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ftronic

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Everything posted by ftronic

  1. Yeah, likewise. Kind of want to wait cause otherwise I'll never know. But even if I get the offer I think I will accept Western (currently going through that decision process because I won't have any time to do so tomorrow).
  2. Am I right in assuming that sending the acceptance message on OMSAS anytime on May 23 will be fine? I'm currently waiting on a waitlist for another school and wanted to see if any waitlist movement happens tomorrow (unlikely but possible) before I send in my acceptance. The office is closed today due to the holiday though so I can't confirm what time I should send my acceptance in by. Since it says "by May 23", this probably means anytime on May 23, correct?
  3. It says "Replies must be received by May 23" (no mention of time). I assume this means anytime during the day. Especially if other schools are earlier, it seems like some last minute movement could happen if people are deciding between Queen's and Mac for example. But I'm not sure if they would even release those spots to people on the waitlist on the same day?
  4. I was waitlisted at Mac but got an offer at another Ontario school. I am definitely happy with the offer and will go regardless but am slightly leaning toward Mac if I had the choice. Is it a bad idea to wait until the afternoon of the 23rd to see if an offer from Mac turns up, or is that cutting it too close to accept my offer?
  5. I know that an acceptance is an acceptance and I don't place too much stock in campus selection, but I noticed something kind of strange: based on the way Mac ranks applicants, is it not true that, if you wanted the Hamilton campus, you would have a better chance getting in off the waitlist than being at the "bottom" of the ranked list for acceptances? I am assuming that Hamilton will be the first one to fill up based on choices even if some people rank Niagara and Waterloo first, meaning those at the bottom of the list will definitely get one of those two. Then, when some people inevitably decline their offer for some other school, chances are it will be from Hamilton (just on the number of seats alone), and so the Hamilton spot will go to the next person on the waitlist. Isn't this kind of strange?
  6. Do MMI evaluators look at the photo before giving a score (e.g., if they want to go back to your score and change it relative to the other candidates)? Does the person who scores your overall file see it at any point? Is it true that it's used for your ID card if accepted? Basically what I'm getting at is, should you make sure it is a professionally done and "good" photo of yourself to minimize the chance of (even subtle, subconscious) bias? Or does it really not matter?
  7. I know people aren't allowed to talk about the stations in detail, but could someone give a sense of the "types" of stations? Are they mostly ethical scenarios, with one or two "acting" stations thrown in? How common are the "activity" stations (e.g., origami)? Essentially, what type of stations are possible or even likely? And do you get paper and a pencil to make notes outside the rooms like some schools do?
  8. I plan to talk about why advocating for people in vulnerable/disadvantaged positions is important to me, and I thought it would strengthen the answer by mentioning that I am from a low-income family myself. I am otherwise an ablebodied white male and I know that there are other people out there that have it worse than me, but low family income has definitely represented a barrier for me, especially in applying to med school. Is it appropriate to mention this, or does it come off as complaining, or worse, could it somehow bias them against me and have a more negative general impression?
  9. Definitely agree... it's just hard to base it off of what you value when you don't actually know what it will be like until you're knee-deep in it. I've done my best to find that out, talking to people, observerships, etc., but ultimately nothing compares to actually doing it for a few years. And with something that takes as long to prepare for as medicine, that can be a tough pill to swallow if it isn't what you hoped. But, that's life I suppose.
  10. Honestly, if your goal is medicine in Canada, just rewrite the MCAT. Much less expensive and time consuming in the long run than going all-in with American schools. List looks fine, and you probably have a decent shot at some of those schools, but they are also going to wonder why the CARS is low (especially as a Caucasian, i.e., presumably English as your first/only language?).
  11. Really don't understand the vitriol (referring to your original post, not your edited one). Once again, not to make it all about money but I really don't think doctors are as well paid as you seem to think (relative to some alternate career paths) after all is said and done. I haven't actually crunched the numbers in detail, but career advancement exists in tech too; you don't stay at your starting salary for 40 years, and almost a decade head start is extremely significant because of exponential growth. I would be willing to bet that what you're left with at retirement is pretty comparable (depending on specialty), but my larger point is that both careers are well paid and retiring comfortably versus "even more comfortably" is not something I particularly care about. But how myself (and potentially my partner) have to live for the next 10 years is something I care about, and it factors into my decision (as it should for anyone, unless you are lucky enough to come from a family that pays for most of your expenses anyway, which admittedly seems to be quite common in the medical applicant crowd; definitely not my situation). And I am definitely reaching out to people in person for advice, but I don't see the problem looking here for some as well.
  12. Thanks again for the posts, all. I'm definitely not dreading it; I would be pretty excited to go. And as I said in my original post, I do think I would be good at medicine and I'm sure there are aspects of it I would learn to love. I guess the main issue is that I'm being drawn to something that seems even more attractive to me (at least in the short term), not that I would be doing medicine begrudgingly (which, I agree, would be a bad idea). I agree that finances aren't everything (and are not the most important consideration in most cases), but you can make some serious money in tech right now; I think people are underestimating this a bit in terms of their responses. Especially working in the US, six figures is the norm, and that is in USD (i.e., factor in a 30% raise if the exchange rates continue the way they are). You are probably still making less than a full physician in most cases, but again, that would be 8 years away versus right away. I'm really not as money-motivated as it probably sounds in these posts, but this makes a huge difference in terms of quality of living (i.e., having a very high standard of living starting almost immediately, versus living frugally for 8 years, and even after that, likely still paying off student loans). In either case I doubt retirement savings would be a problem... my bank account might be slightly larger by the time I retire if I went the medicine route, but I really don't care about that. In my mind, the question is more about choosing between a career that seems kind of risky, but in some ways more dynamic (i.e., tech, especially a startup), versus a more "conservative" career with a more secure job, and work which is still interesting but maybe less dynamic. I'm also aware that this is a pretty "first world problem" and either option is a pretty good one... I'm definitely not complaining, I'm just trying to get a sense of what I would be happiest doing in the long run.
  13. Thank you for the replies, all. Even though there is definitely no certainty getting a future acceptance, the knowledge that the schools don't explicitly hold it against you is a bit reassuring (are people sure that's the case?). Looking forward to hearing your response if you have the time! Yes, I will send you a message, thank you.
  14. Thanks for the replies; lots of good points. It's true that it's a bit premature and I might not have to even make this decision if I don't get acceptances in May, but I'd rather have it thought out by then. I disagree slightly that money should not be a consideration, at least in the short term (basically 8 more years of living like a student), but I do ultimately agree that the decision goes beyond financial considerations. If people are sure that there are no formal repercussions for turning down an acceptance, that tilts the balance toward trying tech now and returning to medicine later if necessary. People on SDN seemed to think that turning down an acceptance WOULD matter (schools would be able to see it and it would count against you), but this could be a specifically American thing. Ultimately I think the consequences of starting med and then switching to tech are worse than doing the reverse, but it's still a hard decision.
  15. I posted this on SDN because I thought more people would see it, but the schools I applied to were mostly Canadian (and I am a Canadian). Basically, I have been pretty successful this cycle in terms of interviews and though I have no official acceptances yet, I am pretty likely to get at least one. Part of me really wants to go through with it, especially after putting so much time and effort into getting to this point, but part of me wants to go into the tech industry. My bachelor's was in computer science, and my interest in medicine came later through some research experiences and courses I took. The more I considered and researched medicine as a career, the more I wanted to do it, and I do think I would be good at it. However, my interest in software has continued as well, and despite not actively looking for a job I've had interview offers at good companies (in Silicon Valley, Seattle, etc.). If I set my mind to it and brush up my skills, I'm pretty confident I could get back into the field within a couple of months. Now that I'm just a step away from reaching my goal of going to med school, I wonder if I'm making a big mistake by not going into software instead (specifically machine learning-related applications). Instead of making a good salary for the next 4 years, I'll be going into significant debt. Then, I'll be spending another 4-5 years in residency, likely living like a student, and still making less than I would be in tech. I probably will never recover from the opportunity cost from a financial perspective, but more than that, I honestly feel like tech and machine learning is at a turning point right now, changing almost all industries (including medicine), and it feels like it's "now or never" to be a part of it. Any advice in this situation? Particularly, do you know if schools in Canada keep a record of acceptances, and if I turned down an acceptance, would that be a big negative (or even bar me completely) from applying to that school 2-3 years down the road?
  16. I studied computer science in undergrad, and though I have pretty strong grades, they aren't quite high enough to be really competitive for med school (they're borderline competitive). Because I don't have a life science background, I can't really apply to MSc programs in the life sciences, but I am considering an MSc in HCI (human-computer interaction). Despite this being fairly unrelated to medicine, will this give me the same kind of "bonus" when applying to med school compared to someone studying something more medicine-related in their Master's? I would probably prefer to do the MSc than to take more undergrad courses to boost my GPA, and I do find the field quite interesting intrinsically.
  17. I'm fairly confident that I can do well on other aspects of the application process, but I'm a bit concerned about my GPA. It is across 2 schools, and my second school had several good grades which a lot of med schools will simply ignore due to being in the summer. Also, I was in a very challenging program (though I know that doesn't count for much, but might be worth mentioning). The breakdown is as follows: School 1, Semester 1: 3.7, 4.0, 3.7, 3.3, 3.0, 3.7 Semester 2: 3.7, 3.7, 3.3, 3.7, 3.9 Semester 3: 4.0, 3.9, 3.9, 3.3, 3.0 Semester 4: 4.0, 3.9, 3.3, 1.7, 2.0, 3.9 (I know; those two were ridiculously hard courses) Semester 5: 3.7, 3.0, 3.0, 3.9, 3.0 At this point my motivation was waning a bit, and I transferred to a different program (still a very difficult program at the University of Toronto). My first "semester" was in the summer and a full course load, but annoyingly several schools don't seem to count it. But anyways: School 2, "Semester 1" (summer): 3.7, 3.7, 3.9, 3.7 Semester 2 (fall): 4.0, 3.9, 4.0, 3.7, 3.9, 3.3 Semester 3 (winter): 3.7, 3.9, 4.0, 3.9, 3.7, 3.3 Semester 4 (summer): 4.0, 4.0, 4.0, 3.9 My overall cumulative (every course I've taken) is ~3.6. Because I have a few really low grades, dropping the lowest helps a lot (for example, dropping the 6 lowest courses brings it up to 3.75). Given this distribution of grades and what schools actually count, I feel like I'm definitely on the low side. Is it so low that I basically need to take more courses to have any hope of getting in? Thanks.
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