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  1. 22 likes
    Find a place where you're not going to be interrupted by other people, then start small talk etc, show you're interested.. then when the silence hits, tell her you have a 4.0 GPA and 132 CARS. She'll ask you for your number
  2. 15 likes
    I typed this really long post but was almost going to delete it. I felt like it sounded so silly. But I will keep it in the hopes that some of you find it helpful/encouraging because I've always enjoyed and was motivated by reading this thread. I tried injecting some context into this, so hopefully it doesn't bore you guys too much with being somewhat long. I grew up in a relatively rough neighbourhood. I'll give you an example to highlight the point: in grade 7 while my friends and I were going trick or treating, we ran into three of my older brother's friends profusely bleeding from stab wounds. Turns out they had been ambushed by a group they had bad blood with. Anyway, one of them had a pretty bad gash in his neck, close to his jugular, but thankfully none of the major vessels were cut. My friends and I had to help them to a nearby clinic (which was thankfully open). Scary stuff, but it was the reality of the place. My parents worked really hard to provide for my siblings and I (I have two older brothers - let's call them Alpha and Bravo). They tried their absolute best to keep us shielded from the bad stuff, but there's always an inevitable influence by the environment. Being males in a rough neighbourhood meant keeping up a “macho” facade. You definitely didn't get overly sentimental, and so my brothers and I were walled off emotionally not only from friends, but each other as well. So what was the culmination of these early childhood experiences? The "climax" of it all came during my senior year of high school. Well, I should say my SECOND senior year. At this point in my life, I had never had the experiences to develop an appreciation for education and knowledge. I would skip classes to go play sports. There was a point in grade 12 where I had skipped more classes than I had actually attended. This meant that I was forced to do an extra year in high school to try and salvage my marks enough to try and apply to postsecondary. This extra year was tough. You question the decisions you’ve made so far, you watch all your friends move on to the next stage of their lives, and you're in classes with kids younger than you. Unfortunately, this wasn't even the tip of the iceberg. Within the span of 3-4 months, my life literally spiraled out of control. My high school sweetheart (who had started university at this point) had just broken up with me. I already mentioned how I came from a background where I was extremely insular about keeping my feelings to myself. My girlfriend was a sweetheart - I could open up emotionally to her and it was a welcome change. Losing her in an already difficult time was tough, and unfortunately things kept getting worse. Soon after the breakup, I injured myself playing sports, effectively ending my entire sports year and requiring surgery. Sports had always been that one pseudo-emotional outlet of mine, so removing it was definitely a huge emotional hurdle. I even started losing my hair from stress (this is a contentious topic haha, but I genuinely believe acute stressors can potentially act as a trigger). Unfortunately, I would soon realize that all of these challenges would pale in comparison to what was to follow. I will never ever forget this day. It still seems so vivid. I came home from school one day to see my brother, Bravo, in our driveway with this very confused/sad look on his face. He was very inebriated, but that confused/sad look still haunts me. He looked so vulnerable. He was being arrested for drug charges. It was heartbreaking. We would later find out that he had been battling severe mental health issues and masked them through substance abuse. Being arrested wreaked even more havoc on his mental health. We couldn't bail him out because my other brother (Alpha) had already tried. The first time he was bailed out, Bravo's mental health lead to him acting very erratically. He broke his bail conditions and disappeared. We were able to track him down after a friend of Bravo’s contacted the family. So I had to watch from afar, yet again, as my brother got arrested. My mom was with me this time. We later learned from the friend that Bravo had been really hungry, yet we saw him get arrested as he about to take the first bite of his food. My mom started getting very frequent panic attacks soon after this incident. I remember visiting him in jail on multiple occasions, only to be received by non-nonsensical and hysterical laughter. This was absolutely brutal for me. I grew up always being Bravo’s sidekick. I followed him everywhere he went, being that annoying little brother. He really was my role model. So to see him there, unrecognizable, was very gut wrenching. We were unable to convince the penal system of the clear mental issues he was exhibiting and he was retained in a normal jail. His condition worsened and he was eventually placed in solitary confinement due to bad behavior. He stayed there for 2-3 weeks. Being a witness to this and unable to help was absolutely excruciating. Like, the breakup, surgery, extra year of high school seem bad right? They genuinely felt like a walk in the park compared to this. It was during this ordeal that I had made up my mind to commit myself to working hard, getting into university, and getting into the field of psychology so that I might help others that had gone through similar situations as my brother. Thankfully, after a few months convincing, we were finally able to get through to the courts. We had been able to convince the judge to transfer Bravo to a mental treatment facility as opposed to a jail. I still remember the day we found out that they would transfer him: June 12th, 2009. It is probably on the top of the happiest days of my life. Getting into medicine definitely pales in comparison to that day. Anyway, he received a diagnosis and began treatment, which he has continued to this day. I started university soon after. Motivated with my desire to pursue psychology, I had a relatively strong start. However, I was faced with quite a few additional hurdles on the way that reflected in my GPA trends. Beyond the typical academic struggles (taking time to find field of interest) and personal struggles (breakups, dealing with limitations after surgery etc.), helping Bravo navigate his mental health condition and potential substance relapses was quite challenging. Additionally, my other brother (Alpha) also developed a very bad substance abuse problem due to the stress of the events surrounding Bravo. It's been an ongoing thing for a few years and still continues to this day. This caused my mom's panic attacks to become even worse/frequent. However, Alpha has significantly improved in recent months. But to tie in an earlier theme, I strongly believe that there is a component of emotional support to this. My siblings and I were raised to be very insular about our feelings, and substances may be seen as an easy “alternative” to having to deal with these emotions. That’s why I think it's so important to cultivate the ability to share your emotions with others, and make others feel comfortable in sharing their emotions with you. Especially so as a physician. So that's my journey to med in a nutshell. It took me 5 years to do a 4-year high school degree, 6 years total to do a 4-year BSc, three MCAT writes, and three additional years off. But I've always been one to challenge myself and improve after every failure. I've been fortunate enough to have amazing parents (though we might not agree on everything) and lucky enough to find amazing professors/mentors in my life. I owe literally all of my successes to these people. Although I continue to be faced with some of the same challenges that seemed completely insurmountable before, I really believe I am stronger than ever, not only individually, but also because of the social support network I’ve been able to establish. I understand the responsibilities I carry because of these events, but believe me, that doesn’t stop me from being the silliest and happiest person that I can possibly be. I hope to carry these experiences into the field, and hopefully make a positive impact. Here is a thread to some of my more CV-like details: http://forums.premed101.com/topic/69931-lost-with-updates/ if you’re curious about what type of stats, ECs etc. I was working with. Good luck everyone!
  3. 12 likes
    Hello everyone, As an old reader of the site, I wanted to return to share a short documentary on the match process I recently created. It features my fellow uOttawa MD 2017 classmates. Enjoy and feel free to spread and share! https://vimeo.com/222682284
  4. 11 likes
    Hey applicants! Your fellow duck from the neighboring pond would like to offer you some info on this years application. For pre interview, your GPA, Casper and now your Sketch will all be looked at and scored for determination for interview invite, so aim high on all 3 categories. The weights are not disclosed however you can imagine how it would be split up. MCAT is not considered. To clarify for french stream applicants from Quebec, residents from the Outaouais region (google it what that includes) have a 3.7 cutoff, other parts of Quebec are at the 3.87. Once you get interview invites, watch out on this forum for the interview practice that are offered by first year med students. The practice was extremely similar and helpful. Mr Duck
  5. 9 likes
    If I can say a few things from the prospective a black student interested in medicine, for whatever it's worth: I can't remember exactly when, maybe a few months ago, I was going through the UofT Faculty of Medicine webpage and stumbled across this and it genuinely made me smile from ear to ear. Not because I believed it would somehow make it easier for me to be admitted to medicine if I ever do apply (and from my understanding, this is not the goal of the program); because the representation mattered a lot to me. I felt accepted into something that I have been told, for the vast majority of my life, I am not cut out for. (And this is not an exaggeration, I have literally been told by a middle school teacher "I will never leave 'the hood' and do anything with my life"). If I ever meet a black doctor I am beyond certain that they will be a huge role model to me. And until then, I have to find my black role models online; because access to them in real life just isn't that easy. With the implementation of programs like these, however, access to black role models will become easier. I grew up in a predominantly low-income community where a lot of the families were black. I myself do not fit into the category of a low SES black person, but I have seen the effects. More often than not, the goal of many students' parents were for the student to graduate high-school. This was usually the "main" goal of the student too. Like, seriously. Commencement was a huge deal. A bunch of kids from a graduating class going to Humber College? That was a success for the (my) entire community. As long as they aren't doing something else detrimental to their livelihood. Medicine is made up of such a large group of privileged individuals, who's parents already have some kind of professional degree, that education is seriously taken for granted... Now, imagine how much the black community rejoices when a student from a low-income family, who was not expected to earn a high wage, says they are going to medical school and become a physician. It really means a lot. And maybe people outside of certain communities can't see this-- and this is not to say that the expectation for every single black individual is low. That is not the case. However, from my personal experience in an area where that was the case, seeing someone from our community "make it", go to professional school and climb up the "social hierarchy" (for what it's worth) actually is a really huge deal. The creators of the program, from my interpretation at least, are trying to bring light of this. I can say with a lot of certainty that there a ton of other communities akin to the one I grew up in. Encouraging black students to apply to medical school and celebrating their accomplishments does not automatically dismiss the barriers that others face. (And I apologize for writing so much, but it's hard to say all that I needed to without writing a lot.)
  6. 8 likes
    Hi All, Soooo now that i got into medical school I really wanted to give back to the premed 101 community and share some of my experience with other people on this forum. I thought I would post a thread about how I prepared for my Casper test this year to answer some of your questions. I started roughly 2 months in advance 1) Read doing right... i read the whole thing and talked out-loud about the case studies in the books with friends/family 2) I would play with typing websites (i.e. typeracer) to speed up my typing 3) I bought Astroff practice tests and other practice tests and did about 8 of them... In my opinion this really helped me with timing and articulating my thoughts... I reviewed the tests and my answers with friends/ med students to get their feedback on what they thought 4) Prepare a document answering the following questions to help brainstorm for the personal stations Note: These questions are random things I came up with/ got from other resources... it is a good idea to just think about significant situations in your life where you learnt/ grew in some way... below are guiding questions: A time you dealt with conflict what are your strengths/ weaknesses a time you had a conflict with authority a time you collaborated effectively a time you lost your integrity a time you felt awkward future goals a time you demonstrated professionalism overcoming a difficult situation when you were unjustly criticized a time you took initiative were asked to do something that conflicted with your values a role model you have brainstorm about how you support others in difficult times a time you failed That is pretty much how I prepared.. I am open to answering as many questions as I can you can PM me or comment below Some useful links: Websites and Resources: Free practice test on this website: https://www.apetest.org/us/product/casper-sim-for-the-mind/?c=f64cca7c8fbc Casper sample questions: http://www.caspertest.com/casper-sample-questions/ http://bemoacademicconsulting.com/casperprep http://www.caspertest.com/casper-sample-questions/ Really good advice and link to practice tests: http://www.mockcasper.ca/casper-guide/ Bioethics link: http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/eppp-archive/100/201/300/cdn_medical_association/cmaj/series/bioethic.htm Sample videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWfDgu8nIF0 http://www.medhopeful.com/archive/mcmaster-casper-2012-4-sample-videos-and-my-thoughts/
  7. 7 likes
    MD/PhDs tend to have more rigorous or "legitimate" PhD training whereas doing it in residency you often get cut some slack in terms of project quality or coursework (for right or wrong, but mostly for wrong). That is why PhDs in residency are sometimes 2-3 years without even having a previous MSc. Not saying this is always the case, as there are obviously many who legitimately want to do research and put in the time honing those skills in a proper PhD. But if the PhD is just to meet minimum qualifications for a job as opposed to legitimate interest in pursuing a research career (i.e. many in neurosurgery), you can see why maybe residents and PDs are not so worried about skimming by on a PhD to get it out of the way as fast as possible as opposed to as good as possible. Similar to the surgery resident on their IM rotation - they will get through it, but you can be certain they won't be using their electives to gain more experience in it than the bare bone minimum. If you know you want research, no matter what specialty you end up in, then do a MD/PhD. If it's dependent and conditional on what specialty you do, then do it in residency.
  8. 6 likes
    To be honest, I cant believe you wrote an essay for that. *smh*
  9. 6 likes
    Alright guys here's the mini guide I made. Please keep in mind this is what worked for me, and you may need to tweak a few things to make it work for you. I had quite a low GPA for Mac, and about an average CARS score for applicants so I feel my CASPER score was a big determinant of my acceptance to Mac. That being said, everyone is different so if something I suggests feels counter-intuitive to you then please go with your instincts. That's the most important piece of advice I can suggest for the whole med process. Here's the guide below. If you guys have any questions, please post them here if you can, just so others can see answers to. If it's something more personal then of course PM me. School is getting a little busy now though so I may not be able to reply very quickly. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Now for CASPER, I'll do my best to articulate the approaches that worked for me. I definitely spent a lot of time scouring the forums and seeing what worked for people. I believe there is a CASPER/MMI guide by popular demand, on one of the subforums, so I would definitely advise you to read that over. A lot of people say that you can't really prepare for CASPER, but honestly I think that there are things you can do that can significantly improve your performance. The first thing I would do is to make a long list of all the extracurricular activities you have done in the past, literally anything and everything you can think of. You'll have to do something similar for OMSAS anyways so it's a great exercise to do for your med school app. The next thing I did was to write a little bit about each extracurricular activity I did, in terms of the experience I had, challenges and how I resolved them. As you probably know, a heavy amount of CASPER involves conflict resolution, meditating with parties who have different points of view, and dealing with tricky ethical scenarios. I found that by listing my EC's into different categories, I was able to have a few experiences off hand that I could list for resolving conflicts with a peer, resolving conflicts with a supervisor, dealing with an ethical dilemma, managing concerns between people who have a professional/personal relationship with me and whatever else they may throw at you. The next thing I would do is to practice your typing speed. Now most people already have a sufficient typing speed so it isn't really something that needs to be improved, but if this is an area of concern for you I would strongly consider working on it to improve it so that it doesn't limit you. The above should cover what you can do in terms of your own experiences and abilities to improve your chances of performing well in CASPER. What I would focus on next is gaining the necessary knowledge/practice to do well. I would split this up into two ways, one is through reading different strategies, and ethical guidelines, and the other way is through practicing using CASPER tests. I read a little bit of Doing Right, and while it's not overly helpful, it certainly doesn't hurt you at all. So for that reason I would advise you read at least some of it so that you won't feel anxious or unprepared because others around you may have read it and you haven't. Next, I would research a little bit about effective conflict resolution strategies and frameworks. Now there's awesome resources on this forum, but definitely loads of others online as well. I'll try and give an example to help articulate what I mean. One type of question that will come up at least once, if not multiple times is conflict resolution. Now everyone has a different approach and framework that they may use but they all follow some general guidelines. The first thing I do when someone approaches me with a conflict is to make sure I listen attentively to all of their concerns, opinions and experience. Allow them the opportunity to speak without trying to jump in, or offer a solution. This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how often we tend to jump in with a solution without letting people just fully express what they're going through. Once this has been done, I move on to the next "step" in the framework. Next I validate the concerns/challenges that the individual is going through. For instance, if we were in a group and the members were having an issue with one of the others, I would validate and acknowledge that the frustration or anxiety they're experiencing is okay to feel. I would assure them that anyone in their situation would feel a similar way and that they don't need to feel bad or reserved about how they're feeling. By taking the necessary time to do these things you establish a rapport with the individual in question, and this can be extremely beneficial when you're trying to resolve the conflict with them, or come up with effective solutions. Now we can move onto the actual conflict resolution part. I think often times people can get really caught up in trying to find "THE" solution, and the answer that will make you stand out from everyone else. Yes, there definitely is a creative component to approaching conflicts, however that doesn't mean that every "out of the box" solution is the best one. There may be a conventional solution or process to follow that could be effective. For example, when there is a conflict between workers or students in a group, common protocol is to try and resolve the issues internally, and when this can't be done in a safe and effective manner, to involve supervisors/professors, HR, TA's etc that can help mediate the concerns. At this point I would offer a potential solution or two, and emphasize that I would work with the individual to create solutions that are tailored to their needs. In your response you can mention one or two solutions you would offer them, but highlight that you wouldn't hesitate to modify or change the solutions/approach to the problem if necessary based on what the individual may need. The final part of your response is post-conflict resolution. I think this is the part a lot of applicants tend to miss or neglect. Once you've resolved a potential conflict, there should be some actions you take to ensure that the resolution was effective, and to prevent future conflicts from arising, or getting to a significant point. For example you can direct an individual to various resources or avenues they can reach out to if they have concerns. Depending on your relationship with them, you can offer to be someone they can turn to if something like this comes up. Finally, you can reflect on the issues yourself, what you learned from it etc, and comment on how the experience can help guide you in similar situations that may arise in the future. Another significant type of question that may come is the one asking you to talk about some aspect of yourself. For these types of questions, it really helps to know your strenghts, weaknesses, and experiences/activities that help demonstrate them. These should be the easiest types of questions to answer, yet often times they leave people staring blankly at the screen because they haven't taken the time to truly connect and really know themselves. This can include what you like/dislike, your values system, what you stand for, what things you're adamantly against, and what factors go into your identity and what makes you, "you". After taking some time to figure all that out, once questions like these come up, just be honest and straightforward. Try and portray who you are as best as you can through a computer screen, and be genuine and enthusiastic about what you say. Of course there may be certain traits or qualities you want to emphasize about yourself, and this can be a great thing. However as long you remember to keep your responses framed in the context of the question you should be in good shape! Now, the final part of CASPER prep involves actually doing some practice questions. You can ultimately decide which tests you would like to do/purchase. And you can even find plenty of questions online. For me personally, finances were extremely tight, so I had to be very conservative with my prep resources. I bought the BMO practice test, (the cheapest option, not the gold or platinum things they had) and watched the video first, which doesn't say anything new but might help you out, and then performed the practice test. The other company I used was the MockCasper test. These were good because I was able to get a bunch of tests for an affordable price. A lot of their questions were medicine related, and honestly these questions rarely, if ever, come up on your CASPER. I am not in anyway endorsing or promoting these resources as effective, they're simply what worked for me. The last part I want to touch on is about confidence/trusting yourself. There are a lot of companies that want to take advantage of the fears, concerns and insecurities that premed students have. A lot of CASPER companies offer things like "expert feedback" or coaching. In my opinion, not only are these largely ineffective but they can be very damaging and harmful to your application as well. Even if you go with a company or individuals who claim to be on the "inside" or having experience with reviewing CASPER applications, I would still be very hesitant to pay for, and listen to their feedback. Through your CASPER prep, you need to learn what your style of answering questions is, and trust yourself in that process. I can't emphasize enough how important this is. The more you practice something specific, the better and more efficient you become at it. This is why I recommend figuring out what your style of conflict resolution/response style is. Once you experiment and figure out what approach you take, the different steps, then you effectively have a framework where you fill in ideas and words based on the specific scenario they give you. If you don't have a framework down, then you run the risk of rambling/going off topic, bringing up too many issues, and worst of all, failing to answer the question that you were originally given. My overall CASPER prep was around 10 days, because I didn't know my CARS score until 2 weeks before my CASPER date, so I didn't want to start preparing until I knew for sure there would be a point to it. Ultimately you have to decide how long you would like to prepare, but the more time you give yourself for these things the better. Ultimately it's your life experiences that help you do better at CASPER. The more diverse and enriching experiences you have, the more you can draw from. If you feel like you have less of these experiences, then it simply requires you to spend more time and effort trying to draw what you can from these experiences. And believe me, you'd be surprised how many lessons and positive outlooks you can find from even the most arbitrary experiences. Hopefully this helped answer your questions and concerns about CASPER. Sorry for not getting back to you earlier, it's been a hectic week thinking over which school to accept my offer, and making sure I submitted my acceptance correctly! Let me know if you have any further questions, or if you wanted me to review some questions with you, or offer suggestions. Again, going back to what I said about feedback, you ultimately have to find what style you like and run with it, but there are red flags or areas of improvement that I would be happy to go over with you. Best of luck with CASPER, and your medical school application this cycle!
  10. 6 likes
    I disagree with your opinion on there being an "obvious leg up" provided to applicants who choose to apply through BSAP. With this implied notion, the same question could/should be asked of applicants who apply through the indigenous student application program? How about students who recently completed their masters being given a leg up?? What about students who completed a PhD recently??? The latter 2 of which have distinctly low wGPA requirements (3.0 cutoff) to gain admission to the UGME program at U of T. Historically low GPAs of sub 3.5 have been admitted to U of T's UGME for students who have completed their Masters or PhD, so lets not turn a blind eye to these facts, which seem acceptable somehow.... Aside from instituting the BSAP program, the Community of Support has also been instilled which aims to provide future applicants or aspiring students from these disadvantaged populations with access to physician mentors/connections/resources and information services that will overall bolster their applications and address the dichotomy that exist between students from certain ethnic or racial backgrounds. This will provide future students with the same opportunities as everyone else. I also disagree with the notion that many black/brown applicants do indeed apply and are not accepted because they are not on par with their peers. First, U of T's UGME has never collected information about an applicants race prior to this BSAP application cycle, so the school itself wouldn't know which applicant is black/brown, white or asian (until the interview stage) rendering this notion moot. Second, all applicants are free to write an academic explanation essay that can explain there shortcomings (which current UGME students who I personally know have done so to their advantage). Lastly, being evaluated by your own peer group is currently the norm for many of the current applicants to the program. So for a student who comes from a disadvantaged population (be it indigenous or black/brown) it does seem fair that they are afforded the same opportunity, allowing for their differences to be noticed, and not glossed over under the guise of "normalcy". Ultimately, there is no set quota, and U of T will not lower their standards just to say they have students from a particular racial background. This is bigger than that and is more than likely aimed at addressing a systemic issue that persists across academia. What the results will be, only time will tell but it's a good step forward in my book. Regards,
  11. 6 likes
    Thankfully, due to the surplus of excellent academic candidates, they can (or do their best to) weed out those candidates who are only in it for the money/prestige. Being a physician is a service-oriented profession, and I am glad they disqualify candidates who don't understand/or relate to the social determinants of health, education, and resources. These are candidates who are likely unable to demonstrate the characteristics required to be a successful physician. Also, I did not say university graduates should be happy with a McDonald's job. Way to misconstrue my words. I said you shouldn't look down on those who are forced into those jobs when they had entered university with other goals in mind. It's just where their life's journey took them, and there's nothing wrong with that. They have the opportunity keep pursuing alternatives. Nor should you look down on someone who will be working these jobs for the rest of their lives. For someone who claims you have undergone hardships, you seem very apathetic to them.
  12. 6 likes
    Medicine is an extremely privileged career path to enter. Students are mostly white, however other (not Black/Aboriginal) ethnic representation is pretty good in urban cities when it comes to medical school classes (e.g. south asian, chinese, etc). However, there is a HUGE shortage of students and professionals who identify as Black and Aboriginal in medicine. I'm actually quite offended by some of the posts here, and I'm not Black. It's not a "free" advantage, considering the historical and social context of where initiatives like these come from. There is no quota. People who choose to apply through these streams write an additional essay and have to meet the same requirements. I can tell you from people I know who identify as Aboriginal who were accepted that they didn't just get in because they were Aboriginal and met baseline requirements - they are evaluated holistically, with rigorous standards applied in the same way, they all had volunteered, been part of policy change, had healthcare experience, etc. Many "unqualified" people of minority groups including Aboriginal and I'm sure Black as well, are rejected on a very regular basis. It has been well established that income is linked to health, and low SES communities who have worse health, would certainly appreciate being able to identify with their physician and healthcare practitioners. Given again, the racism and systemic discrimination many people face within the healthcare system, being able to identify, even if it's just physically, with your physician can really impact health outcomes. This has been studied. In a city like Toronto, where over 60% of the population is immigrants, a program like this is more important than ever. Check your privilege people. Seriously. You are being offensive. No, Black people will not take over all the spots, they aren't stealing jobs from you, and this program isn't going to allow "mediocre" people to enter at the expense of all the amazing white people.
  13. 5 likes
    Queen's is best score. AS for Mitral, best you do your research before you answer with such conviction, we are trying to get into an evidence-based career after all. Unless sarcasm, but that doesn't quite fit the context. All you can do is wait and see. It's the only thing all of us can do. I'm just waiting for my CASPer tomorrow, 5th times the charm bby.
  14. 5 likes
    Update pour ceux qui ont suivi le déroulement de mon dossier d'admission cette année (2017): Procédures judiciaires entamées. Le résultat escompté ne sera probablement pas obtenu mais il n'y a rien à perdre à essayer.
  15. 5 likes
    When evaluating ECs, I always look at what the applicant HAS accomplished and pay NO ATTENTION to what they HAVE NOT. Looking at what someone hasn't done tells you nothing about them, and therefore focusing on that when writing the application makes no sense. This is your chance to tell the adcom what makes you special. There are many ways to accomplish the same thing and rather than focus on what you haven't done, find a way to talk about the value in what you have done. ECs are only as good as how you describe them and show what you've learned from them. There is no way to be competitive with ECs as there is with MCAT and GPA that are subjectively evaluated.
  16. 5 likes
    I think a lot of it for entering med students and M1's heading into M2 has less to do with the realities of family med, and more to do with perceived prestige and pay. In first year it seems most students spent their time talking about the pay rates of different specialties. Also it seems like the default is that a student will say they will do internal if they aren't sure yet, but a lot of students actively try to avoid they are going to do family med. I think it is stupid to look down on it, just it also does seem that a lot of entering students and M1 believe they are some how above that
  17. 4 likes
    All of these patterns of unfairness come up on the forum a lot - makes sense, people dealing with a worse situation in one province are annoyed by the policies of another easier one. The answer is always (often unsatisfying) the same. The system is not just about us (be it medical students, applicants, residents, or even staff doctors). The needs of the communities is usually more pressing, and since we are in a socialist education system and health care system there are times when individuals will always be disadvantaged for the needs of the whole. There are a lot of "unfair" things overall to applicants as a result, but is also unfair for one part of Canada to have better health care than another part and that is what we have right now. Doesn't change the fact that is kind of sucks for people trying to get in of course.
  18. 4 likes
    Can we all just be nice to each other?
  19. 4 likes
    Thanks for the feedback. I haven't logged in since September so I'm just seeing this now. It's a bit of a challenge for me as I think my perspective can be skewed. I'm a registered psychologist and work with kids and adolescents so it's a huge part of my caseload. I should hope that having a PhD and a good academic record will work in my favour as far as stigma goes, but you never know. My friend is a PGY1 resident in Vancouver and he is on the admissions committee for UBC. Last year he reviewed hundreds of applications so I figured he would be a good person to ask. When he read what I wrote, he figured it showed growth and recommended I leave it in. I ultimately did decide to submit my application with this in it, but the title isn't the mental illness per se. The title of that top ten "event" is "working with clients with ADHD" where I briefly outline my struggle prior to my diagnosis, followed by the work I do today. If I don't get in, then I don't get in. I have a job I like and I feel okay with that. I can always apply next year and leave it out. Thanks for the input everyone. Some really divided opinions on here, but I really don't think it's the "worst. idea. ever." Riskier than I thought, but I'll just have to deal with that. I'll let everyone know how it goes.
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    So here's the amazing thing. I didn't realize this when I was your age and in your situation, so I preach it to my younger cousins, high-school students whose parents ask me for career advice, and random people on the Internet: Any choices you make today can be changed later. The older you get, the harder it gets. But right now, as a teen in high school, the world is still your oyster. First of all, I love that you're thinking about this and planning out how you're going to support yourself and be successful over the next 50+ years. That puts you ahead of 90% or more of your peers. Second, any decision you make now isn't irrevocable. You're not finalizing the course of your whole life over the next few months. I did an engineering degree, and worked for a while. Then I did a medical degree. My next step will probably involve neither of those, but will build on both of them. If I look at the people I went to high school with, the people i did undergrad with, heck even my medical school cohort, there are very few who had their whole life's trajectory planned out from the beginning and who wound up in the exact place they expected. Third point, following from the above: life isn't static. I've only met you via one message-board post that was four lines long, but I think I know your phenotype so I'm going to go out on a limb here. You're a thinker, and you're a planner. So right now you're researching careers. In 10 years time, you'll be sorting out who you want to settle down and have kids with. In your 30s there will be a night when the spouse and kids are in bed and you're going to be sitting by yourself on the couch and deciding on your next steps, and questioning your decisions to-date. There will be other decision points in your 40s, 50s, and beyond. Welcome to being a grown-up. At each of those decision-points, you're going to consciously choose to pursue some things and close the door on other things. In the long-term your decision might be right, or it might be wrong. But you have to get comfortable with making the best decision you can, with the information you have available at the time, then following through and adjusting course as circumstances change. Trust your gut and be true to yourself.
  21. 4 likes
    I made a small CASPER guide since I had a few people ask me about how I prepared for it. If you guys like, I can post it on this thread. It may help you during your practice!
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    I think this mentality is the reason why people don't get it, but it shouldn't be. Mind you I got my electronic stethoscope when I started residency, and the only comments I get are "hey that's a nice stethoscope, how do you find it? I'm thinking of getting one" I personally would never chirp a medical student for having a "more advance" stethoscope but I'm sure there are people who would which is a shame. We should really move past all this high-school BS and realize we are all adult learners.
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    Hey, Although I will not be attending MUN, I was accepted this past cycle and I believe that these essays give you a great opportunity to express yourself in a unique way. I would suggest taking time to reflect on your desire to become a physician, write these thoughts down, and begin to formulate a response. With the first question, I did not over emphasize becoming a physician; that is why the second question is asked. Look at the the CanMed Framework for qualities that schools look for in students/future physicians and attempt to apply/demonstrate those in your everyday life and the activities you've worked so hard at. The other two questions are fairly straight forward, but they are short. So, be concise and direct with your essays. Also, be honest and be yourself; if you think something sounds chessy/weird it doesn't matter stick with your gut. From past experience, MUN likes diversity and people with a unique outlook. You want to be memorable, so unique/different is good.
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    I completely agree that prestige is part of the typical M1 resistance to FM. However, I think there's a practical argument for the initial aversion to FM as well. It's comparatively easy to make a late switch to FM, but harder to make a late switch away from FM. As students can get type-casted based on their preferences early on, it's probably advantageous to publicly lean towards something more competitive (and typically prestigious), while keeping FM as a real option privately, than to advertise a desire for FM while harboring ambitions for another, more competitive specialty. In that sense, I don't think it's maturity that's lacking for M1s in avoiding FM, but experience and certainty about what would be the best option for them - in the face of doubt, better to aim "high" (ie more competitive) than "low". It's fair to say you want depth rather than breadth as a reason not to choose FM, but if you're talking about being limited by your specialty's scope overall, that's not really a fair criticism of FM. Every specialty has limits on what they can or should do, and FM arguably has less of those restrictions than specialists, because of the breadth of being a generalist. FPs essentially get to choose which cases they keep and for how long, while specialists are limited by what's in their field. While referrals are often recommended at certain stages, FPs can handle complex cases if they feel comfortable doing so, and often that does happen. Where referrals are often done, it's a much a matter of resources as it is expertise - specialists typically have equipment, supplies, and supports that FM docs don't. It's also worth pointing out that few specialists handle truly complex cases independently - they very often refer these patients out for help from other specialists, in addition to calling on the patients' FPs for help on aspects of care.
  25. 3 likes
    In 2016, invites were sent out on Thursday, October 20. The year before, invites were sent out Monday, October 26. This year????? The suspense!
  26. 3 likes
    So nervous...but I can see it happening on Friday afternoon so that they avoid panicked flood of emails
  27. 3 likes
    So anxious to see a Dal email this week!
  28. 3 likes
    I spoke with the Admissions office today. They said that interview invites will be sent by this week or by early next week. Last year, invites were sent on October 20th. They also mentioned that they try to send the invites at least a month prior to interview weekend (Nov 25-26).
  29. 3 likes
    Your GPA/MCAT are great, but NAQ is a bit light. Will be hard to say if you get an interview, I would keep working on your non-academics this year and next year. You have lots of time to keep improving your application over the years.
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    No in fact the cut-off is actually 4.3
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    Ça servirait à quoi de les poursuivre s'il avait été admis?
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    I had some lab work where I just did data collection and put that under volunteering (it was unpaid). I had other lab experience where I was involved in the write-up and results interpretation and did some conference presentations so that I put under research. Honestly, I don't think it matters too much where you put your experiences as long as its clear what you were doing, and I would advise that if you're short in a particular area (i.e. paid employment for example), put the experience there. Good luck everyone!
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    Honestly just apply if you are above the GPA cutoff and do your best for sketch and Casper, knowing the weights won't make that big of a difference... You just aim for the highest regardless! Mr Duck
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    At a recent info session from the Admissions Committee, info sheets were distributed. Most of it is stuff that is readily available on their website, but there are some numbers that may be of interest (notably the tables: avg GPA for interview invitations, number of invitations, etc for the past couple of years). I have scanned them as PDFs and uploaded them for viewing on dropbox. IP University level cat. https://www.dropbox.com/s/tmeaof576pj1f67/IP uni info sheet.pdf?dl=0 OOP cat https://www.dropbox.com/s/wtzp0s8au3wlgzu/OOP info sheet.pdf?dl=0 International cat. https://www.dropbox.com/s/52p4lmner2tcbpf/Intl info sheet.pdf?dl=0 P.S. Sorry to the younger and older crowds, I don't have it for Med P and NTP...
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    Does anyone have the link to the webcast? Can't seem to find it on their website. Thank you!
  38. 3 likes
    Hi mkd, I am a first year PA student in the U of T Program. Just to note, the 910hours is a minimum requirement. Your application will not be considered if you have less than 910hours. My application GPA was 3.78 (up to 1st semester of 3rd year undergrad...2nd semester wasn't included, but would've brought it up). I completed about 1000hrs in various settings: clinical hospital elderly rehab volunteering, optometry assistant, ophthalmic technician (taking histories, ocular "vitals", diagnostic testing), pharmacy assistant, a few journal publications including an Ontario PA literature review. I will say that quality clinical experience is definitely what is valued. Almost everyone in my class is some sort of "expert" in something (maybe not officially but they're built up strong knowledge, skills or attitudes). The supplementary application questions are definitely also super important. I'd say between the 3 aspects of the application, Experience > Essay answers > GPA (from my personal experience. This is in no way official). Some unofficial stats from my year (just from getting to know everyone): 3 International medical graduates (AKA MDs trained outside of North America. Venezuela, India & Pakistan) 1 Nurse, 1 Pharmacist, 1 Radiation Therapist, 1 primary school teacher, 1 Kinesiologist + Pharmacy rep A few worked in autopsy & organ donation Many (~8?) have clinical research experience in the form of master's degrees (HIV studies, hemophilia studies, another PA study, etc), and about 6-8 have completed a BSc somewhere in Ontario and gained similar experience to mine (pharmacy, volunteering, research). All others have some sort of experience working with patients and physicians in different settings such as psychiatry, family health teams, hospital patient flow coordinator and other volunteering Hope this information helps! As far as prepping for the entire process (including MMI), I'd definitely advise you to get your reading on! Read everything and anything you can about PAs in Ontario (and other places) to develop a strong understanding of the profession and the aspects of yourself that would make a great PA, so that you can demonstrate these in your application. Knowledge = confidence. Good luck to everyone!
  39. 3 likes
    In hindsight the chronic sleep deficit is what I disliked the most about residency and med school. I'm convinced I lost years of my life because of it. Very rough on the body when you add it up for almost a decade. Probably one of the most under discussed parts of medical training prior to making the leap into medicine.
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    I give a talk to med students semi-regularly on the role of the Colleges and regulation of the health professions. FYI In Ontario the RHPA regulates the following professions; Audiologist, Speech Pathologist, Chiropractors, Chiropodist, Podiatrist, Dietitians, Dental Hygienists, Dental Technicians, Denturists, Massage Therapists, Medical Lab Technicians, Medical Radiation Technologists, Midwifes , Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Opticians, Optometrists, Physicians & Surgeons, Psychologists, Physiotherapists, Respiratory Therapists, Pharmacists, and Dental Surgeons There are 13 Controlled Acts in the RHPA, together this defines the legal bounds of “Medicine”. Only RHPs can do these controlled acts (or be delegated by RHPs to others in limited cases). These acts are; i. Communicating a diagnosis ii. Performing a procedure below the dermis iii. Setting or casting a fracture of a bone or dislocation of a joint iv. Moving the joints of the spine beyond the usual physiological range of motion v. Administering a substance by injection or inhalation vi. Putting an instrument, hand or finger: 1) Beyond the external ear canal, 2) Beyond the point in the nasal passage where they normally narrow, 3) Beyond the larynx, 4) Beyond the opening of the urethra, 5) Beyond the labia majora, 6) Beyond the anal verge, 7) or into an artificial opening in the body vii. Applying or ordering the application of a form of energy. viii. Prescribing, dispensing, selling or compounding a drug. ix. Prescribing or dispensing vision devices, contact lenses or eye glasses. x. Prescribing a hearing aid for a hearing impaired person. xi. Fitting or dispensing a dental prosthesis, orthodontic or periodontal appliance. xii. Managing labor or conducting the delivery of a baby. xiii. Allergy challenge testing. Not all RHPs can do all these acts. Out of the 13 controlled acts, MDs are entitled to perform 12, the exception is number 11 which is a dental procedure. There are slight differences between provinces but the major elements are consistent.
  42. 3 likes
    PTs can diagnose in Ontario. It's a controlled act PTs are allowed to right out of school. They can't diagnose EVERYTHING (i.e. conditions that you can't make a clinical diagnosis with such as MS or an acute MI), but physios can diagnose within their scope. This is pretty limited to MSK things like mechanical low back pain, tendinopathies, and sprains, but these are still diagnoses.
  43. 3 likes
    Agreed - its mostly just reimbursement being far less, for often times equally as gruelling/time consuming work. PT makes a huge difference.
  44. 3 likes
    Personally, I had a lot of fun with these essays! While I'm definitely not an expert at the Med admissions process I was accepted this year so maybe I'm on the right track... Because you have so little space to articulate a response the best advice I could give would be to reflect and give specific and concise answers. Oh, and to have fun with it! The first question is a great opportunity for you to share with the admissions office a little bit about yourself, including all the quirky things that make you, well you! The point is not to summarize your CV in 3000 characters or less. This is your chance to go beyond your CV to show all your unique qualities and interests. You don't need to be extraordinary either. I LOVE to cook so I talked about that! I also read through the CANMED roles which helped me to articulate my responses to the other questions as well as detail my CV. Physicians (and women in medicine!!) wear many different hats and have the unique opportunity to take on different roles within the healthcare sphere. Choose a few key roles that you can see yourself embodying someday and use that to write your response. Good Luck!!
  45. 3 likes
    I am going to give you my take on this as a 2010 umatched grad and now working 4 years as a GP. The reality, is that you are in a brutal situation. There is probably no deficiency in your application or interview, but simply that there are too many candidates and not enough residency spots. Next year, you will be seen as "damaged goods", you can try to candy coat this all you want with a positive attitude, but you need to be realistic, the interview panel will not view you the same way as the other fresh candidates. Here is my advice based on my experience: 1. Get your school to enroll you for 1 more year, as mentioned before by many other people, this gives you access to in-province electives, out of province electives, and most importantly gives you insurance while you are doing clinical electives. Actually do some electives, do family medicine electives, do rural family medicine electives, do laboratory medicine or unpopular electives. The "student status" shouldn't be that hard - there might be a very small nominal tuition fee, but basically they are just giving you an extra year of student status. 2. In my opinion, it is not worth re-applying to a specialty, you already didn't match once, so rather than gamble again, just control the damage and move on. Focus everything you have on matching to Family medicine or (only if you are actually interested in it) some other unpopular specialty e.g. lab medicine, medical genetics etc. Plan on finishing family medicine. (I suppose you could look for opportunities to transfer but this is difficult as Family only gives 2 year of funding). 3. MBA / Masters - these are a waste of time, you went to medical school to be a doctor, focus everything you have to get into Family. Also, I don't really know what having an MBA does for you other than maybe show the interview panel that you lack commitment to their program. 4. Research - this could be ok if you are looking to fill time, especially if you can publish papers to pad your CV. bonus if it is medically related, or related to something you can apply to your interview to demonstrate interest (or at least spin it that way to the interview panel). 5. Learn to overcome anger and depression. In my experience this is THE HARDEST part. Remember the following: You will be doing electives... as a doctor. You will be introducing yourself to patients as Dr. X, and yet, you will be fulfilling the role of a medical student during electives. You won't be able to write Rx and so on. This is humiliating. The staff and your colleagues around you can try to make it a good experience for you, but in my heart, I still felt that it was shameful to not match. It really sucks to see all your classmates as R1 and you're walking around the hospital doing f*cking electives. There were days and even complete months where I didn't even leave my apartment, where I felt that I didn't want to do any electives, I would lie in bed, or play video games all day. On my electives, it took everything I had just to put a smile on my face and not be angry. I remember doing a pathology elective just because pathology wasn't a popular elective and to leave that as a possibility for an application. I remember being completely disinterested, and yet having to play medical student game of being completely interested. I think part of overcoming this is just to take some time off to blow off steam, maybe travel a bit. The interviews/applications never asked for an exact breakdown of my electives, so as long as you do some, you don't have to go balls to the wall to fill your schedule. 6. Family medicine is the jumping point to things outside medicine. So now I work as a GP, it's certainly not the most challenging job, but I do a 9-5, I don't do call, I don't do OBS, I have completely predictable and regular hours, I have weekends off, I get to spend time with friends and family whenever I want. I still make way more money than the average person, more money than I feel that I need. I have some minor involvement with teaching/preceptorship which could become greater if I wanted to spend more time/effort on it. I spend less time on medicine, more time on hobbies. A solid base in Family could be the springboard to whatever you want, in teaching, in politics, to apply to the board of directors of medically related companies, you could go work in the insurance business if you wanted etc. My overall experience, is that I used to see Medicine as the endpoint, and not matching to the specialty I wanted, forced me to take Family, which I use as a means to my new endpoints which are mostly non-medical.
  46. 3 likes
    1) Everyone who's supported you doesn't care about an acceptance. All they want to see from you is for you to be happy. I think everyone has these concerns - being scared to tell your loved ones about being rejected because you don't want to let them down. The fact of the matter is, they DON'T CARE. They just want to continue supporting you. 2) You know, there is also a stereotype of the typical pre-med who looks down on science grads forced into blue/pink collar jobs. If I was an adcom and got even a hint of that type of mentality, I wouldn't be too pleased. It just screams "immature" to me. Rejections are tough. But you're out of school now, and I think this is an opportunity to catch up on a lot of growing you may have missed out on because of studying. Some of the most valuable lessons I learned in life were while working blue/pink collar jobs early in my undergrad. And it's not very conducive to being an empathetic physician to look down on a large portion of the population that work these jobs. You're doing well professionally. You're definitely going to get there. But just make sure you are actively seeking to grow as a person while you're at it. Good luck friend!
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    Anyone else feeling a little nervous? This is such a tough journey.
  49. 2 likes
    One of the email responses I got from Queen’s: Graduate applicants that have met the MCAT requirements but not the undergraduate GPA, will be reviewed separately, by the Admissions Committee, from the general pool of applicants. 1. Applicants must have completed their graduate degree by the August 1 prior to the commencement of medical school; 2. Marks for undergraduate years must be considered satisfactory or demonstrate a rising trend; 3. The subcommittee will assess the suitability of the candidates performance and if the graduate degree was completed at an accredited university; 4. If the subcommittee determines that the applicant is suitable, they will be invited for an interview
  50. 2 likes
    Just want to bring up that most people accepted with low MCATs (sub 510) are non-trad. I have yet to see any trad applicant getting accepted with a low MCAT.