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  1. Hey, thanks for the responses so far, and hoping to continue to hear many more. Definitely grateful to be healthy and well. My heart goes out to any of you who have lost a loved one recently as I can't imagine that pain. The pandemic has impacted many people in different ways and to different degrees. I would still like to advocate for using winter 2020. While anecdotal and representative of a subset of the population, here are my additional thoughts: While life comes out at you in unexpected ways, it is a privilege for me to look beyond my tomorrow and have the ability to want to create my own future. I just find this whole situation as 'the universal is against you'. The reliance on upper year grades is based on my progression through university. I had to work my first few years of university because I worked through high school, and now since no in my family went to university assumed that was the norm and everyone just had to do it. Eventually in my balancing act, my first few years grades came out as average (but not competitive for med). So I had to make the decision to quit these jobs and other commitments and just scrape by because I recognized if I wanted this I needed to devote more of my time to studying/improving skills and office hours (considered quitting varsity, but chose to stay, big opportunity cost). Ultimately, I put up my best academic year and was hoping I could string together another strong year as a fifth year student to be considered a competitive applicant. But now by discrediting the fourth year, ultimately I can't simply ration coming back for a potentially inconsequential fifth year, especially if my OSAP bill continues to grow and I can't help out my family as i'm stuck in school. I hope this decision gets revisited, because based on this system I either give up now, or next year. Not too sure if I could even do a second degree. I am proud of overall application, but in a system that judges so heavily based on GPA as an entry way for consideration, this is a huge roadblock. The circumstances to which the virus affected students definitely does vary based on level of privilege undoubtedly. Being away at school was my escape from reality, so coming back home was challenging. I arguably worked harder than ever based on my home situation (which was unfortunately in a high risk area and my parents don't fall under the 'work-from-home-demographic' so had to go to their factory jobs which led to quarantine due to contact tracing, but also immense worry of my extended family living in a village on the other side of the world without access to healthcare). Accepting the many ways in which a student's life was flipped upside down and stretched thinner then ever, if they just so happened to have found a way out because they had no other option but to keep putting one foot in front of the other, it's a slap in the face if the school were to say "sorry, you're outta luck here. Maybe next time?". Grades were definitely the last thing to want to think about, but in terms of social mobility it was the only way to propel forward. Do I have to regret not ____ because I chose to be selfish and study instead? If we want to empower certain communities I would say this is a way to do so. Few schools offer an explanatory option (which is great) as why certain grades are not reflective and should be dropped from consideration. But is it really too much to ask to have grades count?
  2. I wanted your thoughts on the following: Was absolutely crushed and disheartened to learn that many medical school (ex. Toronto, Queens, Western) when considering applications won't be using grades from the Winter 2020 semester. While understandably this pandemic has caused many challenges and stressors and some students are negatively disadvantaged based on how the semester finished up, I don't think it's fair for them to discredit an ENTIRE semester without contest. Yes, this is a valuable and beneficial idea for those who due to circumstances beyond their control could not achieve what they normally had, but rather than asses a case by case basis, they chose to just throw out a whole semester. This is especially frustrating as a full year courses (such as a thesis) that don't receive a fall 2019 mark will also not be considered (in my case, out of 10 classes taken, only 3 will actually count) It appears that these changes will last beyond the 2020/2021 application cycle. As a fourth year student who has made great strides to improve from early academic years, this is definitely soul crushing because there is a big opportunity cost to losing out a whole semester and what was invested into it. Now we cannot use this fourth year at all? Many can't continue to come back to school to make up for this. I would really like to invite conversation here and hear out the many different perspectives regarding this matter? Do you agree? Is it fair? Is there a better alternative? Is there anything that could be done about it? I would suggest the alternative approach to be have 2 consideration groups (as many schools do in their cGPA or wGPA and thus accommodate for both groups to count or not count fall 2020). Many thanks Toronto's Announcement: https://applymd.utoronto.ca/admission-requirement-changes-20202021-application-cycle Queens: https://meds.queensu.ca/academics/undergraduate/prospective-students/frequently-asked-questions Western: https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/med_dent_admissions/medicine/admission_requirements.html#grade_point_average
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