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About BenMeister

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  1. Hey there. I'm Electrical Engineering 2013 from Waterloo. After I've graduated I worked 2 years in the software industry. I've just been accepted to McMaster MD class of 2018. Timeline wise, med is a commitment of 3-4 years of undergrad MD (depends on where you go), and about 2-7 years of residency after that (I believe). In total, that's about 8-10 working years you'll realign to medicine. I decided it was worth it. But just letting you know of the same. GPA is an important factor at any school. Unfortunately, Waterloo's pretty hard. Your marks are pretty good considering Waterloo (I'd know from personal experience of course). Ideally, you'd want to aim for 3.8+ for all 4 or 5 years in the case of Waterloo, but you can offset that with a good MCAT. Which brings me to my next point: MCAT. Don't underestimate it. My cGPA at Waterloo was 3.95, but I've never taken any bio pre-reqs like you, and I did pretty mediocre on the Biological Sciences (BS section, haha) of the MCAT despite doing really well in engineering. In fact, it was the reason I couldn't apply to UWO - because my biology scores were too low. Hence I'd thought to caution you. If you're banking on UWO, you need really good bio scores. WIth regards to ECs, I volunteered at the local hospital on weekends while working. You may think to do the same. Any ECs is good and of course, full-time work counts. I assume you're not applying this year. Which means you'll apply in 2016, and at earliest (assuming you get into Mac/Calgary), get in in 2017 and be the class of 2020. That being the case, I'd put all your energy towards the MCAT right now. It's changed from when I wrote it and it's harder than ever before. Additionally, get some volunteering experiences pronto. Hospitals usually accept volunteers concurrently with the school terms (i.e. Sept-Dec, May-Aug, etc). Finally, figure out who will be your references half a year in advance. The lack of pre-reqs did hinder my application. I couldn't apply to Ottawa/UofT and other Canadian schools. You can take courses online but that costs money. I didn't feel a Masters was worth it for me so I didn't do it. But if you have plans for an MEng you might as well do that and get in some bio courses too. Either way, if I were in your situation, I'd start studying for the MCAT ASAP. That's your top priority. I don't think you can register an MCAT for this year anymore considering it's already July. That means you'll probably write it next year in early 2016. Considering it'll take several weeks to get the results, that means you can write it in Feb/Mar and decide whether or not to apply in Mar-Apr of 2016 when you get your results back. If it's competitive (i.e. >95%tiles), give it a shot. If not, you can try anyway, or re-write the MCAT again. Nothing in life's certain, so best of luck. Just know that it's entirely possible to get in to med from engineering, and there are examples on this very forum.
  2. Accepted off waitlist to Hamilton. 3.95 / 11 / IP Graduated in 2013 (engineering), worked full-time for 2 years. Casper: felt pretty good. I work in software so I guess I typed really fast. Interview: did bad on one, mediocre-ish on one, the rest I felt pretty good about.
  3. Thank you for your comment. I have already mentioned that I will try to obtain the relevant experience before proceeding with any sort of decision.
  4. Thanks for all the comments. I will try to obtain some volunteering experience and then apply this year if I can see myself doing the work. I think osteon had a point when he said that it's more about "finding your niche". While I can't extrapolate this to medicine, I can corroborate that this certainly applies in engineering. Even within the same discipline, be it electrical/computer/whatever, there are tons of career options to match every personality. These options are impossible to know beforehand unless you try it out for yourself. Granted, I probably put too much of an emphasis on respect/security/etc in my first few posts. Please don't take that as the sole reason for me wanting to switch careers. To rephrase those reasons, I guess I just find the work of a doctor more impactful than that of an engineer? That's probably the best way I can put it. In engineering, once the corporate dust settles, it's often hard to tell what specific contribution you made, much less how that contribution bettered society. Medicine's probably like that to some capacity, but I still think that there's a stronger element of being able to see your own work in action. People would never have an acute, personal need for an engineer as they would for a doctor or a lawyer. I'd like to rise to that need. Anyway, I don't consider myself an idealistic person, and I probably will never become one of those applicants that have settled on this goal for years or decades. In the end, if it's just my own personal enjoyment of the field that's the issue, then I think I'm more than capable of finding a niche that weds my technical background with modern medicine. Obviously, the ideal path is to take the time and explore all those avenues. But, given my choices/circumstances, that's probably not to be. Nevertheless, I'll still explore it the best I can. One thing's for sure, I'm not going to make up my mind before I've had some proper experience and feedback. Thanks again for everyone's comments.
  5. Hi lovestruck, Thank you for your response. Obviously, I can't argue with your specific points about medicine, as you are far more knowledgeable in that area. Realistically though, I know I can handle the work. After all, I didn't get straight-A's in engineering by dreaming about "prestige" all day. I had to do the work. While your post was informative and put several things in context, I thought it focused too much on the negatives/drawbacks of medicine to give a proper response as to why people, specifically, would choose this career. If I were to take your post literally, pre-meds are all saints who would go through all this debt and discomfort just to serve the higher ideal of helping their fellow man. That is probably not the case. Everyone's situation is different. Additionally, I understand your points well enough (specifically with regards to making sure this is the right career path) that you definitely didn't need to make it the sole focus of your rebuttal. Nevertheless, thank you for the concern. I can tell you really want people to go into this for the right reasons, if you don't mind me asking, what was it that first drew you to medicine?
  6. Hi all, Thank you all for your responses. I understand that "not knowing the profession" is an undeniable hurdle for applicants from an engineering background. Realistically, the only viable option for me now may be to do some part-time hospital volunteering after work. I'm not really sure. Perceptions aside, it's also the lack of autonomy in engineering that I find to be potentially problematic. There are real risks with being pigeon-holed, phased out due to technological changes, relocation, company restructuring, etc.. Additionally, advancement typically amounts to a more management role, which diminishes the amount of technical work that most engineers would otherwise enjoy.
  7. Hi all, I'm a recently graduated engineer (April 2013). I'm having second thoughts about continuing to work in the field. I've done fairly well in undergrad (cGPA 3.96), lots of internship experience including a placement in Silicon Valley. Currently, I'm starting full-time work in Canada with a very nice salary in a fairly well-known company. Now, it seems like I should be content with engineering. But I'm really not. I've always had a nagging thought that medicine, all things considered, is a much more respectable/secure career. My parents/friends warned me about engineering: that it's a terrible profession, you work the hardest for the least payoff, etc.. I foolishly wrote it off then, but now I realize that everything they said was absolutely correct. Our society values doctors, lawyers, accountants, and businessmen. Engineers are a dime a dozen. I could apply for med, but my only concern is that none of the schools will even take my application seriously. I don't think I'm less intelligent or hard-working that the admitted students. But the elephant-in-the-room is that they planned ahead and have medicine-related ECs, and I don't, regardless of whether I COULD HAVE done the same things. So, that's basically my story. I'm mostly just looking for people to talk, as I'm not really sure how any advice at this point could really help. Thanks, all.
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