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Everything posted by m_jacob_45

  1. It would be helpful to know your exam breakdowns, but I started with a 21 (6/6/9 before the new mcat came out) and then got 514 (127/129/127/131) on my second attempt using TPR (aim for 127 on each section as that correlates to a bit higher on the actual MCAT). I also used EK for CARS and found between TPR and EK and the AAMC practice exams, I was ready. A big portion also is your test taking skills, time management, ability to stay focused for the length of exam.
  2. On the website, it says applications for the May 2020 term are opening in Feb/March. Also, it looks like the program has changed a few parameters since I did it a few years ago (i.e. its now 4 month terms with a two shift per week commitment, so ~10 hours per week). It was a really good experience though, I would definitely recommend. It also helped me with finding other research positions after.
  3. You may have to get creative with this one. I.e. for some things where I was in a similar situation, I emailed a vice principal or other similar person (anyone who is a representative from the school) asking them if I could put them as a verifier and just explained that it’s just to confirm I did the activity and that it’s not the same as a reference. Everyone was happy to help.
  4. They convert the marks for each class per year to gpa first and then average those numbers (i.e. I went to Western, so let’s say I took 5 full year classes in my first year and got 90, 85, 87, 82, and 79, they would first convert those marks to 4.0, 3.9, 3.9, 3.7, and 3.3, and then average them to get my first year gpa = 3.76). Hope this clarifies things!
  5. I think your downplaying your ECs a bit. They sound fairly good to me. I would just recommend picking up a few more things if you can, especially a few more non-medicine related since all of your activities have a connection to medicine/science. You also want to show them that you have other interests too. I would not delay applying if you have a good mcat score and see how things go. Also remember anything from 16+ is fair game, like if you did high school activities that are relevant (I.e. sports, drama, etc)
  6. They mean if the person writing the letter for you has a letter head (like profs often do or referees who work st a hospital might as well). Probably not as relevant now that they have changed the letter writing to filling out a form).
  7. You can put it on since I assume it will be starting before the deadline for OMSAS on Oct 1st. Just make it clear that it’s something that will be ongoing for the semester.
  8. Its definitely not good to get any Bc or Cs and I would avoid them as much as possible. Essentially, it's better to aim for consistently 80+ than to have most grades in the 90s with a few Bs and Cs in there. Of course, this also depends on how your university converts to the OMSAS scale.
  9. You are correct. One of the ways that helped me a lot is to remember that you can use common short forms I.e. use “+” for and, b/c for because, etc. Saves quite a bit of space.
  10. If your goal is to get into med school, you definitely don't need to not have a social life or friends or do fun things. Schools actually ask about these things to try to get a sense of if you have work-life balance. Anyway, to answer the part of your question about study strategies, think of your university schedule like a 9-5 job. If you have big gaps between classes or before classes in the morning or after classes end in the afternoon, you should be using all the time between 9 and 5 to study or do other productive things like your ECs. Then, I would say you should be aiming for about 6 hours a day of studying (this can be in the 9-5 hours or later if you did not manage to study for approximately that amount of time.) About 6 hours was the amount of time that worked best for me, it may be slightly different for you. Also, it depends on the class, but for more complicated courses, I did also find it helpful to record lectures, especially ones where the slides are not comprehensive. For classes that are more practice-based like O-chem, I would make sure to do all practice questions available, try to find past exams if they exist, and if there are office hours, definitely make use of them. Essentially, do not walk into an exam without being sure that you have fully understood every concept and can apply them in new situations. Also, its helpful to go over previous exams even if you did quite well to see where you went wrong or if you can learn more about the prof's testing style. I found that with some profs, I was essentially able to predict their exam questions by 3rd/4th year after having them for multiple classes. Good luck!
  11. I don’t think it should make a difference. I applied and got in on my first attempt after completing a 4 year degree + 1 year of work experience. (I applied in the fall following my graduation).
  12. 1. Not sure since I don’t go to Mac. 2. Yes you can do electives in Toronto through applying on the AFMC website. Connections can be helpful but are not necessary since Toronto provides the contact information for different electives and I found them to be helpful and not too hard to get without personal connections. Of course this may vary by specialty. Smaller specialties can be harder to get electives in. For the schedule of electives, you do one at a time for clerkship electives and they are generally two weeks, but can also be 1, 3, or 4 weeks. 3. It’s preferable if you can do an elective where you want to attend residency for the program to actually meet you. People do match to places where they didn’t do electives as well, but this tends to be less common. hope this helps!
  13. I think you’re thinking of electives. Basically all school do their core rotations at their home school or rurally and then electives can be in other cities such as Toronto, rural, or at your home school.
  14. I believe it was around 250, though I can’t totally remember through the littman rep. Also make sure to get the model recommended by the school (I believe it’s a littman cardiology 4). Also you don’t need your stethoscope until after winter break so there’s really no rush for you to have it very early on.
  15. Its pretty reasonable to pass. The class averages are usually 70-80 depending on the block.
  16. Pretty much not. Definitely won’t require very detailed memorization.
  17. A pass is a 60 for written exams. It can be higher or lower for OSCEs, but is also generally around 60. There are not that many assignments overall. There is an exam at the end of each block and most have 1-2 midterms. So I think first year has about 5 total.
  18. They are not really discrete classes for the most part. The curriculum goes by blocks, starting with foundations and then proceeding through each of the body systems. First year covers foundations and unit 1. During foundations, basic science topics are discussed as well as genetics, hematology, MSK, rheumatology, immunology and more. Unit 1 covers primarily cardiology, respirology, nephrology. Most things are covered through lecture and CBL. There are also the lab based parts of the curriculum like anatomy, histology, and radiology which tend to correspond to what’s being covere in lecture and CBL. Finally, there is physician skills development which focus on how to interview patients and how to do physical exams, which also tend to correspond to what’s being covered in lecture/CBL. Hope this clarifies things!
  19. I would add Ottawa, Mac, and U of T to your list. You never know if a school you’re not expecting will be interested in you. I was surprised to get an interview at Mac with a 3.73 and 129 CARS, so I think you would have a chance there as well with a good CARS score.
  20. I’m not sure what school you’re at, but at my school I only took 1.5 credits of 4th year courses. (My thesis course and I took a class about the brain, behaviour, and immune system).
  21. I’m a current med student who graduated with a BSc in psych. I would ideally do orgo in the summer so it does not ruin your average if you get under 80 (that’s what I did). Biochem is more optional but helpful. Cell bio is unnecessary. Also I would recommend taking organic and/or biochem if you want to apply to Ottawa since they’re prerequisites- check the website as these have changed recently.
  22. Also people who receive an offer off the waitlist get a week to respond so the class very likely stilll has a reasonable number of spots left, it just may take longer now between offers since each round is fewer and fewer people. Also, while I can’t weigh in on the time stamp theory, your gpa is helpful. If you have a lower gpa than the last accepted person for your stream who posted, that means you may still be in the current bin. If your gpa is higher, then hopefully you are in the next bin.
  23. To add an alternative view point to above, I would not stake too much at this point on your high school performance. Looking back, high school marks really don’t say much since there are huge cultural differences in regard to marking difficulty between schools to the point where an 80 at one high school may be a 90 at another. For example, I graduated high school with an average under 90 and am now in med school, while I know a lot of people who got above 90 and are not in med school or who are still pursuing it after trying for a few years (a pretty common scenario actually). All this to say that it’s very hard to assess where you stand compared to peers until you have completed a year or 2 of undergrad. In regard to your program, it doesn’t matter from a med school perspective as long as it will play to your strengths and give you the background to write the mcat. In terms of back up plans, something with coop is nice to ensure you have some built in work experience and practical skills. Good luck in your choices!
  24. I'm about 99% sure it runs in the summer since I have taken it last August and also its currently running, but I have not specifically asked the driver since I have not used it in the last month. It runs between the General, Riverside, and Civic and comes every 20-30 minutes. The schedules are posted at all of the stops.
  25. I’m a current UOttawa med student. Half of the class lives downtown and half lives near the hospital. Near the hospital there are houses, not many apartment buildings except l’avantage. It’s a more expensive building though. I think about 800-900 a month per person. Near the hospital, it’s one bus to a loblaws and Walmart, but there are definitely more amenities downtown.
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