This student’s premed advisors told her that she needed to find a different career path because of her grades. Let’s see what I think.
Ask Dr. Gray: Premed Q&A is brought to you by Blueprint MCAT. Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.
The episodes in this podcast are recordings of our Facebook Live that we do at 3 pm Eastern on most weekdays. Check out our Facebook page and like the page to be notified. Also, listen to our other podcasts on MedEd Media. If you have any questions, call me at 617-410-6747.
[00:26] Question of the Day
This student is a senior who double majored in human rights and physiology & neurobiology. She said she spoke to her premed advisors only to tell her that she had a sob story. They were also quite concerned about her transcript that they told her to do something else despite her effort to explain to them what happened.
This student had a huge drop in science GPA between freshmen and sophomore year. And then she went up a little bit junior year, and then down a little bit senior year. Our student then adds to explain that she withdrew. And then she restarted University mid-pandemic online. She was adjusting hence, the drop between junior and senior year.
Now, our student wants to apply to a structured postbac program. But she was told her grades wouldn’t be enough for a postbac.
[06:09] Figure Out What You Need to Do
Never let your advisors tell you no. There are 1,000,001 reasons why someone struggles in undergrad. It doesn’t matter why. You may have to explain it at some point. But right this minute, it doesn’t matter.'If you want to be a doctor, work towards being a doctor. Nobody can tell you that you can't do what you want to do.'Click To Tweet
The only thing that matters is you checking in with yourself. Figure out how you can do better. And if you still want to be a doctor, figure out what you need to do to get there.
[08:44] Structured Postbac vs. DIY Postbac
There’s nothing special about a structured postbac. You can go to any other school out of state and do whatever you need to do. There is no one right way but you just need to do what is right for you.“Applying to a postbac program or SMP program that requires an MCAT to get into the program defeats the whole purpose of what the program is for.”Click To Tweet
And based on this student’s GPA and her grades, she doesn’t have the science foundation to do well on the MCAT right now.
Moreover, this student is also concerned about taking classes first because she got a C minus in Orgo 1. But she just has to stop taking classes since she already has enough credits to graduate and she can just go do her postbac program.'The more classes you take and the more you do poorly in those classes, the bigger the hole that you're digging every single day.'Click To Tweet
[15:45] Postbac vs. Master’s Program
Again, one of the first things this student needs to do is to check in with herself and really find it in her heart whether she can really do this. And she believes she can, it’s just that she never had a moment where she didn’t have to work to support herself.
And so, her goal is to work for a year after graduation to just clear up her financial issues. She may have to go down the Master’s route because it’s very unlikely to get financial aid for a postbac program.
[19:16] Chad’s Story
Back in The Premed Years Podcast Session 230,
I interviewed Chad who went to undergrad. He had a family, a wife and kids. His primary responsibility was his family and school was a very distant second place. He did poorly in his undergrad. Nothing changed in his life other than the title of the school that he was going to.
He did terribly in his postbac but he still wanted to be a doctor. So he went to a Caribbean school but only to get rejected.
Finally, he took inventory of what he needed to do because he wasn’t willing to give up on his dream. So he made the tough decision to stop working and go on to social service programs to support himself and his family so he could do an SMP program. He went and did the SMP and did well because he could finally focus on himself and do well in his classes.
As a result, he got into multiple DO schools. And just last year, he matched into general surgery. Chad was a very nontraditional student with lots of struggles early on but later matched into general surgery. Hence, you have to do what you need to do if this is what you want to do.
With all the responsibilities your family is putting on you, at some point, you have to say enough. And it’s really hard to do. But if this is what you want to do, then that’s the conversation you have to have.
[23:43] Graduating without a Degree
Our student double-majored in human rights and physiology & neurobiology and so when I told her to just withdraw from her other classes, she wasn’t even sure if she could do that. Since she already finished one degree, she basically doesn’t need to complete the other degree.
And so, the best thing to do here is to go to their registrar’s office to confirm whether she could do that, and that would definitely save her a lot of time to do this. And she’s saving herself from more bad grades too.
[25:31] Taking Gap Years
This student says she’s planning on taking gap years to fix herself before applying. That being said, she also has to get some clinical experience to keep her grounded in reality. She says she has an EMT license but hasn’t been able to do it regularly because of her financial obligation.
Join the Application Academy!