Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Should I give up on med school? Am I being delusional? Need honesty.


Recommended Posts

I need someone to be brutally honest with me and tell me if I'm being delusional.

I'm currently a Bsc student at UBC. I was going through some problems in my first year, and I failed four courses, two in each term. I was put on academic probation and essentially had to 'redo' first year. Well, I ended up not changing my study habits much, and I failed two more courses that year. A total of six failed courses. Both years have averages of 55%. I was close to being asked to withdraw from the school.

This term, I'm entering the second level of my degree, which is my third year at UBC. I'm feeling a lot better mentally this year, and ready to study my a** off. If I were to excel in my remaining years (I'm planning to take 5 years), would I have a shot at med school? It is a dream of mine, and has always been, as many people on here have (I don't think I need to elaborate). 

I don't want to have tunnel vision and be hung up on going into medical school if I have zero chances. Yes, its my ultimate goal, but I don't want to be over stretching myself with ECs and such if I have zero chances to begin with. It sucks that I may have killed my chances due to my first two years in university, even if I destroy the MCAT and my next three years. But I want some closure. I don't know anyone else in my life who is in medical school or in the medical field, so I don't really have anywhere I can seek guidance or advice. 

Please relay your honest opinions to me, and tell me if I should give up on aiming for med school. Its hard to admit my grades and failed courses on here; its something i've been ashamed of for a while. But I figured I would be honest in order to get honest opinions. Thanks. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you have a chance with a very steep and obvious improvement in grades and an explanation in the application of why your first two years were disasters. But even if you do manage that, you're still probably going to have a long road ahead. You better have an excellent work and extra curricular profile to make up for your GPA (let's be realistic). And it will likely take your more than 3 years of solid volunteering to achieve the 35+ NAQ you'll probably need to get an interview. Consider that you need to do all that volunteering, while trying to get a GPA high enough (90%+) to offset your first two years (Worst year is dropped, but it doesn't sound like your second year went well either). You may need to apply multiple times, perhaps more than 3-4 times. Are you okay with waiting to get into UBC for another 5-8 years? And after all that, you may still not get in. That's something only you can answer. You have to do a risk/benefit analysis taking into consideration loss of opportunity cost as well. It's going to be an uphill battle.

You also have the option of Caribbean/Poland/Australia, but with your current academic performance even that is a longshot right now and it comes with its own huge risks. If your highschool marks are decent, you might be able to get into a 6 year MD program in eastern Europe but that comes with huge risks as well. Read the International schools sub forum to better understand these option and what it means to be an IMG and do your own cost/benefit/risk analysis. 

My advice is do another semester, work your butt off, and see if you can pull off the excellent grades. If you can't, consider your back up options. There's more to life than medical school, and who knows? There might be something greater for you. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

For schools such as Queens, Western & Dalhousie they only consider your final two years of GPA for entry. Western requires a  3.7 gpa cut off in both years as long as the courses taken are 60% at or above course level (like taking at least 3 third year courses each term). As long as you work really really hard for the next two years or 3 (which by the way, Ottawa considers only last 3 years) there is absolutely no reason why you should give up on medicine. Take a good look at these schools to ensure you meet their requirements, and be careful not to make yourself ineligible for the weighted gpa options of other schools where they might drop your lowest courses or your lowest year. 

Overall advice, look at ALL requirements of Canadian medical schools, but you can most definitely still get into medical school if you have a great gpa these next 2-3 years. Also study really hard for the MCAT and prep hard for the CASPer, get your ECs ready and don't give up hope. You can definitely do this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the above advice that you still have routes to Med school, and to take it a semester at a time and see how the next semester goes as a place to start. In fact, given your struggles, it might actually be a good idea to do a part-time semester with fewer courses and work your way up to doing full time again. 

Your need to be realistic about what it will take to turn things around. It’s not enough to just work harder at school. You need to realistically reflect on how you got into a position where you allowed yourself to fail so many courses multiple semesters in a row without making many changes - for example, why didn’t you withdraw when you realized you were failing, especially after that first semester when you must have seen it coming. Or if you didn’t see it coming, why not? Because doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different result is delusional thinking. If you don’t have a meaningful plan of action or make meaningful changes to your habits, it’s not going to be different this time either. And learning is a skill - most people aren’t just going to become good at studying overnight. You may need to ask for help, go to office hours, hire a tutor, etc. It may take you awhile to get the hang of it. You may also want to consider talking to a counsellor at your school, and exploring whether you have some other mental health concerns that may be underlying some of your struggles.

I believe strongly that anyone can learn how to learn, and I’m sure that includes you. But it’s gonna to take a lot of hard work on yourself and on your studies. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Dr. Tenma said:

I think you have a chance with a very steep and obvious improvement in grades and an explanation in the application of why your first two years were disasters. But even if you do manage that, you're still probably going to have a long road ahead. You better have an excellent work and extra curricular profile to make up for your GPA (let's be realistic). And it will likely take your more than 3 years of solid volunteering to achieve the 35+ NAQ you'll probably need to get an interview. Consider that you need to do all that volunteering, while trying to get a GPA high enough (90%+) to offset your first two years (Worst year is dropped, but it doesn't sound like your second year went well either). You may need to apply multiple times, perhaps more than 3-4 times. Are you okay with waiting to get into UBC for another 5-8 years? And after all that, you may still not get in. That's something only you can answer. You have to do a risk/benefit analysis taking into consideration loss of opportunity cost as well. It's going to be an uphill battle.

You also have the option of Caribbean/Poland/Australia, but with your current academic performance even that is a longshot right now and it comes with its own huge risks. If your highschool marks are decent, you might be able to get into a 6 year MD program in eastern Europe but that comes with huge risks as well. Read the International schools sub forum to better understand these option and what it means to be an IMG and do your own cost/benefit/risk analysis. 

My advice is do another semester, work your butt off, and see if you can pull off the excellent grades. If you can't, consider your back up options. There's more to life than medical school, and who knows? There might be something greater for you. 

Thank you for the reply. Using this semester as a 'tester' to see if I can pull off excellent grades seems like a good plan. And I can see myself enjoying other routes outside of med school, if I cannot pull my grades up. They may not be as fulfilling, but they can be enjoyable. Also, I've seen your post in the Admitted megathread, and I want to congratulate you on your recent acceptance! Your hard work and perseverance is inspiring. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, coffee coffee said:

For schools such as Queens, Western & Dalhousie they only consider your final two years of GPA for entry. Western requires a  3.7 gpa cut off in both years as long as the courses taken are 60% at or above course level (like taking at least 3 third year courses each term). As long as you work really really hard for the next two years or 3 (which by the way, Ottawa considers only last 3 years) there is absolutely no reason why you should give up on medicine. Take a good look at these schools to ensure you meet their requirements, and be careful not to make yourself ineligible for the weighted gpa options of other schools where they might drop your lowest courses or your lowest year. 

Overall advice, look at ALL requirements of Canadian medical schools, but you can most definitely still get into medical school if you have a great gpa these next 2-3 years. Also study really hard for the MCAT and prep hard for the CASPer, get your ECs ready and don't give up hope. You can definitely do this.

Thank you so much. I feel more inspired now than ever to work hard and get my sh** in check. I wasn't aware of the weightings of Ontario schools, but these all seem like good possibilities. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, frenchpress said:

I agree with the above advice that you still have routes to Med school, and to take it a semester at a time and see how the next semester goes as a place to start. In fact, given your struggles, it might actually be a good idea to do a part-time semester with fewer courses and work your way up to doing full time again. 

Your need to be realistic about what it will take to turn things around. It’s not enough to just work harder at school. You need to realistically reflect on how you got into a position where you allowed yourself to fail so many courses multiple semesters in a row without making many changes - for example, why didn’t you withdraw when you realized you were failing, especially after that first semester when you must have seen it coming. Or if you didn’t see it coming, why not? Because doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different result is delusional thinking. If you don’t have a meaningful plan of action or make meaningful changes to your habits, it’s not going to be different this time either. And learning is a skill - most people aren’t just going to become good at studying overnight. You may need to ask for help, go to office hours, hire a tutor, etc. It may take you awhile to get the hang of it. You may also want to consider talking to a counsellor at your school, and exploring whether you have some other mental health concerns that may be underlying some of your struggles.

I believe strongly that anyone can learn how to learn, and I’m sure that includes you. But it’s gonna to take a lot of hard work on yourself and on your studies. 

Thank you, this was a good reality check for me. My problem is often overestimating many things, such as my knowledge on a subject, if I've studied sufficiently, if I have enough time to finish a project, etc. I've identified a lot of my flaws that have enabled me to get to this position, and you are correct: it will take a lot of work to overcome these changes. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

All really great points! Another thing I should add is that, a lot of people in med school have pursued alternate career paths first, before coming back later to pursue Medicine. That might be something you can consider if your experiences + GPA aren't quite up to par by the time you graduate. Going to an alternate career path isn't giving up on your dream: It's being realistic with your time and building up the experiences for a competitive application :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...