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AB27

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  1. September 28 is last test date. Check out the website too, it's updated
  2. Queens & Western, especially since both use GPA as a cutoff and use last 2/ best 2 years (respectively). U of T is iffy, GPA is just below competitive for grad applicants, may get screened but apply if you have $$. McMaster is also unlikely but possible (2 ppl in 2022 with 3.00-3.49 GPA).
  3. Idk if the odds argument is fully valid. There not drawing interviewees from a hat and accepting them (that was a one-off right??), as far as I know it is in relation to other applicants that you are ranked. So if you're a bad applicant/interviewee your chances are the same- low. The argument for fewer interview spots is that someone who wouldn't get an interview without the 550+ is better than you and would therefore out compete you. I think that's more or less fair even if it sucks.
  4. I am going into 4th year and starting to worry about my backup plan which was initially to apply to jobs in AB and work there. Now I'm wondering if this is a good plan given the amount of ppl who don't get in on their 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. attempt. My GPA is good and my ECs, specifically volunteering activities are lackluster (yes, really). ECs are more research heavy than anything else, by hours (no pubs or presentations). As such I'm not sure whether or not to apply to MSc and MD programs concurrently. I was under the assumption that masters primarily helps with GPA issues but I would like to know if anyone has any other inputs on this. My current pros & cons are as follows: Pros - If I start a MSc I should have funding which is important because either way I'm moving provinces. This gives some stability/assurance that I will be able to live lol - I want to eventually do a PhD, probably in residency. A MSc is a good step towards this - If I never get into an MD program it is a step towards a career in research which I am interested in, though I haven't set a number of application cycles I will go through before giving up - Probably more flexibility to do volunteering while a FT job would likely have more rigid hours - Extra reference letter Cons - Losing out on an application cycle, already oldish (however given my current ECs its unlikely I could improve THAT much in my 4th year, especially given COVID closures) - Possibility of not publishing or finishing in more than 2 years may reflect poorly upon me - Making less money is not ideal with 20k of undergrad debt :'( - limited opportunities in AB vs ON so may end up researching something less interesting to me - how and when does one apply to MSc programs??
  5. I hope they'll allow us more space to talk about our top 3 rather than just mark them
  6. I know scores are not dependent on those who take the test with you, I think the test is composed of questions previously tested to give the appropriate amount of people falling in the percentiles.
  7. @DrOtterThat does help! The only 2 who I think could provide examples of empathy are 6 and 7. My problem is I am not sure these would be seen as objective or not. #6 was also my landlord for a while so maybe that adds objectivity, no one likes their landlord et vv lol
  8. I think this application is going to be pretty complicated as I plan on applying to OMSAS and the Alberta schools, choosing different references for each! I would love any input on my best OMSAS (or other!) options here. Main issue I foresee is a lack of a clear candidate for the non-academic/empathetic side of things. My volunteer work has not involved a lot of supervision. 2 good choices: 1. Research project/NSERC supervisor/prof (1 class): Known for about 1.5 years. Will give me a good reference academically (don't think that matters much?) and probably can comment on everything but empathy. They have my CV including my volunteering and have used that to write me a successful reference previously. 2. NSERC supervisor (this summer)/future thesis advisor/prof (3 classes)/TAd class: Known for about 1.5 years as well. I haven't done much actual research with them yet but they have taught me methods over the summer in my last lab. I think they approve of me overall. A bunch of not great choices: 3. Foreman from summer job: known for a summer lol. Wouldn't be super aware of the CANMEDs stuff but is nonacademic. 4. Lab coordinator/supervisor: Known for at least 2 years but worked with for 1.5. They ran the labs that I TA'd. 5. MSc student that kinda supervised/mentored me: Known for 2ish years. My lab had minimal PI involvement so they would teach me and help out. In that way could be considered a work supervisor. Also gave advice on grad school so mentor?? They have been my TA and we have been co-TAs so its complicated. 6. Mentor: Known for 3 years. Was a friends parent, they had mentored people before and they helped me get on my feet after a bad time, generally supported me through the process so they know about my ECs and me pretty well. 7. Leader of volunteer group: Wasn't necessarily a supervisor but they did mostly organize the activities & communication for our team. Known for 1 yr, only one with direct knowledge of my "advocate" type qualities. Is now a med student o that makes it weird maybe. So that was a lot but none of them are really hitting all the points so that's where I'm stuck
  9. I guess its a question of whether or not we value consistent academic performance, the second group is really pushed closer to their actual ranking. I don't love seeing ppl trying to act like those w good GPAs got it cushy. I worked for my GPA and every two seconds I see posts like "a 4.0/ 520 wont get you in! " "Stats aren't everything!" like why you gotta rub it in my face that above a certain point my hard work is useless lol. If we are going to use GPA to separate people we have to let it do that at some point, to some degree. I am glad there are weighting formulas in Canada because a lot of factors can lead to a bad semester or bad year. There has to be some point where we actually use GPA though. I think the academic explanations essay is a good idea here and more schools should try something like this for people who've gone through tough times that may not make them competitive at first glance. Also that last bit made me chuckle :p
  10. Isn't disparity between applicants preferable? Those with consistent high gpas aren't really benefiting, they're not affected, similarly those with consistently lower gpas are not as greatly affected. This is bad for everyone without a 4.0 but worse for those who had a tough start to uni or had a block of bad courses. I wonder why U of T is so against the MCAT, I think increasing the cutoff or assessing it competitively could help ppl with lower gpas prove their academic side and hopefully lower the ridiculous averages.
  11. I agree thats rather unfair, this seems like something you could submit an explanation essay for. If the CR/NCR was imposed on you they should ideally do something similar to what their doing with the covid situation.
  12. My father is in trades, I'm actually the first in my fam to do any post-secondary. My situation is probably an outlier overall though, higher education was actively discouraged in my household. Tbh there were like 2 other black people in my high school and most of the black premeds I've met are from the city so I haven't noticed much of a trend, very limited sample size though. Makes sense though, higher-class/ professionals are probably going to emphasize education. I haven't thought of it that way but I guess it is hard to phase out affirmative action, its a bandage solution and the big guys can say they're doing something without putting in the effort and working on the core problems. From what you're saying re the indigenous application programs it's not a clear cut issue, there are pros and cons and it kinda depends on whether the benefits outweigh the costs which is at least a bit subjective.
  13. This sucks for people who planned based on the wGPA but tbh dropping 6 half year courses was pretty generous, with the high averages year after year this was kinda bound to happen. If anything this makes a higher gpa actually mean something while still allowing some leeway for a few mistakes
  14. I come from a pretty small town (yes there are some black ppl in the sticks) and have lived in multiple cities and countries, I'm far from cocooned :). Lack of small-town access to care is something that schools are working to fix (NOSM obv and a few western schools have rural pathways) and is rather unrelated to the BSAP. Access to doctors of similar backgrounds is I think an important factor healthcare, I'm not super educated on this though. And regarding keeping a culture static, I really like experiencing/ learning about other cultures and I think it's important to hold on to ones culture but also recognize that change is inherent to it. I am in no way saying Canada is like the 1800s. People move countries for a variety of reasons, I would hope obtaining a better life was not my parents primary goal in moving here as that would be a little shady given the whole idea was to get married cause love or something. Canada is not the most racist country IMO, doesn't change the fact that systemic racism exists here and many places in different forms. This is why equality of opportunity is just not a thing in practice. If black folks are striving for medicine less because they're somehow genetically predisposed cool, don't think so, but cool. If it is because of a cultural issue I think we need to examine how that is shaped by history and the dominant culture. The other side is whether or not the outcomes are better or worse for the healthcare system. I don't think its anyone's goal to produce incompetent black physicians rather the focus in selecting med students should be on patient care. And how much do grades really matter in producing good doctors? I complain about the focus on ECs when more direct metrics like gpa and the MCAT are available but in the end it seems med school is not THAT intellectually demanding. Most people I've heard from say it is a lot of work but not necessarily inherently harder in concepts. Some schools have like 3.0 cutoffs with a few people getting in around there every year. The cutoff for being a good doc is not 3.95. I agree with you that affirmative action is not an optimal choice, but I think what U of T is doing is better than nothing. For real change to occur we would need a lot of people willing to put the effort in to help as opposed to moaning about the issues with the current provisions. On a side note, what do you think of the indigenous-focused initiatives?
  15. The root issues being systemic racism? The education system should most definitely be improved. From what I understand, in the US (maybe here too?) schools are funded by the taxes of the district. With higher proportions of African Americans in poorer areas this leads to less education funding and often a poorer quality of education for AAs. This is only one factor that may affect how many go on to higher education and would require much more work to change than it takes to implement a quota. Not to mention the lack of connections and free time for unpaid activities that are so crucial to the application. But beyond the many factors of the systemic side of racism, there are the general biases that people hold against minorities which the BSAP attempts to factor out. If we agree that all races are inherently equally capable of becoming good doctors, why are certain groups consistently underrepresented in medical classes? I think the BSAP is one of the best solutions at the university level. Rather than lowering the requirements (which may be harmful to the individuals it aims to help) the focus is on having reviewers/ interviewers of the same race who are more likely to understand the applicant's background and minimize bias. White applicants are statistically likely to be afforded this courtesy through the regular application stream. I also think I read an article on the program that said applications had increased after its introduction which is great. The only stated benefit of the program is to directly remove bias and encourage applications. Neither of these things should offend anybody. Also, I am a 2nd gen Canadian on my black side. My ancestors were slaves. Black people have had to pull themselves up from bad situations in many countries, not just the US. The individuals who imposed said situations, in most cases, also formed the foundations of those countries. Systemic racism (towards blacks) is not just an American problem although I would think it is worse there it is very present in Canada. And all this "white minority" stuff is interesting. What exactly are whites "on their way out" of? The positions of majority/ power they've held historically off the backs of minorities? White people will most assuredly be able to find a doctor who understands "white culture", white doctors are available pretty much everywhere and barring that, almost all of us grew up in this culture. Please understand the word minority has more weight that a mathematical term, there is an implication of power imbalances as well as historical context. Changing demographics is not particularly amazing, but the result of clear trends in immigration, birth rates etc. Maybe a little more amazing is that we now have the opportunity to learn about so many different cultures and their perspectives on healthcare and the challenges they face.
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