williamChenry

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Hi,

I'm a 22 year old student who up until recently, hadn't had a clue or care about what I happened to do. Just recently, I've decided medicine is what I want to spend my career doing. But during my first few years of college, I didn't really do too well due to the fact that I was taking classes I thought didn't even benefit me and were no use for me. I even failed a few. So my GPA is in the 2's or maybe even high 1's... I read somewhere that if I take these classe over, it's still required that medical schools see the original grades anyways....so they'd still see a bunch of poor grades and F's.....Is there anyway to get a fresh , brand new start without having to pay for my past faults? or will no matter what, my past grades follow me around.??

I just wanna know if i have any options left?

Thanks,
William Henry
 

chan

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William, hows it going? Yes, there is still a chance for you to be a doctor and yes, your grades will follow you around for the rest of your life. If your GPA is in the high 1.--- than you have a lot of work to do.... multilple years. You are still quite young, so you have time on your side. If medicine is really what you want, then jump in and get started. But make sure it is truly your passion. Otherwise, your current dream will come to and end quickly. Have you shadowed any physicians, done volunteer work, job related medical experience to give you and understanding of what being a doctor will be like? Or have you seen and episode of House, M.D. and thought it looks cool? If its the latter, second guess why you are getting into this.

Many people start in their late 20's even 40's on the road to becoming a Dr. You can do it. If it is what you truly want, you can find a way to make it happen.. no matter what your GPA has been.

good luck,
CHAN
 

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you can do it bro! adcoms also may be impressed of the strong grades and it will show maturity. but it will take a long time.
 

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In the primary application they will average all your grades in.

The good news is that you can make that up. Just post good grades. repeat the classes if necessary. make sure you understand the material. you are no longer just attending class for the hell of it. All of the stuff you learn will be applicable later so learn it now.

fiddler
 

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I heard DO schools replace courses re-taken instead of averaging them. If this is true, that could help your GPA alot if you retake those classes. Can anyone confirm??Don't give up bro, I officially decided the summer before my senior year that I was going to do medicine. It took me an extra year to graduate and finish all the pre-med courses, but it is possible. I've applied to schools this cycle and am hopeful I will be accepted somewhere. Don't give up.
 

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Yes, you can turn it around. Just do it. Here on out - perform well. Learn. Work hard. Your new good grades will show you potential and the schools will see it. If you really want to go into health care you can - just be willing to work hard.
 
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williamChenry

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with all these optimistic and positive replies i've been receiving, I knew there had to be some to burst my bubble :mad:

I got this from a response in a College Forum where I posted the same original post:

-You are in a very bad situation because you have to understand that most students who do pre-med strive to keep their gpa as close to 4.0 as possible. 3.0 is possibly the lowest acceptable at most med schools (for the lowest end students, it might even be a 3.2). Unfortunately, a 1 or 2 gpa will be laughed out of the admissions office. I would suggest you do all your bad courses over again and see what happens. If you score well on the retakes, a med school may possibly over look the original courses (i'm not sure though). Your MCAT scores have to be stellar for you to have any chance. Good luck.-


Any truth to that?
 

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williamChenry said:
with all these optimistic and positive replies i've been receiving, I knew there had to be some to burst my bubble :mad:

I got this from a response in a College Forum where I posted the same original post:

-You are in a very bad situation because you have to understand that most students who do pre-med strive to keep their gpa as close to 4.0 as possible. 3.0 is possibly the lowest acceptable at most med schools (for the lowest end students, it might even be a 3.2). Unfortunately, a 1 or 2 gpa will be laughed out of the admissions office. I would suggest you do all your bad courses over again and see what happens. If you score well on the retakes, a med school may possibly over look the original courses (i'm not sure though). Your MCAT scores have to be stellar for you to have any chance. Good luck.-


Any truth to that?
On these boards you cannot believe the extreme posts -- don't believe the person who said it is impossible, nor should you believe any person who says that the future is rosy and that you will have no serious hurdles. For allopathic schools, just retaking those classes you did badly in and the prereqs won't suffice to overcome a GPA of 1-2. (osteopathic schools are likely more liberal in their treatment of retakes, so that might be your best bet) There are some people who pretty much retake the equivalent of a bachelors to average out their initial college performance, and others who retake the classes and prereqs and still follow it up with a hard science masters or SMP to get themselves looked at. It also even might make sense to work for a while or do peace corps or something to make you appear to adcoms to be an applicant who is other than just a college grad who floundered. Thus while you may be able to turn everything around and end up a doctor, we are probably talking about a many year endeavor of hard work and high grades. And doing well on the MCAT will of course be important when you get to that stage (probably still a few years from now). Good luck.
 

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williamChenry said:
with all these optimistic and positive replies i've been receiving, I knew there had to be some to burst my bubble :mad:

I got this from a response in a College Forum where I posted the same original post:

-You are in a very bad situation because you have to understand that most students who do pre-med strive to keep their gpa as close to 4.0 as possible. 3.0 is possibly the lowest acceptable at most med schools (for the lowest end students, it might even be a 3.2). Unfortunately, a 1 or 2 gpa will be laughed out of the admissions office. I would suggest you do all your bad courses over again and see what happens. If you score well on the retakes, a med school may possibly over look the original courses (i'm not sure though). Your MCAT scores have to be stellar for you to have any chance. Good luck.-


Any truth to that?
Hi there,
There are plenty of practicing physicians out there who overcame a poor undergraduate GPA and gained admission into medical school. It is up to you to figure out what you need to do to overcome a less than stellar start. SDN has a sister web site Old Premeds where you can read about David Kelley, who overcame a 1.9 GPA, academic dismissal and a major in "partying" to become an anesthesia resident at Dartmouth University. Go to the Forums and do a search. There are other stories out there too and thus it is possible to come from some very deep holes and get what you need to get into medical school.

As others have said, take things on SDN and any other website with a "grain of salt". You can get some helpful information and you can get some junk but you learn to sift through and get what you need for success. It's all on you and what you are willing to do to get the job done.

Good luck!
njbmd :)
 

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You sound like me (except you got smart younger than I did). I went to school at the tender age of just-turned-17. I went to the wrong school at the wrong time for all the wrong reasons. I took classes I didn't really care about (ok, I didn't actually GO to most of those) for four semesters. The first three my GPA hovered around 2.7 at best. The fourth semester I really fell into a personal black hole and didn't go to ANY classes at all. Failed every one of them. My GPA was now a fabulously craptacular 1.87. I withdrew to figure out what I wanted to do in life.

Ok. Fast forward 17 years. I've got two kids, I've been a paramedic for 10 years, firefighter for 5. Always said I wanted to go back to school when my children were also in school so daycare wouldn't be an issue. Got hurt at work, went back to school a little earlier than I thought I might. I took 21 credits a semester of hard-core math, calc based physics, and chemistry. I graduated in 3 years cum laude with a dual major, and took the MCAT. I had some personal circumstances that weighed on my mind (mono the first MCAT - 25Q - and we found out my son had been terrorized and shot, actually hit, with BB guns two days before the second MCAT - 29M. He was terrified because the kids threatened to kill him if he told anyone. I was livid.). I made no excuses for my MCAT, not even addressing the scores unless asked. I'm not one for excuses - I made those scores and that's that, regardless of circumstances. My recent grades bring my total GPA to a 3.23 overall, even with the semester with mono.

I applied to med school late the first time and got ZERO interviews (a few places even told me I was 'outside the normal medical student age range' to be considered). I applied early the second time and I've had 3 DO interviews, one DO acceptance, and one MD interview. Successful? I think so.

So, can it be done? Yes. But you have to absolutely work your butt off and show the adcoms you've learned from your past mistakes. Make no excuses for them, focus on the good parts of your life and your path to the determination of a medical career. Get great ECs to show you are serious. Get great grades. Get great LORs. And good luck to you.
 

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Well, I'm 23 and posted a similar thread here. I'm going at it as hard as I can and feel confident. The more I think about it, the better my attitude becomes. Over the last few months, I've gone from "I wanna be a doctor but we'll see if I can get in med school" to "I'm going to be a doctor".

I have plenty of school left. Just to finish my comp sci degree I need about 2 years. I still have all the prereqs to do for premed too. That means, according to my advisor, that I'm looking at full time school including summers for the next 3 1/2 years. THEN, I'll apply for med school. That doesn't bother me anymore though...I'm excited and ready to take it on.

Stay realistically confident. You have hard work ahead, but it is totally possible. Try to think of it as "they can't keep me out...no one can keep me from it but me". You need to refuse NOT to make it.

:)
 

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I am a non trad asking pretty much the same questions. I have spoken with people from admissions departments at LECOM, OUCOM, Case Western, and Wright State. My advice is to call them and ask. The ones I encountered are very supportive and are willing to give you honest advice, and the DO schools will even add some encouragement. we could all use some of that right? The gentleman from OUCOM was even nice enough to call me from his home at 7pm cause that was the only time I had available.

I have asked for advice here and the responces were so varied that I basically call direct now. Not that advice here is bad, but I revcieved non- specific conflicting information. I figured most of the people replying to me were telling me what thier particular experience was, which is well received, but like I said it can be very conflicting. Both LECOM, OUCOM, and Wright State even listened to my personal story and gave advice.

In short, go directly to the highest authority who will talk to you. As a plug for them the Dean of admiss. from Wright state called me back. I would think his advice was sound. (and good news too)
 

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It can be done, my first year of college, I had like a 1.something. I did shape up though got my associate's with a 3.3, then went back for my bachelors for med school, retook some classes (they weren't science courses) and have maintained a 4.0 every semester and Im a senior in my bachelor's program now, My GPA now is a 3.76. I didn't do that great on the MCAT either. I applied to 6 DO schools, interview invites at 5 (no rejections to date), accepted at my first 2 interviews, awaiting news from the 3rd, declined one interview, and will being going to my last this weekend.

You will have to work hard, but it can be done.
 
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williamChenry

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Thanks for the replies everyone,

Raven , (or anyone that knows for sure)


How do D.O. schools look at GPA, cause I'm assuming my last 3 F's from last semester, I'm probably at 1.8, 1.9....I have about 40 or so credits left to get my bachelors, but can I retake alot of the classes I did poorly on , will the new grade count? Also, I've only taken one Bio course (C+) so far and one Bio elective (zoology for some strange reason) , so I'm not sure if that helps me that I havent taken my sciences yet , so this way I can, now that I have a goal in life, do well in them....

but it's different now, I have a goal and determination and something to strive for, ...so anyways, if someone can answer those questions, I'd appreciate it...
 

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williamChenry said:
Thanks for the replies everyone,

Raven , (or anyone that knows for sure)


How do D.O. schools look at GPA, cause I'm assuming my last 3 F's from last semester, I'm probably at 1.8, 1.9....I have about 40 or so credits left to get my bachelors, but can I retake alot of the classes I did poorly on , will the new grade count? Also, I've only taken one Bio course (C+) so far and one Bio elective (zoology for some strange reason) , so I'm not sure if that helps me that I havent taken my sciences yet , so this way I can, now that I have a goal in life, do well in them....

but it's different now, I have a goal and determination and something to strive for, ...so anyways, if someone can answer those questions, I'd appreciate it...
DO schools use your most recent grade from retakes when calculating GPAs. They will not, however, disappear from your transcript. Out of my 3 interviews so far, I was only asked about it once--at my last interview.

I would retake courses, get "A"s in them and do well here on out...if you stumble low again, you *probably* won't get in. It is good that you didn't exactly screw up a bunch of your sciences.
 
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williamChenry

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Raven,

did you apply to any MD schools ? is it highly unlikely to get accepted into an MD school after a few years of poor grades but shaping up afterwards
 

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williamChenry said:
Thanks for the replies everyone,

Raven , (or anyone that knows for sure)


How do D.O. schools look at GPA, cause I'm assuming my last 3 F's from last semester, I'm probably at 1.8, 1.9....I have about 40 or so credits left to get my bachelors, but can I retake alot of the classes I did poorly on , will the new grade count? Also, I've only taken one Bio course (C+) so far and one Bio elective (zoology for some strange reason) , so I'm not sure if that helps me that I havent taken my sciences yet , so this way I can, now that I have a goal in life, do well in them....

but it's different now, I have a goal and determination and something to strive for, ...so anyways, if someone can answer those questions, I'd appreciate it...

William,

I am a pre-dent just visiting, so pardon my intrusion. I'm just trying to help brainstorm here...

Just a question: what is your major currently?

Depending on what it is, it may be beneficial to you psychologically and even GPA-wise to switch from your current major (if you are a Computer Science major for example) to Biology as your pre-med. This will give you a "clean slate" mentality and you will focus more on the area that you want to go to. This, however, will not prevent you from having to re-take some of your courses that are "basic sciences" necessary for pre-med in which you didn't do too well. Switching majors may "set you back" a few semesters in order for you to graduate, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. One of the things one needs to improve a low GPA is precisely that - time.

Just a thought. Best of luck to you. :thumbup:
 

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Question for you, Pelotari, since I'm in some of the same boat:

I actually do far worse in liberal arts type classes. I don't know why this is, but my easiest classes *are* science, math, computers, and language type classes.

I changed to a bio major and am now pulling an A average. However, I still have a crapload of old bad grades - a couple of fails from about 10 years ago - some of which are in obscure classes and can't be made up.

I also have a couple of fails in remedial math (non-transferrable; will not be part of my UC transcript, although I understand this is not going to help me since med school looks at everything) from when I thought I had a math learning disability, and before I got tutoring. Now I rock in math. My present school is willing to drop some of my old bad grades out of my GPA. I'm trying to negotiate the same thing with other schools I went to.
 

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my question is in response to the D.O schools not focusing so much on past classes that you retake. Do M.D. schools specifically do the opposite and look at the entire record? I know D.O. schools have the whole record. My question is basically how do M.D. schools look at retakes vs. originals?

Oh, and when calculating GPAs for applications, does the science GPA include only the most current grades (like retakes) or old and new alike? If I had a C in cal and then an A after retaking it, would they average that out or just calculate the last grade?
 

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If you dont want to spend years trying to improve your gpa, go to DO or carribean schools.

For DO schools, just retake the classes you did really bad in and the DO schools with completely replace your old grades, MD schools will only average them and if you have 100+ units this will barely make any changes to your overall gpa.

For carribean schools, do like a year post bacc and do well in it, then take mcat and do well in it. Even if your overall gpa isn't too high the carrib. schools will see your changes and will be more receptive to the idea of accepting you. They are basically looking for a reason to accept you, unlike american schools.

If you want to go US MD, you ve got a long long road ahead of you. Atleast 2 to 4 years of post bacc work. For me 3 to 4 years of post bacc work isnt worth it. I would rather go to DO or carribean school and work extremely hard there and land a good residency. If you still arent able to land a residency of your choice, you could do a year or two of research or intership and that may help you chances. Be aware that getting really competitive residencies (like neurosurg., plastics, ortho, derm, ent, opth) will be difficult from DO and even more difficult from carribean (not impossible).
 

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kast said:
my question is in response to the D.O schools not focusing so much on past classes that you retake. Do M.D. schools specifically do the opposite and look at the entire record? I know D.O. schools have the whole record. My question is basically how do M.D. schools look at retakes vs. originals?

Oh, and when calculating GPAs for applications, does the science GPA include only the most current grades (like retakes) or old and new alike? If I had a C in cal and then an A after retaking it, would they average that out or just calculate the last grade?
DO schools would take your latest grade, MD schools would avg the two grades.
 

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williamChenry said:
Raven,

did you apply to any MD schools ? is it highly unlikely to get accepted into an MD school after a few years of poor grades but shaping up afterwards
William,
I just recently applied to my state MD school--even if accepted don't know that I would 100% attend. Anway, as stated above those are DO schools I applied to.

It also depends on the circumstances of a person as far as being "highly unlikely" to get accepted after a poor semester. In may case, total, I will have like 170+ credits when I graduate, out of those 150 or so are all A's. I think my MCAT will be more detrimental than 10 years ago when I was a freshman. But Im not really concerned--as I have already been accepted in med school.
 

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William,

My two cents:

Think about what (true) story you want to tell to an admissions committee in a few years. For example --

First few years of college, you didn't see the use in what you were taking, was immature, did poorly, etc.. Then, some experience/experience(s) convinced you that medicine was your calling, that this is something you really want. So -- you switched majors, volunteered in clinics/hospitals, explored the field, rocked your classes, did well on the MCATs, shadowed and talked to doctors, etc..

So what does a mature, motivated, smart candidate who has this story have? A clear recent history with sustained stellar grades. A good MCAT score. Great letters of recommendation from people who back up the story. A record of EC's that show interest and exploration of medicine and service. An application that shows preparation, commitment, understanding of what it takes to be a doctor, and maturity.

If I was on admissions and saw this candidate, I would be impressed. This candidate would be a good doctor and a better candidate than many traditional applicants with higher overall GPA's who haven't faced and overcome the same (self-created) obstacles. Even if this person "only" had an overall GPA of 2.9 or 3.0 (due to averaging with early history).

Of course, this entails a ton of hard work -- don't underestimate how hard it can be, especially if you aren't in the habit of working hard in academic settings. It requires a lot of discipline and sacrifice. It may even mean getting new friends. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you and support you in what you want to do, not people who will disparage your goals or distract you from accomplishing what you want to accomplish.

Plan, plan, plan! Talk to a dean of admissions. Talk to the pre-med counselor at your school. Chart a course of classes, EC's, and MCAT preparation. Consider health-related work (EMT), or shadowing.

If you really want it, you can do it. Best of luck to you.

a_t
 

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I'll be 30 when I start school next year :eek: so you have plenty of time young grasshopper. As far as the GPA goes, you need to elevate it as much as possible, and rock the MCAT. The application process is messed up. AMCAS=takes ALL grades into consideration no matter what (sucked for me). AACOMAS=Accepted my retakes and I beleive didn't consider my scores I made up for, and they don't take math into consideration for science GPA (thank goodness for me). (Correct me if I'm wrong folks)Because my GPA was a lot higher on my DO app. than my MD app :confused: .
Don't listen to the crap you'll here from the losers who just want you to quit and feel bad/down about yourself just so they can feel better about their pathetic lives. Screw 'em :mad: . If you want it bad enough, you can overcome any obstacle in your path. It may take a while, (like me) but it will be all worth it when they ALL call you "doctor". Best of luck and don't give up. :thumbup:
 

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jbone said:
I'll be 30 when I start school next year :eek: so you have plenty of time young grasshopper. As far as the GPA goes, you need to elevate it as much as possible, and rock the MCAT. The application process is messed up. AMCAS=takes ALL grades into consideration no matter what (sucked for me). AACOMAS=Accepted my retakes and I beleive didn't consider my scores I made up for, and they don't take math into consideration for science GPA (thank goodness for me). (Correct me if I'm wrong folks)Because my GPA was a lot higher on my DO app. than my MD app :confused: .
Don't listen to the crap you'll here from the losers who just want you to quit and feel bad/down about yourself just so they can feel better about their pathetic lives. Screw 'em :mad: . If you want it bad enough, you can overcome any obstacle in your path. It may take a while, (like me) but it will be all worth it when they ALL call you "doctor". Best of luck and don't give up. :thumbup:


So did you do your prereq's for Med School undergrad or did you proceed to a post-bacc program? I am 25 now and always thought I would be in Med School by this time. I graduated with my B.S. in Human Mvmt Sciences but would need to spend the next year and a half or so in a post bacc...I have been contemplating a Master's vs a post-bacc for 2 yrs now!!! Thanks so much!
 

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JUELS1980 said:
So did you do your prereq's for Med School undergrad or did you proceed to a post-bacc program? I am 25 now and always thought I would be in Med School by this time. I graduated with my B.S. in Human Mvmt Sciences but would need to spend the next year and a half or so in a post bacc...I have been contemplating a Master's vs a post-bacc for 2 yrs now!!! Thanks so much!
You can do all the prereqs in 1 year at some post bacc programs, but you would have to wait another year as you are applying anyway.
 

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Hey William,

You got a lot of responses to your original questions, but I thought I would throw in my two cents as well. I'm 26 and am pre-med. I was in the Air Force for six years and got a late start. Not only that, but I was only able to take classes part-time. Now that I am civilian again, I have been going to school full-time and working full-time. If I had started this at 18, there's no way I would have my current grades, GPA, and discipline, but I learned a lot of that in the military.

At first I was discouraged that I am a little bit older than traditional med and pre-med students, but I see it as an advantage now. The best advice that I can give to you is to try your best and to not let someone else tell you that it's impossible to do because of the grades you had when you graduated, because there's no harm in trying.

Good luck, William! I look forward to see how you're doing in a few month's time.

Kim Mc
 

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I think the student who goes from being a self proclaimed slacker(me at 18) to an overachiever when they graduate shows more maturity and proactivity than the straight A since junior high, national honors society grad.
 

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Gatewayhoward said:
I think the student who goes from being a self proclaimed slacker(me at 18) to an overachiever when they graduate shows more maturity and proactivity than the straight A since junior high, national honors society grad.
Let's not knock the young guns -- both are pretty impressive. But not everyone can or should follow the same path.
 

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Sent this as a pm but what the hell...

Check out http://www.valuemd.com/european-rus...edical-schools/ for some overseas options if you truly want to become a doctor. There are some 6 year English programs fully recognized in the United States. They are excellent schools with much lower admission standards because you do 2 extra years somewhat equivalent to premed. It is also much cheaper than the Carib schools. One negative of many is that EE schools have very high rates of attrition for foreign students as it is their view that it is up to you to make it happen. No coddling.

I will be starting med school in EE this autumn and if I hadn't chosen this route it just wasn't going to happen at all as I was in a very similar situation to you (I'm 23 now). Do your research but I did mine and it wasn't looking pretty for domestic options.


It may not be a good option for you but if you don't mind leaving the country for 6 years (depending on a # of factors you may be able to do your 6th year stateside) you can come back as a full fledged doctor despite the fact you messed up so badly in undergrad.

If you are interested your best bet for getting started is that website I already gave. Good luck with your choice.
 

NRAI2001

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stillapplying said:
Sent this as a pm but what the hell...

Check out http://www.valuemd.com/european-rus...edical-schools/ for some overseas options if you truly want to become a doctor. There are some 6 year English programs fully recognized in the United States. They are excellent schools with much lower admission standards because you do 2 extra years somewhat equivalent to premed. It is also much cheaper than the Carib schools. One negative of many is that EE schools have very high rates of attrition for foreign students as it is their view that it is up to you to make it happen. No coddling.

I will be starting med school in EE this autumn and if I hadn't chosen this route it just wasn't going to happen at all as I was in a very similar situation to you (I'm 23 now). Do your research but I did mine and it wasn't looking pretty for domestic options.


It may not be a good option for you but if you don't mind leaving the country for 6 years (depending on a # of factors you may be able to do your 6th year stateside) you can come back as a full fledged doctor despite the fact you messed up so badly in undergrad.

If you are interested your best bet for getting started is that website I already gave. Good luck with your choice.
I think the carribean could be a better option. For the first 2 years of med school ur in classes rooms in the carribean. Next 2 years your rotating through US hospitals.

If you havent done your premed prereqs you could potentially do them all in a year. and go straight to a carribean school (if you wanted to save time).