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  1. Like
    Wasteman reacted to kbinners in Arts Grad With A 520 Mcat Ama   
    You're studying fine arts, right? There's a character in a show called Hard Rock Medical (TVO) who's in med school after a degree in visual arts (mad anatomy skills). Dialogue of show pretty thin, BUT worth watching for the Canadian content -- and it's based on NOSM so if you're interested in health care up north...
    I'm pretty confused by the 'waste-man' thing. Why label yourself that way? (also ...are you from London?) Especially why label York that way -- there's some excellent stuff going on at the second-generation universities like York, Simon Fraser, Carleton that in some ways are more progressive, flexible and inclusive than the old boys schools (U of T, UBC, McGill, etc). [i did my undergrad at U of T, but my med prereqs at SFU; my husband did his undergrad at U of T, a masters at York, and another masters at UBC] Docs need to know how to communicate with people who aren't upper-middle class, and it can only help for more physicians to come from a wider range of backgrounds themselves. 
    In Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone a character receives this advice: "What's the hardest thing you can possibly do? ... Leave no part of your instrument unexplored. Why settle for Three Blind Mice when you can play the 'Gloria'?...Not Bach's Gloria. Yours!" His response is: "Surgery was the most difficult thing I could imagine. And so I became a surgeon."
    Are you aiming for neuro because it seems like the hardest thing you can do? Or why?
  2. Like
    Wasteman got a reaction from kbinners in Arts Grad With A 520 Mcat Ama   
    An Arts Grad with a 520 MCAT? Nice. As a fellow arts grad you've given me hope! I'm studying at Waste-man U (aka York U) and just started. You sound like you really liked your arts education. I can't wait to start mine.
  3. Like
    Wasteman got a reaction from IMislove in Is It Too Late To Try For Medicine?   
    Hey UBCguy284. Yeah it is too late. You should start seriously considering hooking. You're young. That's a plus. If you're not too strong in the looks department you could consider taking up drug dealing. That's a pretty easy profession.
    In all seriousness though, you're still young, man. Even if a 5th year isn't an option for you, don't be afraid of doing a second degree. I'm 27 and starting my first degree. So even if you start a second degree at 22 you would still be several years ahead of me. So don't worry about that part: you're not too old. 
  4. Like
    Wasteman reacted to ralk in 27 And Just Starting Undergrad At York   
    In most specialties, willingness to relocate is a big advantage to securing a job. Neurosurgery might be the exception to that rule though - even in remote areas, the job market sounds pretty terrible.
    In terms of graduate work during or after residency, there really aren't restrictions on what you're allowed to do, it's all whether the content of that degree will make you more attractive on the job market. Physics-related studies and data science certainly could be helpful depending on your specialty and the specifics of your work during those degrees. Graduate work done during residency often takes on a longitudinal approach, where you complete the degree while also doing your clinical work. That can involve taking time off from clinical work to do dedicated research, particularly when doing a PhD, which would generally extend the amount of time spent in residency. For physician's in not always so simple as taking two years off to do a Master's as would typically happen straight out of undergrad.
  5. Like
    Wasteman reacted to future_doc in Make one or more sentences, questionsusing the letters of last word to begin each wor   
    Bums are not allowed nor academic scholars.
  6. Like
    Wasteman reacted to RedLily in Make one or more sentences, questionsusing the letters of last word to begin each wor   
    haha, thanks Who does't love this game? Now lets see...
    Sam teaches under duress, eventually needing two sundaes
  7. Like
    Wasteman reacted to elchristo in 27 And Just Starting Undergrad At York   
    im about to turn 25 in my "second" year at York, Im going part time myself. Also from London and probably have a similar extracurricular background in terms of the streets of london.
    I was in a fine arts degree initially but I soon learn that to put it politely it was a complete waste of time. If you want to be a neurosurgeon, why not major in something like psychology or biology. York is a good school for both and with all the psychoneurological research that goes on with the MRI machines and such it would probably be a good place to start. You can always minor in fine arts if your really have an interest.
  8. Like
    Wasteman reacted to rmorelan in 27 And Just Starting Undergrad At York   
    the neurosurgery thing is particular true for neurosurgery with its greater than normal delivery at academic hospitals.
    should ask though - what part of research do you not like? Medical research is quite different than many other forms after all (being clinical in nature).
  9. Like
    Wasteman reacted to ralk in 27 And Just Starting Undergrad At York   
    There's a fair bit to unpack here, so I apologize if I miss something, but I'll try to answer what I can.
    Second degrees, which usually mean second undergraduate degrees, typically aren't done after entering medical school or during residency. Graduate studies are often undertaken during or after residency, or during medical school.
    1. The job market in Canada for Neurosurgery is very tight right now and trainees are doing anything they can to make themselves competitive. At the moment, pretty much without exception, that means doing a fellowship, usually multiple fellowships. Increasingly, that means doing graduate work, often a full PhD. It's pretty much necessary at this point in time from what I hear, since jobs in Neurosurgery are so hard to come by - while hospitals might be perfectly happy with a freshly-minted Neurosurgeon with what is typically 14 years tertiary education at that point, there's no incentive to take those applicants when they've got a dozen applicants with PhDs and multiple fellowships under their belts. If the job market in Neurosurgery improves, this may change in the future, but right now it's kind of where things stand.
    2. Lots of people hate research with a passion, but it's hard to avoid entirely. It's at least marginally beneficial for getting into medical school and landing a desired residency (depending on specialty), though far from being required at either step. Residency programs often have a research component, or at least a quality improvement project. These aren't necessarily intensive projects, though presentation of the results at a conference is a common requirement. Research after residency is another matter. Practitioners at academic centers are often expected to be actively involved in research and for specialties that largely work in academic centers (like Neurosurgery), research might be harder to avoid if you want employment.
    3. If you end up in a specialty where graduate work is expected for your desired employment, doing something with relevance to medicine would likely be necessary as well. Doing an MFA out of interest is fine, but not likely to matter much for career development, unless you somehow tie it into your specialty (art therapy maybe?)
    4. Sounds like you have an interesting set of ECs already. Obviously continuing to build your ECs is worthwhile, so long as it makes sense for your schedule, but you don't seem behind in that regard. A good GPA should be your first priority, followed by a decent MCAT score.
  10. Like
    Wasteman reacted to Future20/20 in Success Stories- Non Trad Style!   
    I'm only days away from writing my first MCAT and I've just turned 48. I've waited 2 decades to finally apply for med school. This year will be my second attempt. After four careers and 5 degrees including one graduate degree, I figured it is now or never. Visiting the forum for non-trads is always inspiring and helps keep me motivated. You are all fantastic.
  11. Like
    Wasteman reacted to Med-2019! in Success Stories- Non Trad Style!   
    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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