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Non-Traditional Applicant: Soc Sci, Chronic Illness, Mature Student....

chronic illness mcmaster chance me mature student

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#1 SocSci-PipeDream

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 08:22 PM

So, I'm a non-traditional applicant with probably little to no chance (hence the username).

 

I'm in my final year and will be graduating with a Honours Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in health and aging from McMaster. Truthfully, I've coasted through university with no direction and my marks reflected this (hovered around a solid B ). When I started university I had just been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and had not been keen on taking my medications (long story short, I developed injection anxiety and had not been on disease modifying medications for upwards of 4 years).  Because I started to experience intermittent exacerbations, I convinced myself early on that medical school was not an option due to what I thought was certain disability. 

 

However, I've made a complete 180 in my mindset and my physical health has followed. I have been maintaining good health and allowed myself to make plans and have goals instead of submitting to the POSSIBILITY of disease progression in the future. 

 

In terms of grades, my first year was completely wiped under the shitty guidance of a counsellor that told me I was better off canceling the entire year rather than one course in which a professor failed to honour my academic accommodations because it would "look better" to have them all cancelled on medical grounds. 

 

Subsequent years I hovered around a B as mentioned but since allowing myself to make plans for the future, I have maintained an A average last term and anticipate the same for this term. 

Basically I meet the cut off for McMaster and although I know that they do not weigh years differently, I feel it will help my case that I am maintaining a higher GPA. 

I have 4 years of employment counselling experience with at-risk populations, I volunteer with the Ronald McDonald House, I am a peer support facilitator for the MS Society and I have volunteer experience with the McMaster Children and Youth University in which I have been a part of an interdisciplinary team that delivers a workshop focusing on cardiac health and the social determinants of health.

 

I plan on only writing the verbal reasoning section of the MCAT as I only intend on applying McMaster.  

Halp plis. I'm hoping experience and circumstances can explain away the obvious disadvantage that is my GPA. 

Oh, I'm also turning 25 this year. Had my offer rescinded from McMaster in grade 12 due to a drop in GPA (health-related) but got in the following year, Mac cancelled my first year, and then I took an extra year. So yeah, been here awhile (5th year but technically 6th because of the first year mishap). 


Thanks :)



#2 hard08

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:34 PM

Mac only looks at cGPA, CARS and CASPER I believe.

 

What's your cGPA?



#3 Artier

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:37 PM

I plan on only writing the verbal reasoning section of the MCAT as I only intend on applying McMaster.  

 

This is a bad idea imo. Any reason as to why only McMaster?


Queen's University MD 2020


#4 SocSci-PipeDream

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 11:01 PM

I know I won't be competitive. I'm just trying for the sake of trying and hoping that a stellar MCAT and Casper will help. I'm in sociology and don't have the science pre-reqs to apply anywhere else. My family doctor told me to do so as he knows someone personally who only applied to mac (and got in) with only writing the VR.

 

Also, my mistake forgot the MCAT changed.... I guess I'd just write the CARS section :)



#5 SocSci-PipeDream

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 11:03 PM

Mac only looks at cGPA, CARS and CASPER I believe.

 

What's your cGPA?

 

Sorry, I meant CARS not VR. The cGPA is around a 3.3 if I'm not mistaken. Obviously not competitive but hoping that an amazing MCAT score and CASPER will suffice. 

 

Edit: cGPA is whatever the hell a B+ is on a 4 point scale. Also when you say they only look at cGPA, CARS, and CASPER does that mean that they don't look over your autobiographical sketch?



#6 potatoface

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 11:57 PM

Sorry, I meant CARS not VR. The cGPA is around a 3.3 if I'm not mistaken. Obviously not competitive but hoping that an amazing MCAT score and CASPER will suffice. 

 

Edit: cGPA is whatever the hell a B+ is on a 4 point scale. Also when you say they only look at cGPA, CARS, and CASPER does that mean that they don't look over your autobiographical sketch?

 

Unfortunately, McMaster doesn't look at ECs at all. It's 32% GPA + 32% CARS + 32% CASPER + 4% Grade bonus before interview and 70% MMI + 15% GPA + 15% CARS after the interview.

 

But then again, it doesn't mean ECs are useless. They're still great sources of help when providing answers for interview questions.



#7 kbinners

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 02:59 PM

Hi SocSci-PipeDream,

 

I'm a Mac student, and I know there are people (not many, but still) in my class who had a cGPA similar to yours. There are more students who took the MCAT and only wrote the CARS section. (My roommate is one of the latter.) There are a good bunch of us who are your age or older. I was 26 when I applied. We have students in their 30s. There are also a few students that I know of living with chronic illnesses, some of whom are amazing, outspoken advocates.

 

I think it's a great idea to write for CARS and give the application a try. For you, as well as for any student, it's a bit of a crap-shoot. For every single one of us, a big part of it comes down to luck. Your life experience and ECs will help you answer CASPER and interview questions with integrity and authority, and will probably help you stand out in the sea of med school gunners. On the other hand, your GPA is a bit of a handicap -- but not necessarily one you can't overcome.

 

A lot of people end up applying and reapplying. If you don't get in this year, would you consider taking more courses to raise your GPA and/or give you some foundational science background? (The science background isn't essential, but it does help once you get here.) I forget what Mac's rules are about calculating GPA -- maybe have a look to see which courses they include in the cGPA calculation. Also double-check what your grades translate to on OMSAS, because they convert each school's numbers to standardize things and it changes everything a little bit (but for you a little may matter).

 

I wish you all the best,

 

Kathryn


  • MedHippie likes this

27 year old with an undergrad in drama and a 520 MCAT

Applied: McMaster, U of T, Queens, Western

Rejected: U of T (pre-interview), Queens (post-interview)

Accepted: McMaster (Hamilton, going!!), Western

 






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