Is there a need to explain a poor clerkship grade in the personal statement?

PremedSurvivor

7+ Year Member
Jun 13, 2011
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  1. Medical Student
Hi everyone!

In undergrad, I remember many people emphasizing the need to explain any sub-par grades on the medical school personal statement. Given dermatology's emphasis on top-notch clerkship grades, is it necessary to explain poor grades during third year? (i.e. I received 2 passes during the beginning of third year; rest are high passes and one honors). The only reason I would want to explain this anyways is because I was going through a family medical emergency and was fairly distracted at that time. At the same time, I don't want to be seen as begging PDs for sympathy.

So is it recommended to explain these grades? Or is it recommended to exclude such an explanation leave the personal statement solely to discuss one's interest in derm?

Thank you in advance for your advice!

Current Stats:
- Top 10 School
- Have not taken either step 1 or step 2 yet (we take these after 3rd year)
- significant research experience
 

asmallchild

Staff member
Administrator
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Oct 22, 2006
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  1. Attending Physician
Hi everyone!

In undergrad, I remember many people emphasizing the need to explain any sub-par grades on the medical school personal statement. Given dermatology's emphasis on top-notch clerkship grades, is it necessary to explain poor grades during third year? (i.e. I received 2 passes during the beginning of third year; rest are high passes and one honors). The only reason I would want to explain this anyways is because I was going through a family medical emergency and was fairly distracted at that time. At the same time, I don't want to be seen as begging PDs for sympathy.

So is it recommended to explain these grades? Or is it recommended to exclude such an explanation leave the personal statement solely to discuss one's interest in derm?

Thank you in advance for your advice!

Current Stats:
- Top 10 School
- Have not taken either step 1 or step 2 yet (we take these after 3rd year)
- significant research experience

I would not draw attention to any weaknesses especially in your personal statement. You should have a good answer prepared in case it comes up during interviews though.
 
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