Junior College to 4-Year to Med School

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Junior College to 4-Year to Med School

Postby phoenix » Wed May 09, 2012 12:48 am

I am transferring from junior college to ASU. I had difficulty with my first 4 years of junior college due to being undiagnosed with bipolar, anxiety disorder, and auditory learning disability. Since being diagnosed and finding medication that worked with me, I had two great semesters that allow me to transfer in the fall.

My question is: am I able to get into a medical school even though I had poor junior college grades?

Assume a 2.9 Junior College GPA due to making up F's from being undiagnosed. I know that ASU clears the Junior College GPA when you transfer, allowing me to start with a fresh GPA. Assuming I graduate with a 3.6-4.0, would I be able to enter Med School? MCATs aside, I just need to know if it's possible.

*By ASU clears your GPA, I mean they do not factor your Junior College GPA it into your ASU GPA. Most schools do that with junior college GPA. It's like a fresh start. So basically assume I have stellar grades at ASU and ugly Junior College grades.
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Re: Junior College to 4-Year to Med School

Postby DrDave » Thu May 10, 2012 5:02 am

Phoenix,

It is hard to say, but it may be possible. I think medical schools tend to be sympathetic towards people who struggled with grades due to illness or other major life events and later found a way to overcome those obstacles. I think if you are an exceptional college student once stabilized in treatment, there may be some medical schools that would be interested in you, in spite of your junior college grades. You will probably have a better idea once you see how you do in pre-med courses at a 4 year college.

I think you will need to be very up-front on your medical school applications, giving a thorough explanation for why your grades were poor in junior college and why you are now able to succeed in medical school.

Having said all of that, medical school is a very harsh environment, even for people that don't have a serious mental illness. While there are physicians who managed to get through medical school and residency with bipolar disorder, it is a huge challenge. You need to be aware of your own illness triggers and what you need to do to keep healthy. I have hard of residency programs that are very accommodating for people with bipolar disorder, even allowing them to avoid overnight call in order to maintain the necessary sleep patterns to stay stable. You will probably have a better idea of how you can handle some of the stress based on your experience in the pre-med college courses. However, medical school is WAY more intense than college, at least it was for me. The coursework was very hard, but the clinical rotations were very demanding on many levels. Not only was there a ton of information to learn, but it was also very emotionally and physically exhausting.

Don't underestimate the challenges you would face.
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