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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/07/2018 in all areas

  1. 4 points

    LA Med (catégorie universitaires)

    Petit update : j'ai reçu mon offre d'Admission il y a 30 mins pour le campus Montréal !!! DONT GIVE UP GUYS BEST OF LUCK A TOUT LE MONDE
  2. 3 points
    Just to confirm with RBC they don’t convert to the professional line. You must reapply and the limit approved is based on income. Our conversion is preapproved and you would maintain the same limit.
  3. 3 points

    Med 2018

    Je n'ai jamais entendu une telle chose, de se faire convoquer après les MEMs pour vérifier ''quelque chose''. Je sais qu'à l'UdeM ça peut arriver après le CASPer, et non les MEMs, pour les programmes comme DMD ou Pharm.D Mais une telle chose pour UdeS, en médecine ? Ça m'étonnerait ben gros Montre-nous une capture d'écran de ce que tu vois.
  4. 3 points
    Ha, you are keeping us in suspense! I am still trying to organize a central place to store all the facts about the LOCs on the forum to make things clearer. Post exam I will try to pull every thing there.
  5. 2 points

    Facebook group chat

    Down!!! But it'll be very hectic with 200 people. We should organize something like a beach day and all hangout!
  6. 2 points
    Is there an updated version of the summary document now unavailable in the first post? I want to know where to go to, but reading 52 pages would take me longer than just booking an appointment with every bank . Basically, I want a rate of prime-0.25%, 275k available from the first year and no fees. The only thing I'm interested in with credit cards at the moment is the best travel insurance. Who's best? RBC, CIBC, TD or Scotia?
  7. 2 points

    2018 Waitlist Discussions

    You decided on McGill! Also curious if you have any insight on the unusual IP movement this year @YASMED This is exciting, rooting for you!
  8. 2 points

    Med 2018

    c'est tu un troll???
  9. 2 points
    I know it wasn’t suppose to take this long. As I mentioned before I am impatiently waiting as well. You would think me calling them every day would speed up the process
  10. 2 points
    As well I don’t think I have met a med student that doesn’t go on a trip in the summer. Also lots of online shopping is in foreign currencies.
  11. 1 point

    Speed Up Hole Punching

    ^ exactly that. It just takes some practice, but you will start to save a lot of time. Also, for hard-looking questions, try to rule out answers using the 'symmetry from first fold' method, where if the answer choices don't show symmetry along where the first fold is, it's wrong. Occasionally, this allows you to rule out 4 choices and solve the question in 5–10 seconds or so.
  12. 1 point

    Speed Up Hole Punching

    Keep practicing under timed conditions (maybe even limit yourself to 5 seconds less than the optimal time). Another thing to do is instead of drawing a grid, just draw directly on the practice question's hole punched paper diagram and visualize unfolding and refolding in your head. I found that you don't always need to draw out a grid for all questions. I think I only used the grid method for a handful of the questions on the DAT.
  13. 1 point
    They look at best MCAT.
  14. 1 point

    Advice on a second undergrad degree

    @OBoyMD, Thank you SO MUCH for this breakdown, this is exactly what I was looking for.
  15. 1 point

    2018 Waitlist Discussions

    1 IP spot is coming today
  16. 1 point

    McMaster Waitlist Party

    congrats!!! I'm so glad you got off the waitlist!!!!! I hope we run into each other in August!
  17. 1 point
    The PDF offer letter from uOttawa was acceptable for my advisor at Scotiabank, and I just got approval for the new LOC last week. He also said that annually I should send him confirmation of enrolment.
  18. 1 point


  19. 1 point
    Time Stamp: 9:02am, Tuesday, June 5th (3rd round of invites) 3rd time applying, 2nd interview Accepted IMP (Off wait-list, 2nd choice) AGPA: ~85% (B.Sc.) MCAT: 508 (126 Cars) The first time I wrote it I got 505, went back for a re-write after last years rejection. Wasn't a huge improvement, but I know everything helps. ECs: Lots of sports related things, such as coaching football and basketball at my high school, playing basketball at a youth custody center, on a committee for a charity that supports kids playing sports, play in semi-competitive leagues, intramurals. All long term commitments (several years or longer). Did some of the traditional stuff such volunteering at hospitals and health related organizations, some tutoring. Also added some smaller things, like volunteering at an animal shelter, playing music, travel experience. Finally, I added some life experience that I thought would give them an idea of who I am (split family, 4 younger siblings, etc.). No research or publications. Geography: IP Interview: Average last year. Second time doing the interview was a huge benefit. First time I was super nervous and definitely rambled on some of the stations. This time I felt fantastic coming out of this interview and I'm almost certain it helped my overcome my low MCAT and average grades. From last year (rejected post -interview) NAQ: 30.56 AQ: 22.87 TFR: 53.43 I've been lurking on this forum for 2 years now, reading posts of success stories of people who had similar applications to mine. It helped keep me hopeful, and for that I am thankful. So I wanted to post my story to give those people like me out there some hope as well. My advice would be (and this was also given to me by my step-dad who graduated from UBC med many many years ago), if it's really something you want to do, it is only matter of WHEN not IF. I didn't do a lot of volunteering when I was doing my undergrad and had to catch up after I graduated. I picked stuff that I enjoyed doing (such as sports, coaching) which made it a lot easier to commit to for a long period of time. Of course, everyone needs to throw in some strategic volunteering, but I really think most of it should be stuff that is representative of who you are. Everyone's application is different, so focus on your strengths. For me it was my ECs and my interview, of that I am certain. And don't be afraid to add things to your ECs that you may think are not important! They want to get to know who you are, and how you spend your time. For the interview I tried to show an ability to see multiple sides of the issue, look at the big picture, and take an integrative approach to a solution. The prompts will never have a simple answer, that's the way they are designed. Talk through it, show empathy and compassion to all sides of the issue, be confident and willing to correct yourself. or to stop and think for a few seconds to collect your thoughts. Most of all, try to have fun with it and be genuine. Anyway, if this post gives even one person some hope then I will consider it an success. I'm so happy right now, it's an incredible feeling to see that e-mail after so much rejection and heartbreak. Just keep working at it!
  20. 1 point
    Cote R

    Med 2018

    on m'a convoquée pour une entrevue ce vendredi le 8 juin, car ils doivent vérifier qque chose par rapport au MEM que j'ai passé. C tu normal ?
  21. 1 point
    My email just says they “received all my documents”, which wasn’t enough. Maybe if I bitch enough I’ll get my way, or if anyone is good at photoshop and could help a brother out
  22. 1 point
    If I remember correctly the passport infinite also has no currency conversion fees in the US - since a large number of important conferences are in the US that is a consideration.
  23. 1 point

    Waitlist Support Thread - 2018

    why don't you call them? no one wants to be put on the spot
  24. 1 point

    DMD 2018

    Nice, belle couleur.
  25. 1 point

    Waitlist Support Thread - 2018

    my friend who got accepted to ottawa (and refused the offer) is still in the facebook group so its not a very accurate tool to predict how many people are already in the class MD2022
  26. 1 point

    OT/PT Accepted/Waitlisted/Rejected 2018

    Yes i know someone who has for mcgill ot
  27. 1 point
    I contacted RBC and scotiabank recently and this is a comparison: 1. Credit cards annual fee: both top of the line cards, mostly similar/comparable perks with Scotia having slight upper hand. Difference: RBC offered to waive annual fees for 4 years, Scotia for 4 years + residency + 2 year grace period. That, if RBC does not budge, is a ~$1000 difference (if residency = 5 years, annual fee $120-135). 2. Credit cards welcoming points: RBC gives 30,000 with no strings attached (up to $700 value). Scotia bank gives $250 equivalent if you spend $1000 in first 90 days. That's a +$500 for RBC. 3. iPad/points: RBC is offering the new iPad (with student discount and taxes in costs a little under $500) to NEW clients. It is essentially a perk for new customers opening the VIP banking account, not specific to MD students. It has strings attached, preauthorized payment etc. Easy to fulfill conditions for most of us. Edit: [not confirmed] actually, during the summer months, with similar conditions, at Scotiabank you get 10,000 rewards points or scene points, which would be $100 and 10 movies (~$130) respectively. 4. Banking account: unlimited transactions + unlimited e transfers from RBC. unlimited transactions + 2 free e transfers/month from Scotiabank. Again, however, RBC is waiving monthly fees for 4 years of MD, Scotiabank for MD+res+2 years grace period. Another $1000 difference. Summary: RBC: +$500 (iPad) +$500 (diff in welcoming points) Scotiabank: +$1000 (saved in credit card annual fees) + $1000 (saved in bank account fees) + [not confirmed] $100 (rewards or scene points) All of these are upfront offers. I'm going to negotiate with both.
  28. 1 point

    Dal PT Decisions!

    I also ccepted! From Nova Scotia
  29. 1 point

    McMaster Waitlist Party

    Hey guys!! Thank you so much for your advice! I had a chat with my family and fiancée plus a night to sleep on it and I have decided to attend McMaster! So excited!!!! As I’m an older applicant and about to start a family, a shorter program works much better for me as I can support family sooner and have kids earlier. The year round program also works out too. Since my fiancée works full time and only has 2-3 weeks of vacation per year, I’d feel guilty travelling anywhere and leaving him behind to work during my summers off. Lastly, it’ll be less stress on my parents. My brother lives in Toronto and they have always wanted us to live closer (I’m from BC). After a decade of living apart, we’re gonna have a family reunion! Really happy about that :)! Can’t wait to meet you guys in August!! Thank you for all your support !!!
  30. 1 point
    I had 3 courses per semester while taking my pre-reqs for med school. I didn't list any interruptions. But I also didn't apply to U of T. Just Queen's and Mac.
  31. 1 point
    End Poverty

    NP to MD

    If your calculated undergrad GPA and masters GPA is over 3.3 apply as an Albertan IP applicant. If you have an outstanding EC score, you will probably get an interview.
  32. 1 point

    Apartments near Dalhousie

    I’m looking into the buildings that eafb30 recommended. I don’t live close to Halifax so it’s a little tough for me. Let’s help each other in this search!
  33. 1 point
    Not to create major disputes amongst us, but I personally think that physicians are over compensated for their work. Yes I do understand that we have years of debt, years of hard education and we make a difference in critical moments of people’s lives and hence should be rewarded. As a first generation physician and immigrant though, I have seen how incredibly difficult jobs people in other professions work and the relatively low incomes they earn. Most middle-income families would be lucky to afford a single international vacation in more than a decade. Meanwhile, all physicians afford multiple vacations per year. I understand it is hard to see a cut in your pay cheque but I think it’s important to be cognizant of others in the society.. We are so fortunate to earn what we do, to do what we do, but being so defensive about our incomes only makes us look worse in the eyes of the public.
  34. 1 point

    Étalon Des Cotes Umontréal

    C'est jamais raisonnable de miser sur le contingent en cours de bac. T'es mieux de finir ton bac que de switcher en pharmacie à moins que tu te vois devenir pharmacien. Also, 30 par cohorte? Je reverrais mes sources si j'étais toi.
  35. 1 point

    Success Stories- Non Trad Style!

    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.
  36. 1 point
    This forum is definitely not about undermining or disrespecting others. It’s supposed to be a place to share about the successes people have achieved and the individual experiences that have lead to that point, which might help other readers as they attempt to apply and get in to PT/OT as well. It’s also about supporting one another in this exciting and potentially stressful period of waiting for a response from the various universities. I feel that this comment was simply not nice, not supportive, and is meant to be destructive (and frankly just disrespectful). If you have a problem or concern about the admission process, why not just connect with someone who works in admissions at the various universities to which you have applied? Everyone brings in unique experiences and skills into the program: GPA, volunteerism, work experience, and letters are all just together striving to paint a whole picture of what the individual brings to the table and what they might be able to achieve (or how they fit into the program and a ultimate goals). Admissions by no means are a perfect system. What is fortunate is that there a multiple schools and admission adjudicators that have varying criteria to get in, and different schools may weigh different aspects of an application. For example, it sounds like the best fit for you to attempt to apply would be McMaster, which heavily emphasizes GPA to get an interview; beyond that, the interview will attempt to assess any of the other skills that will really make someone a potentially successful OT and student in the program.
  37. 1 point
    You might struggle with the diversity and inclusion courses in OT/PT with an attitude like this. There are a ton of reasons people are not able to achieve good marks in classes that have to do with race, disabilities, gender, class etc. Additionally, this "equity" wave is helping support the diversity and inclusion that we as OT/PTs are meant to be supporting. If you think that this is harming the profession, you might not be cut out for a program that instills and values equity and diversity itself.
  38. 1 point
    GPA should only be used to get you in the door. However OT and PT are not your average graduate programs. In most graduate programs the emphasis is certainly on academics. The graduate PT/OT programs are as much about academics as they are about learning practical clinical skills sets. PT and OT as clinical professions require so much more than the ability to achieve at an academic level so GPA should not be the only deciding factor for entry. As an Allied Medical Professional with many many years of clinical experience here and abroard, as well as university lecturing, clinical tutoring; examining for entry-to -practice exams and some admissions work, I can sincerely say that good marks are NOT always a good predictor of good clinical skills. Good clinical skills require many attributes: -the ability to relate to people often in their most vulnerable state with empathy and caring -the ability to think on ones feet and make critical decisions. -the ability to relate to other members of the professional team and to work as a team. (To name but a few skills....) Sadly, I have, in my clinical practice and mentoring days, seen many students who had been admitted to programs where academic performance was the sole determinant for admission to a program, who failed miserably to connect with their patients on any level often leading to a complete breakdown in patient-practitioner trust. In reality, you achieve a lot more in patient care with compliance which in so many ways, stems from trust. Gotta look at the big picture.....
  39. 1 point
    Lol thank you for taking the time to write out this very long, very detailed, very passionate, essay-like response to this topic. I stand by everything I said in my original post. Have a nice day
  40. 1 point
    I agree with churros31. Graduate school is not as simple as an undergrad. Having a high GPA only demonstrates one thing that one is capable of studying at an undergraduate level. It does not show how well you can apply what you have learned, reflex completely you ability to succeed at the graduate level or what personality you have. Admission processes are complex and vary in different university but they all want students who can complete their program and be competent professional based on their personality hence MMI, references and cover letters. Individuals who have very high marks might not Fullfil these requirements. My advice if you have a high GPA you are continuously refused would be to look at the other aspects of your application and reevaluate if you’re personality is a good fit for the job.
  41. 1 point
    Guess how many JVPs I've seen EVER? Hint: 0 I've definitely pretended to see some though The key is to crouch, look thoughtful, and make vague hand gestures in the direction of the neck. Bonus points if you fuss around with the bed elevation a little bit.
  42. 1 point
    I wouldve loved an objective measurement of skill, because then maybe the programs ive tried to transfer to would believe im capable of their curricula instead of just assuming that because im in path im the medical school equivalent of an incel
  43. 1 point

    Admission Médecine 2017

    Je crois que beaucoup d'entre-vous n'avez pas réellement compris l'objectif de cette station. Le but était de démontrer que vous êtes en mesure de prendre en main une situation complexe demandant des habiletés de domination sociale. Il était donc nécessaire de vous montrer le plus confrontant possible avec votre coéquipier afin de réaliser la tâche d'une manière individuelle et efficace. De plus, je crois qu'il était possible d'aller chercher des points supplémentaires en démontrant de la créativité; comme par exemple en arrachant des mains la feuille de votre partenaire (exercer le contrôle et démontrer que vous êtes en mesure de prendre de l'initiative afin de mener à bien votre objectif). Bref, le piège ici était d'être trop coopératif et ne pas arriver à finir le travail à temps. Il était donc nécessaire de prendre en charge soi-même la tâche tout en vous assurant que votre partenaire comprenne "qui est le boss". Cette station évaluait donc définitivement votre autonomie et votre capacité à dominer les autres dans une situation critique.
  44. 1 point

    Admission Médecine 2017

    I get your point and I 100% agree with you, but the thing is French Schools in Quebec are making it IMPOSSIBLE for some candidates to get in with their degree. I mean, we've reached a point where a 4.0 in psychology is not enough to get an interview (we're not even talking about what it takes to get an acceptance). I think that french schools should take a step back and ask themselves if it makes any sense for potentially outstanding candidates to get refused, because they simply weren't in the "good undergrad major". A 4.2 is an excellent GPA, not every one can maintain such a high average. Give those candidates the shot they deserve ffs. There are so many failures in the french schools' admission procedure, a physician is not only a GPA and a 2hr interview. McGill is on the right path with the 30% they give to extracurriculars.
  45. 1 point

    Admission Médecine 2017

    L'IFG à l'Université est au moins plus fair que celui du cégep, du-moins, à l'Université Laval, car les étudiants sont en mesure de connaître l'IFG du programme dans lequel ils appliquent. Ils peuvent donc choisir ce qui leur semble le plus favorable. Au cégep, tu ne choisis pas l'IFG de ta classe. C'est imposé. Il y a des étudiants, qui ont beau avoir un super potentiel pour devenir médecin, ont d'excellences notes de 92% et plus, et vont quand même avoir une cote R en dessous de 33, car l'IFG de leur classe était faible. Je pense qu'honnêtement, il n'y a juste pas de solution miracle au système d'admission au Québec. GPA - Tous les programmes ont une réelle chance de pouvoir être admis en médecine. - Aucun changement annuel - 4.33 n'est pas équivalent dans tous les programmes. A+ peut être de 85, 92, 95... - Il y a des programmes qui sont plus faciles que d'autres et c'est ceux-ci que la plupart des étudiants vont se diriger. CRU - Ta note est comparé à la moyenne de ton groupe, donc plus que tu te démarques, plus que tu vas avoir une cote élevée. - Jamais la même chose à chaque année. - Jamais la même chose entre les 3 universités. - Certains programmes ont littéralement 0% de chance de pouvoir être convoqués. - 4.33 n'est pas équivalent dans tous les programmes. A+ peut être de 85, 92, 95... - Il y a des programmes qui donnent des plus grosses CRU et c'est dans ceux-ci que la plupart des étudiants vont se diriger. Cégepiens VS Universitaires Difficile de comprendre pourquoi les collégiens sont favorisés dans chacune des universités du Québec Les universitaires ont un plus gros bagage de connaissances / expériences de vie, mais cela ne signifie pas qu'ils seront de meilleurs médecins. Personnellement j'opterais pour un % égal entre les deux groupes de candidat. Entrevues standardisées / MMI / Casper L'absence de rétroaction nuit à la transparence du processus. McGill permet aux étudiants de connaître les raisons pour lesquelles ils ont échoué aux entrevues, ce qui est une preuve de transparence VS les autres universités qui prétendent ne pas vouloir expliquer le score en raison d'une supposée "équité". Pourtant, ce n'est que depuis 2014 qu'ils ont décidé de ne plus donner de commentaires aux étudiants. Les entrevues ont davantage de biais humains que le Casper. Les entrevues éliminent assez rapidement les gens qui peuvent paraître réservés, timides, introvertis, stressés. Il est davantage possible de mentir / tricher au Casper qu'à une entrevue. Les gens qui écrivent lentement à l'ordinateur ont un désavantage au Casper. Le score inter-juge au Casper est plus corrélé dans les études VS les MEMs. Un évaluateur ne peut pas modifier le score attribué à un étudiant suite à l'évaluation d'un autre étudiant, contrairement aux MEMs. La validité de ces deux méthodes d'évaluation de la personnalité n'est pas assurée une fois sur le marché du travail. En conclusion, il semble y avoir une homogénéité souhaitée par les facultés de médecine au Québec, contrairement aux universités anglophones qui désirent des candidats hétérogènes et qui vont pouvoir, chacun à leur façon, offrir leurs propres expériences. EDIT: Oh et aussi, l'un des problèmes, c'est que tous les programmes de santé, dans les 3 universités, vont maintenant avoir un seul et unique processus d'admission. Ainsi, quelqu'un qui rate son Casper est barré dans tous les doctorats dans les 3 universités. Une seule chance. Au moins, dans les universités anglophones, les étudiants ont plusieurs chances de se faire valoir. EDIT2: Un autre des problèmes, ce sont les faux universitaires, qui switch de bac à chaque année afin d'uniquement faire les cours les plus faciles, mais dans des programmes qui donnent de grosses CRU. Exemple: Physio 1 session + nutrition 1 session + biochimie 1 session => tu peux avoir 4.3/4.3 et ta CRC ne compte plus. C'est désavantageux pour les universitaires qui ont complété leur bac.
  46. 1 point

    Admission Médecine 2017

    Je lance un autre élément : peut être que le fait que peu de gens aient de grosses notes dans les programmes non connexe reflètent le fait que la majorité de ces élèves ne sont pas dans une course aux A+...ou du moins, il y en a moins que dans le bac connexe. Ca pourrait expliquer le fait que 1. Les gens soutiennent que ces programmes sont difficiles parce que peu de gens visent et atteignent le A+ et 2. Les gens ont l'impression que les bac connexe son plus difficile parce que justement, une bien plus grande majorité de gens visent et atteignent le A+. Entre d'autres mots, notre perception de la difficulté du programme est fort probablement teintée par l'échantillon d'étudiant qui s'y inscrivent et non seulement par la difficulté du programme en soi.... Again, je lance ça de même lol
  47. 1 point

    Success Stories- Non Trad Style!

    Just noticed this post, pardon the two week late reply. While I appreciate the sentiment (I interpret your response as a ton of moral support), please understand that I harbor no resentment to those who got accepted and in my humble opinion, no one should. If anything I'm frustrated with the system, both for med school applications, and also social supports for basic life needs (ie. disability funding). I have utmost faith in one thing - the system selects amazing people (even if not all of them, sadly). If I had a chance to get to know you (and anyone else really) I'm sure I'd be proud of your accomplishments and efforts to get accepted and in awe of the hard work you put in. So if I have faith in you, you definitely should! There's no reason you should doubt yourself even in the slightest.
  48. 1 point

    Success Stories- Non Trad Style!

    I was debating for a long time now regarding whether or not to post here...sadly my dream of becoming a physician has not, and will not ever be realized. However I would still like to share my story, which I will reluctantly call a success story (though really, only time will tell). It's going to be long (as an after note: It took me about 2.5 hours to type), and I apologize in advance. I don't mean to be presumptuous here and assume that anyone really cares about my story, but I am thinking of writing an autobiography as it would likely be fairly entertaining. ------------------------ Early life, leading to why I want(ed) to be a physician I was born to a poor family - we're talking the kind you'd see on TV shows poking fun at poor families. The kind with kids that would wear dirty clothes with those little animated stink lines coming off of them (indeed, clothes were a luxury). My parents tried their best... my mother was incapable of working, and my father worked those insecure, dangerous jobs to support us, though those never seemed to last. He'd try to balance his time between shift-work and helping to enrich the lives of his kids, particularly academically. See he didn't have the opportunities I've had - he started a university degree but was unable to complete it as he couldn't pay his tuition. Despite this, he was brilliant and resourceful, he read many books that he'd pick up for free here and there (math, science and history books mostly) and would pass his knowledge on. I had a knack for it - I learned mathematics very quickly and early (it would be no exaggeration to say I was doing calculus, and understanding it, in grade 3) thanks to his guidance and it ultimately shaped the rest of my life, as well as my academic interests. I was a straight A student who had the talent, and the brains to know that I needed to work hard. I had many things in childhood that I would say make me quite privileged, a father who gave me the time of day, and a traditional family that treasured the concept of a tight-knit family. "We don't need money to be happy" my mother would always say. As some of you may attest to, able-bodied people never really notice say, handicap parking spaces, or ramps/elevators until you either have a disabled friend/family member, or break your leg and have to use an assistive device. That being said, life is immensely difficult for the unwealthy, and you could never really understand the stigma unless you've been forced to live it. Statistically speaking, someone in my family should be an alcoholic (just based on numerical data) and granted, if we had the money to spend on it, at least one of us probably would have been. True or not, I was certainly treated as a drug abuser/alcoholic/future criminal by many I interacted with, other students, even many of my elementary school teachers (one of whom likely made the observation, and then gossiped to the rest). A turning point came in grade 6, I took it very personally when I wasn't selected for an academic award in math. I don't think I can accurately portray why this bothered me so much (perhaps it's even one of those irrational "kid things") despite having aced the EQAO (literally, my principal called my parents in to congratulate me) and placing 1st in the province in a UWaterloo math contest for grade 9s. To this day I don't know what basis I wasn't selected on, but the thing that immediately sprung to mind back then, and I have yet to shake from my mind, was prejudice. I felt discriminated against despite all of my hard work, and the only reason I could think of for being discriminated against, was being poor. So naturally, I "rebelled" against the school, and my parents who were upset with me for not being picked (and had somehow assumed I was being lazy, and took the teachers' side...man, don't you wish parents still had teachers' backs? Haha), naturally my marks dropped like a rock. If I'm not going to be appreciated/acknowledged for my effort, why put the effort in? If I wouldn't be able to afford going to university and getting a good job anyway, why should I bother? From Grade 6-10 my marks went from high 90s to low 70s and even 60s...kind of wish I could go back and time and slap myself, but don't we all. In grade 11, the kindness and support from one teacher helped me turn things around - I was in desperate need of corrective lenses (for probably about 10 years by that point) and simply couldn't afford it...so my teacher advocated to the school admin, who wrote me a cheque and told me to go get an eye exam done and buy some glasses. I was moved by this gesture, here was someone who not only didn't see me as "that smelly kid who's going to end up a criminal" and instead felt compassion. As you'd expect, I began to try once more and my marks immediately jumped back up into the 90s. In grade 12 I had that game-changer moment - I realized I could go to university, a thought which had never occurred to me. To get into the program I wanted, it required I do a "victory lap" year (as I hadn't taken enough science up to that point) to fill in the last science. ------------------------ The real game-changer - why medicine? About a month before beginning my victory lap year of high school, my dad woke me up one morning at about 6am saying his chest hurt and that he wanted to sleep on my bed as it was more comfortable. I went and slept on the couch without giving it another thought, he was perfectly fine after all. A few hours later when I woke up again he was insisting he needed to go to the hospital. My mom didn't take him seriously and kind of rolled her eyes at him, and so she sent me with him to the ER. We had to take the bus as we had no vehicle. Upon arriving at the ER, we found out my father's health card was expired by about 5 months or so, and were given a sheet outlining the various medical costs we'd incur. Naturally being unable to afford any of it, we immediately went downtown to get his card renewed. We had just done so and were on our way out of the building when he collapsed from a heart attack on the elevator down. The paramedics arrived after what felt like an eternity (it always does, doesn't it?) and pronounced him dead on arrival. I was dumbfounded, he had no family history, no prior episodes, and seemed perfectly fine even the day before. He was also in his 40s...his only real risk factor that I'm aware of was, you guessed it, being poor. This instilled in me a burning hatrid/fear of both, elevators, and the current medical system. I had vowed to do everything I can to become a doctor so I could do my part in preventing tragedies like this. As if coping with the loss wasn't bad enough, there went our family's sole financial provider (my mother is disabled). Despite this I finished up my final year of high school while battling what I can only assume was undiagnosed depression, using studying as a coping mechanism. I memorized my biology textbook front to back (even the obscure vitamins/minerals in table form) as I'd read it for about 7 hours a day while remaining focused on that goal. Thankfully I applied to university and was accepted to every program I'd applied to, and some even had a fairly respectable entrance scholarship. I chose a Kinesiology program that was local as I wanted to cut down on costs. ------------------------ The Ordeal Things did not look up for long however and eventually the OSAP/scholarship funds dwindled. By December of my first year, we were unable to pay rent and by February, we were evicted, with nowhere to stay and little money to feed ourselves with. We were homeless. Being the eldest male I took it upon myself to try and find work, so I wound up finding a job at a steel refinery, drilling holes into locomotive parts. Unfortunately I could not keep up and had to make a difficult choice - should I give up university to go work full time in the steel mill to feed my family? I decided not to, after consulting my family...they didn't want me to drop out like my father did, and instead I looked to tutoring. I applied for, and was offered a TA job and also began tutoring local students in first year calculus. However I was so desperate that I did not charge a competitive rate - I sat in the math building of my alma mater with a sign that read "Need help, will tutor (math course codes) for food :(" hoping for passers by to take me up on my offer...and they did. I thought it was smart to sit beside the cafe/deli so people could just buy a sandwich and give it to me in exchange for an hour of calculus help. Unfortunately, some people are inhumane and would call security on me, so I had to convince my university that I had extreme financial need. They offered me a bursary, allowed me to continue tutoring but asked me not to hold up the sign as that "detracted from the university environment" whatever that meant. So we compromised, I sat near a blackboard with "Calculus Help! Will take a sandwich :)" written on it. The university accepted this, as it made it appear more like a school function, and didn't look "quite so homeless." I would now find that a bit insulting, but I was thankful for anything I could get. It was at this point that I abandoned my hopes of becoming a physician. My colleagues were all gearing up to take the MCAT that summer with their fancy prep courses and books, and here I was struggling to feed myself and clean my clothes. I was crushed, but kept telling myself "People like me don't become doctors." It helped a bit... That continued for about a month... and thankfully I saved up enough to pay off the landlord and move into a new place. But it didn't last... I'll never forget that sinking feeling, that defeated feeling in my heart when I realized it was almost exam time. You might think I was worried about my own exams, given I had very little time or motivation to study, but that had nothing to do with it. That meant the semester would break for the summer which meant two things - First, my TA work would be over, and secondly, the demand for tutoring would drop...both of which supported us for the time being. I was utterly heartbroken, and terrified. But a miracle happened - my mom came into some money from the government which provided enough to pay rent and utilities. We were set, and I had a place to live...the ordeal was over! I finished my first year with a 3.0 GPA...a proverbial premed hole that, to this day, I've been unable to climb out of. ------------------------- The rest of my B.Sc. - an important switch Years 2-4 were relatively uneventful with only mild crises occurring. Unfortunately in nearly every one of those years, I had to drop a course due to some pressing financial need (ie. in second year I dropped a course because my mom needed some medication, and I got about a $400 refund on the course). I had a strong upward trend, 3.7 in both my 2nd and 3rd years. At this point I decided that I had virtually no chance at getting into medical school (rightfully so from the looks of it), so I began looking for other options. I had met my better half during those years as well, whose moral support has almost certainly kept me from suicide. She was a math major and one year my senior (due to that victory lap year)... despite having had a real knack for math, I hadn't taken any of it at university besides elementary calculus. I got numerous course waivers to take some upper year math courses with her and developed my love affair with math even further - it didn't matter that I'd skipped about six courses, when I took that advanced course in topology I killed it and loved it...so I switched to math in my final year, overloaded with 12 3rd and 4th year math courses (to meet the minimum number of credits needed to graduate) and nailed it, with a 3.9 that year. Unfortunately even that is kind of "meh" by premed standards. ------------------------- What comes next? More education of course Those particular courses, so-called "Pure" math (or "theoretical math" to the layman) take a special kind of person to take. That paired with the fact that I was attending a university with a fairly small math program, implied that my upper level courses rarely had more then about 5 people in them. I was the star of those courses once again, just like in elementary school, and so I stood out amongst my peers, and was coerced into applying for a masters degree in the field. "People like me can get masters degrees?" Keep in mind, no one in my family has ever completed university before...and now I was considering doing a Masters? Was I crazy? Could I even manage it? What followed were easily the best two years of my life. I received some funding which helped immensely and I had a brilliant supervisor who taught me so much about life, reality and how to live. I specialized in a niche-field of mathematics known as knot theory (quite literally - using complicated math ideas to explain/differentiate between different knots). I began reading all about DNA and how the "Unknotting number (a mumbo-jumbo math idea)" is a quantity that was preserved via gel electrophoresis, and that charge/mass/other obvious things didn't explain it as well as this crazy math idea. I began writing a book on the subject as part of my dissertation, stumbled upon a cool new field that just came into existence ("Virtual" knot theory) and began corresponding with professors in Japan, where the field was in its infancy. Imagine having to look up articles in your field, then using google translate on them because the only ones in existence were Japanese! I taught my supervisor about it, and the field has since grown in the western world, and I played a part in it which I'm rather proud of. I wrote the first english textbook on the subject, and in the process, proved a really cool theorem that I accidentally stumbled upon...this constituted my research thesis. Unfortunately I had a falling out with one professor in my department who, sadly, was an expert in a related field whose support I really needed to pursue doctoral studies. I did not feel like fighting it and got depressed once again, feeling as though my life was a big joke. "People like me don't become doctors" I was still telling myself, only this time I meant it as a "PhD" kind of doctor. Searching for a new path was when I re-realized my dream to be a physician. Unfortunately, I was as non-traditional as they came - no pre-requisites, no MCAT, no hospital involvement, and no "premed-y" stuff at all. I used some of my grant money to write the MCAT for the first time, but unfortunately I scored rather mediocrely so I chose, like a broken record, not to pursue medicine. "People like me don't become doctors." Instead I applied to teacher's college and was accepted. Teacher's Ed was fairly uneventful for me, but sadly the Ontario Government imposed new regulations on hiring practices for teachers...as I was finishing up teachers college. It now takes on average 6 years for a teacher (once they become a supply teacher) to become a full time teacher. Naturally, despite having done everything right IMHO, I just couldn't land that coveted supply teacher job...for 3 years (and counting) so I can't even start the counter on those 6 years, and they only open the supply list once per year (it's a lot like med apps, haha). If it's going to take me at least 6 years to become a teacher, why wouldn't I pursue med school? I'd have to be an idiot not to try, right? So there I was - three degrees, a lot of education-related debt, and not really employable...so I went full force into two things - tutoring math and science (which I had done all along, and now command a rather respectable hourly rate with all of my credentials), and obsessing over this idea of becoming a physician. ------------------------- Fixing myself for the adcoms I applied for the first cycle after finishing my B.Ed. (2013-2014) to the only schools I satisfied the requirements for (I still don't have those pesky orgo pre-reqs) - Queens, Mac and UofT. I told myself "If I can land that interview, I know I can nail it...I have so much I can talk about! But I don't look very good on paper, I realize that, so I may never get the chance. If I get an interview, I will reapply, if not, I won't." Queens and Mac rejected me early in the process, but UofT held onto me until the last interview spots were filled. It was utter agony to be kept waiting that long! But it gave me renewed confidence - UofT was interested, maybe with a different applicant pool, or slightly improved stats, I could get an interview spot! It was around this time that I joined PM101. So I had a renewed passion, I was surrounded by colleagues in similar, or even worse situations, who were all supporting each other and pulling toward that same goal. In no small way, has this forum and its kind people impacted my journey and for that I'm thankful. I began to study incredibly hard for an MCAT re-write, saved up money and got some help from my mother in law to pay for books and AAMC Practice Tests, and OMSAS fees, so I was off to the races. By the end, my score was in the high 30s! I was pumped, wrote the test...and scored significantly lower on test day, but still had a respectable 12/10/11. I began volunteering like crazy too, at a hospital notably (as I had no prior clinical experience) and with the elderly, particularly with dementia patients and those with special needs/mental disabilities. A truly humbling experience, but it wasn't always rewarding as it can be extremely difficult. Regardless I did what any premed would do - I manned up and did it, and I tried my best. Over the past few years (beginning before teachers college) I also helped pilot a youth centre for underprivileged kids where I taught them math and breakdancing and tied them together. It was tremendously successful, and I began managing the finances over this past year. Unfortunately, it's a non-profit so this didn't provide me with any income! Unfortunately because of all of this investing of time and money into med apps, my very carefully budgeted/balanced finances for myself and my family didn't really hold up. My family began to have problems paying their bills as I couldn't siphon money their way, and there have been several close calls that could have resulted in a similar ordeal to that dark time during my undergrad. I felt (and still feel) horribly selfish for pursuing my dreams against all odds this past while. ------------------------- Another Dark Period In January of this year, I received a rejection from Mac and Queens. Queens disappointed me tremendously and infuriated me. I was finally over their cutoffs, it was supposed to come down to extracurriculars, and wow what a story I've got! This was my year... but sadly, it wasn't so. I harboured an incredible amount of resentment - why have I been wasting my time and energy? Why has my hard work never been beneficial? Why does everything I touch seem to turn to crap? I've wasted the past x years of my life....etc. It was so difficult to keep the feelings inside, to feel like all I've done in my life is give to others and try my best, only to have life and the people in it give nothing in return. It felt so right, that I'd make a career out of helping others because it was what came so naturally to me... I was furious and not myself for several days, to the point where some of my loved ones were crying, intervention-style, telling me they didn't want me to become some broken person...and I finally had access to something I hadn't had previously, which concerned them: alcohol. Before things got too dire I snapped out of it, thanks to my better half. If I didn't have enough moral support, I may have ended my life right then and there. All I could see were rejection letters, financial difficulties, and biological clocks spinning out of control...I needed my way out. ------------------------- My Success? It's all in how you look at it I began to look into alternatives at this point, including other programs, or jobs I could do with my current education level. I stumbled upon a few that clicked with me, ranging from chiropractic to mathematical finance, to computer science, to a doctorate in theoretical physics of all things. I applied, and naturally, got into all of them (except for some I'm still waiting on). I realized at this point that even though I'm not meant to be a doctor, I've still overcome tremendous odds and will continue to overcome these odds. I'm still a pretty darn smart guy, and I've done really well for myself. I had an interview for a particularly competitive program (but one more up my alley in terms of being math-y), where the interviewer wound up boasting about why I was great, instead of the other way around. It was ridiculous, all these things that adcoms didn't think were enough impressed nearly everyone else in every other walk of life. I was accepted, nearly instantly, to a highly competitive professional masters program (they only accept 6 students, 1 guaranteed from Canada, 5 more international, and it's the only such program in Canada) which promises a really good salary at the end of the day. Best of all, it's employable - it takes very specialized math skills so they can't train very many people at a time. Apparently, I have a skill set which clearly the med adcoms do not value, but which made me a perfect match for this career. So I had to make the judgement call - turn down my offers and try for medicine again (and risk having my family become homeless again during the next year or two), or accept...I'd be foolish not to. Sure it's boring and not my passion, but I will gladly take this offer. The program is expensive so I'm currently in the process of procuring a loan with some difficulty due to my "shady financial history" (ie. I was born into the wrong family). With this, I slowly but surely, gave up the fantasy of becoming a physician. "People like me don't become doctors" is something I'll be telling myself for a long time now...but with each passing day, I can finally feel that resentment slipping away. If adcoms don't want me, then it's their loss...not mine. It's time to build my new life and say good bye to my old one. And right on schedule, a few days ago, UofT sent me my final rejection. Ironically, despite devoting all that time and energy to bettering myself, I did worse this year. I was not interview wait-listed, which means I have no idea how far into the process I got. ------------------------- The conclusion - my new dream, the moral of the story, and farewell "People like me don't become doctors....they become good people and good parents." My new dream is not to be a doctor, but instead to provide my family and children with the ability to follow their dreams unhindered...and I will do this even if it means sacrificing my own personal desire to be a physician. This is a dream that I can finally see come to pass. Don't be fooled, not even for a second - if you're here reading this, you are destined for greatness. You're the cream of the crop, even if medicine doesn't work out... even if life hasn't been kind to you... I promise you. Things will improve.
  49. 1 point
    I promised myself that one day when I was successful in getting accepted to medical school I would post here so that my journey could give hope to others and motivate you all to never give up on your dream. I consider myself an non-traditional applicant due to my age, 35 and the varied journey I had to reach this goal. Life is so often defined by life altering events sometimes positive and others negative. I truly believe how we navigate these events and the moments between is where the meaning of life exists. Can we overcome the hardships and build a narrative to rise like a phoenix from the ashes. I believe we all have the potential to do so and I hope my story gives you some of the strength to do just that. Now let me begin by saying that I was lucky to not grow up underprivileged or having to strive through economic challenges like many people do. So I won’t pretend to compare my challenges to those of that nature. My parents provided me a safe a stable home where they nurtured and encouraged my goals, even after their divorce when I was 13. Having a support network like that is truly amazing in the development of a child or any individual. It allows us to dream and believe we can succeed much easier than if we do not have that environment. I am truly in their debt as well as that of my siblings and many friends and colleagues who never let me forget that I am capable of anything I put my mind to. I would argue that is the same for all of you still struggling to reach your goal. Search out those in your life and lean on them when times are tough or even turn to this forum as I have and read the stories of those who have come before you. It will make the days easier. I remember being in grade 2 at the age of 7 knowing I wanted to be physician. It was a career discussion day and I can clearly recall telling my teacher and class that I wanted to be a doctor, specifically at the time a plastic surgeon. Looking back I am uncertain as to why I gravitated to that specialty, but the desire to help others as a healthcare practitioner was there. In my youth I was an overachiever and excelled in school. However this changed to some extent when I entered high school. This isn’t to say that I did not do well anymore at this level of education, but I was going through changes that I could not quite understand or explain until I was much older. I believe not understanding my identity at this time prevented me from truly excelling. This identity I will discuss later. Although I graduated from my Catholic high school’s academic program, I ended up dropping senior level chemistry. As a consequence of this decision I was unable to take many of the prerequisites for medical school. Being frustrated by this fact I chose to enter a Bachelor of Arts program and gear up to apply to law school. I took my first two years of my BA at the local college in the small northern Alberta city I grew up in. I seemed to excel at the social sciences. During this time I also became interested in theatre and drama and began acting in productions at both the college and city local theatre. I found this to be quite fulfilling as it allowed me to become someone else. Something that I now realize I was trying to do since I was young because I was not being completely honest with my own identity. Nonetheless I enjoyed this time in my life. This joy however was interrupted by a life event that would change me like none before. I had chosen to take a break from my BA program to decide what I wanted to do going forward. Partially because I was uncertain about law school and recognized I still had a yearning for the study of medicine. During this year my mother passed away unexpectedly, I was 21. This event shattered my world. I had reached a point in my life like so many of us where I had finally saw my parents as human beings and more importantly friends. My mother had become my closest confidante and friend as well as the woman who gave me life and guidance as a child/youth. I fell into a depression and asked my father to help me seek out professional counsel to help me overcome this. My father rose to the occasion and helped me at home and found me suitable counsel. It helped me put things into perspective at the time so that I could climb out of my stupor. This year was also filled with other momentous events. My step-mother who had returned to school to complete her RN was graduating from the University of Alberta. I went with my family to attend her convocation at the Northern Alberta Jubilation theatre. During this event I watched as nurses received their graduation papers and I realized that I still had the desire to pursue medicine. My mother had always been a big supporter of this dream as had my father, so now more than ever in light of her recent passing I wanted to make her proud by shifting my educational focus back towards medicine. I returned to college that fall and took senior level high school chemistry and over the next two years completed two years of my Bachelor of Science. I did quite well in these courses, most of which being prerequisites. Upon completion of these two years I was now required to move to Edmonton to finish my degree, I was 23. I was scared and nervous to move still missing my mother so much, still struggling with an identity issue that had not been fully addressed as I was focused more on school and grieving for my mother’s absence. I began the last two years of my BSc program at the UofA when I was 23. This year was immensely challenging as it was a bit of a culture shock going from a small city and college where you felt like you knew everyone to a large city and University where you felt like a number rather than an individual. During this year I struggled with course work. I was missing my family, missing my mother and I had begun to recognize the identity issue I was struggling with, my sexuality. As a result I had a poor GPA by MD admission standards ~3.1. I was certain that after this year my hopes of gaining acceptance to medical school were dashed, but I still pressed on. I joined a research lab for a summer studentship between my third and fourth year as well as following the completion of my fourth year. I enjoyed research and realized the significance it played in human health. Upon graduating from my BSc I was at a crossroads again. Uncertain as to what I should do. Wanting to be a physician so much but at the same time so fearful of rejection due to my poor academic standing during my third year so fear won out and I chose not to write the MCAT or apply, I was 25. I was left with no options, until my research supervisor for my summer studentships offered to take me on as a graduate student. An act that I am immensely grateful for. I did well in graduate school. Acing my course work and performing a substantial amount of research in the field of immunology and cell biology. I thought that perhaps obtaining a PhD wouldn’t be that bad of an alternative to my dreams of being a physician. During my graduate program I began to truly accept my identity as a homosexual man as well, I was 27. This did not come easily as I feared that my family and friends would not accept me, but I realized I could no longer hide the truth of about my identity as I knew it had crippled me in the past. Through counselling and support of my family, especially my father who was more understanding than I could have ever imagined I became a proud gay man. I still remember my father’s first words when I told him, “I wish I had done more to make you feel like you could have told me sooner”. Those words are etched in my mind forever, as the love this man had for me his child was boundless. I also realized at this time that if I was going to be true to my sexual identity that I would need to be true to my deep desire to still be a physician. With this in mind I chose to complete my graduate degree with a MSc rather than pursue the PhD. I wrote a first author peer reviewed publication for a scientific journal and wrote up and defended my thesis, I was 29. Upon graduation I knew I would need to work now to support myself as I no longer had the income that came from being a graduate student. I found two technical positions that I worked in. It was during this time that I promised myself that I would give it my all to pursue medicine. I worked for a few years and at 32 after re-teaching myself all the material covered in my pre-requisites for medical school I wrote the MCAT. I obtained a score of 28S. I knew that it was a bit lower than the average accepted score, but was still happy that I was able to achieve this after not looking at the tested material in over 10 years. I then began the application process. Highlighting the things I had done in my life that I felt made me suited to the practice of medicine. I spoke about the crisis management skills I learned from working on a sexual assault centre crisis line, where I advocated for callers and helped them through moments of hardship. I spoke of my involvement in both provincial and federal politics, where I met with members of my community sharing with them insight into the elections and information about the party I represented. I took on leadership roles in my provincial political party as well as with my condo board where I purchased my first home. I spoke about my strong participation in advocating for those affected by HIV/AIDS with HIV Edmonton, where I also became a leader and helped organize the citywide walk event for numerous years. During this time I also became involved in a romantic relationship that nurtured my heart and made me feel loved in a way I had never experienced before. I felt more ready than ever. The process wasn’t over though. Like many applicants I was met with rejection. Although I was interviewed every year by at least one school, many others rejected me pre-interview due to my overall UG GPA of 3.47 as calculated by the University of Alberta. My 3.85 GPA in my masters did not offset this that much. I faced uncertainty and questioned myself. In my first year applying I was only interviewed at the UofA, but was rejected post interview. In my second year of applying I was interviewed at only the UofC and the UofA. Post interviews I was rejected at the UofC and waitlisted at the UofA, but later ultimately rejected. I felt I had made some improvement and decided to push on! In my third application cycle that being the 2013/2014 application year I applied to only the Alberta schools as I did not want to endure rejection from the OOP schools again. I was met with defeat when UofC rejected me for an interview. I was shocked and confused not understanding how this happened as I had worked hard to improve myself from the previous cycle. Strengthening my ECs and even using a new MCAT score that had a higher VR score. I was scared and nervous that the same result would occur with the UofA. I was fortunate to have friends and family who reminded me to stay focused and not worry about things I have no control over anymore. I waited and waited for interview notification day. I was so afraid to check my email for fear it would be a rejection like that from the UofC. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that UofA had not given up on me! I was ecstatic! I called all those who mattered most. I went into full preparation mode for the interview hoping I could wow those MMI interviewers and really change my fortunes this time around! I went into interview day prepared and confident, more so than ever before. I felt I did amazing. As the day passed I went into waiting mode again like everyone else. Feeling great about my interview and my life experiences addressed in my application, but a little uncertain as to how my GPA would affect my chances again…. May 15 rolled around. The night before I drove around Edmonton reflecting on places that played a significant role in my journey and life here. I felt like my life was about to change the next day. I was nervous to open my email, but knew I had to do so eventually. I opened it and found that I was waitlisted again. It was not the answer I was hoping for as that had not played out so well for me last year. I tried to remain hopeful but struggled wondering if I had plateaued and that this might be as high as I climb. I began to accept this result and realized that I would likely have to gear up to apply again next year. On June 10, 2014 I was out for dinner with my sister and I told her I had finally come to terms with the result of this application cycle and had accepted that I would be having to reapply. It was actually quite cathartic. Then came June 11, 2014. I was driving into work at the UofA, when my phone rang and a number displayed on my car console, It was a 780-492-XXXX number. Being an employee at the UofA I knew it was a university number. I assumed it was one of my colleagues or supervisors calling me from a different university phone. As I answered I was greeted by a woman’s voice that proceeded to ask if she was speaking with me. I confirmed my identity. The next few moments were shock… She informed me that I had been accepted off the waitlist. I must have thanked her over 20 times! Telling her she changed my life, I could barely park my car. As soon as the call ended I called my father and tears of happiness flowed as I was overwhelmed with emotion. My Father was overjoyed and everything I had gone through up until that moment finally came into focus. I had achieved what I had wanted for so long and worked for so hard. I proceeded to notify my partner, brother and sister and all those close to me. It is now June 14, 2014 as I write this and I am still in disbelief, not because I don’t feel I deserve it but because it feels like a wonderful dream. I keep pinching myself making sure that I am not asleep. Guess what I’m not!! I am 35 years old and I want to let you all know that don’t ever give up if this is your dream!! Don’t let fear immobilize you!! So much of this process makes you question yourself even doubt yourself, but also you discover who you are and the strength you may not have known you had or the support network around you. The process is filled with a large amount of luck. Luck that you resonate with the reviewers who hold your application or the interviewers who sit across from you. It also requires diligence and perseverance. But if you keep on trying I believe eventually it will happen. Look at me and take hope that all is possible. Thank you to everyone on this forum who has provided me with hope and insight. You have all truly been a great deal of support in my journey. I hope that I can be that for many of you still trying. I know this process and the struggles I went through will make me that much better of a physician as I will never forget how hard I had to work to be given this privilege.
  50. 1 point
    Hello all. Long time lurker (for years, naturally), first time I've been able to post to a thread called 'success stories'. It's not something I'd usually do, but it seems like this is the place to offer up personal truth and (hopefully) offer some support and inspiration to those in need of it. And this is a story I don't really tell anyone, so it's good to be able to share it. Just a head's up: this is going to be a little long. I, like many of you, did pretty poorly in my first undergraduate degree. My average was a 2.8, I think, in a Bachelor of Arts. I had no desire at the time to be in medicine; upon graduating at 21 I took a job in the financial industry, started dating and eventually married a girl from the US, and generally lived my life. Here are some things to know about my life at that point: my American wife was unable to work due to Canada's policy around immigrants and employment statuses, so I was paying all the bills. She was also very sick, which wasn't an issue initially but really started to snowball later in our relationship. Her illness, her doctor's visits, and her prescriptions were all paid for by me. Since I was the only one working. I started to go into debt. Stupid, right? I was young, in love, and pretty naive. It helped that she was a fairly excellent liar, and was very good at having men believe what she wanted them to. Which included me. I digress. Anyway, I left the bank I was working for in late 2008, when I was 26, due to stress. By this point I had accrued tens of thousands of dollars in debt, was completely running our household affairs, and was the only one of the two of us that was working full time and at a job he (I) hated. Imagine why I was stressed, right? To make things worse, we were fighting more and more regularly. In order to make ends meet, I took a low-paying job at a call centre and started working upwards of 55 hours a week. During this time, I began exploring what a return to school would look like. I knew I had botched my first degree pretty badly, and knew I didn't want a subsistence job any more. You know? I felt as though I was floating, stalled, just getting through each day rather than working at something I was really passionate about. So I started planning a return to university. I enacted my plan in the summer of 2009, returning to university for my second undergraduate degree while I continued my bonkers work schedule. I should mention as well that when I voiced this plan to my wife, she was in complete support. During this time as well, she struck up a friendship with a guy who she had met online through a social website she used. She found odd jobs that paid cash and contributed a little to our household finances. It wasn't a bad place to be. I loved what I was taking in school, an introduction to Psychology. I've always been interested in Psychology, particularly the nitty-gritty of where consciousness and biology intersect. The more I learned about it, the more I learned that what really interested me was the biology. That led to my changing my degree to sciences, and for the first time in nearly a decade since high school really devoted myself to learning the introductory science disciplines. Mind you, this is still the summer of 2009. I'm taking a full course load of online classes offered through my university while I'm working at a call centre from approximately 11am to midnight each day. My wife is sick, prone to headaches and blackouts. She's struck up a friendship with a local guy, and though I disapprove of the amount of time she spends with him I'm not in much of a position to judge, given that I'm never around. She assures me it's non-sexual, that he's gay and they've really bonded. I'm reassured. In September of 2009, I accept that I cannot continue to service my debts, pay rent, care for my wife, work full time, and be a full-time student. I move my wife and myself back to my family's home. There is considerable tension: they are happy to help us, but my wife is moody and unpredictable despite agreeing to the plan when it was discussed in previous months. Her application to be a permanent resident is finally accepted, and things start to look up. Don't get me wrong, we were broke. BROKE. Like, 10 bucks was a carefully calculated expense. But we made it work. I'm wildly successful in my new classes and absolutely loving them despite the heavy workload. For the first time, I consider what life might look like if I were to pursue psychiatry, or some other discipline of medicine. My wife is thrilled at the idea. My parents are more restrained in their enthusiasm, but still quite pleased with the idea if it will make me happy. Months pass. February of 2010 comes around. My wife is behaving strangely, and when we have time to be together it usually devolves into fighting. A normal day for us is her coming to school with me during the day, being dropped off at a job or her friend's house in the morning, and being picked up again after classes are done and she's done work. During this time I'm doing some of the things that undergrads have to do; I'm working part-time jobs, volunteering, maintaining my GPA. Looking into what the MCAT might require, which was pretty intimidating. Valentine's Day is approaching. I splurged and bought tickets to the theatre (it was a pretty big splurge for us, almost a hundred bucks: the Cultural Olympiad was happening at the time of the Vancouver Olympics, so a really big circus act was coming to town). On Valentine's Day, she stayed home. I called her that day to remind her to dress up, because we were going to the theatre after classes were done. She said she would remember, and that she loved me. When I got home that day to pick her up, all of her things were gone. My parent's house was damaged, as though people had been careless while moving heavy objects. There was a letter on my desk which told me that she was sorry, but she couldn't be supportive in the stressful environment of my parents' house, and that it was deeply difficult for her to be in the situation she was in. It said she was staying with some friends, and that she loved me. She wrote that she didn't know what was going to happen to the two of us, but that she wanted to keep trying to be together. (As an aside: my parents are lovely people, not quick to anger, not particularly demanding, and extremely accommodating). I was oscillating between heartbreak and furious anger, given all the stress I was carrying on my shoulders, and I wrote her an email saying that she needed to call me to tell me where she was and what was going on or I would be revoking my sponsorship of her as a permanent resident (new residents need a sponsor who agrees to financially support the new resident for 3 years after they become a resident). At 1 am, 15 February 2010, the police arrived at my family's home. My wife, with the assistance of her new boyfriend (her 'gay' best friend, with whom she'd been sleeping for months as I came to learn), had gone to the police and alleged that I'd raped her in my family home. Her new boyfriend supported her statement. I was now being investigated for rape and spousal abuse. If I was mad before, I was now terrified. It was a false allegation, but if her allegation was brought to trial and received legitimacy through the court system then my future medical career would be over before it had begun. Understand, this is WHILE I was a full-time student in the winter semester of 2010, attending classes during the day and then dealing with this during the evenings and weekends. Following my family's advice, I sought legal counsel. I won't get into a lot of details here except to say that, as the police investigated further, many of the details of her story began contradicting each other. Finally, the investigation was closed during May of 2010 and a charge of public mischief was leveled at my wife for swearing out a false statement to police. I was still in deep financial difficulty, I was succeeding academically, but I was in that place where so many others have described better than I. The 'Oh, you're doing what?' place. That place where people give you a funny look when you tell them that you're an undergrad at 27. Which is how old I was when this happened. My friends were in their careers, in relationships, having children, buying houses... in other words, doing what it seemed like people did to progress their lives. I was still living in the house I'd grown up in with mum and dad and my young brother at 27, desperately heartsick and sad. I shut down personally for a while, focusing on school and athletics. How can you trust other people, get into a relationship with a person, after you've been betrayed by someone you trusted so much? And I did trust her. After all, we were married. Had been together for 5 years, and married for 3 of them. I worked out a LOT during those times. I went through with a divorce against her. Last time I heard, she was living off of another mid-20s guy, now in her early 30s, somewhere in northern Ontario and that the government is after her for overstaying her visa. I found that out because they called me to ask if I knew where she was. Academically, I acquitted myself quite well. I'm not going to bore you with the numbers, but I had a nearly flawless gpa my 2nd year back, 2010-2011. I wrote the MCAT for the first time in late 2010, getting a 29T. Sciences were really shaky for me, but verbal was always my strong suit. My first scores were 11V/9P/9B. I wrote it again the next year, but due to the circumstances of the test I scored the same, a 29. I thought that was a pretty poor score and a great reason to wait, so I didn't apply after my first write of the test. I'd only had one year of undergraduate science after all, and high school science was 10 years ago. My first application to a med school happened during 2011, to Dal Med, after my second MCAT write. They were willing to overlook my horrifying first undergrad degree grades and consider my application holistically. I was wait listed for entry in 2012, but didn't get the nod. I wrote the MCAT once more. I busted my ass for that test. I pulled out every stop, practiced like a demon everywhere I went. I downloaded audio tapes to listen to at one of my jobs, a night janitor at a local bar. Finally, I wrote the test and when the scores came back, I got a 35. 13V/11P/11B. I was thrilled. That year, I applied to Dal for entry in 2013. I only applied to Dal, since it was where I wanted to go and the last time I applied I was wait listed with a 29. Now I had a 35 as well as a full year of new experiences and volunteering and grades to support what a good candidate I was. It wasn't to be. My application was rejected pre-interview. During the academic year, I'd taken 2 lab courses. These 2 lab courses counted as 2 credits rather than 3. As a result, for that year I'd had only 28 rather than 30 credit hours. They disallowed my application. I'm not going to lie, I drank to forget it then. I was getting pretty discouraged. I was working multiple part time jobs, lying to Student Loans about my financial situation in the hopes that they would give me enough to get by on, and barely making ends meet. I was successful academically, but still felt as though I was going nowhere. Moreover, I was going to graduate soon with an Bachelor of Science Honours in Psychology but had no realistic chance of going to a med school after graduation in 2013. What would I do? I stayed in school, taking a graduate degree in Business (which I've always considered an interesting support degree to other interests and passions) and applied again. You're goddamned right I applied again. I applied in 2013 for entry in 2014 to Dal and Mun, the only schools where I had a legitimate chance given my first degree gpas. I wanted to be a doctor. There was a part of my essay at the very end, where I wrote about my experiences working and volunteering in a hospital. I wrote that 'being part of medicine, being close to patients and being part of their care, makes me feel as though I'm standing on the edge of something great.' I wrote that I was asking them, humbly, to give me the opportunity to succeed with them. To discover what that something great was. And I meant it. And still do. The best part about writing on this forum is that the people here who read this, who read that line, will know what I mean. You, reading this now, know what that 'something great' is. Of course I'm writing this here because I got in. Dal accepted me for the graduating class of 2018. I got the email when i was, ignominiously, sitting on the toilet during a break at one of my 4 jobs (research assistant, teaching assistant I, teaching assistant II, and tutor respectively). I will never forget how badly I trembled as I opened it, or the rush of adrenaline when the first word I read was 'CONGRATULATIONS' in all caps. I'm tearing up now thinking about it. That was when my life's pursuit was validated. I was as low as I could be when I started my journey. Along the way I was betrayed by the person who I held dearest to me in this world, I was constantly stressed by finances and academics and time demands. I never got enough sleep. I barely saw my friends. I had no guarantee that I would make it, that I wouldn't another one of those discouraged types who say glumly every so often 'yeah, I wanted to be a doctor once' to their acquaintances in pubs. I am now 31 years old. Though I will likely never meet you, I want to tell you that it is never too late to start. It is never too late to believe in yourself. It is never too late to dare to do something great. Dare to do something great. Dare to dream. Dare to be wise. Dare to reach. Thank you very much for giving me a place to tell my story.
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