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13 hours ago, Hammmmmy said:

I don't think the majority of pre-meds should care too much about this change aside from two interesting developments that come up.

1) Potentially a lower CARS cutoff
2) The extra work needed to be done. 

 

Any self-respecting pre-med knows that you need to have a diverse set of extracurricular experiences not just for med school but for yourself as a person. They are great opportunities in and of themselves aside from check marks on your pre-med resume. I would not be happy if 20-22 year olds forewent their entire undergrad without doing any ECs and expected to get in entirely based off grades and an interview. 

 

This is an interesting change - and yeah since most people are applying broadly anyway they will have EC which hopefully will serve.

It does make it less transparent and will make the coming cycle much more interesting ha. Med schools - always changing things

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20 hours ago, tavenan said:

They still looked at your overall experiences in the interview. This just introduces another element of uncertainty into a process that was already uncertain. The whole holistic meme is one of my least favourite aspects of the journey from undergrad to medicine, and I thought it was really nice how Western told you exactly what you needed to do to get an interview and gave hard working students from every background a realistic chance. 

 

Some poor kid with a really high percentile MCAT is going to get rejected from an interview in favour of a kid with a much lower MCAT, all because he wasn't "holistic" enough. This is something that routinely happens in systems such as this one (just look at Queens), so this is in no ways hyperbole. Medicine has been a rich boys club for centuries and taking away quantitative review processes in favour of qualitative ones gives even more advantages to wealthier students. They already have an advantage in studying for the MCAT and achieving higher GPA's, but EC's is truly where rich applicants get to shine. I find it troubling and an unwelcome change. 

I disagree with you on this. In the new application that Western has put out, they have a section similar to UofT in which they give you the opportunity to mention any relevant obstacles in your career in medicine and any gaps in your transcript. This would undermine your point about their holisticness being a front for making it easier for rich kids to get in. 


I also think that even those who are not rich and cannot afford to volunteer (which I have found out this year, is truly a privilege and not a norm) can still get in. I have seen several personal examples in my own life of students that worked multiple jobs and could only afford to do 1-2 extracurriculars while balancing home and family life get into medical school. I do agree that there is a certain barrier to entry (such that not even the poorest vagrant can get in) but it is certainly getting better, not worse like you're implying. 

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8 hours ago, rmorelan said:

This is an interesting change - and yeah since most people are applying broadly anyway they will have EC which hopefully will serve.

It does make it less transparent and will make the coming cycle much more interesting ha. Med schools - always changing things

I am hopeful for a lower cars cutoff. As I went through the pdf that Western has attached for this part of the application, it seems that they are VERY clear on what they are looking for. I do admit that there are some translucent elements in their description of the values but how they want you to write is much more concretely explained than UofT. 

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On 7/13/2018 at 6:11 AM, rmorelan said:

This is an interesting change - and yeah since most people are applying broadly anyway they will have EC which hopefully will serve.

It does make it less transparent and will make the coming cycle much more interesting ha. Med schools - always changing things

Do you think preference/more points will be given to activities that were done long-term compared to shorter term ones - or even a one time event? I'm curious as there are a couple short term/one-time events that were great experiences which I'd love to include, but not at the cost of losing points. Please pardon my neuroticism!

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12 hours ago, ChasingZebras said:

Do you think preference/more points will be given to activities that were done long-term compared to shorter term ones - or even a one time event? I'm curious as there are a couple short term/one-time events that were great experiences which I'd love to include, but not at the cost of losing points. Please pardon my neuroticism!

first off this is all going to be guess work, probably for both has an to a degree them as well. They have not had a system like this in so long there is no institutional memory around it.  You would think longer is better because of what they are looking for. 

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My 2 cents is that the hard cut-offs for gpa and mcat scores will still apply for getting an interview. This may be a thing to verify what ppl discuss in the interview as actually being true. 

Also, just throwing out an idea, but has anyone noticed on the OMSAS website under Schulich it says that Shulich is adopting the CBE curriculum and the first cohort to go through the program will be meds 2023, so this years applicants. Does anybody think that this new sketch thing has something to do with adopting this new holistic style of CBE curriculum? 

Does anybody else see this connection? 

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3 hours ago, T-cell said:

My 2 cents is that the hard cut-offs for gpa and mcat scores will still apply for getting an interview. This may be a thing to verify what ppl discuss in the interview as actually being true. 

Also, just throwing out an idea, but has anyone noticed on the OMSAS website under Schulich it says that Shulich is adopting the CBE curriculum and the first cohort to go through the program will be meds 2023, so this years applicants. Does anybody think that this new sketch thing has something to do with adopting this new holistic style of CBE curriculum? 

Does anybody else see this connection? 

No, CBME (Competency based medical education) is being implemented everywhere in the US & Canada - it's the new system that's "in" right now. The holistic approach to applicants to medical school is new and we'll see how it goes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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3 hours ago, HeroX37 said:

No, CBME (Competency based medical education) is being implemented everywhere in the US & Canada - it's the new system that's "in" right now. The holistic approach to applicants to medical school is new and we'll see how it goes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

true - might have been the excuse though to reexamine things. That is often the case in medical education, some forced change comes down and gives people the opportunity to alter something that has bugged them for awhile but there was too much inertia to change :) 

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From contacting the admissions office, it seems that the aABS is more of an additional item on the list.  However I was told that it will not affect the cutoffs.  Perhaps it is strictly a post interview consideration?  Or for this year it is a test run.

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18 minutes ago, Apex said:

From contacting the admissions office, it seems that the aABS is more of an additional item on the list.  However I was told that it will not affect the cutoffs.  Perhaps it is strictly a post interview consideration?  Or for this year it is a test run.

both are possible in that case - they wouldn't be reviewing 4000 of them as well which would be a big time saver. I wonder if the interviewers would have access to them. 

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21 minutes ago, Apex said:

From contacting the admissions office, it seems that the aABS is more of an additional item on the list.  However I was told that it will not affect the cutoffs.  Perhaps it is strictly a post interview consideration?  Or for this year it is a test run.

There we go I'm surprised they made this information public, assuming that it's true of course. 

 

So it's almost certainly either a post-interview formula, or a test year. We'll have to see.

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5 minutes ago, rmorelan said:

both are possible in that case - they wouldn't be reviewing 4000 of them as well which would be a big time saver. I wonder if the interviewers would have access to them. 

This is from their admission site:

"we will be requiring applicants to complete an Abbreviated Autobiographical Sketch to help us determine who should be selected for interviews" 

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Just now, KingKunta_chickenwings said:

This is from their admission site:

"we will be requiring applicants to complete an Abbreviated Autobiographical Sketch to help us determine who should be selected for interviews" 

yeah that is all very contradictory ha. 

I mean you cannot use it before and have it have no impact. Cut offs give exactly the right number of people to interview as it is. That is how they have traditionally been used - almost their entire point actually. Add something else then you would think the cut offs would have to change. 

All just speculation of course :) In the end it is like any other part of the application - you have to do it as well as you can and let things end up where they end up.

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To clarify, the part where I think it'll be a post interview thing is purely my speculation.  The information I was given was that there is not much information to be given, the process will be confidential and similar to the ABS for dentistry, and that it will not impact cutoffs.  Hope this helps to those who were wondering as I certainly was unsure what to make of the new aABS.

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What do you mean by confidential? The interviewers don't have access to them, this is given on their website as the interview is closed book. Also it would 100% have to affect the cutoffs even if these are scored as a Pass/Fail or else they would not be able to interview ~440 applicants that they have been doing every year, since ever. I think they will drop, but not drop too much (there will be much more than the usual 2700 applicants this year). 

With regards to the SWOMEN status, @rmorelan is there any reason you strongly believe Western will still make a SWOMEN advantage? It has been going on for a long time now, I would've taught they have satisfied there objective quota by now. 

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3 hours ago, PreMed95 said:

What do you mean by confidential? The interviewers don't have access to them, this is given on their website as the interview is closed book. Also it would 100% have to affect the cutoffs even if these are scored as a Pass/Fail or else they would not be able to interview ~440 applicants that they have been doing every year, since ever. I think they will drop, but not drop too much (there will be much more than the usual 2700 applicants this year). 

With regards to the SWOMEN status, @rmorelan is there any reason you strongly believe Western will still make a SWOMEN advantage? It has been going on for a long time now, I would've taught they have satisfied there objective quota by now. 

a whole bunch of reasons

It is embedded into to everything, and people's entire careers are based on it - in fact they just announced the 20th anniversary of it.  No one has announced any changes to it at all - anywhere. There are still relative shortages there. Even if they fill whatever need there is that just proves the program is working so people will argue not to stop. There is no real disadvantage to them to continuing it. The OMSAS app still is collecting the data they need for SWOMEN calculation.....

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19 hours ago, PreMed95 said:

What do you mean by confidential? The interviewers don't have access to them, this is given on their website as the interview is closed book. Also it would 100% have to affect the cutoffs even if these are scored as a Pass/Fail or else they would not be able to interview ~440 applicants that they have been doing every year, since ever. I think they will drop, but not drop too much (there will be much more than the usual 2700 applicants this year). 

With regards to the SWOMEN status, @rmorelan is there any reason you strongly believe Western will still make a SWOMEN advantage? It has been going on for a long time now, I would've taught they have satisfied there objective quota by now. 

Confidential was used in a context mentioning that how they will use these aABS will not be disclosed, versus say the GPA/MCAT cutoffs which are published yearly.  As for the cutoffs, I am simply relaying what I've been told.  However for you to say they will "100%" affect the cutoffs seems like an absolute statement which you cannot know for certain unless you are part of the admissions office yourself.  I understand the seemingly contradictory information being given but there are several possible explanations listed above speculated by other members.  

As for the cutoffs dropping, why would you assume they will drop if you think there are going to be more applicants, hence more potential competitive applicants this year?  Furthermore, why are you certain there will be more than the usual amount of applicants this year?  

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@Apex, If they do not drop the cutoffs then the aABS would be useless for interview screening, as the cutoffs themselves will filter out the desired number of interview spots without considering anything else in your application. I realize now, "there will be more applicants this cycle" is a pretty strong assumption. It's just that I had assumed a lot of people choose not to apply if they are below the published cutoffs from the previous year (Of course this isn't entirely true, but it is reasonable to assume a decent amount do so) . Now that applicants see the aABS is required, they are more likely to apply despite not making the cutoffs because there is now a new level of filtration involved, instead of just GPA/MCAT. 

 

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On 8/4/2018 at 4:32 PM, PreMed95 said:

@Apex, If they do not drop the cutoffs then the aABS would be useless for interview screening, as the cutoffs themselves will filter out the desired number of interview spots without considering anything else in your application. I realize now, "there will be more applicants this cycle" is a pretty strong assumption. It's just that I had assumed a lot of people choose not to apply if they are below the published cutoffs from the previous year (Of course this isn't entirely true, but it is reasonable to assume a decent amount do so) . Now that applicants see the aABS is required, they are more likely to apply despite not making the cutoffs because there is now a new level of filtration involved, instead of just GPA/MCAT. 

 

I definitely don't disagree with your logic, but I simply wanted to share what I was told specifically by the the admissions office.  The lady whom I had a chat with was unable to divulge a ton of information about the aABS but she seemed adamant on the fact that it will not impact cutoffs.  How is this going to work?  I don't know.  There is no flaw in your logic with regards to the impact of the aABS should have on the cutoff if it is going to affect the pre-interview selection process.  However since I've been given information that it will not impact the cutoff directly from the admissions office, I can't really agree with you.  There are theories such as it being a trial year, or that it's going to be used more as a reference or maybe strictly a "red-flag" tool to remove applicants with stellar academic stats, but lackluster life experience.  Again, I'm in the same boat as you so I thought I'd share any information that may be of use.

To your second point, ah okay.  That makes sense and is a logical assumption that more students would apply.  

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8 minutes ago, hopefullyafuturedoc said:

Does anyone know when they release the cut off scores?

 

After interviews are sent, never before the application is due. You can use this past application cycles cut-offs as a guideline.

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1 hour ago, hopefullyafuturedoc said:

Does anyone know when they release the cut off scores?

 

IMislove is correct - the use the cut offs to reduce the pool down to size. It is kind of a reverse situation than other schools - most of the time you are working to hit a level that gets you an interview. Here the school is working to create a cut off to only interview roughly the same number of people. Ha, If only 450 applied to Western for some strange reason then in theory they all would get an interview. 

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