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  1. So after some super fun financial stuff it turns out I can only afford to goto a Canadian Medical School, and American / Australia is off the table (where my previous success at acceptance has got me). Which means if I am going to be successful in this en-devour I need to increase my undergrad GPA (the two schools I have the best shot at sadly don't look at my Masters GPA). As far as I can see (and correct me if I am wrong) there are two ways to do this. One, register as an unclassified student (super easy, as long as you already have a degree you dont seem to be denied acceptance) and take a bunch of courses to boost the GPA, or two, take another degree and use those courses to boost your GPA. The obvious advantage to the degree route is when you are done, if you dont get into medical school you at least have a piece of semi-worthless paper for your time and money. If I go the unclassified route, it looks like it will be a small percent cheaper, but if after the 4 years to boost my GPA I dont get in, I will just have the debt from the classes and no paper. I guess my question is, is there an advantage from getting accepted route that would make someone pick one over the other? purely for medical school. like i get how one might be a poor life choice. thanks for any help you can offer...
  2. Yes you are 100% correct. it would be cheaper in the long run, even if i lost half (or all) of first years tuition and came back to a Canadian school if I got in. Okay so I should adjust my options, to reflect this tactic. Thank you ralk. True. Its never easy or simple. I think if I take your advice about starting with the idea of switching and if I get in great, and if I don't I stay might be the best option. that way I put myself in a position to have the best residency and debt crisis and if things don't work out I still become a doctor. I will remove the shortened timeline from the pro-column of my pro/con list. Good to keep things in perspective. Thanks again ralk!
  3. without exposing too much personal details that might reveal my identity to medical schools I have applied to or will apply to in the future, I will say the school is in the commonwealth, and I would like to come back to practice in Canada or the United States and I know it gets that much harder as an IMG to match for residency. BUT if things go super horrible and I don't match CAN/US , I can still do my residency training there and Canada does recognize the residency training of this country, so if all else fails I can return to practice in Canada after residency too... that being said obviously my first choice would be to return to North America for residency training as an IMG This is very true Falling... I was thinking maybe Wayne State or University of Wisconsin, both easy to get to Ontario by Car. Hmmmm maybe I should just wait and apply again for 2016....
  4. When do people start getting contacted / when does the status in the application under interview decision start to change? Just curious as I check fairly often and wondering if I should settle down if its not going to be for a couple months. Thanks!
  5. If you can get your application stuff together quick enough its not a bad idea for a backup. Clearly you have an advantage at UBC being from BC... most people in ontario don't even get that advantage when applying to ontario schools. But I do think (as already been said) if you don't get into UBC (which is less competitive for BC residents (7/7/7 mcat minimum), you are less likely to get into Ontario where you are competing with significantly more applicants and higher cut offs (UofT 9/9/9 which disqualifies you instantly, and McMaster who only looks at VR and nothing else means you are eligible but not very competitive). I don't think there is much to lose by applying to Ontario (I am applying to both for example). But obviously not every school is going to be an option. Do you have graduate degree of some kind? that can help If you are looking for backups (incase you dont get in), maybe apply to schools that are easier to get into than the one you want the most, and not to backups that are significantly harder to get into? just makes for a poor backup plan if its chances of success are slim. How about some american schools? DO schools? overseas? Caribbean?
  6. Do I do anything special to courses that were repeated but not failed when entering in the course work section of post-secondary education? I had some D's and C's in first year, but my particular major required an average of A- or better to graduate so I ended up having to re-take these classes (or change majors i guess). On my transcript GPA the old grades aren't factored in to the calculation and I am awarded my degree (yay), but on OMSA there isn't a way to indicate that, so my GPA ends up being significantly less than my transcript GPA... is this just sorta the way it works and they will figure out the repeated courses and which one is higher when they get my transcripts, or will they use my lower GPA to determine cut offs cause that could hurt me. Only applying to Ottawa and McMaster in Ontario.
  7. great question. I am eager to here the response. I had to cut out 3 activities from UBC application cause I either didn't have a verifier or they had died. Would be interesting to see if I can add them back for McMaster and Ottawa.
  8. I think there is defiantly ways to put it in and avoiding some of the stigma. Which international tournaments did you compete in? any in europe or usa? that could pretty good especially if you add it as the award you received. I wouldn't use your brother as a reference, but most gaming leagues and tournaments have companies , teams, and records outside of game records. You wouldn't need the game creator to verify your gaming handle, but if you had the tournament director as a verifier of your award would be good enough. I've been to my fair share of LAN's and Tournaments, but never won anything so not something I would put down on my application. But had I won I think I would put that down, Look on the tournaments website for contact info http://2014.lanets.ca/events/2013 for example
  9. I wrote at Ashton in April. They do have two floors, but the second floor has multiple rooms, so there are at minimum 3 different testing rooms there. I wrote in the 'noisy air conditioner', it honestly wasn't that bad. Unless you need absolute silence to write an exam , then I could see how that kind of background noise could drive someone crazy. But I can't imagine having a perfectly silent exam ever, like in all of undergrad or future medicine. I did not use ear plugs, cause I was able to zone out the air conditioner (there is always some noise to zone out I feel), but if you dont like the ear plug they also had over the ear headphones. I am not super keen on getting head lice from something like that, but the option is there for people who are worried about background noise. It was my third time writing the MCAT in as many locations. Previously I had written it in Toronto, the centre there was a little nicer and had a significantly less stressful break area. at Ashton in Vancouver all my things got put away and I couldnt access them. In Toronto all my things were put into a bag (similar to vancouver) but I got to keep the bag with me, and was able to keep my coffee in waiting area and sip on it during breaks.
  10. Shadowing can be good for the less traditional applicant too. Shows you aren't going into the profession blindly. For all but 1 Canadian school it isn't a requirement though. But can be useful if you are trying to down play years of commitment to another field.
  11. Okay I am not an expert, but since no one else has replied I will point out two little things, but the absolute best way is to call them tomorrow and ask if there is a way to do this. I would suspect not if only because they have to submit the referee form, and those are only generated on the OMSAS site for you to give them and once you submit you can't really do anything in there application wise: "Once you have submitted your completed application, you will no longer be able to access your OMSAS 2015 account to make changes." The other problem I see is if you have already generated Confidential Assessment Form, as once you do you are pretty much locked in. "You will not be able to make changes to your referees once your forms are downloaded." You can search the forums and you can see that most people who end up needed to change referees once these forms have been made had to create entirely new applications. Since the deadline is passed to create a new application, that isn't going to be an option for you, so I would be very careful about generating these forms for your absent referee to send to them. But to be sure I would suggest calling OMSA As for general advice on your predicament, I would get someone you can confirm can get it in. Having all that hard work wasted cause your application is incomplete is a shitty way to receive a bunch of rejection letters in the mail.
  12. 99.9% of the time this is true. GPA is far more a factor then what school you went to for getting into medical school. I will just point out the few exceptions because UofT happens to be one of those, and to the best of my knowledge the only school out side of quebec in canada that looks at not only what GPA you have, but what program (difficulty) and what school you went to. Its a super specific thing though and like I said I wouldn't even bring it up normally cause the vast majority of Canadian and American schools don't care, but since its a UofT thread I thought I would mention it. The OP has gone on to say they aren't super keen on even doing medicine in canada so it might be silly point at this stage, but for others reading the thread. Nope prestige in US and Australia doesn't really matter anymore than it matters here. The only real difference is schools attended thing for the states is if you are a legacy and had a parent or grandparent attend, that can give you an advantage. Its already been said, but as it turns out you will find intelligent people on all university campuses. easier can sometimes be subjective (sometimes not), what are your strengths? what are you weak at? do you enjoy and are you good at physics and chemistry?
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