From Law School Dismissal to Med School: Where Do I Start?

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OPM 337: From Law School Dismissal to Med School: Where Do I Start?

Session 337

This nontrad is seeking guidance on how to frame their story and where to start as they transition to pursue medicine after their dismissal from law school.

Questions answered here on the podcast are taken directly from Go ask your questions there and use #OPMquestion.

Also, please be sure to check out all our other podcasts on Meded Media as we try to bring you as many resources as you need on this journey.

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

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One of the best things non-traditional students can do is to plan out their MCAT prep schedule using the free study planner tool available at Blueprint’s website. The study planner can help prioritize a student’s MCAT prep and make sure they are as effective and efficient as possible with their studying.

OldPreMeds Question of the Week

“How would you approach an application for a student that was academically dismissed from law school after their first year, and is now switching focus to medical school? How will medical schools view my application with this dismissal and what would they need to see from it?”

Choosing Medicine as a Personal Journey of Passion and Purpose

It’s natural to question the decision to switch from a law school path to pursuing medicine, especially considering the societal expectations surrounding high-prestige careers like doctor, lawyer, or engineer. The assumption that getting kicked out of law school led to a default choice of medicine undermines the genuine passion and purpose behind this transition.

Stereotypes about South Asian and Jewish cultures further perpetuate the idea that these professions are the only options available. However, it is crucial to understand that the decision to pursue medicine is driven by a deep desire to serve others. It should be about making a meaningful impact, rather than simply seeking the next career in line.

Therefore, you have to prove that you have a genuine intent and passion for medicine. Be able to demonstrate that your choice is not just about “what’s next” but a true calling to heal and uplift those in need.

Own Your Story: Embrace the Struggle of Getting Kicked Out of Law School

Number two in your journey is about truly owning and sharing the story behind your expulsion from law school, or any other academic institution.

Take ownership of your struggle. This may involve acknowledging that you entered law school for the wrong reasons, realizing early on that it wasn’t the right path for you. Instead of quitting because of external pressures or fear of failure, you pushed forward, ultimately experiencing self-sabotage and failing out.

“You have to own the struggle.”

While this may not be an ideal answer, it’s important to authentically own your story without blaming others. Embracing your personal journey and accepting the lessons learned will empower you to move forward and find your true calling.

Navigating Academic Ability and Finding Certainty in the Journey to Medical School

The next crucial aspect to address is academic ability, especially after experiencing failure in professional school, such as law school. While it may be challenging to compare the difficulty of law school to medical school, it’s important for medical schools to assess whether you can avoid repeating past failures.

Complete your prerequisites.

As a non-premed major, you may need to complete prerequisite courses. You have to be able to prove your academic prowess by achieving high grades in subjects like general chemistry, biology, biochemistry, and physics.

Prove your commitment and passion.

Striving for a GPA as close to 4.0 as possible will demonstrate your commitment to the sciences and your passion for becoming a doctor. Throughout your classes, extracurricular activities, essays, and interviews, you must consistently convey the story that medicine is your true calling and that you are certain of this path.

Seek out resources.

Seeking guidance from advisors like those at can help you refine your narrative, particularly if you are a nontraditional student. Whether through one-on-one or group advising such as the Application Academy, they can assist in honing your message.

What Medicsl Schools Want to See

“Med schools want to see passion for medicine. They’re going to want to see academic ability… Prove that you’re not going to be an academic risk. And they’re going to want to make sure that you are sure that this is what you want to do.”

Medical schools will be looking for not only your passion for medicine but also evidence of your academic abilities and your unwavering certainty in pursuing this career path. They want to ensure that you have learned from your previous experience and are dedicated to overcoming any academic challenges.

Time heals all wounds.

As time passes, and you engage in activities that showcase your dedication and academic growth, the wounds of academic dismissal from law school will heal. With perseverance and a well-crafted application, there is potential for success in applying to medical school and ultimately becoming a physician.


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