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Everything posted by aneliz

  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. aneliz

    Girlfriend Matching in CarMS

    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. aneliz


    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. aneliz

    Getting Residency in Family Medicine

    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. aneliz


    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. aneliz


    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.
  16. Used to be four when I was in 1st and 2nd year... don't know if anything has changed.
  17. Ever thought that someone that has faced significant family challenges (ie like a dad that had a stroke) and has therefore had to work every summer to support themselves/their family might have some significant life experiences that might apply to medicine??? (vs someone that had parents to pay for every life experience/trip/volunteering activity/ec they ever chose?) I would bet that lots of admissions committees/interview panels would see working to support yourself rather than volunteering to move sea turtle eggs as a positive provided you can present it in the light of overcoming a challenge, dedication, responsibility, etc, etc and not as whining that your life sucks. Every applicant is different... it is the personal qualities that are reflected by the trips/activities/jobs and what you LEARNED from the experience that are important... not the number of 'cool' things that you have done. Someone that has worked at walmart for four summers may do better than someone that volunteered with save the children in africa.... it is all about how it is presented.
  18. aneliz

    U. of Windsor Medical School

    I think from what I remember, there will by 25 spots in Windsor (run by UWO but physically located at UofWindsor). Fifteen of these spots will be 'new' (although some of them already were added to London this year) and 10 spots will be 'taken away from' London. So, when the WIndsor campus is fully operational, the class size in London will be somewhat smaller than it is now (10 seats are leaving, and London is currently holding onto some of the new seats as well) Admission to these spots will be run through UWO - same as for the London spots. Requirements will be the same and there will be no preference for 'uofwindsor' students... however, there will be a preference for south western ontario students as there is now for UWO.
  19. aneliz

    Couple Questions

    UWO only cares about your two best years only. They don't even look at your other two (ten?!) years/other degrees/past lives etc. Only the two best years count. As for redoing orgo - generally, as long as you passed the course, that is good enough. Most schools do not look favourably on 'redoing' courses that you have already passed so that you can improve the grade. Some (such as UWO) will not count a year in which you repeat a course that you previously passed (even if you got a 51) as a full time year. So, be careful.
  20. aneliz

    Bad Final Year

    UWO makes no distinction between in and out of province applicants. The only distinction is between "SWOMEN" and "non-SWOMEN" applicants. A SWOMEN applicant is from UWO's 'catchment area' (ie: London-Middlesex, Windsor, Essex, Chatham-Kent, Huron, Perth, Grey, Bruce counties). Other than those applicants, everyone is treated equally - so a Toronto student is the same as a Vancouver student at UWO.
  21. aneliz


    I agree... the wait for the interview emails can be a little stressful. Of note, I received two interview invites AFTER the supposed deadline for programs to offer interview invites... so don't stress. I received most of my interview invite emails in the first week of January.
  22. I did a cadaver dissection course in undergrad as well (university of Guelph). This course was not freely available but was restricted to students in the human kinetics and biomedical science programs. Because Guelph doesn't have a med school, we didn't have to share with other students. I did med school at UWO... meds have their own cadaver dissection lab. There is a second lab that is shared by dentistry and PT. There is also an undergrad anatomy course but I don't know how much (if at all) they come into the lab.
  23. aneliz

    CaRMS servers last year?

    I found that the problems always started within about 12 hours of a deadline. In the last four hours... forget it. It would take >20 min to login and usually ~30 min to save anything. And, with multi-layered saves needed to submit something, this was a little panic-inducing. I would suggest that you submit the day before any deadline and then don't touch it again. Resist the urge to 'check' anything on the day of the deadline. Print the screen when you submit... I too had issues with match day. I couldn't log on for >30 minutes and then it took about 10 minutes to load the match screen. You will need some strong diversions to keep yourself calm if that happens again this year.
  24. I wouldn't worry about sending them a letter about your new job. Most schools probably wouldn't get around to reading it anyway (knowing the volume of stuff they have to get through). They will make their interview invite decision based on what you have already submitted. And, to be honest, getting a new job really won't impact that much the content of the application that you have already submitted. However, if you get an interview, be sure to emphasize what you have been up to this year and be sure to have some interesting stories about your interesting job to tell. The interview is the place to highlight things that have happened in your life since the OMSAS application was submitted.
  25. It is *sometimes* possible to switch, however, there are never any guarantees. If you are really, really struggling in the discipline that you matched to, then you will not usually be 'held' there and forced to continue. However, what is available for you to switch to may not exactly be your first choice either. When you apply for residency, you have complete freedom as to how many programs you apply to and in what order you rank them. You could apply to one program only (ie Paediatrics in Toronto), one discipline only (Internal Medicine at many different schools) or a combination of different variables (ie apply to 5 Internal medicine programs in Ontario + family medicine at two schools). There is no limit on how many programs/disciplines you apply to (except the application fee and the cost of attending interviews). However, most people find it rather hard to justify that they are truly committed enough to >2 disciplines to warrant an interview. (Most programs look at the number of electives you have done in that area to see if you are 'committed' to their area of medicine. With only 12-16 weeks of elective time during med school, it is hard to cover more than 2 disciplines so that you look convincing). Once you have applied, the programs will decide who they want to interview. After the interviews, you rank the programs that have interviewed you in the order in which you would like to match to them. (ie most desirable program #1, then next most desirable, etc, etc). You are not required to rank all of the programs that you applied to. So, you could interview at several programs and then decide that one or more of them are not for you. (ie you would be miserable if you matched there). If that is the case, you should NOT rank that program. By ranking a program, you are committing to going there if you should match there - and while uncommon, it IS possible to match to your 6th, 7th, 12th choice program. Switching is meant to accomodate people whose circumstances change AFTER the match is over. (ie partner/spouse moves to a different city, parent is dying in a different province, find out they are allergic to latex and are in a surgical field, discover they truly can't stand X specialty that they loved before). While attempts are made to accomodate transfer requests, it is a long process. While your application may be approved in principal (ie we don't have a problem with you switching to x program because of y reason), they often sit waiting for there to be a) space in the receiving program (ie somebody from your year in your desired program needs to leave) or funding (they need money to pay you - and it isn't as simple as taking the funding you already have with you - especially if you are trying to transfer locations) for months if not years. Many residents end up finishing the program before their transfer goes through. That is not to say that transfers don't happen, because they do. But it is difficult to get exactly what you want from a transfer - especially if you are trying to move into a 'desirable' specialty. And, people are always on the lookout for people trying to get around the CaRMS process - ie move into something that they ranked higher in the match and didn't get.