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  1. 26 points
    Dear all current applicants and prospective applicants to UBC Medicine, My name is Neurophiliac as I’m obsessed with brains (in a good way, trust me ). I wanted to take this time to explain my story especially for those who haven’t received good news from UBC this year. In doing so, I am hoping that my story can become your inspiration to hold your head high, your motivation to push through with 100% of your energy, and your encouragement to consider not giving up. I want to put an emphasis on the consider part. As I’ve mentioned before, I absolutely have no right to tell you “hey, don’t give up”. After all, everyone has their own challenges that are unique to them, in which no one can fully comprehend or empathize with. But, I wish to ask of you for one thing: to please try. Please try to consider not giving up. Even when life seems impossible, if there is a will, there is a way. Later, I will get into some details of how to improve your NAQ via better application planning and writing. I hope what I share also helps prospective applicants to UBC Medicine to some degree. Story time. This is going to be a SUPER LONG one, so find a nice and comfortable seat, relax and maybe grab a nice cup of tea if you're wanting to read it all . I am a long-term applicant to UBC Medicine. This application is my 6th try, and it all started back in 2013/2014. That year, I submitted my first application to UBC Medicine while I was finishing up my final year of undergrad. I had a bunch of volunteering experiences, but wasn’t having high hopes for my application being successful. Sure enough, I received regrets pre-interview. I was quite disappointed, but thought of the bright side: At least, this was a great experience to familiarize myself with the application. In 2014, I met a variety of health care professionals and was given opportunities to pursue research, awesome volunteering positions, and much more, all of which I am most grateful to this day. I started brainstorming how I can make a positive impact on my community. One thing led to another and with the help of a small group of friends, I founded my own non-profit organization dedicated to helping communities via coordinating annual fundraising musical concerts and donating 100% of the proceeds to great causes. For the first year, my team members and I dedicated our event to my local hospital’s ER, as I was familiar with the ER since I had been volunteering there since 2011. The 2014/2015 application cycle came along, and I was excited to see how this application would turn out. I spent a lot of time carefully writing my application, rewording each entry, making sure the description is concise yet filled with details. When the interview status D-Day arrived, I was in tears of joy when I realized I received my first invite for UBC. Simply put, I could NOT stop dancing, so you can easily imagine the scene . I spent the next 2 months practicing for my interview, attended the large practice sessions and so on and so forth. In May, I was way more nervous than I had been for my interview notification. I decided to shut off my phone from the night before, check on Premed101 in the morning to see when everyone had received their results, and then to turn on my phone again. I did, but realized it was a rejection. I was devastated. I had a flashback of everything I had been through, knowing that I would need to repeat it all again. A week or two passed, and my head was cleared. My optimism resurfaced, and I realized what an accomplishment I’ve made: My NAQ had increased by ~10 points, from 24 (previous year) to ~34 (that year). Giving up now? No way, Jose! During that year, I did a whole bunch of new things ultimately enjoying what I did (as I still do), and as a byproduct it also helped my application. So, for the 2015/2016 application cycle, I spent more than 1 month to complete my application. I planned how to write every new entry, reworded my previous entries, and looked at all the details involved; once my application was complete, I also remodified it several times. When the interview notifications were released, I was ecstatic to know that I received another interview! Very much prepared, I decided to host the MMI Facebook group as I learned a lot from the individual leading the previous Facebook group from the previous year. I was so happy to meet some new people and also some of those who were reapplicants, in the same shoes as I was. Amidst the joy, there was one thing that had always been bothering me: My MCAT score. My old score was a mere 30, very mediocre. I sought guidance from my parents and they convinced me to sign up for an MCAT prep course – this was primarily because the new MCAT was rolled out, and I realized perhaps taking a prep course will prepare me for the new, tougher, longer exam. It was a very strange feeling to prepare for the interview and study for the MCAT again… something I did way back when I was preparing myself to begin my first application. I decided to study for the MCAT and write it in case things go south post-interview. Interview day came along, and I was ready. I did the best I could do and realized how different my interview experience was compared to the previous year; in other words, I felt a lot more confident. When offer notifications were about to be released in May, I was a mess – emotional rollercoaster since the second I woke up in the morning at 7 AM. I anxiously awaited my results. When the rejections wave passed and I got no notification, I suddenly felt an infinite spike of optimism and hope. But it was short-lived. At the time of the waitlist wave, I got a “ding!” on my phone and I knew what it was. I open my email and I see the subject line “UBC Undergrad Admissions: Application Status – Waitlist” and my heart sinks. Had I just survived that couple minutes of the wave, I would have been 180˚ different. Time passed and my head was cleared. I said, “Hey, this isn’t so bad! There is still hope, why am I so down?” I was grateful to have improved from last cycle at least. But the hope gradually dissipated when I wasn’t able to receive an offer from the waitlist. I improved from a Below Average to an Above Average, and my NAQ stayed at roughly ~34. Now, it was MCAT time. The next application cycle (2016/2017) for UBC, Admissions was allowing a final cycle where old MCAT exams were still being accepted. One of my very close friends who got accepted off the waitlist strongly advised me not to write the new MCAT, and just reapply and see what happens. God forbid, if I would get an ineligible score for UBC, none of my old MCAT exams would qualify as only the new attempt(s) count. But I was sure that my MCAT had to be the one thing holding me back. So, I registered for a late-June exam and started prepping my application for the early deadline. Late-June 2016 came and I was sitting at the exam centre at 7:30 AM, waiting to be registered. Wrote the exam, felt like crap, but somehow, I decided to score it – after all, I had put a lot of effort into it and spent a lot of money for my prep course, and I was sure that at least I got the minimums for UBC, so everything was going to be fine, right…? No…. Things didn’t turn out to be fine. My science sections were average but passing, just got the passing score on psych/soc with 124, but… but… but… I realized my CARS was 121 (the damn verbal reasoning, the bane of my existence, the archnemesis of my soul). It was freaking panic time now. I quickly registered for a late-August exam to at least get a passing score so that I am at least eligible. Late-August, 7:30 AM, same exam centre. The guy looks at me and says, “Oh hey, you were here before, right?” And I say with an uncomfortable laugh, “Oh yes, I’m trying to get a better score hopefully!” Wrote the exam, and felt actually a bit better about the CARS section. I still knew it was going to be horrible, but hopefully at least I get that 124. I go home and work on my application for the next week, finalize it and submit it for the early deadline. Late-September arrives. I am at my computer on the AAMC MCAT score release log-in screen. I enter my username, password, and click log in. I place a sheet of paper on my screen hiding all scores. The plan is to check chem/phys first, then bio, then psych/soc, and finally CARS. Chem/phys, bio, and psych/soc are all great actually – much better than before. I take the sheet of paper and unhide my CARS score. What…? Huh…? Surprise turns to disbelief, disbelief turns to anger, anger turns to panic and utter… utter fear. I see 119 besides CARS. How is this even possible…? You mean, I seriously got 1 point above the absolute minimum?? How… HOW… HOW?! Frustration, anger, panic. My head was exploding, blood pressure was low, and I was cold-sweating all over my body. The worse part was that many other bad things had happened to me that year, especially in the summer time. With this news added on, my world felt shattered… With the support of my friends and family, gradually optimism resurfaced again. With the volunteering connections I had built previously, one thing led to another and I transitioned into a full-time research position so smoothly, it felt like the sky opened and this job fell into my hands. In 2016, I started working at UBC Department of Psychiatry on a project focused on exploring the metabolic, genetic and immunological factors affecting those diagnosed with treatment-refractory schizophrenia, one of the most severe forms of mental illness. Also, in 2016, I reconnected with a dear, close friend via my cousin’s wedding who I had lost touch with since we were young. She became a very, very special person in my life. She lives in my previous home country (where I had immigrated from with my family as a child), so we had a long-distance relationship going. With the bad news of the MCAT and other things that were affecting me, suddenly 2016 didn’t seem so bad now. I worked for the whole year, did my volunteering, extracurricular activities and so forth, while restudying for my MCAT. Even though I was prepared, the last couple of exams took a huge toll on my confidence, and I was still very nervous for my exam. I registered for an early summer 2017 exam just in case I don’t make it. I write the exam, don’t know how to feel. My results come out, sciences have all improved even more, but my CARS… 122. Another big hit to my confidence. But hey, it’s okay because I have another opportunity to write an exam, right? I register for another in August 2017, and write the exam, feeling maybe I did it this time. Results come out. Sciences are spectacular, but CARS… 123… why is this happening…? Why is life s***ing on me like this…? You think previous times I had a major hit to my confidence? No way, Jose. This was the biggest hit to my confidence… A score of 123 is basically 1 or 2 correct answers from a 124. I was embarrassed. I felt so disappointed to let down my coworkers, close friends, and family who were all rooting for me. Another year of being ineligible… By the way, these 2 years of being ineligible, I was still applying to UBC because I didn’t want to break my consistency. I wanted UBC to see that I still care and I am still trying, even though they don’t do a file review when you’re ineligible. The fall of 2017 at least became one of the best times of my life. I took vacation from work and my family and I planned a trip to go visit my girlfriend and her family. While there, I proposed to her and I heard the sweetest “Yes” of my life. We had an engagement party and got legally married (on paper), since the two go together in my culture (and the wedding ceremony is usually within a year or two after). I then returned back to Canada soon after because I could only get a short vacation, and started working on her immigration application. I used the year to again work, actually working multiple jobs, doing a whole bunch of volunteering, doing way more than I have ever done to not have it appear that I’ve “plateaued”. Finally, 2018 comes and I start the whole routine of studying for the MCAT… all… over… again. At this point, I’m drenched in volunteering and work, while maintaining my MCAT studying schedule. Again, I register for an early summer exam just in case so that I have another opportunity late August. I write the exam, no idea how CARS went. I get my results back, and yet again… CARS is 123. At this point, my confidence has been kicked around, chipped, and 99% eaten away. But I put these thoughts away and force myself to think positively; after all, it’s only maximum 2 questions away to 124. I have one more chance for this next application cycle for August. Luckily, I’m able to register for another exam for August 25, 2018. Another 7:30 AM at the exam centre. I write it, and something inside ever so slightly tells me… maybe. As soon as the exam is over, I prepare myself to take a vacation to spend a month to visit my wife on the other side of the planet. I really enjoyed the trip; we spent quality time and made memories which will last forever. However, on the inside, mentally my mind is asking the “what if” regarding my CARS. This was my 6th attempt for the new MCAT exam… if this didn’t work, I had to think of something. Perhaps the Caribbean schools, or the European or Australian schools. But what would that mean for my wife? If she immigrated to Canada, where would she stay? Would she come with me? Would she stay in Canada and we have to live a few years of our lives apart other than the short visits? She wants to continue her education in Canada, so her studies matter a lot too. These lingering thoughts bothered me everywhere I went and I was neck-deep in internally-hidden anxiety. When I returned to Canada in late October after my vacation, my exam result had already been released in mid-September yet I hadn’t checked it (only released the scores to UBC). Even the thought of logging into AAMC makes my heart pump hard and sends my thoughts racing. But eventually, I control myself: “I can do it,” I say. I bring up the AAMC MCAT score release website screen, take 5 full, deep breaths before I log in even though I'm nauseous as hell. Again, I hide the scores on the screen with a piece of paper and check each with CARS last. My chem/phys is 130 (wonderful), bio is 130 (excellent), and psych/soc is 129 (wow, best I’ve had!). As I’m about to reveal CARS, internally and externally I start praying for just a 124 or more. I reveal… and… it’s a… 125. 125?! OMG!!! Surprise turns to disbelief, disbelief turns to joy, joy turns to tears and utter… utter happiness. I’ve made it… I’ve made it!!! I instantly feel so much weight, tons and tons of load get released off my shoulders. I can’t believe it finally happened. After 6 whole tries, I can finally be eligible again. And here I am. I have been through every part of the spectrum other than being accepted; rejected pre-interview, to rejected post-interview, to being waitlisted-rejected, to being ineligible. For me, it’s one of the best feelings in the world to be eligible to apply. And now with receiving an interview invitation… I do not even have the words to truly express how thankful and grateful I am. Through this whole process, I have learned one of the hardest ways to never take anything for granted, and always appreciate the things you have in this moment. Even though life seemed impossible, I never stopped fighting for what I really care about; I never gave up. Even if I don’t become accepted this cycle, I will continue to battle the challenges of my life and will not stop pursuing my dream. If medicine is your dream too, don’t let it remain a dream. Continue to push through the dark times because there is always good around you. The experiences that you accumulate in life will eventually aid you to become stronger, more mature, more professional, well-rounded, and more, which primarily help you become successful in life in general, but also with pursuing medicine. Know that whatever you do, you’re not wasting your time. I define “wasting your time” as when you’re sitting on your butt and not doing anything for your future. Down the road, no one will ask when you completed your MD, no one cares that you’re an amazing, experienced physician when you’re 50 as compared to when you could have been 47, for example. Medicine is a life-long career. What really matters is that you enter medical school when you’re ready, because that’s when you can take the most out of your program and be the best future physician you can be. Like I mentioned earlier, anything you do now will ultimately help you in what comes after MD, such as in CaRMS, which is quite important. Lastly, I want to point out one important note. Medicine is very important when it’s your passion. But, there are always things that are way more important than it, such as love, family, and friends. It was through my failures that I met my wife. If I had a choice to reverse time and be accepted to medicine back in 2016/2017 by not re-writing my MCAT (lots of ifs), I would have not taken this offer. Because then I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to gain experience in my work field that I have now, I wouldn’t have met all the wonderful people through my jobs, and most importantly… maybe I wouldn’t have met my wife. This just comes to show that medicine, although a true passion, shouldn't be on a pedestal. As I go with the flow, it will happen when it happens, as long as I don’t give up. Long story short, I strongly encourage you guys to please, at the least, consider not giving up yet. I’m sure you all have your personal challenges, but let my story inspire you. Let your inner optimism resurface, too. Gain the support of your family, relatives, friends, coworkers, and seek their guidance. And please know that I am here – if you’d like to chat, I would love to listen. If I can help in any way, please PM me.
  2. 22 points
    It’s going to be a long one. I wrote all of this before I got in, because there is something wonderfully raw and vulnerable about documenting my reflections while I’m still on the outside looking in. I knew that if I was unsuccessful this cycle, I would still read it to remind myself of how far I’ve come. -- My non-trad path is nothing unusual- I suppose I am just a late bloomer who paid her dues after the fact. The biggest challenge for me, throughout this whole journey, was lacking the protective factors to cushion the falls. I have been financially independent, which means choices were often made to have a financial safety net rather than for improving my med school applications. I had no one within my social network to guide me; my family has not been supportive of my decisions, so I felt like I could never turn to them (as of now they still don’t know that I interviewed and got accepted). This forum taught me everything I needed to know about getting into medical school, and that being a physician is still a possibility for someone like me. I began university when I was 18, completely lacking in self-awareness and nowhere near ready to make any sort of decisions about my future. I went to UofT for life sciences. There’s that joke: “How many UofT students does it take to change a light bulb? Four; one to change it and three to crack under the pressure”. Well, I was one of the three. My time at UofT was the closest I’d come to being depressed. My marks were atrocious; I felt worthless and incompetent all the time. My family didn’t understand- and didn’t know how to- help me; no one told me “you should stop and figure your shit out before completely ruining your transcript”. I tried going to counselling but felt like I was not being listened to, so I never went back. Something was very wrong, I didn’t know what or how to fix it. Things at home were bad. In my final year, I cut all financial ties with my parents, and moved out- I needed to become my own person. The independence was exhilarating. The financial stress was real, but my mental health also improved 100%, and I gained the energy and mental clarity to finally start thinking about what I wanted in life. Unfortunately, at this point my marks (cGPA of 3.1, no year above 3.5) were useless for any post-grad program. I applied to Michener’s medical radiation program, a second-entry bachelor program, to become an X-ray tech. I got accepted, but opted to not attend-- for the first time, I thought about what I wanted in my career, and decided it was not for me. I decided to take a year off and consider other second degree options. I started to look into becoming a dietitian (other RDs on this forum, like Real Beef, were very helpful). This would be a competitive process with a lot more uncertainty than going to Michener. I had a lot to prove and nothing to show for it. I used the year to work several minimum wage jobs in healthcare to save up money for a year of unpaid dietetic internship that would follow my second undergrad, while getting volunteer experience in nutrition to start building my resume for dietetic internship applications. I started my second degree in nutrition with a lot of self-doubt. After UofT, I was uncertain that I could even pull off low 80s. I was sure that everyone was smarter than me, and that I was the loser who flunked a whole degree but still couldn’t keep up. But I also had a level of mental clarity and focus that I’d never felt before. And low and behold, I ended up finishing my first year with the highest average in my program. A 3.94. It was then that I realized I was onto something-for the first time, it seemed like medicine could be a possibility. I decided to extend my second degree into 3 years, to be eligible for Ottawa (ironically, I never interviewed at Ottawa), while building my application for dietetic internships. This led me to different opportunities in leadership, teaching, and working with low SES populations. After 2 years into my second degree, I wrote the MCAT while working full-time and self-teaching myself the material despite taking (and flunking) my pre-reqs 4-5 years before that. I was pleasantly surprised with a balanced 514 (however, with a CARS of 128, it was never good enough for Western). The year after, I graduated from my second degree with the highest cumulative average in my program. It took me 3 cycles to get my first and only interview at Queen’s. During my second cycle, I was completing my dietetic internship, which provided many opportunities to gain clinical and counselling skills, work with marginalized populations, lead QI projects, and work within interdisciplinary teams- I learned more about my interest and suitability for medicine in this 1 year than I had in my whole life prior to this. Internship was hard work, but also gave me small boosts of confidence and signs I am not a complete dumbass (e.g. a nephrologist who had no idea that I was applying to med, after listening to my renal case presentation, told me how impressed he was that I’ve shown level of knowledge that he’d only expect from a senior medical resident; 2 of my preceptors said that in their 10-20 years teaching, they’ve never seen a student work so hard to improve herself and be so dedicated to her patients; rotation after rotation I was praised for my critical thinking skills and natural ease in developing rapport with patients). This wasn’t just about ticking off boxes to get into med, but about developing my passion for hands-on learning and learning about my strengths and weaknesses as a professional. For the first time in my life, I thought “maybe I am good enough to become a doctor.” When I submitted my application for the third cycle, I had just graduated from internship and started working in public health in Northern Ontario. I moved here because I wanted to continue to step outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to do more advocacy and upstream work, and this was the place to do it. At around the time of decision day, I had applied to RD jobs in Alberta to gain IP status for U of C. So here’s what I’ve learned in the last five years: · Know yourself. Know your identity outside of being a premed. Figure out what your values are, what kind of a person you want to be, what drives you to take action, what triggers your mind to go down dark rabbit holes. This takes time and effort, and self-reflection from life experiences, but it helps to build resilience against the hurdles along the application process, medical training, and set-backs life in general. Knowing who you are and what you have to offer the world protects you against having your self-esteem and identity shattered when things don’t go as you had hoped; it gives you the courage to say “let’s try again.” when the world seems to tells you “you are not good enough.” Similarly, I hear too often that when people have spent their whole life dedicated to getting into med school, that when they finally get in, they feel a bit lost- “now what?”. I suppose that happens when you see getting in as a final destination rather than one of the stops along a never-ending journey of building yourself up. People around me couldn’t fathom where I got the persistence to keep at it despite facing setbacks and watching the years go by. It’s because I knew there is nothing valuable that a rejection can take away from me. I have been building myself up as a person. I am still going to be me, no matter what happens inside that interview room, and what May 8th brings. I still possess all the traits that I worked hard to develop and love about myself- my grit, self-awareness, intellectual curiosity, empathy, open-mindedness- and these are all going to carry me far in life, medicine or not. No rejection letter can take that away from me. · Figure out what you want to accomplish in medicine, outside of medicine. I always ask myself: what's appealing about a career as a physician, and how can I try to achieve it through another route? What skills do I want to use on a day to day basis in my career? What core values and beliefs will motivate me to do what I do in my career? I think reflecting on this helps to flesh out your motivations for pursuing medicine, helps to identify alternative career paths, and should you pursue an alternative path while you reapply, helps you to gain insights and skills that will be useful for medicine. Hopefully the adcoms will recognize this. If not, well, at least your satisfaction with your alternative path will still be pretty high. · Be kind to yourself. The playing field is not even, and you don’t need to add an additional layer of self-inflicted cruelty to the mix. It’s ok to not feel 100% determined all the time. When the self-doubt starts to creep in, sit on it, talk to someone (in my opinion, everyone should have a therapist). Use the insights from the above 2 points to ground yourself and as motivation to keep going. · Develop yourself in areas outside of academics. What saved me was working minimum wage jobs since I was 16 (I actually started out cleaning bathrooms, after I was fired from scooping ice cream for being too socially inept. True story.). 75% of my activities on my ABS were employment. I had to work, because I did not come from a background as privileged as that of many premeds. If the circumstances were different, perhaps I would’ve gotten in earlier. But the real world was the best teacher I’ve ever had- it helped me develop financial independence and literacy, character, resilience, and interpersonal skills that helped me along every step of this journey. It helped to shape my convictions of the kind of physician, what kind of person, I want to be. Ease yourself into uncomfortable situations today to build resilience against shit-hitting-the-fan moments later in life. --- I also want to say that sometimes on these forums, we read non-trad stories and it seems like people were 100% determined from the get-go while they stayed on this one path for 4-10 years. I know I wasn’t…and that’s ok. As a non-trad, you have more life decisions to make along your journey, some big, some small. I know that I had to make many decisions over the years to favour either my nutrition career, chances for med school, or my personal life- many times, these three conflicted. There’s no right way to go about it- it depends on your risk tolerance, other responsibilities in life, and priorities. Know yourself…this is so, so important. I feel so privileged that everything in my life lined up so perfectly to allow me to pursue this path long enough to eventually get accepted. I’m always happy to chat about second degrees, being an RD, or anything related. Stay positive and kind to yourself, PM101.
  3. 19 points
    If people are wanting to take legal action regarding a single medical school rejection, then I think admissions is doing their job correctly in keeping you out.
  4. 18 points
    My friend just sent me an email titled, "Acceptance to McMaster Medical School". Unfriended.
  5. 18 points
    We are getting close, but you forgot to factor in the lunar cycles 2014 (Jan 24) was the last quarter visible at 47% 2015 (Jan 21) was a new moon visible at 2% 2016 (Jan 13) was a waxing crescent visible at 18% 2017 (Jan 18) was the last quarter visible at 64% 2018 (Jan 10) was a new moon visible at 2% Hmm, I'm starting to see a correlation here It's going to be in the next waxing crescent moon, so the 10th or 11th lol
  6. 16 points
  7. 15 points
    Problem with your logic is that you think the system is goofed up or that the incoming class is somehow "screwed". They aren't. The wheels will keep turning and those that get in will continue along the process with zero functional difference. Just so happens John Doe took a seat instead of you. Got in on slightly different requirements/process but equally as qualified and capable of doing well in medicine. Dont get sucked into a false sense of superiority by having a marginally better GPA or MCAT score.
  8. 15 points
    I very much doubt 1 single individual read all 8 of your essays. It was likely divided among 8 people, with the average of your responses being taken as your final score. This is how it works in CASPer, for UoT, MMI, etc. The admissions office of every school has the right to change their admission criteria from one year to the next. Western is not unique in this circumstance. To be honest, I actually admire Western for changing their criteria to allow character elements to shine through compared to the archaic method of using only GPA and MCAT. As I mentioned to you before in a previous post, possessing a good MCAT or GPA, while important, are not the sole factors that determine whether or not someone is good enough for med school. IMO, focus on your other interviews at those Ivy schools. Perhaps take a little bit of time to reflect. Likening yourself to a 'Syrian refugee' screams to me that your line of thinking needs to come down a notch.
  9. 15 points
    ha, it has been 10 years on the forum - kind of scary. The journey is long but in the end worth it I think. Stay frosty and focused people
  10. 14 points
    Congratulations to all who got an interview! Try to start looking into the MMI process and preparing early, time really flies! There are plenty of resources lying around the forum, so take advantage of that. For those looking for more MMI questions to prepare with, try googling "korean premed mmi questions", you should find a pretty big list. Psychologically preparing yourself for emotionally/socially uncomfortable/awkward situations and remaining calm under all circumstances are really key, so try yourself at these sample scenarios and whatever else you can find until you feel like you're ready to take on whatever they might throw at you when the big day comes around. Also very happy to see some familiar usernames from last year I really really hope it works out for you guys this year. To the applicants who didn't get an invite this year and are really disappointed right now, I hope you'll feel better soon. It's an unreasonably competitive process, so while you should take a step back and re-evaluate, especially when the stats come out later in the cycle, you also really shouldn't let this result affect your sense of self-worth. Most importantly, don't let this hurdle put your life on pause; keep living life to the fullest outside of medicine, and the rest will fall in place.
  11. 14 points
    I AM SO EXCITED TO RECEIVE MY REJECTION
  12. 14 points
    I won't be so flippant as to say just try it out, but I would ask you to try to take a step back and look at your situation objectively. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is your happiness, and I do think there are many paths withing medicine that can be fulfilling for a wide variety of people; I also think it's incredibly easy to make numerous small sacrifices for dubious goals that accumulate to an overall frustrating life. I've absolutely experienced that miserable feeling you're describing, few people get to experience being berated by someone at 4am because you're still on the low end of the totem pole in your mid twenties. And there are a ton of people in my med school class who pushed themselves to do research in med school on top of that, put time in to networking, over-studied for every test, only to continue the cycle for another 6 years of residency. You don't have to do that if that's not your picture of happiness though. I was initially pushing for a difficult specialty and I would feel anxious every second I wasn't working on my research project, I was attending rounds for that specialty and doing additional clinic on top of normal school duties, and I honestly felt terrible. Then I realized that this doesn't have to be my life, my peers from high school who I was jealous of treated their jobs like a job and there was no reason I had to let it consume my life. I studied to around the median, I played sports and video games instead of researching, and I got in to a fantastic community family medicine program. And now my average days are 9-4 with some charting on either end and the occasional home call. And while I found a niche I'm really excited to pursue full time, I know someone who recently graduated and makes 80k a year off one hard day of work per week - something you won't find in any other field and allows him to pursue his true passions. So that's where I'd ask you to be objective. Whatever career you're comparing medical school to, don't compare it to the jaded or overworked staff you never hope to be. Compare it to what you, with your values, would do with that degree. I can't guarantee it's for everyone, but if you've come this far there's a very strong chance you find something that works for you better on many levels than most alternatives.
  13. 13 points
    Western's previous over-reliance on quantitative objectives has resulted in some barely-functioning manchildren being in my class since year 1, and judging from the replies in this thread (legal action l.o.l), the new system is keeping many such people out, so I'm all for it. Perhaps it's time for an attitude adjustment and self reflection if you think you're entitled to anything in this game.
  14. 13 points
    Result: Regrets Time Stamp: 9:00 am Interview Date: N/A wGPA: 3.97 (last two years of undergrad) Year: finishing masters at harvard MCAT: 509 (128/126/128/127) <- probably the issue ECs: executive on same clubs for 4 years, president of 2 clubs, founded not for profit, 1 first author publication and 1 co-authorship under journal review, work study research position in undergrad, various other miscellaneous activities in student society and clubs, I think I had strong referees? (had Rhodes interview based on them so don’t really think it could’ve been an issue with the letters...) Geography: Ontario Ive never posted on forums before because I really struggle with imposter syndrome and am super self conscious comparing myself against all the amazing candidates here. However, since Queens makes the application process extra difficult by not posting any statistics/criteria I thought I would contribute in case it could help someone. I also just wanted to say that I have a few friends that didn’t get any interviews for 2 years in a row and then managed to gain admission to multiple medical schools in their 3rd attempt. A lot of these admission processes can be quite flawed and may take students that may not make the best doctors while missing out on those that would. Even this year I know of someone who received an interview invite who not only failed a class due to a breach of academic integrity but also obtained a few publications in their name because their uncle was a surgeon. I’ve personally found it difficult to reconcile feeling like I’m not good enough in the face of knowing of cases like this. At the end of the day though what keeps me going is that (hopefully) hard work will pay off and things will work out for the best. I hope we can all take invites and rejections with a grain of salt, and continue to be kind to ourselves during this process. Wish you all the best :)
  15. 13 points
    ATG4B

    Interview Invites date?

    For everyone who is not getting the news they wanted today ... I want to tell you a little bit more about me in the hopes that it will bolster your spirit to keep pushing forward. I was all set to apply in 2006, but a family member became very ill and I had to put my dreams on hold. I tried several times over the coming years to go back to school, but I couldn’t manage to juggle full time work and full time school. It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I decided to sell pretty much everything I had in order to head back to school. It has been far from an easy road, but I wouldn’t change it for anything! I’m definitely not the same person I was in 2006 and I appreciate every opportunity for the blessing that it is. I don’t know what this year has in store for me, but I do know that I’m a hell of a lot stronger than I thought I was. You will find that out about yourself too if you keep pushing ahead. Be kind to yourself right now and know that one (or even many) regret email, doesn’t define you in any way! Hugs to you all.
  16. 13 points
    Didn't see that the CaRMS stats were out until now, a few weeks after the fact, but wanted to get a competitiveness breakdown out there, particularly given the difficulties experienced with this year's match. I've attached the full data set, but wanted to highlight the larger specialties directly here as well as offer a few comments. As always, my preferred metric for competitiveness is the percentage of individuals who rank a specialty first overall who match to that specialty. Those matching to an alternative discipline are also listed, as it provides a sense of how easy it is to back-up to another specialty when shooting for a particular first choice specialty. This metric is not a perfect representation of competitiveness, nor is it the only one available, but given available stats I believe it has the most value to those approaching the match and deciding on their CaRMS strategies. All stats are for the 1st iteration and for CMGs only. First Choice Discipline Percent Matching to Discipline Percent Match to Alternative Discipline Percent Unmatched Family Medicine 96.4% 1.0% 2.6% Internal Medicine 88.9% 9.1% 1.9% Diagnostic Radiology 88.9% 6.2% 4.9% Psychiatry 85.8% 9.0% 5.3% Anatomical Pathology 84.2% 7.9% 7.9% Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 83.9% 12.9% 3.2% Orthopedic Surgery 80.4% 3.6% 16.1% Radiation Oncology 77.8% 14.8% 7.4% Pediatrics 77.6% 19.9% 2.6% Neurology 76.4% 16.4% 7.3% Neurosurgery 69.2% 11.5% 19.2% Anesthesiology 68.5% 21.2% 10.3% General Surgery 63.6% 10.8% 25.6% Obstetrics and Gynecology 63.4% 28.6% 8.0% Urology 58.3% 25.0% 16.7% Ophthalmology 52.1% 29.6% 18.3% Emergency Medicine 50.4% 37.4% 12.2% Otolaryngology 47.2% 22.6% 30.2% Dermatology 43.3% 48.3% 8.3% Plastic Surgery 34.6% 23.1% 42.3% A few thoughts on these numbers: 1) Across the board, a competitive year for surgical disciplines. These specialties have slowly been losing residency spots due to their generally poor job markets, but demand seems to have largely stayed put despite this, driving competition up. With over a quarter of people applying to Gen Sx, ENT, and Plastics going outright unmatched in the first round, and over 15% in pretty much all other surgical disciplines speaks to the risks involved going down that career path. To be a surgeon these days, you've got to really want it, and fight for your spot. 2) By contrast, certain moderate and high competitiveness specialties can be rather safe with an appropriate back-up plan. Derm and OBGYN have overall combined match rates (first choice + alternative) close to the weighted average of all specialties. More people who picked Derm first ended up in a back-up specialty than in Derm itself, a figure fairly consistent with previous years. Part of this may be driven by those with weak interest in the field - say a person who is essentially going for FM but taking a long-shot on a Derm program on the off-chance it works out - but considering that obtaining a Derm interview in the first place isn't a guarantee, I think there's something to be taken away by those specific numbers. 3) Likewise, two specialties this year had a combined match rate better than FM, generally considered the safe specialty to apply to - namely, IM and Peds. Here I do think individual circumstances play a role that prevents a simple interpretation of these numbers, as those who pick FM first tend to apply less broadly than those going for specialties, and most of those backing up from IM and Peds will end up in FM. Still, there was a growing inclination that Peds and increasingly IM were competitive enough that you had to gun for them like you would a surgical specialty, ignoring a back-up entirely, and I don't think that's true at all. Back-ups remain viable, especially in these specialties, if approached correctly. 4) Rads continues on the pathway towards non-competitiveness, a journey it's been on in fits and spurts for half a decade now. As someone who gave Rads a good hard look in pre-clerkship without ever really coming around to the field, I'd be very interested in exploring what's driving this trend. My guess is a combination of increasing work requirements, slowly declining incomes (though still exceptionally high, even by doctor standards), and a growing medical student preference for patient contact are the main drivers, but even that seems like it's missing something. 5) As was already apparent, this was a rough match overall. Too many left without a residency position after the first round and as is now being exposed, medical schools and provincial governments had no real plan to address this. Now that the dust has settled, the last-minute efforts to provide emergency residency spots in Ontario, plus the military opening up additional spots after the match, have helped improve the immediate crisis. Yet, the underlying math of the situation has yet to really change. As we approach the time when the final residency numbers get set, here's hoping some more wiggle room enters the system. While the vast majority of graduating CMGs will have a good outcome, even if nothing changes, that bad outcomes for a small subset are now virtually assured is very concerning. For all those reading, please remember that unmatched CMGs are more than ever victims of circumstance and should not automatically be considered weaker or flawed candidates. One mildly frustrating change with the reported stats this year is that CaRMS has not provided the numbers for people who match to a given specialty when it is not their first choice. That makes it harder to identify specialties that are good options to back-up into, though I strongly suspect this continues to be FM and IM. Lastly, a few caveats on the data above. First, this works off of first choice rankings, which are not always straight-forward. Some individuals will put a single program in one specialty followed by a ton in a second. Some will want a particular specialty but get no interviews and be left with only their back-up options to rank first. Many will apply in a limited geographic area, or generally utilize a bad match strategy which results in them going unmatched for reasons that have little to do with their chosen specialty's competitiveness. Second, while I have listed all specialties in the excel spreadsheet attached, please interpret the smaller ones with caution. Lots of variability in these specialties year-to-year that make definitive conclusions almost impossible. Finally, some specialties have chosen to offer streams with slight differences from the standard program - such as those with an academic or research focus - that appear as a completely separate CaRMS discipline in the stats. This makes interpretation of these specialties much more complex, as these slightly different streams undoubtedly share the main applicant pool as their main streams. This means if someone wants, say, a Clinician Investigator Program as their first choice but would be perfectly happy with just the normal stream, if they end up matching to that normal stream, they're automatically shown as falling into a "second choice" program, even when they really didn't. This is particularly bothersome for the Public Health programs, which are split between "Public Health and Preventive Medicine" and "Public Health and Preventive Medicine including Family Medicine", but are essentially the same specialty. Same could be said of the lab-based programs, which are shades of the same thing under different names. There's not nearly enough transparency in residency matching and these shenanigans make what little data we have even worse. If I've gotten anything wrong with the numbers, please let me know and I'll correct it ASAP. I try to double-check things but something can always slip through and sometimes the source material gets things wrong too. CaRMS stats 2018 First Round.xlsx
  17. 12 points
    yake

    Interview Invites date?

    Last year the rejections went around around 5. I remember being in your shoes during finals last December trying to keep my heart from exploding, now I'm sullenly studying away for UBC med finals. My heart is with y'all, whatever news you may or may not hear today doesn't define you and shouldn't negatively impact your dream of becoming a physician
  18. 12 points
    Just wanted to point out that in order to "choose money over medicine", one would have to be accepted into medical school first. You can't truly choose between two options if you are only offered one option.
  19. 12 points
    Thank you for sharing your story. It must have taken a lot of courage to post it and I am listening. You’ve been through so much and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for you right now, but I truly commend your resilience. The fact that you are here today and able to post your story, shows what a strong and amazing person you are. In undergrad, we meet many intelligent, seemingly perfect people; however, in reality, no one is truly perfect. Everyone has their own anxieties and flaws that they deal with. We think others are perfect because we can’t read what they’re really thinking in their minds. My best advice for you is to stop worrying about what others are doing. I know it’s hard, but please try. Statistically, medical schools do tend to favor applicants with higher GPAs; however, that’s only one aspect of the application. I know many students who were able to gain entrance with low GPAs by excelling in other parts of their application. Things like the MCAT, extracurriculars, jobs, Casper, volunteer activities, sports , letters of recommendation, and etc., can all make an impact on your application. Medical schools are looking for people who can become good doctors and not people who can just score well on exams. I am a medical student and I didn’t have a 90% average in undergrad. I am definitely not perfect and I have made many mistakes throughout my life. I have anxieties about school and I worry a lot. However, after talking with many of my classmates, most medical students (and students in general) in fact feel the same way. And that’s okay. I also got into medical school quite late —at the age of 28. So don’t worry about having to get to medical school within a certain standardized time frame or age. I understand being delayed one year in grade 10 may seem like a setback, but the path to medicine is different for everyone. Do what is best for you. If medicine is truly your dream, definitely do not give up. Focus on your strengths and improve your weaknesses. Do things that have meaning for you and things that make you happy. Spend time with the ones you love and take care of your health. Lastly, please remember to Give yourself more love. Give yourself more kindess. Give yourself more forgiveness. I wish you all the best and please take care. Feel free to pm if you need to talk.
  20. 12 points
    Thanks for you input. I'm going to be quite honest with you. I would suggest in your future career as a doctor not to ever mention to someone, that has gone through a traumatic event, that they are "milking" the situation. It shows a severe lack of empathy, understanding and maturity and minimizes their experience.
  21. 12 points
    Guest0

    Med 2018

    -
  22. 12 points
    SpeedyPotato

    2018 Waitlist Discussions

    Today was my lucky day, I wish you all the best of luck, you guys are wonderful people well deserving of having the career you want. It took me 6 years to get it, never give up guys!!!
  23. 12 points
    Egg_McMuffin

    Queens Waitlist 2018

    I got in!!!!
  24. 12 points
    Jfourn

    Waitlist Support Thread - 2018

    I got in. I was expecting a call and checked my email after seeing someone on here post that they had an email and no call. I'm still in shock. 3.955 GPA. For those looking at the timestamp stuff, go back last year, we did the same thing and it doesn't mean anything. Edited: My timestamp was 7:45am. I know it looks like this is the case this year, but go back to our discussion last year and you can see that the pattern eventually breaks.
  25. 11 points
    Hi briannaxox, as you mentioned we are all allowed our opinions. However, attacking other people (even indirectly) who are clearly struggling, suffering, and asking for help by calling them "weak-minded" is, in my opinion, unhelpful. It also reinforces this individual's belief that other undergrads chasing entry to medicine are mean. Again, if I could add my opinion, there is no place for mean and unempathetic people in medicine, either. I will remind everyone that this forum is not as anonymous as you think. Regarding the original poster, Recusitatorwannabe, I will echo others' suggestions to not lose hope and to please take care of yourself. When you are struggling as much as you sound like you currently are, it will be harder to focus, study, retain things you learn and hence be unable to demonstrate your abilities on assignments and exams. Maybe you need a tutor, maybe you need psychological or medical supports, maybe you need to change programs/schools if you don't like what you're studying, or maybe you need to take a break from school to get things under control and to build your confidence and self-efficacy. Should you eventually end up in medicine, times like this will come again and it will be important to know how to navigate hard times. You have already demonstrated significant tenacity several times in your life--you can navigate and survive this too.
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