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UofA Interview Invites & Regrets 2019

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Time Stamp: 10:01am
Result: Invite
cGPA: 3.74, but with a compelling extenuating circumstances essay (long-term, undiagnosed medical issues & subsequent mental health issues) explaining how my experience has enhanced my understanding of the psychosocial aspects of illness and ability to empathize with patients
MCAT: 521 (130/131/130/130)
Current Degree: BSc completed April 2018, took 5 years as the issues mentioned above led to withdrawing from classes and taking a semester off school
Geography (IP/OOP):  IP
Extracurricular Activities (awards, achievements, volunteering, employment, research, etc.): Fairly diverse, with not much of the traditional med school applicant stuff. 8 years working in the service industry (year-round), short-term research position (poster presentation, 1 first-author review publication), ongoing clinical volunteer position (started this summer), high school sports coach, other short-term volunteering running tournaments for youth etc. My strongest/most-unique ECs involve my athletics - captain of 3 different teams, national level athlete in a sport since high-school (training ~15 hours a week throughout university, 4 national championships, medals at international competitions with Team Canada, travel to 12 different countries in North/South America, Europe, and Asia).
CASPer:  Second time doing CASPer, felt a lot better this time around. Didn't do any prep, but my typing speed had approximately doubled from last year which I felt was the biggest difference. 

This is my second time applying/interviewing at U of A (last-minute application last year). It's been a long road to get here, and certainly not the one I expected to end up taking, but I'm incredibly thankful to have made it to where I am as three years ago it didn't seem possible. Excited to meet everyone in March, best of luck to you all!

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Time Stamp: 10:02 am

Result: Invite
Location: IP
wGPA/cGPA: 3.69 (don't judge me-got rejected with 3.87 before)
Current year: BSc completed
ECs: LOTS- 2 year full time volunteer mission for my church in Argentina, university Spanish tutor, worked in 2 labs at the U of A/set up a new lab in CCIS, Parks Canada visitor services, dental office records keeper, scouting and venturers programs, fitness training, hiking, 1/2 marathon, high school choir-invited to sing in Carnegie Hall NY /won gold at nationals in Ottawa, some leadership within my church as an executive secretary, Edmonton Immigrant Services Association as a translator, food bank volunteer, fundraising for orphans, full tuition academic scholarships, environmental advocacy/litigation in federal court...I could go on

MCAT: 500 :lol::lol::lol::lol: (judge me)

Casper: thought I nailed it. 

References: 1 solid from a professor/ chairperson on campus, 1 average I would guess. 

Wrote about a mental health challenge I went through a few years ago and what I learned from it. 

I would guess the only reason I have an interview is that my EC's don't appear to be cookie cutter and the Casper test was right up my alley. 

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Result: Rejection
cGPA: 3.79, wGPA 4.00. Even though it probably wasn't even counted, I explained why my first year was in the 3.5 range due to having to pay for my own schooling and how difficult it was to adapt to so many new commitments. I learned the importance prioritization here.
MCAT: 513 (127/128/129/129)
Current Degree: Graduated nursing 2017
Geography (IP/OOP):  OOP
Extracurricular Activities (awards, achievements, volunteering, employment, research, etc.): lots of work experience throughout entire undergrad to present day including relatable healthcare work in acute and community care settings, volunteered at hospital before undergrad, research recruitment volunteer, volunteered with children learning ESL for 5 years, played sports recreationally, learned how to be a barber. Not too many commitments compared to most but spent 100s-1000s of hours with each. 
CASPer:  I feel good at it since this was my fourth time doing it. I read "Doing Right" and spent a fair amount of time doing the free practice resources you could find online. I've had a successful casper for a nursing program in the past.

 

This is the second cycle I'm applying for but my first time for Alberta since I brought my MCAT up to meet the cut-offs. I haven't received a single interview ever. My first cycle cost about $2500 to apply, this one cost me about $7000, and it will only get more expensive as time passes. I'm not sure I can keep losing like this. For the first time in 7 years I'm having some serious doubts about pursuing this anymore. I'm not going to do another undergrad to try and improve my gpa. I'm not planning on doing the MCAT for the third time since at this point my score can easily drop (my practice tests ranged from 512-517). Alberta was my best shot at an interview since I am above average for OOP acceptance GPA and right about average for OOP acceptance MCAT. I'm not sure where I can realistically improve my application anymore. I just started a job where one of the doctors is also the director of the residency program I want to get into (PHPM with family med). Maybe they can give me some kind of a boost in this process? I guess I'll just have to wait and see. 

 

 

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Time Stamp: 10:01am
Result: Invite
GPA: 4.00
MCAT: 518
Current Degree: BSc. (Kinesiology)
Geography (IP/OOP):  OOP
Extracurricular Activities (awards, achievements, volunteering, employment, research, etc.): high level hockey, kinesiology job, been working in medical office a couple years now, undergrad researcher for a couple different labs, youth mentorship, lots of music stuff
CASPer:  idk what to put for this as it's so subjective and relative to everyone else :p - 2nd time doing it. I can type pretty fast I think.

Probably a long shot but if there's anyone out in Victoria, BC that wants to practice i'm game!

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Time Stamp: 10:02am on January 30
Result: Invite
GPA: 3.56
MCAT: 515 (127 CARS)
Current Degree: 4th year undergraduate
Geography (IP/OOP):  IP
Extracurricular Activities (awards, achievements, volunteering, employment, research, etc.): Consistent employment during university (I've been a full-time student and have worked to support myself all the way through, sometimes full-time as well - explains a good chunk of the low GPA), long-term volunteering at a home for seniors with dementia, serving on the executive board of my program's club for undergraduates, some hobbies (I included crochet, travel and foreign language study in my application), overcoming significant adversity on my path to medical school - wrote about this very candidly in my application.
CASPer: I was kind of dreading it and didn't prepare at all, but I felt really good about it afterwards and actually found it fun.

First time posting and first time applying, but I've been a long-time lurker. Overall, I am completely shocked to have received an invite. My references and/or CASPer must have been strong, because my application really doesn't strike me as one that would stand out in any way. I only applied to the U of A and Calgary for medicine, and also applied to a bunch of grad schools... I honestly thought an interview invite was so unlikely that I didn't even budget it into my plans after submitting my applications. Also, the nature of the aforementioned adversity was such that my application was a total shot in the dark. So for those of you with less-than-perfect GPAs and circumstances, don't lose hope! 

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Result: Invite
GPA: 3.94
MCAT: 508
Current Degree: BSc. (Kin)
Geography (IP/OOP):  IP
Extracurricular Activities (awards, achievements, volunteering, employment, research, etc.): varsity hockey, research assistant (2 pubs), AHS volunteer, Alzheimers society volunteer, undergraduate thesis, administration at family health clinic

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41 minutes ago, Butterfly_ said:

Family docs have a similar scope of practice to nursing practitioners. Have you explored that route?

lmaooooooo... expected something this absurd to come from a mac student :P:P:P;) 

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23 hours ago, Butterfly_ said:

Family docs have a similar scope of practice to nursing practitioners. Have you explored that route?

Yes but they don't have the full scope of practice. I've also decided I want to pursue a combined residency in public health and family med. I would like to have a family practice at first while working with the city with the hopes of moving into policy influence later in my career. All this is not possible as a nurse practitioner. Sure, you have the ability to set up your own clinic, but you would compete with family practices that offer a full scope of services. It's something I've been asked since I started my undergrad and it's a compromise I'm unwilling to make. Also, many people struggle to find work as NPs (judging by what I see amongst my co-workers who have their licences but still work as RNs).

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11 hours ago, Nik- said:

Yes but they don't have the full scope of practice. I've also decided I want to pursue a combined residency in public health and family med. I would like to have a family practice at first while working with the city with the hopes of moving into policy influence later in my career. All this is not possible as a nurse practitioner. Sure, you have the ability to set up your own clinic, but you would compete with family practices that offer a full scope of services. It's something I've been asked since I started my undergrad and it's a compromise I'm unwilling to make. Also, many people struggle to find work as NPs (judging by what I see amongst my co-workers who have their licences but still work as RNs).

Have you considered doing an MPH in the meantime?

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11 hours ago, Nik- said:

Yes but they don't have the full scope of practice. I've also decided I want to pursue a combined residency in public health and family med. I would like to have a family practice at first while working with the city with the hopes of moving into policy influence later in my career. All this is not possible as a nurse practitioner. Sure, you have the ability to set up your own clinic, but you would compete with family practices that offer a full scope of services. It's something I've been asked since I started my undergrad and it's a compromise I'm unwilling to make. Also, many people struggle to find work as NPs (judging by what I see amongst my co-workers who have their licences but still work as RNs).

I Do agree that this is the current state of affairs but I wonder what it will be in 5-10-15 years (when you want to make that jump). I can only see the roles of NP's increasing. But I do understand that is a compromise that you don't wont to make.

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On 3/30/2019 at 11:23 PM, Butterfly_ said:

Family docs have a similar scope of practice to nursing practitioners. Have you explored that route?

I an an RN who's being asked about that a lot. For me personally not being able to match my level of knowledge and expertise with my level of autonomy is annoying. NPs don't have the full autonomy either. Knowing what to do but not being able to implement it due to limited scope of practice is something that can be helped when you're an NP, but just for a short time. After you gain expertise and confidence in your knowledge, there's going to be a mismatch again. It's like your brain is in golden cage. If your doc trusts you, they would just ask you to write orders and sign, but that makes my aspiration and ambition grow even more inflated :)

Nik-, I hope that you keep trying, I'm speculating that with the credentials like yours it might be the matter of gaining even more clinical experience. 

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PS:

Subject
Feedback Letters (No Interview)

Message
Feedback letters are currently being uploaded (alphabetically). Your letter will be available by logging in and clicking on "Documents" in the left hand menu. Please download a copy if you wish to save it as they will only be accessible until June 30, 2019.

Timestamp
2019-04-02 11:34

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10 minutes ago, generationunsuccessful said:

PS:

Subject
Feedback Letters (No Interview)

Message
Feedback letters are currently being uploaded (alphabetically). Your letter will be available by logging in and clicking on "Documents" in the left hand menu. Please download a copy if you wish to save it as they will only be accessible until June 30, 2019.

Timestamp
2019-04-02 11:34

Which menu is it? I'm looking at the supplementary application for medicine, and I can't see a "Documents" tab. 

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On 4/1/2019 at 12:30 PM, adhominem said:

Have you considered doing an MPH in the meantime?

I did consider it, but the PHPM residency has a master's built into it and you could choose to do a public health masters. Also, MPH would not provide me with much benefit in my current role.

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On 4/1/2019 at 12:36 PM, jp123 said:

I Do agree that this is the current state of affairs but I wonder what it will be in 5-10-15 years (when you want to make that jump). I can only see the roles of NP's increasing. But I do understand that is a compromise that you don't wont to make.

Maybe, it's definitely hard to predict. Our healthcare here in Ontario hasn't been meeting the needs of our population for a while now. It seems there is great reluctance to having more staff that would be billing OHIP. It's no secret that having more of certain types of doctors and nurse practitioners would help meet these needs better.

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On 4/2/2019 at 11:54 AM, otter-dottir said:

I an an RN who's being asked about that a lot. For me personally not being able to match my level of knowledge and expertise with my level of autonomy is annoying. NPs don't have the full autonomy either. Knowing what to do but not being able to implement it due to limited scope of practice is something that can be helped when you're an NP, but just for a short time. After you gain expertise and confidence in your knowledge, there's going to be a mismatch again. It's like your brain is in golden cage. If your doc trusts you, they would just ask you to write orders and sign, but that makes my aspiration and ambition grow even more inflated :)

Nik-, I hope that you keep trying, I'm speculating that with the credentials like yours it might be the matter of gaining even more clinical experience. 

Thanks, I think I will keep trying since the MCAT score is good for 5 years and it is what I ultimately want to do for the rest of my life. I'm not exactly sure where my weaknesses lie. Maybe it's something in the way I explained my activities or a lackluster reference letter. Can anybody point me to the feedback document from Alberta? I can't find it in the Alberta email or the bear tracks.

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