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silver_08

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  1. Thanks for the advice. I have decided to go ahead with my Master's. I have been reluctant about the idea, but with recent rumours that the Alberta schools are becoming increasingly more subjective with their evaluation process, I feel like I have very little choice but to pursue something to keep me competitive, productive and gain better job prospects in an alternative field to medicine, rather than risk being stuck in limbo yet again. I am trying to excite myself about the idea of a Master's (it looks like it will be a great environment and an awesome unique experience for me), but I still can't help but feel disappointed in knowing I ruined one of my best chances ever to get into medicine. It's hard to re-motivate myself to go through this increasingly obscure admissions process again.
  2. Call me in the minority, but I don't think this is great. While I do support having a holistic focus on med applicants, we have to keep in mind this is a weighted GPA (with the worst year thrown out). This just opens up the playing field to more B/C students, creating more of a free-for-all for med applications. It also makes it harder to stand out by marks now, and the whole shift goes to ECs evaluation. ECs evaluation can be extremely subjective, one person's file reviewer may look very positively on someone's ECs, while another may look quite negatively at it. It's all in the eyes of the beholder, and just makes med school admissions more of a blackbox. The other problem with ECs is that many students from underprivileged backgrounds, lower socioeconomic status can't afford to commit as much to volunteering, and rely on working during the school year instead. Med school admissions in Canada tend to favour heavily volunteering, and this actually just selects for students from privileged, wealthy backgrounds who can volunteer in the summers and throughout the school year. The other extreme of course is the Ontario schools (I'm looking at you Ottawa and Western) that almost completely focus on marks. That approach isn't good either. We need a balance and more criteria to evaluate applicants on, not less. This amendment to GPA is actually taking away criteria to evaluate applicants on. I by all means have taken a focus on everything going through med school admissions myself, including a huge emphasis on my ECs and resume-building, but now that I'm being held (with my tough Bachelor's degree) in the same conversation as a 3.3 applicant? I think it's disingenuous and counterproductive at best to say GPA isn't important. It isn't the strongest predictor of future physician success, but it does show how much effort you have put in. Yes others will disagree with me by saying that those students have been granted privileges and resources or are just insanely bright students, but we all know medical school can be incredibly demanding and we need to select students who have proven they can handle a heavy academic workload. GPA is the most objective measure there exists to show this. Maybe an approach that UofC is taking is the way schools need to shift towards evaluating GPA. GPA shouldn't be just simply taken at face value as a number and objectively used to screen applicants (ignoring anything else), it should be inspected more carefully. UofC I think has a section called Global Assessment of Academic Merit. It would be a subjective evaluation, but this would help reward applicants with lower GPAs who took more commonly tougher degrees like engineering and computer science, while screening out applicants who just took fluffy courses where the student gained nothing valuable and applicable to the real world, except a high letter grade. Overall, I am disappointed that UofA is taking this approach. It seems we have completely flip-flopped from all objective evaluations in med school admissions to now all subjective evaluations in med school admissions. Now it's becoming more of a crapshoot, and more like CaRMS.
  3. Hi, An introduction to my background with medical school admissions. 2nd time applicant, I graduated in 2016 and have been focusing on apps since I graduated. This year I had 4 interviews, but things didn't pan out. 2 rejections from Calgary and Alberta (I'm IP there), low waitlisted by Ottawa (French stream), normal waitlisted at Western, and looks like it'll be another year of applying with the class size practically full. I have to admit that I feel incredibly dejected about this cycle and feel like I completely blew it. I'm dreading the thought of having to go through this unnecessarily random, obscure process again. However, from my own personal background and time spent shadowing physicians, I know this is still what I want to do. Recently, I've explored the thought of taking a couple years break from medical school apps and focusing on a Master's. I recently found a fit with a professor at École Polytechnique in Montreal for biomedical engineering (I'm quite fluent in French). I've always felt that engineering could be a rewarding alternative career to medicine should I give up on it. And it would have the additional benefit of making me more competitive for admissions, and down the road, matching to a residency and future independent positions. Plus... I would put my French over the top from where it stands already. This would open up a lot of doors. The biggest thing that bums me out about the Master's is when I'd likely be finishing it. Due to my short-sightedness about med apps (I really thought it was going to work out this year), I missed the deadlines for fall entry, and would have to start in the winter. However, this means that I'd be 27 most likely before I could reapply, and would lose out 2 years in a row of applying, for maybe only a slight boost in competitiveness. And we all know how much harder it's getting every single year to be successful in an application. I admit the age thing is something I am very preoccupied with. I also know that a Master's will be time-consuming and my biggest weakness is my interviews, and I may not be afforded the time to prepare for interviews as much I likely need to. I'm frustrated by interviews because I spent nearly 100 hours practicing for them this year with around 10 different people. I don't know what I lack, and it's frustrating trying to introspectively assess where things went wrong. That's why I'm torn. I feel like I need to invest completely into interview prep and hire a professional coach to help me get over this last hurdle. But I feel like a Master's would be so valuable and bring in a wonderful life experience of my investment into French, despite never growing up with it in my family. And it could help me find myself, mature a lot, and set myself up for a possible alternative career to medicine. I'm wavering between both right now, and having this debate with my family about it. I need a second opinion.
  4. Hope is starting to fade for me. This has been a brutally unlucky cycle :(
  5. I'm in a similar boat, and feeling pretty dejected about how things turned out for me this cycle. I only have one waitlist (Western) to hope on. Torn about what my focus should be for the upcoming cycle, or whether I should focus on boosting my CV and going for a Master's to bide me some time to work on interview skills (which seems to be a slow fix), and reapply in my final year of grad school.
  6. Thanks for the condolences, but this is my second year applying. Getting rejected at the interview level multiple times really stings. I don't know how to regroup and refocus my energy. My last 2 interviews (both in Ontario) could still work out, but right now I'm only anticipating rejection.
  7. I didn't get in :( Starting to feel like this isn't my year. I had 4 interviews, like what went wrong??? :(
  8. Regrets (2nd time post-interview for UofC) IP GPA: 3.98 CARS: 129 Graduated BSc EC: varsity athlete, public speaking, long-term senior care home, tutoring, mentorship, youth coaching, all long-term commitments Interview: felt relatively comfortable and pretty personal, had maybe a couple of iffy MMI stations, panel felt natural. Safe to say my assessment of the interview was not acccurate at all. Safe to say I'm incredibly frustrated with the news. I thought I improved my application quite a bit between this year and last year, and I felt my experience with the interview last year was going to work in my favour (I made a big improvement in CARS and boosted my Top 10 with more work experience). I spent 2 months preparing for the interview. It's hard not to walk out of this now and take it personally when you felt like you put everything into it. Honestly feeling like I just either don't have that "element" that UofC is looking for, or it's a personality thing. UofC Graduate here, and it feels like UofC is that cruel ex- who keeps on pulling you back in, only to rub more salt in the wound. I feel like I just spent a whole episode of Hell's Kitchen making the most exquisite quiche ever, just to have Gordon Ramsay destroy it. I interviewed at 3 other schools, so I'm really hoping at least one of these others clicked. I really did feel like Calgary was my legit back-up, so it's hard not to come away from this feeling disappointed
  9. Hey! I know this is a late reply but I feel like I can offer you my 2 cents. I can totally empathize with you, CARS was the bane of my existence. I scored a 123 when I wrote it in 2016 (LOL). Fast forward to the next year, I worked at it and pulled it up to 129. So it's not unheard of to make big improvements. I think the most important thing is to get in the head of the testmakers, as ridiculous as that sounds. I learned that even accepting answers I could not so easily justify was the key (while eliminating anything that had even a hint of being wrong), I was notorious before for wavering between answers looking for that "perfect" fit. I feel the skills tested by CARS aren't actively taught in undergrad, unless you have an English Literature or other Humanities background. However, that isn't to say you haven't already developed those skills (albeit not to your awareness) during your science courses. We practice critical thinking and reasoning every day more than we realize. I think the key is to devote the time to it, it's like learning a new language, you have to think in that language to ultimately succeed in it. PM me if you would like to pick my brain for advice, or are interested as well in a second opinion (apart from plastics91 ).
  10. My issue with grade inflation is that it has eroded the meaning of objective standards now, and has just simply raised the competition. A GPA of 3.9 used to be extremely impressive and set you apart from your competition. Now factors like GPA become less objective when essentially everyone has a 3.9+, the range of grades applying for professional schools has now narrowed. If universities aren't brave enough to tackle grade inflation, there's really no other way to resolve this issue other than to introduce more subjective criteria for admissions (much to the chagrin of many applicants). What irks me as well about something like medical school, is the devaluing of the MCAT for admissions, and the shift torwards GPA (look at UofT having low cut-offs and McGill eliminating it as a requirement). If anything this is a standardized test written by all applicants to medical school, everyone is subjected to the same stress and circumstances under extremely controlled test conditions. GPA has now become so subjective. Recent efforts by schools such as UofA and UofC to focus less on GPA and evaluate life experiences is promising. UofC even has a section for their admissions criteria called Global Academic Assessment, which looks at the quality of the degree you took, and what sort of courses you took, and the rest of your MCAT (because they look at CARS separately). Anecdotal story, but I know a friend who likely missed admission to UofC during one of the years he applied because he had an extremely low score on this section (because he decided to take a bunch of 'bird' courses in the year leading up to his potential admission). At the end of the day, grade inflation just hurts us all, and devalues the meaning of a postsecondary education.
  11. I think we should just appreciate the fact that Toronto takes the extra time to evaluate applications. I would call that quite transparent and a refreshing, holistic approach to MD admissions. Just treat it like your crush waiting to text you back... except you know he/she'll eventually reply, and not just ghost you
  12. Where the heck are you flying from if it's costing you 1800? Madagascar????
  13. Hey! I have an interview at Alberta, being IP myself, but I live in Toronto now. I can provide what insight I know about Alberta, only if you meet up in person though
  14. This wait is killing me. And if they delay even more with the release of news my flight from Toronto is going to soar by the time I could book
  15. Hi, I'm also wondering about staying with someone for 1 night, but this will be for my interview (in just over 2 weeks time!). Please PM me if you yourself or someone you know is willing to offer a couch to crash on.
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