any turn around students care to share stories?

Are there any students that went to school and got low grades then took a break for a number of years and went back, got a 3.7-4.0 and got into a good medical school?

I thought there might be a conglomeration of these stories on here but I haven’t really found them. I figured instead of asking how much a decade old meh GPA will hurt I’d rather hear success stories and why they believe they were accepted over other candidates that were not turn around students.

There are several of us on here with less than stellar GPAs who went back and got into very good medical schools. pi1304 and myself both had undergrad GPAs in the less than 3.0 range (mine was 2.7ish) and were accepted by multiple allopathic schools with very good reputations. OldManDave was actually asked to leave his original undergrad and is now an attending anesthesiologist/critical care doc. There are probably a few more of us floating around on here.

Bottom line - if you do well in recent coursework, do well on the MCAT and make a compelling applicant in other aspects of the application, you will stand a decent chance at most medical schools despite your original undergrad. Med schools (for the most part) DO take recent strong grades and upward trends into consideration. Very few med schools have a hard and fast GPA cutoff for determining who they will interview.

Read the diaries. Most of the people in this organization fit your question.

I am one of them. I graduated from college with a 2.56, went to work, graduated with a Master’s degree with a 3.75 and was accepted to 2 medical schools. It took some time, but it was done.

You just need to remember that This is a marathon and not a sprint.

i wish i had more time to type out my whole story…

i failed classes, got placed on academic suspension by a university…went back for a different major (slowly) and even undertook a special masters program and failed to meet the gpa requirement.

all of this was before undertaking another special masters program (the past two yrs) getting a 3.75 and finally getting into med school.

there have been people along the way who have told me to give it up, people who told me i would be blacklisted and would never be able to do this, people who doubted i could.

now i am one month away from starting the thing i have been waiting for and working for.

Rock on, Becky!

As Emergency and others said, there are a number of us. Is there anything in particular you’d like to ask, Hey?

pi/anyone who wants to answer

Thanks for asking

I’m interested in a few things,

  1. Are there specific schools that are more friendly to nontrad turnarounds than others

  2. How negatively do schools look at a lower (3.15 in my case) undergrad GPA, if there is a stellar postgrad GPA?

    Its just a bit tough for me to interpret admissions data when most of the hard data available, that I’ve found anyway, talks about schools in terms of GPA/MCAT.

    For example if I have a 3.9 postbacc/35 MCAT can I compete to get into a school with average admission standard of 3.9/35 or will they figure they have enough people to not lower their stats, so just knock me out in an early round. No matter what I do I will significantly lower their GPA average.

    I know in law schools this is pretty much damning for top schools. I’m really hoping its not the case in medicine.

    I know there are exceptions to everything and there is always gray area, but I’m trying to get an idea of what shade of gray it is.

    I’d love to see a numerical statistic that accounts for turnarounds…
  • In reply to:
For example if I have a 3.9 postbacc/35 MCAT can I compete to get into a school with average admission standard of 3.9/35 or will they figure they have enough people to not lower their stats, so just knock me out in an early round. No matter what I do I will significantly lower their GPA average.

Yes, you can compete for most schools. I don't really think that most schools look at their GPA stats in terms of "oh, we can't accept more than X amount of students with a GPA < than Y". Plus, you're not going to significantly lower their GPA average. Most schools have over 100 students per class. If they have an average GPA of 3.9 (as in your example), the vast majority of them are going to be clustered around 3.9. As an example, if they had 33 students with a 4.0, 33 with a 3.9, and 34 with a 3.8, their average GPA would be 3.899. If instead they had 33 students with a 3.8 and 1 student with a 3.2 their average GPA is now 3.893.

i direct you to my new blog (in my sig), there you can find my entire journey.

I had some pretty nasty undergrad grades initially. Actually, I still have em; they’re not something that I can change (excepting schools or programs, like DO schools, which let you retake classes and overwrite the old grades. But I digress). I finished my Bachelor’s degree with a 2.5 GPA.

So I didn’t struggle to change things outside of my control. Instead, I just did my best in my post-bacc, on the mcat, and in just getting a sense of myself and what I’m going for and why.

When I entered med school, I think my cumulative GPA was 3.0.

Re: gabelerman

Could you PLEASE tell me where to you went to do your post Bacc work?

I graduated in 08 with a 2.68 overall GPA, and I was recectly denied acceptance into a post bacc program. I have been calling to see what I need to do to enhance my application to this post bacc master’s program, but no one has returned my phone calls.

In addition, I have been talking with my former undergrad advisors, and they are telling me that I might have to consider REDOING my under grad. I already have a Biology degree and I am interested in academic enhancement post bac programs. They told me that most post baccs usually accept students with a GPA > 3.0 and >20 MCAT score and that I probably will not be accepted.

It’s not the time I’m worried about with starting over, it’s that if med schools would prefer me to redo my undergrad and requirements or see an upward trend in post bacc work? I even called a med school to ask what their admission counsel would think and got nowhere

I would just really love to know what school you got your master’s from so I can apply too! My spirits were truly lifted when I read your success story!!

(admittedly a month late)

fhayes, keep in mind that one needn’t do a formal post-bacc or Masters program. Many of us (eg Emergency and I) have done informal post-baccs, where we applied to a local university and took the necessary classes.

Your situation may be a little different in that you have a significant background in Bio. It may behoove you to primarily take higher level science courses and nail them. Redoing courses is another option, the results of which may vary from MD to DO programs. If you retake the same class and do better, DO schools will “replace” the old grade, while MD schools will consider both. IMHO, though, this shouldn’t be a deciding factor in one’s choice of programs.

Regardless, good luck!

Thanks for all the insight on this topic. This has reinforced my belief that I can overcome my prior academic short-comings and still realize my dream. I’m actually filling out post-bacc apps right now, hoping to get into a program by this fall. I am really glad I stumbled upon this website and the positive discussions in the forums.