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avocado_toast

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  1. For the 2020-2021 application cycle, the last eligible MCAT test date is September 5th, 2020. If you can get a date before then and study/practice seriously before then, I think it is worth rewriting. If you look at the class statistics for the Dalhousie Medicine 2019 incoming class, the average MCAT score was 510 (80th percentile). 503 is the 57th percentile. I think you could still apply to Dalhousie with a 503, but meeting the cutoffs doesn't mean that you'll definitely get in. The MCAT is assessed competitively at Dal for both the interview and the admission offer, so every extra point you have counts. You were doing really well on your practice tests, so I think that there's a good chance that if you rewrote, you could get a score that better reflected the work you've already put in! :)
  2. I mean, I'm not an expert on what you should include, but if that is something that is really important to you, I'm sure your interest and passion`would come across in your essay if you wrote about it. I know that cultural safety in healthcare for Indigenous people is an important topic explored in the curriculum in first year. There is also an Indigenous Health Interest Group at Dalhousie University (https://www.dalihig.com). It also might be helpful to reach out to the admissions committee over email for clarification on what the essay should focus on, or perhaps post in the Facebook group with specific questions?
  3. Hey again, I'll try my best to respond based on what I know. On their website, it says: "Interview selection for Non-Maritime applicants is determined by GPA, MCAT, CASPer and supplemental information regarding applicant's compelling reasons for choosing Dalhousie Medicine." I took this to mean that your GPA, MCAT, and your 250 word maritime essay were given a score and assessed competitively. For the CASPer, if you meet the cut off, you're good to go, they don't assess it competitively beyond that. These elements combined get you an interview. From there, if you are invited to an interview, your entire file is reviewed with the following weighting: Application Component Score GPA 15 points MCAT 10 points Supplemental and Essay 30 points Interview 40 points Discretionary 5 points Total 100 points I would think that it would be important to be consistent and sincere (so both, really), although you may not get a station during the MMI that allows you to express how you feel about Dalhousie as clearly as you would in your 250 word essay. If you are interested in research, I would look into the Research In Medicine (https://medicine.dal.ca/research-dal-med/Faculty-staff.html) part of the curriculum and perhaps even think about what type of research you would be interested in exploring through that program. If you're interested in the elective component, I would think about what areas of medicine you might be interested in exploring in first year, either through shadowing or the 1st year elective (https://medicine.dal.ca/departments/department-sites/medicine/for-current-learners/undergraduate.html). As for information about the maritimes, Halifax **DELETED** maybe? There is also a Facebook Group called "Ask A Med Student - Dalhousie, Class of 2025" and there are current students who answer questions that you can message and chat to about the program. I would also recommend to anyone who is thinking of applying -- keep an eye on the deadlines. There are multiple steps to the application process. You have to finish section 1 by July 31st, and section 2 by Sept. 2nd. I wouldn't leave it to the last day!
  4. I would say go for it! For OOP applicants, in past years, the interview offers are based on GPA, MCAT, and maritime connection essay. Your GPA and MCAT are competitive for OOP, you just need to write a strong maritime connection essay. The admissions committee will be looking at why you are interested in Dalhousie. I would recommend looking at their website and seeing what Dalhousie Medicine has to offer. They have a focus on exposing students to rural medicine, with lots of opportunities like a Family Medicine Trips (where you visit rural Nova Scotia and learn clinical skills early) and Rural Week (where you go out into rural Nova Scotia for a week to shadow a doctor at the end of 1st year). They also have early clinical exposure -- you shadow a doctor in clinic/hospital on the first day of medical school and have the opportunity to do clinical electives and deliver babies in your first year. Dal also has a strong research component to their curriculum -- every student does a research project and will present/publish their results. If any of those things interest you, I would mention that. The maritimes are a great place to go to school -- Halifax is beautiful and affordable, and the people are really nice. If you have family connections or are interesting in saying in Halifax longer term, definitely mention that in your essay. Interviews typically take place in late November, with notification of success in mid-March (or April if there's a global pandemic). Best of luck.
  5. I completely agree with this. Diversity in age, educational background, life experiences, etc. make classes richer. There are younger students who will surprise you with their maturity and ability to adapt to new and difficult situations. There are older students in my class who had whole lives before coming to medical school. Some were pharmacists, veterinarians, nurses, paramedics -- I love when they share their perspective in class or tutorial. While I think medical students of all ages have the potential be successful, having a few more years and life experiences can help enormously in medical school. For OP, I don't think you should ever worry about being a bit older. I feel that your classmates who have entered directly from undergrad will likely welcome your advice and experience.
  6. I highly recommend watching the videos made by Ali Abdaal. It's free and so helpful. I watched all of his videos before starting medical school and I found them so helpful in focusing my studying.
  7. I recommend that you call or email the Dalhousie Medicine admissions office directly for questions around application requirements. They are so nice and will answer your questions the most accurately. It's really important to understand the requirements to apply and get information right from the source. It does seem like they would use your first three years to calculate your GPA, but it's important that you check with the admissions office. I hope this helps!
  8. Oops, sorry I mixed that up a bit. I think it was definitely Saturday AM, Saturday PM, and an AM session on Sunday. But I think there were more tracks in Halifax.
  9. Hey there, This is not quite correct, at least for Halifax. In November 2019, there were 4 tracks (12 students each), and 3 sessions (Saturday AM, Saturday PM, Sunday AM). So in Halifax alone, it would have been (6x48 = 288) and then I believe another 96 interviewed in Saint John on the Saturday AM/PM. So the number should be closer to 384. As far as I know, no one cancelled at the last minute and all the students in Halifax checked in as expected. Each year, they typically interview around 50-60 OOP candidates (there is a bit of variation on this based on applicant pool and who makes the cut offs), and 9 are chosen for acceptance. There is a fair amount of movement on the OOP waitlist as OOP students sometimes accept a school that is in their home province later in the cycle. These are the stats for the November 2018 interview (March 2019 acceptance, and September 2019 start). I have heard that in that interview cycle, there were not enough in province applicants that met the GPA, MCAT, and CASPer criteria cut offs. So in that case, they interviewed a greater number of out of province students. However, only 9 OOP students were selected for the September 2019 start (Class of 2023). I hope this helps clarify.
  10. Just a heads up, there is apparently a wind storm in Nova Scotia and the power is out and according to twitter Dalhousie University was closed this afternoon. There may be a delay with the invites.
  11. Last year interviews came out on Oct. 18. In previous years it has been the third week of October, but it will definitely happen before the end of October. Sometimes the adcom is a little late with things -- like this past year for the offers in March, it came out later in the month than in previous years. I know it's so hard waiting! Hang in there, guys!
  12. Historically, Adcom only emailed the people who didn’t make the CASPer cutoff. So hopefully not hearing about CASPer is a good thing and you receive an invite email later this week! :) Best of luck to everyone!
  13. It isn’t listed on there. CASPer is so anxiety provoking because it’s hard to know if it actually sent. It’s a challenging time right now because you’re waiting. If you can, just try and focus on other things you will hear if you got an interview in a few short weeks. I would focus on practicing for that!
  14. Yes, that is true when you look at the numbers overall, from every discipline, but not when you are looking at a specialized program like General Surgery. If you look at the CARMS Data for CMGs (see below), there are only about 4-6 spots in General Surgery residency spots per school per year. Some Gen Surg programs have only 2-3 spots per year. The school with the highest number of residency spots in General Surgery is at U of T, and the number of spots is 10. https://www.carms.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019_r1_tbl27e.pdf For IMGs, it's only 4-5 spots for General Surgery in the entire country (see below). https://www.carms.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019_r1_tbl28e.pdf There are currently 1100 medical residents from Saudi Arabia across all R years and schools and disciplines. In any one application year, there might be ~200 S.A. residents across all of the disciplines (family, internal, the various surgical and non surgical specialities) across all of the schools. McGill has 225 S.A. residents across all years, all specialities. So, there are not loads and loads of trainees from Saudi Arabia in General Surgery. General Surgery residency programs tend to be quite small -- around 4-6 residents per year per school. There might be one student per year of those who is from Saudi Arabia. The original poster is aiming for 1 or 2 spots within a very select number of General Surgery programs -- and likely not from McGill or McMaster.
  15. When you say you're an IMG -- what school did you go to? When did you graduate? You may find that you will have a very difficult time matching to a Canadian general surgery specialty. Last year (2019), 83/83 spots in general surgery were filled in the first iteration. Of the 83, only 4 spots were given to IMGs. One at Ottawa, and 3 at Toronto. The year before that (2018) again only 4 spots for IMGs - 1 at Ottawa, 2 at Toronto, 1 at Manitoba. In 2017, there were 5 IMGs that matched to General Surgery -- 1 at Ottawa, 3 at Toronto, 1 at Manitoba. 2016 - 4 IMG General Surgery spots across Canada - 1 Ottawa, 3 Toronto 2015 - 5 IMG General Surgery spots across Canada - 1 Ottawa, 3 Toronto, 1 Manitoba All of this data (and previous years data) is available on the CARMS website. It seems like in the last 5 years, an IMG has never been accepted to either of the programs you mentioned. You may want to call the McMaster and McGill general surgery programs and ask if they actually take IMGs. Even then, it will be extremely competitive.
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