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frenchpress last won the day on August 28 2018

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About frenchpress

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  1. It is incredibly common to need several years of practice to develop your study skills in university. Learning how to learn well is a life skill that you will constantly develop. Contrary to the point in the post above, many, many people do not have good study skills by the end of high school. The idea that you “should” have some particular set of skills by university is unrealistic and unhelpful - forget it. I worked in post secondary education and advising for many year and I have seen many smart and motivated students struggle with the transition, some for years. High school courses vary immensely in difficulty, and not everyone is focused on or even needs good study skills in high school. I know many people, myself included, who excelled in high school simply because it was easy and they could memorize their way through. Topics you could spend and entire semester on in some high schools might be covered in a week in some intro university courses. University courses are a different beast, and university spans such a range of disciplines that what works for you in one course (like computer science) won’t work at all in another (like biology). It sounds like you’re on track and improving all the time. Keep at it. Keep reflecting on what you’re doing so you can study more efficiently and effectively - I.e. if you need to spend 9 hours everyday, maybe not all that time is well used. But most importantly try to find a way to balance your life and school (and work, eventually) so you can maintain your relationships and not give up all the things you enjoy. You need to be able to enjoy the life you’re living now while you’re on the path to medical school. Because then it won’t matter quite so much how long it takes you to get in (or even if you never get in or eventually decide you’re more interest to do instead). It’s so common in our society for people to feel like they can’t start their adult life unless they finish their degree or degrees, and then get a job, buy a house, etc. So it can feel so important to get into medical school as soon as possible and do everything the right way so you don’t waste time. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
  2. From the FAQ: “We evaluate grades from courses taken during the current application cycle only for applicants who receive an offer to the program or who are placed on the waitlist. For applicants who receive an offer, we recalculate the overall GPA or adjusted GPA (if applicable) with the new coursework added in. If the resulting GPA has dropped 5% or more from the overall or adjusted GPA we calculated during our file evaluation in the fall, the Admissions Selection Committee reserves the right to revoke the offer of admission.”
  3. All the schools that I am familiar with will look at your entire transcript(s). You don’t apply with a particular degree; you typically have to send every transcript from every post secondary institution that you have attended. Different schools have different policies about how they calculate GPA from this (some drop your worst year, some use the most recent two years, etc). Look at each school you’re applying to and read about what they require you to send for transcripts and how the calculate your GPA - it’s typically pretty clear.
  4. They state that they are looking for evidence that you can handle the workload of the med school curriculum. Full course loads is one way to measure this. But plenty of people get in that don’t have a full course load and then instead have other things going on, like part time jobs. I think where part-time is the biggest disadvantage is when it is not clear from your application what else you do with your time.
  5. Well sure, dressing as the uterus probably falls into the category of “only thing they’ll remember.” But there’s nothing abnormal in professional interview settings about a bit of colour, and I think there are tasteful, professional ways to choose clothes to help you stand out from the crowd without the outfit screaming “HEY! I LOOK DIFFERENT! PAY ATTENTION TO THAT AND NOTHING I AM SAYING!”
  6. I disagree a bit with the idea that one should avoid bright colours or standing out with your clothes. Sure, if that’s not you, don’t do it. But the whole point of the interview IS to stand out - in a good way. You should try to do that with by being composed, thoughtful, articulate, etc. You can also do that with clothes that manage to show your personality while also walking the fine line of being tasteful and professional. Obviously you don’t want your outfit to be the only thing they remember, so a full neon yellow pantsuit may not be the best idea... But it you’re the sort of person who tends to like wearing bright colours, I don’t see the issue in incorporating that into an outfit. Many of the female doctors I work with (and some of the men) wear lots of fun colours as part of their professional outfits. I recall that among the interviewers, some were more dressed down, while some were also pretty colourfully or even casually dressed (depending on the school, you may find that many interviewers are members of the community outside of Medicine). In my med school we have a lecturer who has made a real point of wearing sweaters that make her resemble a uterus (you can probably guess her specialization). Etc. You do you.
  7. Blouse and dress pants is fine. I wore a dress and a cardigan. It’s true most other people were in blazers/suits, so I did feel a little like I stuck out at first, but I forgot about it pretty quick once the MMI started. Wear whatever will make you feel the most comfortable and allow you to perform the best!
  8. You never know what the MMI will throw at you, and I can’t comment on what UBC specifically themes the MMI around. But start with the sorts of common sense things you’ll be expected to learn a lot more about once you are training/working here. Just a few ideas off the top of my head (in no way exhaustive): - A lot of the same types of issues across Canada are relevant in BC - maid, opioid crisis, rural health, social determinants of health, pharmacare/dental care, access to very expensive medications for diseases that very few people have, etc, etc. - Indigenous health issues both current and how it relates to the history of indigenous peoples and colonization, residential schools, etc. Again, important across Canada, but BC has taken some unique steps, e.g., there is a dedicated First Nations health authority. - Harm reduction. For example, you might want to learn about Insite, the first supervised injection site in North America, or the many other harm reduction initiatives taking place in the DTES of Vancouver, and all across BC. - Private vs. Public -pay health care, I.e. a “two tier system”, has been in the news a lot due to to the court challenge by Dr. Brian Day of the cambie Surgery clinic, seeking the ability for doctors to bill both privately and MSP. - Since November BC pharmacare has switched to covering only cheaper biosimilars for several very popular biological drugs, a move the Alberta government is now following and which is causing a lot of push back.
  9. They say they consider a full course load as ‘approximately’ 30 credits. One semester of 29 is fine, don’t worry about it.
  10. Yes exactly. It’s not so much about picking some token group to get experience with as it is honestly trying to get experience beyond one’s self and one’s usual comfort zone. I think it’s important to be aware of the trap of categorizing any group that might be ‘other’ to someone as synonymous with vulnerable populations.
  11. Seek out employment, volunteering, and continue to spend time on pursuits that you are passionate about and enjoy. Your research background is all ready strong, so you can become more well rounded by expanding your experience in other areas. It sort of looks like you’re done your MSc and now looking for work? Or do you have more school to do? Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to specifically seek out volunteer work with vulnerable populations. In fact, I think sometimes this can backfire, especially when it’s work that ends up being of a minimal commitment because it’s something that’s not really your cup of tea, because it can really give the impression that you’re only doing it to get into Med school. Any volunteering you do that gets you involved with the community is a positive. The most important thing is to find stuff to do that you feel good about doing, and can see yourself doing often and for the long term. Things you would want to do even if you weren’t trying to get into Med school. I.e. try to find ways to get excited about and become a major and non-selfish contributor to society. And find pursuits where you’re actually able to take on increasing responsibility, and aren’t just another pair of hands showing up for the day. this is what UBC actually cares about. That might be working with people with disabilities. But it could also be weekend outdoors clubs, or mentoring people in your field, or assisting with sports, or at your church/religious organization, in the arts or in theatre, etc. etc. etc. And don’t discount the ways in which you can do this through employment.
  12. You can offer to 1) get together with them to discuss / catch up on things that occurred when you worked with them, and/or 2) provide a short description of some things you remember or were highlights for you during your time. You can offer this as an option to be helpful, but not force the issue “I.e.Thank you for agreeing to be my reference. If you need any help or ideas for the forms I can ....” etc. As someone who has written a lot of letters, I think that is the best approach to not come off poorly. I often actually ask students to meet with me or provide me information (CV, some written paragraphs about their time, etc) anyways, unless I know them really well. You could potentially include a description of some of your personal highlights from the experience when you contact them to ask for a reference, partly as a way to remind them who you are and why you think they’re a good reference. That could come off as strange if they know you very well and wonder “why are they telling me these things I know”. But I find it helpful sometimes when people include a paragraph or two in their request and I don’t really know them, as it helps me know why they want me for the reference.
  13. There is absolutely no way that anyone in the Admissions office is making a point of emailing/updating status/etc. at a particular time. Even thinking it might be am vs. pm because it was the previous year is pretty arbitrary. It’s whenever the person(s) responsible get around to it. In my experience, even when the faculty of medicine says results for something are going to be at a particular time.... they’re almost always late
  14. Co-op is a completely normal thing to do in a degree. How could it raise raise a red flag?
  15. I meant that the general task of giving references is widely considered to be part of the job when you are a employed as a professor, at least at my university. Just like that of an employer for an employee. Of course there’s no obligation to provide a personalized and detailed reference to every student who asks. But among my own department colleagues I found over the years (most frequently when we were all complaining around grad school and med school application season) that a majority do feel it is a professional obligation to provide at least a basic reference when asked. I always tell students I WILL give a reference, but I am very up front with them when I am unable to provide a STRONG reference. Most then decline. But I have had the occasional student who needed a reference for something to check some box, and even when I told them it wouldn't have anything other than a description of the course and the class average and their grade, they still wanted it - so they got it! And I have even given a rather detailed and poor reference to a student, after I told the student directly that’s what would happen, because they were adamant that they wanted it anyways.
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