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Found 5 results

  1. So what happens if I am say 1 year into my 2 yr thesis based masters, but I get a med school offer, what do I do then? Is quitting midway a thing?
  2. Hi there, I am a undergrad student who has applied to Institute of Medical Science Masters program at U of T. I had pretty poor grades (from awful first year but 3.7 rest of the years) but I had couple of decent project course experiences. Surprisingly I was emailed today to set up an interview with a professor! This is pretty scary because I have heard that you usually interview with graduate coordinators, not professors. Any advices towards how I should approach the interview? For those who have been accepted, what would they ask and what should I prepare for?
  3. Hi everyone! Sorry for the long post, but just looking for some quick advice on grad school/applying! I'm currently finishing my first year of grad school in a 2 year thesis-based MSc in epidemiology. After a lot of discussion and contemplation, I've decided that I really want to apply to med school once I'm finished. However in a recent conversation with my supervisor, he suggested that my project was coming along really well and that if I transferred to the PhD stream this summer I could probably finish it in an extra year and a half (so 3.5 total, as opposed to 2 years for the Masters). I am enjoying the project, however given the timing of admissions (I'd probably finish in Dec 2017), I'm a bit torn on whether to delay applying for another 2 years to transfer. I am interested in pursuing research as a clinician, so that's why I'm drawn to getting the PhD as opposed to simply sticking with the MSc. However, I'm a bit unclear as to whether there would be a significant benefit to having a PhD vs MSc, especially since this will be before I start medical school and decide what to specialize in (for instance, my project is examining lung cancer outcomes, however I don't know at this point if oncology is what I'll end up in). I know I could apply for MD/PhD programs, however that would be an extra 3-4 years (vs 1.5) at this point, and since you typically start your research only a year into medical school, I think I might have the same problem about the focus of my research. Alternatively, I know if I apply now and decide later that I really do want to pursue the PhD, I could do so after medical school part-time or through one of the clinician-scientist training programs, so I'm not sure if that's a better option, especially considering the difference in funding/salary at that point. I think another issue that's drawing me to the PhD is that this would be my first time applying (if I applied this Oct, assuming I stick with the MSc), so I don't have the best idea what my chances of getting in this year are. My undergrad GPA is decent (3.88/4), and I do have a number of ECs and a couple of publications (not first author), but unfortunately most of my research activities (conferences, first-author publications) will be done this year after the October application deadline. I'll be writing my MCAT in late August, so I'd have to decide before I get those results. Thanks for any and all advice! TL;DR Applying to med school and want to do clinical research. Trying to decide whether it is worth it to delay applying for 2 years to transfer from MSc to PhD
  4. Hi, I'm a first year student who took management in first semester, realized it wasn't for me and switched to a Biochemistry, Psychology double major. Anyways, my first year course load is all screwed up because i finished with 2 courses in Fall and I'll have 5 this Winter. But I'm still behind, my question is, is it a big deal if I take certain prerequisites this Summer 2015 term? I planned all my four years out so I have all the pre-reqs for Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, Medicine, and I can always apply to Law School. But because these are first year courses and are therefore pre-reqs of pretty much everything at UTSC, and graduate school, I'm wondering if it's okay to take courses in the Summer. For example, at UTSC, I'm taking MATA36, which is a pre-req for pharmacy school. Will it count if I take it during the summer? Sorry, I'm kinda new to this and my experience in highschool was that nobody really cared if you took a course in the summer, or as I was told "it's frowned upon". So will taking this course and a couple others (CHMA11, BIOA01, and maybe STAB22) hurt my transcript when graduate schools look at my transcript and see that these were taken in the Summer? Thanks.
  5. In my early childhood, I had remember receiving an amazing picture book about science from a relative. I knew from that moment on that science was quite possibly the coolest thing ever and I wanted to be a person who did the coolest thing ever. I went to high school in a relatively poor Toronto suburb. OSSLT pass rates were 70%. Drug dealers littered the school. Disrespect for authority. The biggest impediment to learning were other students. I came to a place where people from bad homes gathered and they didn't care for others. Principal has been attacked. Multiple reports of Arson reported. Small-time gang violence. It was just another day for me. I found a nice group of "nerdy" friends to hang out with and was inspired by them and my teachers who always took an interest and encouraged us. Having been bullied in elementary school, I had found solace in a group of people who were far more accepting and didn't come from a judgmental elementary school such as my own. I didn't quite try in grade 9 and 10 and was no means seen as a bright child, achieving nothing higher than low 80s. In grade 11 I had began to put effort into high school and was rewarded with good marks and the encouragement of teachers who inspired me to become the best I could. I took many different contests and competition tests like Avogadros, UofT Biology Competion, and the countless Waterloo math ones. The math ones were the worst, but, I only went so I could skip class and get free chocolate from the math teachers. I did poorly in every contest, scoring in the 10th-20th percentile range despite doing better than most others! Applying for University, I had known that I wanted to be a medical doctor, an internalization of my parents suggestions as a child. I wanted to make my parents proud. I wanted to be rich; not suffer from a poor financial stability like my family (although, my father's hard work and street smarts, has turned that around for us). That's who I wanted to be. Secure, stable, loved, all while helping people overcome their obstacles. . Everyone told me not to apply to UofT because it would be so hard to get into medicine since they will destroy your GPA. My father pressured me into applying to UofT. And so I did. He was paying for my application after all (and eventually University). I was dead set on going to McMaster for LifeSci. I wanted to move out of Toronto, which is odd since at that point of my life I hadn't quite experienced it. However, after a University of Toronto tour, my mind changed. I was unsure what it was; the fun people I had met, the unusually warm March day, or the enticing academic air that permeated my lungs. The buildings were old and the architecture made me feel connected to a past which wasn't my own. Turtle necks, blazers, crazy hair and hipster glasses (Little did I know that these were humanities professors!). This was it. This was the school I was going to attend and nothing would make me change my mind. I was very glad my father had asked me to apply here. Fast forward to first year. BIO120H1F; ecology and evolutionary biology. I don't recall ever learning about ecology in high school. I sat among a group of 2000 people within convocation hall. Spencer Barrette, an intelligent and well accomplished Evolutionary Biologist was our professor. He was rough around the edges and not the type who would put up with your crap. A common thread among faculty. Barrette, in his condescending British accent, addresses the class: "How many of you want to go to med school?" Nearly everyone, myself included, had put their hand up. I looked around, this was more students than the number of successful Ontario Medical school applicants. These people were my competition, but I would later learn they were my ultimate support in my struggle to achieve my goals. One semester later. Barrette asked us the same question. My hand raised up. Nothing was going to kill my spirit; tricky questions about pikas, foliage, or tri-gendered flowers weren't enough to stop me from being a medical doctor. Only a quarter of our class had shared my sentiment. First day of 3rd year. Two year had gone by and this school was close to breaking me. I had become cynical and it wasn't unusual for me to think about my possibilities (and GPA) had I gone to other Universities. For the most part, my classes were no longer 2000 people. First year had effectively halved us. If it wasn't biology that destroyed you, it was physics, it was math, it was chemistry. The rejects poured into HMB majors or went into humanities. (I later realized how untrue this assumption was as the diversity of students in such large programs were difficult to paint with such a large brush. Even if you didn't do well in first year, as long as you were willing to persevere , this University will whip you into shape and teach you many valuable skills. Very intelligent individuals litter every UofT program.) I, on the other hand, was in arguably the most competitive POSt at UofT (a comforting thought in times of inferiority). I often took courses from the BCH, LMP, IMM, and PSL department for fun. Science was my thing and even though I struggled sometimes, this was ultimately what I loved. I had been driven insane by my need to learn the coolest things ever. Despite all this; there was still a part of me, a naive aspect of my time here that I had kept alive. One semester in first year had shattered the dreams of Medical school for over 1000 people in UofT life science. With my own motivations, goals and future wavering in uncertainty, I was terrified. No doubt the people around me were terrified too. I wanted to help the people around me, and in turn they helped me. Sharing class notes, discussing science, providing encouragements, contributed positively to Facebook groups, and circulating lecture recordings. We were in the fight together. We battled day and night to secure our future. Some harder than others. There were no rejects, no idiots, no crazy competition. These were young people just like myself. Aspirations, goals, dreams, motivations coming from a wide variety of backgrounds; some from much better places than me and others from far worse. We all simply wanted to make a place for ourselves. Whether it was through medicine, research or something else. Luckily, during my 3rd, I had gotten a job as an analyst at one of the big Canadian banks thanks to a connection I had. The job was well paying, and only required me to work 2 days a week during the weekend. My RESP had run out some this was the perfect time to start paying the rest of University myself. I gained a degree of financial stability and no longer relied on my parents. I would even bring the groceries home sometimes. Third year goes by relatively okay but nevertheless very stressful. It could have been better had I not taken English, but hey, that's what American medical schools want! I even got a paid position at a basic science lab during the summer; something that alluded and evaded me for the past 3 years. The key was blasting millions of professors with emails; luckily this guy was new here and wasn't taking in someone he already knew or something. I had a great time despite my unproductive summer in the lab. Negative results and plenty of technical failures on my part. Best of all, I even met a girl at the lab, she's sweet and wonderful and thinking of her makes me giddy inside (as ridiculously embarrassing as that sounds). I've been single for a couple of years now and had avoided relationships, but she makes me feel different. We're currently dating. I'm not sure where we're going to go, but, she just like myself is another one of those students who are just struggling to find their place in such a fast-paced and competitive world. I am content and happy. I'm currently doing a 4th year project in this lab, the supervisor believed that I was not working up to my potential and so I was put under the tutelage of different senior scientist in the lab. One with much higher expectations. Although, I feel as if I fail to meet such high expectations quite often; my time in the lab and specifically under this scientists has forced me to become a much critical thinker. Furthermore, I have be forced into better managing my time. The lab is a huge sink for my time as I wish to produce wonderful positive results (despite the arduous and ridiculous amount of optimization that I must complete). Even if I don't, I am still content with a good mark, the learning (both the work ethics and the science). With 4th year just starting, the stress levels are beginning the climb. I didn't write the MCAT and I will not be applying to medical school this year. A big blunder on my part. A GPA of 3.7 and a couple of low-to-mid tier level leadership positions are not enough to show medical schools that I would be a wonderful candidate. My motivations for wanting to be a doctor are no longer the same as when I was in high school. I feel like it has fallen more in line with the way I felt about the people around me as I have . A doctor is assisting and enabling the health of the people around him. At the end of the day; we're all just trying to do our best given our capacity to do so and a doctor simply increases that capacity for you. With my heavy interest in science, I am planning to do a Master's with a laboratory that focuses on basic science at UofT. I want to learn and make an impact in the field. At the same time, I would like to involve myself in more health-related initiatives and learn about health care policy. My end goal is no longer to go to Medical School but it is to complete an MD/PhD program. I wish to bridge the gap between a clinical setting and basic science; generating interesting questions around problems encountered in a clinical setting and attempting to find a solution within a laboratory. I might be a little cynical and a lot more goofy, but ultimately, its no longer about making money or making others proud, but about helping in the way I feel that I can make a difference. If you have any questions, about my life or UofT, feel free to ask. And if you have any suggestions feel free to comment.
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