Hello: Seeking advice / Help


My name is KJ. I am 25 and when I graduated high school I very much did not care. I was considered smart by family and friends but also very lazy. I was young, lost and was going through some trying times; even sought a therapist help. I ended up getting kicked out of the university because of my grades before I could get myself together.

After a brief stint at a local community college (at which my grades were also mediocre to poor), I found a Junior College with an accelerated program. I earned my Associates in Business Administration with honors (3.78) and even became president of the honors society (PTK) and business clubs (SIFE/Enactus).

But did not find any “business” careers that interested me.

I have recently gotten back into a university and have take up Bio:PreMed as my major. I decided on PreMed because I have been accepted to an unpaid internship with Clinical Care Extender Program at Hoag hospital and have been enjoying the experience.

I am finding my way and have discovered how much better I feel when I help others and would like to make that a part of my career. I love to learn and want to be knowledgeable. I also want to do something that is going to challenge me to become the best I possibly can be; becoming a doctor seems to fulfill all those things.

I do want to become a doctor but am becoming more and more concerned with the application process and my chance of getting into a good medical school with my record.

If there is anyone out there that can help please let me know:

What are my chances?

What can I do to improve those chance?

What options do I have?


Thank you



I am new to the forum (and to forums in general) so if I am slow or at all appear like a “newb” when it comes to this, it’s because I am (lol). I apologize.

Enjoy the ride because you’ll be fine. Keep the grades up doing the prereqs as you finish your undergrad, do well on the MCAT, give of yourself in a volunteer experience your passionate about, look into some research, and apply. You don’t nor can you do all this overnight so come up with a plan, post it here and we’ll help you chop on it till it’s realistic.

First order is to look into the school you’d like to get accepted to, in order to see what their prereqs will be. Schools are adding a few more prereqs and you want to make sure you’re taking the right courses.

  1. Google MSAR and get a copy.

  2. Come up with a class schedule.

  3. Estimate when you would be ready to take the MCAT.

  4. Post here and let us chop on it

  5. Implement plan.

  6. Readjust as needed.

    Above all avoid F.U.D. (Fear Uncertainty Doubt). Waste of energy and the most valuable resource we can never get back, time.

Thank you. Very much appreciate the help and encouragement. It means a lot.

I will definitely look into those things and bring them back.

(Might be a little slow to get back. My first few tests back as an undergrad have started and I really want to start off on the right foot)

Thanks again

I have been studying for my test and I had to stop by my adviser’s office to lay out a plan for my next couple of years there.

It turns out it will end up being 4 years as apposed to two like I originally assumed because I do have past college credits even though they are poor.

In talking with a friend, he is advising I just take whatever major will get me the best GPA, get out as soon as I can with a high GPA from my university and do a Post Bacc program.

I assume that Post Bacc are mostly for making up GPA and for get pre-req for Med School. If I am doing this at my university, couldn’t I just do well there, forgo the Post Bacc and take the MCAT and apply to Med Schools?

I feel like I am getting a second chance and I want to do it right. I want to make the most of it.

What is the best plan of action?

Is this good advise?

KJ -

Your friend is not perhaps giving you the best advice.

  1. Almost all programs will want you to have a bachelor’s degree - a BA or BS.

  2. I’m thinking that you were surprised that you would have to do 4 years BECAUSE you already had 2 years of college. But any major other than business is going to require probably close to 4 years of classes, because the required courses are not the same ones you took for business.

  3. Bearing that in mind, if you major in a science, such as biology, you can take ALL the med school prerequisites as part of your major, with some strategic planning. You want to get together with the premed advisor at your university so you can plan the courses to accomplish both the required courses for your biology major AND the few additional requirements for medical school. This way, a post-bac will be unnecessary.

  4. Doing what your friend suggested -taking whatever major you can get thru with good grades - will look like you took whatever major you could get thru with good grades, instead of demonstrating your commitment to medicine.

  5. You will have a good chance then, if you get good grades and do well on MCAT. Bear in mind that not only will med schools look at your overall undergraduate GPA, they will also look at your SCIENCE gpa. I’m thinking you probably had very little previous science credits, so that GPA should be almost totally what you make of it during this major. Chance to excell!

    Finally, best of luck and welcome to OPM’s!


Thank you Kate. That does sound like good advice.

I was leaning towards staying the course with my major. Your points along with the conversations I had with my folks just solidifies it.

I was just curious about the other possibilities. I want to make sure I play this right.

I am mostly frustrated because I was at a university for 3 years, originally bio also, was kicked out for bad grades (as I previously stated because of difficult times), a year a junior college (also not good), and finally a year at this past junior college when I was able to turn it around. So I already have 5 years of college experience and none of it - except for the last year and a couple of select classes from the first years that can carry over - is of any help.

I am not sure how many science course I took at the first university. I do realize that this will not only effect my overall GPA but my science GPA as well.

I am volunteering at a hospital (unpaid internship), and hoping to join there leadership team when I am better acclimated to both the internship and my new school. Is there anything else (besides good grades and good MCAT) I could be doing to help make up for these down falls?

Also, I know that I need to take my time, make sure that I get good grades, and that I shouldn’t rush things because I do want to get into a GOOD medical school; But is there anything I can do to speed up the process?

I am sick of being an undergrad! lol

Nothing I can think of to speed up the process. As you will see oft-repeated on here “it’s a marathon, not a sprint”.

Regarding previous poor grades in sciences, if you apply to D.O. schools, when the application service for that (AACOMAS) calculates your gpa, they use grade replacement - whatever is your most recent grade in a course is the one averaged in. The M.D. school application service (AMCAS) averages every grade you ever had in college, so a retake of a course helps your gpa less.

To find out more about D.O. schools, go to the American Osteopathic Association’s web site: www.osteopathic.org

Also, you could google “Andrew Taylor Still”.


How does it work?

Ideally I am shooting for an MD school.

Do I still have a chance?

kj -

Yes, you can shoot for an MD school. What you have to realize is that your GPA as calculated by AMCAS (the application service for MD schools) will not improve as much with retakes of a course. They will average every grade you ever took undergraduate. If you retake a course you got a C in and get an A, you will have basically 8 credits of “B” (if they were 4 credit courses). In the AACOMAS service for D.O. medical schools, if the “A” grade was the more recent, they would DROP the C grade, and you would have 4 credits of “A”. does that help?


Yes thank you

I appreciate all the help Kate

You’re welcome!

Are there any other extra curricular activities that I could look into that might help my cause.

Maybe even something that is paid.

Looking for a part time job and was wondering if there is anything out that I should look into.

And even if it’s not paid maybe I can just look into whatever might help boost my resume for applications

If you’re going to get a job, definitely consider something that would get you clinical exposure. Some options to consider would be: scribe, nursing assistant, instrument technician, information associate (secretary). Many of those types of positions require little or no formal training, so they should be fairly easy to get into.

Other things to consider which would require some schooling: scrub tech, EMT, CNA, phlebotomy.

Thanks Bennard

I would like to commit most of my time to my schooling.

Do you know the time commitment these jobs would require?

Also I was browsing the USC medical school website (my dream school). I emailed the email posted briefly touching on my story and asking what my chances were and if there was someone I could meet with for advising/guidance.

I was replied to by a short (and what I assume to be automated) email telling me to go to their website for inquiries or go to www.naahp.org (National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions) if I am seeking advising.

I checked this website and do not understand. Will this website set me up with an advisor? Do I have to pay dues? How much? and is it worth it?

Has anyone heard of or used this site?