Dec 10, 2013
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I am working on my personal statement for next cycle. I dropped out of a semester ~6 yrs ago and got 16 credits of F's. I have since recovered and have a decent 3.5 GPA (~3.75 with grade replacement). Should I mention this bad semester in my personal statement or just address it if I am asked about it?
 
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Johnny Appleseed
Dec 10, 2013
474
345
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A little background:

I dropped out to work for a year and then left to Europe for another couple years. Came back and started school again 3 years later. Since then no grades lower than B. Just can't decide if I need to explain away that semester in my Personal Statement or not.
 

Peach Newport

board certified in jewish dermatology
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Jun 26, 2014
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A little background:

I dropped out to work for a year and then left to Europe for another couple years. Came back and started school again 3 years later. Since then no grades lower than B. Just can't decide if I need to explain away that semester in my Personal Statement or not.
You're probably going to have to explain it, but don't dwell on it, and don't include it in the PS unless it's vital to the narrative. Lots of schools have "is there anything else you'd like to tell us?" Questions on secondaries, this is where you'd include it. Don't go hog wild telling a story. This is what happened, this is how I fixed it. Done.

But you should REALLY know how to answer a question about it in an interview. Make sure you can answer questions like this VERY well:
1) why did you fail those classes?
2) how will you assure the admissions committee that you can handle medical school?
3) what did you learn from the experience?
 

Mr Roboto

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Jul 31, 2013
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A galaxy far, far away...
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I am working on my personal statement for next cycle. I dropped out of a semester ~6 yrs ago and got 16 credits of F's. I have since recovered and have a decent 3.5 GPA (~3.75 with grade replacement). Should I mention this bad semester in my personal statement or just address it if I am asked about it?
Recovered from what--alcoholism? Cancer? Immaturity?
 

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Johnny Appleseed
Dec 10, 2013
474
345
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Medical Student
Recovered from what--alcoholism? Cancer? Immaturity?
In that context I meant that I recovered from the poor GPA I was left with.

However, I dropped out because I figured I could make more money working in the mines than by going to college. I quickly realized that was a poor choice... so in short I recovered from immaturity and stupidity.
 

austintr

5000 candles in the wind
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May 21, 2014
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In that context I meant that I recovered from the poor GPA I was left with.

However, I dropped out because I figured I could make more money working in the mines than by going to college. I quickly realized that was a poor choice... so in short I recovered from immaturity and stupidity.
Seems like a good opportunity to spin it into how you realized that working for money isn't always the way to go and that you would rather have meaningful experiences doing something that is intrinsically satisfying, if you can swing it.
 
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holdthemayo

5+ Year Member
May 13, 2014
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UPDATE:

I think I will leave it out of my statement but prepare something for interviews/secondaries.... Good Idea?
Good idea.

Focus on your positives and "why medicine?" for your personal statement. Only talk about it on secondaries if prompted to do so. They will see your bad grades without being prompted and will ask you about them at your interview either way. I would (and did) avoid discussing a poor performance in the PS unless it is linked crucially to your desire to become a MD/DO.

Ignore the attached file... that was a weird accident.
Rabies would make for a unique personal statement
 

NecrotizingFasciitis

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Jul 15, 2015
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UPDATE:

I think I will leave it out of my statement but prepare something for interviews/secondaries.... Good Idea?
I was in a similar situation, the situation being whether or not to explain bad grades. What I decided to do was talk about what I was doing when I received the poor grades, for me it was music.

I have only attended one of my interviews so far this cycle, but my goal of letting the adcoms make the connection themselves as to why my grades were poor worked for them. They assumed it was because I was distracted by music without me having to say anything. And like others have said, you can use secondaries to talk about that a bit if you'd like to, but don't dwell on it so much.

So in short, if you can find a clever was to indirectly address it, I would recommend that.
 
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