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About Galaxsci

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  1. I wouldn't worry about high school references as long as you stay in touch with the person. I had a high school reference letter and got three interviews/acceptances in 3rd year.
  2. Agreed, I got into U of T with VERY minimal research experience (was in a lab, no pubs, no posters). GPA is king, then there's 10 miles of nothing, then there's everything else.
  3. As for the dog, I know people in med who have one, so it's definitely possible. A small dog might be a good thought so you wouldn't need TOO much time to walk it. On the other hand, others are incapable of taking care of a fish in med school (one of my classmates has a fish that's somehow survived much longer than it should have), so it's definitely person-dependent.
  4. The other thing is that it's almost impossible to know who's 22 and who's 26/27/28. We're at an age where there's really no difference on first glance, so I've found myself assuming everyone is my age (22/23) and then finding out months or years later that they're in their mid 20s or older. Nobody cares how old anyone else is, you'll find a group of people that you fit in with based on your personalities, age aside.
  5. It doesn't really matter, research is research. It might be slightly less appealing in the interview because you might not be able to connect with your interviewer on research, but there are plenty of things to talk about in the interview. A guy in my class only did research on potatoes and had no problem getting in.
  6. I'd imagine a large contributor to the "3rd year disadvantage" is the GPA weighting formulas that most schools offer. Western takes best two years, Queens takes most recent two (assuming first year is worst for most people), U of T drops your worst courses starting in 4th year, etc. I know many people whose GPA jumped from 3.85->3.95 (or similar) from the weighting, which is a huge change in their competitiveness for every school. Aside from that, it also represents a second opportunity to write the MCAT if you didn't do well when/if you wrote after second year.
  7. You'll have to be more specific for anyone here to be able to help you. What have you done, for how long, and with what results?
  8. U of T's scores are just a cutoff, they don't take the MCAT into account as long as you meet the cuts.
  9. Probably. You can't really know because nobody knows what the workload at each school is actually like.
  10. I'm in Toronto with the new Foundations and can attest to the fact that we might have 9 hours of lecture/week on a heavy week. Usually it's closer to 6 hours. The rest is CBL (small group cases), anatomy labs, other group work (clinical skills, self reflection, public health stuff etc.). In my opinion, it's less work than undergrad.
  11. I honestly thought you were at U of T because that's exactly how I would've described our curriculum. I believe you have a few more lectures at Ottawa, whereas ours are moreso pre-week and mid-week online videos and modules made by the faculty.
  12. Personally, I chose U of T because of the new curriculum, the location/city, the research opportunities, and fact that many students/physicians I talked to said it would provide you a really good education. The new curriculum is really nice with a lot of low stakes tests which is good for most people, but stresses some people out if they're super type A and need to excel on every single assessment. I really like it because it's a bit more unstructured and doesn't have a ridiculous amount of lecture and unnecessary detail. Location and research are second to none, with opportunities in every field from public health to med tech.
  13. And just from a first year's perspective, in the new curriculum we see patients all the time. I saw my first real patient (with a partner) in October and have been seeing patients individually to take a history and physical every week since ~December. Edit: These are inpatients in the hospital that I'm seeing, not patients looking to be admitted (though most people who shadow emerg get the chance to take a few histories from patients coming in).
  14. I agree 100% with you Rob. Work-life balance is crucial and more often than not, the students with a good balance tend to be the ones who make it to med, rather than the people who are studying 24/7. Furthermore, students from any school can do well and get into medicine. A decent portion of my med class did their undergrad at U of T and despite its notoriety for having low marks, they still did well enough to get into med here. When I was choosing my undergrad, the majority of my decision was actually based on how much people liked their school, which explains why I ended up doing my undergrad at Western. Be sure to enjoy your undergrad because you don't want to look back at your time from age 18-22 (you're young, you're at university, and you don't really have many responsibilities) and feel that you didn't make the most of it.
  15. According to the school, there's no correlation between the day you interview or the time you receive your invite with the rank of your written application.
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