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Premed 101 Forums
  1. General Premed and Med School Topics

    1. General Premed Discussions

      Premed topics on Canadian med school admissions. Specific med school topics go below in their respective medical school forums.

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    2. Medical Student General Discussions

      An area for Canadian medical students to interact and share information.

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    3. The Lounge

      Non-medical discussions go here.

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    4. Research Discussions

      Discuss research topics and opportunities here, including NSERC.

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    5. Non-Traditional Applicants/Grad Students

      A forum for non-standard applicants who have taken a less direct pathway to medicine or dentistry. Discussions including applications, family, and career changes.

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    6. MCAT Preparation

      Discuss MCAT review courses and strategies for the Medical College Admissions Test.

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    7. Medical School Interviews

      Got a medical school interview? Debates, discussions, and ethical scenarios go here.

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  2. Healthcare Professions

    1. Dental Student General Discussions

      An area for Canadian dental students to interact and share information.

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    2. Optometry Discussions

      An area for Canadian optometry students and applicants to interact and share information.

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    3. Veterinary Medicine Discussions

      An area for Canadian veterinary students and applicants to interact and share information.

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    4. Podiatry Discussions

      An area for Canadian podiatry students and applicants to interact and share information.

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    5. Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner Discussions

      An area for Canadian PA and NP students and applicants to interact and share information.

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    6. Nursing Discussions

      An area for Canadian nursing students and applicants to interact and share information.

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    7. Pharmacy Discussions

      An area for Canadian pharmacy students and applicants to interact and share information.

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    8. Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Discussions

      An area for Canadian physiotherapy and occupational therapy students and applicants to interact and share information.

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  3. Ontario Medical Schools

    1. General Ontario Discussions (OMSAS)

      General Ontario med school topics: eg. tuition, seats, cutoffs, OMSAS applications.

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  4. Quebec Medical Schools

    1. General Quebec Discussions

      General Quebec premed and med school discussions, including CEGEP.

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  5. Atlantic Medical Schools

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  6. Western Canadian Medical Schools

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  7. Resources for Med School, Residencies, and Practising Physicians

    1. Med School Orientation 101

      Incoming med student? Discussion on Orientation topics: eg. financial aid (loans, LOC's), insurance, etc.

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    2. The Preclinical Years (Med 1 and 2)

      Doing your basic sciences? Share links on the basic sciences and the USMLE Step 1.

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    3. Clerkship Rotations and Electives (Med 3 and 4)

      On the wards? Links for electives, clinical medicine, and the USMLE Step 2 and MCCQE/LMCC Part 1 exams.

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    4. CaRMS and CaRMS applications

      Prepping for CaRMS? Discuss strategies for your CV's, LOR's, interviews, etc.

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    5. Primary Care Residencies

      Discussions on Family Medicine, Community Medicine, Occupational Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry.

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    6. Surgery and Surgical Subspecialty Residencies

      Discussions on General Surgery, Cardiac Surgery, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery, and Urology.

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    7. Diagnostics, Imaging, and Therapeutics Residencies

      Discussions on Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Oncology, Pathology and Lab Medicine.

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    8. Other Specialty Residencies

      Discussions on Anesthesiology, Dermatology, Medical Genetics, Neurology, and Physiatry.

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    9. General Resident Physician Discussions

      An area for Canadian residents to interact and share information. Find physician salaries here.

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  8. US and International Medical Schools

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  9. Information Exchange (Book reviews, For Sale, and Housing)

    1. Textbook and Equipment Reviews

      Your Consumer Reports for medical textbooks and equipment.

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    2. For Sale/Trade Classifieds

      Your place to sell old premed and medical items (eg. MCAT/DAT supplies, textbooks, etc). No dealers please.

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    3. Housing Classifieds

      A venue for finding short and long-term housing for premed and med students.

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  • Posts

    • I do not have bipolar disorder, but I am a new psychiatrist--I can comment superficially, at least, based on my experience as a trainee having worked with individuals with bipolar. I have noted that there are plenty of people in high demand careers, including medicine, with severe and persistent mental illness diagnoses.  Also, a number of individuals with bipolar are high functioning, but maintaining that level of function closely correlates with close followup, strict medication adherence, family/social support, and maintaining excellent sleep hygiene. It is a tall order to fill, no doubt, without adding the stressors that come with medicine. First and foremost, you need to get on medications to stabilize your mood episodes and need to have open and frank conversations with your psychiatrist about your future, your hopes, your dreams. You will likely require accommodations even in medical school, best to get these discussions going ASAP. Good luck and all the best to you. LL
    • All of those concerns are legitimate and its great that you are proactively thinking ahead. How far are you into your med school education? Have you considered talking to your UME and taking a year off from med school to focus on your health and to get a good grasp on managing your BPD before jumping into CARMS? That may help with your ability to cope even within a competitive and difficult speciality like optho. 
    • AGPA: not sure, around 4.1    MCAT: 514    I'm also trying to start MMI prep now because I could use a lot more practice. If you want to form a group or know a group that is willing to take me in, let me know! bdhali8@hotmail.com
    • Hi everyone! I'm trying to start MMI prep in November because I could use a lot more practice. If you want to form a group or know a group that is willing to take me in, let me know bdhali8@hotmail.com  Good luck! 
    • Yes if you can do a +3.9 GPA in a 2nd undergrad and do well on the MCAT you could get interviews in Canada.  It appears you do not have much to salvage from your 1st undergrad. Did you have any individual years over 3.7 GPA ? Schools like MAC are out as they only use cumulative cGPA.   Look at schools like Western, Queens, Ottawa that only look at last/best 2-3 years. for wGPA.   Health Studies is reasonable approach.  Pick something you are interested in though as you are going to need to make a fundamental change in how you approach school to get the GPA you need.  Be careful of programs like Nursing which may have alot of P/F courses.  
    • Thank you everyone for your responses. When I say I was recently diagnosed, I meant like last week. I still did not get a chance to speak with my psychiatrist about this, but I can already see how my diagnosis could hinder my performance should I go into ophthalmology. I am particularly worried about lithium-induced tremor. I am also worried about what would happen if I become sick during residency and have to take several months off. In family medicine, each program has like 50 residents, so if one resident needs to take time-off, it is not that big of a deal. Obviously that may not be the case in a small program like ophthalmology. And then there is the longer duration of training, the need for fellowship, and then as NLengr mentioned the need to be flexible about where you work. Lots to think about for sure. I mean, according to uptodate, 10-15% of bipolar patients die by suicide. So, yeah being an ophthalmologist is great and all, but staying alive is better.
    • Hi everyone, I am currently in a similar situation. I did my undergrad at U of T in biochemistry and graduated with a 2.0 GPA. It was really hard to manage my job and a full course load. At the same time I was volunteering in the emergency ward at the hospital and also at a retirement home. I have about 400 hours of volunteering. I was doing okay during 1st and 2nd year and had hoped to increase my GPA during 3rd and 4th year, however  my family had to move out and I was taking more shifts at work to cover some expenses which had a huge impact on my grades. I also did my MCAT and finished with a 504. After my graduation, I took a 2 year break to work in a medical company and saved some money. I looked into other options such as nursing/ OT / continuing studies but I know for a fact that I would always regret not trying my best to become a physician. I am still young and I want to try all means to get into a medical school in Canada or US. I looked into Caribbean schools and I have friends that attend SGU and Saba as well, however I don't want to risk going there and not matching back into Canada. Also the tuition fees are excessively high and there is no way I could afford that. So I am thinking of doing a 2nd bachelor degree in health studies. If medicine does not work, I will follow this up with a masters and try to get a government job. I know that my 2.0 cGPA from my first undergrad will follow me wherever I go and please do not leave comments such as medicine is not for you. I know my grades are mediocre but life happens and I am trying to rectify my mistakes. I am just  looking into different options before I make a life altering decision. If I finish my 2nd degree with a 3.9+ GPA and do good on my MCAT, do you think there is a chance for me to get into a school here? I would greatly appreciate any advice.
    • Hi everyone, I am currently in a similar situation. I did my undergrad at U of T in biochemistry and graduated with a 2.0 GPA. It was really hard to manage my job and a full course load. At the same time I was volunteering in the emergency ward at the hospital and also at a retirement home. I have about 400 hours of volunteering. I was doing okay during 1st and 2nd year and had hoped to increase my GPA during 3rd and 4th year, however  my family had to move out and I was taking more shifts at work to cover some expenses which had a huge impact on my grades. I also did my MCAT and finished with a 504. After my graduation, I took a 2 year break to work in a medical company and saved some money. I looked into other options such as nursing/ OT / continuing studies but I know for a fact that I would always regret not trying my best to become a physician. I am still young and I want to try all means to get into a medical school in Canada or US. I looked into Caribbean schools and I have friends that attend SGU and Saba as well, however I don't want to risk going there and not matching back into Canada. Also the tuition fees are excessively high and there is no way I could afford that. So I am thinking of doing a 2nd bachelor degree in health studies. If medicine does not work, I will follow this up with a masters and try to get a government job. I know that my 2.0 cGPA from my first undergrad will follow me wherever I go and please do not leave comments such as medicine is not for you. I know my grades are mediocre but life happens and I am trying to rectify my mistakes. I am just  looking into different options before I make a life altering decision. If I finish my 2nd degree with a 3.9+ GPA and do good on my MCAT, do you think there is a chance for me to get into a school here? I would greatly appreciate any advice.   Thank you
    • Another advantage of family med is when you are staff, you will have much more flexibility. It's easier to work part time and it's easier to get a job in a location you desire. A surgical specialty means you are going to have a difficult time getting a job that you want in a location you desire. I can't imagine it would be good for your mental health to have to move to some rural area where you know nobody 4 provinces away from your home. 
    • Is the school aware of this diagnosis? I will say that there are publicly published cases of medical residents that couldn't transfer into FM from their speciality when their mental health compromised their residency performance. While I agree above that FM is not necessarily stress free it is 100% shorter than a surgical specialty and will generally offer a more relaxed environment. You only have to talk to FM residents regarding their week-to-week and exam prep year to understand the difference between their lives and that of residents in busier specialties. I'm not trying to disparage FM residents as they still have busy rotations and responsibilities but on average they will have less busy schedules.  OP: I think you are smart to be thinking about this. I don't think it's great that you might have to compromise your future career path but I think the most important thing is finishing some sort of residency program. 
    • I'm sorry to hear that happened last year  Wishing you all the best this application cycle!!   
    • Hey tennie and acceptmeplease,  Thank you for your replies! I did get an email today and saw the calculated GPA up on omsas.   
    • It might be really helpful to have this conversation with a trusted mentor (a staff or a resident) in ophthalmology or some surgical specialty if you can without making yourself vulnerable to repercussions, as well as with your psychiatrist. It probably to some degree depends how brittle your BPAD is and what your specific triggers are. The biggest issue would likely be the call/sleep deprivation, especially on rotations like gen surg, which I’m assuming you’d need to do in residency.  Some programs (like mine) allow residents with certain disabilities to not do call (they make up the experience in other ways). If I had to guess, I would guess that surgical specialties are likely to be less flexible in that way, but I can’t say from personal experience. So you’re right that FM might be more accommodating of your needs. I’m not sure how active it still is, but for a while the Canadian Association of Physicians with Disabilities had an active-ish forum that would likely be a really good resource because you might be able to find some surgeons who could speak to the issue of disability accommodations in surgical specialties.    Once you get to residency being ill at work becomes even more of an issue and you can get yourself into issues with the College and/or your program if you are symptomatic in a way that interferes with patient care.  I’m hoping you get some answers from more surgical people. It’s a tough issue for sure. I think it’s really good that you’re thinking about it proactively. 
    • I am open to feedback, but surely there are more empathetic ways to tell someone your opinion than the way Interpid86 put it. Anyways, again if someone who has Bipolar is reading this, I would appreciate it if you can DM me.
    • imo dont settle. but i dont have bpd 
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