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frenchpress

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frenchpress last won the day on August 28 2018

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  1. frenchpress

    Are all Bachelor of Science Degrees Equal?

    Eh, “cool” is purely perspective. Outside of the world of med school applicants, people have all kinds of interests. And within most Med schools people are a lot more diverse than you realize. Agriculture is pretty freaking important to society — anyone who can’t appreciate how an agriculture degree could be cool has never thought about where their food comes from! Biomedical technology wouldnt do anyone any good if we all were to starve to death from a lack of food sources
  2. As Meridian points out, many schools require that if you apply as a Master’s student you can’t drop out of the MSc to do Med school — any offers are conditional on finishing your MSc before a certain deadline, generally the summer before you would start Med. I am not sure how it would effect you in future application cycles at schools you want to apply to next year if you dropped out this year. You should contact admissions at the schools you’re interested in or carefully read their faq. Many schools are understanding of students changing their paths in life, and I am usually of the opinion that you shouldn’t stay in a program you hate. But it may hurt your application, particularly right away. There’s a bit of a perception difference between an applicant who stopped a master’s partway through a few years ago and has gone on to have a career in another area they like better, and someone who has just dropped out this past year because they may have just wanted to have more time to prep for Med school (regardless of whether that’s the reason of not).
  3. frenchpress

    Reference Disqualified?

    Interesting, I hadn’t heard about this. You’re right that it does not seem to be in any of the info given the applicants.
  4. frenchpress

    Reference Disqualified?

    I haven’t heard of this. You could email admissions for advice on it. I suspect that they’ll just tell you that you should choose the most appropriate referee for the questions asked on each form, and that if the referee can’t comment on multiple things then the reference may just not be as considered as strong.
  5. Probably yes. Just because you did it all at one location doesn’t mean it’s the same job. If you had done them each at a different location would you consider them as three different experiences? If so, split them. The converse is also true. Sometimes you may have done the same role or job for different organizations over a period of time — in that case, even though it was several different gigs, you might list it as one experience.
  6. Oh, of course! I’m just saying that research is also an option. I find a lot of people on this forum are pretty anti master’s, which I sort of get if the main end goal is a better GPA for Med school — but if a person likes research and wants to go that route, I like to be the devil’s advocate and encourage them to consider it
  7. I think it really depends. I found that a lot more opportunities (and funding) became available once I signed on to do a master’s and I had a supervisor that was invested in me finishing that master’s — I was able to work on more of my own research and ideas, publish more first author work, travel more, etc. I also found it a lot more enjoyable to do something I was more invested in, compared to when I was just taking a random bunch of undergrad science courses. Edit: I will also add that I found master’s classes, at least in my program, so much easier to do well in than in undergrad. Averages were almost always in the low 90s or high 80s. And none of the classes I chose had exams, just papers and presentations and projects, which I found a lot less stressful. Which gave me more time and energy for things outside of school. Obviously very program dependent though. I think if GPA is the only consideration, then I agree more undergrad courses makes the most sense. But there’s good reasons to do a master’s, and the OPs GPA isn’t so bad that a master’s couldn’t be beneficial for Med if they were interested in going that route.
  8. If your goal is UBC Med and you have an 80% average (is that before or after adjustedment?) a master’s could be a reasonable route for you. But you’d be putting more of your eggs in one basket. Year to year usually about a quarter of the admitted UBC class has an adjusted average below 85, which those applicants make up for with stronger than average ECs. Unlike many schools, UBC will use your master’s grades toward your GPA. A thesis master’s is usually only about 18 credits with grades, which won’t give much of a boost, especially if you I already have 179 credits. Although, if you’re able to get very high grades, it can add a couple percent - it is much easier at UBC to achieve a 90+ average in a master’s than in undergrad. As others have stated, a course based master’s would be slightly more credits. For comparison, I started my MSc with an undergraduate average just below 80%. In my master’s I was able to achieve an average above 90%, and I also took a few additional science classes - altogether about 30 credits. So when I applied for UBC Med my adjusted average after dropping my worst year was ~83%. Not a huge boost, but it turned out to be enough. The other thing to consider in choosing between more undergrad courses and a master’s is that the master’s may give you more opportunities to boost the NAQ portion of your application — I had quite a bit of paid work and TA experience, conferences, volunteer work, publications, awards, etc., all related to my MSc. It also set me up for a much better paying career in the meantime while applying for Med (and as a backup) than I could I’ve gotten with my undergrad degree.
  9. I switched into medicine for similar reasons, despite having a career that I enjoyed. It just didn’t really tick all the boxes in terms of personal fulfillment and enjoyment. I am only a couple years into medical school, but at this point I’d make the switch again. The lost income was a bit hard to come to terms with, but it gets easier the closer I get to making money again. Lots of people find partners while in medical school. People are dating each other all over the place. I think it’s a bit harder to find people to date who AREN’T also medical students (if it’s important to you to date outside of medicine), but it happens. Lots of people also have kids in residency. I know several women who have done it. It’s a good time to do it financially because you get mat leave. I also know a couple women who have kids / got pregnant in Med school (I actually met one resident who did so and spent quite a bit of our time together trying to convince me it was the absolute best time to do it). In short, its very doable. Different people make it work in different ways. @sangria said it well. If those things are important to you AND you want to become a doctor, then you just have to do your best and trust that you’ll find a way to prioritize the things you want.
  10. frenchpress

    Best and Worst thing about Alberta?

    I’d agee with all of this. Edmonton is a good place to be if you’re focused on something like school. It’s generally a lot more affordable than Vancouver or Toronto, and there’s actually a decent amount going on in terms of entertainment - there’s a symphony, lots of theatre, a good and growing restaurant and brewery scene, etc. And I do think people are a bit friendlier out there generally, although I find Vancouver relatively friendly as well (depends where you go). The major issue for me living in Edmonton was the heavy reliance on a car. Most things are far apart and spread across the city. It’s not nearly as easy to get around on foot or bike or bus as somewhere like Toronto or Vancouver. There is transit, but it’s only really convenient if you’re going between certain places. If it’s important to you, there are a couple more walkable neighbourhoods though, like around the university. The cold takes some getting used to — it really can be just unbelievably cold, and the winters can be looooong (think snow in September and May in a very bad year). But unless you take the bus or love winter sports, you don’t actually need to spend that much time in it. Just make sure you have a warm place or a block heater to park your car :p The positive trade off is that the other seasons are lovely, especially summer — the days are long and the weather is warm but relatively mild/less humid than Toronto or Vancouver.
  11. frenchpress

    UofA Indigenous Student Admissions Thoughts

    Indigenous peoples can be a part of communities within urban areas, or may belong to more than one community — just like people from any other cultural or racial group in Canada. Moreover, we live in a society where people are entitled to live where they choose, regardless of their background (although whether they have the means to do so is a different issue). I think it’s great that this policy is open-minded enough to take these steps without any such apparent limitations on where successful applicants can work and live. I hope it provides a boost for indigenous representation in medicine, which is sorely needed. I expect most of these physicians will aim to serve their chosen community(ies) fairly and to the best of their abilities regardless of where they are from or where they end up, just like we’d expect from any other doctor.
  12. frenchpress

    Anyone from Ontario???

    That hasn’t been true for quite some time, since at least 2016 when I applied but I am pretty sure even longer back? The current IP requirement is simply that you possess a BC services card, which just means that you have BC health coverage.
  13. frenchpress

    Anyone from Ontario???

    No, that’s incorrect, it can get you IP status if you choose. As long as you actually move your permanent address to BC and apply for health care, etc. See my response above (accidentally split this into two posts). Requirements for MSP (healthcare coverage) are here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/health-drug-coverage/msp/bc-residents/eligibility-and-enrolment/are-you-eligible
  14. frenchpress

    Anyone from Ontario???

    This isn’t correct. Going to UBC could absolutely make you eligible for IP. You just have to actually move to BC and declare a BC address as your residence, and apply for BC health care — once you have health care coverage, you can apply as an IP applicant (you must have it by the beginning of the application cycle and maintain it throughout). Once you’re a BC resident you’ll also have to switch your drivers license etc, but the only documentation you need to apply as IP for UBC is a health care number. Full-time students from other provinces have the option of maintaining their residence, health care, driver’s license from their home province. Usually you lose eligibility if you’re out of province for more than ~6 months, but obviously school is usually more than 6 months per year — this is an exception that’s offered across Canada so students don’t lose their residency from their home province if they don’t want to. So you could attend UBC for school and remain an Ontario resident as long as you were a full-time student. But you can also just move your permanent address to BC at any point while attending UBC and then become an actual BC resident. You just have to stay in BC for enough of the year to meet the residency requirements for healthcare coverage. I know this to be true because I moved to BC as a student and during undergrad became a BC resident and switched my health care, etc.
  15. frenchpress

    Anyone from Ontario???

    You can’t just come to BC on vacation — you’d need to move here, which means declaring a residency here and being here long enough to get your health care switched to BC (6 months). It’s not unconventional to move, lots of people do it. Being a resident of another province can give you the benefit of being IP for that province and still be able to apply to Ontario. You could always do it after you finish your degree. I know several people in UBC Med who moved to Vancouver from other parts of the country for a couple years to become IP while applying to Med. Don’t discount the expense of Vancouver though. It’s not so bad when you’re in your first couple years of undergrad if you can live in residence and have help from your family. But living costs here are very high, and many students struggle to find affordable housing that’s also safe and clean unless they’ve got outside support.
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