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TalsKnight

Should I start preparing for med now or wait until after I finish my undergrad?

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Hey everyone, a little dilemma here and would appreciate any advice please. Currently I'm a student going into my 4th year of UG (at UBC if this matters at all). Medicine is a fairly recent decision but the problem is that I'm in arts and don't have a strong science background really. I don't want to write the MCAT without taking the recommended pre requisites (general bio, chem/orgo/bio chem and physics). I just finished selecting all my courses for the year none of them are sciences except 1 which is an approved course for arts students and something I need to take to meet my degree requirements. Anyway, should I rearrange my courses to take the med pre requisites now or just continue on as I am, wait until I graduate, and then take the courses online through Athabasca or Thompson Rivers OL? If I take these online courses after I graduate  how does medical school view that/does it impact my GPA at all? CARS and the psych section are no problem I've been pretty good with the practice tests so far, it's just the sciences that I need to learn.  Thanks for the help.

 

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Much of the mcat tests you on reading comprehension and critical thinking, even for the science sections. You’ll most likely will not have learned some of the topics tested in the science passages. With that said, you do need a base level of knowledge for the sciences, which you can get through your prep materials or an online course like khan academy. But for others, taking the pre requisites might be needed. It’ll depend on your situation of course. What kind of difficulties did you encounter doing the science passages? Was it more of a knowledge issue or a reading comprehension issue?

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15 hours ago, RamenSenpai said:

Much of the mcat tests you on reading comprehension and critical thinking, even for the science sections. You’ll most likely will not have learned some of the topics tested in the science passages. With that said, you do need a base level of knowledge for the sciences, which you can get through your prep materials or an online course like khan academy. But for others, taking the pre requisites might be needed. It’ll depend on your situation of course. What kind of difficulties did you encounter doing the science passages? Was it more of a knowledge issue or a reading comprehension issue?

 

Doing practice science passages I can definitely say without a doubt it's a knowledge issue. Because in some cases with the khan academy biology questions for example. I was able to get at least 2-4 correct just using deductive reasoning. So taking the pre requisites I think are necessary for me. But do you know how medical schools will view this if I do it after I have officially graduated? How does it affect my GPA? Does it even count? 

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12 hours ago, TalsKnight said:

 

Doing practice science passages I can definitely say without a doubt it's a knowledge issue. Because in some cases with the khan academy biology questions for example. I was able to get at least 2-4 correct just using deductive reasoning. So taking the pre requisites I think are necessary for me. But do you know how medical schools will view this if I do it after I have officially graduated? How does it affect my GPA? Does it even count? 

Med schools have different opinions on this matter. Taking online courses for Canadian schools are ok (not sure about gpa calculation) but for some American schools, it is not. I’m assuming that you don’t have the science pre requisites to apply to med school atm? If so, I would contact the schools directly to see what their policies are (ie taking online courses during your degree vs taking them as a continuing student when you graduate) and also how that would affect your weighted gpa calculation. 

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What is your GPA like so far ? Is it competitive to apply or would you need an extra 5th year maybe to improve it anyways  ?

Check with UBC if you can do a "special" 5th year (or whatever they call it) for the science courses.   Note that not all Canadian medicals schools have actual science pre-reqs.   You may be just taking them to help with the MCAT prep in many cases.

Some schools take into account all course credits.  Some schools do not include courses taken outside Sept-April time frame

IMHO  I would finish the Arts degree if you can nail a +3.85 GPA using it.

 

 

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On 8/16/2018 at 7:49 PM, Meridian said:

What is your GPA like so far ? Is it competitive to apply or would you need an extra 5th year maybe to improve it anyways  ?

Check with UBC if you can do a "special" 5th year (or whatever they call it) for the science courses.   Note that not all Canadian medicals schools have actual science pre-reqs.   You may be just taking them to help with the MCAT prep in many cases.

Some schools take into account all course credits.  Some schools do not include courses taken outside Sept-April time frame

IMHO  I would finish the Arts degree if you can nail a +3.85 GPA using it.

 

 

 

My cGPA right now is about 3.65 so not competitive. At UBC with my lowest year dropped my % average is around 82 at the moment.  However it should be competitive for U of C. I'd be an OOP applicant but should things go the way I'd like them to my final year my wGPA should be about about 3.85 because I had a pretty strong 3rd year.  Very seriously considering a 5th year or possibly going to Australia/Ireland. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.

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I am a fourth year philosophy major  and applying to medicine--so it seems we are very much in the same boat. I have spent a lot of time researching tactics of applying to medicine with a non-science background, so here are my two-cents with respect to your question and a little bit extra:

--I would avoid taking the 'recommended' science pre-req courses. I say this because your 4th year is also your last year to bump up your GPA (unless you go ahead and take a 5th year, which I wouldn't recommend taking outside of Canada due to grade transfer issues), and GPA is really important. Personally, I could also take those recommended courses to better prepare for the MCAT, but then I think to myself: "Why risk getting poor grades by taking classes that do not play to my strengths when, instead, I could just take classes that I know I am going to get an A in?" Moreover, entrance committees are going to be indifferent as to whether they see those science classes on your transcript or not. In fact, entrance evaluators like to see that you are pursuing your passion, such as studying philosophy in my case, even if that is an arts degree--there is no shame in it, and it shows you are a curious and dedicated applicant who isn't just jumping through hoops to achieve the prestige of becoming an MD or something like that. On the other hand, if you do poorly in those classes (which is a significant risk due to the fact that you have not taken many science classes in your university career), it will be a major red flag for application evaluators. Instead of taking those science classes, take the summer off and get some Kaplan books off of Kijiji, study Khan Academy, take a prep-course if you have the $, and just spend several months of dedicated study for the MCAT and you'll be fine. Don't risk harming your GPA which, to be frank (and I say this with kindness and encouragement for the future), isn't super competitive to begin with, for a fairly trivial reward. Also, why go through all the trouble of taking these optional pre-req courses when you are applying to U of C, which does not recommend taking those courses at all? 

--If I may, from what you have posted on this thread so far, your application needs some work. Getting into medicine isn't something that can happen quickly--I don't say this because I am feeling crusty, but because most successful applicants take a long and strategic approach where they not only achieve extraordinary grades, but also become involved in a great deal of activities that demonstrate their suitability for a career wherein they will be required to provide care, work in teams of sometimes difficult, and commit themselves to a cause. Med applications are built up over years. So, I hope you have something you can offer in that respect, and if not, that you get started on that soon. OR just wait a couple years and gain those experiences and then re-apply. 

 

Best of luck. 

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On 9/7/2018 at 6:53 PM, LiconC said:

I am a fourth year philosophy major  and applying to medicine--so it seems we are very much in the same boat. I have spent a lot of time researching tactics of applying to medicine with a non-science background, so here are my two-cents with respect to your question and a little bit extra:

--I would avoid taking the 'recommended' science pre-req courses. I say this because your 4th year is also your last year to bump up your GPA (unless you go ahead and take a 5th year, which I wouldn't recommend taking outside of Canada due to grade transfer issues), and GPA is really important. Personally, I could also take those recommended courses to better prepare for the MCAT, but then I think to myself: "Why risk getting poor grades by taking classes that do not play to my strengths when, instead, I could just take classes that I know I am going to get an A in?" Moreover, entrance committees are going to be indifferent as to whether they see those science classes on your transcript or not. In fact, entrance evaluators like to see that you are pursuing your passion, such as studying philosophy in my case, even if that is an arts degree--there is no shame in it, and it shows you are a curious and dedicated applicant who isn't just jumping through hoops to achieve the prestige of becoming an MD or something like that. On the other hand, if you do poorly in those classes (which is a significant risk due to the fact that you have not taken many science classes in your university career), it will be a major red flag for application evaluators. Instead of taking those science classes, take the summer off and get some Kaplan books off of Kijiji, study Khan Academy, take a prep-course if you have the $, and just spend several months of dedicated study for the MCAT and you'll be fine. Don't risk harming your GPA which, to be frank (and I say this with kindness and encouragement for the future), isn't super competitive to begin with, for a fairly trivial reward. Also, why go through all the trouble of taking these optional pre-req courses when you are applying to U of C, which does not recommend taking those courses at all? 

--If I may, from what you have posted on this thread so far, your application needs some work. Getting into medicine isn't something that can happen quickly--I don't say this because I am feeling crusty, but because most successful applicants take a long and strategic approach where they not only achieve extraordinary grades, but also become involved in a great deal of activities that demonstrate their suitability for a career wherein they will be required to provide care, work in teams of sometimes difficult, and commit themselves to a cause. Med applications are built up over years. So, I hope you have something you can offer in that respect, and if not, that you get started on that soon. OR just wait a couple years and gain those experiences and then re-apply. 

 

Best of luck. 

 

Hey thanks for your input to be honest this is basically what I am gravitating towards.

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