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MedicineLCS last won the day on August 6

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  1. I got into a better school for me so all ended well. The short answer is it's going to be tough to not introduce some extra detail into impact, just don't overdo it. For example (let's stick with tutoring): Description: Tutored... people. By doing... Somethings. Impact: I talked about the overall impact on me, and then (where I felt it wasn't forced), added details of short stories. So for tutoring it might be "I was tutoring this child with learning disabilities once and we had a breakthrough and that taught me a lot about the importance of being patient and understanding" (Made up example, but that kinda idea). Calgary seems to love it when you talk about how experiences changed how you approach life or taught you something. As always I'll add a caveat that I don't know what Calgary's looking for, so watch the webinar and read the guide, but what I outlined above got me a top 10% pre-interview score (with great stats admittedly).
  2. You're in a great spot. You need to be in about the top 2/3rds, so don't blow off CASPer entirely, but don't stress yourself out too much either. You're right around the interview average (which means about half below, about half above, although there is skew) so don't expect anything, but don't be surprised if you get a nice email in January/February. Also, since we have the study data now, I thought I'd share the charts I made for a friend a few months ago to figure out the minimum CASPer percentile needed for a given MCAT/GPA (they were wondering about the merits of rewriting/additional undergrad years and I was curious). A quick word on methodology is that I used the study data means and SDs to assume a normal distribution of GPA/CARS/CASPer (which is not a fair assumption for GPA/CARS, but hey, it's the best we have) and then found the lowest aggregate "score" (defined as points out of 96 (32 CARS, 32 CASPer, 32 GPA) someone who got an interview had (who wasn't in a special stream) in the last couple of years, based on their relation to the pre-interview pool in the study. This turns out to be about a 64 (there are a bunch in the mid-high 60s, even if most of the interview pool are in the 70s+). Since people don't know their CASPer result I assumed the low stat interview invites maxed out CASPer (32/32), which is unlikely, so the actual cutoff is probably a bit lower than the 64. Note that the data will be less accurate at extremes (high/low CARS/GPA). As a final word of warning, the numbers on here seem very deterministic, but because I had to make a number of assumptions, they're really not that definitive. Add maybe 5-10% to the percentiles shown and you get a more realistic range of the minimum CASPer performance you should be aiming for. The data may also seem optomistic since it's talking about the lowest score ever seen in multiple cycles, most people interviewing are well into the green zone as a result. Don't underestimate CASPer based off this chart or ask why you didn't interview when you needed a 12th percentile result or something (answer, you scored below that range or red flagged it). Hopefully posting this allows everyone to figure out their own chances based off the. Percentiles above 100 are mathematically impossible, so if you add some flex room, anything above a 110-115 isn't going to be happening. And again, these should not be treated as definitive, down to the last digit, estimates, but as ball-park guesstimates based off 30 minutes of Excel work for a friend. The math used to this is inherent error prone in changing multiple percentile scores into straight scores and back to percentiles, but it's better than nothing.
  3. Have you watched the admissions webinar? I'd imagine they explain this in detail. Beyond that, what I did (which lead to a great pre-interview score, unfortunately I got 3 hours of sleep the night before and bombed it...) was stick to the factual descriptions for the "Description" and talk about the significance to me in the other section. Description: Tutored a variety of students. Blah blah blah. Impact. Tutoring taught me many things about XYZ. One instance I remember... Etc... Your verifier will see your description but not your impact so that's a good clue for which is for what kind of writing.
  4. I think Memorial has a 127 screen for OOP, but it's a fuzzy memory. Look into it to confirm since it's a horrifically expensive application. Have you ever interviewed anywhere? I'm honestly surprised you didn't have any luck with Ottawa or Mac (even with a 127, that 3.94 shines). The only thing that you might be able to improve (grasping at straws here with your GPA and decent MCAT) is that your CASPer performance is bad or your ECs look cookie cutter, maybe do something unique that speaks to you if you want to continue applying? Maybe it's the way you worded them or a lack of work experience, I really don't know for ECs.
  5. As someone who managed to interview OOP at Mac with average interviewee stats I'd agree with 1 and 4-5 (no idea on Etsy), but add you really don't need to pay anyone to "mark" your CASPer. There are tons of free resources available, and hopefully you have some people in your life you respect for their wisdom and life experience who can look over your answers. You don't need to pay for interview coaching and you especially don't need to pay for CASPer coaching.
  6. If that's your OMSAS GPA you have a shot at Western/Queens. Not a great one for Queens (you're on the edge of their GPA screen) but using CASPer this year should push it down a bit. Both put weight on the MCAT so you'll need to score at least a 127 in each of the sections to be safe, although this fluctuates, (total score of at least ~508 for Queens, although this changes year to year). Assuming you live in Ontario those are your only 2 options that you have a decent shot at beating screens and getting your ECs looked at. With a 3.2 cGPA you need at least a 128 (any lower is mathematically impossible, and even then, you need top 5% CASPer performance witha 128). Max out your CARS and you still need to be in the top quarter for CASPer, so really, really, emphasize CARS to have a shot. Ottawa/Toronto/NOSM are out, as are OOP schools. No idea for the States.
  7. I always find discussions of "passion" interesting. The reality is that, in my experience working in different settings, many people do not find a job (let alone a career) which they can say fits their "passions". Many in my undergrad cohort are struggling with this as the realities of finding a job, any job, conflicts with the advice they've heard to "find their passion". Ultimately life doesn't owe you anything, let alone a job that "suits your passions". I dont think there's anything wrong with recognizing that your work, even in a professional field, doesn't need to be your passion. The whole idea is very individualistic to me. A large part of why I jumped through the hoops to get in was for others, not some idealized future patients, but my current (and hopefully future) family, and I can't be alone in this. They didn't push or pull, but that security and stability of (many types of) Medicine is something else, and I see nothing wrong with recognizing this and how that provides a fantastic career when all around me I see people struggling with unemployment, dead end jobs, and the like. When i think of the sacrifices my grandparents and parents made I find it hard to make life decisions solely focused on "my passions". You can argue that professional fields are different, but how different? How many lawyers have a passion for transactional litigation? How many accountants love doing audits? Im sure there are some, but many people do view their professions as something interesting, but not as their primary "passion". Anecdotal, I know, but of the half dozen accountants I know all have a major hobby that consumes off time. I think part of this is (limited) survivorship guilt. Getting in is so tough that you cant help but look around at the people you know who didnt make it and feel a little strange being one of those that "made it". I feel somewhat similar to whatdoido when I look around. I have friends who have built their life around getting into medicine, for nothing as of yet. On the flip side I never did anything that "forced me" into that groove (no Health Sci degree/no MPH/none of my ECs and jobs are directly health related) and yet here I am, a first cycle admit MS1 when I know there are people going into round 3+ with no luck. Its hard not to feel a little strange about that. In a way I can understand some of the bitterness I see towards the first cycle medical students. When you're surrounded by people who mumble the social determinants of health in their sleep and seem hyper focused it does feel strange to have crossed the line while dabbling in other areas and not demonstrating a narrow focus. Perhaps that's a good thing though in the end, time will tell.
  8. No one knows with any certainty. Some unis are already committing to Winter 2021 being online for undergrads, so who knows. Anyone forecasting with any confidence 3 months into the future right now should try their hand at the stockmarket/lottery. As I understand it the Ontario schools are trying to, roughly, sync themselves through the COFM scorecard so I'd imagine the four year schools, at the least, would start to transition back at the same time. I'm not sure how Ottawa doing in-person anatomy, Queen's approach, or any other school's slightly different approaches mesh with that but it is what it is. No one really knows what to do or when to do it since they're in uncharted territory. Some other professional programs are still doing in-person classes, for example, while some medical schools are all online. It's a strange time to be a Canadian student. I'd imagine they'll start making the firm decisions in October.
  9. Ottawa, Mac, and Queens IIRC. This is a pretty common question so you should find some discussion for various schools. You may need someone to write a letter saying they're fine with you bailing on your PT program though, depending on the rules, but double check that for sure.
  10. With all due respect, I'd like to see some proof for any of these (or perhaps this is a sophisticated attempt to troll...). The truth is if you ask 100 medical students what to do you'll get some truisms (Great grades, great testing performance, be busy with ECs, be a good, likable, individual) and... 100 different stories of how they got to where they are now. These stories are, in all likelihood, not substantially different than those of the people rejected on the waitlist at their school, I don't think an offer letter grants any boost to application wisdom. Attempts to suss out common patterns are kinda circular in many ways. Do schools like to see club leadership or do 90%+ people have it anyway so it really doesn't matter? In the end everyone knows the basic steps (grades, tests, activities) and how you get there is really individualized beyond there.
  11. If you want medicine I would suggest really focusing on that MCAT. Right now, a great MCAT would make you competitive at Mac (longshot even if you ace CARS), Queens (after a great 2nd year, ideally with a 3.8+ 2 year GPA since that seems safe as far as their cutoffs go), and Western (best two years need to be 3.7+). Unfortunately you would need to add 2 more great years (after your 4th) to beat Ottawa's English stream minimum, and unless your wGPA is way higher, the UofT is likely out. Worry less about ECs and more about improving your GPA first, once you have a great semester on the way you can add ECs. Don't worry about shadowing, definitely get a job, and make sure you do some backup planning and don't fall into a "Masters for Med" trap. EDIT. Make sure your Western 2 year GPA includes only years that meet their weighting rules (on their website).
  12. I would strongly advise against writing a "the instructor was unfair" academic explanations essay. It comes off as grade grubbing, especially if the assistant dean also agreed with the instructor. Not to devalue your experience (I'm sure it wasn't pleasant), but I don't think the academic explanations essay you would write would have the effect you want it to have. If for some reason both the instructor and assistant dean are in cahoots and have it out for you that's unfortunate, but beyond complaining at progressively higher levels at your university, I'm not sure how the essay would go over. Picture this, you're sitting at home/work reviewing essays, and mixed in between heartbreaking tales of loss and recovery, overcoming mental health issues, etc... Is someone complaining that their instructor, and the assistant dean, was unfair and they actually deserve a higher mark. You could write a moving essay about how the instructor had it out for you, but in the end, it's going to be hearsay, it's not like you're going to get the instructor/assistant dean/school to say "Yes, we dislike ajhienz and deliberately lowered their grade to be mean". At it's worst the essay reflects negatively on you and makes you look arrogant and petty (the person reviewing the essay only has a paper understanding of you, they don't know how humble you are in everyday life), which may backfire in the end. Remember, how you're perceived is how the person evaluating you sees you in reality, so try to avoid doing things that could be perceived negatively.
  13. I'm sorry to hear that! Have you tried reaching out to your MP and the federal Minister responsible for this (the Health minister)? Try to leave a phone call, provide your return contact info, and ask to be contacted by phone if possible (written responses may need to be drafted by bureaucrats, which takes awhile). Make sure they understand your request is genuinely time sensitive, not just "I feel important" time sensitive. Send an email to the Health Minister as well (Contact the Minister of Health by email at hcminister.ministresc@canada.ca) and stress the same points/need for an urgent response. If by chance you know anyone who has closer connections to the federal health ministry try reaching out to them as well. Even Ministers feel accountable to the "old buddy"/"got me my seat" crowd, so if you know someone who can get the Minister or Minister's assistant's ear, you have better odds of success. Maybe point out that someone can go to a bar in Calgary, fly to Toronto, and go to a restaurant there, with no restrictions while you, going from your house to school and back home, have to spend 14 days self-isolating. As inflexible as the law can be, pointing out exceptions like this can make ministers push for change. Maybe try rounding up other students (I know someone who was going to go to some Michigan dentistry school and live in Windsor, so you're not the only one) and have them all, politely, pressure their MPs/the minister? If enough people can make intelligent, polite, requests for a little clemency to allow them to attend the schools you may be able to go places. Good luck!
  14. You might be, but it's unclear to me (and anyone outside admissions who hasn't seen this exact scenario to be honest) since Ottawa no longer mentions "carrying forward" summer courses on their FAQ. You need 2 years, at a minimum, so if they let you carry summer courses you can bump up year 4 and 2... Your best course of action is to ask the admissions office your specific question (making sure to mention that you read the FAQ already). I'm not sure if they omitted it on purpose (no more making up for missing courses) or not. Their mention of "courses" is specific, not credits, so make sure to focus on that and get some clarity, do they mean 5 courses or 15 credits? I can't speak to all Canadian schools, but at mine there was no difference in credits for lab/no lab, and this wasn't unusual for just my undergrad. Intro courses that you can get As in by attending counted the same as 4th year courses with 4+ hours of labs a week, which didn't feel fair at times... EDIT. I just looked up uO's undergrad course calendar out of curiosity, and they do not appear to give bonus credits for labs (which means the policy is likely referring to 5 courses since their classes will have tons of people who took 5 courses+labs). Definitely confirm this with them though, don't trust everything you read on the internet
  15. Yes, don't be afraid to make phone calls and ask if you could be added to a "full" course, it's what I did.
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