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  1. How old is older? If "older" means under 30, it's not old and you'll be pretty close to the average age in med school. If you mean mid-thirties or more, it's still totally feasible if you're willing to go all in and accept the sacrifices that comes with trying to get into med school. I was in my late thirties when I got into med school. Feel free to reach out!
  2. +1. Her blog is honest and offers good insights into the premed and medical life. I read it as a premed, I read it as a med student, and a lot of her experiences resonate. Plus, she is a very good writer.
  3. Hello. I was exactly in your situation a few years ago, starting an undergrad at 29. I am now in first year med. The premed era was a long and frustrating and disheartening process, but so worth it imo. One month into med school, I can tell you that all the sacrifices were worth it for me, and this is exactly what I want to be doing. There is nothing better than doing something meaningful everyday (studying medicine), especially after grinding 9-5 in jobs I was too good for (sorry for how that sounds) for many years. As for advice, everyone's situation is so different that it's hard to say what would land for you. But feel free to reach out if you have any specific questions!
  4. In my twenties I was deeply involved in the arts scene and having a really good time. It was also a terrible time in terms of figuring myself and my path out. Tbh, I am enjoying my thirties a lot more (despite no longer going to cool parties), because I have a lot more clarity and self-awareness. I would not go back to being in my twenties, but also do not regret how I spent them.
  5. I'm hoping that the policy-makers will have the long-term vision to also add 16 residency positions to match the additional med school seats... Otherwise CaRMS 2024 might see an increase in the amount of people unmatched.
  6. I would be remiss if I wouldn't share the experience I had with MD Financial. I met with the advisor in case he had any cool tricks on reducing debt during med school beyond the obvious. I made very clear that my short- and medium- term goals were to keep that debt low. Well, he made a budget for me that would almost max out my LOC after 4 years (with his budget I would have ended up with nearly 290,000 debt- an insane amount even for me who is starting with significant undergrad/masters debt). The advisor kept insisting that it is important that I take trips and vacations as this will help me socially and make me a better student. Yeah, I was confused too. I can't say conspiracies theories regarding cahoots with Scotia didn't cross my mind. Anyways, glad I read this thread.
  7. How strong is your motivation? I was never able to not try to get into med school, even in my thirties when I had a pretty good other job and life in general. The pull of wanting to go into medicine was much too strong to ignore, even if that meant waking up at 5am and going to bed at 1am to study the MCAT while working >40 hours per week. I went back for an undergrad at 29 and getting back into studying was pretty seamless after the initial learning curve, and I was able to get the GPA I needed for med school. I can't yet speak of what it is like to go back to med school specifically later in life because I'll be starting in Sept, but my motivation is so strong that I don't see that as an issue at all (though ask me again in 1.5 years, haha). I think if you want it enough, you'll have the momentum to re-do the MCAT and start studying again if/when you get in. If you're on the fence and not too sure, the obstacles of having to re-write the MCAT, the multiple applications to different school, the potential rejections and re-applications, will be a good filter to determine if it's the right path for you. But if your only worry is the age thing, look at the stats for matriculants at different med schools and you'll notice that there is a good range.
  8. What to wear to clinical activities is literally my biggest stress right now as an upcoming medical student. Appropriate clothing feels like it should be super obvious and at the bottom of my stress list, but it really isn't. And I've worked for years in academia and in the offices of a non-profit, but somehow, I feel my current work clothes don't fit the conservativeness expected by my school (e.g, they don't have the right neckline, pans may be tighter than what is considered conservative, dresses and skirts are above the knee so probably considered too short, ect...). So I've been trying really hard to find the right outfits that are both conservative/professional while still being something I like and comfortable and that are not a suit. I haven't had any luck yet, but I'm still looking! If any women on here have any suggestions for any store or brand-specific appropriate clothing, I'm all ears...
  9. OP: 1D7 and Bambi are giving you good, pragmatic advice. When I decided to go for med school at 28, I heard countless variations of the quote above. I went for it anyways because the "pull" of wanting to do medicine was too strong and frankly, I had nothing to lose. But it is true that it was a frustrating, bumpy, and discouraging road. And note that it took me 10 years to overcome all the adversity I was facing and get an acceptance. So if you decide to go for it, keep their advice in mind. It will be hard, and probably longer than you hoped. But not impossible.
  10. Sigh. To offer a different perspective, I was rejected for student loans because I have reached my lifetime maximum. Meaning I will have to pay the remaining student loan balance (nearly 35,000, down from 78,000 at the end of my Masters) with the LOC. Meaning after tuition and the cost of relocating across the country, I will be STARTING med school with a nearly 70,000 dent in the LOC. Right off the bat. Oh well, it’s not like I have a choice. It’ll all be worth it in the end, right?
  11. I so hear you. Being rejected multiple times is crushing, and it takes a lot of resiliency to do it all over again every year. I applied 5 times. So by the time I was finally accepted, I had many friends who were one year into residency already. I know it is better said than done, but try not to compare yourself with friends, it can't help you and will just make you feel bad about yourself (l learned that the hard way). Personally, I got an interview during my 4th cycle applying, and an acceptance after my 5th time (just like IMislove so there's a pattern ). Tbh, there was not much difference between my 3rd time applying when I didn't get an interview and my 4th time when I did. Grades and MCAT were the same, ECs were also pretty much the same with a couple additional things. I have no idea what made me get an interview that fourth time. For my 5th application cycle, I applied more broadly and one of the school that I had never applied to ended up accepting me right away. So don't give up, especially if you know medicine is the career for you. In the meantime though, I find that focusing on interests, hobbies, and building my resume with research projects I enjoyed really helped give me hope for the future, or at least gave me other things to think about. Also reading news about health and health policy kept me interested and sharp for the interviews. And spending time with friends not related to medicine helped give me some perspective also. Those are things that worked for me, and I hope this helps. But know that you are not the only one. I have definitely been through those feelings as well.
  12. Congrats on persevering! It sounds like you will indeed need very strong 4th and 5th year to stand a chance at schools that only look at your last 2 years (Western and Queen's), or you can also do a second undergrad (for McGill, for example). My take-away from your post though, is that it would be crucial to develop some self-care strategies, and make sure you take care of your mental health before even starting to apply. It may be worth taking a break from school to focus on developing resiliency and good coping strategies for when stress hits. Focus on something you like to do (like sports, arts, theatre, anything). Bonus, these activities can count as ECs, though I am not suggesting you do something to buffer your resume, but rather to figure out what you enjoy. It may be worth taking that time so you get into med school as resilient and self-aware as you can be. It won't be too late. Best of luck!
  13. Unusual choice, but I would say Cape Town. I've been to Africa many times, and this is the city I would see myself settling in the best. Or maybe Rome. Argh, that's a hard question! What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Do you have morning routine?
  14. After having been a loooooooooong time lurker, I finally get to put my post here, in the non-trad success stories, a thread I have been reading since 2010-2011. I would say I am about as non-traditional as it gets. In the socio-economic gradient I come from, higher education is not really a thing. Most people graduate from high school, maybe do some college, and get comfortable in a middle class job until retirement. Which there is nothing wrong with. Unless, of course, you are me, graduating from high school many many years ago, and dreaming about medicine. The thing with coming from this kind of background is that there is no cultural capital to support you through learning the ropes of higher education. If there is one thing I have learned over the years, is that this “vertical transmission” of knowledge is implicit in many (most?) premed students, who have usually had the (implicit) knowledge that after high school, you go to you university, get good grades, make connections with professors and mentors who can support you. Obvious, right? Not for me, it wasn’t. I knew I wanted medicine, I knew it was my calling. But I didn’t know how to get there, and without the support of anyone, at 19, it was difficult to know how to do this. Here’s a quote from the high school career counsellor when I told her I wanted to go into medicine: “Mmmmm… I don’t know… why don’t you become an elementary school teacher instead?”. So I believed them. I believed those who said I could not make it, and after high school, I took a different path in another field. My career in this other field was successful in many ways: I have gained a profound emotional intelligence, I have learned to overcome obstacles, get back up and keep going when you hit a wall, I have learned to connect with people in a way that builds quality long lasting relationships and memorable short encounters. But this path ran its course, and it’s at 29 years old that I realized that it was time. I was yearning to be a doctor. But what were the odds? Here I was, low-income, with no degree, at an age where most people are graduating with a MD. But I had suppressed the part of me who wanted to go into medicine for long enough, and now it had resurfaced in a way I couldn’t ignore. So I started a degree from scratch. I had all the doubts in the world, but I had to at least try. I did well in my degree. Actually, I did well in the last few years of my degree. The return-to-school after a decade of using your right brain (my past career required a lot of creativity) and letting your left brain shrivel did no good for my first and to some extent second year grades. I was seeing the dream fade away. So I put my head down, and studied. Hard. I lost all my friends because I missed all their birthdays/baby showers/stags. But “I had a dream”, as they say. And I had to gamble it all, live in poverty while my peers were getting mortgages, lose all my friends, just in case it was worth it. Just in case I could get into medicine. And in 2012, after all these years of hard work, I was ready. I applied to medical school, hopeful and confident. And I failed to even get an interview. It was crushing. What med students and posters on this forum tell you when you don’t get in is to live your life as fully as you can, and do something that you find interesting. And I did. I completed a Master’s in a topic I loved (medicine-related), and found a job I thought would be great. And then another job, because the first one wasn’t as great as I thought it would be. And then another one. The problem was that all these jobs really felt, and were, like plan B, and medicine kept gnawing at me. I was in my early thirties by then, I had met someone, and I felt the societal pressure of it was time to get a job and get on with it. But you know what? Deep down, I knew that if I wouldn’t give it one more try, I would always wonder “what if”. My MCAT was still eligible for one more year, so I applied. And got rejected pre-interview. So I studied the MCAT again (while working full time), and I did well enough (not awesome but not awful) that I could apply again. And I did. And finally, finally, after 4 application cycles, got an interview. This was the most exciting news of my life. I prepared, read, practiced, bought new clothes. But mid-May came, and with it, my rejection post-interview. Damn. What a blow. And I am not getting any younger here. So the next application cycle (my fifth), I applied across Canada, and received 3 interviews. Mid-May came around, and this time I had a rejection from my home school (again), a waitlist, and… wait, what…is this… an acceptance?? “Dear medschool40&cool, on the behalf of the admission committee, we are pleased to accept you in our program”. My life flashed in front of my eyes at that moment. Me, in high school getting the highest grades but a scoff when I brought up med school. Me, in my early to mid twenties, living under the poverty line, and with no knowledge of the academic world. Me, with a dream. Me, rebuilding myself up, learning the ropes, developing relationships with mentors, writing first-author articles. Me, finally, getting into med school. Passing the threshold. Changing world. Getting into med school the closest I have ever been to a religious experience. I will, after all, be a MD. (Take that, guidance counsellor from high school). One last note: It is unusual to get into med school this late in life (I'm in my late thirties now). And I would lie if I would say I am not worried. I am worried about the stigma, for one. I am worried about fitting in to some extent. I am worried agism will play in whenever Carms comes. But I'll keep posting here and let you know, if you're interested, how this all plays out over the next 4 years.
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