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  1. I did it. I broke up the study time throughout the day. I studied an hour before work, over my lunch hour and an hour or two in the evening after I put kids to bed. I recorded my notes and played them in the car during drive time and rather than listening to the radio at work. I also took 8 months to study because I was learning materials. My kids would quiz me, and I brought notes and cue cards everywhere. It wasn’t easy- my work weeks were 50-60 hours, but spacing things out worked. I also used a variety of materials. I prioritized sleep over studying, and would save new topics for when I was fresh. I didn’t even start practice tests until I’d reviewed and learned all of the materials.
  2. I used Canada Trust's online calculator with a 25 year amortization and 3 year variable rate mortgage for 350K, outside of the down payment. Low down payment mortgages would need CMCH, adding to the amount mortgaged. You are out of pocket more with a purchase, but you do gain equity.
  3. It depends, and you need to run the numbers. Assuming there are no significant changes to the market, estimate you can sell for the same price as you buy. Assuming a house that costs 350K vs a rental costing 2K/month. Realtor costs vary, from 2% of the sale price to 7% for 100K + 1% above, so 7-15K. Maintenance costs will vary, assume 1-3% annually, depending on the age and state of the home. 3.5K -11K annually. Mortgage payments would be around1800 / month. Over 2 years: Total rental costs: 48K, Total ownership Costs: 7K realtor + 7K maintenance + 43K payment - 18K equity = 39K expenses. A difference of 6K, 250 a month. Not a big difference, many limitations on both ends. If prices change, rent may increase or decrease. Mortgages are locked in. If your water heater or furnace breaks, owners are on the hook. Over 5 years: Rental costs: 120K, Ownership costs: 7K realtor+ 18K maintenance + 108K payments - 57K equity = 76K expenses. A difference of 44K, 733$ a month. Again, the value depends on many other priorities as well.
  4. Hey Everyone! Who all got applications in for U of C this year? Good luck!
  5. I had to reset my password for the reapplicant to work. Then I was able to log in.
  6. Hey Everyone! In regards to the publications section of the application, in my former career, I was the primary author for a number of corporate policies, standards, manuals, project proposals etc that were published corporately. Should I consider those publications in regards to the application or leave them out? Thanks!
  7. Hey Everyone, I have been working slowly and steadily towards medical school since 2014, and am at the point where I can now start applying to Canadian Schools. U of C is my target choice, but I would like to expand my horizons if possible. My last 2 year GPA is 3.74, which is also my best 2 years. I took 24 credits each year, between Sept-April online through Athabasca University. I have a degree in Computer Science, received over 10 years ago, but the GPA for the degree is not above the minimums anywhere in Canada. My MCAT is 509, with 128 in CARS. It was also written before I took biology or chemistry classes. Volunteer and community work are extensive, working with disabled and ill individuals is extensive, work history includes team member, management, consultant, and small business owner in IT industry. Also there is not a hope that I would be able to raise my cumulative GPA past the admissions point anywhere. What other schools would be open to my application? Thanks Everyone!
  8. I'm currently doing my second undergrad degree through Athabasca, and am enjoying it. It is hard to stay on track, especially as a non-trad but it gives flexibility for when life gets in the way of a schedule. I contacted all medical schools open to a second degree directly to see how they managed online schools, specifically Athabasca University. One medical school ( I can't remember if it was Ottawa or Western Ontario) won't accept online courses, but all other schools accept it as equivalent with some caveats. You have to be careful about course selection, all courses are not considered equivalent, some are considered upgrading or equal to technical schools, rather than university level. You also need to be careful with timing, many schools require the courses be completed within 4 months, and Athabasca allows 6 months. You can ask Athabasca for a letter stating both start and end dates for the courses, and the schools will accept it as proof.
  9. Thank you HoopDreams and caramilk for your responses. HoopDreams, to answer your questions. It seems like you are in a middle of a big storm, overwhelmed by the care-giving activities of numerous family members. It's actually not overwhelming, I find it less challenging than when I was travelling for work, but it does limit my ability to join other activities outside of the above commitments. Is it fair that you are competing against applicants that do not have to undergo your level of responsibility and therefore have a lot more free time to engage in volunteering and other extra-curricular activities? I actually consider the level of care I am dedicating to my family to be equivalent to volunteering / extracurricular. If they were not related to me, the exact same tasks would be considered as strong extra-curriculars. I don't consider it unfair or a negative at all, as I feel it has strongly influenced the type of doctor I will be, and will strengthen my overall application, as all of the activities have strong personal relevance and ongoing commitment. Are you really ready for a medical career with all the people that depend on your care? The reality is my grandparents will likely not be around by the time I start medical school, and all of the family members with the BRCA1 gene will have had their medical therapies by then, so my responsibilities as a support person / advocate will be decreased significantly. What happens to your children with special needs when you are admitted and have to take care of them on top of being a full time student? Before I was an student / SAHM, I was a full time employee, working 50-70 hours and travelling internationally every other week. I plan on putting the same plans in place as I had then. I expect though the hours will be longer in theory, in many ways it will be easier as I will not be away from the family for a week at a time. Can't you have a relative, a partner, a sibling, that could help you out and allow you to free up some time to pursue your medical career? While they do help out, I cannot rely on them completely. Right now most of them are dependent on me. Plus I am taking a 5 courses right now. Why not try to combine the therapies of your children with some volunteering? I actually do, and am getting one of my reference letters from there. Why not volunteer in the facility where your family members are currently residing? That is an excellent idea. I will approach the care facility to see if there are opportunities available. caramilk: I am looking for a final reference letter writer. I have no issue getting referees to verify my activities, such as the doctors involved with my family's medical care, along with the teachers and occupational therapists I work with. They have all already agreed to be contacted. I am concerned though, that the relationships are not of sufficient depth for them to be able to comment directly on my abilities and strengths as they are of an occasional and more personal nature (though indirect) rather than a reporting or supervisory one, and thus don't feel comfortable asking them to act as references. I am tailoring my application to U of C because of family restrictions, and ideally this third reference would focus on my leadership, management and organizational strengths. While theoretically, I could ask another former employer to write me a reference letter for this focus, it would be old (2011-2013), and I worry that the age of the letter would decrease it's value. In sum; For planned references, I have confirmed references from my former employer, and from one of the organizations I volunteer with while helping my children. I am lacking a strong third reference letter writer. I am engaged in events such as BRA (Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day), and Dementia, Diabetes and mental health activities, fundraising and research (as a patient), but they are not in depth enough to develop a relationship with the supervisory individuals. I had to shut down a support group for special needs families I had started due to a personal situation. I have written my MCAT, and am happy with the score. My GPA is on the lower end of the accepted range, and I am working on getting it up a bit more but am comfortable with it. The challenge I face, is that I have little desire, and limited time to pick up additional activities just to pad my references when I feel that the experiences and activities I am currently pursuing show leadership, advocacy, commitment to community, organization, etc, much stronger than initiating something new would. Ideally, I would be able to combine of my current care with available witnesses able to act as references for me. Some alternative avenues I am looking at are joining another organization that does occupational therapy as a volunteer for individuals who wouldn't be related to me, which would tie to both my grandparents and my children along with giving me that supervised aspect. It also ties with my existing volunteer commitments. Alternatively, I am considering facilitating existing support group 12 week sessions that I formerly took part with (there are two possible groups). Finally, I am looking at the possibility of joining an existing charity that supports one of the needs my children have, and volunteering in a general capacity there, but worry it wouldn't necessarily tailor to the gap in my reference letters. I am hoping to apply this year for entry next year, and want to ensure I have maximized my odds.
  10. As a Non-Trad, I am struggling to find references for my extracurricular activities. I have work references, from former employers but the majority of my health and extracurricular work has been individual, and family related. For the past 2 years I have been a stay at home mom, going to school online because of family needs. Two of my children have special needs, thus why I attend online university and am staying at home. They both need IPPs (Individual Program Plans for educational levels through school) and counselling, occupational therapy, in home physical therapy, endocrinology, and pediatricians. I am in the school weekly to support them, and taking them to appointments each week. I have been also been caring for two elderly grandparents with dementia, through taking them to doctors appointments, getting them into assisted living, transferring them to and from wheelchairs, assisting in their plans, getting groceries, nail clipping, hair cuts, etc. Along with visitation like playing cards, meals and recreational outings. I have been supporting my family through the diagnosis of the breast cancer gene, BRCA1. I had a cousin pass away after 2 years of breast cancer at age 23. I pushed the family (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins) into genetic counselling, developing the family history and researching the ancestry that got us approved for diagnosis. I held each hand through the review of the history, attending visits with them with the geneticists, and helping explain the findings in understandable language. I helped weigh the options for treatment, and was the support person for the surgeons and oncologists. I did aftercare for 3 mastectomies, 4 reconstructions, and 4 infection repairs. All of these are intensive, health and leadership related activities. The problem is none of these have supervisors, eligible for references. I'd be open to any advice.
  11. I wrote my Mcat before my organic chem courses, anatomy and physiology and before my 2nd bio. I scored a 509 and am applying with that score. I started studying in November for a July date, while working 50 hrs a week and raising 2 kids. l am a single mom. I wasn’t going to quit my job and go back to school if I couldn’t do the mcat. It was hard but can be done. I used Kaplan and khan academy.
  12. I am targeting U of C because I am location restricted, so I am tailoring my application to them. I am also a non-trad student.
  13. I'm doing the same program, Human Science through Athabasca. You really need to review the requirements for each medical school to decide. U Western Ontario does not accept online classes. Others do have limitations. My target schools accept online classes, but there are minimum requirements for full time status that must be maintained. U of C will accept online, but there must be a minimum of 8 - 3 credit transferable graded courses completed between Sept-Apr. They want to see that a person can juggle a courseload. You need to prove that you are doing 8 courses over the 8 months. And they don't count summer classes. Hope that helps,
  14. In regards to the curve, it was entirely dependent on the professor. Some did, some didn't. Some were quite proud of the fact that so many did so poorly in their classes. I had one prof who would give a mark for a right answer on tests, but take one away for a wrong one. People ended up with negative marks in his class. And I do recognize this is all anecdotal, but I wish I had been cautioned. As for the difficulty of the program, what most of us found was that the sheer volume of work was overwhelming at times. The material wasn't in of itself insanely difficult, but the precision and amount of work required were significant. In the coding assignments, a single missing semi colon could cause an assignment to fail. My organic course right now for example has labs, two assignments midterm and final. The labs will take roughly 60 hours total. The first assignment took me 4 hours. For the same level of assignment I would have spent at least 20 hours. I expect to spend 2-4 hours per lab write up. I'm not saying it can't be done, because there were a few on the deans list. But there weren't many.
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