Previous Caribbean Medical Student

Hello All,

I applied to Medical School after completing my MPH (2 year program in 1 year’s time) and did not get into any schools in the U.S. So I chose to forgo reapplication and I went to Ross University in the Caribbean for Medical School in Fall of 2015. Long story short, I did not pass my 1st semester by less than 1 point. Unfortunately, that meant that I had to repeat the entire 1st semester. I thought really long and hard and did not feel as though the environment was conducive for my learning and succeeding. Even considering the fact that I did not pass my first semester added to the fact that I would be a graduate of a Foreign Medical School, I did not feel that my residency chances would be great. So I bailed and decided to reinvent myself, work harder, get smarter, and reapply. So after much deliberation, I have decided to reapply this coming cycle in 2017. I am seeking some advice on my next steps.

I am currently working as a Clinical Research Coordinator (going on my 4th month in the Department of Family Medicine, managing over 70 projects with several clinical trials, NIH sponsored grants and other industry grant sponsors such as the NCAA, and Department of Defense). Following my withdrawing from Ross University, I was an Adjunct Professor at the largest University in Florida for Spring 2016. I am currently studying for the MCAT every day for 4-6 hours a day, planning to take the new MCAT in March. I am volunteering 2 days a week with a local primary school vaccination program (elementary and middle school students). I am retaking Biochemistry and 4 math courses (algebra, statistics, pre-calculus algebra, trigonometry) that were taken as dual enrollment courses as a sophomore in high school. My current GPAs are as follows:

  • Cumulative GPA 3.42
  • Science GPA 3.40
  • Non-science GPA 3.43.

    After retaking these 5 courses, I will have the following GPAs:
  • Cumulative GPA 3.53 (+0.11)
  • Science GPA 3.48 (+0.08)
  • Non-science GPA 3.58 (+0.15).

    The reason for not pursuing an SMP or more formal Post-Bacc is that I do not have the time or money to be able to go without working and just accruing further student loan debt.

    I will be set with physician shadowing, will have plenty of research experience, great letters of recommendation, and volunteering. I just want the chance to get in the door. I’ve spoken with a few DO programs and they all state that students who were previous medical students go through a separate process for review of their applications. My questions are:
  1. Is it worth taking a chance and re-applying?
  2. Am I doing the right thing re-taking biochemistry as my only science?
  3. What else can I do to boost my application?
  4. How do I address the Ross University situation?
  5. Should my personal statement be focused around overcoming failures or focus less on my failures and focus more on marketing the “new me”?

    Any insight would be helpful! Thank you guys so much :slight_smile:

My understanding is that ADCOMs do not like applicants that have previously attended medical school and quit/failed out, the fact that it was a Caribbean school likely only makes that stigma worse. If you were to reapply to US programs, you would have to have an amazing explanation as to why your situation is unique and deserve a second chance to be taken seriously.

This is information I have only second and third hand, so I can’t say for certain. But if I’m being blunt, my guess is that you’ll be seen as having had your chance and screwed it up, and it will be a hard if not impossible road to get in to a US program at this point.

That said, don’t give up if this is really what you want to do. Talk to the admissions people at schools you’re interested in and get their take on things.