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GPA Improvement Explanation

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Hi all,


I've done a bit of reading on the forums and other places, but if possible, it would be helpful to have a personalized explanation of the different methods or plan I can do. I don't mean to clutter the forums with another "GPA HELP" topic.



I'm hoping to get some advice on what my next step should be in order to be successful regarding my journey in medicine. A little bit of history may be helpful...


In high school, my guidance counselor suggested I look into Forensic Chemistry as a major in college. She mentioned this because of my interest in science and being involved in biology club, as well as this was in 2005 when the Crime Scene Investigation shows were very popular. All the career books I read made the job sound wonderful. However, when I actually took the classes and did some shadowing, I found it wasn't something I wanted to pursue. I ended up transferring to the university closed to my home and took general education classes that all students have to take. (Liberal Studies, various mathematics, etc)


I obtained Nurse Aide Certification (CNA) and worked in both a skilled nursing facility and hospital. The staff at these locations really pushed me to become a nurse, but it didn't "click" with me. My experiences taught me the differences between medicine and nursing. I found I truly wanted to stay on the medicine side of healthcare rather than the nursing aspect.


So, I started on the path of the "Pre-Med". Unfortunately, due to taking prior classes when I was a Forensic Chemistry major, my schedule was complicated and convoluted. Also, at the time I took those classes, I was new to college and away from home for the first time. I didn't party or get into trouble, but I did not put the effort into my academics that I should have, and my GPA has suffered because of it. I also didn't have a solid foundation in the topics which were critical for later classes. Hindsight is 20/20 I'm afraid.


I don't want to sound like I'm making any excuses, but I had a lot of the "easier/lower level classes" completed by this time. This meant I was taking upper level courses all at once and I was a bit overwhelmed since I had a bit of time between my lower level chemistry and my upper level chemistry for example. Also, I was now a commuting student which did not help my academics. I worked during my time completing my degree, as well as had family things. I spent time mowing my grandmother's lawn or running my younger siblings to various activities when I should have been more focused on studying. Again, I don't mean to sound like I'm making excuses or asking for pity. I just want to clear things up as to what I've identified as to why I did not live up to my potential.



***So to start getting to the part of the topic where I need some help...***


At this point in time, I have a Bachelors of Science and am continuing to work in a fairly large hospital with hands on patient experience. My GPA is 2.9 due to the above history and circumstances. I did well in many classes, but as you may be aware, it's much easier to drop a GPA than it is to raise it. "C's get degrees" isn't always that simple. If anyone had some input as to what my next step should be, I would absolutely appreciate it. I've done a bit of looking online about "Post-Bacc" work in order to raise GPA. (I would even be willing to start over as a freshman if that was a possibility) If someone could go in depth as to the process of how it all works and affects things, it would really help me out.


My circumstances are much different than before, and experience is an excellent teacher. It has taught me what I need to do in order to improve myself and shown me the error of my previous academic years. I'm prepared to do what needs done to get where I need to be in medicine, I just need some advice, assistance, or guidance on how I should proceed next in order to make progress.



***Thank you for taking the time to read through this huge wall of text. If you have any input I would be extremely grateful.***


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Well, all the reasons why aside, your issue is that the large majority of schools require a 3.0 GPA overall. What you need to figure out is how many credit hours of all A's could take your 2.9 to over a 3.0. I don't know your past coursework so I can't do that for you, but to check the feasibility of your plan that's what I would do first, but since a 2.9 is so close I'm sure with effort you'll be able to get that 3.0 if you try, although it might take awhile. If you are missing some science courses that are recommended but not required for schools those might be a good place to start, simply taking them as extra undergraduate courses, and retaking sciences with sub par grades would help as well. You can do that simply through a community college or through a 4 year school as a part time student. If you have the ability, taking a 1 year post-bacc degree program can be helpful as well, but possibly quite expensive. Also, if your science GPA is over a 3.0 (you didn't mention what that was) you could technically take other courses to fill in the gap, such as going back for a sociology or psychology minor/major. Obviously taking science courses more related to the pa field would look better, but if as you said you did have good grades later on, and what you're really looking for is to simply move your application from automatically rejected to possible candidate, then you can really choose what you'd rather take. Obviously if your science GPA is below a 3.0 then you have to take science courses to bring that up. Good luck!

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Retake courses you didn't do so well in, especially science courses. Taking additional courses now wouldn't really raise your GPA significantly because you probably already have over 100 credits. If you can get your GPA over a 3.2 by retaking your C courses and then obtain 3000+ HCE I would say you have a good shot at getting into a program. This is probably gonna take you 2-3 years to do. 


Also you never once said you wanted to be a physician assistant. You vaguely ask for advice to help your pursuit in medicine. If you just want to work in medicine there is variety of other career choices that are easier than PA school. 

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