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Hi,

I could use any and all advice that's out there as I start the journey of studying for MCAT and applying for med schools (aiming for 2020 start).

Some facts about me-

  • I graduated UOttawa in 2017 with an Honours Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences with COOP (5 year degree). My CGPA upon graduation was 3.8.
  • Currently I am working for Health Canada as a Biologist doing toxicology literature research for risk assessment of chemicals to human health.
  • Ideally would like to end of OOP (I'm in Ontario) but I understand I have a lower chance of this. Dream would be Dal!
  • I plan to write the MCAT summer 2019 and studying for the year leading up to that part time 
  • I have good volunteer experience, I worked throughout my undergrad, and am very well rounded 
  • EXCEPT that I have very little academic research experience. I did a 6 month research project in 3rd year but never did an honours project as I felt I would be happy working in government 
  • As a result, I also do not have a key professor to contact for a reference. I have some that might remember me but never fostered a really good relationship with one specifically
  • My strong references would be from government and volunteering

I know my CGPA isn't super high but its above the minimums for all the schools I have looked at (albeit on the line). Since I have a year before applying, I have some time to work on some of the other weaknesses (there's not much to be done about my undergrad grades at this point).

Thanks in advance!

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Hey - first off good luck in the coming journey

I would start to see what that cGPA actually is under the various schools admission polices if they apply. It will take a bit of work but I think is important. Only Mac will be using your cGPA likely and that is a school that accepts a lower GPA in general usually. Things like what is your best two years (*with conditions) for Schulich, last two for Queens, Ottawa's under the last three year weighed policy, and TO if their wGPA policy applies. I mention these in large part because if they are good enough you could consider rapidly writing the MCAT to hit very likely the lower scores needed for TO or apply immediately to Ottawa which doesn't use it. That potentially could save you a year and more importantly as there is luck involved provides more application chances. Even with a perfect application you may not get in first attempt - that is normal.  Fully looking at this now also prevents "nasty" surprises down the road when learn late somehow you cannot qualify for a school for some reason- GPA is the bedrock in this game. You need your GPA by year, and look at what grade level the courses where at. 

Your ECs so far sound excellent, academic research is not a requirement, it is your overall ECs that are useful. Certainly can look into Dal in more detail as well. 

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I think your GPA would be higher at dal - I dont think they consider full cGPA if you've completed a degree, instead it's weighted somehow. 
Also, if you get an OOP interview at dal, your chances of getting in are pretty good considering: 1) the OOP WL moves a lot and 2) they accept OOP applicants to the St John NB campus (sometimes).
Lastly, there's no references needed at Dal, so you wouldn't need to worry about getting an academic/research reference.

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You say your dream would be Dal, do you have any connections to the maritimes or strong desire to work/complete residency  in the maritimes when you graduate? 

For OOP, if you meet the gpa, Casper and mcat minimums they base your interview offer on the maritimes connections essay only. The rest of your application including general essay, ec’s and scoring of your academics is not looked at for determining an interview. They basically want to see that you have a strong existing connection to the maritimes or that you want to practice in the maritimes. So consider those things if applying to Dal as OOP. If you truly want to go to Dal I’d move to NS or NB and get IP status and then apply. It won’t really impact your Ontario or other apps (except for Mac/Nosm) and Dal gives all maritime residents who meet academic minimums an interview. Also the post interview acceptance rates are quite high in the last few years especially for NB. 

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Hi, thanks for your answer!

I do have family in NS and NFL. My intent, if I don't get into med, was always to retire or find another job in Halifax. I would definitely stay there for residency and work. I don't think moving in the next two years is very feasible but I would consider it for later.

 

 

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On 7/4/2018 at 9:45 AM, rmorelan said:

Hey - first off good luck in the coming journey

I would start to see what that cGPA actually is under the various schools admission polices if they apply. It will take a bit of work but I think is important. Only Mac will be using your cGPA likely and that is a school that accepts a lower GPA in general usually. Things like what is your best two years (*with conditions) for Schulich, last two for Queens, Ottawa's under the last three year weighed policy, and TO if their wGPA policy applies. I mention these in large part because if they are good enough you could consider rapidly writing the MCAT to hit very likely the lower scores needed for TO or apply immediately to Ottawa which doesn't use it. That potentially could save you a year and more importantly as there is luck involved provides more application chances. Even with a perfect application you may not get in first attempt - that is normal.  Fully looking at this now also prevents "nasty" surprises down the road when learn late somehow you cannot qualify for a school for some reason- GPA is the bedrock in this game. You need your GPA by year, and look at what grade level the courses where at. 

Your ECs so far sound excellent, academic research is not a requirement, it is your overall ECs that are useful. Certainly can look into Dal in more detail as well. 

Thanks so much for your input! Your luck point is well taken. I was not going to apply to UOttawa this year but I am now considering it. Thanks again :) 

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On 7/4/2018 at 11:10 AM, heyhellohi said:

I think your GPA would be higher at dal - I dont think they consider full cGPA if you've completed a degree, instead it's weighted somehow. 
Also, if you get an OOP interview at dal, your chances of getting in are pretty good considering: 1) the OOP WL moves a lot and 2) they accept OOP applicants to the St John NB campus (sometimes).
Lastly, there's no references needed at Dal, so you wouldn't need to worry about getting an academic/research reference.

Thanks so much for your reply. This is definitely making me feel like its a bit more manageable :) 

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