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  1. No, the reason I mentioned course level being an issue with switching, especially since you got a sub 3.7 was that Western uses 2 years, which must have 3/5 courses at your year or higher. I.e. 3 full-year first year courses next year would discount the entire year for you. You really should take a good look through the websites of schools you want to apply to, and see how your GPA fits. For example, I had a lower GPA than your's first year by ~0.3, but had a >3.9 weighted GPA for Toronto and a 3.89 for Ottawa. A 3.6 in first year is not a big deal at all, as long as you get 3.9+ after this
  2. Because if you want to maximize time and effort vs payoff on your application, studying 1000 hours for the MCAT isn't the way to do it. You can likely get your best, or near best, score after 2-3 months (for most, even when working full-time) and after that, a year of studying for 1-2 more points is wasted time. If you wanted to improve your application as much as possible, doing something else with the 500+ hours you'd be over-studying for the MCAT would add more to your application, overall. If I had spent a full summer only studying for the MCAT, and spent 5ish hours a week during a school year on it, that would have meant either sacrificing my GPA a bit (much more important, for most schools) and losing some of the non-academics that in my case, got me interviewed/accepted at my top choices.
  3. No, it's still 3 I believe. Compared to people who wrote when I did and had a 1-2 years (or 0, for UofA) of being able to use scores that's not bad. The other detail missing from your post is that only 3% of MCAT writers would have gotten the CARS score needed for Western, and Queen's is such a black box it's a hard thing to tell someone to count on.
  4. Study what you would choose to study if you don't ever get into medical school. If you wouldn't want to ever be a nurse, regardless of applying to medical school, then you may want to consider switching. A back-up career plan isn't much more helpful than no plan if it's something you would be miserable doing. There are lots of other degrees, any of which you can apply to med school from.
  5. I am sorry to have to say this, but even a high MCAT score can't 'compensate' for a 3.4 GPA after 2 degrees. The reality is that applicants need both a strong GPA (3.8+ generally, and higher for some schools) in addition to a very good MCAT score to be accepted. And they need lots of experience, work or otherwise. On the bright(er) side, if it is autonomy and ability to have more influence on rural health care that you're looking for, NP would get you there. It would also be much, much cheaper and faster (i.e. 4 additional years income). I really hate to be discouraging, but I do think honesty is important here. And you really do have options to change your career path within nursing.
  6. I think you've got the wrong idea in your last sentence there. Being in kin or biomed will have zero effect on applications, only your GPA will. There's no reason why you can't do well in a biomed program, so I wouldn't switch to kin unless you actually think the courses look interesting. 3 years of things you find boring will not help you find motivation to study/a high GPA. One thing to consider is that if you need to take multiple first year credits, you might not be able to use this year for Western. You should check OMSAS scales for GPA to see if your last year (not looking at summers) was 3.7+ Not a huge deal if it isn't, but it's worth considering that you might be risking things a bit there. Although if you absolutely were sure you could get a 3.7+ in third year and wouldn't be in too many second year courses, you might be able to use that year?
  7. I second this! Writing is totally different than speaking, and may be either much easier or (commonly) more difficult to do effectively in a high-pressure situation. I wouldn't suggest practicing any more writing because it's largely irrelevant to the actual interview. One smaller step would be to video yourself talking, then work up to practicing with people. Ideally find people you aren't super comfortable practicing with (i.e., not your roommate or partner) The bright side is you can make a mediocre answer sound fantastic if you are a good public speaker/interviewer
  8. Rural experience is a 'must'. But 1 month isn't what they mean by 'rural'. They mean living 5-10 years in a northern/rural area. if you look at their class stats, 100% of their class comes from rural areas. And no, the area you're speaking of isn't what they mean by rural. Basically the whole Ottawa-London stretch and isn't what they mean by rural
  9. I wouldn't.....Orgo isn't any harder than any other course, at least I didn't find it so. It's very much like metabolic biochemistry, I found. Just lots of memorizing shapes And patterns I think doing many summer courses is usually a waste of time and money, and really sets you back for med apps if you're spending all your summers on courses. Summers are the prime opportunity to build on non-academics, which are hugely important
  10. I agree, it's sad to see that an admission could be taken away for someone having anxiety, without proof that it is impairing their functioning. However what they originally did, by taking advantage of the systems put in place to help people who truly have a mental health condition, is an even worse attitude towards mental health problems. As someone with close family members who are very ill with mental illness, it sickened me to read this(original) post. Their actions are entirely disrespectful of the people who those systems are in place for. Taking advantage of the aids for people who need them makes things even harder for the people who really do. It's like the Boy Who Cried Wolf.
  11. Double check using the OMSAS scale that you have 2 full-time years that meet the course level requirements and at 3.7+, and if you do apply to Western because you're basically assured an interview. Most importantly, three cycles with waitlists seems to suggest that you might be struggling a bit with the interviews. If you meeting the Western GPA requirements, or even otherwise, I'd suggest starting reading about social determinants of health, etc., and practicing questions as soon as you can (not even MMI specifically, I think that's low-yield after a point). Really solidify examples/answers of your experiences that fit the Can Meds competencies, and work on tone, presentation, etc.
  12. I can't speak to specifics at Queen's, but I agree with the above that English isn't really necessary unless you're from BC. In any case, like you suggested, English can be good to take in the summer if you aren't extremely strong at essays because it's very hard to get A/A+ usually in english. Psyc could be a good choice especially because it is on the new MCAT. From what I've heard it's not necessary at all, but a bit of background certainly couldn't hurt. It's also a very interesting subject, especially upper-year courses on the more neurobiology/cognitive side of things. Really depends on interests. Personally, I really enjoyed taking psyc classes and found them a nice complement to biology
  13. Yes. Without a doubt. Your GPA means that Mac will be a long shot, regardless. SWOMEN status will be a much, much better chance and you should do whatever you can to meet those criteria. You can and should apply to Mac and Queen's(maybe?) this year, regardless, but if you can re-write for Western that would significantly increase your chances
  14. If you're 1 year away, but are just learning sciences now, I would say focus on that vs MCAT specifics. Really taking the time to nail down the fundamentals of chemistry/orgo/bio/biochem rather than looking at MCAT books, which are meant to be reviews of previously studied material, would help your score later. If you can build that knowledge base now, MCAT studying will be very manageable next year. Then you can focus more on test-taking skills, and passage style questions, without getting stuck trying to learn the amino acids
  15. And the worst thing is, the fact that wait times keep increasing gives the public impression that there aren't enough ortho surgeons. So the government is never going to be pressured to manage the numbers of surgeons properly. People, I think, would be totally appalled if they knew that those waitlists could be addressed by the dozens of underemployed surgeons wanting to operate, who just can't get jobs in Canada.
  16. What you say exactly won't matter much. You have a few seconds to make a stellar first impression (particularly in MMI's) so you want to say something that feels natural to you, is easy (read; mindless) to remember, and allows you to focus on tone, make eye contact, smile, and project competence. What matters in those first few seconds is that you project confidence, don't stutter, and be genuinely friendly. My suggestion is you pick something short and sweet, which is widely applicable. I went with something along the lines of "So if I were....(quickly explain situation)...then I would/I would first consider/I would want to ensure...." etc. I found that to be more natural than starting with "To summarize...."
  17. Specifics don't matter, in my experience. But do as much as you can of things you'll be able to write/speak passionately about. Be diverse, try and cover areas you might be weaker in. Even if you're working 9-5, volunteer 4 nights a week. It's busy, and sure it's not the best way to do things, but any experience that could get you extra points, so give it a shot. The breakdown helps a bit-you can certainly apply to Queen's with that, and try Manitoba to see if your MCAT is enough (although it might be tricky). I was just wondering if there would be a bigger anomaly, like a 3.2 year or something, that's why I asked.
  18. At what point during first year is it common/acceptable to start doing observerships in things we might be interested in? I'm guessing not right away, but by later in the first term are physicians generally accepting of having students observe for a day? Although I'm sure they don't expect observing first years to understand everything that's happening (realistically probably next to nothing) I'm guessing it's a more valuable experience once you've at least learned a bit?
  19. Work on other areas. Your GPA is likely more of a barrier than CARS, especially for UofA (guessing you are IP there too?) What's your GPA breakdown like? I.e. are your later years much higher? Whats your weighted GPA (for Toronto), if you qualify? It's hard to say, but right now I think building on your non-academics as much as you possibly can this summer is your best bet. Those are worth a lot at UofC, Queen's, etc., and 2-3 months can make an impact if you really try
  20. Would I call that strong? Not at all. But that doesn't mean you won't get an interview. The post above sums it up fantastically. They aren't looking for someone who likes the beaches, they want (as in, need) people who will maybe stay and work in the area and not jet off to the GTA at the first chance they get. To compare it to ON, basically all of NS is like northern Ontario. Halifax is Sudbury. It's all underserviced, so they need people who will potentially stay. I'm not in admissions obviously, but I can't say I would be convinced by saying you have a friend there and enjoyed your vacation. But again, people get in every year without ever visiting the place, so who knows!
  21. I'm not sure how, but again you have missed the point of the question entirely. Even if the question asked about an alternatve therapy, you aren't giving them a list of pros/cons and telling them the 'better' choice.' You aren't telling them what their 'best interest' are. But regardless, that isn't at all the question here. You are describing what you would do-not telling them what the 'best' choice is. Also, referencing statistics about research studies isn't adding to an answer, and you risk messing up. And the 14 year old asking for birth control is criminal? Picture yourself as a 14 year old girl. What can happen if you refuse and/or tell her parents? (abuse, pregnancy, illegal abortion, etc.). 14 isn't 4, that's not automatically an incompetent child. You haven't discussed anything here, just wrote off the girl as unable to make a decision because she is 14.
  22. There is no real way to say what anyone's chances are for the OOP category, except maybe those that did undergrad in Nova Scotia or previously lived there. People do get in without any connections, but I've also seen many undergrad friends (mostly from ON) apply to Dal after being in school here for 4 years and not get interviews, but get accepted to multiple Ontario med schools. It's very hit or miss, like any OOP application. It's just not as clear with Dal what they're looking for. To be honest, I wouldn't worry much if you don't get an interview, because you should get at least a couple in ON, or wherever you're from. It never hurts to try, but don't let it get to you if it doesn't work out.
  23. I would strongly suggest not doing that. You could end up regretting it very, very much later on. If you are overwhelmed first year, drop a course if you have to in order to prevent failures/50's. But it should be a last resort, not a preventative measure. Even schools that drop your lowest year won't count any years with less than 10 courses in fall-winter(Dal, Western, others?) so it's effectively making your whole year useless when it comes to those schools, not to mention potentially ruining chances at Toronto unnecessarily
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