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zxcccxz

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  1. Do you mean your poster was accepted to be presented, but the conference was cancelled? Or that you were on the author list for a poster that was presented but not the primary presenter/first author? I know for the latter at least UofC let’s you list it. Unsure about other schools. For the former, I don’t see how any school would like you to list it. It would be kind of like saying “I was registered to go to the olympics but I didn’t actually go”. Really just means you didn’t really do anything. Not worth much except a “sorry better luck next time.”
  2. Full course load means 5 FCEs per year for you. So either 10 half year courses, 5 full year courses, or a combination thereof leading to 5FCEs. Don't quote me on this, but I don’t think a co-op year counts towards their calculation since there’s no way you took 5FCEs while doing a co-op (even if your time commitment was likely the same a day full-time non-coop student). Your two most recent years in which you took 5FCEs would be used to calculate your wGPA.
  3. It definitely sucks to be in your position, but I think the first step is understanding that everyone's journey is different. Many people have a very set timeline in which they want to progress to each milestone along the med journey (med school, residency, fellowship etc.) but life tends to get in the way sometimes. I think you need find what works for you in terms of getting over this barrier in your life. I personally have a very "don't cry over spilled milk" approach to things like this, and I tell myself there's nothing I can do to change the unfavourable outcome, but there's certainly something I can do to work towards a more favourable outcome in the future. I realize this won't work for everyone, so again, find what works to motivate you for the upcoming application cycle. I'm on the younger side in my med cohort, and sitting in on small group discussion I always feel so behind with all the pharmacists, nurses, and PhDs bring their knowledge and life experiences to the conversation. This is to say that another perspective on your situation is that you have an extra year not just to build on your application for med school, but also on yourself as a person. You may certainly find that when you do eventually get into med (fingers crossed for you!) that the time you spent re-applying was not really wasted (provided you're actually living your life and not just treating it like a year-long med school admission process!). You also mentioned that you haven't really had a break from building a competitive application for medical school. I can certainly tell you that it only gets tougher from here on out. Do be careful of burnout because even after you get into med school the struggle for academic excellence, research productivity, and applications won't really stop for a while. So don't treat it like a year-long application process. A lot of the struggle with applying (MCAT, ABS etc.) will already have been completed by you from the last cycle so it should make the upcoming cycle less work-intensive. So take the extra time you have now to do things you enjoy and treat the application process as something that runs in background on your life, but certainly not as something that defines it. As far as pursuing an alternate career, I'm unsure if this was your first application cycle, but the general advice to Canadian applicants is to apply at least 3 times (many apply more than this!) before thinking of pursuing another alternative.
  4. I don't think they will start to matter less, just that in terms of ECs, the avg applicant will have a less impressive resume. So ECs may in fact be a distinguishing factor, where if you have strong ECs despite the pandemic, that could seperate your from the larger pool of applicants, many of whom may no longer have strong ECs. I can't speak for all medical schools, but my school (Calgary) is keeping it's weighting the same, where roughly ~50% of the pre-interview score is non-academic attributes.
  5. I would caution against buying a house because you don't know if you'll match to residency for sure in Edmonton. You may be stuck paying the mortgage on a house you can't live in, and it may be overly expensive to do that while also paying the rent/mortgage on another place.
  6. We were told that they will be in touch with more information on when/how we can pick them up.
  7. Not sure where you read about the two-year post-secondary requirement. The earliest you can get into UofC med is after completing your third year. Keep in mind though that only 2-3 (of ~155) students get in out of third year in each cohort, and the vast majority of students have completed their bachelors, and many have graduate degrees as well. Also, getting into med schools is hard, so you ideally don't want to limit your applications just to UofC, and plan carefully (i.e., prerequisities, MCAT, etc.) to be eligible to apply to multiple schools across Canada. The average person who gets into med school applies about three times. Although you likely have an amazing CV that will set you apart from all of the pre-med rabble, admission to med school can be subjective, and it's really hard to say whether anyone (no matter how amazing their stats) will be able to get into med. Be prepared to apply multiple cycles. Re: your main question, I will echo what gogogo said. If medicine is absolutely something you love and would regret not pursuing then you should give it a shot. This year's incoming class at UofC has someone who is 41-years old, so it's never too late to pusue med! But at the same time, it is important to understand the high-investment in terms of time, money, and stress you will have to go through with 3-4 year bachelors + 3-4 years Med school + 5 year residency as an emergency physician + probably a 1 year fellowship. You seem to have been very successful in life so far, so it's important to think hard about whether this is something you really want or whether "the grass is always greener on the other side". I say all this not to discourage you from applying, but just to make you aware of the years of hard work it will take to get to your goal of becoming an independent emergency physician in Canada. Whether or not you choose to go down this path is really up to you. Good luck!
  8. No matter your MCAT score, your GPA will preclude you from applying/being competitive at any med school in Canada. If you are set on going to med, you would have to do a second undergrad and score at least 3.8+ (on the OMSAS scale) while taking a full course load. This could make you competitive for Western and Queens. For most other med schools, your GPA from your first undergrad is lethal, unfortunately.
  9. They probably want to keep doing better is my guess. Calgary is starting fully online (no surprise here since classes start on July 6th) but initially we were informed that we would transition to in-person classes by September. After getting our final schedule tho it looks like they just meant that the first big exam (which will be sept 14th) will be on site and at least for now, the whole rest of the fall semester seems to be planned as online.
  10. Well that's not true. UofC will count the GPA from your masters as the equivalent of a single undergraduate year in calculations. UofA says "All coursework completed as part of a thesis-based graduate program to which a grade and course weighting was assigned will be included in the calculation of cGPA." But I agree. If GPA is the weakest part of an application (which is the case for you), it's a lot better to do an extra year of undergrad than spend 2-3 years on a masters. One advantage though, if you would be open to considering doing your masters at UofC, is the leaders in medicine program. I'll let you look into it yourself, but the jist of it is that you can keep applying every year to the MD program while you're in the masters and if you get into MD partway through the masters they let you defer by whatever period of time you will need to complete your masters before matriculating into the MD program. This maximizes your chances of getting in because you potentially get multiple applications cycles as compared to if you did your masters at a different university you would only be eligible to apply in the cycle by the end of which you would have your masters degree conferred to you. The biggest barrier for you currently is getting your wGPA up. Your ECs are decent, but perhaps not good enough to overcome your GPA (unless there are some elements I'm missing or you're a phenomenal writer who can really sell themselves in the Top 10). The 130 CARS will help you, but that's only 10% of the file review (and 5% of the overall admissions score) for UofC. If you can get a 4.0 in your final year, I encourage you to apply, but a 3.5 wGPA is still on the low end. If you don't get in that cycle, I would suggest a follow-up 5th year. Another 4.0 then should make you more competitive (3.65wGPA; which is still not great tbh but certainly a lot better than a 3.5).
  11. I definitely agree that there is too much focus on grades at Canadian medical schools. For all the fuss they make about being "holistic", the fact that many students are ineligible to apply simply because they do not meet an arbitrarily high cutoff (I'm looking at you UOttawa) is such a waste, when these students could very easily be excelling in other parts that are important such as the MCAT, ECs, CASPer etc. just because their GPA was 0.01 too low. Heck, Queen's doesn't even release any information like admissions averages or cutoffs, and end up pocketing application fees from hundreds or thousands of applicants every year who will basically pay $100s to get their application thrown out without even been looked at. Ultimately though, the problem is that there are just too many qualified applicants. There are just too many people who have amazing ECs, research, volunteering, MCAT and CASPer in addition to a strong GPA, for applicants with all of those things but a poor GPA to have a realistic chance of gaining admission. There's a cutoff and there's a competitive average. At most schools, anyone who barely passes the cutoff won't get an interview. Are there some gems that get looked over every year because of these cutoffs? Probably. But shifting through a thousand below-cutoff applications for a few applicants who will be able to overcome a very poor GPA with stellar ECs is probably not within the resources of ADCOMS. Otherwise, we will need to accept paying much higher application fees so that they can double or triple their admissions team size to grant every applicant a full file review (which will pose problems of it's own, like discouraging low SES applicants).
  12. How would you classify the different IM subspecialties in terms of broad vs. narrow? Would you say that something like med onc is broad because there is so much cancer in Canada, and it doesn't require lots of equipment like rad onc or an ICU/OR (most of the time). Or by broad do you just mean something like GIM which can kind of treat most of anything unless its a particular uncommon or tough case that might need a specialist?
  13. I'm pretty sure Mac Health Sci is harder to get into out of high school than Western MedSci or really any BioMed program? Also, the website says a minimum of 90% avg is required for consideration (and I believe the competitive avg is much higher). If you're getting high 80s and some 90s, you should check if you qualify to apply.
  14. This is a great point. I personally get very annoyed when people continually post on this forum or ask me IRL what the "easiest" program is to give them the golden ticket to med school--it's really such a counterproductive mindset to have, and makes me question whether I would like to have them as a colleague in the future. I have nothing against anyone who chooses a satellite campus because they want to be closer to home, or to go to a less prestigious university because they like a program there or feel the community is a better fit for them. But many people think "Courses are easier at the Missisauga campus of UofT compared to the main campus and I will be able to stand out more in my class", and make it their main reason for avoiding a challenge--it's really tantamount to saying, "I think I'm incapable of succeeding except in an environment where I will never be challenged and where I feel everyone is comfortably dumber than me". I don't know if it's actually true that going to an "easier" university makes it easier to get into medical school. I barely know anyone who go into med school from places like Trent or Brock, while there are loads of people coming out of big unis like UofT, UBC, and UofC, but of course the student body at these unis is so much larger and attracts much smarter students... so it's really hard to say.
  15. I think some of you are missing the point that OP is making. Obviously noone forced them to attend UofT, but this evades the problem of fairness which was the purpose of the post. If we get credit for taking a heavier/full course load in the form of wGPAs, if schools like to see that we can handle doing extracurriculars/volunteering on top of being in school rather than only doing them in the summer, and if they want your to maintain your ECs during the summer you write your MCAT or give you credit for having a part-time job during the school year--why not also give credit for having a tougher program? To address the question directly, the problem is that academics is not all that makes a doctor. Yes, UofT Life Science is a very tough program. But grades only really matter up to a certain point because really you just need enough intelligence and work ethic to pass your courses in med school. Beyond that, there are many other clinical and soft skills that make a much bigger difference towards the ultimate goal of making you a good physician (this is one of the reasons so many schools empahasize CARS). If schools start giving significant credit for completing tougher programs, they would be overemphasizing the importance of attending an unnecessarily difficult program that doesn't necessarily prepare you to be a doctor any better than someone who attended a less rigorous program (ex: if the goal of a course is to teach you algebra, should we give someone extra credit for knowing how to do multi-variable calculus?; not really, we should just give credit for mastering algebra really well). Even if schools were to give some small credit for tougher programs (and to be fair, UofC does do this as part of this "global assessment of academic merit"), it would only be marginal, and lets be honest, the difference between a 3.93 and 3.95 GPA often comes down to luck more so than any replicable difference in the academic abilities of two individuals. My view is that, the intense rigour of UofT Life Science is unnecessarily difficult. Perhaps it is useful for grad school, which is really what the UofT Life Sci program is designed to prepare you for (I personally know at least a dozen people from UofT Life Sci who got into prestigious instutions like LSE, Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge, UPenn, and JHU for grad school). But if it's any comfort, I have many friends in med school now who graduated from UofT Life Science, and they all find med to be a breeze. Most say it's a 1/3 to 1/2 easier than undergrad for them, and anecdotally, I've heard that students from grade-inflated programs like Mac Health Sci do struggle to adapt to medical school. So perhaps if you do get into med school, you'll be in a great position to succeed.
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