EmLems11

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Ok, so I began my college career out of state at a small private liberal arts college. I soon realized I was unhappy there and decided to transfer. However, before doing so I took ochem and had a new visiting professor who had never taught before/was a researcher and not a true professor. Anyways, our teaching/learning styles did not match up and I did poorly (C-). Well when I decided to transfer I had the head of the chem dept write a letter of recommendation for me since I was a gen chem TA. When he saw my grade he apologized for my poor experience (apparently so many students complained that he allowed many to drop the class or get extensions on the final). He wrote me a letter to my new school explaining the situation.

Well I transferred to a large state school after 3 semesters and retook ochem (received an AB and and A). I am now 23, in an MPH program, and finally applying to med school. My GPA at my first college was not so great account of the ochem situation (3.45) however since then I have made a 3.96. My question is: should I track down the head of the chem dept at my old school and ask him to write a LOR for med school? How important is it explain away this grade my freshman year?

Sorry so long... thanks!
 

littlealex

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Not very important especially since your GPA is very high and you've retook the class. Chill.
 

OhioDoc

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Jul 19, 2009
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Ok, so I began my college career out of state at a small private liberal arts college. I soon realized I was unhappy there and decided to transfer. However, before doing so I took ochem and had a new visiting professor who had never taught before/was a researcher and not a true professor. Anyways, our teaching/learning styles did not match up and I did poorly (C-). Well when I decided to transfer I had the head of the chem dept write a letter of recommendation for me since I was a gen chem TA. When he saw my grade he apologized for my poor experience (apparently so many students complained that he allowed many to drop the class or get extensions on the final). He wrote me a letter to my new school explaining the situation.

Well I transferred to a large state school after 3 semesters and retook ochem (received an AB and and A). I am now 23, in an MPH program, and finally applying to med school. My GPA at my first college was not so great account of the ochem situation (3.45) however since then I have made a 3.96. My question is: should I track down the head of the chem dept at my old school and ask him to write a LOR for med school? How important is it explain away this grade my freshman year?

Sorry so long... thanks!

Well first of all, kudos on the great GPA at the state school! Relating to your first poor grade in your O-chem class, you may want to address the issue in your personal statement. If you do address the issue in your PS, I would try to realign your focus on what the experience taught you and how you improved from it (although I do realize that the poor grade was not totally in your control). I'm unsure about how the LOR might play in the process.
 
Jul 25, 2009
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I would not worry about it. I had a poor grade in orgo as well (never even retook it) and it was not a problem for me this cycle. I was asked about it in a few interviews, but since my grades were otherwise good, it wasn't a huge deal. I say chill and save your PS for more important issues - if a school is really worried about that grade, they will ask you about it in person.