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  1. 32 points
    So update for any interested parties. I matched to Family Medicine! Always liked living life on the edge, but I'll admit this was cutting it close. I can still accomplish my goals through this route, just have to take a different path than initially intended. Thanks for all of the advice.
  2. 26 points
    Dear all current applicants and prospective applicants to UBC Medicine, My name is Neurophiliac as I’m obsessed with brains (in a good way, trust me ). I wanted to take this time to explain my story especially for those who haven’t received good news from UBC this year. In doing so, I am hoping that my story can become your inspiration to hold your head high, your motivation to push through with 100% of your energy, and your encouragement to consider not giving up. I want to put an emphasis on the consider part. As I’ve mentioned before, I absolutely have no right to tell you “hey, don’t give up”. After all, everyone has their own challenges that are unique to them, in which no one can fully comprehend or empathize with. But, I wish to ask of you for one thing: to please try. Please try to consider not giving up. Even when life seems impossible, if there is a will, there is a way. Later, I will get into some details of how to improve your NAQ via better application planning and writing. I hope what I share also helps prospective applicants to UBC Medicine to some degree. Story time. This is going to be a SUPER LONG one, so find a nice and comfortable seat, relax and maybe grab a nice cup of tea if you're wanting to read it all . I am a long-term applicant to UBC Medicine. This application is my 6th try, and it all started back in 2013/2014. That year, I submitted my first application to UBC Medicine while I was finishing up my final year of undergrad. I had a bunch of volunteering experiences, but wasn’t having high hopes for my application being successful. Sure enough, I received regrets pre-interview. I was quite disappointed, but thought of the bright side: At least, this was a great experience to familiarize myself with the application. In 2014, I met a variety of health care professionals and was given opportunities to pursue research, awesome volunteering positions, and much more, all of which I am most grateful to this day. I started brainstorming how I can make a positive impact on my community. One thing led to another and with the help of a small group of friends, I founded my own non-profit organization dedicated to helping communities via coordinating annual fundraising musical concerts and donating 100% of the proceeds to great causes. For the first year, my team members and I dedicated our event to my local hospital’s ER, as I was familiar with the ER since I had been volunteering there since 2011. The 2014/2015 application cycle came along, and I was excited to see how this application would turn out. I spent a lot of time carefully writing my application, rewording each entry, making sure the description is concise yet filled with details. When the interview status D-Day arrived, I was in tears of joy when I realized I received my first invite for UBC. Simply put, I could NOT stop dancing, so you can easily imagine the scene . I spent the next 2 months practicing for my interview, attended the large practice sessions and so on and so forth. In May, I was way more nervous than I had been for my interview notification. I decided to shut off my phone from the night before, check on Premed101 in the morning to see when everyone had received their results, and then to turn on my phone again. I did, but realized it was a rejection. I was devastated. I had a flashback of everything I had been through, knowing that I would need to repeat it all again. A week or two passed, and my head was cleared. My optimism resurfaced, and I realized what an accomplishment I’ve made: My NAQ had increased by ~10 points, from 24 (previous year) to ~34 (that year). Giving up now? No way, Jose! During that year, I did a whole bunch of new things ultimately enjoying what I did (as I still do), and as a byproduct it also helped my application. So, for the 2015/2016 application cycle, I spent more than 1 month to complete my application. I planned how to write every new entry, reworded my previous entries, and looked at all the details involved; once my application was complete, I also remodified it several times. When the interview notifications were released, I was ecstatic to know that I received another interview! Very much prepared, I decided to host the MMI Facebook group as I learned a lot from the individual leading the previous Facebook group from the previous year. I was so happy to meet some new people and also some of those who were reapplicants, in the same shoes as I was. Amidst the joy, there was one thing that had always been bothering me: My MCAT score. My old score was a mere 30, very mediocre. I sought guidance from my parents and they convinced me to sign up for an MCAT prep course – this was primarily because the new MCAT was rolled out, and I realized perhaps taking a prep course will prepare me for the new, tougher, longer exam. It was a very strange feeling to prepare for the interview and study for the MCAT again… something I did way back when I was preparing myself to begin my first application. I decided to study for the MCAT and write it in case things go south post-interview. Interview day came along, and I was ready. I did the best I could do and realized how different my interview experience was compared to the previous year; in other words, I felt a lot more confident. When offer notifications were about to be released in May, I was a mess – emotional rollercoaster since the second I woke up in the morning at 7 AM. I anxiously awaited my results. When the rejections wave passed and I got no notification, I suddenly felt an infinite spike of optimism and hope. But it was short-lived. At the time of the waitlist wave, I got a “ding!” on my phone and I knew what it was. I open my email and I see the subject line “UBC Undergrad Admissions: Application Status – Waitlist” and my heart sinks. Had I just survived that couple minutes of the wave, I would have been 180˚ different. Time passed and my head was cleared. I said, “Hey, this isn’t so bad! There is still hope, why am I so down?” I was grateful to have improved from last cycle at least. But the hope gradually dissipated when I wasn’t able to receive an offer from the waitlist. I improved from a Below Average to an Above Average, and my NAQ stayed at roughly ~34. Now, it was MCAT time. The next application cycle (2016/2017) for UBC, Admissions was allowing a final cycle where old MCAT exams were still being accepted. One of my very close friends who got accepted off the waitlist strongly advised me not to write the new MCAT, and just reapply and see what happens. God forbid, if I would get an ineligible score for UBC, none of my old MCAT exams would qualify as only the new attempt(s) count. But I was sure that my MCAT had to be the one thing holding me back. So, I registered for a late-June exam and started prepping my application for the early deadline. Late-June 2016 came and I was sitting at the exam centre at 7:30 AM, waiting to be registered. Wrote the exam, felt like crap, but somehow, I decided to score it – after all, I had put a lot of effort into it and spent a lot of money for my prep course, and I was sure that at least I got the minimums for UBC, so everything was going to be fine, right…? No…. Things didn’t turn out to be fine. My science sections were average but passing, just got the passing score on psych/soc with 124, but… but… but… I realized my CARS was 121 (the damn verbal reasoning, the bane of my existence, the archnemesis of my soul). It was freaking panic time now. I quickly registered for a late-August exam to at least get a passing score so that I am at least eligible. Late-August, 7:30 AM, same exam centre. The guy looks at me and says, “Oh hey, you were here before, right?” And I say with an uncomfortable laugh, “Oh yes, I’m trying to get a better score hopefully!” Wrote the exam, and felt actually a bit better about the CARS section. I still knew it was going to be horrible, but hopefully at least I get that 124. I go home and work on my application for the next week, finalize it and submit it for the early deadline. Late-September arrives. I am at my computer on the AAMC MCAT score release log-in screen. I enter my username, password, and click log in. I place a sheet of paper on my screen hiding all scores. The plan is to check chem/phys first, then bio, then psych/soc, and finally CARS. Chem/phys, bio, and psych/soc are all great actually – much better than before. I take the sheet of paper and unhide my CARS score. What…? Huh…? Surprise turns to disbelief, disbelief turns to anger, anger turns to panic and utter… utter fear. I see 119 besides CARS. How is this even possible…? You mean, I seriously got 1 point above the absolute minimum?? How… HOW… HOW?! Frustration, anger, panic. My head was exploding, blood pressure was low, and I was cold-sweating all over my body. The worse part was that many other bad things had happened to me that year, especially in the summer time. With this news added on, my world felt shattered… With the support of my friends and family, gradually optimism resurfaced again. With the volunteering connections I had built previously, one thing led to another and I transitioned into a full-time research position so smoothly, it felt like the sky opened and this job fell into my hands. In 2016, I started working at UBC Department of Psychiatry on a project focused on exploring the metabolic, genetic and immunological factors affecting those diagnosed with treatment-refractory schizophrenia, one of the most severe forms of mental illness. Also, in 2016, I reconnected with a dear, close friend via my cousin’s wedding who I had lost touch with since we were young. She became a very, very special person in my life. She lives in my previous home country (where I had immigrated from with my family as a child), so we had a long-distance relationship going. With the bad news of the MCAT and other things that were affecting me, suddenly 2016 didn’t seem so bad now. I worked for the whole year, did my volunteering, extracurricular activities and so forth, while restudying for my MCAT. Even though I was prepared, the last couple of exams took a huge toll on my confidence, and I was still very nervous for my exam. I registered for an early summer 2017 exam just in case I don’t make it. I write the exam, don’t know how to feel. My results come out, sciences have all improved even more, but my CARS… 122. Another big hit to my confidence. But hey, it’s okay because I have another opportunity to write an exam, right? I register for another in August 2017, and write the exam, feeling maybe I did it this time. Results come out. Sciences are spectacular, but CARS… 123… why is this happening…? Why is life s***ing on me like this…? You think previous times I had a major hit to my confidence? No way, Jose. This was the biggest hit to my confidence… A score of 123 is basically 1 or 2 correct answers from a 124. I was embarrassed. I felt so disappointed to let down my coworkers, close friends, and family who were all rooting for me. Another year of being ineligible… By the way, these 2 years of being ineligible, I was still applying to UBC because I didn’t want to break my consistency. I wanted UBC to see that I still care and I am still trying, even though they don’t do a file review when you’re ineligible. The fall of 2017 at least became one of the best times of my life. I took vacation from work and my family and I planned a trip to go visit my girlfriend and her family. While there, I proposed to her and I heard the sweetest “Yes” of my life. We had an engagement party and got legally married (on paper), since the two go together in my culture (and the wedding ceremony is usually within a year or two after). I then returned back to Canada soon after because I could only get a short vacation, and started working on her immigration application. I used the year to again work, actually working multiple jobs, doing a whole bunch of volunteering, doing way more than I have ever done to not have it appear that I’ve “plateaued”. Finally, 2018 comes and I start the whole routine of studying for the MCAT… all… over… again. At this point, I’m drenched in volunteering and work, while maintaining my MCAT studying schedule. Again, I register for an early summer exam just in case so that I have another opportunity late August. I write the exam, no idea how CARS went. I get my results back, and yet again… CARS is 123. At this point, my confidence has been kicked around, chipped, and 99% eaten away. But I put these thoughts away and force myself to think positively; after all, it’s only maximum 2 questions away to 124. I have one more chance for this next application cycle for August. Luckily, I’m able to register for another exam for August 25, 2018. Another 7:30 AM at the exam centre. I write it, and something inside ever so slightly tells me… maybe. As soon as the exam is over, I prepare myself to take a vacation to spend a month to visit my wife on the other side of the planet. I really enjoyed the trip; we spent quality time and made memories which will last forever. However, on the inside, mentally my mind is asking the “what if” regarding my CARS. This was my 6th attempt for the new MCAT exam… if this didn’t work, I had to think of something. Perhaps the Caribbean schools, or the European or Australian schools. But what would that mean for my wife? If she immigrated to Canada, where would she stay? Would she come with me? Would she stay in Canada and we have to live a few years of our lives apart other than the short visits? She wants to continue her education in Canada, so her studies matter a lot too. These lingering thoughts bothered me everywhere I went and I was neck-deep in internally-hidden anxiety. When I returned to Canada in late October after my vacation, my exam result had already been released in mid-September yet I hadn’t checked it (only released the scores to UBC). Even the thought of logging into AAMC makes my heart pump hard and sends my thoughts racing. But eventually, I control myself: “I can do it,” I say. I bring up the AAMC MCAT score release website screen, take 5 full, deep breaths before I log in even though I'm nauseous as hell. Again, I hide the scores on the screen with a piece of paper and check each with CARS last. My chem/phys is 130 (wonderful), bio is 130 (excellent), and psych/soc is 129 (wow, best I’ve had!). As I’m about to reveal CARS, internally and externally I start praying for just a 124 or more. I reveal… and… it’s a… 125. 125?! OMG!!! Surprise turns to disbelief, disbelief turns to joy, joy turns to tears and utter… utter happiness. I’ve made it… I’ve made it!!! I instantly feel so much weight, tons and tons of load get released off my shoulders. I can’t believe it finally happened. After 6 whole tries, I can finally be eligible again. And here I am. I have been through every part of the spectrum other than being accepted; rejected pre-interview, to rejected post-interview, to being waitlisted-rejected, to being ineligible. For me, it’s one of the best feelings in the world to be eligible to apply. And now with receiving an interview invitation… I do not even have the words to truly express how thankful and grateful I am. Through this whole process, I have learned one of the hardest ways to never take anything for granted, and always appreciate the things you have in this moment. Even though life seemed impossible, I never stopped fighting for what I really care about; I never gave up. Even if I don’t become accepted this cycle, I will continue to battle the challenges of my life and will not stop pursuing my dream. If medicine is your dream too, don’t let it remain a dream. Continue to push through the dark times because there is always good around you. The experiences that you accumulate in life will eventually aid you to become stronger, more mature, more professional, well-rounded, and more, which primarily help you become successful in life in general, but also with pursuing medicine. Know that whatever you do, you’re not wasting your time. I define “wasting your time” as when you’re sitting on your butt and not doing anything for your future. Down the road, no one will ask when you completed your MD, no one cares that you’re an amazing, experienced physician when you’re 50 as compared to when you could have been 47, for example. Medicine is a life-long career. What really matters is that you enter medical school when you’re ready, because that’s when you can take the most out of your program and be the best future physician you can be. Like I mentioned earlier, anything you do now will ultimately help you in what comes after MD, such as in CaRMS, which is quite important. Lastly, I want to point out one important note. Medicine is very important when it’s your passion. But, there are always things that are way more important than it, such as love, family, and friends. It was through my failures that I met my wife. If I had a choice to reverse time and be accepted to medicine back in 2016/2017 by not re-writing my MCAT (lots of ifs), I would have not taken this offer. Because then I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to gain experience in my work field that I have now, I wouldn’t have met all the wonderful people through my jobs, and most importantly… maybe I wouldn’t have met my wife. This just comes to show that medicine, although a true passion, shouldn't be on a pedestal. As I go with the flow, it will happen when it happens, as long as I don’t give up. Long story short, I strongly encourage you guys to please, at the least, consider not giving up yet. I’m sure you all have your personal challenges, but let my story inspire you. Let your inner optimism resurface, too. Gain the support of your family, relatives, friends, coworkers, and seek their guidance. And please know that I am here – if you’d like to chat, I would love to listen. If I can help in any way, please PM me.
  3. 24 points
    It’s going to be a long one. I wrote all of this before I got in, because there is something wonderfully raw and vulnerable about documenting my reflections while I’m still on the outside looking in. I knew that if I was unsuccessful this cycle, I would still read it to remind myself of how far I’ve come. -- My non-trad path is nothing unusual- I suppose I am just a late bloomer who paid her dues after the fact. The biggest challenge for me, throughout this whole journey, was lacking the protective factors to cushion the falls. I have been financially independent, which means choices were often made to have a financial safety net rather than for improving my med school applications. I had no one within my social network to guide me; my family has not been supportive of my decisions, so I felt like I could never turn to them (as of now they still don’t know that I interviewed and got accepted). This forum taught me everything I needed to know about getting into medical school, and that being a physician is still a possibility for someone like me. I began university when I was 18, completely lacking in self-awareness and nowhere near ready to make any sort of decisions about my future. I went to UofT for life sciences. There’s that joke: “How many UofT students does it take to change a light bulb? Four; one to change it and three to crack under the pressure”. Well, I was one of the three. My time at UofT was the closest I’d come to being depressed. My marks were atrocious; I felt worthless and incompetent all the time. My family didn’t understand- and didn’t know how to- help me; no one told me “you should stop and figure your shit out before completely ruining your transcript”. I tried going to counselling but felt like I was not being listened to, so I never went back. Something was very wrong, I didn’t know what or how to fix it. Things at home were bad. In my final year, I cut all financial ties with my parents, and moved out- I needed to become my own person. The independence was exhilarating. The financial stress was real, but my mental health also improved 100%, and I gained the energy and mental clarity to finally start thinking about what I wanted in life. Unfortunately, at this point my marks (cGPA of 3.1, no year above 3.5) were useless for any post-grad program. I applied to Michener’s medical radiation program, a second-entry bachelor program, to become an X-ray tech. I got accepted, but opted to not attend-- for the first time, I thought about what I wanted in my career, and decided it was not for me. I decided to take a year off and consider other second degree options. I started to look into becoming a dietitian (other RDs on this forum, like Real Beef, were very helpful). This would be a competitive process with a lot more uncertainty than going to Michener. I had a lot to prove and nothing to show for it. I used the year to work several minimum wage jobs in healthcare to save up money for a year of unpaid dietetic internship that would follow my second undergrad, while getting volunteer experience in nutrition to start building my resume for dietetic internship applications. I started my second degree in nutrition with a lot of self-doubt. After UofT, I was uncertain that I could even pull off low 80s. I was sure that everyone was smarter than me, and that I was the loser who flunked a whole degree but still couldn’t keep up. But I also had a level of mental clarity and focus that I’d never felt before. And low and behold, I ended up finishing my first year with the highest average in my program. A 3.94. It was then that I realized I was onto something-for the first time, it seemed like medicine could be a possibility. I decided to extend my second degree into 3 years, to be eligible for Ottawa (ironically, I never interviewed at Ottawa), while building my application for dietetic internships. This led me to different opportunities in leadership, teaching, and working with low SES populations. After 2 years into my second degree, I wrote the MCAT while working full-time and self-teaching myself the material despite taking (and flunking) my pre-reqs 4-5 years before that. I was pleasantly surprised with a balanced 514 (however, with a CARS of 128, it was never good enough for Western). The year after, I graduated from my second degree with the highest cumulative average in my program. It took me 3 cycles to get my first and only interview at Queen’s. During my second cycle, I was completing my dietetic internship, which provided many opportunities to gain clinical and counselling skills, work with marginalized populations, lead QI projects, and work within interdisciplinary teams- I learned more about my interest and suitability for medicine in this 1 year than I had in my whole life prior to this. Internship was hard work, but also gave me small boosts of confidence and signs I am not a complete dumbass (e.g. a nephrologist who had no idea that I was applying to med, after listening to my renal case presentation, told me how impressed he was that I’ve shown level of knowledge that he’d only expect from a senior medical resident; 2 of my preceptors said that in their 10-20 years teaching, they’ve never seen a student work so hard to improve herself and be so dedicated to her patients; rotation after rotation I was praised for my critical thinking skills and natural ease in developing rapport with patients). This wasn’t just about ticking off boxes to get into med, but about developing my passion for hands-on learning and learning about my strengths and weaknesses as a professional. For the first time in my life, I thought “maybe I am good enough to become a doctor.” When I submitted my application for the third cycle, I had just graduated from internship and started working in public health in Northern Ontario. I moved here because I wanted to continue to step outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to do more advocacy and upstream work, and this was the place to do it. At around the time of decision day, I had applied to RD jobs in Alberta to gain IP status for U of C. So here’s what I’ve learned in the last five years: · Know yourself. Know your identity outside of being a premed. Figure out what your values are, what kind of a person you want to be, what drives you to take action, what triggers your mind to go down dark rabbit holes. This takes time and effort, and self-reflection from life experiences, but it helps to build resilience against the hurdles along the application process, medical training, and set-backs life in general. Knowing who you are and what you have to offer the world protects you against having your self-esteem and identity shattered when things don’t go as you had hoped; it gives you the courage to say “let’s try again.” when the world seems to tells you “you are not good enough.” Similarly, I hear too often that when people have spent their whole life dedicated to getting into med school, that when they finally get in, they feel a bit lost- “now what?”. I suppose that happens when you see getting in as a final destination rather than one of the stops along a never-ending journey of building yourself up. People around me couldn’t fathom where I got the persistence to keep at it despite facing setbacks and watching the years go by. It’s because I knew there is nothing valuable that a rejection can take away from me. I have been building myself up as a person. I am still going to be me, no matter what happens inside that interview room, and what May 8th brings. I still possess all the traits that I worked hard to develop and love about myself- my grit, self-awareness, intellectual curiosity, empathy, open-mindedness- and these are all going to carry me far in life, medicine or not. No rejection letter can take that away from me. · Figure out what you want to accomplish in medicine, outside of medicine. I always ask myself: what's appealing about a career as a physician, and how can I try to achieve it through another route? What skills do I want to use on a day to day basis in my career? What core values and beliefs will motivate me to do what I do in my career? I think reflecting on this helps to flesh out your motivations for pursuing medicine, helps to identify alternative career paths, and should you pursue an alternative path while you reapply, helps you to gain insights and skills that will be useful for medicine. Hopefully the adcoms will recognize this. If not, well, at least your satisfaction with your alternative path will still be pretty high. · Be kind to yourself. The playing field is not even, and you don’t need to add an additional layer of self-inflicted cruelty to the mix. It’s ok to not feel 100% determined all the time. When the self-doubt starts to creep in, sit on it, talk to someone (in my opinion, everyone should have a therapist). Use the insights from the above 2 points to ground yourself and as motivation to keep going. · Develop yourself in areas outside of academics. What saved me was working minimum wage jobs since I was 16 (I actually started out cleaning bathrooms, after I was fired from scooping ice cream for being too socially inept. True story.). 75% of my activities on my ABS were employment. I had to work, because I did not come from a background as privileged as that of many premeds. If the circumstances were different, perhaps I would’ve gotten in earlier. But the real world was the best teacher I’ve ever had- it helped me develop financial independence and literacy, character, resilience, and interpersonal skills that helped me along every step of this journey. It helped to shape my convictions of the kind of physician, what kind of person, I want to be. Ease yourself into uncomfortable situations today to build resilience against shit-hitting-the-fan moments later in life. --- I also want to say that sometimes on these forums, we read non-trad stories and it seems like people were 100% determined from the get-go while they stayed on this one path for 4-10 years. I know I wasn’t…and that’s ok. As a non-trad, you have more life decisions to make along your journey, some big, some small. I know that I had to make many decisions over the years to favour either my nutrition career, chances for med school, or my personal life- many times, these three conflicted. There’s no right way to go about it- it depends on your risk tolerance, other responsibilities in life, and priorities. Know yourself…this is so, so important. I feel so privileged that everything in my life lined up so perfectly to allow me to pursue this path long enough to eventually get accepted. I’m always happy to chat about second degrees, being an RD, or anything related. Stay positive and kind to yourself, PM101.
  4. 19 points
    If people are wanting to take legal action regarding a single medical school rejection, then I think admissions is doing their job correctly in keeping you out.
  5. 18 points
    My friend just sent me an email titled, "Acceptance to McMaster Medical School". Unfriended.
  6. 18 points
    We are getting close, but you forgot to factor in the lunar cycles 2014 (Jan 24) was the last quarter visible at 47% 2015 (Jan 21) was a new moon visible at 2% 2016 (Jan 13) was a waxing crescent visible at 18% 2017 (Jan 18) was the last quarter visible at 64% 2018 (Jan 10) was a new moon visible at 2% Hmm, I'm starting to see a correlation here It's going to be in the next waxing crescent moon, so the 10th or 11th lol
  7. 18 points
    sna

    What is everybody using at med school?

    I've tried both and found that the iPad Pro has better hardware (Apple Pencil, longer battery, better display) and software (Notability, and although the surface has desktop Microsoft office with full features, I prefer the simpler mobile versions). With the iPad Pro, I was torn between using Notability vs OneNote. Notability has superior annotation, functional auto-sync to pdf, OneNote has better organization, infinite scroll in both x and y planes. So rather than choosing a compromise, I've ended up using both: Notability for in-class notes and OneNote for studying. Let me demonstrate what that looks like: Downloading the pdf/lecture file is easier on iPad (vs laptops) because you open it in the browser and tap "Open in Notability". This iniates multiple steps at once; it downloads the file, opens it in Notability, creates a pdf back-up in google drive that gets updated in real time as you take notes. All with one click. After class you get this: Then after class, you just tap the share button on the top left corner and with one tap save it in OneNote. Later when you're studying, you'll have room the ability to add additional subpages if necessary (Notability doesn't have this, see example below) and make additional comments/add resources on the side (see example below). You can also still annotate further: This system has worked beautifully for me so far. Let me know if you have any questions!
  8. 16 points
    While I acknowledge people's frustration over changing goalposts, I think Western's change this year is commendable. The reality is, high MCAT and GPA scores are not good predictors of who will become good physician. The aamc has been looking into how medical students and physicians perform based on their entrance scores, and there is no significant difference between someone with a 132 CARS and a 126, for example. Even more importantly, arbitrarily high cutoffs unnecessarily favour more privileged students (those who can afford tutors, expensive prep courses, not having to work for a summer while they study) and results in less class diversity. By lowering cutoffs in favour of an additional aABS, Western is taking steps to ensure that they've still selected students who are likely to succeed academically, but come from more diverse backgrounds and will better reflect the patient populations they'll be serving. As for the quality of someone's EC's, don't assume that just because you've done something unique or flashy, that it holds more value than someone else's accomplishments. Just because Candidate 1 could afford to take a summer off to travel and do charity work in another country, doesn't mean that experience holds any more value than the experiences of Candidate 2, who had to work full time in customer service to support their family. File reviewers are often trained to look for these issues, and would be asked to look through essays and evaluate personal character or what was learned from an experience, not what was actually done. TLDR; Thinking you have the best scores or flashiest ECs does not make you any more deserving than anyone else, and expressing sentiments of entitlement really make your privilege show.
  9. 16 points
  10. 16 points
    IMislove

    Queens Waitlist 2018

    ACCEPTED OFF THE Wait LIST OMFG FRIGGGG YESSSSS IVE WAITED 5 long OMSAS cycles for this shit yeaaaaaaasss. Thank you everyone for the support and memes. Will edit later.
  11. 15 points
    I don't usually post my stats anymore since they've basically remained the same from my posts 2 years ago. I'll make an exception in this time just because of how -relatively- little data usually gets contributed here. TIME STAMP: Feb 21 2019, 11:17 EST Interview Date: March 30 Result: Interview (MD) cGPA: 3.96 (by rounding) MCAT: Passed cutoffs ECs: Filled up all 32 items this year, but I've had an interview back when I had 21/48 items. Diverse and met each of UofT's clusters quite well. Essays: Spent at least 1.5 months on them, at least 400 hours. Was it overkill? To be honest, probably. I'm not a bad writer by any means, but when it comes to pieces with word limits, I believe in the importance of articulating each idea as succulently and artistically as possible. My grades did suffer but I wanted to write essays that could stand strong among a diverse audience of readers (which is to be reasonably expected of) and leave myself without regret. All of the topics strongly resonated with my experiences and I had a lot to share. If anything, future readers should find this observation helpful: having exchanged essay reviewing with some of my friends, I've come to realize that there isn't a single, uniform writing style that really makes the magic happen. Some of my friends briefly addressed the question within a single few sentences, then built their entire essays on how their experiences met the four clusters. Personally, I dedicated almost half my word count towards giving a thorough answer/solution before briefly sharing some personal experiences. We all got an interview. Year: Graduated UG Geography: OOP Two years ago, I did horribly on my interview. I knew my application wasn't strong: I had a weak reference, few extracurriculars and ultimately, couldn't hold up to applicants with an amazing wealth of experience behind them. I was invited during the final week and suspected that I had only marginally scraped into getting an interview. I convinced myself that the odds weren't in my favour and let myself fall. Last year I didn't take my essays as seriously enough and got rejected March 16th. Firstly, the topics just didn't click with my experiences. Secondly, seeing that I already had been previously been invited, I grew extremely over-confident and complacent in my writing. I got no interviews from any school during this year. Each interview is a privilege. Each year, med schools get more and more amazing applications, either from those who have come back strong after a previous rejection, or new talented applicants. Perhaps I'm just on this site too often, but getting accepted 4th year doesn't seem as common as it once was. In any case, I'm extremely grateful to have another chance of making things right.
  12. 15 points
    Problem with your logic is that you think the system is goofed up or that the incoming class is somehow "screwed". They aren't. The wheels will keep turning and those that get in will continue along the process with zero functional difference. Just so happens John Doe took a seat instead of you. Got in on slightly different requirements/process but equally as qualified and capable of doing well in medicine. Dont get sucked into a false sense of superiority by having a marginally better GPA or MCAT score.
  13. 15 points
    I very much doubt 1 single individual read all 8 of your essays. It was likely divided among 8 people, with the average of your responses being taken as your final score. This is how it works in CASPer, for UoT, MMI, etc. The admissions office of every school has the right to change their admission criteria from one year to the next. Western is not unique in this circumstance. To be honest, I actually admire Western for changing their criteria to allow character elements to shine through compared to the archaic method of using only GPA and MCAT. As I mentioned to you before in a previous post, possessing a good MCAT or GPA, while important, are not the sole factors that determine whether or not someone is good enough for med school. IMO, focus on your other interviews at those Ivy schools. Perhaps take a little bit of time to reflect. Likening yourself to a 'Syrian refugee' screams to me that your line of thinking needs to come down a notch.
  14. 15 points
    ha, it has been 10 years on the forum - kind of scary. The journey is long but in the end worth it I think. Stay frosty and focused people
  15. 14 points
    A year ago, I was in your shoes. I did not know if all the years of studies I had worked towards were worth it. If all the volunteering, wishing and dreaming was going to lead me somewhere. An interview is unpredictable and I could very easily throw it all away. I just want to tell you all to have confidence in yourself. You were selected for a reason. You all have the potential to become medical students. This year or next year, don't give up. Whatever you are feeling is normal. Everyone feels this way. Every single person in the room you will be in. Here is my advice for interviews : There is no definite answer key for scenarios. Complete the required task. Don't be afraid to verbalize your thought process. No one is trying to trick you. Don't overthink the scenarios. One bad station happens to everyone. Actors and interviewers will sometime seem 'distant' because they have to remain neutral. Don't take it personally. If you have completed a station and are satisfied within time, you don't need to force yourself to add more information. I guess all I am trying to say is : I truly wish you all the best on your interviews. May our paths cross soon!
  16. 14 points
    Congratulations to all who got an interview! Try to start looking into the MMI process and preparing early, time really flies! There are plenty of resources lying around the forum, so take advantage of that. For those looking for more MMI questions to prepare with, try googling "korean premed mmi questions", you should find a pretty big list. Psychologically preparing yourself for emotionally/socially uncomfortable/awkward situations and remaining calm under all circumstances are really key, so try yourself at these sample scenarios and whatever else you can find until you feel like you're ready to take on whatever they might throw at you when the big day comes around. Also very happy to see some familiar usernames from last year I really really hope it works out for you guys this year. To the applicants who didn't get an invite this year and are really disappointed right now, I hope you'll feel better soon. It's an unreasonably competitive process, so while you should take a step back and re-evaluate, especially when the stats come out later in the cycle, you also really shouldn't let this result affect your sense of self-worth. Most importantly, don't let this hurdle put your life on pause; keep living life to the fullest outside of medicine, and the rest will fall in place.
  17. 14 points
    I AM SO EXCITED TO RECEIVE MY REJECTION
  18. 14 points
    I won't be so flippant as to say just try it out, but I would ask you to try to take a step back and look at your situation objectively. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is your happiness, and I do think there are many paths withing medicine that can be fulfilling for a wide variety of people; I also think it's incredibly easy to make numerous small sacrifices for dubious goals that accumulate to an overall frustrating life. I've absolutely experienced that miserable feeling you're describing, few people get to experience being berated by someone at 4am because you're still on the low end of the totem pole in your mid twenties. And there are a ton of people in my med school class who pushed themselves to do research in med school on top of that, put time in to networking, over-studied for every test, only to continue the cycle for another 6 years of residency. You don't have to do that if that's not your picture of happiness though. I was initially pushing for a difficult specialty and I would feel anxious every second I wasn't working on my research project, I was attending rounds for that specialty and doing additional clinic on top of normal school duties, and I honestly felt terrible. Then I realized that this doesn't have to be my life, my peers from high school who I was jealous of treated their jobs like a job and there was no reason I had to let it consume my life. I studied to around the median, I played sports and video games instead of researching, and I got in to a fantastic community family medicine program. And now my average days are 9-4 with some charting on either end and the occasional home call. And while I found a niche I'm really excited to pursue full time, I know someone who recently graduated and makes 80k a year off one hard day of work per week - something you won't find in any other field and allows him to pursue his true passions. So that's where I'd ask you to be objective. Whatever career you're comparing medical school to, don't compare it to the jaded or overworked staff you never hope to be. Compare it to what you, with your values, would do with that degree. I can't guarantee it's for everyone, but if you've come this far there's a very strong chance you find something that works for you better on many levels than most alternatives.
  19. 14 points
    I finally got the call from Western yesterday!!!!! I was on high waitlist!!! Ahhhhh!! I am so happy.
  20. 14 points
    Ergomed

    Médecine 2018

    Admise, marché du travail. Je suis si heureuse!!!!!! Croyez en vos rêves. Je n'avais jamais osé appliquer avant cette année, convaincue que je ne faisais pas le poids, mais à ma grande surprise, je suis acceptée. Cote : 31,432 MEM : 597,200
  21. 13 points
    Western's previous over-reliance on quantitative objectives has resulted in some barely-functioning manchildren being in my class since year 1, and judging from the replies in this thread (legal action l.o.l), the new system is keeping many such people out, so I'm all for it. Perhaps it's time for an attitude adjustment and self reflection if you think you're entitled to anything in this game.
  22. 13 points
    Result: Regrets Time Stamp: 9:00 am Interview Date: N/A wGPA: 3.97 (last two years of undergrad) Year: finishing masters at harvard MCAT: 509 (128/126/128/127) <- probably the issue ECs: executive on same clubs for 4 years, president of 2 clubs, founded not for profit, 1 first author publication and 1 co-authorship under journal review, work study research position in undergrad, various other miscellaneous activities in student society and clubs, I think I had strong referees? (had Rhodes interview based on them so don’t really think it could’ve been an issue with the letters...) Geography: Ontario Ive never posted on forums before because I really struggle with imposter syndrome and am super self conscious comparing myself against all the amazing candidates here. However, since Queens makes the application process extra difficult by not posting any statistics/criteria I thought I would contribute in case it could help someone. I also just wanted to say that I have a few friends that didn’t get any interviews for 2 years in a row and then managed to gain admission to multiple medical schools in their 3rd attempt. A lot of these admission processes can be quite flawed and may take students that may not make the best doctors while missing out on those that would. Even this year I know of someone who received an interview invite who not only failed a class due to a breach of academic integrity but also obtained a few publications in their name because their uncle was a surgeon. I’ve personally found it difficult to reconcile feeling like I’m not good enough in the face of knowing of cases like this. At the end of the day though what keeps me going is that (hopefully) hard work will pay off and things will work out for the best. I hope we can all take invites and rejections with a grain of salt, and continue to be kind to ourselves during this process. Wish you all the best :)
  23. 13 points
    ATG4B

    Interview Invites date?

    For everyone who is not getting the news they wanted today ... I want to tell you a little bit more about me in the hopes that it will bolster your spirit to keep pushing forward. I was all set to apply in 2006, but a family member became very ill and I had to put my dreams on hold. I tried several times over the coming years to go back to school, but I couldn’t manage to juggle full time work and full time school. It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I decided to sell pretty much everything I had in order to head back to school. It has been far from an easy road, but I wouldn’t change it for anything! I’m definitely not the same person I was in 2006 and I appreciate every opportunity for the blessing that it is. I don’t know what this year has in store for me, but I do know that I’m a hell of a lot stronger than I thought I was. You will find that out about yourself too if you keep pushing ahead. Be kind to yourself right now and know that one (or even many) regret email, doesn’t define you in any way! Hugs to you all.
  24. 13 points
    brockboeser6

    NAQ - Overcoming adversity

    Thanks for you input. I'm going to be quite honest with you. I would suggest in your future career as a doctor not to ever mention to someone, that has gone through a traumatic event, that they are "milking" the situation. It shows a severe lack of empathy, understanding and maturity and minimizes their experience.
  25. 13 points
    Butterfly_

    Success Stories- Non Trad Style!

    This thread inspired me and gave me hope to pursue my medical school dream. Thank you to all that have posted on here before. You have all truly touched my heart. It is because of your stories, that today, I also have the pleasure of posting here and sharing my own journey. When I was younger and about to head to university, I had a tough time choosing between pursuing a business degree or a science degree. At that time, I knew my interests were in biology and psychology, but seeing my parents labouring hard on the farm, I felt pressured to help support the family and make money fast. So, I decided to pursue a finance degree, work in investment banking, and provide enough money to make my family comfortable, then pursue my interests afterward. It was a naïve and misguided plan. From the first moment in business school, I already felt like I didn’t fit in. This feeling got worse 4 years later when I began working in investment banking. The hours were grueling, and I was completely uninterested in what I was doing. I kept at it for 2.5 years because it helped me pay my debts, supported my family, and made my parents proud. But one day, I reached my breaking point. I was out of shape, burnt out, and depressed. I woke up dreading the new day to begin. So, I finally quit, at the shock of my parents. They didn’t understand why I would give up a lucrative and prestigious career. I didn’t know how to explain it to them either. So, I decided to travel. Backpacked by myself across Southeast Asia for 6 months. When I was in Cambodia wandering the night markets, I walked past a bookstand selling novels for $1 USD. Not sure if it was fate or intuition, but I chose to buy the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It was a book that changed my life. It helped me rediscover my passion and interests in life. I started focusing on things that I loved to do. Travel. Eat. Exercise. Health. Science. Languages. During this process of self-discovery, I developed a strong interest in healthcare and medicine. However, I was still too afraid to pursue it. The time, the commitment, and the financial burden all seemed too daunting. I also convinced myself that I wasn’t good enough to be a doctor. That I wouldn’t be able to handle the responsibilities that came with life and death. So, I became a travel agent instead. I had a lot of fun, met many amazing people, and excelled at the role. I traveled to over 35 countries. Life was exciting, and I felt content. However, the idea of medicine never left my mind. It kept gnawing at me every day and I eventually began to feel too comfortable at my job. It was at this time I met my fiancée (on Tinder, lol.) He was in his 3rd year of pharmacy and applying to medicine at the same time. His mother was a nurse. His grandmother was a military doctor. I was suddenly immersed in a world of healthcare. Watching my fiancée work hard and challenge himself every day made something click in me. I started to think that I might still have a chance at medical school. Couple months later, I went on a Mediterranean cruise with my family. I was sitting in the hot tub and decided to strike up a conversation with the person next to me. We talked, and he asked me what I did. I'm not sure what came over me, but for the first time in my life, I told someone out loud, "I'm going to become a doctor." It was a liberating moment. Everything suddenly felt real and achievable. And fate would have it, the person whom I was talking was an army doctor who graduated from McGill Medical School. He was traveling with his wife in Europe before beginning his next station in the UK. He said, "Go for it!" And I did. I quit my job in December 2016 and began studying for the MCAT full time. I also enrolled in 2 semesters of English to obtain enough credits to meet the UBC admission requirements. After 5 years without reading a textbook, it was a brutal transition. And with zero science prerequisites under my belt, it was so much harder than I thought. Furthermore, some of my friends and family did not take me seriously and discouragingly told me not to "waste my time." It was a challenging few months. Many days, I felt overwhelmed. But, I survived due to a wonderful support network. I listened to those who believed in me and ignored the ones who were negative. I acknowledged my weaknesses and sought help and advice. I studied 8-10 hours a day, 6 days a week, for 7 months and self-taught myself the sciences. I took the exam in July 2017 and achieved a score of 508. It was below the average admission score, but good enough to give the application a try. I applied widely to as many schools as I could. 5 schools rejected me. 3 schools interviewed me. And a miracle happened. I got an acceptance. It was an unbelievable moment. I felt all the worry, pain, and doubt just wash away. All the time I spent, all the risks I took, all the sacrifices I made, paid off. Everything was worth it and I was the happiest girl in the world. Finally, at 27 years old, I will begin medical school in Fall of 2018. The moral of my story: Don’t ever let anyone tell you what you can or cannot achieve. Only you can decide that for yourself. Also, remember that: "We are, at any moment, capable of pursuing our dreams... And, when you want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." - The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho If medicine is your dream, don't give up. Never, ever give up.  I sincerely wish you the best of luck on your journey.
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