New member that needs some general advice!

Hello guys! My name is Trent and I am new here! I just wanted to tell you guys a little about my journey and what you guys think I could be doing differently!

Alright, I was attending a university seeking a degree in computer science. Its just kinda something I thought I could do and get a degree in. I actually hated programming and pretty much everything else that came along with it. I was so absolutely unmotivated to do my work, so I didn’t do it. It was so utterly completely boring and I didn’t know what else to do with my life. So i stayed the course and continued doing what I was doing my second semester. Long story short I was academically dismissed with an absolutely abysmal GPA of 1.42. Yeah that’s pretty horrific right? Anyway, I was pretty lost and didn’t know what to do with myself. So, naturally I applied to a community college and declared my major as what? You guessed it! Computer Science… again. Well before I actually took any classes there I had a surgery over the summer semester. It was a pretty incredible surgery 7 hour double jaw surgery. I just kept thinking of how cool that surgery was. I started watching videos about how it was done and I loved it I couldn’t get enough of it. I started looking around the web and have kind of fantasized about emergency medicine it seems so interesting to me. Anyway, I’m getting off topic. I started thinking about how I could do something with medicine. It dawned on me, is it too late to become a doctor? Some people on SDN, AKA ***, told me it was way too late and that it was all over for me. One person even suggested that I just kill myself. I was feeling kind of down, but for some reason still not discouraged. I changed my major at my community college to EMT/AEMT and once I finish that program my school guarantees a seat into their paramedic program which is what I’m thinking of doing, I’ll be finished in 2019. Then I went on a 2-week medical mission trip to Uganda. We worked with many local doctors from around the area and we diagnosed and treated diseases from the common cold to malaria, hepatitis and even HIV. All in all, I made school my priority and if the semester I’m currently in goes really well I’ll be sitting at a 3.5 GPA and that from non-occupational courses that will transfer. The GPA is still not as high as I’d like, but overall a huge step up from my 1.42 GPA.

Here comes the question time, I can go back to the university I was originally dismissed from, but I’ll have scramble and worry my first 2 semesters about my academic probation. Should I just go somewhere else for my under-grad so I don’t have the probation looming over my head, or would going to another university be seen as a form of weakness by ad-coms? I know I will still have to present that old transcript that has a 1.42 on it, but I just don’t know if I want to go back and worry about getting kicked out my first semester.

My second question relates to my first. I spoke to an advisor at that university who said, “If you are doing that well at your community college then you should be able to come back and do super well here too. I definitely don’t believe it’s too late for you become a doctor. I wouldn’t even count you out of MD schools.” He was super helpful I just want to know what you guys think of that?

My third question is, should I start looking for doctors to shadow now even before I am back in university? I have more time right now to do things like that.

number four, do you think my trip to Uganda will help me in the future to get into medical school? Or should I just kind of forget about it since it will be a long time until I apply.

And number five isn’t really a specific question. What would you guys recommend I do right now to help me? I know I have a super long road ahead of me, but my whole life has been filled with failure. I was a mediocre high school student and terrible college student when I first started. I am not going to allow this dream to be just a dream. I’m chasing after it with everything that I’ve got.

First, welcome to OPM!! Now to answer your questions:

  1. I flunked out of undergrad too, but I decided (mainly out of stubbornness) to return on a probation that required no lower than a 3.0 GPA EVERY semester until I graduated.

    I think it’s up to you if you want to “deal with the probation”. I used it as inspiration, but if you think it’s too much pressure, then you may not want to do what I did. Of course the problem is that if you can’t deal with “pressure” at the undergrad level, then med school may not be for you.

  2. Yes, med school can happen for you IF you’re committed to academic excellence form this point forward, have good EC’s, test scores, ect all those things that make an applicant competitive for med school.

  3. It’s definitely never too early to start shadowing Docs, the more experience the better IMHO.

  4. When it comes to medical mission trips or other cool, medically related volunteer activities, I think doing it for the love of helping people is great motivation. Any other reason like trying to impress adcoms is just kinda weak to me, but opinions on this differ.

  5. You haven’t really outlined exactly where you are as it relates to completing the preqs i.e. biology, chemistry, ect, to medical school, so I think it’s difficult to give you specific advice about what you should do. I can tell you that if you take preqs at a community college, you should take upper level Biology classes ie biochem, micro, ect, at a 4 year school so adcoms know you can handle the rigor of med school. A 4 year degree also seems to be an unspoken requirement too.

    Lastly, the nontrad, med student, and resident forums of SDN are great. But those other ones, especially the pre-med forums…

I really appreciate the help! I did go on my mission trip because I genuinely do care about the needs of other people. My university that I was dismissed from requires you to gain at least a 2.0 by the end of you first semester back otherwise you’ll be dismissed again for 2 semesters. That’s just what I’m nervous about. If I don’t do well enough then I just look like a fool when I got dismissed again. I know that’s the wrong attitude to have, but I’m just kind of nervous. I also do plan to take pre-med classes at community college until I am accepted into the Emt program.

Hello Underdog1, I’m in the same similar situation and working very hard to dig my self out of the hole. I would never get less than a B in any of my classes, but remember to never take on too many classes. Also what helped a friend was he took some lower level classes that he knew he would do extremely well in first to get out of academic probation. Find support with other pre-med / pre-health students not just as study partners but as a support group.

Shadowing a physician is great and the sooner you start making those relationships, the greater the experience you will have and also a stronger letter of recommendation from the physician.

Good luck with your endeavors and stay positive.