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Is there hope? Please read...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by BEETLEVH, Nov 11, 2002.

  1. BEETLEVH

    BEETLEVH Member
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    Hello everyone. If you please read and PLEASE respond to this, I PROMISE you I will never bug you again with such a trite subject. Promise. First and foremost I feel the need to apologize for a subject line (and content, for that matter) that you veterans are probably tired of seeing. Before you tell me to read another thread please read this. I am a 21 year old undergrad student at UCONN. I am technically in my 3rd semester right now. I know, I'm an old sophomore. There is a reason for this.

    I was always a hyper kid, wanting to do everything but NEVER finish anything. Jack of all trades, master of none, as the old adage goes. At the end of high school I found it painfully impossible to concentrate, but in 99 I began college. I saw a number of professionals and they determined I was suffering from ADHD and depression. Now before I get flamed for claiming to be inflicted by two rather ambigiously defined ailments, please hear me out. The diagnosis was true. After trying a multitude of medications (over a few years...) I found one that worked for me, and continues to. To add to the mental problems I had a full time retail management job to help pay for full time school and the car that had to take me to my COMMUTER branch of UCONN. To add to the pile, I recieved mediocre grades my first semester and withdrew my second semester.

    This cycle continued... I withdrew for two spring semesters and recieved below-par grades in the others. I have a GPA of 1.96 right now with a very erratic past faithfully recorded on my transcript. Now the good-ish news. I am doing really well, living on campus finally, became an EMT, my grades are A's this semester and I plan to retake and FULLY replace (as per my school's policy) the W's and 2 F's of my horrible past. This winter I am taking a class to obtain the next level EMT cert while working at the hospital as an ER tech (job waiting for me) and this summer I am signed up to go to India as a volunteer to learn about their medical processes and teach English.

    Now I ask you, if I bring up my grades to about a 3.4, which I can and WILL damnit :) by my senior year, MCATs aside how much do you think my transcript will hurt me? Do I go for the gusto or give it up? I REALLY want to do it but I want to know from you all what you think about my chances with such an erratic and lackluster transcript for 2 years. If you knowledgable people think I have a real chance, you'll give me the support I could not thank you enough for. Thank you in advance for your help.
     
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  3. bioguy123

    bioguy123 Member
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    Getting into MD school in the US will be tough, but consider DO schools and some of the Carribean MD schools. When you get out, you will be a doctor, and that's all that matters. Your patients will not care where you went to school or what the exact initials after your name are. What's important is that you will be taking care of patients, and you sound like you will be an excellent doctor. good luck!
     
  4. poloace

    poloace Senior Member
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    i disagree with bio on getting into US med schools... i think a lot of college and the med-school application process is showing determination and maturation. i think the fact that you're willing to go through with this all says a lot about your character. my grades aren't stellar.. my mcat nothing to brag about... but there's something inside of me that numbers and statistics do not account for. best of luck... just keep of the positive attitude and work ethic. you may need to do a masters degree or something just to show that your last 2 years weren't a fluke- but, other than that- i think you'll be just fine.
    peter
     
  5. abw

    abw Senior Member
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    Hey beetlevh,
    first of all, congrats on getting everything together and doing so well. I saw someone very close to me lose all control to depression and other problems and know how much of a struggle it is to get it back together. I think you will be just fine as long as you keep up your motivation and effort. You can address it in your essay when you finally apply - just make sure that when you apply you are ready (your application package as well as yourself) Sell everyone on your motivation and your ability to identify with a disease. Many people write about someone close to them with cancer/other problems, but a lot don't realize that there are mental diseases as well - It's something the med schools will recognize, and will make you unique. (By saying mental "disease", i'm not trying to label you as being insane or having a problem, i just know how much depression and other problems can hurt someone) Good luck! and never ever ever ever, no matter how bad anything looks, give up on your dream! You can do it as long as you believe you can!
     
  6. UrSexyLatinDr21

    UrSexyLatinDr21 Senior Member
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    Getting into MD school in the US will be tough, but consider DO schools and some of the Carribean MD schools.

    I disagree with bioguy123 on what he said. First of all is that you work your **s off and bring that gpa up and i am sure you can, if you put your mind to it, anything is possible! You have your reasons for the low gpa and I am sure it can be cleared out on interviews. Another thing, if you show an upward trend for the time remaining, that will also look great! Remember, perfect grades, perfect mcat wont necessarily assure a spot on a med school. I know many people with great gpa's, mcat whom radically have been rejected from all over. Again, this is a very random process. But dont let comments such as the one above bring your motivation down, I am sure you can do it and as long as you really want it, it will happen. Good Luck!

    Eduardo

    P.S. Working as an E.R. tech will be great, thats what I do and I love it!
     
  7. conure

    conure Master Distiller
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    I agree that if you bring your GPA up and keep it up consistently you will be okay. You have plenty of time to do that so keep up the work but don't feel like you have to make up for it all in one year.

    There are endless hurdles in this process and unfortunately you made one of them higher than it had to be, but once your over it, your over it. It shouldn't effect you that much as long as everything else is in order (ECs and MCAT).

    Good luck.
     
  8. aquaboy

    aquaboy Surfer, sailor, swimmer!
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    I am doing really well, living on campus finally, became an EMT, my grades are A's this semester and I plan to retake and FULLY replace (as per my school's policy) the W's and 2 F's of my horrible past.

    I think it's great that you are planning on buckling down and improving. The only problem with your reasoning from above is that even if your school substitutes your higher grade AMCAS doesn't. I know, it sucks, but your W's and F's will be reported to med schools and will play in to your GPA so your GPA might not be as high as you expect. Just keep trying and things will turn out. Maybe do a post-bac progrma if your GPA isn't up to par. Hope this helps!:D
     
  9. DAL

    DAL no thank you
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    AMCAS doesn't assign a grade for a W does it? I had to drop two courses this semester because of time constraints between school and my job. It woudn't seem right if AMCAS assigned a grade for a W since there are many reasons why people withdraw from a class.

    Anyway Congrats on your persistence beetlevh. I'm sure if you continue on the path you seem to be on now you'll get some looks from US medical schools.
     
  10. abw

    abw Senior Member
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    Hey! Unfortunately AMCAS does assign W's regardless of the reason. Don't worry though, it's alright to have a couple of them.
     
  11. lola

    lola Bovine Member
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    just to clarify: amcas assigns a W, but it does not get calculated into your gpa.
     
  12. DAL

    DAL no thank you
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    Thanks for the answers concerning the W issue. Sorry to get your thread sidetracked beetlevh.

    I think your story is extremely inspirational and as long as you continue to bring your GPA up and do well on the MCAT you should get some looks. Also it seems like you're getting some great clinical experience and also developing some unique EC's (trip to India). All of that will help develop your character and help you mature as a person. These are things that adcomms are looking for in addition to grades and MCAT's. Just stay strong, stay on the path you're currently on, and I think you'll do just great. Best of luck.
     
  13. BEETLEVH

    BEETLEVH Member
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    Hey you guys are all great. Thanks for the encouragement, I can't tell you how much it means. I have told only a few people my GPA so far because its obviously so embarrassing. I can't believe they'll not only see the F's but factor them INTO my GPA!! That sucks, I had absolutly no clue about that one. So if thats the case, will my taking the classes over do anything for me med school wise?
     
  14. aquaboy

    aquaboy Surfer, sailor, swimmer!
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    I think you should retake the classes you failed because it will show committment to improve. Other classes that you got C's in or higher I would not retake because it won't help the GPA. If they are prereq's for medical school you will have to retake the classes you failed. In your personal statement you can explain your situation but there is no guaruntee that they will look at it because some schools only look at it after you've met minimum GPA and MCAT req's. Hope this helps your case and I admire your dedication!
     
  15. BEETLEVH

    BEETLEVH Member
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    Thanks again for the info people! Would you say that it is a good idea to see a pre-med advisor right now, even with my sub par transcript? I've just been scared of getting laughed at so I haven't gone to him, just gone to a regular advisor. Or should I wait until my much better GPA from this semester is on paper?
     
  16. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
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    Judging from people's experience with pre-med advisors, they can truly help, or be less knowledgeable than you about the process and prospects of getting in. So take whatever they say with a grain of salt.

    So long as you show a continued upward trend with your grades, and you maintain it, it should go some ways in alleviating an adcoms' fears of your abilities to do med school work.

    As to the advice about applying to DO schools ... So long you understand and accept the similarities and differences between an allopathic and osteopathic education and don't look upon DO as a 'backup' to MD schools, you should explore that option.

    From my own application and interview experiences, the DO schools really give you a fairer shake for people who slipped up but recovered. They also appreciate people with prior life/medical experience.

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned here is that the way the osteopathic application service - AACOMAS, calculates your GPA, which differs from AMCAS. Specifically, if you retake a course that you failed, they will *replace* your failing grade with the newer, better grade. Some may see that as fair, some may not. Retaking the classes you failed, since it is already a requirement for your school, would dovetail nicely with the way AACOMAS calculates your GPA.

    Whatever you decide to do, I wish you well!

    - Tae
     
  17. OneStrongBro

    OneStrongBro Senior Member
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    STRONG'S RX....

    First of all, this is my two cents, so take it for what it is worth.

    With that said, I am CONFIDENT if you follow my advice, you will be the BEST applicant possible.

    First and foremost, start READING CRITICALLY RIGHT NOW i.e Smithsonian, the Economist, Scientific American, and Harper's Magazine. There are a grave yard of students that have stellar grades but fell into the VERBAL section trap. In fact, take some sample VERBAL section exams right now. This will allow you to improve your critical reading ability. The sciences will be there TRUST ME.

    Secondly, if you can, cut back work as an EMT. It doesn't matter if you have 100+ hours of EMT or 200+ hours of EMT. There comes a point where quantity is saturated. I suggest the well rounded approach.

    The well rounded approach means LEADERSHIP, VOLUNTEERING, AND SHADOW A PHYSICIAN.

    First of all leadership. Join a club or fraternity and be very involved. Try to get a leadership position. It is better to be in one club and have a leadership position, rather than 15 different clubs with NO titles.

    Secondly, Volunteering. I know that you have hospital experience, however, volunteering is still mandatory. A physician above all else is a SERVICE ORIENTED PROFESSION. EMT job is great but you are getting paid for it. Volunteering at a nursing home, soup kitchen, or children's hospital shows that you have a humanitarian trait.

    Third, SHADOW A PHYSICIAN. THis is crucial. During the interview, you will get a derivation of why do you want to be a doctor. Unless, you follow a physician, you will not give the best plausible answer. You can use the personal fulfillment of helping patients, however, someone can counter with well a nurse or paramedic does the same thing. Talk to a physican, ask him what his motivations to medicine were, etc.

    Lastly, don't worry about the GPA thing so much. Be alarmed, YES. But, most importantly, think to yourself. What can I do to be more well-rounded. There are students even with excellent GPA and MCAT that will never get accepted to medical schools,

    The key is to learn from the extracurricular activities
    Extracurricular activities will enable you to show motivation, sincerity, and dedication to medicine.

    Good Luck,

    If you have any questions PM me.

    ONE MORE THING, SOME SCHOOLS SUCH AS THE UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY FOCUS MOSTLY ON your last 60 hours. Thus, I SAY FOCUS ON being very active in volunteering, leadership, and shadowing. You will have a compelling argument for acceptance if you do.

    Start practicing VERBAL. This takes the longest to improve.
     
  18. SubSpring

    SubSpring Junior Member
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    try some random summer courses too, that you would enjoy and maybe not related to your major. I did, got 3 credits and an A so it can't hurt to bring up the GPA and pad your transcript
     

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