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Choosing the Right College/(PLEASE READ) Car accident while in school, received F but was in hospital


QUESTION: I was in a car accident in september, the accident happened when I was about a week into a one month course at University Of Phoenix. After the accident I was in the hospital for two days and in bed for two weeks. I called the school as soon as I could and attempted a withdrawal but they turned it down and now I have an F that will stop me from getting into medical school. Even If I retake the course my transcripts will still show an F was retaken. WHAT CAN I DO? I would even be ok with a medical withdrawal but they say that doesn't exist. PLEASE HELP, WHO SHOULD I TALK TO?

ANSWER: Hi Timothy,

Sorry to hear about your accident, I'm too familiar with the repercussions from an auto accident.

Do you follow sports?  Even if you don't you should find my analogy useful.

Imagine an athlete whose had a great career, holds dozen records, many consecutive seasons with outstanding numbers, a true perrenial all-star.   However due to an injury in one particular season,he did not make all-star that year.  Maybe even two semesters?  Would you deny this athlete induction into hall of fame?  

What does the rest of your record look like?  If you have poor to average overall GPA, the F is pretty irrelevant.  Rather than allow this unfortunate incident to break you down, forge ahead.  I have seen too many students get obsessed with a few grades, frequently organic chemistry, blind them from seeing the big picture.  Let's put it this way, students with Fs have gone onto med school.

Keep the BIG picture in mind.  Why?  Because that's how med schools approach it.

Take care and all the best to you.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Just to bug you one more time, your advise is much appreciated. My GPA is 3.65, my 1st 12 classes in school were c to b range and then I took off of school for a year. I started back up again and so far the last 2 years I have gotten all A's literally for the past 18 classes. I want to retake my 2 c grades at my local community college and fix the F. I only took 2 classes at University of phoenix and one was an F, I can retake it, Iplan on it before submission. But what are my chances? Am I wasting my time? Do you know if theres anyone else I can talk to or who I should ask because I really feel like those few grades will keep me from being accepted.

That is a good respectable GPA, 3.7 or better is competitive but you are certainly not out of the running.  Retaking the F is a good idea, but know thar allopathic medical schools will average the two grades while osteopathic medical schools will take the second grade.  Your chances will vary with which schools you apply.  Another option is to look into SMP, special masters program to enhance your credentials without further retaking courses or taking undergraduate courses.  Your science GPA is most important in the initial screening process.  You are certainly welcome to contact various med admission offices, but they will tell you "we take a holistic review approach so no automatic rejections", unless you have missing pre-reqs.

For further support your best bet will be to reach out to your undergraduate school and seek help in their advising and/or career center, depending on where it is organizationally situated.  

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Joon Kim


I can help with all questions related to education, including college admissions related questions. I can also help in the areas of motivation, learning strategies, and topics that may be categorized under educational psychology. However, don't expect me to have the secrets to getting into your school of your dreams, because they don't exist. I can provide answers to help you better navigate through our educational system in the US. I cannot answer questions related to international educational systems and policies. My expertise is mainly in the areas of letters, arts, and sciences, with specialty in pre-health. Humanities and the arts are beyond the scope of my expertise.


I have been an educator for over 12 years and have experience at various levels. From multiple subject elementary substitute teacher, single subject science middle school teacher, undergraduate academic advisor, and most recently administrative director at small private graduate school. I've also taught adult learners in the area of food safety guidelines and practices. My experience has mainly been in higher education, both undergraduate and graduate in the natural sciences.

AERA(American Educational Research Association) NAAHP (National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions) IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association)

BA Psychology, Master of Education Higher Education Administration, Doctor of Education Educational Leadership & Educational Psychology, UCLA College Admissions Counseling Certificate Program

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