Dealing with prior shortcomings

I know many on this forum have taken an interest to medicine later than those in the “traditional route” have. In this regard, my case is no different, as I became interested in the field mid-college. Among those I know personally, I have kept the idea of going into medicine mostly a secret, as most people are not very encouraging (in general people seem not to be, and for reasons below)

Unfortunately, I didn’t do as well as I would have liked in college. I was on probation one semester, but eventually got off of it and graduated (albeit with a cGPA of 2.99). What irritates me, is that I consider myself generally smart. I get concepts pretty quickly, and I do like learning things. I was simply a horrible test taker, and didn’t have great study skills. Obviously things improved a bit, otherwise I wouldn’t have graduated (3.3 Fall of Sr yr, which was great).

I am glad I got off probation and graduated, but to this day the memory of those stressful days and my thoughts of what I would have done different irritate the life out of me.

Anyways, I thought to ask others how they deal(t) with their prior shortcomings (if any) in hopes of getting some insight on these things. I figure I am not the only one.


I’m not sure what you mean by “dealing” with the shortcomings, but want you need to do is triumph over the shortcomings.

You say you were a bad test taker, a bad studier. Prove that to an admissions board by crushing your prereqs in post-bacc.

Set yourself up for victory over the MCAT with a great studying plan and don’t deviate from that plan.

There is nothing you can do about the past, you just have to show that those grades were “pre premed.”

You also need to start building a relationship with admission committees, so that when you apply, your application doesn’t go straight into the trash. I put this together to show what you could do.

I feel as if I’ll be a better primary care provider (I’ve decided that’s what I DO want to do ~ Yeah!). To me, there’s nothing better than someone who’s “been there, done that” and bounced back. Some of the best movies made are those of comebacks.

My GPA isn’t stellar but I will tell you this, I can get into the world of my patients when they’re ripping all their vital stuff off, hollering “f-this and f-that” (I’m an ER nurse). Think of the movie Patch Adams…the roommate, with the 4.0 GPA, ran circles around the residents, could not make a patient eat. True story. Not that a 4.0 GPA makes someone unable to talk with people; sometimes one has to say, “Screw all this, forget the docs, machines, WHAT’s really going on?”. Not everything will be in a textbook or in an ebook.

Take your gifts and shine! You think outside of the box; believe me, I see people that present to the ED with all kinds of stuff that’s not within that box.

Wish you all the best!!

It is more of an feeling of “I know I could have done so much better if I just studied differently, or did such and such differently” (all things I was well capable of doing, in my opinion)

…basically, a feeling of regret? I know what’s done is done, but yea…I don’t know. I am taking prerequisites, and so far I am doing well, hopefully this will help me gain some more confidence.

Shortcomings are overcome by proving yourself with hard work. Your application is a short story of who you are, and coupled with your interview, is an assessment of whether you are worth a particular school’s time. Struggling through a not-so-great background shows the kind of character that gets people noticed by med schools, and proves that you have what it takes to self-reflect, make the changes necessary, and clear the hurdles. Sure it looks great to get off a great shot the first time, but it looks even better to turn it around and fight from the bottom up. Nail your DIY postbacc and shine like the sun. Look for schools that show an interest in older students, a school with student demographics like the one you fit into, and you’ll knock it out of the park!