I need someone's wisdom regarding academic remediation!

I am new to this site but am needing someone to speak to regarding my plight. I am currently a 43 year persuing a doctorate degree in physical therapy. I drive 190 miles Monday through Friday to attend school and have a 2 year old and 4 year old with an amazing husband. I have always struggled with written exams and one month ago was diagnosed with ADD and finally understood why I always have so much in my head but constantly erase during an exam in an effort to get it on the paper, only to get grades somewhere in the 70-80%. I am in my first year of this program and finished the first semester with a 3.5 GPA. Now, I have one course with a C- (I missed a C by 1 point), and another that I passed all for sections but didn’t pass two (McKenzie techniques). I am told by many therapists that they have never used these techniques or have rarely used them. My plight is that I am being told to re-take my entire first year! I do not have the finances to repeat an entire year as my financial aid funds were just going to get me through these three years. Also, I don’t understand why I should repeat a 3.5 semester. I am unsure as to the next step and believe that it should not start with the department head, because he had the power to stop this in the first place. I have other class mates that have passed one of the courses above and not the other but are being allowed to continue on. The course that I received the C- in is not required to continue on or prevent us from going into clinicals. Also, we were told all along that we would just remediate the course and that it would not stop us. Any wisdom about how to fight this or if I should would be greatly appreciated as this has been truly a dream for years.



First, welcome to OldPreMeds.

Second, I hate to hear of your plight, but prudence dictates that giving you advice would require far more detail & that it be presented in a more organized, objective fashion. As someone else who has had a lifelong struggle as an intensely right-brained person (no doubt I would have been dx’d w/ ADD/ADHD & medicated were I to be a child in school today), the ability to focus & organize thoughts & subsequently present them in an organized, interprettable manner is a hard fought one indeed. But, what ever your path dictates, to succeed, you must divest yourself of the emotional approach & craft an objective, rational argument to act as a platform from which to negotiate your case. Being ‘emotional’ will only serve to undermine your case & potentially be perceived as reinforcing the decision-maker’s choice to hold you back. That is not to say you shouyld not appear passionate - you should always be passionate about the things that you pursue in life - that is what makes the work worth doing.

I wish you the best of luck & success.

This is kind of late, so I don’t know of what help the following advice will be. But it is pretty standard in health care professional training programs to have a policy in which students who fail/needs-to-remediate two courses during the year will have to repeat the entire year. Before you do anything, you should figure-out what techniques and/or strategies you will need to use to overcome your ADD difficulties in the failed courses. Once you have those in hand, you can then approach the program head or academic board to have them consider letting you retake the tests of those portions of the coursework where you ran into problems. With grace and finesse, you might be able to convince them only delay you a month or two from starting your clinical rotations, instead, of reverting you back to day one of the academic program. If not, at least you know how you can workaround your ADD in the upcoming academic year and you still have a shot at becoming a DPT.