Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
Sign in to follow this  
larrybates

Back at square one...

Recommended Posts

So this year I interviewed at 2 schools and was rejected by one and waitlisted at the other, but the likelihood of coming off now is practically zero. This is my 3rd cycle now and im 2 years out of a b. sc. in bio. I'm really strongly considering doing a masters now, but people always tell me i don't need to with my stats (I have a 3.9+ and 521 mcat) and that it'll waste a cycle starting it. I get that logic, but at the same time, I'm getting tired of just working and volunteering. I'm not getting anywhere in terms out landing meaningful jobs. I want to start investing in a future career. Are the job prospects post msc that much better than with just a bsc? is there something else I could be working towards as a plan B now that would be worthwhile?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Larry! Those are some excellent stats! I just wanted to comment because I understand your sentiments and am still debating whether or not I should give the application process another shot for the next cycle or pursue a career and potentially revisit medicine at another point in my life instead. I also feel the impatience to start actively pursuing a stable career and get my life started. For now, I'm job hunting and seeing where I land and how much I like it. Who knows, I may find something I never thought about before and discover I love it. Or I could lean back towards medicine. I honestly wouldn't mind being a 40 year old MD student if it meant I was satisfied with where my life was heading and I was qualified for the job.

RE: grad school. I went through a master's (albeit to gain experiences to enter industry rather than med). There are pros and cons that sometimes I feel many incoming students are not aware of.

My advice is to only pursue a master's only if you really love research and have a good idea of who would make a good supervisor. If you want more insight into what that entails, I can make a list of important qualities based on my and others' experiences. I was incredibly lucky to have gotten fantastic supervisory experiences. I've grown a lot since I first started grad school, and I appreciate the opportunities that grad school has given me (i.e., networking and exposure to various fields, international conference, independent project management, scientific writing, publication submission, presentation skills, gaining technical expertise, collaboration, mentoring students, etc.). My lab environment has always been amazing. I've made incredibly close friends (nothing like trial and tribulation to bring people together). My supervisors are incredibly supportive and always willing to give me excellent references.

However, I also know of many who haven't been so lucky. Some of my fellow grad students have become incredibly bitter due to bad (sometimes abusive) experiences where reporting can result in backlash against the student (bad letters of reference, public humiliation, bullying, being viewed as whiny/weak/incapable). Grad student vs. tenured professor (god forbid if they have massive CIHR funding to boot) has a huge power imbalance. Some supervisors can be nice people but be the type to forget/ignore your desires to finish and push to add more and more and more experiments (sometimes unrelated to your own research) to your plate. Depression, anxiety, imposter syndrome are common. It can also be disheartening to have your research fail, and you find you ended up with 2 years of troubleshooting and no publications. Toxic academic environments and department/faculty politics can also be embittering. Some students actually end up isolated and lonely depending on lab environment. Really depends on the culture and people around you.

In terms of job prospects, it really depends on what you're looking for and what degree, what experiences, and what accomplishments you achieved over the course of your program. Clinical research coordinator positions can only require a bachelors. Many internships in R&D companies as well. I am in the middle of searching for jobs, and I have tended to see either minimum bachelors or PhD requirements. PhD can be more useful for consulting positions, scientific patent agents, research associate, etc. Master's can be helpful for mid-range cogs-in-a-wheel R&D positions, but it can depend on your experiences and how you present them in your resume. I'll get back to you if I get hired anywhere (fingers crossed)!

Best of luck on the waitlist! Who knows you may get called and this conversation is moot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, catlady403 said:

Your stats are excellent. Have the schools themselves been able to give you any feedback on your interview performance?

no. but the schools I interviewed at seem to place high weight on the mmi. I'm guessing I was near average.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, larrybates said:

no. but the schools I interviewed at seem to place high weight on the mmi. I'm guessing I was near average.

I wonder if perhaps you didn't interview as well as you thought you did? Your stats are so good and in conjunction with your ECs they got you to the MMI stage. That leads me to wonder whether your chances next year might be improved by focusing on the MMI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I meant average for the school i was WL at (uofc). Looking at the way they score things, I shoulda been fairly close to average to make it on the waitlist. I did below average at the other school probably, but all they say is pass/fail and i passed at least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, gellycell said:

Hi Larry! Those are some excellent stats! I just wanted to comment because I understand your sentiments and am still debating whether or not I should give the application process another shot for the next cycle or pursue a career and potentially revisit medicine at another point in my life instead. I also feel the impatience to start actively pursuing a stable career and get my life started. For now, I'm job hunting and seeing where I land and how much I like it. Who knows, I may find something I never thought about before and discover I love it. Or I could lean back towards medicine. I honestly wouldn't mind being a 40 year old MD student if it meant I was satisfied with where my life was heading and I was qualified for the job.

RE: grad school. I went through a master's (albeit to gain experiences to enter industry rather than med). There are pros and cons that sometimes I feel many incoming students are not aware of.

My advice is to only pursue a master's only if you really love research and have a good idea of who would make a good supervisor. If you want more insight into what that entails, I can make a list of important qualities based on my and others' experiences. I was incredibly lucky to have gotten fantastic supervisory experiences. I've grown a lot since I first started grad school, and I appreciate the opportunities that grad school has given me (i.e., networking and exposure to various fields, international conference, independent project management, scientific writing, publication submission, presentation skills, gaining technical expertise, collaboration, mentoring students, etc.). My lab environment has always been amazing. I've made incredibly close friends (nothing like trial and tribulation to bring people together). My supervisors are incredibly supportive and always willing to give me excellent references.

However, I also know of many who haven't been so lucky. Some of my fellow grad students have become incredibly bitter due to bad (sometimes abusive) experiences where reporting can result in backlash against the student (bad letters of reference, public humiliation, bullying, being viewed as whiny/weak/incapable). Grad student vs. tenured professor (god forbid if they have massive CIHR funding to boot) has a huge power imbalance. Some supervisors can be nice people but be the type to forget/ignore your desires to finish and push to add more and more and more experiments (sometimes unrelated to your own research) to your plate. Depression, anxiety, imposter syndrome are common. It can also be disheartening to have your research fail, and you find you ended up with 2 years of troubleshooting and no publications. Toxic academic environments and department/faculty politics can also be embittering. Some students actually end up isolated and lonely depending on lab environment. Really depends on the culture and people around you.

 In terms of job prospects, it really depends on what you're looking for and what degree, what experiences, and what accomplishments you achieved over the course of your program. Clinical research coordinator positions can only require a bachelors. Many internships in R&D companies as well. I am in the middle of searching for jobs, and I have tended to see either minimum bachelors or PhD requirements. PhD can be more useful for consulting positions, scientific patent agents, research associate, etc. Master's can be helpful for mid-range cogs-in-a-wheel R&D positions, but it can depend on your experiences and how you present them in your resume. I'll get back to you if I get hired anywhere (fingers crossed)!

Best of luck on the waitlist! Who knows you may get called and this conversation is moot.

Yeah please, if u have the time, I'd love some insight for what to look for in an msc program

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can see yourself doing research, a MSc would help your chances at several schools! The only problem you have to consider is that most schools will not let you drop your MSc after 1 year to enter school so you lose a year of applications....with your stats I don't know if that's worth it to be honest. More than your rejections post-interview, I'm actually shocked that you only got 2 interviews. What I would do is beef up your EC's over the next year, and apply broadly, especially to schools in Ontario. I had a friend with similar stats to you that got 5 interviews applying across Canada and that just makes things a lot easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Edict said:

Why don't you consider a one year Masters? There are a few out there both in Canada and outside of Canada. 

But pretty much all the deadlines have passed by now i think

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/9/2018 at 10:27 AM, larrybates said:

But pretty much all the deadlines have passed by now i think

U of C has a biomedical technology 1 year master's program ( They look mainly at your GPA.  You need a GPA of 3.8 to be competitive, so you will definitely get in).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, larrybates said:

unfortunately 1 127. 132/127/132/130

Try applying to Queen's as an OOP. I'm also from AB and I applied to Queen's and got in w/ much lower stats. I also felt that the interview style in Queen's was easier than U of C.   Different school assess candidates differently and you may get lucky and get into a school if you apply more broadly.

Best of luck!! If you've any specific questions, feel free to PM me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×