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LANorth

Help developing 2-3 year plan

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Hey all,

I am a recent graduate of an engineering degree from a Canadian university. As many before me, I realized late that I wanted to get into med, and my current application would be an absolute non-starter. I'm trying to develop a plan to get on track, and am looking for some help doing so. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Current standing

cGPA: 3.5 (slightly lower on the omsas scale, between 3.45-3.5 ish)

Final semester GPA: 3.91 (again, might be a little lower on omsas)

I previously wrote the MCAT and would absolutely need to write again - i'm not too concerned about this.

EC's: Have volunteered in a lab and been involved with some minor volunteer experiences, but minimal.

Thoughts for moving forward

- Hoping to get a couple years of work experience in a setting that will develop transferable skills and prove maturity as a candidate

- Concurrently volunteer to round out my app (i have a few ideas on this, but again, meet some of those targets for rounding out my app)

- Write the MCAT again closer to my app date (not concerned about this, I have written before and know how to study much more effectively compared to 3 years ago)

 

My biggest concern is the low GPA. Any thoughts as to how/whether I can rectify this without a second undergrad? Another undergrad is kind of out of the question in terms of financials.

I'm happy to take a longer view, but any suggestions for getting on track and building a strong app would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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Hey thanks for the reply. I was in a different program for a year before taking eng so I only have to take 1 extra semester (4.5 years). I had a full course load throughout.

OMSAS GPA by semester:

Year 1 Sem 1: 3.5 GPA from 2 courses (3 full years that didn't contribute)

Year 1 Sem 2: 3.24 GPA from 5 courses

Year 2 Sem 1: 3.32 GPA from 3 courses (1 full year course not contributing - only took 4 this sem)

Year 2 Sem 2: 3.54 GPA from 5 courses

Year 3 Sem 1: 3.29 GPA from 6 courses

Year 3 Sem 2: 3.32 GPA from 7 courses

Year 4 Sem 1: 3.45 GPA from 6 courses

Year 4 Sem 2: 3.61 GPA from 6 courses

Summer: 3.7 GPA from 1 course

Year 5 Sem 1: 3.76 GPA from 7 courses

I was seeing improvement as time went on but I recognize these aren't competitive marks. I'm wondering if I could take an extra year or maybe two rather than a full second degree. Really appreciate any thoughts.

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1 hour ago, medschover30 said:

I think that as long as you don't graduate, an extra year with a 4.0 would make you competitive for 'last two year' schools like Queens & Western, assuming a full course load.

It sounds like OP has already graduated, so first part does not apply. But I think taking an extra year or two of full-time studies may be the best option for OP. GPA is king, and if that's not fixed, then there really is nothing that can be done to apply for med in Canada. A Masters or PhD wouldn't even be that helpful in this situation. It would however help when you eventually apply if you're from Northern Ontario, SWOMEN or from a province other than Ontario (any chance you're from the Canadian territories?)

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I haven't graduated per-se but am registered to do so. One option I had in mind was to register for a dual degree before convocation - this would allow me 1 year of life sci courses, give me another degree, and give me a chance to raise the GPA (though life sci may not be the best gpa booster).

Re: my location, I'm currently in ontario. I am open to creativity to make this happen though. One thought I had was to get an engineering job in bc or alberta to gain that 'in province' advantage (I believe it only takes 6 months to be considered a bc resident if i recall correctly). But this would also mean delaying raising my gpa as I would likely not be able to take a full courseload with a full time eng job,

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In province advantage is not enough to help you right now given your current GPA. Your absolutely necessary first course of action is to raise your GPA to be competitive for two year schools. I think most if not all cGPA schools are out of the question, which only leaves Queen's and Western (not too familiar with the GPA weighting for non-Ontario schools). If you do enroll in a dual degree for a fifth year, make sure your GPA is stellar in that year. If not, it would exclude Queen's completely (most recent 2 years) unless you're willing to do a sixth year.

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I really appreciate your help. I played around with some hypothetical scenarios and it looks like cGPA is pretty boned, even with a second full degree (unless they would only look at second degree, but ik that's not how it works). Ottawa is a 3-year wGPA so maybe with 2 more years that could boost the 3-year gpa enough.

Doesn't Western require the second degree to be a 4-year equivalent? So basically I have to do a special 1-year to boost it or a full 4-year second degree? 2 years is not an option?

Barring getting ~100th percentile on the mcat and a way above average casper, mac looks out of the question even with the 3.0GPA minimum and of course u of t is way out of the question.

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I think if you do a second degree (in two years using courses from your previous degree) then McGill takes only the GPA from your new degree provided that you had a full course load (with mostly 3rd & 4th year courses), I believe you'll need to finish the second degree before you apply however which would make this plan a 3 year plan. Being out of province for McGill also adds to the difficulty though, there are fewer OOP seats.

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58 minutes ago, LANorth said:

Doesn't Western require the second degree to be a 4-year equivalent? So basically I have to do a special 1-year to boost it or a full 4-year second degree? 2 years is not an option?

Barring getting ~100th percentile on the mcat and a way above average casper, mac looks out of the question even with the 3.0GPA minimum and of course u of t is way out of the question.

Yes, Western will only take the GPA from the first special year. However for Western, if you do a second undergrad, they will only use your second degree for GPA calculations.

UofT would have still been a possibility if it weren't for your second year first semester when you only took 4 courses. Completely disqualifies you from GPA weighting, which may have brought your GPA up quite a bit if it was just a few courses dragging down your GPA each year.

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That's really unfortunate about U of T... I was taking 5 and only dropped one about 3/4 of the way though the semester. That weighting would have really helped me as it really is only a few marks lowering my gpa, particularly in later years. Also didn't think I was hindering chances because Queen's considers 3 courses a full course load. Live and learn I guess - can only look forward.

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15 hours ago, xiphoid said:

Yes, Western will only take the GPA from the first special year. However for Western, if you do a second undergrad, they will only use your second degree for GPA calculations.

UofT would have still been a possibility if it weren't for your second year first semester when you only took 4 courses. Completely disqualifies you from GPA weighting, which may have brought your GPA up quite a bit if it was just a few courses dragging down your GPA each year.

Do you know how U of T treats a second degree? Would the weighting formula be applied if you did all years of the second degree full time?

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15 hours ago, xiphoid said:

Yes, Western will only take the GPA from the first special year. However for Western, if you do a second undergrad, they will only use your second degree for GPA calculations.

UofT would have still been a possibility if it weren't for your second year first semester when you only took 4 courses. Completely disqualifies you from GPA weighting, which may have brought your GPA up quite a bit if it was just a few courses dragging down your GPA each year.

Wait I just checked and in that second year I had 35.5 credits because of the weighting of eng courses...I wondering if I would still qualify. Might have to make a phone call.

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16 hours ago, medschover30 said:

Do you know how U of T treats a second degree? Would the weighting formula be applied if you did all years of the second degree full time?

I believe so, but it would be a combined GPA from both degrees.

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2 hours ago, medschover30 said:

even if the first degree had semesters that weren't full time?

From their website, it appears that any non-full time years would cause them to not automatically apply weighted GPA to your application. There is, however, an opportunity to write a short supp form/essay given unique circumstances, and they may apply a partial or full weighted GPA at that point.

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Becoming IP for B.C. or Alberta might not be a bad idea. I’m a non traditional applicant from B.C. I applied to UBC this year with a GPA pretty close to yours and got an interview. I understand a high GPA is prefered but you can definitely make up for it through your non academic activities. I may or may not get in but the fact that I got an interview, I know there’s a chance despite my gpa.  

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6 hours ago, Teachdoc said:

Becoming IP for B.C. or Alberta might not be a bad idea. I’m a non traditional applicant from B.C. I applied to UBC this year with a GPA pretty close to yours and got an interview. I understand a high GPA is prefered but you can definitely make up for it through your non academic activities. I may or may not get in but the fact that I got an interview, I know there’s a chance despite my gpa.  

I was looking into this - I think given my circumstances, IP UBC may be one of my only hopes. Depending how well I can do on CARS, potentially mac, but unlikely.

Thanks for the reply. If you don't mind me asking, how many years did you take off as a non-traditional applicant before applying? Best of luck!

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On 3/27/2019 at 5:30 AM, LANorth said:

I was looking into this - I think given my circumstances, IP UBC may be one of my only hopes. Depending how well I can do on CARS, potentially mac, but unlikely.

Thanks for the reply. If you don't mind me asking, how many years did you take off as a non-traditional applicant before applying? Best of luck!

I did a B.Ed right after my undergrad and been working as a teacher for 3 years now. So only a couple years! 

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