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Medical Should I pass/fail a B+ french course and C+ chemistry lab?

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Jun 11, 2010
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Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
I transferred to UNC Chapel Hill from a community college last semester, and my GPA last semester was a 3.1. I made a C+ in CHEM 101 and 101L that semester. I was really hoping that things would be different this semester, but they're not. I just got my grade back for CHEM 102L: a C+. I'm hoping for a C in the lecture and that I don't have to pass/fail it. I really thought I was going to make an A in french, but I didn't. So I think my GPA is going to pretty much stay where it is after this semester (I made A's in a couple other gen-ed courses).

I have four semesters left, and I'm really concerned that my GPA is not going to be competitive whatsoever. Best case scenario, I can probably get it up to a 3.5 or 3.6 (maybe a 3.6). In the interest of keeping it as high as possible, I'm tempted to pass/fail the french and chemistry lab. I know I'd probably have to take the chemistry lab again for it to qualify for medical schools. My concern is that my application won't even get a first look with such a low GPA, and I won't even get the chance to explain my circumstances. I'm CNA at an inpatient hospice unit, and since getting home, I've been working full time in addition to my classes to help them with staffing needs during the coronavirus pandemic.

I guess the overarching question which may not be answerable, which is totally okay, is do I throw in the towel now? My parents have expressed concern that medical school just may not be possible... it's really difficult for me to accept that. I transferred from a nursing program for this. I feel called to hospice work. Am I even competitive, at all, with a 3.5/3.6 and a potentially low sGPA? I'd be willing to go to graduate school to show a more prolonged positive trend; I do think that after this adjustment period, I can show a positive trend at UNC as well.

Thank you for your time!

Edit: I spoke with an advisor at my school. He strongly encouraged me to pass/fail the chemistry lab and lecture - that will bring my GPA to about a 3.4. He told me that medical schools would accept the chemistry lab pre-req for this semester; is this accurate? He also gave me a lot of comfort about my GPA anxieties, reiterated the holistic reviews from medical schools, etc. He seemed to think this is definitely still feasible for me. I hope he's right!
Due to the COVID crisis, some Ps are OK. More serious are your weak GPAs.
 
Oct 14, 2011
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  1. Academic Administration
Make sure you get your advisors response in writing or by email (which if you are working more since the crisis, I can understand passing ALL your classes, not just the two you're in trouble with). I think that the advice short-term is solid, but as @Goro notes, your overall sGPA is going to be a concern, and even a salvage Pass for your chemistry class isn't going to overcome the issues the rest of your transcript to that point present.

I think you need to slow down a little. If you switched from a nursing to a med track, you also need to be sure you get your medical shadowing with physicians in. Not sure where you are with this yet, and not sure whether your CNA work will be a proxy for expected physician shadowing.
 
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