Jul 25, 2016
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hi All

Age: 33
Ugrad: UT Austin, 3.88, history
Residency: Texas
Postbac GPA: 4.0 through all the standard prereqs including biochem
GRE: 1540, 5.5

Applied to several postbacs, got into Columbia and Harvard. Went to Columbia for personal reason, realized mistake first week, dropped out and enrolled in Harvard's Extension, was behind from the start, dropped out after 3 weeks. Harvard issued a total of 3 W's I believe, but I don't think Columbia issued a grade. Bluntly there is some psych instability during this period (its been resolved) associated with personal problems and the fact that my source of income suddenly dried up while there...long story but terrible luck with an investment.

Went back home, have taken all of the prereqs at a UT and have a 4.0. Was getting ready to take the MCAT in early 2017 and apply next cycle while strengthening application with genetics, immunology, etc, however in looking at the application packages, apparently I have to report these W's...and I'm worried that this is going to significantly adversely impact my odds...3's W's looks to an adcom like 3 F's, and I was doing fine academically...dropped out primarily due to psychosis.

Anyone have any thoughts on how damaging W's are during a postbac - very early in a postbac, that is? I'm having fears that this is fatal to MD and extremely damaging to DO...considering PA or other routes.
Last edited:
Jan 3, 2013
Medical Student
You're being excessively neurotic. Are you sure your psych issues are taken care of? Nobody will care. Source: Non-trad who had 3 random W's scattered throughout post-bacc who is about to start medical school.


2+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2015
Medical Student (Accepted)
Order your transcripts and see what's on them for sure. Do well on the MCAT and apply. Be careful about what you read on the forums. It isn't always accurate or helpful.


The Oncoming Storm
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
All of Time & Space
you'll be fine, the W's aren't a big deal but it will probably come up in interviews, and you probably need to address them in your app somewhere

I don't want to ask too much, and I hope this is a throwaway acct and if you get more active posting in SDN you create a new unrelated acct

I'm hoping you had some comorbid depression or anxiety and that all your psych issues have resolved
you mentioned financial troubles? family troubles?

if you did have some of those, there will an appropriate spot (probably not your PS) to explain these W's and you can explain it in a less stigmatizing manner while remaining truthful (I think with health problems you have the right to choose to disclose what you choose to disclose, you don't owe them ANY health info, so selective sharing is OK in my book)

they're not supposed to discriminate based on mental health issues, but they will

psychosis is probably the "scariest" of these to adcom

these W's are OK
it's not a pattern, doesn't look like a GPA protecting move
the assumption will likely be a life issue
you should probably explain them, up to you how
remain truthful but don't mention psychotic illness
Jul 25, 2016
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Breakup + family issues + was supposed to get 125k from an investment, last minute issue dropped it to 60k = a few days in an institution. Not entirely sure how I will explain it but yes I will not advertise I briefly was approaching crackup.

Harvard did issue 2 W's - but not the 3rd? Colubmia has no academic record and from memory I dropped within add/drop phase. I think this can be explained...a mar but nothing fatal.