My story After three long years of applying, I was finally accepted to an MD school, in the US, yesterday. I can't put into words the feelings that I had when I opened the envelope and realized what it was saying. My cumulative undergrad gpa was 2.78. Not 3.78, but 2.78. And that was including the A's that I got taking college classes when I was a high school senior, and my post-bac classes as well. At one point in my undergraduate education, I had an absolutely horrible semester and was put on academic probation, getting a 1.25 gpa, and on two occasions I was in danger of losing my ROTC scholarship. I can't tell you how many people told me over the years that I would never be a doctor, and that I should give up now, and save myself the time and money. I never listened to them, or let that get to me, but I admit that there were several times when I became discouraged and did not want to put aside another 2000$ to apply, year after year. Still, I kept at it, hoping against hope that some day, I would become a doctor. To be fair, I had the following things going my way: 1. I had 5 really strong (as far as I can tell, having waived my rights to see them) letters of recommendation. 2. Part of the reason for my atrocious gpa was that I was fascinated with learning about everything, and when I discovered Linux, and the computer system, I pushed everything else aside and threw myself into learning the Unix OS, shell and perl scripts. 3. I worked in a lab ever since I graduated, and I had 2 co-author publications in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as co-authorship of 3 poster abstracts presented at conferences, and an acknowledgement in another JBC paper and a Nature paper. 4. I attended a top-1 (arguably ) undergraduate college, and my grades had a strong upward trend, ending with 3 semesters of post-bac work where I had a ~3.8 gpa. 5. I participated in Army ROTC throughout college to earn 80% of tuition, often 20 hours per week, and in addition I worked during a couple of semesters of college. 6. I am an Army officer (combat engineer platoon leader) in the National Guard, and graduated 2nd out of my class at Engineer Officer Basic Course (which included 40 West Point officers, and 20 other active duty lieutenants) 7. I graduated from the Sapper Leader Course (basically the Army Engineer corps version of Ranger School (but in deference to the Rangers I knew, not quite as bad)) which was the toughest thing I ever did in my life. Combine a liberal dose of poison ivy, frequent hunger (I went from 150lbs to 135), carrying 70 pounds of gear everywhere, horrendous physical fitness ‘smoke-sessions' led by either Ranger or Special Forces personnel, and sleep deprivation to the point of hallucinations, and then being called upon to lead and motivate your peers at any time, and you get the idea. 8. I took the MCAT, once in '96, and got a 10V, 14P, 10B, N, and then, since my scores expired, took it again in '99 and got a 10V, 13P, 14B, R. 9. I had volunteered in high school in the local hospital, and then again last year in the ER of the local VA hospital. 10. I was (am) active in the local alumni club, and interviewed high school students applying to my alma mater. 11. I know, given the recent events and my military background, ad-com members may have subconsciously viewed my application more favorably. 12. After graduating in '97, I finally took a long, hard look at myself, screwed my head on straight, realized that I had no one to blame for my past failures except myself, and vowed to do whatever it took to become a great doctor. Looking back on my undergraduate and post-bac days, I am profoundly grateful, and deeply moved by those people that believed in me and gave me second, and third chances to mature, and redeem myself. I am very, very thankful for being able to start with a clean slate, and I feel grateful to the school that took a chance on me. I will work my butt off in medical school to excel and become the best doctor that I can be. I know that there are others out there on SDN that are in similar situations with low gpa's, and while I realistically I think there may be the rare ‘lost cause', I truly believe that in most cases, if you never quit (and I mean, NEVER GIVE UP!), you will get in. When I was in Sapper School, droning from lack of sleep, hungry, cold, and wet, somewhere in the middle of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, the instructors would tell us "Don't quit on yourself, Sapper!", and that got me through Sapper school, and this med school application process. SDN has given me a wealth of advice (albeit as a lurker), and I consider myself lucky to be able to learn from the experiences of everyone here, the vast majority of whom seem to be genuinely compassionate people. I know that there are some of you that truly want to do medicine more than anything else in the world, but due to past problems, feel like you won't be accepted. Don't ever give up. Ever. Nothing is ever over until the moment you stop trying. If there is any help/advice that I can offer from my application experiences, please ask. FYI, I am not a URM. I am actually an asian male from California, and I applied to 15 schools, filled out 12 secondaries, and have had 4 interviews, including one UC school.