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affyuser

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  1. Hi there, Hope it's going well. I saw your post with questions on premed 101. I had a broadly similar path: undergrad in bioengineering from India, Ph.D. in Biosciences from Canada, med school in Canada and now in residency. Will try to help with your questions; main caveat being it's been a few years since I applied so some of the specifics might have changed. So you would need to look at each school's admission site carefully. 1. Do I stand a chance to get admission in a medical school in Canada? The PhD will help but the first step is to get a certified equivalent Canadian GPA for your degrees, especially for the Undergraduate degree, the GPA from which is the most important part of your med school application in Canada. When I was applying, the med schools in Ontario needed this company called WES to certify your transcript and produce a converted GPA on a Canadian scale which you would then use to apply. Some of the med schools elsewhere in Canada did the conversion themselves so it varies on a case by case basis which you need to look into on each medical school's admissions website. The other thing to do would be to look at each med school's site about how they factor in PhD applicants in the application process. For some it's a significant bonus (e.g. UofT, UBC) while at others it might not make much difference at least in the formal application scoring but likely still helps a bit in terms of application strength, but only if the Undergraduate GPA is competitive. 2. Which province I should choose strategically which will help me with admission? If you are truly flexible about location, then the Prairie provinces (AB, SK, MB) likely have the best odds in terms of in province odds, especially relative to ON and BC. This also takes into account the fact that 2 of the ON schools: UofT and Queen's don't have built in preferences for in-province applicants so your chances at those are just as good if you are applying from anywhere outside Ontario vs being in-province. The challenge will be to move somewhere new and then find a job related to your science/research background while simultaneously working on getting a strong med school app together i.e. MCAT and reference letters and some extra curricular (especially clinically related ones) 3. Can I get a scholarship in Canada? Med school entry scholarships are rare and aren't something that's easy to predict beforehand given how competitive the admissions process is. On the plus side the tuition costs here are significantly cheaper than the US and most people rely on special (low interest) lines of credit available only to med students, which are often relatively quickly repaid in a few years once working as staff physicians. So financially speaking, the whole process is very feasible. 4. What should be my target MCAT score? This will vary from school to school, check each school site for their targets. In general exceeding a school specific cutoff score is all you need for most Canadian med schools as opposed to the US where the higher the score, the better the chances. There are exceptions in Canada (e.g. SK and MB) but in general Canadian med schools prioritize undergrad GPA over the MCAT, which is more of an extra admissions hurdle to clear. 5. What's your opinion of med school after PhD? It's a very long road and has it's ups and downs like any career path but in the end it comes down to personal priorities as to whether it's worth doing. It's been an incredible journey in so many ways and I would do this again 10/10. Trying to help people with real problems while also being able to do clinical research on the side is amazing. Hope this helped, let me know if you have any other questions
  2. As someone who did a basic science PhD before med school, it definitely has advantages when it comes to increasing competitiveness for both the med school and Carms apps. Plus being of value in any kind of research scholarship app during med school and residency. On the flip side though, the PhD tends to be significantly longer than the typical length during MD/PhD or clinician investigator programs in residency or fellowship. It can also be a challenge trying to fit your PhD research topic and skillset into future career goals especially when there is often a decade separating PhD completion and entering the academic medicine job market after med school, residency and fellowship. Also having a PhD supervisor supportive of your application to med school is key, there are PhD supervisors who frown on their trainees going down the med path after and have heard of some even refusing to write ref letters, which can sink your app to places like UofT med where a grad supervisor letter is mandatory.
  3. Doesn't always work of course but has been known to happen in some instances after emails appealing the decision. It also sometimes depends on how many invites the program has already sent out and if some people have declined interviews opening up new spots.
  4. Getting an interview at a program after appealing an initial rejection. Has been known to happen at times
  5. For what it's worth in terms of anecdotal evidence, I got rejected pre-interview by Ottawa, Calgary and Western without having done any IM electives there. On the flipside, did get IM interviews at Mac, Queens, UBC, Dal and Saskatchewan without electives there. Ended up matching to UofT IM. From what I heard from my med class (UofT) some programs like Calgary and Ottawa were tough to get without electives there whereas some of the larger programs like UBC had better interview yields even without an elective. Also know of people who got interviews after appealing an initial rejection at some programs (and in some cases ended up matching there!) so if you are really interested in certain programs and didn't initially get an interview, don't have much to lose by sending a statement of interest and asking to be reconsidered for an interview. Also wanted to add that while it would help to have a good local letter for programs you've done electives at. If your instinct tells you that your 3 strongest letters are from your homeschool then it's ok to use those across the board too. That's what I ended up doing and it turned out ok in terms of interview yield.
  6. Anatomical Pathology: ALL RELEASEDAnesthesiology: NOSM, Ottawa, USask, Calgary, Western, Queen's, UBC McMaster Dalhousie MUN ManitobaCardiac Surgery: McGillDermatology: Alberta, Calgary, Toronto, McMaster, OttawaDiagnostic Radiology: McGill, Queen's, Calgary, MUN, Dalhousie, UBC, Manitoba, Western, Alberta, Toronto, McMasterEmergency Medicine: Queen's, Sask, Laval, Manitoba, TorontoFamily Medicine: Laval, Sherbrooke, Montreal, Toronto, McGill (Montreal urban, Gatineau), Western, Queen's, Alberta (Urban and Rural), NOSM, MUN, UBC, McMaster, Saskatchewan (Moose Jaw, North Battleford), Calgary (rural), DalhousieGeneral Surgery: Manitoba, McGill, McMaster (Niagara), Dalhousie, Sherbrooke, Ottawa, UBC, TorontoInternal Medicine:Laboratory Medicine:Medical Biochemistry:Medical Genetics: Montreal, McGill, Toronto, Ottawa, UBC, CalgaryNeurology: Manitoba, UBC, Calgary, Memorial, Alberta, Dalhousie, McGill, Western, McMaster, Ottawa, Toronto, SaskatchewanNeurology-Pediatric: Calgary, UBC, Alberta, McMaster, McGill, Ottawa, TorontoNeuropathology:Neurosurgery: UBC, Manitoba, Ottawa, Western, Alberta, Calgary, DalhousieNuclear Medicine: Sherbrooke, Dalhousie, Montreal, McGillObstetrics and Gynecology: Memorial, Manitoba, Calgary, Ottawa, McMaster, UBC, Dalhousie, Toronto, Saskatchewan (Regina and Saskatoon), Queens, MontrealOphthalmology: McGill, Manitoba, Dalhousie, UdeLaval, Western, Alberta, SaskatchewanOrthopedic Surgery: Alberta, Dalhousie, Calgary, UBC, Memorial, McGill, SaskatchewanOtolaryngology: Calgary, McMaster, Alberta, ManitobaPediatrics: UBC, Alberta, Dalhousie, McMaster, Western, Ottawa, Manitoba, Memorial, TorontoPHPM: UBC, AlbertaPlastic Surgery: McMaster, Manitoba, McGill, Laval, AlbertaPM&R: Western, USask, Alberta, UBC, Manitoba, Dal, Toronto, McMaster, Calgary, Queen's, OttawaPsychiatry: McMaster, McMaster (Waterloo), Memorial, Sherbrooke, Western, McGill, Calgary, Manitoba, UBC, Dalhousie, Ottawa, Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Regina), Queens, MontrealRadiation Oncology: Calgary, McMaster, UBCUrology: Ottawa, McMasterVascular Surgery: Western, McMaster, Calgary
  7. Anatomical Pathology: ALL RELEASEDAnesthesiology: NOSM, Ottawa, USask, Calgary, Western, Queen's, UBC McMaster Dalhousie MUNCardiac Surgery: McGillDermatology: Alberta, Calgary, Toronto, McMasterDiagnostic Radiology: McGill, Queen's, Calgary, MUN, Dalhousie, UBC, Manitoba, Western, Alberta, TorontoEmergency Medicine: Queen's, Sask, Laval, ManitobaFamily Medicine: Laval, Sherbrooke, Montreal, Toronto, McGill (Montreal urban, Gatineau), Western, Queen's, Alberta (Urban and Rural), NOSM, MUN, UBC, McMaster, Saskatchewan (Moose Jaw, North Battleford), Calgary (rural), DalhousieGeneral Surgery: Manitoba, McGill, McMaster (Niagara), Dalhousie, Sherbrooke, Ottawa, UBC, TorontoInternal Medicine:Laboratory Medicine:Medical Biochemistry:Medical Genetics: Montreal, McGill, Toronto, Ottawa, UBC, CalgaryNeurology: Manitoba, UBC, Calgary, Memorial, Alberta, Dalhousie, McGill, Western, McMaster, Ottawa, Toronto, SaskatchewanNeurology-Pediatric: Calgary, UBC, Alberta, McMaster, McGill, Ottawa, TorontoNeuropathology:Neurosurgery: UBC, Manitoba, Ottawa, Western, Alberta, Calgary, DalhousieNuclear Medicine: Sherbrooke, Dalhousie, Montreal, McGillObstetrics and Gynecology: Memorial, Manitoba, Calgary, Ottawa, McMaster, UBC, Dalhousie, Toronto, Saskatchewan (Regina and Saskatoon), QueensOphthalmology: McGill, Manitoba, Dalhousie, UdeLaval, WesternOrthopedic Surgery: Alberta, Dalhousie, Calgary, UBC, Memorial, McGill, SaskatchewanOtolaryngology: Calgary, McMaster, Alberta, ManitobaPediatrics:PHPM: UBC, AlbertaPlastic Surgery: McMaster, Manitoba, McGill, Laval, AlbertaPM&R: Western, USask, Alberta, UBC, Manitoba, Dal, Toronto, McMaster, Calgary, Queen'sPsychiatry: McMaster, McMaster (Waterloo), Memorial, Sherbrooke, Western, McGill, Calgary, Manitoba, UBC, Dalhousie, Ottawa, Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Regina), Queens, MontrealRadiation Oncology: Calgary, McMaster, UBCUrology: Ottawa, McMasterVascular Surgery: Western, McMaster, Calgary
  8. If I remember correctly from last year, the single online course shouldn't affect the eligibility of your previous completed degree for the weighting, It might be helpful to send an email to admissions asking about this though.
  9. I don't think Ryerson posts the course times and available spots online for public viewing before the semester actually starts. So you will probably have to contact the First year and Common Science office in the link above about the course times and whether enrolling as a special student is still possible. Dr. Andrew Laursen is a good person to contact, he is pretty helpful. I did meet some applicants last year who had been accepted to US med schools and were missing 1 or 2 prerequisite courses which they completed the summer before starting. They said all prerequisites had to be completed by the time of starting med school (not at the tme of application) but you should probably confirm that with the specific med schools you are thinking of applying to
  10. If the Chang school night courses don't work, Another option would be take the courses during the day in the regular school year at Ryerson as a special student (This is what I did last year for Physics 1 and 2) http://www.ryerson.ca/science/students/special/ Ryerson typically accept applications for this much later than the UofT non-degree student application but am not sure if September entry is still possible right now. I applied in July last year.. The classes would be twice a week though (2 hour + 1 hour blocks) and the lab would occupy another 3 hour block
  11. If you are able to attend evenings, I would definitely recommend Ryerson's Chang school. I took many prereqs there last year. The registration process is pretty straightforward. Looks like Physics 1 with lab (CPCS 120) is offered in the winter semester (6 to 9 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays) http://ce-online.ryerson.ca/ce/calendar/default.aspx?id=5&section=course&mode=course&ccode=CPCS%20120 Physics 2 with lab (CPCS 130) is offered next spring/summer http://ce-online.ryerson.ca/ce/calendar/default.aspx?id=5&section=course&mode=course&ccode=CPCS%20130
  12. Definitely apply for a range of US medical schools. Although you will be limited to those that consider Canadian applicants, that's still quite a few ( 30-40) and there are some other schools which only consider foreign applicants if they have an American undergraduate degree so you can add those as well. The list on the American medical school subforum at this site and the MSAR would help in picking schools. The premed committee letter you get from your US undergrad would also help in applying to American schools as the average applicant from a Canadian undergrad school won't have this. If you get your GPA up to 3.5 as you plan to and also do well on the MCAT, you should be a competitive applicant in the US, especially with your extracurricular, employment and research experiences. The Ivy league undergrad should also help to some degree for US med schools whereas in Canada, specific school reputation doesn't really affect the way your undergrad GPA is assessed. For Canadian med schools you can try the ones which take only the GPA from your best (or last) 2 or 3 years (like Queen's, Western and Dalhousie) if you meet their MCAT cutoffs as well as your in province school. If you do decide to do a grad degree, UofT is also an option as they have lower GPA cutoffs for grad students.
  13. Well, verbal is challenging but it's definitely possible to improve with practice. The key is to find an approach that you are comfortable with and that lets you get to all 7 passages in the given time. I got 11 and I found the Examkrackers verbal strategy (mentally paraphrasing each paragraph and really focusing on the main idea of the passage) helpful and less time-consuming than some of the other approaches (like Princeton Review's plan of categorizing passages by difficulty and previewing questions). Princeton's Verbal Workbook is a pretty good practice resource though and when combined with the AAMC resources (the 8 full length tests and diagnostic self assessments) as well as the EK101 Passage Book, that's lots of quality VR practice material that you can use to perfect the approach that works best for you and also get your sense of timing right. Analyzing your answers after every full-length test also helps in finding the specific question types that you find particularly challenging and that you need more practice with.
  14. 11 in VR should let you meet the cutoff for all schools including those which use the highest verbal score cutoffs (Western, Calgary). From the scales for the AAMC practice tests, that corresponds to around 33-35 correct out of 40 but this can vary based on the specific version of the test that you write.
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