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  1. I don't think that not actually having the degree conferred should be a big problem... however, they may require some kind of documentation from your school stating that you are eligible to have the degree conferred and that it will be conferred at a later time (like fall convocation). You usually have until the end of Aug to complete the conditions of a conditional acceptance.
  2. I too do not think that your friend would be rejected because they 'had a focus in chemistry research'. There were plenty of people that got into my class that had focuses that were clearly 'non-medicine' in undergrad. For example: we had someone with a masters in comparative religion. We had more than one person with degrees in chemical engineering, we had people with psychology masters degrees... etc, etc Also strange is the fact that they claim to have received a 'personalized' rejection letter. UWO sends out standard rejection letters. Applicants are invited to call the office to discuss the rejection if they want further info... but i have never heard of UWO ever getting that specific with why they rejected someone. The who story seems kind of strange to me.
  3. UWO calculates your GPA using 5 full or equivalent courses (10 half credits, 30 credit hours) taken between Sept-Apr of a single academic year. If you took >full course load, they drop your lowest course. If you have a P/F course, they calculate using your other courses that had marks. They do this separately for your two best years. You cannot use any part-time years, summer courses, or years in which you repeated a course you had already taken. At least one of your two best years must include courses that are >1st year level. Each of your two years must independently be greater than the cut off. (ie you cannot average your two best years to meet the cut) The cut this year was a 3.70
  4. I don't have a definite answer for you... but I know that the manager of the admissions office was off on *gasp* vacation last week... so I doubt that they hired somebody else to do her job for the week... and THAT is probably why they aren't out yet. Relax... they are coming I am sure. In other news: 1. The official party line from UWO has ALWAYS been that "meeting the cutoffs alone is not sufficient to guarantee an interview". In practice, if you met the cut offs, and don't have anything hugely wrong with your application (ie were a resident and citizen of Bangladesh with no legal standing in Canada, were not attending an accredited university for undergrad, were currently incarcerated serving a life sentence for murder, etc) then the assumption meet the cuts = interview is pretty solid. 2. There are no pre-reqs for THIS application cycle (ie applying in fall 2006 for entry fall 2007)
  5. Yes... in order to apply for any residency spot in Canada (regular CaRMS or IMG) you need to be a permanent resident of Canada and have been in the country for 12 months minimum before applying if you are IMG.
  6. Until this year, UWO has never had an 'essay' component to their application... so, how they are planning to use it is anyones' guess. However, in past years, meeting BOTH the MCAT and GPA cut offs got you an interview... period. Because there was nothing else to look at. UWO does not look at your autobio sketches or your references in determining who will be interviewed.... nor do they look at them before/at/after the interview. Once you get an interview, the interview itself is worth 50% of the score with your MCAT and GPA making up the rest. And yes, only ~400 people meet the cuts each year. This is intentional and is exactly how the cuts are set... The computer plays with applicant pool's GPA and MCAT stats and creates various different scenarios in which ~400-430 people exceed the cuts. Then the humans decide which scenario is the 'best' (ie higher GPA cut vs tweaking MCAT cuts...) It is amazing to see how many applicants you can lose if you up the MCAT cut in a single category.... ie as an example: if the cuts are 3.7 with 9 9 9 P, you might have 700-800 people meeting those cuts... but if you up it to 9, 9, 9 10 P, you lose about 100-200 people and if you up it to 10's and a Q you lose about half of them... getting close to the magic 400 number. This is done not because UWO feels that having a 10 vs a 9 necessarily makes you a better potential physician... but because they do not have the physical space or faculty members to interview >400 people... and realistically, 400 interviewees gives them more than enough people to fill the class. Many people think it is arbitrary... and it is, but at least it is clearly apparent how you did/didn't get an interview and you can't argue that it was subjective.
  7. Odds of getting a family medicine residency spot = best odds of any specialty Odds if you are willing to go anywere = even better Odds of getting any residency spot as an IMG = not great Odds as a Canadian citizen fluent in English = better Hard to give you exact stats... maybe the school in question has match stats for its grads Short answer - by considering family anywhere in Canada, you have the absolute best odds of matching as an IMG... but the match rate for IMG's is still miserable.
  8. Tuition at UWO was ~$16 000 PER YEAR for medical school. This means that you will pay ~$64 000 in tuition alone over the course of your MD. The tuition is similar at the other Ontario schools... and no, it is not frozen, so it is subject to change (ie go up) each year.
  9. The different cut offs for different groups of people are not designed to give anybody a 'free ride' or an unfair chance. They are not designed to punish those in the higher cut off categories. Nor are cut offs the mark of a good or potentially good physician. If you think that somebody with a 3.3 GPA is 'stupider' than somebody with a 3.6 or a 3.9, I guess that is your opinion. However, getting a 3.0 is still an achievement. We are not talking about letting in failing students here... or recruiting out of grade 9 with no pre-reqs. The reason that universities set different cut offs is to attract and accept students from a variety of backgrounds. Having diversity in your medical school class is important... but not to make the social scene more exciting or make people 'wordly'... it is about where these people are eventually going to practice. (Which would be the point of educating them to be physicians in the first place). Research has shown that people are most likely to practice in the area a) in which they grew up or in which they trained. Seeing as many of you would not be first in line to go practice on a remote native reserve filled with quote 'lazy' people.... these reserves need to get doctors from somewhere.... and the best place to get them from is by educating their own people to be doctors rather than importing a white or other race person that doesn't understand the culture, is biased against them and doesn't want to be there. So that is why there is a different cut off... not to make the university 'feel' good that they have x number of native students...
  10. The usual tradition is after 1 PM on the last friday of January. The admissions committee meets over the lunch hour on the last friday of the month. The January meeting usually is a discussion about cut-offs. I can't confirm that this is what is going to happen this year, but that is how things have rolled out for the last 5-6 years at least.
  11. Ottawa was late sending out invites last year when I applied. I think that they actually came out AFTER the supposed deadline to issue interview invitations.
  12. Possible but tight. Some schools recommend that you take the MCAT no later than April in the year that you plan to apply. You can do it - at least you could do it when I applied. But, you won't have your scores back prior to having to submit your application to OMSAS. So, potentially, you will be applying to schools and paying them $$ and you won't make their cut offs...
  13. Reference letters from family members are not usually a benefit to any application. The person is obviously biased given that they are related to you. If you had done a significant amount of work for said person (ie worked in their office part-time, etc) then maybe... but just because they know you as a family member - not a good reference choice. Your references should be people like supervisors, employers, coaches, volunteer supervisors, profs, teachers, etc. People that have had some relationship with you in which they can objectively evaluate your strenghts and weaknesses. Choosing friends and relatives is not wise. Also, most schools will not even read 'extra' letters beyond what they ask for... so don't send them extras.
  14. I think you guys are somewhat missing the point... there are plenty of things that are very, very applicable to medicine that can be learned by working in retail/service jobs. If you manage to present these things - hard work, team work, dealing with difficult members of the public, dealing with difficult supervisors, having to do things you dislike because it is expected of you, taking responsibility for your own goals (ie I want to go to university, therefore I need to pay tuition, therefore I need to work at walmart), working towards a goal even when the journey is unpleasant.. etc, etc, etc. This will be viewed VERY well in both essays and in interviews. At least as well, if not better than "I went to Africa and was touched by all the starving children that live in such poverty. It has made me a better person because now I have an appreciation of the privilege in canada and I want to continue to contribute to helping the disadvantaged through studying medicine and returning to village X in africa to help the children I met last summer... blah, blah, blah.... Having sat and listened to both stories in many interviews, I know that the hardworking, goal oriented person that can present that they worked hard and learned to get along with people in difficult situations in a retail job fare just as well, if not better in the scoring as those that have the really exotic volunteer stories. The issue is not so much that the walmart cashiers are penalized for their lack of exciting travel in the interview/essay process... it is that they don't apply in the first place.
  15. At UofT we are payed bimonthly (15th and 30th of each month). Your net take home pay is ~$1300 each pay cheque. So, you will have $2600 in the bank account monthly on which to live/pay debts with. Right now, I pay the following each month in 'debts' $220 - CMPA malpractice insurance (can't work without it) ~$400 - interest only on line of credit with bank $300 - OSAP payment So, ~$900 of your earnings each month will go straight out the door to debt/insurance fees. This leaves you with ~$1700 to pay rent, buy food, pay for transportation, personal expences, clothes, etc, etc. Even though the $46000 gross salary sounds pretty good, it doesn't leave you with a lot of spare cash when you factor in the debt management.
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