Do not try to make excuses for your poor grades or try to defend them. If you are invited for an interview, be prepared to discuss those grades, but instead of placing the blame on someone else, focus on the positive and perhaps highlight your academic performance since then. Emphasize what you learned from the experience, such as adjusting your study habits, taking advantage of office hours, curtailing your extracurricular activities, or learning to manage your time better.
Even in medical school, you may have an instructor whose teaching style does not match your learning style, and you may need to learn the material on your own in order to succeed. Berating a professor or maligning his or her character or English speaking ability will not win you any points with your admissions interviewer. Not all professors are equally effective in the classroom and not all material is equally interesting to students. This is a reality in every academic setting.
You should present yourself as a person who is committed to achieving goals without blaming others when you encounter difficulties. This also speaks to how you will approach the heavy course load and different teaching styles within a medical institution.
- AMCAS Essays for Acceptance, a webinar.
- Ten Do’s and Don’ts for Your Medical School Personal Statement
- Med School Interview Assistance Services
This post is excerpted from 101 Tips on Getting Into Medical School by Jennifer C. Welch, who has served as the Director of Admissions at SUNY Upstate Medical School since 2001.