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Screwed the Pooch . . .

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by dxu, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. dxu

    dxu the great one
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    To know more about me please see thread entitled "Random Musings of a Non-Trad" posted in this forum subsection.

    Anywho, this semester will once again not be a good one. I've spent the last three or four semesters with lackluster grades, to put it kindly. Let me explain.

    I am an '04 HS graduate. Spent one year at a nice private school, ended with a 3.1 gpa from there. Transfered (for a girl) to another school and did well for the first two semesters, a 3.2 or so I believe. Then it happened . . .

    She dumped me/left me/whatever you call it.

    That particular semester I gave up. Ended with 2-3 F's (one or two in science courses) and B (in Korean). I transfered out to Pitt . . .

    Well my first semester I did ho-hum at Pitt. Then I got a job as an EMT and I spent all my focus on work and making the money. Grades suffered. Mixed bag of grades, from the occasional A to C to F. Took a few classes at CC, did well including science. Took a lighter course load while I got my paramedic. Did bad because I was focused on Medic.

    This past semester hasn't been great. 1-2 D with a few Bs and Cs. Terrible. All because I was too focused on being a paramedic and not focusing.

    Now I am getting my rear in gear. During this whole process I was so concerned with if I wanted to be an MD/DO or PA or RN or CRNA and didn't focus on my grades or on myself, as a person. I worried about the destination and not the journey, and now I am concerned I will never reach my goal.

    So here I am, with a piss-poor GPA. There really is no doubt about it, I put myself in a tough spot. The best I can do is retake some courses, let the Ds and Fs in NON-SCIENCE courses be and retake any science courses I did poorly in.

    Any thoughts would be delightful.

    dxu
     
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  3. ILikeFood

    ILikeFood NSU Class of 2013
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    ****ing girls...
     
  4. ILikeFood

    ILikeFood NSU Class of 2013
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    Retake your courses. Work less. Once you have the grades, then focus on where you want to go.
     
  5. combatwombat

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    calculate your cumulative undergrad gpa to get a sense of where you are (easy to do in excel). Then, map out which classes to take 1) to prepare for allopathic and 2) to prepare for osteopathic.

    Also wouldn't hurt to take a mock mcat if any are available in your area (check at local universities). Can you scale back to part time with the medic stuff? maybe get some on-call hours where you can study or at least go over flashcards?
     
  6. doctor712

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    i think it's important to note that what the two posters are saying here, and myself being the third: the ship hasn't sailed yet on you going to med school. be it allo or osteo. you can show an upward trend, do really well on MCAT, good ECs, and youll get in SOMEWHERE.

    ball is in your court....

    doctor 712
     
  7. dxu

    dxu the great one
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    As far as cutting back work, not so much. Unfortunately I pay for everything except tuition. However, there is a bright side. Pitt is giving me 39 credits for my National Registry Paramedic to go towards their BS in Emergency Medicine. I'm taking this opportunity and starting in the Fall, will take 12 credits distance and then in the Spring take another 12 credits and graduate. The major is very good for working paramedics. So I will be able to work and save money whilst going to school full-time.

    I imagine that my undergrad GPA overall will be in the area of 2.4 with the one or two retakes I have now. With retakes in A&P I, A&P II, Chem I and Chem II, that should erase my F's (maybe one or two left but I don't think in science).

    I will sit down and figure all this out and provide better answers when I get home today.

    dxu
     
  8. combatwombat

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    Does 12 credits = 4 classes @ 3 credits each, or 3 classes @ 4 credits each? I would take 2 courses (or the minimum number of classes your schools allow) per semester and really try to maximize your grades. I mean, shoot for 100's. Take advantage of summer classes if you need classes to graduate, or if not to boost your GPA (since it's acceptable to take only 1 course over the summer)

    Realistically it sounds like it will be a long road for you to get to med school, so I'd try to make a stone-cold sober assessment of what sacrifices will be needed to get there & whether you are willing to do all that.
     
  9. dragonfly99

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    OP, you are all over the place.
    Right now you are focused on being a paramedic. If that is the career you want, then fine. That's an honorable career.
    If you want to be a physician, you need to do the things you need to do to get there. That includes a 3.4-3.5 or so GPA from now on, and hard science classes that will prepare you for med school.

    Right now you have only one foot in...maybe one toe. People who don't commit don't get in to medical school. So decide what it is you want, and act accordingly. Your current work schedule obviously doesn't fit with doing what a premed needs to do academically, so I think you need to make a choice.
     
  10. dxu

    dxu the great one
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    Dragonfly you are very wise and very correct. I have managed to rearrange my schedule and allow for some more room to take my classes that are required.

    I calculated everything up and came to the following:

    Current GPA: 2.70
    Current Science GPA : 2.57
    Current Ws or Rs: 4
    Current Retakes: 3
    Retakes Left: 2-3
    Prereqs Left (not retakes): O-Chem I and II, Physics II

    I also have a few science classes to take such as Microbiology, A&P, etc.

    I also have approximately 30 non-science credits left to take.

    So if I do well on all remaining classes, things look good. Now I just have to prioritize and bust my butt.

    dxu
     
  11. bradt9881

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    Time to retake the courses you made Ds and Fs in and apply to DO school. Your MD chances are looking grim since the Fs and Ds are averaged in and not erased as happens with DO....
     
    #10 bradt9881, Dec 10, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
  12. dxu

    dxu the great one
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    Science retakes left include A&P I and II, Gen Chem II (maybe Chem I as well, got a C and have little understanding) and thats it.

    I think I can manage to get myself somewhat competitive.
     
  13. sylvanthus

    sylvanthus EM/IM/CC PGY-6
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    OP- Your story is really similiar to mine, oddly enough. I screwed around my first few years, moved to a college to be closer to a GF, got dumped, focused on being a manager in a grocery store (not paramedic) to keep my mind off things, grades suffered, etc etc. But, I made it in just recently.

    I think you can do it if it is really your heart's desire. But, you have a lot of work ahead of you. I had to go back to school for nearly an additional 5 years or so, to boost my gpa from a 2.6 to 3.45 and to make up for 14 withdrawls in my early days. It is a long assed road made longer, but if it is something you really want to do, I think adcoms truly look at the whole application. Plus, experience does make a big difference. I think my 6 years in an ER helped me a ton and do not see why your paramedic experience wouldn't influence them.
     
  14. dxu

    dxu the great one
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    Thanks for the pick me up.

    I don't think it will take me five years to get it up as I am taking one retake and one science course this Spring. Summer will have one retake and maybe on science class. Fall will be the start of my last year at Pitt, maybe one science class at my CC as my major is done distance from Pitt. Spring I will graduate, take maybe one science. The next summer and fall will be any science courses left and retakes if need be. Then MCAT.

    The end . . .

    p.s. I went ahead an made a spreadsheet (an excellent one I must say) and I figured out I need around a 3.5 over the next few semesters to get me above the mark of 3.0 . . . hardwork but I can do it.

    Thanks for all your support!
     
  15. bradt9881

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    Everything is doable. It took my 2 years of straight As including summer semesters to pull a 2.7 120 hour BA degree up to a 3.1 and get accepted to PA school, but I did do it;).
     
  16. dxu

    dxu the great one
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    Thanks man.

    On a side note, how you like being a PA?
     
  17. bradt9881

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    Just getting started. Finished school, passed the PANCE, and waiting on the license to be approved. But its looking pretty good with a pending family med job M-Th 8-5, Fri 8-1 no call, no hospital admits....
     
  18. aunt ethel

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    Your crazy grades remind me of myself as an undergrad. If I could go back, I would have taken a year off to work or travel or volunteer or SOMETHING, because I kept starting each semester thinking "this semester I'll do better" without really changing my study habits or truly figuring out what the heck my problem was.

    If you aren't interested in taking some time off, then definitely talk to some academic counselors, advisors, get access to tutors, go to office hours, etc. Find your resources and use them.

    You can definitely do this...good luck. :luck:
     
  19. NTF

    NTF PGY-6
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    Just from the tone of your posts I think the biggest hurdle you have to face is discipline.

    You obviously have the enthusiasm and drive (most EMTs do) but I'd caution against an attitude that is prevalent amongst non-trads. That attitude is one that turns a career pursuit into a soul martyring process. Getting into medical school isn't rocket science or like becoming something truly extraordinary like a navy seal or classical concert soloist. Sure it's hard, sure it's difficult. But it's something that 18000 people do every year. And it's only the first step in a career of LIFE LONG learning.

    At some point you have to develop practical and disciplined work habits. Most of us are capable of concentrated bursts of effort, but the real key is how to develop (based on a knowledge of your own weaknesses and tendencies) a lifestyle that generates CONSISTENT levels of excellence - rather than levels of extraordinary success sandwiched with periods of burn-out.

    This means knowing yourself. Knowing your limitations. Knowing what you need to succeed both academically and professionally, and clearing your plate sufficiently to make that happen. This means finding ways to do it and also finding time to be a complete person, finding time for hobbies, friends, and family. This isn't an easy balance to strike, but at some point you have to draw a line in the sand and say I want success (and not HERO-DOM). This means getting A's. This means volunteering. And whatever else you choose to add. But only at a level that allows you to do what you do WELL, and WELL for the LONG HAUL. Don't be a martyr or a monk. Be smart and efficient. Megasuccess comes from the fruits of the consistent habits of success. Not from going out in blaze of glory. At least not in a trade profession like medicine.

    GOOD LUCK! I'll be rooting for you.
     
  20. wepio

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    ^^^ Where in the bloody were you cerca 1999? I think a lot of us non-trad's could've used this very insightful and poignant speech when were still considered "trads". Well stated. :thumbup:

    All the best to you OP. There's some really good advice in this thread.
     

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