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frenchpress last won the day on August 28

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About frenchpress

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  1. frenchpress

    MSc Degree and med school applications

    Agreed. I do also know a couple of people who did it. It’s a lot of work and very mentally draining. I did some of my prerequisite courses part-time while completing my masters, and it was really challenging to balance studying for that with staying on top of research and grad courses, especially during semesters where I was also working as a TA. I ended up working full time for awhile after my degree, which is when I prepped for my MCAT and did my application — I found that more manageable. So I’d say it’s definitely doable. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll personally find it worth it. Having a life and hobbies and keeping your stress manageable can also be beneficial to a med school application. It might not be a bad thing to think about taking an extra year and spreading things out more either.
  2. frenchpress

    MSc Degree and med school applications

    I think most schools require the degree complete generally a month or two before the semester starts. At UBC it’s July 30, and you need either a conferred degree on your transcripts or a letter from the graduate office of your school confirming you were totally done (letters from supervisors weren’t sufficient), but the exact timing and requirements will vary school to school. You’ll need to look up the specific requirements for each place you want to apply - part of the joy of med school applications is that there is rarely one answer for how or when you’re supposed to do things :p
  3. frenchpress

    MSc Degree and med school applications

    Is it a thesis master’s or course-based (with just a small project?). If it’s a thesis, find out if that’s a realistic timeline - you can talk to other students in your planned lab and find out how long people tend to take. A thesis master’s in a lot of places will generally be 20 - 24 months. But the vast majority of people I knew in grad school took at least a semester longer than they had planned when they started (so closer to 24 months), and many even 2-3 semesters longer (so closer to 3 years).
  4. frenchpress

    MD/PHD Granting Institution

    I believe that this is just a fancy way of saying that the courses have to be ‘university level’. I am pretty sure Calgary stipulates your last two years have to be from a MD/PhD-granting institution OR be transferable to one. This just means taking bachelor-level courses that you can apply toward a degree, and should include most university-level courses at smaller schools and colleges. The stipulation is meant to exclude certain types of college, diploma and vocational programs that are not at the level of a bachelor degree. It’s a pretty common requirement across medical schools in Canada that the courses used for GPA calculation be university level. I am not sure if there are any exceptions.
  5. frenchpress


    Agree. And typically verifiers are not even asked questions about personality or how the experience contributed to medicine, etc — it’s not a reference. In my experience as a verifier I have only ever been asked to confirm whether what the applicant wrote was true, and if not, to explain any discrepancies. OP I really don’t think they’re going to ask for that sort of detail, and you can reassure your verifier that it shouldn’t be an issue.
  6. frenchpress

    UBC med from Ontario?

    UBC only gives a maximum 10% of the seats to out-of-province applicants, so it’s much more competitive. To be considered as an in-province applicant you’d need become a BC resident, which means meeting the criteria to obtain health care coverage (MSP) here. I think you need to have resided in BC for a minimum 6 months to qualify for MSP.
  7. frenchpress

    Online Courses

    UBC will include all courses that are considered ‘university-transerable ‘ credits, including online courses and anything taken in the summer or after graduation. Agree with @rmorelan that you should review the criteria of each school you’re interested in closely — there are lots of subtle differences between the schools for the application criteria, calculations, etc.
  8. frenchpress


    Start by calling them if you can get someone on the phone to talk to. They can tell you if the requirements changed. If they didn’t, and they accepted your courses last year, then you should be able to make a case that they should be accepted this year.
  9. Yes, they do! If you want to buy directly from people, there’s a section for buying/selling on this forum, so you could post a wanted ad there (with your location) and someone might respond. Or try searching MCAT on Facebook marketplace — if there’s a lot of students in your city there may be a lot of options. You can also buy online from used book sellers like Abe Books Canada. Amazon occasionally has some ok used deal, but they sometimes heavily discount slightly older editions of books too. I doubt there’s much difference between the newest editions and ones from 2015/2016 for example. Just make sure anything that you get as your primary study source is for the ‘new MCAT’ or the ‘2015 MCAT’ or published after ~2015. They made major changes to the test for that year, so older sources won’t be as helpful to you.
  10. frenchpress

    How does UBC verify?

    I've never been contacted to verify for UBC, but have for other schools. Every time I've done it they just email exactly the information the person entered, and then I just had to state whether it was accurate or not. Generally can enter comments if it's not accurate. I would expect UBC is the exact same. I cannot imagine that they would ask verifiers to describe the activity and then check for consistency -- that would be a huge burden on verifiers (busy professors would end up refusing or ignoring requests because of the workload involved), and it would take forever for admissions to code these for inconsistencies for 1800+ applicants. If you think about the workload involved, it's makes a lot more sense to only follow up on any activities flagged by verifiers as inaccurate. Don't worry about it. If they were your actual supervisor then that's the appropriate person to put. Although you might want to consider whether some of those activities should be combined, but if they were actually distinct, then it's fine. That warning is targeted at people who are overly splitting up activities, choosing less than ideal verifiers, or verifying personal activities and are just listing the same person over and over again.
  11. It can be a little overwhelming because it’s 128 pages, but I think it’s work looking at the AAMC official PDF of all the topics on the MCAT (https://aamc-orange.global.ssl.fastly.net/production/media/filer_public/44/e8/44e8b9aa-5000-490c-8a6a-c7ff8d01874d/combined_mcat-content_new_013118.pdf) I used that to guide WHAT to study, and then I used a combination of different resources (Kaplan textbooks and Khan Academy videos mostly) to help me cover each topic. I used the AAMC and NextSteps practice exams to practice. But there’s lots of ways to do it. Some people just buy an MCAT dedicated textbook set (The exam krackers, Kaplan, and the Princeton review books are all pretty popular) and go through that along with doing practice exams from various sources (AAMC has the most realistic tests and are worth buying, but many companies also offer them). Some people take dedicated prep courses (again offered by Kaplan, Princeton Reciew, etc.), which tend to guide you through the the material in a very intense way, and they usually include some practice tests (but they’re also $$$$). Different things will work well for different people — there’s lots of threads on the mcat section about resources you can look at to get a sense of what people liked and why. Unfortunately you don’t get any resources when you sign up for the exam. It can be an incredibly expensive process. The exam costs close to $500 Canadian, most texts are a couple hundred dollars, and you can pay hundreds just for the AAMC practice materials. If you want to do a prep course, that can be in the thousands
  12. I think it’s probably fine given your explanations. As long as you’re largely using good verifiers for most things, I don’t think they’ll flag a few with family / friends for good reasons. You might just want to spread it around a little bit instead of choosing the same person for all of them? I used family members / friends for at least 8 things on my application that were quite old, or I’d lost touch with the relevant people, or because they were personal activities, and it didn’t hurt me.
  13. All the other stuff you’re interested in doing sounds useful for your application. No one knows how much emphasis they put on awards, but I really don’t think it’s that much. And while I am sure having them will increase your score, I don’t know that the increase would be proportional to the amount of time/effort you’d have to put in to get that particular award. The cash is also a lot less than you’re likely to get from working part time! I’d wager that maintaining a high GPA and doing activities you enjoy to boost the rest of your app is likely an as good if not better strategy.
  14. In addition to Mac, Calgary would be a school for you to look at as a non-trad since it sounds like you’re living in alberta already and could apply as an in-province applicant. I agree with the others that you’ll probably need at least a couple years of a second undergrad to realistically stand a shot though - while anyone with a GPA over 3.2 can apply, the average entrance GPA is usually ~3.85.
  15. If the publication was done during an employment or volunteering activity, you can mention it briefly in your description of that activity. You shouldn't try to fit in the whole publication citation, but you don't really need to. Just say something like "I did research on ______ with _________ and contributed to a journal publication (3rd author) published in ______ journal."