No Responses on the Premed Forum or College Forum so asking for help

<p>Hi Everyone. I was looking for advice as to how to deal with my general chemistry course. I am zoology major but looking to go into med school. I am very strong in biology, anatomy and physiology. But I am having a rough time in my general chem class. I just had my first exam and scored around a 2.7. I am really nervous now, I was well prepared for it, and felt confident, and understood the material but I get pretty bad test anxiety so I panicked a little. Now the issue was we only had an hour for the exam and my pretest panic ate up about 15 minutes I didn't have. I just feel it is unfair to have my future career plans be based on something that doesnt accurately reflect my ability. I know it doesn't because the chem department offered two practice exams, exactly the same types of problems under testing conditions. I took them both and got a 100% one and a 90% on the other. Anyway this leads to my questions:</p>

<ol>
<li>Do you have any advice to combat test anxiety and panic?</li>
<li>I have wanted to be a doctor since I was 12, I have never really been healthy so I am in and out of the hospital a lot and I couldn't imagine doing anything else, but I can't see myself getting more than a 3.0 or worse in this class because I one hour for each exam and each question is worth 10 points out 180. Any advice?</li>
<li>It is common knowledge that you need stellar grades to get into med schools but basically how many C's is too many?</li>
<li>If I have outstanding grades in biology courses to make up for the ones in chem, and mediocre ones in chem will they keep me out just because chem and I don't get along? My major is all upper level bio courses but I only need to take around six in chem: gen, inorgo, orgo I and II and biochem.</li>
<li>My advisor told me a lot of people who have trouble in gen chem and inorganic do better and even excel in orgo and biochem which Im hoping is me because biology seems to come really natural to me (haha a pun, sorta =)). Is there any truth to this.</li>
<li>It seems too soon to tell how my gpa will turn out but if I were to be in a position with like a 3.0 when Im ready to apply, are my med school dreams dashed, or could I hold off applying for a year take more, respectable science courses and do everything in my power to do well in them to raise my gpa and then apply or are you only allowed to take a certain number of courses when you apply if that makes sense?</li>
<li>Finally will one bad exam ruin my ability for a 4.0 in the class? I mean this first exam was on limiting reactants, mole conversions, hydrates, percent yield, etc. Pretty basic stuff and I got the quote "difficult" questions right, the questions I missed were things the really easy things homo and heterogeneous mixture type questions because I rushed through the exam. So I am also asking how do I not make those mistakes and could maybe the next exam go better because there will not be so much basic stuff?</li>
<li>Also my mom keeps telling me I need to be realistic which I find really offensive. She phrases it like this "not everyone can be a doctor." It is starting to eat at me. I plan on pursuing this path as long as I am able to and dam it im gonna do it eventually. I just need help and hearing that isn't helping. I experimented with the idea of other careers but it always come back to being a physician. I have had doctors get me through some of the toughest times in my life and even save it, and I want to do that. Also there is no invention as complex as the human body and how it works is simply fascinating. I can't imagine doing anything else. So any advice at all to help me would be appreciated.</li>
</ol>

<p>I don't know Im a wreck right now and really in need of advice. I no i shouldn't be like this with only one exam. But I feel like my dreams are dashed. Plz don't make fun of me or be mean. This is the only place I share this craziness. To everyone else Ive just shaken this off and am ready to work again. Also I don't party or anything, I take school seriously so level of commitment or anything wasn't an issue. Also how can I move on from this exam and are there any good general chem books that can explain everything really well and maybe another that summarizes it really well to help prepare for exams.</p>

<p>Also its worth noting I am working through a lot of medical issues right now. I had a major operation about 5 weeks ago. It was major reconstruction of my chest because of a bone deformity Ive had since I was born. Anyway it is really screwing with me. I don't sleep more than four hours a night or sometimes not at all, even with a prescription sleep aid. I was concerned about this but my doctor says its normal. Anyway two days before the exam I was hospitalized and Ive slept about 8 hours since then so thats been 8 hours for over 3 days. Medical withdrawal really doesn't seem to be an option even though ive discussed it. Basically just a lot of post op pain that decreases each week. So basically I am working through a lot and have a huge adjustment to make with college. Im certainly capable of succeeding just not so great circumstances so I don't if that will significantly help my med school admissions. Any relevant or irrelevent advice would be appreciated. Also I spoke with my advisor once already but im thinking of doing so again in order to maximize my resources for academic success as well figure out some options to bring up a low or borderline gpa even though that is pretty premature. </p>

<p>Thank You </p>

<p>John</p>

<p>Thank You</p>

<p>John</p>

<p>Regarding #1 - your school's counseling center may have resources for dealing with test anxiety. I work at a university and that's a service our counseling center offers. You need to deal with this, because you will have many, many more tests.</p>

<p>A few thoughts:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Your college's health center or academic advising office can probably refer you to someone who can counsel you about test anxiety. </p></li>
<li><p>At this point in the semester, it may still be possible to drop the general chemistry course without having it show on your transcript, provided that you will still have enough credits to be considered a full-time student without it (at a standard semester school where students take an average of 15 credits per semester, you need 12 credits to be full-time). You MUST be full-time because if you are not, your parents may not be able to keep you on their health insurance (among other consequences). But you probably do not have to take general chemistry this particular semester, when you are struggling with a medical issue. If this possibility interests you, it's worth talking to your academic advisor.</p></li>
<li><p>Organic chemistry and biochemistry are indeed very different from general chemistry, and students who excel in orgo/biochem are not necessarily the same ones who excelled at general chem. But for medical school admissions, you need good grades in both general chemistry and organic.</p></li>
<li><p>Your mom is not trying to be offensive, and what she's saying is not insulting to you. Admission to medical school is very competitive. EVERY premedical student should have ideas in mind about what they might want to do if medical school doesn't work out for them. Think about it a little. Is it more the scientific aspects of medicine that appeal to you or the aspects that involve helping people? In either case, there are alternate career paths that may offer great satisfaction (e.g., research for the science-oriented, allied health professions or teaching for the people-oriented).</p></li>
</ol>

<p>also if its not apparent already, Im just looking for any med school that will take me, not the most competitive one</p>

<p>also I probably didnt phrase this correctly so I apologize I mean to say I am always dealing with a medical although the operation was more extreme than normal but it does make day to day life more difficult. Im just having issues because Im on my own here I got a couple close enough friends to trust with this information and the university of course but thats it. I usually keep this stuff private. My problem is i can't tell my parents about these issues because they will hate me for insisting i go away. So Ive been scheduling my own appointments and everything so I am taking care of myself. Its just tough to balance. Also thank you for responding.</p>

<p>I really could use some more advice guys plz help me out</p>

<p>would a C or B in Gen Chem be the end of my opportunity to get into med school. im fairly strong in science expect those two courses gen and inorgo but I think I can pull a B in both while getting as many other As as possible. So I think I can bring my science GPA back.</p>

<p>Why isn't medical withdrawl an option? Not sure why you would have started school so soon after after what would appear to be a very major surgery.</p>

<p>You need to get yourself healthy -- physically and mentally. Then you will be better prepared to address whatever academic issues you may have.</p>

<p>1st - Take a deep breath.</p>

<p>2nd - Some undergrad have very good relations with Med Schools. You don't necessarily need a 4.0 every semester to get into Med School. You also don't need to be a science major -- just take the "required" courses (Bio, Chem, O Chem)</p>

<p>3rd - There is no rule you need to go to Med School right out of undergrad. "Real world" job experience counts for much when applying to any Grad, Law & Med School. Look at a few Med schools & review the average age of the students.</p>

<p>4th - Being a doctor is not the only profession in the medical world. You Mom may not be the support you want right now, but don't tune out that there are many jobs that can get you the same type of satisfaction as a Doctor.</p>

<p>I recommend:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Talk to your Genl Chem Prof. & explain the situation of your personal medical conditions & your concerns with your grade -- Maybe he/she never gives As and you grade is right in line with the Profs expectations.</p></li>
<li><p>Do a post over on the Med School board & get an idea of how many of them may have had an off semester in a subject.</p></li>
<li><p>Last - I may be in the minority with this - But I applaud you continuing with a full course load & handling doctor appts, etc on your own. Many of the "real" world experiences will leave you stressed & sleep deprived, yet you will be expected to go to work daily & handle a household. Unfortunately, that is life.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>The past is the past - move on & do your best going forward. Remember perfection is not realistic. Cut yourself some slack.</p>

<p>As far as everything goes I live with lupus and hemophilia so even after I recover from my surgery life will still be a day to day struggle. I honestly haven't slept for about three days now I feel like death but I didn't miss a class and aced a calc exam. Basically what im saying if I don't keep expecting my best even when Ive hit rock bottom I may lose my ambitions which I dont want to do. I definitely could take medical leave but if I did that im worried I wouldn't come back or not be as motivated. Also bout the sleep issue thats normal for me you just don't get used to it. Im not depriving myself or anything its just some nights it doesn't happen and sometimes a small streak forms. Im on sleep aides but there isn't really much that can be done. And seriously I think Lupus and Hemophilia patients would much rather be treated by a doctor with the same conditions. something they can relate to. so that is why i want to be a doctor and why i really can't settle for anything less because its not just about me I could be a great role model for a lot of sick kids who have lost hope.</p>

<p>If your MCAT scores are high and the rest of your application/references look good, it is possible to get into med school with less than perfect grades--especially if you've gone to a top school as an undergrad.</p>

<p>I am aware of chem 1 or 2 being "weed" courses. And often, the first test can have a class average of 60, so there is still the potential for a curve. If this is what you want, keep going in the class and keep working hard. One C is not going to keep you from getting in. </p>

<p>Crazy as it sounds, your lifelong illnesses may be a hook. If you can maintain a 3.2 overall average or better (GPA) despite your illnesses and surgeries, you still have a shot at it while others who are healthy may not. </p>

<p>Keep going, wait until the next exam. I might talk to the prof about your situation, illnesses and surgery. Perhaps your medical situation might qualify you for more time on the exam.</p>

<p>thanks im gonna look into that right away</p>

<p>now how would my illness be a hook, i wasnt even going to bring them up cuz i was worried it being med school and all they would no how unpredictable life with my illnesses is and how performing at your best is so rare. so theyd figure im more likely to not be able to excel.</p>

<p>also as far as cem being what i want i really dont but its a required university freshman course that nearly all majors at my school need to take</p>

<p>I know several students in med school and one who has just finished who had less than stellar grades. You do not need a 4.0 and you can easily have a crap grade in an early course and still become a doctor! </p>

<p>After taking the wonderful advice on this thread- and I think you're getting some and will get some more- one of the best things you can do for your well-being and stress level is stop coming to CC. This is a delusional land where a ton of young people without expertise claim that you have to be near perfect to reach your educational and career goals and there is one, linear path to take. In particular, the beliefs about what is needed in terms of GPA or standardized test scores for professional or graduate programs is often grossly overinflated.</p>

<p>thank you all very much ive calmed down quite a bit, am seeing a counselor, and getting a the necessary help I need to succeed in my coursework. Ive had a rough time and that examine just caught me in a bad place. Im gonna do whatever I can to do as well as I can and try not to worry about it as much</p>

<p>And give yourself some credit. You are dealing with a tough situation and not coming unglued. You are definitely a tough survivor.</p>

<p>From post #10:
"I definitely could take medical leave but if I did that im worried I wouldn't come back or not be as motivated."</p>

<p>If you are posting truthfully.....if you think taking time off would cause you not to come back, or to be less motivated....you really need to think about what you're doing. If you continue on your current path, you're likely to continue to have episodes like this recent trauma over your grade on a chem exam.</p>

<p>It's likely taking time off would be the best thing for you. If you return and are motivated, you'll have no problem doing well. If you don't return...or loose your motivation....you will be heading in the right direction for you.</p>

<p>John, I come from a family of doctors, medical students and health care professionals. They are all outstanding and successful and all of them got Bs or Cs in at least one or more undergraduate science course. Please take a deep breath. The most important thing you can do is learn to manage stress because if you don't, your own health will suffer. You seem like a dedicated student and no doubt you will be successful in reaching your goals. But please take care of yourself first or you will have nothing to give to your future patients. Best wishes.</p>