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Everything posted by OwnerOfTheTARDIS

  1. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    MMI prep course?

    I have no direct experience, but will give my 2 cents anyways since no one else has answered. - a lot of MMI prep companies make wild promises. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. - MMI prep companies aren’t given any insider knowledge. Their knowledge only comes from familiarity with the system, which can be gained through this website and talking to others. The prep companies don’t have access to UBCs formula for scoring MMIs, they only make educated guesses on what makes a good candidate - the only people I know who paid for a prep company had already paid for MCAT prep (and got great scores) and had great overall applications. They were the type of people who did ‘whatever it took’ to get in and probably would have gotten in without prep. This can artificially inflate prep companies statistics on how many of their students get in. Overall, if you are an average speaker/interviewer, I think you can definitely prep on your own or with free prep groups that you can connect with through this forum. If you have public speaking anxiety or think you interview badly, a prep course may be worth it for you personally. i think other posters have already written on this subject, probably with more detail than me so check out other people’s opinions before making a decision
  2. I don’t think it’s necessary to add another volunteer commitment if you have three substantial ones. Better to show a high level of commitment to three that’d spread yourself thin. Here are my thoughts: - have you grown in your volunteer roles? If not is it possible to expand your responsibilities/leadership? For example, could you get involved with training new volunteers, scheduling, or planning events? - were all your boxes full? I included some things in diversity of experience like music and hiking which I’ve done at a high level, but certainly not competitively or professionally. Even activities that don’t seem like application material should be included if you have space left over. - did you have people read over your application? Did you allude to CANMed competencies? Did you quantify your accomplishments? (I.e. ‘I led a team of 21 people to run a fundraiser that raised $2300’). A lot of NAQ can come from wording. A masters is good for getting research experience, but otherwise not a very efficient way to improve your application. Can you find a research job now in your 4th year? Or ask a prof if you can volunteer in their lab if no jobs are available?
  3. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Professional Reference

    What are your other options? The work experience doesn't need to be glamorous - do you have anyone else who is a reasonable option?
  4. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Interview Invites date?

    UBC only contacts you if one of your verifiers doesn't respond. If one of your verifiers contradicts what you have written (I believe they tick the 'No' box and then have a text box for comment), I don't think UBC notifies you. I could be wrong, but this is what I've heard from upper years and staff.
  5. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Interview Invites date?

    Yep. My experience was that our signed family practice forms were due at 6pm on a Friday. I was late and submitted it at 7pm, but the level of pettiness and passive aggressiveness in the email I received was ridiculous considering the fact that there was no way on earth anyone on staff was checking forms after 6pm on on Friday. It was my first ever 'infraction' and they literally threatened to not allow me to advance in the program. Even things like reviewing lecturers are considered a professional responsibility. I definitely agree that it seems like professionalism is just how the university gets us to do whatever they want/need us to, given that they have relatively little power in a pass/fail system.
  6. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Interview Invites date?

    I feel so much empathy for you guys - best of luck to everyone! However, as @ATG4B said, it’s all character building One day you’ll all be in med school and have to deal with the frustration of faculty constantly being 1-2 weeks late on sending marks/schedules/updates, but if you’re even an hour late submitting an assignment, you’ll get an email about how timeliness is a ‘professional’ responsibility. The mystery of bureaucracy is unending.
  7. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Help with ECs

    Do fun stuff! Volunteering at an animal shelter or community theatre/art program or as a sports coach are great ways to bulk up ECs while relaxing and letting off steam from school. My volunteer/EC schedule was pretty crazy in my 3rd and 4th years of undergrad and the only reason I could manage it was because nothing I did really felt like work.
  8. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Interview dates

    I personally liked the 2nd slot of the day - it gave me lots of time to get there (there was 6 inches of snow on my interview day), and I was wide awake, but I didn’t have to wait all day dreading it. I think the 2nd slot was at 11am.
  9. I think the average for accepted students is 88-89% so you have a good chance at an interview depending on your NAQ.
  10. OwnerOfTheTARDIS


    I struggled with pretty bad depression and a little anxiety starting in Gr 8 and persisting through university. I got counselling for the depression around Gr 9 and went back again for anxiety in second year of undergrad when O-chem gave me panic attacks. I was lucky to have a really good relationship with my counsel or and it helped enormously both times. I will admit that counseling isn’t a cure. First year of Med school made my anxiety return to some extent (it was weird - I rationally and emotionally felt fine, but had resurgence of a benign arrhythmia and cancre sores that I get when stressed), but I still felt much better equipped to cope with it. One day, you’ll learn in med school that a strong therapeutic relationship with your counsel or is the most powerful predictor of whether or not therapy will have a positive outcome, so don’t be afraid to try a couple different counselors until you find one who ‘clicks’.
  11. I agree that you might like psych or internal, but I would also look into focused family medicine practices. There are family doctors who “specialize” and set up practices pramarily oriented to pain management, maternity care, geriatrics, paediatrics, OR assist, ER, lumps and bumps, prison medicine, hospitalist work, etc. This could combine your desire to have an area of expertise, follow patients long term and learn their stories, see lots of patient per day, and have a good work life balance.
  12. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Recommended Hours of studying per week

    My school also recommended 2-3 hours studying/work per hour in class. I usually took a 16 credits plus 2 uncredited labs so it would have been literally impossible to study 40-60 hours per week. Most weeks I only spent ~10 hours per week out of class studying and working on assignments. I have absolutely no idea where college administrators got the 1:3 ratio, it’s an unrealistic, unnecessary and discouraging standard.
  13. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    CBL Portal issues

    Just a reminder that your bio is given to tutors and supervisors for all four years of med school and you can’t change it. It may even be printed or read aloud at special events. Keep it professional, but focus on hobbies (hiking, cooking, sports) and who you are as a person, not what kind of doctor you want to be. Maybe include where you did undergrad or if you had a prior career before med school. Definitely avoid saying what you want to specialize in and probably don’t say “this summer I did....” because you’ll still be using the same bio in 2nd 3rd and 4th year.
  14. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Which CPR Course to take?

    I believe they there is a Heart and Stroke course that is required for residency and many people take it before clerkship, which may have cause the confusion.
  15. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    NAQ - Overcoming adversity

    I put a significant illness on my application under diversity of experience. I realize it’s a different situation, but similar in the sense that it was something I had to cope with as opposed to something I actively participated in. This worked out for me. If you have room, I would include it but I wouldn’t leave something else important off of an application to make room for it. Is there anything specific you did to cope/help others cope? If you supported your wife and family by running extra errands or taking a larger share of housework or helping plan funeral arrangements these details might add some objectivity to an entry.
  16. Yes, Camp Make Friends (cheesy I know) is usually labour weekend, getting home Sunday night so you can recover on Monday
  17. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    50% off Lasik Eye Surgery?!?!

    That’s it! I forgot about the vacuum! Even though I had tons of numbing and couldn’t feel my actual eyes, I found the vacuum borderline painful in a weird, almost surreal way. My my surgeon had given me a blanket (the OR is cold) and stress balls to squeeze so I was fairly comfortable overall. Also, just so you know, I had to bring up the discount and they initially had no idea what I was talking about and I had to email a link to the website, so don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself.
  18. I think last year we got ours in late June?
  19. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    50% off Lasik Eye Surgery?!?!

    I believe it's for all Canadian med students (through the CFMS), and only at Lasik MD. Here's the link: https://www.lasikmd.com/corporate/cfms. I had it done in September, zero regrets. The procedure itself was more unconfortable than I expected and the 24 hours afterwards was admittedly more painful than I expected (felt like I had sand in my eyes, the painkillers helped but I was still pretty uncomfortable). I then had some fairly mild dry eye for about 8 months (totally manageable with basic lubricating eye drops), but now have perfect vision and no regrets. It is so nice to be able to no longer deal with daily contacts or glasses fogging up/getting rain on them.
  20. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Note-taking ... do we really need a tablet?

    A laptop and OneNote worked perfectly for my first year. I personally feel that there is way too much info and way too many slides to effectively take notes by hand, at least at UBC which has a large lecture component. But it probably depends on the person and school.
  21. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Backpack colour

    Sadly the vote doesn’t matter. I’m pretty sure that last year, the Calgary students (who start in July) received their backpacks like a week after the voting finished no way for production to happen in such a short timeframe
  22. I’ve talked about it pretty extensively with the IMP and many people at NMP. Most I’ve talked to are in agreement with me and we’re planning to write a group letter to the administration. Although I’ve heard the 4 months in Vancouver are for class bonding, my experience was that most other people had little interest in investing the time to get to know people from other sites. And with the couple people I did get to know, it’s hard to put in the work to maintain friendships with people you might never see again except at graduation, especially when you didn’t know them that well to begin with.
  23. It is hell. I managed to get one of the 20 spots on campus and had to sleep with earplugs in almost the whole semester because of randomly people screaming in the middle of the night in the parking lot behind Fairview. We also had black mold and plumbing issues. A friend paid $1600 a month for a bachelor suite because it was the only thing they could find for 4 months. Another friend lived in their car for a month because they couldn't find a place until September 15th. I personally see no benefit to making everyone start in Vancouver (I really don't understand the rational) and it's incredibly stressful then needing to move during the 2 week winter break, especially for people assigned to Prince George or Kelowna where weather can making moving difficult or dangerous. I think UBC needs to reevaluate why they put the distributed students through this experience.
  24. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    MMI topic answer format/structure

    I liked to start with something like, "it looks like there are two conflicting values at play here", or "there are three people who have a stake in this issue and all have a unique perspective that should be considered" for ethical stations. Non ethical stations I didn't really have a strategy and just did what felt natural in the moment. If I was really stuck for an approach, I would treat it like a high school 5 paragraph essay and try to come up with a 'paragraph' introduction to start my response that highlighted three bullet point issues to discuss during the station.