Academic Dismissal

Hi, I am new to this forum, just wanted to get opinions regarding my current status and how to move forward. I’m 25, I attend Brooklyn College (A 4 year City school in NY), it’s a good school, one of the top CUNY schools. I am a sophomore, however after a year of dealing with depression and some issues when I lost my grandmother I got dismissed. My current gpa is under 2, i am actually afraid to look. I got 3 semesters of Ws and WUs, and one F. I am applying for readmission (after 2 semesters off), and am just curious as to what I should do providing I am readmitted.

Will Med Schools be lenient when I rise above all this?

Should I transfer to another school?

Will they be willing to drop the Ws if I get a letter from my shrink.

Just any HELPFUL information you guys can give would be very helpful. PRIOR to this, I was an Ok student, not great but that was due to laziness, I use to get As Bs Cs and one D. Was also in a research program and pretty much was on a good track. (I left research program because they werent paying enough and got a job in a Cardiology office) Sorry If I’m rambling, Thank you for reading.

P.S I am a chem major so most of those Ws were science classes :frowning:

I too flunked out of college but it took me 2 tries and 13 years before I could get admitted to med school(I didn’t matriculate).

1)Will med schools be lenient? No.

2) Should you transfer? Only if you fix what’s broken in your study habits otherwise those issues just follow you everywhere you go.

3)Will they be willing to drop grades if you get a letter from your shrink? NO, and if I were you I wouldn’t mention ANYTHING about any mental health issues (that’s just my personal opinion).

In retrospect, I probably should have transferred but I was stubborn and determmined to prove the Prof that told me I would never be a scientist/doctor wrong.

I think the keys to getting admitted after flunking out are stellar grades (mainly A’s), distance (from when you flunked out), and a demostrated commitment through volunteer work or employment to the field of medicine. However right now, I’d focus on getting focused, getting your grades up, and getting a degree. Medical school will be there when you’re ready.

If by “they” you mean the CUNY school, they might. Path is right in considering how confidential you want your personal health issues to be. The common wisdom is that those are best left vague when discussing with AdComs, writing on a PS, etc (“I had some medical problems, but they’re now treated and taken care of. Look at the grades I got since then as proof!”).

You definitely have a shot if you return and really prove yourself. I’d basically look at this as starting over, with one black mark against you already. Many of us have come from similar stories (search the forums and see) and done alright. Just figure out what stopped you before (which it sounds like you’re getting a grasp of, w/re the depression & tx) and take care of it, and let your stellar performance speak for itself. And then write a really nice PS to speak for it, too

welcome and gluck!

I’m going to say something blunt first, then nice. Stop being a victim! Get back into school, quit being depressed, retake your classes, get nothing but A’s, prove to yourself that being a doctor is not a wishy-washy dream, think long and hard about what you really want, and take control of your future. You’re still young!

I’m not trying to be your personal motivational speaker, I don’t know you or your story, but I think I can relate. I could have written your exact words a few years ago. I had a whole semester of F’s because I just walked away in the middle of the semester, not even bothering to apply for W’s. Why I did this is still amazing to me, even considering the circumstances at the time. I too was depressed. I finally had to get mad and aggressive to snap out of it. I had to quit being a sad victim and take control. I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but I know that doctors don’t have the luxury of making excuses over depression, and they are not going to find forgiveness and understanding when something goes wrong.

I don’t know for sure if my past will prevent me from getting in to med school. All I know is that I have to try. The worst that can happen is I don’t get in…I decided a long time ago I can live with that, but I can’t live with never knowing. And besides, it’s not like getting a BA is a total waste of time, if nothing else I’m developing my brain!

This is not practical information, I know, but a little encouragement maybe. My advice is: proof to yourself that you can do it, get the A’s. Write your story as the comeback kid…it can happen that way. In my (biased) mind it is more impressive to have the guts to dig yourself out of a hole using nothing but sheer will, even if it was you who put yourself in that hole, than to rise up from a place where nothing has ever been wrong. We may not have perfect records, but we have perspective. I think that is true for a lot of people here. Don’t get me wrong though; the people who have done everything perfectly have my respect and deserve a place in line a head of me – that’s only fair and it would be presumptuous to claim that a lack of any failures in life is somehow synonymous with lack of depth. But I think we can earn a spot in the middle of the line! And perhaps ultimately become good doctors who are able to relate to our patients with less condescension; doctors who have not ended up as doctors as a result of following a pattern of rigorous academic achievement to its end. Who knows? I hope admissions boards see it that way.

Anyway, I don’t think you’ve done anything totally detrimental yet. But you have to be perfect from here.


Just wanted to make a quick comment about kangaroo’s last post. Clinical depression is a real illness. One cannot just “quit” being depressed. There are lots of treatments with varying degrees of success but to imply that a depressed individual can get themselves out of a depression just by a change in attitude is medically inaccurate. It can be a very tough illness.

agreed w/ anthrodoc

Well, I guess I’m the bad guy now. I should have expected that kind of reaction. I’m really not a jerk. I know REAL physiological anomalies can lead to REAL depression. But there is a psychological component of some degree in every case. And the best ways to treat depression is not a settled fact. There is a lot of debate over the issue, and much research that shows anti-depressants don’t work and cause more harm. I am not one who believes drug companies are pushing dangerous drugs for a profit or that general practitioners are simply over prescribing to beef up their bottom line; I believe that western, scientifically based drug therapy is usually the best way to combat disease, but brain chemistry is a complicated thing. No one has all the answers. Once you start playing around with someone’s brain you open up Pandora’s box and could spend a lot of time chasing your tail. Of course, there are many people that know more about this than me, but according to my research, many of them agree.

The point is: I don’t think it is wrong to promote working on the psychological aspect of depression and, as someone with personal experience with this issue, I’m not being hypocritical. As a doctor, I will certainly not minimize depression and cavalierly brush it off as some kind of weakness (that is not what I intended here), but as a responsible doctor there is nothing wrong with recommending some sort of psychotherapy first. Attitude does matter. It is powerful force. It always matters. Sometimes it’s all you have. And that’s the point I was trying to make. It takes more than not being depressed to become a doctor. It takes something else, doesn’t it?

Obviously, I’m not qualified to diagnose a stranger’s mental health, but I will never indulge someone’s mopping around, regardless of the cause. I will never baby anyone, now, or when I’m in charge of their health (unless they are a real baby!) - that is condescending, especially to someone who wants to be a doctor. Maybe I interpreted llbmvern’s tone incorrectly, but I thought he/she could use a little nudge. Depression involves a loss of hope, and I wanted to remind IIbmvern of his/her potential and say you are not alone; that your dreams are possible despite some setbacks. That is all. I’m rooting for you, not judging you.

Maybe I worded my comment incorrectly, or maybe we should only talk about the logistics of taking classes, or ask GPA questions, etc. That stuff gets boring. Its more fun to chat about this stuff. If I’m wrong, please enlighten me.

Sorry llbmvern. This thread is supposed to be about you, not me…I’ll go away. Good luck!!

Thank you, I have fixed the bad study habits, I am actually teaching myself Latin and doing some non credit classes through MIT OCW to keep my mind fresh.

So Do you thing transferring is a good idea, I was thinking of transferring after a semester or two when I readmit.?

Thank you ALL for your wonderfull and HELPFUL comments, I know every word has love in it. I see now that there is no more room for error, I am in the place now to commit “for real” to my studies and medicine.

I’ve come around in circles too many times, my mind is FINALLY clear and I am ready to deal with the situation. I know Kangaroo meant no harm, and I need tough love ( I can discern love from disdain) and thank you for giving it to me. I realized I wasnt being responsible for my own actions by watching MEDEA GOES TO JAIL actually, there are a couple scenes that ring true to me and acted as a mirror to see alot that I allowed to be wrong with me.

THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL THE COMMENTS, I appreciate your taking the time to answer my questions and welcome any further advice.

Read about Old Man Dave’s Bio. He was dismissed from school and is now a Physician.

Can you do it? Yes.

Will it be easy? No.

Do you have a lot to answer for? Yes

Will it take a lot of time? Yes (remember it is a marathon and not a sprint)

What happened in the past, is done. There is nothing you can do about it. It is there and it will never change. The best thing you can do it focus on the here and the now and on the future and let your current grades speak for themselves.

Thank you Gabelerman:-)

Actually Dave withdrew before they could kick him out, but he was definitely going to get booted if he didn’t leave under his own power

hi llbmvern ,

I am currently attending NY city tech (cuny). I’m thinking of transferring to brooklyn college after I earn my associates for pre med. I am turning 23 so I am not a traditional student either, got my share of WU’s and F’s but I think it’s all about inspiration and motivation. You just need that little something to give get you going, then you will be fine. Hope to see you there, drop me a line sometime!


I think your golden intent was readily clear and appreciated by the OP. I perceive no mal-intent or intentional misinformation…merely an enthusiastic post from someone who has overcome adversity. My story - of repeated and full-blown failure - is posted and referred throughout these forums. In retrospect, I too attribute, at least in part, that dark period of my life to depression. Furthermore, while I fully acknowledge and accept the neurophysiologic basis of “clinical depression” and that modern medicine asserts that effective treatment is comprised of medications + therapy, my successful approach was similar to what you described. I did it ‘old school’ by pulling myself up by my bootstraps & kicking my own ass into shape. This approach will not work for everyone and it should not be expected too. However, as with all medicine, there are no 1-size-fits-all remedies for most ailments.

To the OP, as Gabe points out, having a dismissal on your record will be a substantial hurdle to overcome. However, short of a felony conviction, there is nothing that is a 100% death sentence to your application. Every red flag will make the process more complex and prompt deeper scrutiny, but it is overcomable by a subset of applicant. But, I can promise you, it will be tough…but it ain’t easy for anyone!