My traditional school GPA is overshadowing my post bacc performance

I’m in my early thirties and have been taking courses, volunteering, and getting shadowing hours for the past few years while working FT in my current career. I felt like I was on the winning side of this journey. My post-bacc GPA is a 4.0 and the experiences I have had so far have only confirmed my belief that I want to go into medicine. I will be taking my MCAT next spring and applying to med school next spring. Now, backtrack to my undergrad from over 10 years ago. I have a bachelor’s and master’s in business. I was a decent student that got some A’s and B’s. But the summer after my freshman year, I experienced some tragic events and didn’t really have the resources to cope. I withdrew from some classes in summer semester. In the following fall and spring semester I experienced depression and simply didn’t attend my classes. I have two semesters of F’s sprinkled with a few withdrawals. I was put on academic probation/suspension for a semester, got the help I needed, and came back stronger than before, back to getting A’s and B’s, but this time more A’s.

Now, I knew that this would affect my GPA when I applied to med school but I didn’t anticipate it affecting my GPA greatly, or affecting my science GPA at all. Today I put my entire length of coursework into Mappd and I am feeling extremely discouraged. My overall GPA is 3.17, and my overall science GPA is 3.35. My science GPA was affected because one of the courses I took in my undergrad was Survey of Calculus, and this is one of the courses I withdrew from and had an F in twice during my very bad year in college. I can’t explain how discouraging this feels. When I think of being compared to other traditional students with a 3.17 - 3.35 GPA it feels unfair, because I am currently a 4.0 GPA student. I am more mature and have developed beyond my struggles, and the level of success I attained back then.

I’m unsure how to proceed. Should I delay my application by a year and take more classes to improve my GPA? I really don’t want to do this, because I am a nontrad in my thirties and want to maximize my career length as a doctor. I also did some “scenarios” in Mappd, seeing how much I could bring my GPA up with additional coursework, and the change was very minimal. It seems like I would have to take several semesters of classes to make a significant difference. Am I going to get screened out of some school automatically based on my GPA? Is there any way to avoid this through contacting ADCOMs before applying, or how do I include an explanation of my prior performance into my application? It seems like the only place for this would be my personal statement, and I don’t want to veer off of what is important to discuss this.

For some background info, I am a married female in my early thirties. My husband and I hope to have kids sometime in the near future. At this point, the plan until I get into and begin med school is for me to continue working in my current career FT in anticipation of the cost that med school will be and the fact that only one of us will be working to support us.

answered on this week’s OldPreMeds Podcast coming out Wednesday, 8/11/21!

Thanks Dr. Gray! I listened to this podcast and it was very helpful. I’m going to just keep continuing on my path. I will have 42 postbacc credits by the end of this fall so thankfully my post bacc GPA is composed of a higher number of credits. I appreciate your feedback.

Dr_Gray has a lot more experience than I do in this type of situation, but N=1 experience I ended up getting into an MD school with a cGPA < 3.0. I started with a 2.2 and ended up somewhere around 2.8. My sGPA was a lot higher though (like 3.6ish?) because I didn’t take many science classes during my bachelors.

I got immediately rejected from a lot of DO schools due to GPA cutoffs, but every MD school I applied to read through my application. I ended up getting accepted to both DO and MD schools in the 2020 cycle. I would not delay my application in hopes of getting your cGPA up to a level that competes with traditional applicants. Adcoms, in my experience, look at your recent grades more closely than older grades that don’t reflect your current abilities as a student.