So I graduated a few years ago. It was a struggle. I had difficulty focusing, fatigue, memory fog, and some serious depression. I tried seeking help for these issues but no antidepressant or amount of therapy seemed to help. When I finally graduated it was a major accomplishment for me. I wasn’t focused on good grades because my career path at the time didn’t require them. I ended up with a 2.63 GPA.
About a year after I graduated I ended up finding out that I had a “substantial” brain tumor which was causing my symptoms. I ended up leaving the career path I was on due to my health and falling in love with medicine during my journey to get healthy. I feel so much better now and I want to pursue a career as a physician but I’m worried that my undergrad GPA will automatically screen me out of medical school applications. I’m currently taking some prereqs I didn’t take during my original undergrad and I got a 4.0 this semester.
What else can I do to make sure I don’t get automatically screened out? And does anyone have advice on explaining my low GPA on my application?
I’m so sorry to read about your health issues and can relate to your post. I was diagnosed with depression my last semester of college almost 9 years ago. I’ve seen numerous doctors for mental health, GI, and ENT issues, which allowed me to find my calling in medicine. As someone who struggled with math and hated chemistry in HS, I didn’t think I was smart enough to be a doctor. But the more I spent time as a patient and eventually started working in healthcare, I learned that there’s more to being a great doctor than just being “book smart”.
Congrats on the 4.0! Many of these pre-reqs are notoriously difficult, so that’s no small accomplishment. With regard to addressing your low GPA, you could explain the circumstances with how your health affected your grades followed by the steps you’ve taken to improve your GPA. Although some schools pre-screen applicants for minimum GPA and MCAT scores before sending out the secondaries, there are many that send them to anyone with a complete AMCAS and/or AAOMCAS application.