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cse27

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  1. Thanks so much for your insight! I’ve been lurking these forums for a while and I know that there are many applicants who have similar or better research experience than I do, I was just thinking that research is clearly the strongest part of my application since my GPA and other ECs aren’t particularly stellar and I was wondering if there are any particular schools that would be more suited towards. I didn’t mean to come off over confident at all, I know it’ll be a tough road. Thanks again!
  2. Hi everybody, I was just wondering if there's any "insider knowledge" on schools that value research heavy ECs more than others (aside from their formal policies on their websites) A little background: I am from Ontario (non-SWOMEN). I have (what I believe to be) a mediocre undergrad GPA, especially cGPA due to a low 1st and 2nd yr (cGPA = 3.85, best/most recent 2 years = 3.95, wGPA for UofT = 3.9, UBC = 89%, Ottawa = 3.92). So although these obviously aren't terrible, they definitely aren't 4.0s. I have yet to the write the MCAT (which I know will obviously dictate where I can apply to). I do have a science based background and I like to think my critical thinking skills are decent so I'm not predicting that this will be a barrier to my application, but it is obviously a very weird test and anything can happen. I'm just finishing up my first year of MSc and have 1 co-first author publication, major scholarship (CGS-M), declined QEII from OGS, with at least one more pub in the works (co-authorship, probably 2nd or 3rd), a couple of presentations at conferences, one oral presentation award, on a conference organization committee, will TA both years. Because of my research and TA work, I would be able to get two solid reference letters from my research supervisor and prof for whom I TAed. (I should also mention that I started my MSc thinking that med school was off the table for me, I chose to do it because I wanted to do it. I think that would come through in my reference letters, supplementals, and interviews). The weakest part of my application by far is the non-research based ECs, which is why I'd be worried about a school like Queens or Western (which my GPA would be best suited for). I did a lot in high school and the first year of university, but everything kind of dropped off from there (due to some personal issues). I know that this would be relatively easy to fix by starting to get more involved now and or/taking a gap year to boost the ECs and then reapply. So I guess my questions are: - are there any schools that value research ECs more than others? I believe my research is what sets me apart from other applicants (my GPA obviously doesn't), but seeing on the forums about all the volunteering and "saving the world" other people do to get accepted scares me as I don't even come close to comparing to that - depending on my MCAT of course, do you think it would be worth it to apply with the research based ECs I have now or should I take a gap year before applying? Thank you in advance for your help! It is very much appreciated.
  3. I'm finishing up my 3rd year at Western Med Sci (Micro Imm) and if you have any questions about the campus, program, or courses, feel free to PM me! :)
  4. Thank you so much!! I have yet to find the cheat sheet, so if any of you have still have access to it please send it to me! I did super well on the bacteriology midterm, should I expect similar questions on the final? Or were they harder? Only 25% of the final is on immunology and bacteriology. Thanks for your help!
  5. Hey! I'm currently in second year at Western. This semester I am taking Methods 2290, Biochem 2280, Orgo 2213, Micro 2500, and Phys 2130 online. So far, I'm really enjoying the micro 2500 course, especially the bacteriology and virology sections. I was wondering if anyone here has gone into a MicroImm honours specialization, and what they thought of it? Was it similar to 2500 in terms of content or did it change significantly (I know it will get more detailed, but did your interest in the subject change?) I am aware that all upper year science classes are hard, but did you find it unfair? Obviously the goal is med school, but I also need backups! Did anyone come across any really cool careers to do with this field? In addition, does anyone have tips for the micro 2500 final? Especially for the Dr. Colby section? He said he would test on major concepts and then proceeded to give three lectures with over 150 slides of pure facts and random scientific names. Does he test little details? My notes for his section are super long, and I don't want to study it super hard if he will only test major things. He also didn't give out any practice questions, so I have no idea what to expect. Thank you for your help!! Feel free to PM me
  6. Thank you both for your reply! I forgot to mention that my job is an overnight camp, and there will be no possible way to study or write it after early June. I think taking a diagnostic test was a really good idea, I will take one soon.
  7. Hello! So, I'm currently in second year medical science at Western. Because of that, by the end of this year, I will have all of the "recommended" courses to take the MCAT, except sociology. My plan was to take the MCAT after second year, but I currently have a job lined up for the summer (Early-mid June until the end of August), and it could continue for the subsequent summers as well. (and one that I absolutely love!!) I'm generally a very good test taker, and I seem to be doing very well on a lot of the CARS practice questions. That being said, it is crazy to think I could study for and take the MCAT in a month? The material would all be fresh, I would really just be hardcore studying the sociology and the physics. Or would I be better off taking a year off after my undergrad and working a little, traveling a little, and studying? Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you! Please feel free to PM me as well.
  8. Hey! I was curious on your thoughts about picking a major. I came into the Med Sci program at Western hating chemistry from high school. In university, I find that I'm really enjoying chemistry and the labs associated with it. I also really enjoy some parts of biology, not so much the labs though. (I am aware that higher up biology labs become much more exciting and first year is just the basics). I am doing well in both classes, I would say moreso in chemistry (Haffie bio...). I am now torn between pursuing a degree in Chemistry and Biochem vs. one of the specializations in Med Sci. Obviously, my first choice of career is medicine, but I am aware of the super competitive nature and I know that not everyone gets in. That said, I have a couple of backups in mind like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, or something in the pharmaceutical field. I don't feel that I could "give up" chemistry, but I also feel like I wouldn't be able to stop studying biology. I am attracted to the chemistry program for many reasons. First, Western Chemistry only consists of about 50 students, and classes are really tight knit, so I hear. Also, the competitiveness of awards like NSERC is dramatically reduced because of the small nature. In addition, I've heard that reference letters from profs tend to be outstanding, because they know you on a personal level. Does anyone have any opinions on being a chemistry premed, or choosing a major? I am aware that a chem premed path is a little bit more complicated because MCAT prereqs aren't built in as they are with the med sci program. I would love to talk to someone about it and hear people's opinions. Thank you for taking the time to read this Please feel free to PM me PS... if there are any high school students that are looking into Western Med Sci, PM me and I could give you a rundown of first year if you like, I know I would've killed for that when I was deciding on schools/programs!
  9. Hello! So, as some of you might remember, I was trying to decide between uOttawa Biomed and Western Med Sci. At the time of the application, I decided to apply to Mac Arts and Science to keep my options open, but after first semester I decided I wanted a pure science education. However, after taking Grade 12 English this semester, I love the idea of the Arts and Science as I don't have to give up my love for english and the arts for my love of science. I am aware that no university education is easy, and I am prepared to work extremely hard in university for admission into medicine. However, I am unsure about the Arts and Science program at Mac -- I get the feeling that the marking is very subjective and therefore pulling off a 3.8+ GPA seems almost impossible. Also, the structure of the program (given a minimum number of electives in 1st year) worries me, as I might not be able to fit the prereqs (or the courses needed to do well on the MCAT). So, basically, is anyone in the program or does anyone know someone in the program? Specifically people who want to go into medicine at the end of the program? Because it is such a small program, I'm having a very hard time finding people in the program! Sorry if this is a repeat thread, I searched the best I could and the last forum was started in like 2008 or something! Please correct any of my points if they are incorrect as I am not in the program, obviously. Thanks in advance!
  10. I can't live at home and commute, my town is minimum an hour and a half away from any university.
  11. I am aware that this has to be my choice and my choice alone, but I'm wondering if there's anyone on here from Ottawa Biomedical Science or Western Medical Science. I am trying to decide between the two programs. I have visited both and I love them both, so I have no preference campus wise. That being said, my goal is medical school (with optometry or physiotherapy as a last resort backup plan). I am prepared to work extremely hard wherever I decide to go to keep a high GPA. I have heard that equal work at both schools won't result in the same marks, with Western being harder to pull off a high GPA even with sufficient effort. I was wondering if anyone has any insight on either of the two programs (the stuff you can't find online on the school website!). Here is the pro-con list I've created so far for both schools. (please feel free to correct some facts if you attend, I obviously dont and most of the list is just what I've heard from others!) Ottawa Pros ~$4000 / year scholarship if I can keep my grades up throughout university ~Seems to have a lot more undergrad research opportunities ~I heard it was easier to get volunteer positions in the hospitals as there are many more than London and 2 are right on campus ~ Extended French, which would provide me with an advantage in the job market if I decide medicine isn't right for me Ottawa Cons ~Farther away from home than Western is ~Less of a "community feel" / less school spirit ~Less of the stereotypical "student experience" Western Pros ~$2000 one-time entrance scholarship ~ insane school spirit ~ stereotypical student experience ~ state of the art athletic facility ~ Closer to home than Ottawa Western Cons ~harder to volunteer because theres a higher premed population and less hospitals (spots are more competitive) ~less research opportunities ~supposedly harder to get good grades even with sufficient effort Thanks so much and I look forward to reading some responses!!
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