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Cyclosarin

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About Cyclosarin

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  1. I'm just going to add this as an anecdote. I work full-time, took no prep courses, and hadn't taken most of the suggested prerequisites, and I did fairly well on the MCAT. I don't think those things are very good excuses to not do well. You could definitely argue about whether or not the MCAT is effective in predicting future performance. But it's ultimately just one test focused on basic science and reading comprehension.
  2. I emailed admissions and it seems that what I outlined in my original post is the case. They're going to count my two full-time years as equivalent to third and fourth year, so I won't meet the 3/5 rule for one of them. However, there was no indication I couldn't take an additional year (i.e. prolong the degree) or a special year to meet their requirements. I'll likely end up prolonging my degree. To finish in two more years requires me overloading my schedule with science courses, so if I don't have to do that, then hallelujah. Western is my first choice and best option, so trying to confirm I'm on track is really quite stressful. Let's hope the requirements can stay somewhat consistent for the next two years.
  3. Perhaps I'm missing something about how things are done, but can it really be this hard to translate an exam?
  4. Hey, thanks for your response mononoke! I just used theoretical scenarios in my post, because personally, I feel like I could make my current research work within a few different specialties. I'm certainly planning to keep an open mind about it all if I'm admitted. I also think that picking a specialty based on genuine interest over trying to fit an ideal is wise advise. Thank you. It makes sense that after residency there's more flexibility in how many hours are spent practicing. It would certainly be great to strike some sort of balance between my professional interests at the end of training. Glad to hear it's feasible!
  5. I'm going to hijack this thread to ask a related question to the OPs. I've often wondered about how people approach specialties when they already have a background related to medicine. Let's assume that this background is something the person enjoys and want to expand upon, such as research or a business. If you've invested so much time into publications and establishing yourself in the community, it would be pretty devastating to not match into a specialty that compliments that work. Are people in this position more likely to take risks during the match process? Is it very common for people to walk away from medicine all together if they're unable to match into a desired specialty? On a more optimistic note, how would you determine what aspects of each interest need to overlap? For example, if your research is centred around radioligand synthesis, should you be focusing on residencies in radiology or maybe nuclear medicine? Those are certainly the two specialties that come to mind on a superficial level, but from a practical stand point, research has a very narrow scope compared to practicing as a radiologist. Would being in radiology improve the quality of research you could do be doing, or would those same benefits be achieved by practicing in any specialty? I phrase the question that way because synthetic work is bench research and there's a very large gap between that and clinical trials. In all likelihood that research would have no immediate impact on your practice of medicine. On the other hand, if you're practicing in a completely unrelated specialty, your research may suffer because it's hard to stay up to date in two unrelated fields. I'll use another example to address an alternate angle. What if you run a business, such as designing medical devices or prosthetics. In a world where you're able to relinquish some of the day to day responsibilities during medical school and residency, do you strive for a related specialty? Perhaps one where the opportunity exists for a clinic to run analogous with the business? I think this example is quite a bit more complicated then accommodating research goals, but I know these specialty clinics exist (admittedly they're mostly in the States). Just a few things I've thought about, I apologize for the naivety.
  6. I've often thought about how I'd manage those kinds of loans, and they've actually been a major deterrent to seriously applying to medicine over the years. Partially because I've never been in debt before. But I also worry about not being able to secure a residency, matching but a lack of staff positions after completing residency, or potential cuts to physician billings that make loan repayment even more challenging. I definitely understand how it could be overwhelming.
  7. Oh no, I thought it was clear a second degree was just that. A second bachelor's degree with overlaping electives so it can be completed in less time.
  8. I wonder if unemployment numbers like these help support some degree of privatization? I'm also not sure what unemployment means in this context. Is it that 170+ surgeons are sitting at home collecting social assistance, are they no longer working in health care (eg. Waiting tables, making coffee, etc.), or are they working without any operating time? Regardless of which one, they're all completely unacceptable.
  9. Thanks for sharing your experience. I appreciate it. I worry about the UofC on behalf of my atrocious GPA. My first degree was unfortunately a 2.5 cGPA, even with their weighting it's about the same. I've managed 4.0s in my second degree thus far, but I'd need two more years of 4.0s to barely break the 3.2 cutoff for IP. It's something I'm certainly striving for, but it's a pretty high standard that might not be realistic with other commitments. Eventually the 10 year exclusion will help in that regard, but I do hope to be accepted somewhere else before then. Thanks for that insight in regards to writing out the Top 10. It does make sense that everyone's experiences will feel minimized with such a tight word limit. I'm glad to hear it wasn't hinderance overall.
  10. After talking with lots of other researchers, I think my research experience in undergraduate was quite a bit different from the norm. So, I'll share it with OP just encase it's something of interest. When I was in my second year, I designed my own research project that was somewhat related to biochemistry. Once I organized the idea and typed up my literature review and mini proposal, I pitched it to one of my professors. I actually didn't know them, I searched their research on the university website and read some of their recent publications. I carefully crafted an email to send and they were kind enough to support me in researching my own project. It was a really great experience. My next research project was my honours thesis, which was a really complicated project that I also 'made up,' but that same professor offered to be on my committee. That was really inspiring and made a great professional relationship long term. My advise in there is to create your own research projects. You learn best by doing, and you'd be surprised how many people are willing to help if you put the effort forward. It's also a lot more meaningful when it's your own project. At least for me it felt like I actually accomplished something, no matter how small, when it was done.
  11. My friend is just starting medical school at the UofC and she's already started shadowing in two different specialties. The medical school helped her arrange the opportunities, so it seems like you can start shadowing before the official start of medical school. Not sure how common this is in general though.
  12. Hey thanks for that, it's nice to see an infographic for the various roles.
  13. I don't mean to be the negative one here, but due to OPs description he wouldn't qualify for Western's or Queen's because they don't typically accept grades from graduate courses completed during undergraduate. Of course I'd email to make sure, but as it stands now, he may only have one year that meets their cut-offs. I used to know UofCs stance on graduate courses as part of undergrad, but I don't remember anymore. He would still meet the GPA cutoff for IP regardless of that final year being counted or not though. I'm not sure what McMaster's stance on the matter is. Definitely email someone and make sure OP, because you may need at least a special year to qualify for Queen's/Western.
  14. Since you're going into an engineering discipline with a biomedical option, the tougher 'premedical courses' should be a part of your degree, such as organic chemistry and physics. BioEng should also have courses that cover human anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry to various degrees, which are beneficial to anyone interested in medicine. Honestly, I don't think you need to go out of your way to take any additional biology courses. In fact, it might not be possible to fit anymore courses into your schedule. BioEng at my institution makes almost every semester have 6-7 courses, so you really wouldn't retain much additional information by the end. Edit: I would recommend taking a psychology/sociology course or two during your options. But as an international student, your GPA really needs to be your top priority. It's a nightmare to try and repair it later, so I'd put any concerns about the MCAT on the back burner for now.
  15. For me personally, I think I'll only be applying to Queen's and Western. Perhaps UofC, as I'm IP, but I suspect I'll never be accepted there regardless of how well my Top 10 is done. I know Western doesn't consider ECs during interview selection, but the OMSAS sketch for Queen's is something I worry about. Looking at the categories, the major hole for me will be awards & accomplishments. I don't think I've won an award since I was little kid, and I don't really know what 'accomplishments' means in that context. For the other categories though, I think I would have a hard time narrowing it down.
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