dh. reacted to frenchpress in Really REALLY need some sound advice.
1. No, you’re not too old.
2. You only have about one semesters worth of courses. In the context of a full university degree, this isn’t a lot. I don’t know the ins and outs of every Ontario school’s application process, and it may be an issue at some schools, but on the whole, no I don’t believe it will completely screw you over.
3. Focus on something that you’re interested in, that you’re motivated to do well in, and that will be a reasonable career path for you even if you don’t get into med.
dh. reacted to DrDre in Worth it to apply? (IP)
Definitely go for it. I had a 3.7 gpa and a 505 MCAT and got in this past cycle. It was my third try though, and I think the interview held me back. If your Casper is all good, you will likely get an interview as IP. If interviews are something you are uncomfortable with, start prepping now. Practice, practice, practice in-person with whomever will listen, virtually with other applicants, record yourself on camera. The more you do this the less phased you'll be on the actual day! Cannot stress enough how key interview practice is!! It's a good chunk of your score, and the only thing you have control of once your app is submitted. Good luck!!
dh. got a reaction from DrOtter in Lines of Credit for Medical Students (Scotia is the best option)
The interest rate is annual, calculated daily, and compounded monthly; if your balance remained the same for the duration of a 30 day month, your interest calculation can be simplified like this:
balance * rate/365 * days_in_month
So if your opening balance at the start of the month is $100, and remains the same, you’ll end the month with a new balance of $100.33.
$100 + 100*0.04/365*30 = $100.33
dh. reacted to MedLife2018 in What should I take for my undergrad degree
In my experience there is no such thing as an "easy degree". Every program is difficult in its own way and how difficult you find it depends on how much you enjoy the material and your own strengths. I would suggest that instead of approaching this as what program you think med admissions would like best, you consider what you are most interested in. You will likely do better and work harder if it is something you genuinely want to learn. Admission policy and committees change and will likely be different 4 years out when you complete your undergrad. So instead of trying to game the system, find something you want to learn and you might want to pursue as a career as med acceptances are no guarantee. Good luck.
dh. reacted to dopamania in Could I please get some advice on how to study in medical school? Or additional resources to use?
Not sure why no one has answered this so I'll give it a go (though I am by no means an expert as I'm also going into first year at U of A).
So based on a recent discussion on our class' FB group, most upper-year students are suggesting not to purchase any textbooks aside from the cardiology one (called Pathophysiology of Heart Disease by Leonard Lilly), and that one should be available online for free through the U of A library portal.
Someone suggested getting the Toronto Notes once our class representative sells them.
I also read that we will have access to notes from upper years for our blocks once they begin.
I'm pretty sure that there are way more resources out there than we actually need and I will definitely wait until lectures start to really see if I need anything beyond aforementioned. I heard good things about Lecturio and Osmosis, but won't be using them right away (if at all) either. Will be using anki for sure though.
I understand that mechanical engineering isn't exactly a traditional premed program but then there isn't a designated premed program anyway, so I don't think that puts you at a disadvantage. Have faith in the admissions committee, if they felt that you're a good fit for the program, that implies their belief in your academic capacity. I specifically recall how during our virtual get-together with the 2023s, one student said that he is actually a lot more at ease in med school as compared to undergrad in spite of the overwhelming curriculum because he no longer feels the need to be the best in class. It's a Pass/Fail system after all and as far as I can tell there's quite a bit of collegiality amongst students.
Lastly, I'll mention two videos that speak about studying in med school. The first one is by a current fourth-year med student at U of A. In it he talks about the specific study techniques he uses. The second one is a more general advice on how to succeed in first year.
dh. reacted to nervousboi in Could I please get some advice on how to study in medical school? Or additional resources to use?
I was hoping I could get some advice for how to approach medical school, especially since classes are completely online for the first semester so it wont be as easy to ask other student what they're doing.
I'm starting classes at the UofA this August. I did a degree in mechanical engineering and I haven't taken anything related to biology since the middle of high school. In my undergrad I mostly took exams which required me to solve 2-5 problems over the course of a couple hours, about 80% of the time these exams would be open book. The only content heavy closed book exam I had to take was the MCAT, which I don't think I did a great job studying for (ended up with a 502); all I really did was watch khan academy lectures (while writing down notes) and do practice problems. My concern is I don't know how to study content heavy coursework, something most students are familiar with by now.
Does anyone have any advice on how to study/what the workflow of a typical first year student is like?
Furthermore are there any supplemental materials I should consider using? I've seen some people on this forum talk about using american resources in their first two years (even if their not interested in writing the step 1 exam) such as reading first aid prior to each new block, watching boards and beyond videos in tandem with their lectures, and using pre made step 1 anki decks. Does that make sense, or would it be better to spend more time studying my schools lectures since they will likely be the most similar to the exams we write? Really I'd appreciate any advice
dh. reacted to rmorelan in #MedBikini
good grief - of all the things a research team could study in all the world to improve the treatment and care of patients this is the topic they decide to cover? Then they actually trolled hundreds of doctors to look at their social media accounts and graded them on various behaviours....... The morality police are out in full force - this crap shouldn't have even be published.
also from a purely experimental design point of view isn't this study horrible? I mean only 1/2 of the vascular residents were actually found - so what you really saying is of the residents that even care to be open on socially media this is what they are doing. Good reason to think that group is different than the group they couldn't find so you cannot really extend the findings. Plus they don't even make any conclusion - they restate the findings, and say beware that things are online. Ok we knew that prior to the paper even saying anything - so what was the actual science done?
" It has been demonstrated that publicly available social media content may affect patient choice of physician, hospital, and medical facility"
in what way? How - positive or negative? How does that impact patient outcome (and yes that is the primary thing I care about)? A lot of vague statements there - may impact, could play a role in future hiring blah blah.
dh. reacted to gogogo in 5 year plan for career switch eng to med - seeking constructive criticism
Congratulations on making the career switch. I did it too and medicine is better than my previous career. I am also "older" than the average med student, though not that much (27).
I do not agree with you about how med school and residency won't force you to put life on hold, however. By "on hold," I don't mean life has to stop. You can for sure get married, have a kid, buy a house, etc. if your circumstances allow. So instead, by "on hold," I mean not have as much time for those things as you would want. I am speaking as a med student in a long-term stable relationship and who has older parents in my class. Med school is all-consuming, especially clerkship. Residency is probably the same. Of course you can "make it work" during this time. But I don't think it's ideal. I am putting off kids for after residency because I can't imagine how I'll be a parent while I'm studying all the time. My partner is extremely supportive and understands why I barely have time to spend with her. Even when we do spend time, I am studying 90% of the time. The fathers and mothers in my program are going through the same thing. They don't have much time for their family and it's the partner who is shouldering most of the domestic duties. So of course, you can get through med school and residency while being a parent, but it's a very, very tough ride. Many of the younger students in my class also broke up with their partners pretty soon after med school started.
Your experience may be different and I hope you find a way to make it work!
dh. reacted to tallshirts in 5 year plan for career switch eng to med - seeking constructive criticism
The main concern I am going to respond to, that others have raised, is age. It really doesn't matter what age you are when you start school, except that as you get older you can't stay up as late and you need to plan your time better because you can't burn the candle at both ends. I think that whole "do you really want to put your life on hold until you're 40" argument is a bit ludicrous. I am in the process of switching careers from one profession to medicine (I start med school in a few weeks). I'm 34, and if all goes to plan I will be a physician by the time I'm 40. What is the average age of retirement for family doctors? 60? 65? Some work until they're much older than that. Personally, I would much rather have a shorter career that I like than a long one that I feel trapped by.
I also don't see the need to put things on hold. I am in a stable relationship and will be having a kid in November. Too many people see being in a relationship/married as some sort of conflict with their career, when in fact it can be useful to stave off burnout. Having a supportive partner and a little guy to come home to sounds like a pretty big value added, rather than any sort of sacrifice. You know what else I've learned in my "old age"? Boundaries. I know that in order to maintain my health, there are things I need to do - eat, sleep, stay active. A lot of students who have only been students get lulled into this fantasy that student life requires all-nighters and constant studying, when that's simply not true.
Everyone's experience is different. If you feel compelled to go to med school, then by all means try your darnedest to do so.
dh. reacted to piperacillin in Anki cards?
As someone who did Anki in pre-clinical, I'm not sure I would suggest anyone do Anking versus making their own cards instead. Anking was meant to be a comprehensive resource to perform well on Step 1. It also goes far deeper into certain subjects and much less deep in other areas than your school will. Step 1 is moving to pass/fail so there isn't a benefit of doing such a large deck even if you plan to write step 1 - there are significant drawbacks in the amount of time it takes.
Definitely test it out, but it sounds like even American students are shifting away from large decks like anking. Making cards is time consuming but is honestly just like regular studying
dh. reacted to Sleepywood in Spending LOC on fun
Incoming med student as well. I've looked up the advice of senior students/residents/physicians on this website and others. The consensus is to spend enough so that you can focus entirely on med school. If that means buying an apartment with in-suite laundry so that you aren't taking your laundry to a nearby landro-mat during exam season, so be it. If that means buying a new computer with a premium service warranty to carry you through the next four years, indulge.
It gets trickier when it comes to say, buying furniture for a new apartment. Some classmates will blow a decent chunk of their LOC right out of the gates to make their apartments look like luxury stage homes. One could argue that a dining table is a dining table, whether it costs you $300 on Facebook Marketplace or $2600 on a premium website. So, should you spend that extra $2300 to make it look nice? Maybe this is important to you - maybe you like to host friends at your place as a way to relax. So, maybe a nice table is worth it. But are you then going to apply that to your TV, your kitchen appliances, your chairs, your couch, your bed, your bookshelves, ect?
I will say this: if you spend too much money today, it isn't just about delaying your ability to pay it back at the end of residency. I'd argue the more-significant consequence is you you will decrease the amount that you can invest into your retirement fund once you are practicing. A few extra years of compound interest at the end of your career is significant - losing out on that by spending lots today can actually add up and impact you later in life.
dh. reacted to blah1234 in Spending LOC on fun
It's all about risk tolerance and what you're willing to accept. You're correct, it may only take an additional year of attendinghood to pay off the marginal debt but here are a couple of considerations:
1) You may not want to be a surgeon at the end of medical school
2) You may not get surgery even if you want it
3) You may not enjoy medicine at the end of the training
4) The true impact of compound interest over the span of a working career (that 100k difference of debt is not truly 100k at the end of your career)
I am fortunate that I enjoy what I do but I work with many people who are not as enthusiastic as they were when they were medical students. I'm a big believer in keeping life sustainable and working towards happiness. If those purchases will keep you balanced in life then you don't have to justify that to anyone else but yourself. However, I would caution students to not spend like they are printing money for the rest of their career because you never know how life might change in the upcoming 30+ years.
dh. got a reaction from Scrubadubdub in MCAT question
Which was your most recent score?
I would check with Dal to see if they require your most recent MCAT, or if you can choose a prior score. I believe the AAMC gives them all of your exam scores and dates, but different schools assess multiple scores differently.
If given the choice, I would personally elect to share a more well-rounded score with higher CARS, but this is purely my subjective opinion since we have no idea how Dal actually assesses the MCAT. Do keep in mind that it is worth very little of your overall application score (10%, per the website), and either way your scores are decent.
dh. reacted to Anaik in Dal activities
I filled all 28, but I lumped certain scholarships together for the same criteria (my uni had a simple application form and gave you scholarships based on that one application) but there were a couple spots where I broke some activities down into 2 spots instead of one.
For example, I was a coach for a high school team, but I also trained the players in the gym in the off season. I made that two different entries.
there is no set number. Three quality commitments with a good amount of hours is better than 7 okay entries with mediocre hours. I know of people who structured their app different than mine, and who certainly did not fill each entry! Don’t worry about it and just focus on doing what feels best given your application
dh. reacted to Aryanenzo in MD Class of 2024 bag colour
I've been so happy today. For the past five years of trying over and over to get into UBC with below average interviews, I kept telling myself If I ever get in, and the backpack color is yellow that year (My favorite color. Also the color of my car, and many clothing I own), then it is destiny. I was meant to get that year. This feels really symbolic.
Yellow is the color of happiness.