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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/13/2018 in all areas

  1. 6 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.
  2. 6 points
    Now, after that LOOOONG story, let’s see how we can hopefully improve NAQ scores! Below is a list of points to very carefully consider when filling your application. Hopefully, these will help potentially increase the NAQ score. I posted this exact same thing a few years ago (2015/2016 cycle). Important disclaimer: These are my personal speculations. These methods are NOT guaranteed to work, but will hopefully improve your perspectives and future application-filling skills. (1) Time: If you are spending less than a month on your application, you are doing it wrong. You should at least spend 1 month on your application, working hard on it almost every day of the week. (2) Plan Carefully: Before you fill-out your non-academic activities, take the time to list out EVERY possible thing you have done and are doing. Initially, they don't need to be in any order. Later when you are done, roughly categorize your activitie. For example, if you have traveled to many parts of the world with your family, you would never put this under Leadership. Always have the application Help Guide in handy -- check if some activity falls under Leadership or not, etc. (3) Spread the Goods: This is the stage when you make a finalized list of which activity should go where. "Spreading the Goods" means equally distributing your major activities across all categories of non-academic activities. As best as you can, avoid putting major activities together. By major activities, I am referring to your roles/responsibilities in your activity, your total hours, and time range of activity. (4) Write Your Description: As UBC Admissions Team emphasize year after year, write EXACTLY what you did in your activities. Skip the "I improved on my skills blah," or "I learned how to communicate blah." Just stick to what you did, and explain what you actually did in the best way possible. You have only 350 characters, so make it count. Yes, spelling matters, and yes, proper grammar is appreciated by the admissions committee. In this little description, your job is to paint a clear picture for the person who will evaluate you. Always ask yourself: Is this a clear picture of my roles and responsibilities? (5) Repeat: After writing your description, let a day pass, and then have a look at it again with fresh eyes. Ask yourself again: Is this a clear picture? Then, try to make your description even better. Do this as much as you can for every activity. Here is what I did to give you an idea: I literally spent 1 hour (sometimes 2) checking and improving a single entry's description -- that means I sometimes spent up to 2 hours writing 3-4 short sentences. So that is it, 5 things to remember. Again, to re-iterate, if any of you need help or would just like to chat, please do not hesitate to PM me. I would love to listen to your stories, too.
  3. 3 points
    LL & robclem said it best! Stay faithful to your dream, remain motivated, do not be concerned as to how long it takes to reach the finish line of this marathon, medicine needs people like you! Our Community is with you, we are your extended family! I’m sure you can reach out to any of us. Hope, hard work, motivation go a farcway. As LL has said, take care of yourself as your first priority - as your well being is essential to maintain in this marathon! We are all cheering for you, in life, in your battles, when you stumble as we all do, and in your successes! Welcome to the Forum! what took you so long.
  4. 1 point
    I took away one word from all of this... Resilience
  5. 1 point
    You're the epitome of grit. Kudos.
  6. 1 point

    November 2018 DAT Thoughts

    Don't worry I can totally relate. I would focus on exams since that's the most important thing right now. You can recover from doing poorly on the November DAT but it's hard to recover from a low GPA. When you rewrite, focus on studying Biology and Chemistry topics listed on CDA's website (Cliff's AP Biology 3rd Edition, Kaplan book, or whatever you choose). Go over the material as many times as you can and practice using practice tests (there were some repeats on my real DAT from DATcrusher if that helps). For the PAT you have to practice on PAPER, it makes a HUGE difference. So print as many PAT questions as you can and practice whenever you get a chance. For reading comp., only practice using 50minutes like the real canadian dat. I made the mistake of using DATBootcamp's tests that are 60minutes the first time and it ruined my reading score (don't use those, they are terrible imo). Since the Feb DAT is during reading week, most people end up doing a lot better too so don't stress about your DAT scores right now. You'll all be fine.
  7. 1 point

    November 2018 DAT Thoughts

    Based on previous responses from people who have contacted the office for details, UofT's pre-interview scoring includes 90% GPA, 5%AA, 5%PAT. In regards to Western, they have an RC cut off of around 18-19, and no hard cut offs for AA and PAT. However, according to the entering class of 2021, the average RC was 22 and average AA was 21 (https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/dentistry/docs/future_students/Class_2021_Statistics.pdf). PAT was recently introduced into the calculation so noone really knows how it factors in. Hope that helps!
  8. 1 point
    TIME STAMP: 11:06 AM PST Interview Invite or Regrets: Interview Invite Early or Regular Deadline: Regular Deadline GPA or AGPA (if applicable): ~84% MCAT (CPBS / CARS / BBFL / PSBB): 514 – (130 / 125 / 130 / 129) Current Degree (UG/Bachelors/Masters/PhD): BSc in 2014 Geography (IP/OOP): IP Extracurricular Activities (awards, achievements, volunteering, employment, research, etc.): Founded and lead a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for variety of causes via annual musical concerts, with the last 2 events focused on contributing to schizophrenia (5 years and counting); founded and led another charity aiding developing nations via Save the Children fund (6 years); extensive leadership and volunteering with UBC Department of Physics and Astronomy (8.5 years and counting); long-term ER volunteer and volunteer trainer and program coordinator (8.5 years and counting); long-term St. John Ambulance volunteer and Divisional Administration Officer (2000+ hours over 5 years, and counting); independently provide guidance and support to immigrants and families as they adjust to life in Vancouver/Canada (9+ years and counting); lots and lots of capacity to work with others including skin cancer research/holding workshops for high school students across Metro Vancouver, volunteering with med students and residents via UBC Department of Emergency Medicine, working closely with refugees and youth with physical and/or intellectual disabilities, and more (combined 3300+ hours); and lots and lots of diversity including clinical research as a volunteer, shadowing pediatric surgeons, toxicology research as a volunteer, epigenomics research at Michael Smith Labs, loads of piano and competitions, oil painting, and more. I also work 3 jobs right now, 1 full-time and 2 part-time jobs; full-time is being a research assistant at UBCH working on a project focused on treatment-refractory schizophrenia (over 2 years); part-time jobs include tutoring students in grade 4-12 in math and academic reading with a company, and also tutoring for the MCAT with a company. 1 Publication (1st author) on the application (had a poster publication/presentation on June 7th haha, and a few are expected to come during this summer). Lots of awards (mainly from high school) and one high performance activity for winning multiple awards with St. John Ambulance. As you guys can tell, I put a lot of details above, primarily to help current applicants who unfortunately didn’t hear good news and also prospective applicants. I will be writing a huge post to share my own personal story and to give a few tips on how to improve NAQ on the application, all intended to encourage those who have not received an invitation. You are all qualified, brilliant, hardworking, and dedicated individuals. Some of you I know very well, and others I do follow. You all have unique characteristics that are deeply appreciated and sincerely needed in medicine. It’s heartbreaking when some people dwell on thoughts of giving up on medicine when it’s been a dream for so long... I want you to know that I do empathize with you all, but just in a different context as I’ve had my own personal challenges. I have no right to tell you “don’t be sad” or “just pick yourself up and try again” because it’s unbelievable how much more difficult it is to do it than to say it; believe me, I know this. But, all I do ask is to please try. I’m hoping my story can be your motivation, your inspiration, your encouragement to try just once more. If anyone has any questions at all and would like to chat more privately, don’t hesitate to PM me. I’m always here to listen. To those who have received invites, never take it for granted and always be grateful for what you have; lessons I’ve learned one of the hardest ways possible. Of course, huge congratulations to all of you lovely folks – I cannot wait to meet each and every one of you
  9. 1 point
    My advice: -figure out which schools you would be eligible to apply to with your grades/part time attendance, -see if they have extenuating circumstances section/letter you can submit--in your case, I think a number of the items could easily be substantiated by obituaries, medical records, etc. so that people know you aren't bluffing but truly were involved in multiple "difficult" circumstances, -write and rock the MCAT, -apply. The challenge will be that I don't think a lot of schools will have allowances for your academic shortcomings, i.e. probations, part time status. As well, if you aren't volunteering "formally" (sounds to me that you did a lot of informal volunteering in your actual life because of the circumstances) then you will be hard-put to get appropriate reference letters for your application. I think as other posters above mentioned, you will probably have to demonstrate a couple of full-time years of solid grades to be competitive, but there are exceptional circumstances applicants every year and you never know how things may look to an admissions committee if you can demonstrate a strong MCAT, improving grades, and hopefully you obtain some stability to your life. Above all--please take care of yourself and your safety and psychological needs--medical school will always be there to apply to and you never know if whatever you embark on between now and then can either enhance your applications or your life, or open other doors you'd never imagined. Best, LL
  10. 1 point
    invite =) yay!
  11. 1 point

    Interview Invites date?

    FINALLLYYYY IT’S HERE!! Invited!!! ok seriously gotta get back to work will post stats soon!
  12. 1 point
    TIME STAMP: 1:06PM (EST) - MD Interview ; 1:34PM EST - PhD Interview Interview Invite or Regrets: Invite (PhD - Friday ; MD - Saturday) Early or Regular Deadline: Regular GPA or AGPA (if applicable): Unavailable (OMSAS of 3.95) MCAT (CPBS / CARS / BBFL / PSBB): 515 ; 127/127/130/131 Current Degree (UG/Bachelors/Masters/PhD): BSc hons (2014), MSc (2016), Cert. Cul. Arts (2017) ; Working research professional since Fall 2017 Geography (IP/OOP): OOP Extracurricular Activities (awards, achievements, volunteering, employment, research, etc.): I am unaware of my NAQ score. It was not provided to me following an interview invitation. For more details on EC's, etc feel free to PM! In general, my CV has been research focused. However, I've made sure to take the time to pursue my passions (culinary arts, wood crafting, metal working). Looking forward to seeing everyone at the interview!
  13. 1 point

    November 2018 DAT Thoughts

    OK GUYS, so I received an email back from CDA regarding my inquiry, and this is what they said: "I verified your record and found that you only took the DAT this November 2018. The DAT scores scale is available to only the students that take the DAT. Since you ONLY took the Nov 2018 DAT, where did you find/access this previous DAT scores scale? The score scales are based on several factors including the difficulty of questions, the performance of students that took the exam, etc. The Nov 2018 DAT scores scale that you received is accurate. Just to let you know, each year's distribution and score scales will vary significantly. Sometimes the number scores will correspond to a certain percentile similar to previous years, but this is not always guaranteed. We cannot predict each year's distribution of scores. The scores you have received is based on your performance during the Nov. 2018 DAT exam." .... like ok, that doesn't explain much thanks. I'm also a bit worried now, since they're asking me where I got these scales from.. (there's what's called the internet). Quite frankly, the results were disappointing and I know some of you really needed high scores on this exam. I just decided to move on, and the only way to actually get back at em is to just kill the Feb DAT. I'll show them I'm better than their scoring system. Keep your heads up everyone. Let's just try and stay positive. Sigh.
  14. 1 point
    Hi there, I just want to start by saying that I think you are an incredibly strong person, and you should be very proud of what you have accomplished given the circumstances, even if it is not 100% what you were hoping to achieve. I am also very sorry to hear about all the challenges you have gone through early in your life and I hope everything settles down and you can get on the right track. I have a few thoughts regarding the main purpose of your post. First, re: informing the schools, I think there are definitely things there that would be important to tell the school. These not only help justify why things may have been more challenging, but are also a part of what make you such a strong person. That being said, I would imagine most schools still require you to meet the cutoffs for pre-requisites, GPA, and MCAT. They may consider slightly less competitive marks and less volunteering, but they are not going to admit an applicant who is still not close to the minimum requirements (even with your circumstances). Therefore, it may take a bit more time for you to even be qualified to apply without considering the impact of an extenuating circumstances letter. Second, med school is an unbelievably stressful endeavour. If the rest of your ducks aren't lined up before med school then there is no healthy way to be successful. Reading your story, it doesn't entirely sound like everything you have dealt with is resolved (from an emotional and psychological standpoint), and even though you have been incredibly resilient and strong, I think it would be vital to ensure your life is completely in order before you attempt medical school. Ultimately this will contribute to your success. Others may have differing opinions/thoughts for you to consider as well, but this is just my 2 cents. Finally, don't give up. Your path (even from this point forward) may be more challenging. If you truly want to do this, then you should go for it. You can definitely succeed, but be cautiously optimistic because it will take a lot of work. Myself, and probably most of this forum, are rooting for you. Good luck.
  15. 1 point

    November 2018 DAT Thoughts

    Hold your heads high everyone, it isn't your fault the CDA decided to recalibrate the curve this year. Sometimes I wonder if the people who make these decisions know how much they can put people's mental health in danger. Bottom line is it is unfortunate this cohort of people has to deal with this situation. I wish you all luck.
  16. 1 point
    you're extremely ignorant and you are part of the reason that some doctors get such a bad rep. I am actually disgusted by what you said. I personally know many examples of hard working, intelligent, people who have stressful lives and did not get to "party every single weekend and go on Caribbean vacations twice a year in their 20s." There are so many people that spend 4 years in a biology undergrad, followed by a 2 year Masters, followed by a 5 year PhD, followed by 2-3 year Post Docs (14 years of post secondary- all of their 20's, into their 30's) to fight for scrapes at a job in academia or research. The job they get after 14 years of post-secondary pays a mere fraction of anyone in medicine. They are the ones slaving behind a microscope working to advance society vs the dermatologist who makes one million a year giving people lip fillers and botox. So don't give me that BS. Even the people who decide to work after a 4-year undergrad are not out there doing what you say they are doing. There are countless people who finish engineering (much much harder than a bio degree that most medical students do anyway) who can not find any job. I know mechanical engineering graduates working at superstore living with their parents. Even the ones who can find work live in constant distress that they will be laid off. This goes as well for teachers who have to sub every day for years to even get a 50K job. My teacher friends tell me the gas they spend to drive 1 hour away from the city (and back) just to teach a half day at a school outside the city is almost half of what they made that day. Is teaching not important? I could go on and on about young professionals in almost every field. They can not afford to take a day trip to another province let alone party in an international location. The privileged position of finishing medical school and residency and then getting a job A LOT A LOT other people more than other people and having inherent prestige makes it easy for you to put down other people. You really need to get a grip on reality. EVERY doctor makes the top 1% income, some even in the top 0.5%. I am really heated and could go on but I am going to compose myself because I don't want to be banned.
  17. 1 point
    I generally agree with the notion that doctors shouldn't see their incomes lowered, but this right here is ridiculous. What a sheltered life you must've lived to think that this is people's reality, and that their current difficulties (or lack of financial success) is necessarily due to previous years of partying and travelling to the Caribbean having the time of their life [while you were slaving away at the lab or the library].
  18. 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.
  19. 1 point
    well except that the end pay is also so much higher, almost certainly eventually you will get something, and you have access still to that magic LOC. The person that doesn't get that internship also has a not a small level of debit, no access to a huge 250K-275K LOC etc, and similarly no job in their area and are unlikely to get another job easily that meets their debit load with the education they have. Going unmatched is terrible financially of course - but someone in many other fields are in the most immediate sense are under MORE financial stress - as a doctor with 150K you still have 100K at least to work within. It sucks, but imagine not being able to similarly work or advance to the next level but you have 30 dollars in your chequing account and you don't exactly have access to convenient credit. How would the next year look like now? Financial stakes really come to bear within you don't have enough money for lunch
  20. 1 point
    Ha - that reminds me: Stress and impact cannot be measured on a linear scale - that may sound like it is a trivial point to make but I think it is important. Particularly important because medical doctors are prone to do this all the time and it can seriously impact relationships with people. When a doctor has a bad day or a bad outcome in absolute terms that is probably a really bad day - someone likely died and so on. If you compare that to anyone else - your spouse's day and so on you are going to win in terms of absolute score. That however is completely meaningless because both parties are relatively speaking have an equally bad day (they feel equally stressed) and if you don't realize that you will develop the classic problem of assuming your problems are automatically worse than everyone else's ha That is a great way to end up in a divorce. Not matching sucks and probably costs you a year. Not getting that internship sucks and probably can cost you a year. The stakes may be different but the degree of suckage can be the same.
  21. 0 points
    TIME STAMP: 8:37 p.m. EST Interview Invite or Regrets: Regrets Early or Regular Deadline: Regular GPA or AGPA (if applicable): 89.47% oGPA MCAT (CPBS / CARS / BBFL / PSBB): 132/130/132/130 - 524 Current Degree (UG/Bachelors/Masters/PhD): UG - 4th year Geography (IP/OOP): OOP Extracurricular Activities (awards, achievements, volunteering, employment, research, etc.): Mostly high-school award (humanitarian, model UN), entrance scholarships; Soccer player for 7+ years: tournaments, varsity, coaching, and intramurals now; volunteering with refugee youth for 4 years in high school, volunteer at a cardiologist office for 3+ years, hospital for a couple years, shadowing oncologist in Arizona for a few weeks; Employment - summer research position with abstract and poster presentation (not allowed to put in "research section"); Research - nothing first author, some oncology presentations, genetics lab, and now ongoing thesis. NAQ: 31.48 AQ: 29.68 TFR: 61.16 (missed the OOP cutoff by 0.7 points or so - rough) Overall nice to know I was that close, keep your heads up guys, it will all work out in the end