I finished my biology degree from York 3 years ago and have been working as a secretary at a law firm (...yay me). I have always wanted to become a doctor but have never told anyone but my brother cause I know those around me will just tell me to be realistic. I can't blame them, I barely showed up in high school and my first two years of uni were abysmal (gpa around 2.0 for both years and have failed courses). I did not try at all and had a lot of personal problems. My brother and I didn't have the best of parents and we moved out as soon as my brother was 16, we didn't hang around the best crowds and spent time in youth detention (all minor offenses and pardoned). I hung around the same people and had the same attitude in first and second year and also worked 3 part time jobs throughout both years. When I told me brother I wanted to become a doctor he was ecstatic, told me to quit my jobs and fully supported me. I was surprised at how much confidence he had in me and I made huge changes in my life.
I got my shit together and finished my final 2 years with a gpa over 3.9. I have also written my MCAT and scored a 519 (131/127/130/131). I am an Ontario resident and I know my only chances are at Western and Queens due to my gpa. I have failed to get an interview for 3 cycles now and don't know where to focus my attention. I have good references and lots of EC's (counselor for at-risk youth, hospital volunteering, boxing, tutor, ESL teacher, basketball coach, dance competitions etc...).
On top of the stress of it all, my brother just got diagnosed with terminal cancer. I feel like this journey is stressing him out as much as it is me. Even now he is always motivating me to apply again and improve my application. I am the first in my family to graduate high school and I can see this is just as important to him as it is to me. I am looking at my rejections this year as a blessing because it gives me time to spend with him. But looking forward I have no idea where to go from here. Should I rewrite the MCAT and try to reach the CARS cutoff for Western? Should I do more EC's to qualify for Queens? I feel like Queens is my only real shot but the way they select people seems impossible to predict. Looking at my ABS the only section that seems to be severely lacking is research. I have ZERO research experience and nothing close to publications, is this something I should focus on? I feel like I have been stuck in the same place these last 3 years and don't know what I should do to improve my chances...
Any advice would be deeply appreciated