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Should I retake Orgo 2?

EnchantedModernEnchantedModern Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
I had a really bad semester. My mom had a worsening health condition, my sister was put in to a psychiatric ward after attempting to commit suicide twice, and my father is going to change jobs. I've been trying to help them out at home throughout this semester. I've been feeling depressed and suicidal throughout this semester and end of last. I lost my motivation to do anything and I was also sick at least for an entire week throughout the semester.

I screwed up horribly in Orgo. I just got a C in the lecture and a B- in the lab.

I'll have a 3.65 GPA overall from this and last semester.

Should I retake in the summer? I was planning on staying at my college to take a different class, but I can switch Orgo in to retake instead.

Problem is that at my college, if I received a C- or lower in a class and retook it, then the new grade would count towards the GPA. Since I received a C, my transcript would show the other grade, but it wouldn't calculate it in to my GPA. Would med schools calculate it in? Will they understand my situation this semester? Which medical schools require Bs or higher in prereqs?


Replies to: Should I retake Orgo 2?

  • mcat2mcat2 Registered User Posts: 5,942 Senior Member
    For the application to MD schools, it does not matter whether your college will or will not include a grade in the calculation. As long as you take a college-level class (even when you take a dual-enrolled class as a high schooler), you need to report the grade of the class. The AMCAS will then calculate the GPA for all the classes. Failing to report any grade is considered as cheating.

    If you apply to DO schools, the replacement grade could mask the original grade.

    Somehow I think you had better just "suck it up" and not to retake the class. Maybe it is better to take a gap year if you think you could improve your GPA by including another year of grades, or improve other aspects of your application.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,664 Senior Member
    edited April 2014
    Med schools require a C or better for a course to fulfill admission requirements.

    For all allopathic schools, if you retake the class, both the original grade and the new grades will be included in calculating your GPA/sGPA. AMCAS requires that you report all grades--even if they have been replaced on your transcript. Failing to do so is considered making a fraudulent application--something that will get your application tossed and get you permanently blacklisted. Osteopathic schools will only use the new grade when computing your GPA/sGPA.

    While making excuses for poor grades is never recommended, you can certainly address your/your family's situation in your secondary essays. (However, the best thing would be just to go forward and make terrific grades so that you can demonstrate to adcomms that you are capable of handling both academic challenges and familial difficulties. Adcomms are looking for people who perform well despite whatever stress they are under.)

    BTW, Med school adcomms are made up of individuals and each individual member will see and evaluate your situation according to their own values and ideas. You can't predict how an individual will react. Some might be sympathetic to your situation; others won't be.

  • EnchantedModernEnchantedModern Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    I'm a freshman right now so I have another 3 years to make up my GPA. I can't take a gap year because I have a scholarship for 4 years and if I don't use it, I won't be able to afford college.

    Do all med schools require only a C or better?

    Both grades will show up on my transcript if I retake.
  • camomof3camomof3 Registered User Posts: 846 Member
    The gap year referred to is the year between college graduation and when you start med school if you apply as a college senior (so that all 4 years of your college grades are available in your GPA).
  • EnchantedModernEnchantedModern Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    I'm not making excuses. I know I can do better in the future, it was just the shock of it all and the fact that I went home, skipping classes, to help them out. These were the people I take comfort in and now I had to help them with their own hell. I lost my drive and had my own suicidal thoughts.

    I know I can do better in the future because now I know how to work with this.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,664 Senior Member
    If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you need to get yourself together first. That's the most important thing. You cannot help your family or do well in school if you yourself are not healthy and whole. Please seek out counseling through your college's student health center. (It's free!)

    If you find you cannot balance everything that's going on in your life right now, consider taking a medical leave of absence. (A medical leave should not affect any merit award you have. Usually scholarships are placed in abeyance while you're on leave; however you should check with the financial aid office at your college to be sure.)

    I don't mean to sound callous about your family situation, but there are many students who have difficult family circumstances and still manage to do well in school. You need to find a way to balance it all. This is a skill that very important going forward because your life is only going to get more complicated.
  • Jugulator20Jugulator20 Registered User Posts: 1,418 Senior Member
    As to MD schools, all grades received for college courses have to be reported. S took a Fine Arts class at a CC after his sophomore year in HS. He was required to report it. So both your C and B- grades will have to be reported. S dug himself an even deeper hole than you ending his freshman year of college with both overall/science GPAs of under 3.20. Fortunately he stopped digging. S (born/raised in CA) received three out of state med school acceptances. Last year he graduated and is currently a MD intern in CA.

    The point I’m trying to make is don’t despair. Take a deep breath. You’ve got a couple so so grades, not great, but nothing that can’t be overcome. If I had to guess I’d say most students who make it into med school received a couple of so so grades in college as well. Don’t retake orgo. You indicated that you can do better. So do better. As med schools like upward GPA trends, I think you’re better off taking other advanced BCPM courses and do well in those courses.

    A gap year doesn’t mean another year of college. It means go ahead and graduate in 4 years and then take a year off doing something like working full time. Don’t take the year off and do nothing as med schools will be very interested in seeing that you’re doing something constructive during this time off. Keep in mind that since you indicated a reluctance to take a gap year, you actually only have two more years of college to raise your science GPA up to a competitive level as to enter med school immediately after you graduate from college in 3 years means that you will have to apply for med school after your third year of college, or in two years. Completing a fourth year of college and then taking a gap year would allow you extra time to take, do well, and especially bolster your science GPA. As a note some students pursue further educational opportunities after college primarily to bolster their GPAs.

    Most importantly and agreeing 200% with WOWmom’s post above, after seeing you use the word suicide, I would strongly suggest you consider talking to a counselor at your student’s health center. You can’t “do better” if your physical and mental health is suffering. Good luck.
  • kristin5792kristin5792 Registered User Posts: 2,068 Senior Member
    not to be callous, and actually quite the contrary, i hope you can recognize that you're not alone and that many, many students are faced with family difficulties all the time. from personal experience with mental illness in a family member during one of my toughest semesters of medical school, i completely empathize with your feelings of frustration and confusion and losing control throughout the semester. it's amazing how much more difficult school is when life doesn't cooperate!

    i agree with wowmom and jugulator. find a way to get yourself some help. it is important to stay strong and be goal-oriented, but it will be tremendously more difficult for you to accomplish your goals if you can't take care of yourself first. you need to learn to be your own best advocate. your health, preferences, and goals are important, and i hope you recognize that taking care of yourself will both make you feel better and will probably make you a more effective caregiver/sibling/etc.

    i get it that seeking advice from anonymous internet strangers is therapeutic; note that i have posted over 2000 times! if total strangers can pick up on the fact that you need help sorting out your life right now, then chances are your friends, family, loved ones, etc can too. i'm sure there's some supportive person out there who cares about you and wants to see you succeed--why don't you start by talking with them? it's always easier when you aren't alone.

    good luck!
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