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Western interview invites/regrets 2019

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17 hours ago, EssexMed said:

How do you want me to approach rejection after 3 cycles!? Im angry, im tired, and im drained. It has taken its toll on me... i don't know how to improve my application for next cycle besides getting a masters. Nothing is guaranteed even if i do obtain a masters.

Im done arguing. Peace

Hey EssexMed, I am sorry to hear you received a rejection this year. I see you had an interview at Western last year. I assume that means you have at least a 129 on CARS? Maybe what you need to do is have someone review your Western essays next year? Someone who can help you relate your obviously great EC's to the criteria Western is looking for? I know it takes a toll to have to wait another year.but don't give up. my 2 cents for what they're worth

 

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2 minutes ago, GlassHalfFull said:

Hey man, your frustration and anger comes from a fair place. We are all human and I am sure most of us here have experienced it, with this being some of our 2, 3rd, 4th etc application cycles. I would approach it as a learning and growing experience. If medicine is absolutely what you want to do, I recommend you take your time and critically analyze your application. Obviously, as previously mentioned, both you and deservingstudent have exceptional stats, so it must come down to the non-academics. Go to others and ask them to go through your application and see what they think of what you have down, with respect to the characteristics the school is asking for. One important thing is the way you present your experiences. The school does not care how much responsibility you had and how big of a team you managed, for example, they want to see how those experiences mesh with the qualities they're looking for. I apologize if this is something you already know, but I am going to echo what others have said, and with all due respect, please take some time for yourself and think about what you can change for next cycle. With your stats, I am sure you do not need to do a Master's. Best of luck.

Thanks man. I appreciate your genuine response. 

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1 minute ago, medabe said:

Hey EssexMed, I am sorry to hear you received a rejection this year. I see you had an interview at Western last year. I assume that means you have at least a 129 on CARS? Maybe what you need to do is have someone review your Western essays next year? Someone who can help you relate your obviously great EC's to the criteria Western is looking for? I know it takes a toll to have to wait another year (been there and done that because while I met the CARS and GPA cut offs last year, one of my two best years had only 29 credits...I took a special year JUST to get an interview at Western, and then they added the essays!)...but don't give up. my 2 cents for what they're worth

 

I had a 125 in CARS and thats why i havent applied to queens, mac, etc. Western was hope to me, but it's okay. I'm just genuinely tired man, i really don't know if i have it in me to apply again. People are moving on with their lives and yet im still playing this silly game of applying and living in limbo almost. It's disheartening man. Nonetheless, thanks for your opinion. All the best to you. 

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15 minutes ago, EssexMed said:

I had a 125 in CARS and thats why i havent applied to queens, mac, etc. Western was hope to me, but it's okay. I'm just genuinely tired man, i really don't know if i have it in me to apply again. People are moving on with their lives and yet im still playing this silly game of applying and living in limbo almost. It's disheartening man. Nonetheless, thanks for your opinion. All the best to you. 

oh right, you're SWOMEN. So 125 was the cut off. got it. Maybe after you have had some time to chill, you can consider (a) taking an MCAT course with a view to improving your MCAT for next year, so that you can apply more widely and/or (b) getting some help on writing the Western essays next year and/or (c) doing some great things this year and getting new reference letters. All the best and good luck!

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1 hour ago, EssexMed said:

Lmao. Y'all really just trying to find excuses for the schools actions. It's hysterical. 

And the key word here is "maybe"

 

his username is "deservingstudent", and hes threating legal action just because he didnt get what he wanted...the "maybe" was just me being nice.

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1 hour ago, EssexMed said:

How do you want me to approach rejection after 3 cycles!? Im angry, im tired, and im drained. It has taken its toll on me... i don't know how to improve my application for next cycle besides getting a masters. Nothing is guaranteed even if i do obtain a masters.

Im done arguing. Peace

Rejection is always hard and it's extremely annoying to be trapped in the cycle for so long without ever knowing where you'll be next year. The first year I applied, I had 2 interviews, then last year none. That was a huge breaking point for me and I came to realize there is so little certainty in applications (especially if you're looking only into Canadian schools) that if I kept making getting into med school such a central part of my life, I would be holding myself back from other possible careers. Realistically, many people who want to be doctors end up moving on and not everyone with stellar stats will get in. 

Is there anything else you could try to do for yourself? Perhaps considering rewriting the MCAT, or find a career in parallel (not necessarily a masters if you don't enjoy it) that you could still apply from?

 I entered another professional program this year (and to no one's surprise, there are many ex premeds here too) with a promise to myself that this would be my last cycle. It has provided me with many rich experiences and a sense of career certainty. Ironically, after really enjoying this field and feeling as though I could do thrive in it, I've been fortunate enough to have 2 interviews (from EC heavy schools that I've never interviewed at in the past) and maybe even a third coming. But optimizing my application took two months of work, including changing 2 of my referees.

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Western's previous over-reliance on quantitative objectives has resulted in some barely-functioning manchildren being in my class since year 1, and judging from the replies in this thread (legal action l.o.l), the new system is keeping many such people out, so I'm all for it.

 

Perhaps it's time for an attitude adjustment and self reflection if you think you're entitled to anything in this game. 

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2 hours ago, Tip4Scool said:

I understand that it sucks for people who did not get invited. But identifying why, and planning to address it is a way healthier and will better serve you, than threatening legal action against the school you are trying to impress.
 

I think the main problem here is that because of the lack of transparency it's hard to "identify why"

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Hello all, 

just saying my opinion on the whole argument going on about 'legal action' vs the "suck-it-up" perspective. For reference i got an interview at uwo last year but didnt get one this year, i met all the cut-offs and in my opinion was involved in numerous diverse EC's which i genuinely enjoyed and reflected a lot on. I had numerous people look over my essays and took my time reflecting on what I learned and what I gave to the endeavors. Of coarse I was disheartened when I received the news, while I obviously accepted it and wouldn't purse any legal action, here is where I think the source of frustration is (take it with a grain of salt its just my opinion)

Congrats to everyone who got in, but I find it unproductive to say to someone "maybe you should self reflect and get involved more" the truth is many people here have amazing EC's and genuinely do it for interest and have "self-reflected". I myself was involved in numerous projects when I wrote, and spent a long time reflecting on them. The issue isnt that these people and myself arent "self-reflecting" but the frustration comes from lack of transparency on exactly what they want the essays about. Complete subjectivity without any coherent feedback on what they're looking for, in addition to it being the first time and such a quick change. Ofcoarse, essays are always going to be subjective, one person might perceive your homeless shelter volunteering as extremely cliche while one finds it heartwarming. This is sharply contrasted with Toronto's essays, that have a clear indication of what exactly they're looking for. Even so, lots of advice and help can be given to help students write their essays (from previous students, while for western this is the first time).

Bottom line is there's lots of qualified candidates that deserve to get in, I am not gonna say i deserve more or I am entitled. But what is fair is a source of transparency on what one can do in the future. What exactly are the marks given for? how is it marked? what factors holistically impact the essay? 

congrats again to everyone who got their interview and goodluck.

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7 minutes ago, Y-sizzle said:

Hello all, 

just saying my opinion on the whole argument going on about 'legal action' vs the "suck-it-up" perspective. For reference i got an interview at uwo last year but didnt get one this year, i met all the cut-offs and in my opinion was involved in numerous diverse EC's which i genuinely enjoyed and reflected a lot on. I had numerous people look over my essays and took my time reflecting on what I learned and what I gave to the endeavors. Of coarse I was disheartened when I received the news, while I obviously accepted it and wouldn't purse any legal action, here is where I think the source of frustration is (take it with a grain of salt its just my opinion)

Congrats to everyone who got in, but I find it unproductive to say to someone "maybe you should self reflect and get involved more" the truth is many people here have amazing EC's and genuinely do it for interest and have "self-reflected". I myself was involved in numerous projects when I wrote, and spent a long time reflecting on them. The issue isnt that these people and myself arent "self-reflecting" but the frustration comes from lack of transparency on exactly what they want the essays about. Complete subjectivity without any coherent feedback on what they're looking for, let alone the fact this was changed in less than a year. Ofcoarse, essays are always going to be subjective, one person might perceive your homeless shelter volunteering as extremely cliche while one finds it heartwarming. This is sharply contrasted with Toronto's essays, that have a clear indication of what exactly they're looking for. Even so, lots of advice and help can be given to help students write their essays (from previous students, while for western this is the first time).

Bottom line is there's lots of qualified candidates that deserve to get in, I am not gonna say i deserve more or I am entitled. But what is fair is a source of transparency on what one can do in the future. What exactly are the marks given for? how is it marked? what factors holistically impact the essay? 

congrats again to everyone who got their interview and goodluck.

I'm really curious as to what more you wanted? I thought they very clearly and explicitly stated for each section what they wanted. They explicitly tell you they want a summary, 3 skills and how it relates to a future career in medicine. In addition, each section's description explicitly states what they want you to discuss in relation to that category. What more do you want? A rubric? 

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Time Stamp:

Invite/reject: Invite

IP/OOP: IP

SWOMEN (Y/N): N

2YGPA: 3.92 or 3.93, not sure

MCAT (CHEM/CARS/BIO/PYSCH): 129/131/130/130 -> 520

ABS Score (If available): N/A

I talked about volunteering with my emergency response team, intramural sports, hospital volunteering, some community religious practice stuff, some research, some long-term music extracurriculars, mental health advocacy, and some of my personal issues overcoming immigration, a low SES environment, and difficult family circumstances. Most of these were pretty low-key and did not lead to awards or recognition (if they even care about that), but many were long-term. I tried to really think about what I took away from each experience.

I'm feeling a little blue about the fact that I spent an extra summer and way too much money to rewrite my MCAT twice just to overcome that CARS cutoff, which ended up being lowered to my first test result anyway! Money that could have went towards OMSAS application fees instead of currently racking up my credit card payments...

I personally think it's best that they look for applicants who have had experiences that they've hopefully taken something away from, but I understand that it is frustrating to have a big change happen so quickly and affect people's chances- doubtless just as qualified..

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3 hours ago, EssexMed said:

I had a 125 in CARS and thats why i havent applied to queens, mac, etc. Western was hope to me, but it's okay. I'm just genuinely tired man, i really don't know if i have it in me to apply again. People are moving on with their lives and yet im still playing this silly game of applying and living in limbo almost. It's disheartening man. Nonetheless, thanks for your opinion. All the best to you. 

I don’t usually post, but seeing what you’ve said thus far, I think you need a reality check.

You’ve vented about how unfair the system is, how you’re tired of applying for 3 cycles. Yet you’ve applied with your 125 CARS for multiple cycles now, obviously banking solely on your SWOMEN status and being admitted into western. This year you didn’t get an interview (which I know, is a horrible feeling and I’m sorry for that), yet I find it somewhat ironic that you’re complaining about the unfair Canadian med system with your 125 CARS, while the non-SWOMEN cutoff is a 128.

You’ve also said that you don’t know how to improve your app. I think the answer is pretty clear here - rewrite your MCAT. You said it yourself, your score precludes you from queens and Mac. I know it sucks right now, but seriously, stop feeling sorry for yourself and grind harder if this is truly what you want.

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1 hour ago, tavenan said:

Western's previous over-reliance on quantitative objectives has resulted in some barely-functioning manchildren being in my class since year 1, and judging from the replies in this thread (legal action l.o.l), the new system is keeping many such people out, so I'm all for it.

 

Perhaps it's time for an attitude adjustment and self reflection if you think you're entitled to anything in this game. 

I agree. The responses in this thread are pretty indicative of perhaps why those individuals were not selected.

There is a reason why lots of traditional interviews ask an applicant to discuss their failures and how they have dealt/coped with it. It matters.

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5 hours ago, EssexMed said:

If a dude with a 526 and a 4.0, who is getting interviews from top schools in the US, gets rejected PRE-INTERVIEW from western... then maybe western is flawed in some way? Wouldn't you think?

No, they just have different entrance requirements. Grades are meaningless after a certain point - you just need to prove you can handle a medical school curriculum.  There is no perfect admission criterion, and every school does things differently for better or for worse.

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Like my comment if I've the 'algorithm' right, after the cutoffs (most likely arbitrarily defined to allow a certain number of students above it), the aABS is graded by 2 independent markers and a average score is generated and the top 450ish are selected for an interview. The interview (3 person panel for 40ish mins) is unchanged so it's only the application to invitation step that is radically diff this year?

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1 hour ago, sWOMEN said:

Like my comment if I've the 'algorithm' right, after the cutoffs (most likely arbitrarily defined to allow a certain number of students above it), the aABS is graded by 2 independent markers and a average score is generated and the top 450ish are selected for an interview. The interview (3 person panel for 40ish mins) is unchanged so it's only the application to invitation step that is radically diff this year?

As far as people are able to determine, this seems to be the case. I'm sure letters of reference also had some impact, I think probably on the ABS side of things. 

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legal action been done multiple times and does not lead to much but your name being tarnished! although painful, the school reserves their right to make admission changes

https://www.macleans.ca/education/post-graduate/medical-school-rejection-violated-my-charter-rights/?utm_source=macleans&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=recirc&utm_content=tag_list

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1 hour ago, abouttimeijoined said:

legal action been done multiple times and does not lead to much but your name being tarnished! although painful, the school reserves their right to make admission changes

https://www.macleans.ca/education/post-graduate/medical-school-rejection-violated-my-charter-rights/?utm_source=macleans&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=recirc&utm_content=tag_list

Yeah it has - and although that particular legal effort was a bit strange earlier ones with better organized legal arguments were still also struck down. The last paragraph is particularly important from the judge: 

“That Mr. Olfman’s daughter did not get into medical school at this university is unfortunate for her and disappointing to her parents. Regrettably, setbacks and denied aspirations are a part of life. Yet, to confront this through a lawsuit with the attendant substantial expenditure of time, effort and money to the specific defendants, as well as to the plaintiff herself, and to the administration of justice generally, is remarkable. But it is worse yet. A similar if not identical action in substance was previously struck for the same reasons. Nothing was learned by that exercise. The same defendants were burdened and taxed once again with a repeat performance of a claim which, through to its core, appears exceptionally specious and falls well below the threshold required to proceed. And, as an aside, I note this type of grandiose claim also contributes to a clogging of the system which in turn delays or denies access to justice for other proper claims.”

That all being said if someone has some new legal argument I would be interested in what their approach would be. 

Edited by rmorelan

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While I acknowledge people's frustration over changing goalposts, I think Western's change this year is commendable.

The reality is, high MCAT and GPA scores are not good predictors of who will become good physician. The aamc has been looking into how medical students and physicians perform based on their entrance scores, and there is no significant difference between someone with a 132 CARS and a 126, for example.

Even more importantly, arbitrarily high cutoffs unnecessarily favour more privileged students (those who can afford tutors, expensive prep courses, not having to work for a summer while they study) and results in less class diversity. By lowering cutoffs in favour of an additional aABS, Western is taking steps to ensure that they've still selected students who are likely to succeed academically, but come from more diverse backgrounds and will better reflect the patient populations they'll be serving. 

As for the quality of someone's EC's, don't assume that just because you've done something unique or flashy, that it holds more value than someone else's accomplishments. Just because Candidate 1 could afford to take a summer off to travel and do charity work in another country, doesn't mean that experience holds any more value than the experiences of Candidate 2, who had to work full time in customer service to support their family. File reviewers are often trained to look for these issues, and would be asked to look through essays and evaluate personal character or what was learned from an experience, not what was actually done.

TLDR; Thinking you have the best scores or flashiest ECs does not make you any more deserving than anyone else, and expressing sentiments of entitlement really make your privilege show.

 

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On 2/2/2019 at 3:27 PM, dk3what said:

I agree. The responses in this thread are pretty indicative of perhaps why those individuals were not selected.

There is a reason why lots of traditional interviews ask an applicant to discuss their failures and how they have dealt/coped with it. It matters.

My amazing former gp told me she's tired of the "entitled robots" med schools send her, and that she thinks it's high time to change the entrance criteria to favour "real people"as she put it. She's in her late 50s, I'd guess. She also said that if she were applying now, she doubts she would get in, given the strong emphasis on grades and super human achievements required- and that would be a shame. She is the one that got me through my own  long term medical challenges- called at home to see how I was, gave me her email to reach out to when in dire straits. Very caring and capable and allegedly had a non stellar grades when she was accepted. Different game now....

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2 hours ago, Hypercalcemia said:

While I acknowledge people's frustration over changing goalposts, I think Western's change this year is commendable.

The reality is, high MCAT and GPA scores are not good predictors of who will become good physician. The aamc has been looking into how medical students and physicians perform based on their entrance scores, and there is no significant difference between someone with a 132 CARS and a 126, for example.

Even more importantly, arbitrarily high cutoffs unnecessarily favour more privileged students (those who can afford tutors, expensive prep courses, not having to work for a summer while they study) and results in less class diversity. By lowering cutoffs in favour of an additional aABS, Western is taking steps to ensure that they've still selected students who are likely to succeed academically, but come from more diverse backgrounds and will better reflect the patient populations they'll be serving. 

As for the quality of someone's EC's, don't assume that just because you've done something unique or flashy, that it holds more value than someone else's accomplishments. Just because Candidate 1 could afford to take a summer off to travel and do charity work in another country, doesn't mean that experience holds any more value than the experiences of Candidate 2, who had to work full time in customer service to support their family. File reviewers are often trained to look for these issues, and would be asked to look through essays and evaluate personal character or what was learned from an experience, not what was actually done.

TLDR; Thinking you have the best scores or flashiest ECs does not make you any more deserving than anyone else, and expressing sentiments of entitlement really make your privilege show.

 

I could not agree more. The top 8 activities I put in my aABS were far from flashy, expensive, or "world-changing"... but they were very genuine. I spoke about them genuinely and talked about the unique lessons I learned from each. To be completely honest, I only had 1 of my essays read over by someone else. The rest I trusted were written well enough and conveyed exactly what I wanted to. I don't think people should even be reading what others did for their activities which is why I won't list mine. It's not nearly as important as what was actually learned from them.

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First post on this forum as a long time lurker! Very last response but I figured I should contribute something rather than lurking :P

Time Stamp: 11:08am of Jan 31

Invite/reject: Invite

In province, not SWOMEN

2YGPA: around 3.95, one ~4.0 year and one ~3.9 year

CARS: 129, total 518

ABS Score (If available): not available. Major experiences include:

- >1000 hours of various teaching experiences (Abroad, university-level TA'ing, working with students with learning disabilities, etc.)

- 2 years of wet-lab experience, no publications, 1 poster presentation

- ~3 years, 300 hours of hospital volunteer experience (clinical liaison, nothing extraordinary)

- 2 years of volunteering with a local food drive to deliver warm meals to underprivileged communities

- President of a student club (life science but not medical related)

- 4 years of volunteer note-taking in class for students with disabilities

How I went about the essays was that I strictly answered the questions and made it clear for them to find the answers to each one (what I did, what they taught me, how that can help me be a good doctor). I don't doubt many applicants have great and better experiences than I do, but clarity of expression also matters as those people are reading hundreds of apps a day. The last thing they want is to dig through the word salad to find what they are looking for, which may lead to deductions in the profile scoring. Just my two cents.

Again, congratulations to all who have gotten an interview. Best of luck to applicants who are applying next year.

 

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12 minutes ago, AvgApplicant said:

Anyone know if Western has a waitlist for interviews?

All the interview slots seem to be full on their matching system so probably not. 

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