Previous academic work

ChellyBean

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  1. Pre-Medical
    Originally I was pursuing an MD/DO route. I went to Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine to pursue my SMP. While there I became very ill and had to withdraw from the program. I was given an opportunity to return, but decided not to because I became disenchanted with that particular field of medicine. That was in February, since then I've been working as a medical scribe at a podiatry clinic and studying for my MCATs.

    My question is do I have to put down that I went to PCOM and the grades I got there, even though I never completed the program? I consider it a blessing in disguise because I would have ended up hating the path I was going towards. The reason I ask is that my grades there were less than stellar and I'm afraid that putting it on my application would hurt me.
     

    SLCpod

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      Originally I was pursuing an MD/DO route. I went to Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine to pursue my SMP. While there I became very ill and had to withdraw from the program. I was given an opportunity to return, but decided not to because I became disenchanted with that particular field of medicine. That was in February, since then I've been working as a medical scribe at a podiatry clinic and studying for my MCATs.

      My question is do I have to put down that I went to PCOM and the grades I got there, even though I never completed the program? I consider it a blessing in disguise because I would have ended up hating the path I was going towards. The reason I ask is that my grades there were less than stellar and I'm afraid that putting it on my application would hurt me.
      Put your entire academic history in your application.
       

      bobtheweazel

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        You can get through the verification process and get interviewed and accepted without disclosing all of your grades assuming that your PCOM grades never got transferred back onto any of your past school's transcripts, as unethical as it may be. However, there is a centralised financial aid system (National Student Loan Data System) where institutions that want to provide you financial aid can see all past aid awarded to you. There is a student access for this system so you can see for yourself what is on your record. If they catch you at that point it will be grounds for dismissal and you may not get a second chance at any pod school after that. Don't waste your time or theirs and just apply with what you have. I think the lowest GPA I've seen accepted is like a 2.15 and I know that people who were put on academic probation and academic dismissal in the past have been accepted as well. Don't sweat it. Just apply early in the cycle so the schools will have more seats and be more willing to take a chance on you and have a good explanation ready because they WILL ask about those grades.

        Also, know that pod school doesn't filter out poor students very well in the beginning because of their low admission criteria, but poor students will get sorted out at the end when they won't get accepted to any residency and may never be able to actually practice. There is a shortage and there is barely room for some great students, the poor ones don't stand a chance. But assuming your poor grades were actually because you were ill, you shouldn't have to worry too much about that.
         
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        ChellyBean

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        7+ Year Member
        Mar 11, 2010
        84
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        Stanton, CA
        1. Pre-Medical
          You can get through the verification process and get interviewed and accepted without disclosing all of your grades assuming that your PCOM grades never got transferred back onto any of your past school's transcripts, as unethical as it may be. However, there is a centralised financial aid system (National Student Loan Data System) where institutions that want to provide you financial aid can see all past aid awarded to you. There is a student access for this system so you can see for yourself what is on your record. If they catch you at that point it will be grounds for dismissal and you may not get a second chance at any pod school after that. Don't waste your time or theirs and just apply with what you have. I think the lowest GPA I've seen accepted is like a 2.15 and I know that people who were put on academic probation and academic dismissal in the past have been accepted as well. Don't sweat it. Just apply early in the cycle so the schools will have more seats and be more willing to take a chance on you and have a good explanation ready because they WILL ask about those grades.

          Also, know that pod school doesn't filter out poor students very well in the beginning because of their low admission criteria, but poor students will get sorted out at the end when they won't get accepted to any residency and may never be able to actually practice. There is a shortage and there is barely room for some great students, the poor ones don't stand a chance. But assuming your poor grades were actually because you were ill, you shouldn't have to worry too much about that.

          Oh wow thanks for all that information!

          In regards to the National Student Loan Data System, I never took out loans, not when I was in Undergrad nor while I was PCOM (literally saving every penny and dime that I had to pay for college). Also as I understand it my PCOM grades were never transferred anywhere. It was an abrupt withdrawal that was done over the phone. If that's the case how do I go about the application process, would I still mention PCOM? I'm not trying to be underhanded or anything, I was just looking through the Podiatry handbook and saw no mention of any sort like that. At most I saw GPA from completed degrees. Again I could be missing something.
           

          bobtheweazel

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            Hmm...you might just be able to fly under the radar then. There's no way I can think of that they would find that information out on their own if you didn't get loans. But you must be willing to maintain that lie of omission throughout pod school, residency, and your professional career. It is technically grounds for dismissal while you're in pod school and ANY time after you graduate if they find out they can still strip you of your degree...whether they actually would who knows. Ethically, you should still just be up front with them. Realistically, if your series of poor grades puts you well below a 2.75 (the cutoff for many of the schools) or even below a 2.15 (the lowest I've seen accepted) then if you were up front you would probably never get in, while if you do lie and are found out later there is still technically a small chance that they would forgive you. It is possible at least. But you didn't hear it from me...
             
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