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PatrickJ

Would you recommend doing another year of school?

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I am a second degree student. I have three years of school already. I have 3.9 gpa in my first year, 3.7 in my second year and 3.7 in my third year. The reason it's not a higher is because I also work part time as a health care professional. Do you think I have a shot at any med school in Ontario or otherwise or coming in for a fourth year would be wise?

Thank you.

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You probably have little chance at this stage, however, applying anyhow is a good idea, if for no other reason, to immerse yourself in the application process with which you become intimately familiar! The devil is in the details and it is helpful to have one application cycle under your belt so as to make you a more informed applicant when it is really important. Applying is a marketing mission and one learns how to improve the application from experience. Therefore, I recommend that you go for it! :P

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I don’t know if they factor in your grades also from your first undergrad.

applying to Med school is somewhat like buying s ticket to a lottery. So very many qualified applicants are refused as there are more applicants than seats. It’s far worse for residency, e.g. in 2 fields where I applied, there were 80 applicants for each, 40 interviewees for each were selected. And each residency had just 3 spots. Both interviewed me. I was really qualified for one position and I was not selected. I was probably the least qualified for the surgical specialty that selected me. Go figure. It came down to sheer luck! 

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On 3/18/2019 at 4:34 PM, Bambi said:

I don’t know if they factor in your grades also from your first undergrad.

applying to Med schooo is somewhat like buying s ticket to a lottery. So very many qualified applicants are refused as there are more applicants than seats. It’s far worse forcresidency, e.g. in 2 fields where I applied, there were 80 applicants for each, 40 interviewees forcesch were selected. And each residency had just 3 spots. Both interviewed me. I was reallyvwuakified for one position and I was not selected. I was probably the least qualified for thecsurgical specialty that selected me. Go figure. It camecdown to sheer luck! 

The vast majority of residency positions are not anywhere near this competitive. I would even argue that the areas where physicians are most needed are the least competitive. As per the CaRMS data, the most competitive specialties have a 1:3 position:applicant's-first-choice ratio, so I'm not even sure what specialty you were applying to that was 3:40 unless you're an IMG.

Re: OP. If you see your fourth your being on track for high 3.8_ to 3.9, I would do one additional year of undergrad since you'll be needing your fourth year's gpa to be truly competitive. While I think you have a shot with your current stats, I do think it will be challenging.

If you pull your gpa up a touch, you can also apply out-of-province as many schools' doors are open with a 3.8+ gpa for OOP. There is also weighting at many schools which may also play in your favour. MCAT will be an additional hurdle, but take one step at a time. 

As for the bigger picture, I think you'll find a way to commit to your grades if medicine is what you want, but you're not far off. If you can adjust just a little bit, I think you have a reasonable shot! Good luck :).

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1 hour ago, Borborygmi said:

The vast majority of residency positions are not anywhere near this competitive. I would even argue that the areas where physicians are most needed are the least competitive. As per the CaRMS data, the most competitive specialties have a 1:3 position:applicant's-first-choice ratio, so I'm not even sure what specialty you were applying to that was 3:40 unless you're an IMG.

Re: OP. If you see your fourth your being on track for high 3.8_ to 3.9, I would do one additional year of undergrad since you'll be needing your fourth year's gpa to be truly competitive. While I think you have a shot with your current stats, I do think it will be challenging.

If you pull your gpa up a touch, you can also apply out-of-province as many schools' doors are open with a 3.8+ gpa for OOP. There is also weighting at many schools which may also play in your favour. MCAT will be an additional hurdle, but take one step at a time. 

As for the bigger picture, I think you'll find a way to commit to your grades if medicine is what you want, but you're not far off. If you can adjust just a little bit, I think you have a reasonable shot! Good luck :).

This makes me feel so hopeful. Yes I definitely need to come back because I am not there yet and the competition is very strong lol. Thanks so much I feel very encouraged!

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1 hour ago, Borborygmi said:

The vast majority of residency positions are not anywhere near this competitive. I would even argue that the areas where physicians are most needed are the least competitive. As per the CaRMS data, the most competitive specialties have a 1:3 position:applicant's-first-choice ratio, so I'm not even sure what specialty you were applying to that was 3:40 unless you're an IMG.
 

Not an IMG. Big city. I'm not mentioning the specialties, both competitive. Truth is stranger than fiction.

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On 3/23/2019 at 3:13 PM, Borborygmi said:

The vast majority of residency positions are not anywhere near this competitive. I would even argue that the areas where physicians are most needed are the least competitive. As per the CaRMS data, the most competitive specialties have a 1:3 position:applicant's-first-choice ratio, so I'm not even sure what specialty you were applying to that was 3:40 unless you're an IMG.

On 3/23/2019 at 4:54 PM, Bambi said:

Not an IMG. Big city. I'm not mentioning the specialties, both competitive. Truth is stranger than fiction.

Both of these are actually correct.  From Bambi's point of view, there were 40 interviewees for 3 spots at a program [that Bambi matched to].  From Borborygmi's point of view, only the most competitive specialties have ratios of around 1:3 for positions to applicants [who rank it first] (yep - plastics).

 Most of the 40 interviewees would apply to multiple programs and the overall matching odds would be much higher than 3:40 - for surgery anywhere from ~1:3 (plastics) to ~1:1 (ortho).  

There are a couple of twists - there's no way  really for the matchee to know whether they were ranked higher than other applicants, or other applicants ranked the program lower.  Only the PD would know that information.  Matching to French-speaking program would take away some, but not all of that uncertainty (because less available programs).  Likewise, only the matchee would know how far down their preference list the program they matched to was.

For example - for a program like FM in TO,  600+ people are interviewed for ~140 spots.  But FM overall has more positions than applicants that rank it first.  

The take home message is that's it's better from an odds points of view to apply as broadly as possible.  Nonetheless, the chances are generally much higher where one has done rotations.  One could argue that Bambi's example demonstrates this tendency, but with non-zero odds at other places, it's probably best to apply broadly to increase chances as much as possible, even if a PD is more serious  initially about 10-20 out of the 40 (because one never knows where the rank list will end-up).  

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Actually, there were 40 Interviewees for 2 specialty residency positions where forveach, there were only 3 residency spots available.

Yes, apply broadly. I applied to 3 different fields where I felt I would be happy and fulfilled, personally and professionally. Although I had to rank my 3 choices, I considered them all equal and would have been happy ifvselected in any of these 3 fields. 

Iknew that I had no control over the selection, and had to let lightning strike where it might. I did have control over where I applied and in what fields and the key was to be flexible and open minded in my choices. 

I also realized that I might not match as I only applied for 1 position in each of these 3 fields. As luck would have it, I got the 3 interviews for which I applied. I made the decision to limit myself as to geographical location, but was flexible as to which field. 

tere is absolutely correct: Apply as broadly as possible and chances are much higher where one has done rotations.

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11 hours ago, Bambi said:

Actually, there were 40 Interviewees for 2 specialty residency positions where forveach, there were only 3 residency spots available.

Right - I understand what you're saying.   I mildly edited the post to make this clearer.  In essence it sounds based on what you've said you matched to your second ranked program, which was actually a different specialty, but also competitive.  

Most of the stats are built on first choice specialty - but this type of matching pattern seem to occur more often with French-speaking programs.  But sometimes location preferences do play a large role too and preferences are based on a combo of specialty/location.

 Regardless, I hope the distinction between aggregate odds for matching  into a specialty vs matching at a particular program was clear.  

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On 3/25/2019 at 1:51 PM, PatrickJ said:

iI cannot relate to even thinking about residency :( have not even gotten in.

It's a long, arduous route, with no guarantees at any point.  But you definitely have a shot!  

As Borborygmi mentions another year could really help, especially if you can show a stellar fourth year.  

Persistance and luck do play a role - if you can improve a little it could really help a lot!  Good luck.

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On 3/31/2019 at 11:43 PM, tere said:

It's a long, arduous route, with no guarantees at any point.  But you definitely have a shot!  

As Borborygmi mentions another year could really help, especially if you can show a stellar fourth year.  

Persistance and luck do play a role - if you can improve a little it could really help a lot!  Good luck.

Thanks so much. I needed this today. I am so depressed lol.

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1 hour ago, tere said:

Take it one day at a time - it's a long journey!  If you've been feeling down for a while, maybe try talking to someone.  Applying to med school isn't worth your happiness.

It's just a family thing and hopefully it will be resolved soon.

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