Advice on repeats

Hi guys! My brain has just been spinning crazy lately as I decide whether to take my MCAT which is basically my lifeline due to a low GPA from earlier years. Also on my mind is whether I should just apply straight to the Caribbean or at least give myself a chance US MD/DO. So as embarrassing as it is I wanted to give you guys a breakdown of what my science classes look like and hopefully you can help to give me better clarity on what I should do. Honestly I am having a serious case of FUD attacking me at random times these days as I approach one year before my undergrad graduation. So here’s the run down:

English semester 1- B

Eng1- B


Biology1-F/F/C (taken 3 times)

Biology 1 lab-A

Biology 2-B

biology 2 lab-C

gen chem 1- F/F/A (taken 3 times)

gen chem 1 lab-A

gen chem 2- C,C- (quarter system: summer, fall grade)

gen chem2lab-C-

Ochem 1-C

Ochem1 Lab- B+

Ochem2/lab- in progress (looking like a B hopefully in lec)

Physics1- B

Physics 1 lab- B

Physics2- B+

Physics 2 lab- B+

Calculus 1-F/F/C (taken 3 times)

Calculus 2-C


Molecular Bio-B

Molecular BIo lab-B

Human Physiology-B

Female Physiology-B-

Current science classes for the semester:

-ochem 2/lab (Projected: B/B)

-comparative vertebrate anatomy/lab (projected: B/B)

-geneteics/lab (A/A) previously taken and got a C-

Science classes for fall semester:

Neuroscience lec and lab

Histology Lec and lab

Biochemistry lec and lab

So that is basically a rundown of all the classes i have taken, taking and will take

Should I retake anymore classes to make myself more competitive for at least US DO/MD? Or should I just forget it and head straight for the Caribbean?

Also what are medical schools views on learning disabilities? such as ADD.

Thanks so much for all the help and support guys. Sometimes I feel like I am spinning out of control but your stories of success and knowing someone else out there is just like me and making it into medical school is just so inspirational it keeps me sane.

Much Love,


Shaina -

I think you could make it into DO school in the US if you did three things.

    • Get to Marshall university in WV and take their premed study program. Will help with any ADD/learning problems you have and make you capable of being very successful in your classes.

  1. At another 4 year institution-retake Bio, Chem, O Chem one more time. Math doesn’t count towards science GPA in AACOMAS.

  2. Take an MCAT prep course and do many practice tests, and don’t take it for the FIRST time until you are consistantly scoring 30 or above on the practice tests.

    Then address in your personal statement overcoming the challenge of learning problems by addressing them and then excelling.

    Without doing a program like the one at Marshall, you may have difficulty succeeding in med school, Caribbean or other wise.

    Those are my thoughts. YMMV

    Best of luck on this marathon!!


Hi Kate thanks for your speedy response! I went onto the Marshall University’s website and I went onto the premed program website and I had trouble locating the particular program that you mentioned. Do you know if it is under the medical school or the undergraduate programs? Also I live in CA so would it be ok to do these pre-reqs at a community college? It is very hard to get into UCSD and SDSU without being a student since they are so impacted and also it is very expensive to attend those schools too. Also should I just retake the courses in which I got a C in? I am taking my first round of summer MCAT prep in June so I will be able to gauge my performance. I took my baseline test with no studying and not yet having completed ochem 2 and received a 5,5,7 the 7 being in verbal so I am hoping from there things will substantially go up with some studying and guidance from princeton review. Again thanks so much for a quick response and I really value your advice! I hope to see you at the conference this June

Honestly with those grades and that MCAT score I don’t think attending medical school in the near future to be a possibility or a good idea.

I’d spend the next few years addressing whatever academic or learning issues you may have and then consider applying.

I really don’t see things going well if you applied/got in caribbean. Your stats are out of the range of the “good” carib schools and the places you would likely end up at are going to expect a lot of money which I am not convinced would be well spent at this time.

What realy concerns me is not that there are repeats but that there are repeasts of repeats. There are two clases on that list that go F/F/C, which I think pretty much kills MD for you. As far a DO goes I don’t know how they feel about people taking a class three times to only get a C. I know that they allow repeat grades but I have a feeling they are going to want you to show that you learned how get a better grade. You might get some understanding b/c of a learning disability, but I think that 3 retakes and minimal improvement is going to be an issue.

I agree with nelsen on the carribean idea. From what I understand you are pretty much on your own there with little or no academic support. They will probably not offer any assistance with your disability since they aren’t forced to by law ( I am assuimg there is no ADA in the carib.)

Any good advisor should tell you that maybe another career path should be considered at this point. No one ever wants to here they “can’t” but given your track record of grades, medical school will be VERY tough for you.

This doesn’t reflect one bit on the type of doctor you may be, but the history of your grades is not a good predictor of your future in medical school.

If you are 100% dead set on being a doctor (Read - about why many physicians are not happy) - find a post-bacc. Prove to YOURSELF that you can do it, and that will give an admissions committee the confidence to give you a chance.


Hi everyone thank you so much for your responses. I just wanted to note that the MCAT score I listed was the free practice test #3 on the AMCAS website so it was not official nor did i even attempt to study for it. I kind of did it on the fly when I was bored during spring break. But i agree that after studying and looking over the material if that was my actual score I should potentially find a new career path. Also my F/F/C patterns were from over 5-6 years ago. I was not then diagnosed with ADD but just immaturely took classes to pass and move on. I know that it looks bad to repeat a class for the 4th time but the C i got for example in first semester biology was from summer 2007. Also the C in calculus was from summer 2009. Also all the F’s were from UC. I was diagnosed with my ADD spring 2010. Also all the C’s that I received were from the UC system which I didn’t realize until last year was not suiting me well. So I transferred schools and have been improving dramatically since that decision. I made many bad decisions by not realizing what was wrong right away and was too arrogant to give up at a school that obviously was sinking my gpa. I intend on retaking the classes to give myself hope or at least a chance. Also I need to retake those basic classes since it has been too long and I need them for the MCAT. So I hope with this new information it sheds some better light. I am sorry for all the confusion but I have been in school for about 6 years now nonstop and have never changed majors so organizing what I have taken is somewhat of a task and is a bit confusing. But I appreciate all your honesty and concern. With this new information if there is anything that you can further chime in please do. I have been alone in this walk of education since no one in my family is educated. I am basically the guinea pig for college and I honestly don’t want to give up now that I am one year away from finishing my bachelors. Also I am only 23 so I have some time to spare. Thank you all again so much for your words of advice. You will never know how much this means to me.