Aug 7, 2015
Hey All,

I've got a fairly unique situation so I was hoping for some feedback on my chances and suggestions on how to approach the medical school application process. I graduated high school a year early, when I was 17, hoping to get a head start on my bachelors and the winding medical school process. I had a bunch of AP credits, and had a chance to graduate from college in 3 years too. I attended Loyola University Chicago majoring in Bio. long story short, after 4 semesters there, I transferred to the big state school U of I (Urbana-champaign) and proceeded to fail out of school after 3 semesters.

After that I went to work for 6 years, working in private industry and establishing a solid career track for myself, however, I realized that being a physician was the only thing I truly wanted to do with my life. I went back to the local community college for a year (getting straight As) and now I'm at University of Illinois at Chicago, on pace to graduate from here with straight As. If all goes as planned, I will be 30 when I start medical school in the fall of 2017.

My previous work at Loyola was solid (3.5) and then my work at UIUC brought my overall GPA down to about 3.09, with some semesters of like below 2.0.

With about 150 credit hours under my belt by the time I get my bachelor's this winter, my overall GPA will be about 3.30. I am planning to take the MCAT in April 2016. I had previously taken the MCAT and received a 33 (which is about a 514 new score) based on the old scoring system, but that was 7 years ago. So I believe I can do fairly well on it. My questions are the following:

1) When I apply to medical school, what is the best way to bring attention to the 6 year gap between when I dropped out and now, when I'll finish with a 4.0 in the past 2 years of course work? And what is the best way to explain it to someone looking at my application initially?

2) Is there a way to mention "institutional GPA" on the general application, differentiate my GPA at UIC and community college the last 2 years, which is a 4.0, from the rest of my academic history before the 6-7 year gap?

3) I have volunteered and worked in multiple medical settings, I have a published research article working under a tenured Biochemistry professor at one of the medical schools in Chicago, I am currently working on more research at UIC med school. This is just some more background. What are my chances to finding a spot at a medical school in US (I am considering Caribbean as a fall back, but hopefully that won't be necessary)?

I truly appreciate any feedback, thanks in advance!


The Immaculate Catch
2+ Year Member
Jun 29, 2015
Medical Student
Let me just comment and say to any new premeds out there: this is why you don't transfer if everything is going fine at your current school.

Now to answer your questions.
1. Highlight meaningful things that you've dine in these 6 years. Talk about maturing/overcoming obstacles after failing out of UIUC. Also, assuming a 4.0 is never a good idea...
2. It won't matter, the UIUC red flag will be all that adcoms zero in on.
3. Your chances will vary greatly based on MCAT showing. Assuming an average MCAT, you are very competitive for most DO schools. Can't speak to MD w/ a 3.3 GPA. Do not go to the Caribbean unless you're swimming in cash and don't mind losing 250-300k.
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