Help!!! Panic Set in this weekend

This weekend I went to the open house of my #1 choice, UMDNJ-NJMS. I spoke with the dean about my situation and that I am a little concerned about my UG GPA (2.57 in 1997). My current graduate GPA is a 3.59. He told me that I should be concerned because I have baggage. He agreed to meet with me regarding my credentials to see where I stand, I am taking the MCATs in April and have been studying since the Spring.
As much as I know that upward trends are good and other people have made it, I still feel panicy.
How can I relieve this stress and how much is my undergrad really going to damper my chances with my grad GPA the way it is, having a full time job, 2 infants, good LORs and the like?
I know that he cannot just tell me that they will accept me with open arms but what the brain knows, the heart can ignore

  1. Don’t panic. If the administrator agreed to meet with you, he thinks you have some future (with the right kind of preparation, hard work, etc.), and your opinion of yourself should always be as high or, preferably, higher, than a stranger’s.
    2. Was “baggage” the actual term he used? If so, I’d try to steer him into the constructive zone, instead of the vague and emotionally charged zone of conversation.
    Sample question: “Last time we spoke, you talked about the baggage I was bringing to the application process… what do you think are my actual obstacles and how can I put them behind me?” He may have some helpful suggestions, say, about remediation of the bad grades with new coursework or other places to apply if he thinks your odds are not so good at his own institution or all kinds of different ideas.
    Maybe you can ask him about other adult students who were in your position and “made it”. How’d they do it?
    Best of luck,

OK. I have a consultation meeting with the Dean next week!!

Show up looking spiffy w/ CV & transcripts available should he ask to see them. Then, with his/her help, tear your application to pieces so that you can rebuild it better, strong & faster. As pointed out above, if the Dean is willing to devote some of his/her valuable time for you - then he/she sees potential & is willing to help you maximize it. Therefore, you need to invest your time to ensure that this meeting is as productive as is feasible. Through networking, one of OMD’s favorite soapbox speeches, you have earned an audition…take advantage of it!
AWESOME work!!!

Thanks I will. One question. One of my recommenders sent me a copy of the letter even though I signed the form stating that I waive my right to review the letter.
It is a good letter from a doctor whom I have known for 13 years. We were on the same ambulance crew together and I inspired him to go into Emergency medicine. Should I bring the ltter?

No, I would not bring in any LoRs. You may not even have the chance to delve into your CV, but have it available should the offer be made. Definitely have transcripts & such w/ you, as he/she is offering their input on maximizing your application. Most critically, assuming the meeting goes well & this is a program where you would like to attend medical school, you will need to nurture this link. This has the potential to be your foot into the door.

Thanks for your advice Dave.
I will keep you up to date!!

Hi there,
In addition to what Dave has said, take a small notepad and take some notes. Jot down recommendations that this person has for you. Try to put only a word or two on the pad and write in the details after your meeting is over. Treat this like a business meeting and be very pro-active. Be ready to explain anything on your transcript that might be a negative but don’t apologize for anything. The sum of all your previous experiences will make you a good candidate. After all, this person would not be taking the time to meet with you if you didn’t have the potential to be a good physician.
Be sure to be kind and thank this person for their time. Be sure to express continued interest in the school. Know everything there is to know about the school (you have read the website, read the bulletins etc) and be ready to explain why you want to be there. This can almost be like a medical school interview so don’t be too off guard or too informal.
Finally, incorporate whatever recs you can get from this meeting. Knowledge is power!

Thank you for you recommendations, I will certainly do that.

The meeting today went well despite the family loss I had this week.
He changed his language since we last met. He now calls my UG GPA a hurdle and no longer baggage. He mentioned that over time and with my graduate grades the UG stuff is becoming “ancient history”.
He told me that he has no doubt that I will be able to do the work. I just need to get into the door. THe last piece of the puzzle…MCAT.
He told me anytime I have questions to call him and he is expecting a phone call after I get the MCAT scores. He advised me to ensure that I am ready to take them, if I feel that I still need more time I should put it off.
It was a good meeting.
A nice way to end such a horrible two weeks.

Gabriel, that’s really good news, very encouraging. I’m glad you were able to have the meeting despite your grandfather’s recent passing.