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  1. Western Health Studies Grad Here. If you want a very high GPA, this might not be the program for you. Generally everyone does relatively well (70s to low 80s) especially in upper years but in general it's harder to hit higher GPA cutoffs (3.9-4) than science programs. This is because a lot of the courses are more subjective, and the exams are worth 40 or even 50% a lot of the time with quite a few very obscure questions that are open to interpretation. While getting a high GPA is more difficult, I LOVE what we learn in this program. The courses have drastically changed my understanding of health in relation to social determinants and given me some unforgettable experiences. I think what I learned from the program really shone through during interviews and helped me show my understanding of healthcare from a broader societal sense instead of from a more scientific biomedical approach that people from science programs might have.
  2. I just want to give a different perspective because while everyone who is advising you to take the masters has great points, everyone is different and sometimes it is better to not have too many responsibilities at once. Personally, I was in a similar situation of deciding whether to pursue a masters, do another year of undergrad, or take the year off and find a job. I chose to do another year of undergrad and I realized afterwards that it may have been better for me to actually take the year off and get a part time job. This would have given me more flexibility when preparing for the MCAT, creating a solid application, and becoming a strong interviewer. MCAT: First things first, MCAT scores take a month to come out so it might be better for you to write before August 30ish and not in September (check when the last accepted MCAT date is). From my experience, the MCAT is VERY challenging to ace on the first try - many people take it multiple times. While getting a high score the first time is doable, you will really have to study hard and study smart. Most people I know who aced it on the first try dedicated the entire summer solely on the MCAT and by the time you write it on August you'll be fairly tired and burnt out. Application: You're done your MCAT and now you really have to solidify your application. Depending on which schools you're applying to, you'll have to write a lot of essays (Western + U of T) that are quite time consuming. If you're just starting a Masters, you might have some trouble balancing your new responsibilities with staying on top of the sneakily large amount of work you need to put into crafting your essays into strong messages with a cohesive story not to mention the annoying task of adding in all everything to your ABS. Interview: As an introvert, I HATE interviews with a passion. But I knew that I needed to feel comfortable in any interview situation and to be able to think quickly on the spot. Before practicing I created a list of all my experiences and activities until I knew them inside out and then I practiced most days during the week from January to March until I knew that I could easily create a narrative that conveyed what I learned and how I have grown from each experience. All this takes a lot of time and energy, something that could be hard to balance while being in a Masters. Now I'm not saying that you definitely shouldn't do the Masters - it seems like you would really benefit from it. But make sure you take care of yourself, don't burn out, and set yourself up for the best possibility of creating a killer application for med and then getting that acceptance! As cubes said, if med is truly your passion, put 110% into it so you don't have regrets on your 1 full try.
  3. I feel like I would be happy at any academy I am placed in but can you guys give me some extra insight on why a particular academy might be better for my situation? Location: I will be living downtown but I can also live uptown where I would be fairly close to NYGH Specialty: at the moment I'm very open to choosing any specialty and I'm planning on shadowing as much as possible - I'm really taking a let me see what it's about mindset before writing off any particular specialty (except maybe psychiatry because I reallyyy don't think it suits my personality). Research: I like the concept of doing research (don't actually always love doing it though) and I feel like I will do at least some research to be more competitive for residency. Here are some of the pros and cons I have for each academy (the order isn't how I'm ranking them): 1. WB - Pros: Has the most diverse network of hospitals out of the academies, most hospitals near downtown core so minimal commute is needed - Cons: Might have more gunners, may be less collegial (bit of a generalization and I'm sure many of WBer's are really friendly) 2. PB - Pros: I heard that it's quite tight knit because of time together during commutes and the students are veryyy well supported, heard good things about the tutors at Sunnybrook - Cons: Commute 3. Fitz - Pros: Small and tight knit, my dad said St. Michael's was his favourite hospital to learn at when he was in medical school (30 yrs ago tho lol), interested in social determinants of health - Cons: Learning seems to primarily be at St. Michael's - clinical exposure to different specialties limited? Thanks in advance and any insight is much appreciated! I'd also love to hear what other 2T4s who are trying to decide are thinking.
  4. Oh man that sounds like my ideal cat and they also look super cute! I heard the same thing about bengals tearing everything apart if they're not properly exercised/tired out and my mom is absolutely petrified of the possibility of our furniture getting destroyed so a lynx point siamese sounds perfect. If you don't mind saying, how much did you pay for your cat and what breeder/shelter did you get him from? I'm in the GTA area.
  5. Thanks for the great points everyone! I definitely realize it can be a big challenge to meet the needs of a dog, especially if it is a puppy, and I'm leaning more towards fostering dogs (maybe older dogs that don't need as much daily exercise) before clinical years or maybe getting a cat because a lot of cat owners I've talked to say they're more med school friendly as @frenchpress said. I'm not too worried about finances but thank you for the breakdown! Ideally, I want a companion that can be independent when I'm gone for longer periods of time during the day, but also willing to interact and come with me on hikes/runs because I'm a very active individual. I also love spending time with pets and will make them a priority even when it gets busy (I've taken care of a friend's dog during exams - multiple daily walks, spending time with them during study breaks). I was thinking of maybe getting a bengal cat (hypoallergenic because of possible allergies in the family but also some what dog like) but I'm also open to considering other dog-like hypoallergenic cat breeds!
  6. Hello! I'm an incoming med student at U of T and I've really wanted a dog since forever. I was wondering if anyone has had experience with taking care of a dog during med school and what your thoughts are about feasibility and impact on med school experience. I have taken care of my friend's dog for shorter periods of time so I generally understand what raising a dog entails but short term is obviously very different from taking full ownership. Thanks!
  7. I spoke with a doctor who use to be on the admissions committee and she said that undergrads with wGPAs <3.9 are generally not accepted unless they have something extraordinary on their CV (e.g. made the Olympics)
  8. I already graduated last year and had my degree conferred but I am doing a fifth year with a total of 4.5 credits (I'm unsure because I have two withdrawals this year, both without academic penalty). According to their website "If your letter of offer does not have any conditions, there is no need to submit an updated transcript" and my email acceptance only asks me to send in a form and give the deposit. Does that mean I do not need to send an updated transcript? https://applymd.utoronto.ca/accepting-your-offer
  9. It says this for waitlist: You have been placed on the wait-list for a panel interview. You will be contacted by our admissions office about your panel status on Tuesday, April 21.
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