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  1. If there was a way to make Carms less of a one shot deal I’m all for it, it really should not be this way - Amen to that!
  2. I have been a long time lurker and I wanted to share my story in the hopes that someone else can benefit from it. I have found tons of useful tips on this site and wanted to pass on what I learned during my applications. I apologize for the long post but my road to medicine was a windy one. I came to Canada as an international student on a scholarship. I had no family here and the parents were planning to immigrate but I came on my own on a student visa. It was tough but I made some great friends in that first year that are my closest friends now and have been very supportive and helpful in this process. I was pretty naive and young back then, did not really know what I wanted, education is highly valued in my family so after high school it was university for me. The only reason I ended up in Canada was cause of the scholarship money I received and I knew I would go abroad after high school. I didn't think I would be a doctor, my parents are both physicians and I wanted to try something different. I was interested in research and thought I would continue my studies and get a PHD. But I did Coop during my undergrad and after two work terms in some decent labs I realized this route was not for me. It requires patience and passion to study a particular field and takes a long time to get any results or to become an expert. I also learned you may not always have funding to do what u love as ur grants may run out or the university decides there are better projects than urs to give money too. In terms of job prospects I wasn't sure I liked the options available. During my undergrad I faced some financial issues, the Canadian dollar value increased and my parents were unable to cover the portion not paid by the scholarship. Their immigration application was also rejected so I was here with limited funds having to decide if I wanted to stay or go back home. I came to Canada hoping to stay here after I graduate, I didn't want to go back but as an international student I could not get any student loans so I had to cover my expenses given my tuition alone was 3x the local rate. I'm not going to lie it was a very trying time and I honestly don't know how I pulled it off. I worked maximum work study hours in labs, got on campus jobs at the library and auditorium and worked as a resident advisor to make ends meet. Coop in the summer also helped. The downside of this crazy schedule was my marks were affected. My GPA went from 3.8 in first yr to3.5 by the time I graduated. I managed to get hired as a research assistant after graduation and was getting ready to apply to immigrate to get my PR status. In my last yrs of undergrad I seriously started to consider being in health care. I knew I liked research and wanted to work with ppl. My research assistant job was in clinical trials which combined both these aspects. Plus I got to work closely with oncologists, nurses, social workers and I got a good idea of what the responsibilities are and the various scopes of practice. I wanted more responsibility which was lacking in my current position. I learned a great deal about Cancer staging,diagnosis, the various trial drugs and how they attack the cancer cells. But I wanted to know more about the human anatomy, pathophysiology, how things can go wrong at the cellular level to bring about disease that effect us systemically. The clinical trials nurses I worked with were very kind in answering my many questions but they kept saying I should continue my learning. Once I got my PR I was now eligible to apply to medical school so I applied broadly but was rejected everywhere. It's then when I discovered this forum and used the information here to compare my application. It was very frustrating not having any feedback from the schools and just guessing from what I could find on their websites in past stats and info here. My assumptions were my GPA was too low, my MCAT score was ok at 33 (PS12 VR 10 BS11) and I did not have much volunteer experience. I read all the threads here on whether to do a 2nd degree or a masters, how each school looks at ur application, even going overseas. I had quite a few friends in Australia Ireland US and they did not seem to have any concrete plans on coming back to Canada and it was super expensive for them. As I was already an international student once I did not want to go that route and I had no funds to go overseas or co signers for bank loans. I focused solely on Canadian schools and decided my best shot is at schools looking at last two yrs or only 2nd degree. I decided to do a 2nd degree in advanced placement Nursing as I could complete it in2yrs, get relevant clinical skills to medicine and have a decent job at the end. There was also the option of NP. I was able to get posters and a publication through my research job and during nursing school. For volunteering I did what I liked. For example, I joined the StJohn Ambulance which gave me some useful first aid skills and free entrance to concerts (that's a perk but really it was the first aid ). I applied again in my last yr of nursing and was rejected again. I was devastated. I had a plan but it didn't work. I was confused my GPA for my last 2yrs was 3.7 I had more volunteer hours, my MCAT was still 33 as I didn't think I needed to rewrite but it didn't work. I was thinking about giving up maybe going the NP route but I knew I would not be happy with that. I started researching again and looked at the stats on this forum and at all the schools. I moved to increase my in province status and got an interview this time around. I prepped for the MMI with friends, family, strangers on skype and MMI prep course. On the day of the interview I felt prepared as I had strategies to answer each ques type and tons of life experience to take from especially health care related from nursing. I felt it went great. But as we all do, in the next months as I waited for the results I kept rethinking each answer, each scenario, kept looking at my application re thinking my essay. This was my last shot and though I enjoyed nursing I couldn't picture myself doing that for the rest of my life. On the day the letters came out it seems God had heard my prayers as I got the acceptance letter. I was on break at work and I went in the washroom and cried. Then I went back to work with the biggest smile on my face. I feel really lucky to be able to make this post as not everyone gets to but I cannot emphasize enough you have to keep trying. Even when things seem bleak there is light in some corner and there is a strategy to make your dreams come true. Keep trying and it will happen for you!
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