Long time lurker of the forums as I gave serious thought to medicine, but finally recently decided to pull the trigger on it for real, as I've decided it's where I'd ultimately like to end up in life. I've applied (unsuccessfully) before, but was ambivalent about my intentions, so I don't think my heart was in it and I didn't do all I could to give myself the best shot. This time I'd like to do all I can to get it right. I've just finished a PhD in immunology in Toronto (Ontario's also my province of origin) and am pursuing the PhD to MD path, but seeing as how I wasn't always set on pursuing med, and considering the previously unsuccessful app, I feel there may be some holes in my profile, and am basically looking for some advice from the more seasoned people around the forums on how to best use my time to strengthen the app as best I can for the next cycle or two. So without further ado:
Undergrad cGPA: 3.86
Year 1: 3.64
Year 2: 3.96
Year 3: 3.95
Year 4: 3.92
Grad cGPA: 3.97
-Lots of research things (17 papers, 5 first authored in pretty good journals, 2 national conferences including 1 oral talk, doctoral NSERC funding, student mentor-ship/supervision experience)
-Long-term volunteer tutor in math & science (~5 years at the high school level and 1 year as part of a non-profit HIV support group, though hours were pretty sporadic, maybe 100 overall)
-Soup kitchen-type work (~2 years, once a week, ~100 hours so far)
-Science rendezvous volunteer (but just started this year, so like 10 hours)
-E-sports tournament organizer (~7 years of this from small casual events through to very large ones with hundreds of people, from non-profit to charity tournaments, from small roles to a lead organizer role. As a side-note I also competed in these tournaments for 4-5 years at a fairly competitive level, was ranked, etc, but have been on the fence about including this part in the app).
-Some other fairly old, small commitments (helped out annually at the CNIB X-mas party, etc, but fairly few hours and sporadically)
Have 2 very strong ones from my research days (one from my PhD supervisor, and one from a clinician who we collaborated with frequently and closely), and another from the kitchen lead of the soup kitchen I've been at for a couple years which I am confident is also strong. Didn't pursue one from the E-sports days as it seemed out of touch with med, but moreover iirc the letters can't be from peers, and in the lead organizer role I wasn't sure who I could choose that didn't qualify as a peer.
Having it all on paper, I feel as though the biggest weaknesses are a lack of direct clinical exposure (had some from the research end during the PhD, but not much), and a lack of leadership roles in the ECs, with the exception of event organizing, as I mainly participated in these events out of personal interest, so never sought the more time-consuming leadership positions which I thought would take time away from my studies/research through undergrad and grad school. I'm locked out of Ottawa, UBC & McGill due to missing prerequisites (Orgo/biochem, English, & Orgo/Physics respectively), and Saskatchewan due to the MCAT, but good to go & willing to apply everywhere else (barring potentially those who don't have current, posted minimums like Queens or Western). Any and all thoughts or comments you all might have would be really, greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!