convert bond-line notation to carbons and hydrogens. I fell into a deep depression after that and had to drop out of the following semester because of it. I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety over being fundamentally more stupid than others since 10th grade.

I took some time off of being premed to pursue other interests in policy, consulting and marketing, but later signed up for Organic Chemistry II to get back on it. I noticed some improvement in my organic chemistry skills, but would have likely only earned a B+ at best. I often made careless errors and just wasn't good at some things. I ended up taking that (and every single other class) P/NP that semester and received a P in it (Spring 2020 and COVID).

My science GPA as of now is a 3.6 and my cGPA is a 3.78 as an economics major. However, likely because of the emotional trauma I suffered in Organic Chemistry 1 and earlier circumstances, I’ve adopted the toxic mindset of “if you’re not first, you’re last” in every single one of my premed classes. I feel like I have to overcompensate for my earlier failings, basically. I was also raised in a stereotypical Asian family and taught to be academically competitive (i.e. me doing well wasn't good enough, others had to fail).

I’m taking general biology over the summer right now. I do not think I am failing the class, but I feel incredibly average in the sense that I seem to get tripped up by what everyone else gets tripped up by and am likely not performing at an A level.

We had a quiz out of 20 where the mean was roughly an 11 and the SD was a 3, and I scored a 13.25. I spent the entire day being super harsh on myself that I wasn’t an SD above and telling myself how stupid I was and how I’d never be a doctor. Biology doesn’t feel intuitive to me, and isn’t that all doctors do? Solve biology problems all day?

Anyway, tldr: if I am way better at other subjects, like economics and data science, and suck massive balls and have performed at the level of an elementary schooler in every BCPM class, and am ******ed at anything science-related, am I better off forgetting being a doctor, considering my history of anxiety, major depressive disorder, and emotional trauma related to being an underachiever in premed classes?

Moreover, it doesn't help when you have premed friends who took organic chemistry and physics AT A COMMUNITY COLLEGE and then tell you "Yeah I was better at puzzle solving classes like organic chemistry and physics" the minute you learn you've gotten a "B" on an OChem 2 midterm not even because you can't draw mechanisms but only because you left off a bunch of formal charges.

Also, here are all of my science grades so you can see exactly what I mean by "average" and "elementary level" I bet someone who is better at science would have all A's and maybe one B+ in some insanely hard class like graduate physical chemistry.

  • General Chem and Lab: A/A
  • Organic Chemistry 1 and Lab: B-/A
  • Calc I: B+
  • Calc II: B+
  • Stats (for econ): B+
  • Biological Anthropology: A
  • Psych Research Stats: A+
  • Physiology: A
  • Organic Chemistry 2: P (took everything P/NP during Spring 2020 because of COVID).
Anyway, on a more constructive note, would it be better for me to just graduate economics/data science and come back to medicine/nursing later in life after I get better mental health (if that ever happens)?
 
Last edited:
May 19, 2020
125
273
66
  1. Non-Student
A B- is not a bad grade.

In fact, nothing about your transcript indicates you're bad at science.

There is a difference between "not being the best" and "being bad".

You're catastrophizing. Ditch the perfectionism, embrace struggling with material and learning from failure. People who struggle and have to learn how to deal early on are far better than those who sail through undergrad pre-req's and hit a wall in med school/grad school.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 26 users

penguinsfan71

Full Member
Jan 7, 2020
208
337
66
  1. Medical Student
Your feelings are perfectly valid, plenty of other premeds feel exactly the same way that you do. With that said, your stats are perfectly fine and getting B's in organic chemistry does not mean that you can't become a doctor. My grades were very similar to yours (literally had a 3.78 cGPA), and I'm going to be starting at my number one choice this fall. Don't worry about being perfect, keep working hard, own the MCAT, and you'll be golden.

Moreover, it doesn't help when you have premed friends who took organic chemistry and physics AT A COMMUNITY COLLEGE and then tell you "Yeah I was better at puzzle solving classes like organic chemistry and physics" the minute you learn you've gotten a "B" on an OChem 2 midterm not even because you can't draw mechanisms but only because you left off a bunch of formal charges.

Taking pre-reqs at a community college is not a good idea, as adcoms typically view those courses as less demanding. Your friends are having an easier time because they're taking an easier class.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
About the Ads

KnightDoc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
6,458
2
7,247
126
  1. Pre-Medical
**Disclaimer: Wrote this when I was very emotional and pissed.**

Long story short, I’m 21 now, but I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was 10 or so, of my own accord, mostly. No family pressure or anything like that.

I started off at Berkeley as a molecular and cellular biology major but struggled a lot in Organic Chemistry 1, earning a B-minus, the lowest grade I’ve ever earned in my life.

What made it worse is that I knew a handful of people who excelled in the class (A’s) whereas I literally had to convert bond-line notation to carbons and hydrogens. I fell into a deep depression after that and had to drop out of the following semester because of it. I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety over being fundamentally more stupid than others since 10th grade.

I took some time off of being premed but later signed up for Organic Chemistry II to get back on it. I noticed some improvement in my organic chemistry skills, but would have likely only earned a B+ at best. I often made careless errors and just wasn't good at some things. I ended up taking that (and every single other class) P/NP that semester and received a P in it.

My science GPA as of now is a 3.6 and my cGPA is a 3.78 as an economics major. However, likely because of the emotional trauma I suffered in Organic Chemistry 1 and earlier circumstances, I’ve adopted the mindset of “if you’re not first, you’re last” in every single one of my premed classes. I feel like I have to overcompensate for my earlier failings, basically. I was also raised in a stereotypical Asian family and taught to be academically competitive (i.e. me doing well wasn't good enough, others had to fail).

I’m taking general biology over the summer right now. I do not think I am failing the class, but I feel incredibly average in the sense that I seem to get tripped up by what everyone else gets tripped up by and am likely not performing at an A level.

We had a quiz out of 20 where the mean was roughly an 11 and the SD was a 3, and I scored a 13.25. I spent the entire day being super harsh on myself that I wasn’t an SD above and telling myself how stupid I was and how I’d never be a doctor. Biology doesn’t feel intuitive to me, and isn’t that all doctors do? Solve biology problems all day?

Anyway, tldr: if I am way better at other subjects, like economics and data science, and suck massive balls and have performed at the level of an elementary schooler in every BCPM class, and am ******ed at anything science-related, am I better off forgetting being a doctor, considering my history of anxiety, major depressive disorder, and emotional trauma related to being an underachiever in premed classes?

Also, here are all of my science grades so you can see exactly what I mean by "average" and "elementary level" I bet someone who is better at science would have all A's and maybe one B+ in some insanely hard class like graduate physical chemistry.

Moreover, it doesn't help when you have premed friends who took organic chemistry and physics AT A COMMUNITY COLLEGE and then tell you "Yeah I was better at puzzle solving classes like organic chemistry and physics" the minute you learn you've gotten a "B" on an OChem 2 midterm not even because you can't draw mechanisms but only because you left off a bunch of formal charges.

  • General Chem and Lab: A/A
  • Organic Chemistry 1 and Lab: B-/A
  • Calc I: B+
  • Calc II: B+
  • Stats (for econ): B+
  • Biological Anthropology: A
  • Psych Research Stats: A+
  • Physiology: A
  • Organic Chemistry 2: P (took everything P/NP during Spring 2020 because of COVID).
Anyway, on a more constructive note, would it be better for me to just graduate economics/data science and come back to medicine/nursing later in life after I get better mental health (if that ever happens)?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with your grades, and I am totally unqualified to give medical advice, but if a small fraction of what you are writing is true, I do not think you currently have the psychological makeup to survive medical school. Whatever your parents did to you growing up will totally destroy you if you don't get it under control. You should probably speak to someone at your school about this to help you obtain a healthier perspective. Good luck!!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 9 users
Jun 11, 2010
66,902
2
102,848
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
**Disclaimer: Wrote this when I was very emotional and pissed.**

Long story short, I’m 21 now, but I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was 10 or so, of my own accord, mostly. No family pressure or anything like that.

I started off at Berkeley as a molecular and cellular biology major but struggled a lot in Organic Chemistry 1, earning a B-minus, the lowest grade I’ve ever earned in my life.

What made it worse is that I knew a handful of people who excelled in the class (A’s) whereas I literally had to convert bond-line notation to carbons and hydrogens. I fell into a deep depression after that and had to drop out of the following semester because of it. I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety over being fundamentally more stupid than others since 10th grade.

I took some time off of being premed but later signed up for Organic Chemistry II to get back on it. I noticed some improvement in my organic chemistry skills, but would have likely only earned a B+ at best. I often made careless errors and just wasn't good at some things. I ended up taking that (and every single other class) P/NP that semester and received a P in it.

My science GPA as of now is a 3.6 and my cGPA is a 3.78 as an economics major. However, likely because of the emotional trauma I suffered in Organic Chemistry 1 and earlier circumstances, I’ve adopted the mindset of “if you’re not first, you’re last” in every single one of my premed classes. I feel like I have to overcompensate for my earlier failings, basically. I was also raised in a stereotypical Asian family and taught to be academically competitive (i.e. me doing well wasn't good enough, others had to fail).

I’m taking general biology over the summer right now. I do not think I am failing the class, but I feel incredibly average in the sense that I seem to get tripped up by what everyone else gets tripped up by and am likely not performing at an A level.

We had a quiz out of 20 where the mean was roughly an 11 and the SD was a 3, and I scored a 13.25. I spent the entire day being super harsh on myself that I wasn’t an SD above and telling myself how stupid I was and how I’d never be a doctor. Biology doesn’t feel intuitive to me, and isn’t that all doctors do? Solve biology problems all day?

Anyway, tldr: if I am way better at other subjects, like economics and data science, and suck massive balls and have performed at the level of an elementary schooler in every BCPM class, and am ******ed at anything science-related, am I better off forgetting being a doctor, considering my history of anxiety, major depressive disorder, and emotional trauma related to being an underachiever in premed classes?

Also, here are all of my science grades so you can see exactly what I mean by "average" and "elementary level" I bet someone who is better at science would have all A's and maybe one B+ in some insanely hard class like graduate physical chemistry.

Moreover, it doesn't help when you have premed friends who took organic chemistry and physics AT A COMMUNITY COLLEGE and then tell you "Yeah I was better at puzzle solving classes like organic chemistry and physics" the minute you learn you've gotten a "B" on an OChem 2 midterm not even because you can't draw mechanisms but only because you left off a bunch of formal charges.

  • General Chem and Lab: A/A
  • Organic Chemistry 1 and Lab: B-/A
  • Calc I: B+
  • Calc II: B+
  • Stats (for econ): B+
  • Biological Anthropology: A
  • Psych Research Stats: A+
  • Physiology: A
  • Organic Chemistry 2: P (took everything P/NP during Spring 2020 because of COVID).
Anyway, on a more constructive note, would it be better for me to just graduate economics/data science and come back to medicine/nursing later in life after I get better mental health (if that ever happens)?
I suggest taking some time off. You have a very unhealthy attitude and frankly, I'd reject you if I caught a whiff of this at interviews.

Your grades do NOT define you as a person or measure your worth as a human being.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 15 users

Tater09

New Member
May 13, 2020
6
6
36
Ending a lifelong pursuit over a B- in Ochem would be silly. You say you're better at economics and data science than bio based classes. Do you enjoy the bio? You got an A in physiology; how'd you like that class?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

KnightDoc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
6,458
2
7,247
126
  1. Pre-Medical
Ending a lifelong pursuit over a B- in Ochem would be silly. You say you're better at economics and data science than bio based classes. Do you enjoy the bio? You got an A in physiology; how'd you like that class?
It's not about the grades, which are perfectly fine. It's about the extreme overreaction to small setbacks, and unreasonably high expectations that are not met. Can you imagine the reaction when med school rejections start pouring in? When others, in real life and on SDN, are admitted to schools he isn't? When things don't go his way in med school? OP just won't survive the process with his current mindset.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
May 19, 2020
125
273
66
  1. Non-Student
Far better in what way? I'd say I'm average at science.

Your grades indicate that you're significantly above average. Depending on how bad your school is for grade inflation, "average" is somewhere in the C+/B- range. Your grades are well above that mark.

If you're this easily discouraged by not getting As/having to work harder than your peers for something, then as has been mentioned you need to deal with that outside of thinking about your career intentions.

Grades are an important part of getting into medical school, but yours are well above where that would be a problem, given your GPA averages.

I've heard very little good come after "I want to get As" from students. Wanting to know the material better, wanting to be able to apply it, wanting to learn how to study and retain better are all reasonable. Wanting to "get A's" just really isn't that good of a goal. It may come along with some of the above, but here all it indicates is that you're overly focused on grades, and care more about the feelings of success than actually learning.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

HKSZYU

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2017
130
248
116
  1. Dental Student
Yes, I think I'm better at more quantitative stuff and though I have just started learning Python last week (have some experience in R), it's sort of fun, at least when your code works. I like some stuff about the bio but see it more as a necessary evil. And that physiology class was an elective for non-majors. I took it to declare psychology just in case. It was probably too easy but I struggled with that, even.

Just something to consider: there is a lot of failure in medicine, and the consequences of those failures can be a lot bigger than a B- in orgo. When it comes to patients, they can be literally life or death. Do you think you're strong enough to handle those kinds of failures?

Your grades are fine for medical school. If I were you, I'd think less about if you're capable of staying on this track and more about if you really want to. Data science is a great field, and it sounds like you like it. There's lot of opportunity to do awesome things, and the failures there (your code not running, debugging, etc.) might be more tolerable.

Basically, it sounds like you feel like med school pre-reqs are a necessary evil, you're not even excited about the final result, and you don't feel you're particularly good at the subject matter. Meanwhile, there's a topic that you seem to enjoy more and may be more intuitive to you. To me, exploring that latter road more seriously seems to make sense.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 7 users

HKSZYU

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2017
130
248
116
  1. Dental Student
Would it make sense to push off medicine until later in life, though? and tbh I never even thought of failing as a doctor, just trying to get through the pre-reqs.

There's no harm in pushing it off. You can always complete the pre-reqs now and then apply later. Or even complete the pre-reqs later if you need to.

Med school isn't going anywhere. But I'd caution you against going to med school unless you're really sure you want to be there, and you're confident that you can handle the pressures that exist within med school and the medical profession, including failures.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users
About the Ads
Jun 11, 2010
66,902
2
102,848
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
Time off of the premed path? Premed science courses? College in general? Agree that my attitude isn't the greatest but grades are a significant part of getting into med school.
College. You're on a path to burn out or worse.
I agree and I don't even know if I want to be a doctor, honestly. I've been in and out of therapy but it's been hard.

Don't even think about a career in Medicine until you get your mental health issues sunder 100% control. Medical school is a furnace, and I've seen it break even healthy students. The #1 reason my school loses students to withdrawal, dismissal or LOA is to unresolved mental health issues.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users

KnightDoc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
6,458
2
7,247
126
  1. Pre-Medical
I'm not sure what you mean by unreasonably high expectations...I just want to get more A's and am frustrated by being average at science. In fact, I already struggled with science in high school so I should've seen it coming. And yes I probably won't react to the rejections well in addition to people getting into where I don't get into.
We all want to get more As, but you are far above "average." That's what I mean by unreasonably high expectations. If As and Bs are average, what's a C? In the real world, it's "average," but in your world it sounds like it would be a fate worse than death.
 

KnightDoc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
6,458
2
7,247
126
  1. Pre-Medical
College. You're on a path to burn out or worse.


Don't even think about a career in Medicine until you get your mental health issues sunder 100% control. Medical school is a furnace, and I've seen it break even healthy students. The #1 reason my school loses students to withdrawal, dismissal or LOA is to unresolved mental health issues.
This^^^^^. Listen to him. I don't know if you need to take time off if you don't want to, but you really need to talk to someone and get this under control before you flame out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Jun 11, 2010
66,902
2
102,848
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
Already took some time off of college. This is a bit TMI but I have some childhood trauma issues that I think I may never recover from so my motto is I just gotta keep truckin on.
I cannot recommend a career in Medicine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

xMikeyDay

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jun 15, 2018
157
208
136
Atlantis
  1. Pre-Medical
This guy has to be trolling.

Already took some time off of college. This is a bit TMI but I have some childhood trauma issues that I think I may never recover from so my motto is I just gotta keep truckin on.

You can "keep truckin on" from childhood trauma but giving up on medicine because you got a B- in Orgo?
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 7 users

candbgirl

Full Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2005
5,561
5,747
326
I’d take the rest of your classes for your Econ major. Put the science stuff on the back burner and just graduate. After you graduate and get some counseling, find a job. Grow a little, give yourself a break. If you were meant to go to med school you’ll go back and follow that path. But remember, always take care of yourself first. Find a counselor ASAP and start working on yourself. Good luck!
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 11 users

GreenDuck12

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2014
2,105
2,265
226
  1. Medical Student
OP,
A couple thoughts:

With regards to childhood trauma, it is something that you will live with. It doesn't really go away, but counseling and therapy can help you learn strategies to manage it as things resurface over time. Its not easy and it takes a lot of time, but its necessary. Trauma isn't something you can control but you can develop tools to manage it effectively and reduce its impact on your daily life - especially during high stress periods. In medicine, you are going to encounter a lot of high stress periods.

You're going to have to learn to handle setbacks. In the grand scheme of things, a slightly lower grade than your friends in undergraduate classes isn't even a blip on the radar. Learning to handle setbacks and failure is the biggest thing someone should learn from premed classes so that when the real struggles and failures starts to hit in medical school, you know how to respond and move forward.

As an older student, having this perspective helped me a lot. I worked as a teacher in the inner city. It helped me put things into perspective: a C+ on a test really wasn't a big deal - I just had to figure out how to respond to it and move forward. A couple B+s on my transcripts helped me track my progress as I needed to develop stronger habits and strategies to improve. Grades are a marker of where you are at, not a measure of your self worth. A B+ is an opportunity to show growth in the future. A low grade on an exam is an opportunity to outperform in the future. You're going to have to learn to view grades as a measure of performance not your self worth.

Until you can learn to handle not being perfect, I agree with Goro, either step away from medicine entirely to pursue a different career that interests you or take a break from the classes. You indicated you were open to pursuing medicine/nursing later in life. That might be the better option. Medical schools aren't going anywhere.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 11 users

Hzreio

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 15, 2019
480
394
116
  1. Medical Student
**Disclaimer: Wrote this when I was very emotional and pissed.**

Long story short, I’m 21 now, but I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was 10 or so, of my own accord, mostly. No family pressure or anything like that.

I started off at Berkeley as a molecular and cellular biology major but struggled a lot in Organic Chemistry 1, earning a B-minus, the lowest grade I’ve ever earned in my life.

What made it worse is that I knew a handful of people who excelled in the class (A’s) whereas I literally had to convert bond-line notation to carbons and hydrogens. I fell into a deep depression after that and had to drop out of the following semester because of it. I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety over being fundamentally more stupid than others since 10th grade.

I took some time off of being premed but later signed up for Organic Chemistry II to get back on it. I noticed some improvement in my organic chemistry skills, but would have likely only earned a B+ at best. I often made careless errors and just wasn't good at some things. I ended up taking that (and every single other class) P/NP that semester and received a P in it (Spring 2020 and COVID).

My science GPA as of now is a 3.6 and my cGPA is a 3.78 as an economics major. However, likely because of the emotional trauma I suffered in Organic Chemistry 1 and earlier circumstances, I’ve adopted the toxic mindset of “if you’re not first, you’re last” in every single one of my premed classes. I feel like I have to overcompensate for my earlier failings, basically. I was also raised in a stereotypical Asian family and taught to be academically competitive (i.e. me doing well wasn't good enough, others had to fail).

I’m taking general biology over the summer right now. I do not think I am failing the class, but I feel incredibly average in the sense that I seem to get tripped up by what everyone else gets tripped up by and am likely not performing at an A level.

We had a quiz out of 20 where the mean was roughly an 11 and the SD was a 3, and I scored a 13.25. I spent the entire day being super harsh on myself that I wasn’t an SD above and telling myself how stupid I was and how I’d never be a doctor. Biology doesn’t feel intuitive to me, and isn’t that all doctors do? Solve biology problems all day?

Anyway, tldr: if I am way better at other subjects, like economics and data science, and suck massive balls and have performed at the level of an elementary schooler in every BCPM class, and am ******ed at anything science-related, am I better off forgetting being a doctor, considering my history of anxiety, major depressive disorder, and emotional trauma related to being an underachiever in premed classes?

Moreover, it doesn't help when you have premed friends who took organic chemistry and physics AT A COMMUNITY COLLEGE and then tell you "Yeah I was better at puzzle solving classes like organic chemistry and physics" the minute you learn you've gotten a "B" on an OChem 2 midterm not even because you can't draw mechanisms but only because you left off a bunch of formal charges.

Also, here are all of my science grades so you can see exactly what I mean by "average" and "elementary level" I bet someone who is better at science would have all A's and maybe one B+ in some insanely hard class like graduate physical chemistry.

  • General Chem and Lab: A/A
  • Organic Chemistry 1 and Lab: B-/A
  • Calc I: B+
  • Calc II: B+
  • Stats (for econ): B+
  • Biological Anthropology: A
  • Psych Research Stats: A+
  • Physiology: A
  • Organic Chemistry 2: P (took everything P/NP during Spring 2020 because of COVID).
Anyway, on a more constructive note, would it be better for me to just graduate economics/data science and come back to medicine/nursing later in life after I get better mental health (if that ever happens)?

So your example for feeling stupid is because you scored above average on something, but not above average enough??? Premeds are filled with highly driven, hard working college students. You're competing with some of the best; don't be so harsh on yourself. You're not going to be a natural at everything and working on your weaknesses will require hard work. If you feel like something isn't working for you, try another approach and keep doing so until you see results. That's a mindset necessary in med school. Take care of yourself. Sleep well (when you can), exercise, eat right, maybe even see a therapist (really, anyone can benefit from talking with a therapist). Work on your mental and physical health otherwise med school will take a real toll. I'd also highly advise you get more clinical exposure too if you think all doctors do is "solve biology problems" everyday. There's a lot more to medicine than the book smarts to get through med school. And if you decide medicine's not for you, that's perfectly okay too.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 3 users

Angus Avagadro

SDN Lifetime Donor
2+ Year Member
Aug 3, 2018
2,580
6,335
126
  1. Attending Physician
If you cant handle the fact that there are people much morer smarter than yourself, go no further until you can reslove that issue. If anyone thinks they are smart, wait until you meet your classmates in med school. There will be some scary smart folks there. Most importantly, YOU have to run your own race, not worrying about what others are doing. You dont have to be MENSA to get into med school or become a great doctor. You merely have to absorb the huge amount of material. For those who are not elite students, it requires Grit, the most important quality required for most med students IMO. I couldn't agree with @Goro more. Listen to him, get your mental health in balance, get a job for a few years, mature. Medicine will always be there. Good luck and best wishes!
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 2 users

EmilKraepelin55

Is this the real life, or is this just fantasy?
5+ Year Member
Mar 15, 2015
311
677
166
  1. Medical Student
You can give up on medicine but you can't really give up on life (well, you can give up on life, but I won't get into that).
Seems to me like you are having trouble accepting that falling short of your goals is a part of life, including school. I think dividing your endeavors up into discrete compartments away from your overall life is a way to distance yourself from connecting to the fact that all of those compartments are in fact your life.

However if your goal is for medicine to be incorporated into your life, what will you do to make it work? You have to realize, even though it may sound banal, that failure is a learning opportunity. You also have to realize that the path of least resistance is not always the most rewarding either. If you really want medicine, you need to grin and bear the pain just as you do with other aspects of your life. But you individually need counseling to develop better coping skills.

Trust me, I had trouble in organic chem. It pissed me off to no end, but I recognized that my behavior was not conducive to moving past that obstacle and I utilized my school’s free counselor to learn coping skills. These simple changes in thinking have brought me to 3rd year of medical school.

Trust us, this is very doable IF YOU WANT IT.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
About the Ads
Jun 11, 2010
66,902
2
102,848
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
does mental health get even harder to maintain down the road?
Depression is common is med students, and thus who are affected the worst have a history of mental health issues, and your comments in this thread (If I'm not first, I'm last, for example), set off alarm bells in me. I've seen all too often the human wreckage that ensues.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

DoctHouse

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Nov 23, 2016
87
91
106
  1. Pre-Medical
I was expecting to read C's D's and F's, wth is this? You're at UC Berkeley too. Notorious for being challenging for pre-meds. Your current sGPA is higher than mine and I'm still confident I'll make it into med school. Guess it just comes down to having a certain mindset.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users

xMikeyDay

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jun 15, 2018
157
208
136
Atlantis
  1. Pre-Medical
a guy in my OChem 1 lab section graduated with a molecular/cell biology major in 5 semesters and got a 3.98 GPA. Literally one A- in all of his time at Berkeley in those weeder premed courses and the rest were A's.

Bro, stop focusing on other people's success. Despite your B- in orgo, most people will agree you are on a great path to medicine.

You need time to mature and bolster your coping skills. I think you should listen to @Goro advice
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

Ostkoshbgosh

Full Member
Mar 27, 2019
30
45
21
  1. Medical Student
does mental health get even harder to maintain down the road?

YES. especially if you compare yourself to other people

medical school takes a toll on anyones mental health so you should try to make good habits and change your mentality before you go in. Your grades are stellar and you aren't able to see that. What is standing in the way of your career is your mentality alone. YOU CAN NOT compare yourself to others in this career. I repeat YOU CAN NOT. Seriously dude. Please be nicer to yourself and stop asking your collegues about their grades if that will help you. Just focus on you and don't think you need straight As to go to med school, you don't. Just try your best

I had Ds and Cs and im in medical school now so thats not the issue. You have to be kinder to yourself.

Continue shadowing to see if this is something you really want.
 
  • Love
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

Captain_Falcon

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2019
300
473
116
  1. Medical Student
This thread was not as expected. OP, your grades are more than acceptable. You will never, I repeat NEVER always be the smartest in a class, anatomy dissection group, peer study, intern, etc.

There will always be someone smarter than you, someone that thought of a diagnosis on their differential that you didnt even think existed in the proverbial "left field" and in those scenarios you absolutely must reconcile that medicine is hard and filled with constant failures and reminders that your knowledge will never be saturated and your training never complete.

The good news is that you dont have to be the smartest at anything. You know who the 240th ranked medical student from State Medical School is come M4 on graduation day? A newly minted MD with years of training ahead.

You are smart enough for the material based on your grades, but like others have mentioned above I question if you are smart enough to heed advice of others and: pause, tie your shoes, catch your breath, and re-evaluate the hiking trail in front of you.

I say this because "just chugging along" is not something that someone with mental challenges (and traumatic childhood experiences based on your post) should, could, or would be able to live by (especially in medical school and residency)

I wish you luck and hope you listen to others in this thread and resume counseling before going further down this premed track.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users
D

deleted1005514

does mental health get even harder to maintain down the road?

Mental health is more difficult to maintain under high pressure circumstances, such as medical school and residency. You'll be pushing yourself to the limit for many years, running on little sleep sometimes and often feeling overwhelmed while surrounded by hard-working, ambitious students, some of whom will sail through med school seemingly effortlessly, while others literally drive themselves into the ground working only to come up short, probably because of a lack of good coping skills under stress.

Also, if you have any sort of past trauma, anything you haven't dealt with mentally or emotionally and feel at peace about, it WILL come back to haunt you when you're pushed to the limit. All those mental barriers you've built will crumble under pressure.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users
About the Ads
Jun 11, 2010
66,902
2
102,848
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
My concern is that it becomes less feasible to do medicine as you get older (amount of time required, expenses, etc)

Some of my all time best students have been in thier 30s and 40s. I graduted a stellar one at 50 and she's now an attending in CA.
even if i made it through medical school and residency?
I can't sugar coat this: given what you've written here, I don't think that you will make it through medical school, much less residency.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Angus Avagadro

SDN Lifetime Donor
2+ Year Member
Aug 3, 2018
2,580
6,335
126
  1. Attending Physician
My concern is that it becomes less feasible to do medicine as you get older (amount of time required, expenses, etc)
Nonsense. Lots of nontraditional students do it all the time. With a spouse and kids no less. Its more than possible, its quite doable. Just need grit. Good luck, i hope things work out for you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

Leon'sMom

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Aug 14, 2018
216
124
116
Hello. Thank you for sharing and reaching out to the group. You're very fortunate to have many options and choices before you, but I think that you need to take a step back and do some introspection about yourself and what will suit you best. Over the next few months (summer) I recommend that you do a few things:

1) Continue to see a therapist with whom you can have open and honest dialogue. Discuss, if desired, the option or usefulness of medication.
2) Buy a book about positive thinking (CBT) and practice it daily. Retraining your mind to recognize negative thoughts, over-reactions, and all-or-nothing thinking patterns takes a great deal of focus. Give yourself the time and focus you deserve to develop healthier thinking habits.
3) Buy a journal, and each day write down 3 things you were grateful for that day.
4) Take some time each day to spend in nature. Take a walk. Breathe the air. Look at trees. Listen to birds. Feel the wind and sun on your skin. Just be.
5) Think of a few healthy coping strategies for when you feel sad, lonely, or stressed. Calling a friend, taking a shower, exercising, etc. Practice them, refine them, use them when needed.
6) Only after practicing good self-care for a few weeks, make a list of your (academic) strengths, what topics you truly enjoy learning about, what kind of work you think you'd enjoy, your personality traits, what you think a HAPPY life looks like to you. What can you envision for yourself? What kind of job do YOU think would fit your skills and personality? If you need more time to figure this out, take it.

When we love and respect what our parents have been able to overcome and accomplish with their own sacrifices and work ethic, we sometimes think they have all the answers, that if we follow the same formula as them we will succeed, too. But we each must chart our own course in life. Use your own happiness and fulfillment as your compass. When your parents see you happy and fulfilled, they will be happy, too. If they cannot allow you to live your life in a healthy and happy way, then you'll need to develop strategies to shield yourself from any negativity or disappointment they show towards you. Parents love and teach their children to the best of their abilities, but all parents are flawed. Don't allow their flaws or your own to keep you from living your best life. Good luck to you.
 
  • Love
Reactions: 4 users

gyngyn

Alta California
Staff member
Administrator
Volunteer Staff
7+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2011
25,978
47,316
526
  1. Attending Physician
How is it a disaster? I thought doctors have to do their best to get everything right because it can be life or death.
Actually, perfectionists do extraordinarily badly in medicine (and especially in surgery).
Of hundreds of residents, the only person I was entirely incapable of training (in the OR) was a perfectionist. They would rather spend endless time being "perfect" than getting out of the OR with a good result. This puts patients in harm's way and does the doctor no good at all.
Working conscientiously has nothing to do with perfection. It has everything to do with knowing how good is good enough.
We actually do everything possible to avoid perfectionists.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 7 users

Damson

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Nov 18, 2017
811
912
116
On The Move
  1. Medical Student
A dear professor of mine once told me - compare and despair.

There's just too many people on this planet man. In the past, present, and future, there have been and always will be someone better than you at something. This fact shouldn't be discouraging, it's just reality. What matters is what you do with this information. I'd just say f everyone else, I'm gonna give my work a strong effort and achieve my goals. Who cares what and how others are doing?

This actually works in real time by the way. In one of my higher-level classes I scored at the top of my class for the first exam. Someone got jelly and tried to get me to score lower on my second exam. I never had that happen to me before so it worked, and I scored considerably lower. For the final exam, I just ignored him and did my thing - went back to the top. The lesson I learned is to just focus on being me and improving me. Nothing else matters.

That kid was probably raised to be a perfectionist. It's not his fault, and it's not your fault. But again, you can change how you think.

Given your other grades it's obvious what happened in orgo 1 was an outlier. Chill bro.

"after I get better mental health (if that ever happens)"
It does get better. Give it time, you'll figure it out. Visit a therapist if you feel it will help. They listen and correct your cognitive distortions.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

KnightDoc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
6,458
2
7,247
126
  1. Pre-Medical
So there are students at your school who've never had depression in their lives before?
I'm sure there are plenty, but that's not the point. The point is getting it under control so that it doesn't destroy you. The way you sound now, assuming just a fraction of it is true, @Goro is telling you you'll be weeded out during the screening process unless you are really good at masking it, both orally and in writing.

Assuming you do make it through the screen, you apparently fit the profile of those who just don't make it through med school, in his vast experience. Take the advice or not; that's up to you.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Jun 11, 2010
66,902
2
102,848
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
So there are students at your school who've never had depression in their lives before?
I've had clinical depression myself several times in my adult life that was bad enough to seek out psychiatric help and be on anti-depressants three times. So I know of what I speak.

Students with depression come in two flavors. There are those who have it in the past, and had it under control, but only to relapse when faced with the furnace of med school.

Then there are those who are highly driven like you who see their grades as justification for the entire being of their existence, and take every setback, no matter how minor, as a sign of personal failing. Children of Tiger Parents and/doctors tend to self-flagellate the worst.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 10 users
Jun 11, 2010
66,902
2
102,848
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
Actually, perfectionists do extraordinarily badly in medicine (and especially in surgery).
Of hundreds of residents, the only person I was entirely incapable of training (in the OR) was a perfectionist. They would rather spend endless time being "perfect" than getting out of the OR with a good result. This puts patients in harm's way and does the doctor no good at all.
Working conscientiously has nothing to do with perfection. It has everything to do with knowing how good is good enough.
We actually do everything possible to avoid perfectionists.
I have seen this as well, all too sadly. perfectionists tend to try to learn (or, more accurately, memorize but not learn) everything, and end up knowing nothing.

And then they also waste hours of our time because they're always in our offices arguing over why the 93 on the exam should been a 94. Sometimes they use such arcane mathematics that space-time starts to warp, and my desk begins to exceed the speed of light.
 
  • Haha
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 10 users
D

deleted1032897

I had a colleague graduate from my same undergrad that did Harvard bioengineering fellowship while still in undergrad, double majored in biology and mechanical engineering, NIH post-bacc, then got into Harvard MD/PhD.

I, on the other hand, got the worst grades in my life in college while dealing with career ending injury. Delayed my first application a year because I hadn't yet gotten enough clinical hours, mediocre MCAT. When I got first interview invite, my email reply to schedule didn't go through, so by the time I checked in to confirm, I had been scheduled for an interview a month later than my original window. A lot of little things going imperfectly. But I was accepted to that school. In fact, I received interviews at 2/3 of the schools I applied to and was accepted at every school I interviewed at. I'm not going to an Ivy League, but I made it where I wanted and feel welcomed.

You've got to let perfectionism go. I know it's hard. It's taken me years to shed my own. But I'm so much happier now. I only know nothing will shake me and I'll make it through my medical career BECAUSE I accept that it won't be perfect and I'll still survive. If you can't let it go, don't steamroll through for a career you think is worth not being happy for.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 3 users

acstylin

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2019
188
435
116
  1. Medical Student
OP, in the grand scheme of life, a bad grade is less than a grain of salt. I know. I know. “But this grade determines these rest of my life!!!” No it doesn’t. Not even close. Losing a patient, seeing your child make bad choices, a failed marriage, a spouse with cancer, etc. How will you handle that? Make this a learning experience- not a hurdle. Let this experience teach you how to handle failure and adversity and teach you how to be resilient. You have a long life ahead of you that will be filled with triumph and failure. Learn to deal with both with humility and patience and you’ll be successful both in your career and your personal life.

As a side note, I have several F’s, D’s, and W’s from my youth. Coming back to school, I earned a B- in anatomy, B in Biochem, B- in Ochem 1 and a B in OChem 2 and got into my #1 choice school. I have never been impressed with those that seem to have the Midas Touch. I am more impressed by those that learn to fight through the struggles and barely manage to crawl across the finish line, battered and bruised. I know I can count on them to find a path to victory in every circumstance.
 
  • Love
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
Jun 11, 2010
66,902
2
102,848
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
do antidepressants help? I've heard they can really mess up your brain chemistry and I have never been to a psychiatrist, only 3-4 therapists.
You heard wrong.

SDN is not a place for medical advice. Talk to your family doctor and ask for for a psych consult.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

LunaOri

Full Member
May 16, 2020
841
2,151
76
Somewhere in New England
  1. Attending Physician
  2. Academic Administration
a guy in my OChem 1 lab section graduated with a molecular/cell biology major in 5 semesters and got a 3.98 GPA. Literally one A- in all of his time at Berkeley in those weeder premed courses and the rest were A's.
SO WHAT?! There will always be someone smarter than you, or with better grades, or better looking, or richer. If you can't stop comparing yourself with everyone else, you will have trouble in any field, but particularly in medicine, where so many people are so darn smart!
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 2 users

hyperbolicinjuries

Membership Revoked
Removed
2+ Year Member
May 20, 2018
38
16
86
  1. Other Health Professions Student
Just to update everyone, I will be dropping my summer biology course and forgetting about a career in healthcare for now. I've decided that my aversion to risk and poor mental health, along with, yes, my not so great science skills, doesn't make a career as a physician a good fit. I might pursue nursing or PA school down the line, but I'll be focusing on economics and data science for the rest of my undergraduate career.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 7 users

hyperbolicinjuries

Membership Revoked
Removed
2+ Year Member
May 20, 2018
38
16
86
  1. Other Health Professions Student
However, this decision wasn't an easy one to make and came with a lot of emotions (i.e. sadness, nostalgia, etc.) Does anyone have advice on how to cope? I can't help but feel like I wasn't smart enough to make it.
 
Last edited:
About the Ads
Status
Not open for further replies.