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Olaf

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  1. If you don't mind missing a cycle and an MSc is in line with your career goals then go far I can't think of any reason why it would decrease your chances, I did an MSc and so do MANY others before getting in to med! They won't care that you've missed a cycle.
  2. If medical school is your ultimate goal, I don't think I would recommend doing a master's degree because 1) you will lose an application cycle, and 2) I don't think it will make you that much more competitive. Your application already demonstrates substantial research productivity and you were able to get an interview at U of T so you are already a competitive candidate! What would best improve your chances would be to focus on improving your interview skills for U of T and working on your GPA and MCAT score to make you competitive at other schools. This could mean doing a fifth year (as others have mentioned, this will help at schools like Queens and Western that look at your best/most recent 2 years GPA) and rewriting the MCAT (again as others have mentioned, only if you're certain you could bring up your CARS score without your other sections dropping). Ultimately though, it is of course your choice! If you're set on doing a master's degree because it is something you really want to do and you don't mind missing an application cycle, then go for it just know that it probably won't improve your chances as much as focusing on the other areas of your application.
  3. I agree with the above poster - it doesn't matter really what you do, it matters more so what you learned/gained from your ECs and how you talk about them!
  4. Hey, I was in a similar-ish position when I interviewed last year My best two years were ~3.8. but I'm not SWOMEN and I just barely made the MCAT cut offs to get an interview. I felt a little unsure going into the interview given that I assumed I was probably near the bottom of the list of people they had offered interviews to but I ended up getting an offer of admission without being waitlisted! I think once you get that interview, how you interview is most important so once you get there just focus on that and not your GPA/MCAT
  5. There will be a housing guide that will come out sometime in the nearish future with information about housing near campus but a lot of people live downtown, in the masonville area, in the apartment buildings on Richmond road North of Richmond and University, in the Cherryhill area, and in the apartment buildings on proudfoot lane near Oxford!
  6. Many schools do a weighted GPA calculation rather than looking at your cGPA, have you looked into how each school calculates GPA to see if that makes you more hopeful? I did poorly on my first MCAT too (got a 124 in phys/chem and 126 in CARS ) but found I did much better the second time after studying pretty much full time for a whole summer. Just keep studying and practicing and you will improve! May be helpful to try to identify the specific areas or types of questions you are struggling with see if anyone on this forum has any specific advice. Also, are you taking a prep course? I found that very helpful for CARS (listening to someone explain why certain answers were right and others are wrong) and was able to improve my score from a 126 to a 129! My best advice is to just keep plowing onward no matter how hard the road gets! Getting good marks is hard, getting a good MCAT score is also hard, so this may mean you need to do a second undergrad to improve your GPA (which is king for med school applications and sadly a master's degree will not improve your GPA) and it may take a few rewrites of the MCAT to get a good score. For many people, it takes years to build up a competitive enough application for Canada. My road was certainly not straightforward. This is not meant as discouragement but more so a reminder that it may take a while for you to get in but that is okay; it is possible if you really want it
  7. ^That was most likely it, we had several interviews go over time or nearly go over time
  8. My gut response to this, sadly, would be to err on the side of caution :/ I am all for people challenging norms and doing what makes them feel great but you don't want to give the interviewers any possible reason to deduct marks or whatever and it is plausible that some could view a male wearing dark nail polish as unprofessional. For what it's worth, as a female, I also avoided dark nail polish and stuck with a nude.
  9. On Schulich's website it says "Each candidate who is invited for interview is required to complete a short written component to the interview where they are asked to read and summarize a passage according to instructions." So that's literally all it is Nothing to worry about!
  10. I'm pretty sure the written component is pass/fail and is meant to evaluate your ability to comprehend a writing piece and then communicate that information back to someone in a summary.
  11. If you want to be competitive for several schools across Canada then definitely split your time between grades and ECs but just be careful not to overwork yourself! You don't need to aim for a 4.0 GPA each year + a ton of long-term ECs, that is just not realistic for many people and looking after your mental health is very important. I would say aim for at least a 3.8 each year going forward (but don't stress too much if for some reason that doesn't happen, you can always do the fifth year to make up for it) and pick just a few ECs that really interest you to do long-term. I think that longer really is better when it comes to ECs because it shows commitment. Three ECs with several hours/done for 2+ years each looks better than 6 ECs that were done for like 6 months each. If you're interested in that club, then definitely go for the presidency! That + a long-term volunteer hospital or research position + just being a member of a couple of clubs that you enjoy is a really good start. If you're 100% sure that you'd want to be a doctor then absolutely follow that dream. The path is rough but that dream is definitely attainable if you are willing to work hard and be determined. Remember that for MANY people the path is also not linear - there are tons of people who don't get into medical school straight out of undergrad. It's not at all uncommon for people to have to do 5th or 6th years to up their grades and ECs, to write the MCAT more than once, to do masters degrees or PhDs or work for a few years before getting in, etc. Which is not to say that it's impossible to get in right out of undergrad without doing any of that stuff but just that it's okay if your path is winding. I personally didn't even realize that I wanted to go to medical school until I was in grad school, at which point I had a 3.69 cGPA and had done literally no ECs so I thought it might have been too late for me. It took lots of work and a couple of tries but, here I am!
  12. Sounds like you have lots of questions/things to think about! First of all, don't worry about your low GPA in first year. Most medical schools calculate a weighted GPA which they use for admissions. For example, Western only looks at the GPA in your best two years, U of T drops a number of your worst courses, etc. Have a look at the websites for the schools you might be interested in and see how they calculate your GPA. Just work hard and do as well as you can in your remaining years and you likely won't need to do a fifth year! If it makes you feel better, my cGPA for 5 years of undergrad is only 3.69 but because of weighted GPAs, I was still able to get into medical school! As for ECs, you don't NEED to have research experience to get into medical school so if you can't find a position or professor who you like/whose work you find interesting, don't worry about it. What's important is spending your time doing ECs that interest you and that will give you meaningful experiences. If you are set on getting some research experience though, I wouldn't worry about not understanding the papers completely. The professors will understand that you're only in second year and not expect you to understand everything right away. It's more important that you be interested in their research if you want to volunteer in their lab. I would just look for a couple of professors who are doing research that interests you and ask them (either via email or drop by their office if they have office hours) if they would take you on as a volunteer. You'll learn all you need to know on the job. It's also okay if the ECs on your application are not ones you've been doing since high school. I think 3-4 ECs (could be sports, volunteering, exec positions, research, work experience, etc., whatever interests you) that you'd have done for at least 1-2 years (though the longer the better) each at the time of your application is generally plenty. However, what is considered competitive with respect to ECs does vary by school (as some weigh them more heavily than others, while some don't even look at them at all, for example Western) so again, take a look at the schools that you would be interested in applying to and see if they value ECs more or less. With regards to what path you should take with schooling, take some time to think about what your CURRENT dream is and then decide which path will help you get there. Do you still really want to be a doctor? Or do you think your current dream is to go into cancer research? I also agree with @mkd, don't compare yourself to others! Your journey is your journey alone and not everyone's path looks the same. The most important things to do are take care of yourself, decide what you want, figure out how best to get there, and then do your best to work towards that!
  13. I think the best way to practice depends on who you are as a person. I know people who went all out and filmed themselves doing practice interviews with several people, which they then watched back, while I personally did very little prep. This worked best for me because I feel like too much prep would've resulted in me coming up with semi-scripted answers, which makes me nervous because then I worry too much about going off of my "perfect" script. But then again, I am a little bit older and had some interview experience in my 6 months prior to interviewing for med school. So just think about what prep style would make you feel most comfortable. The questions will be a combination of personal questions and questions about how you would handle specific situations. For the personal questions, I prepped by taking some time to introspect on my various life experiences (school, volunteering, personal situations I've been in, etc.) and how each one affected/impacted me, how I handled the situation(s), what I learned from them, etc. That way I didn't come up with scripted answers but I had a solid idea of my thoughts on those experiences. I would make sure you also have a good handle on why you want to go into medicine, what interests you about being a doctor, why you might want to go to Western, etc. I personally did no prep for the "here is an ethical situation, what would you do?" type questions, though if you feel you need it, it wouldn't hurt to find some example questions online and practice answering them. I think the best way to approach those is to take a couple of seconds to think about your answer and then present a balanced, well-articulated viewpoint on what YOU think the best response is. There's not really one right answer to those, basically just show that you can see all sides of the dilemma when considering how you would handle the situation and don't give any extreme answers. ^ also hello fellow schulich 2021
  14. If it makes you feel any more less worried, my 2 year GPA was ~3.81 and I just barely made the non-swomen MCAT cut offs and I got an offer of admission The cut off could totally go up but if it stays at ~3.7, assuming you interview well, you don’t need to worry too much about GPA and MCAT!
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