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Applying to dental schools with a disability?

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Hi guys! 

Has anyone here applied/ gotten interviews for dental schools while having a relatively low GPA that was attributed to a medical condition?

Most people who get in are 3.8-4.0 range in GPA, but I wonder if there are some instances where someone had a low-ish GPA (because of said undiagnosed condition) but a great DAT score, shadowing experience, research, etc. that was able to score an interview or even get an admission in Canada? If you were able to show trends of academic improvement after receiving treatment, do you think that was a major deciding factor for them?

I’ll probably ask more detailed questions later when I can. Just want to get a look at what’s out there!

Thank you!

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Idk if I'm really in a position to answer your question, but the university admin/faculty should know that severe medical conditions can definitely impede academic performance, so I would think contacting the university and explaining your situation would be a good idea.

Also depends how much your GPA veers from the average (2.0 is obviously not the same as a 3.5), how the school weighs their GPA (i.e. your improving trend could be beneficial for schools like Western perhaps(?) or other schools that scale later years if they exist).

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Don't know 'til you try, and we can't give any advice unless you tell us more, unfortunately.

In the spirit of brutal honesty, I don't think the reason of having a disability will 'make up' in any way for a low GPA, or allow an admissions committee to overlook a low GPA. The reasoning behind it will not matter to them, in fact, they'll likely ignore it, since allowing random subjective circumstances to colour their perception of an application just immensely complicates the job they have to do. Dental applications are already straightforward enough as they are. I don't necessarily think that's a good thing, it just is the way it is.

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Something to consider - is your disability ongoing and will it affect your ability to succeed in dental school?  

Dental school was by far the most challenging part of my life.  Undergrad is a cake-walk in comparison.  Admissions committees want to know that applicants will be able to make it through without failing out.  

I’d say that the workload and study-load of dental school is 2 to 3 times higher than that of a science undergrad.  

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Hmmm interesting. Thanks for answering guys, I somehow didn’t have notifications set for this post so I never realized people had answered!

ok, well to be brief it’s not a severe disability lol but quite a minor and very common learning disability- as you probably can guess, which affects one’s focus, attention and memory for things that matter lol. I can 99% say with confidence that my low gpa (3.3 cgpa) is due to its effects wholly. My work/study habits were an absolute wreck since forEVER, but I was still able to keep afloat, thank god, purely because I’d do really well on select classes for which I had a passion (languages, languages, and languages).

The situations I’d put myself into academically were unreal. In addition, because of such a stark contrast between my performance and what I knew I was capable of, this lead to like a year long anxiety, fear of failure, and less than great moods. But finally, I got myself checked, diagnosed, and started treatment.

AND LEMME TELL YOU

The difference? Night. And. Day. 

I had a doctor tell me she was a little shocked that I had gone through 4 years of my undergrad with no support medically or socially. I mean I feel like I was able to handle it adequately; I didn’t fail all my classes (only 1 class), but I KNOW what I’m capable of doing, and I always knew that the work I was submitting was probably 1/4 of its potential. 

What’s complicated though is that my grades aren’t all drastically bad, they’re just extremely inconsistent, so even my trends of improvement wouldn’t be that obvious. I could get an A in a class and a D+ in the same semester. It really doesn’t look good at all. I’m just trying to show them that my grades really don’t show how I am with treatment, and I’m really capable of handling a lot more when the condition is controlled. 

Also, I realize that everyone also goes through this lol to a certain degree. I got told this day after day by social workers, family and friends when I reached out for help. From what I gathered, difference between us is that a regular person knows when to stop, whereas I really don’t. 

 

Edit: wording here and there 

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On 12/16/2018 at 12:04 AM, PimentRouge said:

Idk if I'm really in a position to answer your question, but the university admin/faculty should know that severe medical conditions can definitely impede academic performance, so I would think contacting the university and explaining your situation would be a good idea.

Also depends how much your GPA veers from the average (2.0 is obviously not the same as a 3.5), how the school weighs their GPA (i.e. your improving trend could be beneficial for schools like Western perhaps(?) or other schools that scale later years if they exist).

So I have an official medical letter explaining the nature of the condition and how it can impede my performance. The doctor also says in it that it’s clear my performance was affected by it and that they’re seeing improvements with treated. Also that they’re confident that I can do well in my program as long as I continue treatment. 

and my gpa is 3.36, but with my worst year taken out, it’s 3.41. I might also take the DAT again to improve my scores. AA is 20 and science average is 19, this considering I did the BULK of my studying the week before the test, and didn’t even touch PAT or RC (beyond a few practice tests for PAT), and basically did bio the day before lol, pulled an all-nighter and didn’t even finish the material. *My scores were a God-given miracle lol. I wouldn’t do it again if it weren’t for my PAT score being so low (16) but to be fair, I left pattern folding entirely blank, missing 15 questions, as I didn’t have time to do it and I left it last cause it was my worst section. 

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On 12/16/2018 at 4:21 PM, cleanup said:

Don't know 'til you try, and we can't give any advice unless you tell us more, unfortunately.

In the spirit of brutal honesty, I don't think the reason of having a disability will 'make up' in any way for a low GPA, or allow an admissions committee to overlook a low GPA. The reasoning behind it will not matter to them, in fact, they'll likely ignore it, since allowing random subjective circumstances to colour their perception of an application just immensely complicates the job they have to do. Dental applications are already straightforward enough as they are. I don't necessarily think that's a good thing, it just is the way it is.

Very true! Especially since barely any schools ask for personal statements anymore, so it’s not like I can explain my situation there. Guess I’ll try with what methods I have of letting them know and seeing what comes out?

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On 12/17/2018 at 4:37 PM, Ostracized said:

Something to consider - is your disability ongoing and will it affect your ability to succeed in dental school?  

Dental school was by far the most challenging part of my life.  Undergrad is a cake-walk in comparison.  Admissions committees want to know that applicants will be able to make it through without failing out.  

I’d say that the workload and study-load of dental school is 2 to 3 times higher than that of a science undergrad.  

Me last year? Lol I’d be at a point of no return within maybe just 2 weeks if I were in dental school. But now I feel a lot more in control, I can handle a few other things on top of classes (dat, applications, work, research) without everything crashing down as it would typically. True story lol, last year i applied to only 1 masters program. Aaaand I still managed to apply at 11:58 pm, just minutes from the 12:00 am application deadline, not mentioning my reference that came in many days later, the personal statement which I uploaded incorrectly so I had to upload 2. It was an absolute disaster lol

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