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  1. Sorry for hijacking this thread, but I had a related question. My essays seem to flow better without specifically stating which clusters I'm trying to appeal to. Is this a bad idea? I'm basically letting UofT admissions draw their own conclusions from my descriptions of the activities instead of blatantly stating "I was an advocate in this position because of x y z reasons". Thoughts?

    Much better approach, in my opinion. Restating the clusters wastes characters and it looks more professional and mature to leave it for the reader to decide. The clusters are distinct enough, it should be clear regardless. Plus, you need to cover the 4 over 3 essays, which I've always thought was purposefully done to force people to be more subtle about it

  2. I consistently see jobs for MD's paying over 300k a year (stable income, which is a big +) and those are the easy residencies to match into (FM, etc). 

    Don't kid yourself. The AVERAGE family billings might be 300K, but that is halved by overhead. Averages are called averages for a reason, and you'd be looking at around 150k take-home in FM, generally.


    Other specialties pay more, but you're giving up 5 years making low wages working long, long hours.   Your concerns about autonomy, lifestyle, etc., would be even less addressed than in something privately run, like dentistry. And the employment outlook with most specialities is not too great, from what I've gathered

  3. I don't understand why even if there's a shortage of doctors in Canada (or so they say), how come the OMA doesn't accredit foreign dental school and allow internationally trained MD's to come practise here? Wouldn't that solve the problem? Apparently that's what the government thought when they opened that door for internationally trained dentists. 

    There's no shortage anymore. A mild distribution problem, but absolutely no shortage. Its very oversaturated in many areas, particularly surgical. The jobs literally do not exist in some areas

  4. What I got from it, was that it essentially gives any and all control to the Minister of Health/LHINs and that basically any policy, and investigation, and fee they choose to enact happens, as long as it can be considered in 'public interest' to do so. 


    Kind of like a dictatorship, in a way. Maybe I read it wrong, but that's what my interpretation was. I'm also very sure I don't understand any of the details so hopefully someone else can give you a better answer :P

  5. Yeah I'm counting Directed studies as EC hours and calling it a 4 course course-load. Its graded so it is 'academic' but it's not something I'd study for per say (kind of a grey area I suppose).


    I didn't think about it in the scope of interviews, that's a fair point. I was more so approaching it with 'oh fawk I should go HAM this year so if I don't get in at least I'll be a stronger applicant next year' attitude (with the hope of not compromising grades that is).


    Agreed, I'm probably underestimating directed studies hours too, general consensus is drop an activity and I think I'll do that. Dropping a course comes with way too much unneeded hassle. Thank you for sharing your thoughts sunny_!

    Good luck! I'm just saying that as someone who took that approach in my last year as well, and I ended up very overwhelmed and need to drop things. Looking back, I without a doubt went overboard on the 'do as much as I can in case I don't get in' side of things, and if I hadn't cut back, I don't think I would have had the time to prepare properly. 


    I ended up switching out of the honours project (like your directed studies), but that was just simplest for me. It's a time consuming thing, for sure

  6. Hey guys, just wanted to gauge how well my supplemental essay needs to be as an out of province student. I do have a 4.00 in terms of Dal and a 519 on my MCAT, and a few medically related long term commitments. Does anyone know what the approximate chances are for a student with these scores? Sorry I know its such a vague question and so many other factors come into play. Also does anyone know how many OOP apply and how many are called in for an interview ? 

    Can't remember, but it's on the website somewhere. As far as chances, no one can give you anything, but it's not going to change your chances so just focus on the maritime essay

  7. 40? I counted 15-20. If you're getting credit for the directed studies, that's school not ECs so it changes things. Still looks like a lot, and I wouldn't recommend doing that much though. 


    Are you applying this year? If so, I'd even more strongly recommend against doing so much. You want time for interviews, to practice lots, and be rested and do your best. After all, it really all comes down to the interviews. 


    Dropping a course can't be undone. It'll affect your eligibility for some schools, and it's not a choice to make if you don't have to. I would certainly not suggest it if it's just for more ECs. It's about priorities

  8. Into my 4th year undergrad at UofT life science. I feel like my ECs are at a weak point right now. 


    Residence: Toronto, Ontario




    Year 1: 3.81

    Year 2: 3.87

    Year 3: 3.9

    Year 4 : ?


    MCAT: 517 (129 CHEM, 128 CARS, 130 BIO, 130 PSY)



    • Exec in two campus clubs.
    • A summer job at Wonderland during high school.
    • A job in the summer of Year 1 and 2 at Harveys.
    • Currently doing volunteering at a hospital for 2 years.
    • Played the Cello but don't have any tangible certifications so I will probably leave it out.
    • A few high school subject rewards.
    • Volunteered to build playgrounds in the Toronto community.
    • Volunteered for the Liberal party ( I am really not sure if I should put this in because it might send messages if someone has different views)
    • A few DECA awards (though not an achievment anymore since DECA gives a ton of awards now, really inflated)
    • Was offered a chance to go to the ICDC DECA conference but turned it down because of the costs. 
    • No research experience

    I feel like everything right now is too dull. There really is not much that I stand out in. Even GPA and MCAT is average or on the lower side. I'm also from a low-income household. Household income of about $50k with me included. 

    Your GPA and MCAT are great. You're good to go (as good as anyone can be) for all ON schools but Western, unless your SWOMEN and Northern, unless you're rural, etc. 


    Now, about your money concerns, My advice as well is to spend time now making your UofT essays as genuine and articulate/concise and personal as you can. Then, apply for the Admissions Bursary (they'll tell you about it if you interview). The bursary covers virtually the entire tuition, and theres at least 10 given per year....and keep in mind that the average med applicant doesn't exactly come from an average income family. My family made slightly more, although I have several siblings which may influence things, but you would (I think) have a good shot at the bursary, which I'm sure you would agree is pretty close to life-changing. Sounds cheesy, but it is. Even if you don't get the UofT bursary, my experience has been that once you're in, finances are not a worry for most. You'll be ok.


    So work hard on your essays, practice like crazy for interviews with anyone who will listen (even better if they aren't all other med applicants! Perspective is good) and you have the potential to be in the clear from needing to re-apply. I get that the fees to apply are scary, and applying 2 years in a row would be challenging, but just worry about that if it happens

  9. From what I've interpreted, It's not about you-it's about the rest of the population who needs medial care. Ontario is by far the least rural of all provinces.


    And Ontario, in most southern areas, isn't exactly lacking in physicians. Manitoba? Newfoundland? How likely is it that you're going to pack up and move out there? 


    Not too likely, I'm guessing. Which is fine. And exactly what most students/residents will want.


    The seats in med schools aren't allocated to make things better or worse for the applicants, it's about training people from certain provinces, in those provinces, with the hope at least some of them will stay and practice in those areas. Toronto doesn't have that problem, plain and simple. 

  10. BC. Is there a benefit to taking distance courses over classroom courses? 


    When you say all schools will require the MCAT do you means mcmaster will require all sections as opposed to just cars?

    No, I mean Ottawa will require it. 


    But look at the UBC med website. There's no science pre-reqs and they don't place huge emphasis on the MCAT. You'd have just a good a chance as anyone

  11. I avoided this problem by choosing a university in my hometown, enabling me to keep all the jobs/ECs I had in  high school, throughout university. It got a bit overwhelming by the end of 4 years, never ever quitting things and only adding more and more and more, but I persevered. 



    I do apologize for the sarcasm....but I do sincerely encourage you to take a deep breath, and then go to something with your friends and not think about applying to med school at all. Then come back, re-read your post, and I think you'll find the answer to your question is quite clear. 

  12. Hmm okay. I have been scoring well on the TPR practice tests as well. However, I noticed there were a good chunk of terms I did not recognize at all in the AAMC question bank which was concerning.


    Did you find the style of questions/passages differed quite a bit?

    Yes. Big differences. 


    Remember, prep companies are for-profit organizations that aren't writing the exam.The AAMC is, and the companies are trying to guess what will be on it. Base your studying on the AAMC content outlines, question banks, and practice exams, using other companies materials as a supplement. If you aren't knowing terms on the AAMC questions, then learn them, even if the prep companies don't teach them 

  13. Thanks, Sunny. I was planning on getting a work study position, so that's probably not possible, eh? I think I could stop doing the tutoring - I'm not going to be getting a reference letter from my supervisors and the work isn't as fulfilling as it used to be. Do you think that's enough? I need my job and the Syrian refugee volunteering is important to me..

    To be perfectly honest, no. I think that's still too much. 


    If time management is the issue, but those things still matter to you, you need to think long and hard about what matters more to you: going to med school (without doing 2-3 more years of undergrad, assuming you're in ON) or doing those extra-circulars. It's possible for some people to balance that much, but not everyone. 


    Again, reference letters and 'enough' ECs mean nothing at all without at least 2 strong GPA years. Generally, 3-4.

  14. 1. Yes. Absolutely list them


    2. No one knows. Some people put them on, others don't. I didn't, but either way it's not going to make or break I'd assume. It's a for-credit project, and you'd be about 2 weeks in when the application is submitted, so I'm not sure that it really says much of anything about you. Who knows. 


    3. A few hours? I wouldn't include this, unless you did more. I think I might be missing the point of this question

  15. Cut down on ECs (by a lot, it looks like) and focus on your GPA. Aim for 3.9+


    It's not fun, I'm guessing it's not what you want to hear, but it's the one thing you need to do before worrying about anything else. All the ECs in the world won't matter if they screen you out automatically. You need to be doing less, not more, next year.


    Time management is cutting back, saying 'no', and making sacrifices to get what is most important, done. There is no magic tricks, you just need to put more hours in. Then the grades will come

  16. There is no 'right' way to classify (most) things on OMSAS, it's intentionally vague from what I gathered. What you consider a 'hobby' will vary from others, so it could fall under either. It's essentially a judgement call where you think it fits best, so make the decision that you think best demonstrates the activity. I went against what some say and didn't really include any unstructured hobbies so I felt mine fit best under extra-cirricular, but it seems some people put things like jogging, reading, or writing, etc. on the app so they might have classified those otherwise. 


    I wouldn't stress over little things like classifications, just focus on the descriptions the most

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