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Everything posted by MathToMed

  1. I've actually declined a med school offer in favour of certainty, in light of a pressing financial need. It may have been the best decision I've ever made (though really, I'll always wonder about what could have been), despite having pursued medicine for a very long time. In essence, what convinced me was, "if you're having these feelings now, imagine how you'll feel when you're in the midst of everything." Feel free to PM me if you'd like to chat privately.
  2. Ask someone unfamiliar withh the activity to read it and see if they can interpret what it means. If abbreviating does not disrupt the readability of the sketch item, then by all means. But if it might, don't take the risk.
  3. You may note that now someone who did interview, but wouldn't normally be accepted, has a chance (even if it's at another school). However, you must realize that applying has a very large opportunity cost (both financially and for its time investment), and so I wouldn't have done it if I was simply thinking of declining my offer. Naturally, things changed in a few short months, and I'm now looking at a really cool job offer that I don't want to pass up. I would quite literally be at the top of my career track roughly when entering residency, and so the opportunity cost is far too great now. I don't want to mislead you either - medicine is still my dream job and I'm thankful that my acceptance stands as a testament to the fact that someone in my life situation could make it big. Unfortunately however, it's a case of "too little too late," and ultimately, medicine's become too much of a high stakes game for me.
  4. I just declined my offer from UofT, so that will hopefully help someone out. Good luck!
  5. Just wanted to share that despite being my only acceptance, I will be declining the offer to work in industry. Good luck everyone!
  6. Accepted (to St George Campus), 3rd time applying Time Stamp: 9:22 AM wGPA: 3.9 (not sure if eligible, otherwise 3.6) MCAT: 33 (12/10/11) ECs/ Essays: Ironically, I spent a lot less time than in previous cycles, but I did feel I struck a good balance this time around. Interview: Seemed to go well, though it was my only one so I'm not sure. Year: Completed 2 bachelors and 2 masters. I likely got in because of productivity/the graduate application, and possibly the essays...my stats are really quite poor otherwise. UofT was my first choice, but I will be declining the offer.
  7. It's because people lack financial literacy. We're up to nearly 2 dollars borrowed for every dollar earned in Canada...and sadly, just because someone gets into a professional school does not make them exempt from the general statistic.
  8. This. Don't consolidate your loans while OSAP is not in its repayment phase yet - I've seen so many people make this mistake, it's not even funny.Three friends of mine have gone to med/dent/law and thrown their OSAP onto their LoC and had to immediately pay interest on it (even if it was prime and better, if you have interest free status, take advantage). Then consolidate your loans to the lowest interest rate, and pay off the highest interest rate loans first (a general rule in life).
  9. Are you eligible to apply to McMaster Health Sciences? (You cannot apply as a mature applicant): http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/bhsc/admissions_level_1.html
  10. As for grammar, the ability to pick up on independent/dependent clauses is quite helpful. Beyond this, it's kind of impractical as you won't be doing any writing - the grammar will already be there, and it's not your responsibility to understand/critique it. Whenever I wanted to highlight something, I found it helpful to highlight the independent clause(s) only. Given I can do this naturally and with almost no thought, it wasn't a big time sink, however it was advantageous as it allowed me to create succinct "bookmarks" for myself, as opposed to massive walls of text.
  11. Yes it does. Well, technically it stands given the assumption that CSAs are statistically more wealthy than CMGs...which I'm not entirely sure I'm willing to contend. But regardless, that was my humble contribution to the discussion. EDIT - changed IMG to CSA as it's more precise.
  12. Hi Med_Sep. You've got a difficult situation for sure, not impossible, but you may have to sacrifice a bit of time. The majority of schools in Canada have a citizenship requirement that would place you last on the hierarchy in one way or another. Getting PR will help, but it depends on your province of residence. Which province are you settling down in, and when do you anticipate getting PR? (Where in your journey will you be when that happens?) Unfortunately with your cGPA and 2yGPA, I don't see any schools taking more than a passing glance at you, even if you got a stellar MCAT score. Western is the closest bet if you scored exceptionally high on the MCAT, they require two years of 3.7+ to pass their cutoff so you'd have to take a minimum of one year of courses, score over 3.7, and even then you have to do extremely well on the MCAT (which is what filters most applicants out of Western). Regarding a masters, even though I agree completely with Ghoststalker154 about learning knowledge and putting it into practice, it doesn't matter how brilliant/experienced/special your experiences are as an applicant if the admissions committees don't look at you because they think your grades are too low. University of Toronto might take extenuating circumstances for your GPA into account if you hold a masters, but I think their minimum for consideration is a 3.0 cGPA for graduate students to put it in perspective. Their average accepted GPA is in the 3.9's. If I were in your situation the choice would be working as an engineer, or going back for that 4 year bachelors in Health Sciences. If you're confident you can get in to Health Sci, in 3 years you can apply without a completed degree to most schools (in fact since you hold degrees already, I believe you can start applying in as little as two years to Queens/Western where you might have a reasonable shot given a good GPA in those two years), and your chances will be astronomically greater than they are right now. Don't be afraid of being 30, or even 40 - you can either dedicate yourself to applying 10 times, or spend 4 years bettering yourself, and spend 6 subsequent years applying. Good luck!
  13. Just noticed this post, pardon the two week late reply. While I appreciate the sentiment (I interpret your response as a ton of moral support), please understand that I harbor no resentment to those who got accepted and in my humble opinion, no one should. If anything I'm frustrated with the system, both for med school applications, and also social supports for basic life needs (ie. disability funding). I have utmost faith in one thing - the system selects amazing people (even if not all of them, sadly). If I had a chance to get to know you (and anyone else really) I'm sure I'd be proud of your accomplishments and efforts to get accepted and in awe of the hard work you put in. So if I have faith in you, you definitely should! There's no reason you should doubt yourself even in the slightest.
  14. Assuming that's true (I personally know of two people studying medicine abroad, one upper middle and one lower middle class), I think this would increase the socioeconomic disparity between the upper and middle class. That's what this is really, the privileged middle feeling underprivileged/disadvantaged for one of the first times in their lives. Meanwhile, when we say socioeconomic disparity we talk about the entire spectrum of incomes. "This is bad because it affects those who can't afford it. Think of the poor!" And yet, those who are actually under-represented in medicine (the ones who truly have zero chance at procuring a $300K loan) aren't really bothered by the particulars of this because they're well aware of said socio-economic divide. Namely, whether a CMG or IMG gets that coveted residency spot/full time job, it's still someone more privileged than the lower class (statistically, and given the above assumption, I know it's not a hard and fast rule in either case).
  15. Statistically speaking, people who get into Canadian Med Schools belong to well off families as well. It's easier to focus on maintaining a stellar GPA and acing your MCAT when you have courses and tutors at your disposal because money is no option. For this reason, many people who get in everywhere are from well off families and even our system can hardly be called fair. Also you speak of foreign educated doctors as some drain on our financial system. In fact, the government pays a lot of money to train Canadians which students who study abroad pay for themselves. The rest, such as a GP's annual income, whether being paid to a foreign GP (who has become accredited, hence displays the appropriate competencies) or a local GP, makes no financial difference.
  16. I've been one of these families... And because I put up the good fight and managed to be the first in my family to attend university against literally all odds, you're labelling/assuming I, or others like me, are "privileged with a low GPA?" Either that or I really don't understand why you'd interpret my post in such a way.
  17. I highly doubt anyone who gets admitted, even with this low SES grace, will lack requisite study skills (after all, this is an applicant score boost - not a complete disregard for someone's statistics). The best of the low SES applicants will still be the ones accepted. Sure, maybe someone like me would get in with a dreaded 3.7 GPA that normally wouldn't stand a chance, but I assure you that these people don't lack study skills...if anyone reading this has been trained to think that a 3.8+ is required for success in med school, they've been duped by the system. The only reason the acceptance average is so high is due to sheer supply and demand...not because of the rigors of medical education. --------------- Definitely a step in the right direction IMHO...even if the questionnaire is hardly exhaustive I can sense a lot of effort went into it. Someone has tried their best to understand the struggle, even if they weren't someone that necessarily went through it themselves. It shows that people are starting to realize this is a problem at the very least, and that's a significant gain. On a more personal note, sucks that I can't benefit from something like that! It sounds as though this low-income stream will be provided to IP applicants (as OOP applicants will be reduced to half the number, and that half will become the low-income stream).
  18. Westdale (which is where McMaster is) is where you want to live, pretty much end of discussion, for the following reasons: - Ancaster is decently far from campus and the busses run infrequently compared with Westdale/Downtown Hamilton. It's also quite expensive, though it is quite lovely. - Downtown Hamilton is quite sketchy and full of people like me... numerous times I've been fearful for my life (quite literally) - The vast majority of Westdale properties are walking/biking distance to McMaster, but even if you were running late/needed to catch a bus, pretty much every single bus in the area goes by campus - Any further away will be a drain on your soul due to long commute times Just try not to live in Westdale student housing unless it contains grad students - as with any university, the entry level students can get quite rambunctious and interfere with your studies/concentration. Congrats on the acceptance!
  19. Just wanted to point out that I was in almost this exact situation last year, but I was rejected in the first batch of rejections this year. Statistically given one case of good news and one of bad news throws a wrench in the gears on this theory! However using common sense, it would seem quite probable that if you've survived this long, they're taking/have taken a good long look at you...hopefully next year is your year everyone!
  20. Unfortunately not, this is something that many teachers (at least at the highschool level) are outraged by. It's frustrating to try and teach a class in grade 9, when the students simply do not have the skills needed and are operating at, frankly, a grade 3-6 level. For the purpose of this post, note that Math/Science are taught and learned similarly... so the ideas I discuss here about math are relevant to our discussion about pre-med education. Ultimately teachers must bow to the curriculum, if something isn't technically in there, I'm free to teach it but not allowed to test it. Unfortunately in practice, you can't learn say, multiplication tables, without drill work and that would be against the rules. Another issue this is touching upon however, is that there are almost no "math teachers" teaching elementary school. Indeed, in my particular schoolboard, there is only one person teaching elementary school who has their Honours/Specialist qualifications and they work as a math coach for other teachers, as opposed to teaching directly. It kind of makes sense, there's very little incentive (besides specifically wanting to work with young kids) for them to, math teachers tend to like their subject and would want to teach higher grades. There's also a large gender gap remaining in mathematics, it's one of the only university programs still dominated by men, and frankly, I wouldn't risk working in an elementary school as a male. Our society's obsession with pedophilia makes it very uncomfortable for legit male role models to work with our young kids...a single accusation, even completely baseless, can ruin your career. That's a whole other discussion, but my point is that all of these factors reduce the number of primary school math teachers. This ultimately results in very poor mathematics education up to grade 8, on average, as the schools are filled with teachers sporting humanities degrees (I do not mean to insult humanities here, simply saying they typically know very little math). So (typically) our most impressionable youth is being taught math by teachers who don't know math, and by the time they hit high school they're way behind where they should be. Multiplication tables are one such sad byproduct of this. --------------- Regarding abandoning skillsets in the search of creativity - I had actually been accepted to do my M. Ed. degree a few years back discussing this very idea as my research thesis (I ultimately declined as I didn't see the value, already having a masters, which didn't help me get a teaching job anyway). I'll give a quick summary of what I would have talked about here, I find it fascinating, though it's kind of off-topic (my apologies). There are two "forms" in which mathematics manifests itself in the classroom: Procedural Fluency - mastery of skills/rote memorization of problems that appear frequently ("Follow-through") Conceptual Mastery - the ability to make inferences/see the big picture based on a thorough understanding of why things occur ("Intuition") To be a math researcher, one must possess both skills...however one always dominated in every person I've met, and so I would conclude it does in at least the vast majority of individuals. Either the creative process, or the rigorous proof aspect. Myself, I generated a lot of ideas but was often unable to prove them true without assistance (even though they frequently wound up being true). I had the intuition but I didn't have as much follow-through. In the 1970s, a brilliant math educator named Skemp wrote an academic paper about this. Unfortunately, his message was misunderstood. He actually wished to comment on the fact that neither was superior (indeed, he referenced data in which students with only procedural fluency outperformed those with higher order thinking skills at mundane calculation speed/accuracy. Grade 10 students had completed grade 10 math problems faster than people possessing PhDs, and this was referenced in the paper. While conceptual mastery is of course needed for things like design or creating something new). Hence we need to create opportunities for both students. Not everyone is going to be a mathematician, some will just need basic, every day mathematics, so the good educator should be mindful of that fact. Moreover, we should be mindful of our own tendencies - I'm typically a very high-brained math person who obsesses over things like proper form, and understanding every little piece of theory. This works well for high achievers, but for the lower-mid tier of math student, it would be largely ineffective. I would hence consciously make an effort to do things a bit more procedurally every now and then, so I can reach everyone in the classroom at least some of the time. This is my personal interpretation of the message in that article. However my theory is that the ministry read this paper and came to the wrong conclusion - Conceptual mastery is better. They began to remove all semblances of rote memorization from the curriculum: no multiplication tables, no drill sheets. Instead they began to put in nothing but conceptual mastery style questions. Instead of asking a student with 8 divided by 4 is, they'll try to rephrase the question so they can somehow come to the conclusion. Unfortunately as I mentioned, in elementary school most people are not math people...hence they are not from the conceptual mastery camp! They're frequently the kind of people who got through math by "plugging and chugging" and just memorizing how to do problems so they can regurgitate it on the test/exam. So our kids are largely procedural fluency type, and they're being taught conceptual mastery by teachers that are in the procedural fluency camp themselves. That is unfortunately, where the confusion / poor math results come from. I'm almost certain. ------------------ That being said, I still feel our teaching quality gets crapped on unfairly (in an ideal sense at least). Many places in the world as I mentioned, only teach procedural fluency, and that's why there's almost no creativity in some other parts of the world (at least in math/sciences). They want quick calculations and accurate problem solving for real world problems. This meets the demand of many jobs extremely well as I mentioned, those that only need those particular skills. Much of the world looks to Canada, especially Ontario, as an education pioneer. The biggest example is our treatment of Special Education (indeed if you're interested, we're pioneering some amazing initiatives here, like "Inclusive Classrooms" in our Catholic school boards are showing promising results... whereas in other parts of the world the standard treatment of special needs is to simply not teach them anything), but in general teachers trained in Canada are loved basically anywhere else in the world (except Finland...man that's one perfect system). It's because we not only teach, but we reflect on our teaching, like I've done in this post. The unfortunate reality though, is that we're often powerless to do anything about it. Should we teach the multiplication tables in school? Absolutely, and I can probably convince just about any teacher of that fact if I tried to. However I still have no power over what kids know when they enter my classroom in grade 9. EDIT - as a note specifically to you older, my better half's last PD Day session was all about consistency in grading and education...so it's something that teachers are well aware of as an issue. It's all about the execution however, no one knows how to fix it, in practice, because it depends on every single cog in the machine! Especially those older teachers who refuse to change what they're doing because they've done it that way for 20 years. I believe that in 10-15 years, when the old generation of teachers fully retires, education will improve. Indeed 10-15 years ago, we had teachers in school from the prior generation, who didn't even have a high school education.
  21. Remember - adcoms are so swamped with work that they will not take the time to say "hmm, I wonder why (s)he's not an exec." Indeed they can't - they only have access to the information/referees/verifiers that you provide them. Anyone telling you that you should worry isn't really using common sense, and is a victim of obsessing over their applications too much. When it comes down to writing essays/answering interview questions using this club experience, you can still spin things in a very positive way that shows your enthusiasm. It doesn't matter that you fell short of your personal goal of being an exec because if you don't tell the adcoms, how would they ever know?
  22. Sorry for the double post, posting from a mobile phone and can't seem to edit. Wanted to ask - are you willing to devote the same time and energy to fixing/maintaining your marriage that you would intoapplying to medicine? If so, great! Make it work... If not, then its no wonder your wife is feeling a bit insecure.
  23. Thanks for sharing your intimate details with us, I will respond in more detail when I'm at a computer. However I just needed to chime in on this point: If you already can foresee marital issues in 10 years, do everything in your power to make sure it doesn't happen. Most people aren't so lucky and lack such foresight...for you, that's not the case. I would hope in ten years, you'd be more devastated about your crumbling family than being prevented from risking it all for medicine.
  24. The way this particular site works, I had to break it into two calculations - one with annual 20K contributions, and one where the money just sat there for 4 years during undergrad. The first link does the first calculation, the result is then fed into the second link, which provides the final running total after 16 years: For the 12 years of private school http://www.calculator.net/annuity-calculator.html?cstartingprinciple=0&cannualaddition=20000&cmonthlyaddition=0&cadditionat1=beginning&cinterestrate=6&cyears=12&printit=0&x=75&y=13 For the following 4 years of undergrad http://www.calculator.net/annuity-calculator.html?cstartingprinciple=357643&cannualaddition=0&cmonthlyaddition=0&cadditionat1=beginning&cinterestrate=6&cyears=4&printit=0&x=83&y=9 End Balance $451,516.05 Note: I haven't deducted tuition fees from that account as I'm only talking about the contributions based on the private school tuiton - if it sits there in the bank until they're out of university, there's a pretty penny. I've also assumed a 6% interest rate, which is quite modest. If you'd prefer, deduct whatever tuition you feel is reasonable from that total. You should also consider that tax hasn't been factored in. Regardless...these numbers are staggering. This is per child as well. EDIT: If I up the interest rate to 8% (which is pretty reasonable as well): End Balance $517,496.88
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