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David Flynn

2.7 cgpa please help

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Hi David,  people on premed101 tend to be kind and encouraging for the most part.   The issue you face is that after 4 years of undergrad, you have nothing you can salvage towards a med application.  After reading through this forum you know that Med applications require very high thresholds in all 3 of GPA, MCAT,  & EC's  (& sometimes Casper) just to get to the interview. 

You will need to start fresh on your undergrad GPA which will take atleast 2 full years to begin to open up some Canadian schools.  You still need to write the MCAT which is very difficult to get competitive results (I wrote 3 times).   You have also not said anything about your ECs. 

A Masters in Biomed Engineering could lead towards good career prospects, but it will not help at all for Med applications.

So if medicine is your path,  start a 2nd undergrad and focus solely on GPA.   If you can get that +3.9 GPA for 2 years you then have something to work with.  Study hard and write the MCAT once you know you can achieve the GPA.

 

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3 hours ago, David Flynn said:

but if I do, then I have a good chance?

If your EC's are good and get someone good to edit your app + get the competitive GPA in 2nd bachelors + competitive MCAT, you have a solid chance IMO. The hardest part is overcoming that "if" and you need to always prepare a backup option if you do a second bachelors and still don't get in.

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15 hours ago, Meridian said:

Hi David,  people on premed101 tend to be kind and encouraging for the most part.   The issue you face is that after 4 years of undergrad, you have nothing you can salvage towards a med application.  After reading through this forum you know that Med applications require very high thresholds in all 3 of GPA, MCAT,  & EC's  (& sometimes Casper) just to get to the interview. 

You will need to start fresh on your undergrad GPA which will take atleast 2 full years to begin to open up some Canadian schools.  You still need to write the MCAT which is very difficult to get competitive results (I wrote 3 times).   You have also not said anything about your ECs. 

A Masters in Biomed Engineering could lead towards good career prospects, but it will not help at all for Med applications.

So if medicine is your path,  start a 2nd undergrad and focus solely on GPA.   If you can get that +3.9 GPA for 2 years you then have something to work with.  Study hard and write the MCAT once you know you can achieve the GPA.

 

Thanks for the advice Meridian, I forgot to list my ECs and since many people are asking for it I will list them:

Shadowing a doctor: ~60 hours (currently ongoing)

Volunteering in a hospital: ~30 hours (I'm gonna get this WAY up)

Volunteering/Working at a youth resource centre: ~40 hours/~320 hours

Volunteering at an engineering camp for kids as a counsellor: ~160 hours

Retirement home: ~15 hours

Working at Tims: ~512 hours

Research Poster Project for one of my classes

Social Media Director for a club at my uni: ~50 hours

It ain't much, but its honest work.

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12 hours ago, Vivieeeeeee said:

If your EC's are good and get someone good to edit your app + get the competitive GPA in 2nd bachelors + competitive MCAT, you have a solid chance IMO. The hardest part is overcoming that "if" and you need to always prepare a backup option if you do a second bachelors and still don't get in.

These are my ECs:

Shadowing a doctor: ~60 hours (currently ongoing)

Volunteering in a hospital: ~30 hours (I'm gonna get this WAY up)

Volunteering/Working at a youth resource centre: ~40 hours/~320 hours

Volunteering at an engineering camp for kids as a counsellor: ~160 hours

Retirement home: ~15 hours

Working at Tims: ~512 hours

Research Poster Project for one of my classes

Social Media Director for a club at my uni: ~50 hours

I need some more research and clinical hours, but if I was to hold a position in a club or two you think I'd be good? Or do I need more experiences?

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1 hour ago, David Flynn said:

Volunteering in a hospital: ~30 hours (I'm gonna get this WAY up)

I would suggest you continue volunteering until you feel like your personal benefit from volunteering (knowledge and insight gained into hospital medicine) has diminishing returns. Then stop. Volunteering at a hospital is ubiquitous among premeds - it does not stand out at all. After you've done the aforementioned, I would suggest finding something else you're interested in. Preferably somewhere that you lack experience (exposure to diversity, leadership, collaboration, research if you're interested, etc.)

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19 hours ago, David Flynn said:

but if I do, then I have a good chance?

Sure you got a shot if you can accomplish all of the above. 2.7 GPA means that even with a 2nd degree of full 4.0s you'll likely only be eligible for a few schools tbh. Some of them have very high requirements for the MCAT/ECs. So I wouldn't say you have a good chance, but a chance.

 

 

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1 hour ago, flyhighflies said:

Apply to schools that weigh mcat and gpa and extra-curriculars equally. UBC's first round is completely gpa-dependent. I think U of T and McMaster(?) uses holistic approach as well as McMaster. Maybe some states schools? Mount Sinai is good.  

Also, you should focus on having strong extra-curricular activities that highlight your interests in human well-being and leadership. I suggest tmvenio (https://www.tmvenio.com), where you can pursue low-commitment passion projects with other people. Subsequently, you can leverage these projects on your med school applications. 

Hmmmm not suspicious at all!

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9 hours ago, David Flynn said:

These are my ECs:

Shadowing a doctor: ~60 hours (currently ongoing)

Volunteering in a hospital: ~30 hours (I'm gonna get this WAY up)

Volunteering/Working at a youth resource centre: ~40 hours/~320 hours

Volunteering at an engineering camp for kids as a counsellor: ~160 hours

Retirement home: ~15 hours

Working at Tims: ~512 hours

Research Poster Project for one of my classes

Social Media Director for a club at my uni: ~50 hours

I need some more research and clinical hours, but if I was to hold a position in a club or two you think I'd be good? Or do I need more experiences?

I agree with the other comment - continue volunteering at your hospital until you have at least 100 hours but definitely focus on your GPA and MCAT first. You really don't want to do this a third time.

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On 9/16/2019 at 10:32 AM, David Flynn said:

These are my ECs:

Shadowing a doctor: ~60 hours (currently ongoing)

Volunteering in a hospital: ~30 hours (I'm gonna get this WAY up)

Volunteering/Working at a youth resource centre: ~40 hours/~320 hours

Volunteering at an engineering camp for kids as a counsellor: ~160 hours

Retirement home: ~15 hours

Working at Tims: ~512 hours

Research Poster Project for one of my classes

Social Media Director for a club at my uni: ~50 hours

I need some more research and clinical hours, but if I was to hold a position in a club or two you think I'd be good? Or do I need more experiences?

Hi David,

Firstly, good luck on your pursuit, after all, this is the community where we share common goals and support each other throughout the process. If this is truly what you wanted to do, you should pursue it without doubts and I implore you to do so with full dedication.

A lot of our peers here are trying to tell you harsh facts and you don't seem to be too receptive of it. I don't think they mean any harm, but I do think you need to think and reflect on your situation. Pre-med is a harsh route and unfortunately our previous actions are final, this isn't an industry where GPA matters little in the grand scheme of things (e.g. Computer Science). 

What I can do is help you look at it in depth and perhaps explain some of these things without the hostility, let's look your situation together:

If you were to get a perfect 4.0 in the next 2 years of undergrad (if you stay in Ontario)

Your GPA would still be below the cutoffs for UBC, Alberta, Calgary, Sask, Manitoba, UofT, Ottawa, McGill (& all of QC), Memorial. The calculation is simple, say you have 3.5x3 + 4x2, your aGPA would still only be at a maximum of 3.7, this is the best possible scenario as I've even taken out your worst year. You should investigate the statistics for each medical school to get a better idea.

This leaves you effectively with 4 schools, let's talk about 3 of them first: Western, Queen's, Dalhousie

These schools only look at your last 2 years (unsure about dal tbh). They are your best schools, if you are serious about applying, you need to have a perfect academic year, with zero missteps. Regardless of what you are claiming you can do, you haven't provided any evidence resembling you can put two school years of above 3.7 study together, I think you can be reasonable here and understand why some people are skeptical.

Furthermore, we can talk about McMaster and Western, if you look at their cutoff/entry stats, you need to absolutely ace the MCAT and CARS. Please do not assume that you will just waltz in and do well. Look around, how many of our peers have excellent achievements but yet cannot break that 128 cars block. Again, you haven't provided any evidence that you are better than 90% of other MCAT takers.

Finally, for Queen's, you need to show some excellence in your ABS entries. I am going to be frank with you, your ECs are below average. Your hours spent at each activity is very low, and the depth of your experiences are like every other traditional applicant, you simply do not stand out. Please look around on these forums, look at the successful matriculants, they have achieved great things: national level athletes, published research in high impact journals, started their own initiatives and companies. They don't even bother to list things they've done for less than 300 hours. For someone with a lower GPA, I would have expected much more out of your ECs. You need to be working on them HARD during your next two years. 

Oh and by the way, make this a 3 year endeavour, you cannot apply until the cycle after you are done your 2nd undergrad. You need all your grades to show on your transcript and you can only apply the cycle after. This includes a year of waiting around, which is why some people have suggested you go into another field that can generate some income while you are applying.

Putting it all together: 

You need to ace these last 2 years

You need to ace the MCAT and CARS

You need to continue these ECs while making great strides in other ones.

You need to commit for the next 3 years if this is what you want to do. You haven't shown any capability of doing any of these items in isolation, let alone simultaneously. Please do it properly, no slip ups, no excuses, your actions are final. Once you commit, you don't want to regret what would be 7 years of pursuit for no other job prospects. I hope this post has made you realize your situation and reflect a bit on what our peers are trying to tell you.

p.s The alternative is moving to saskatchewan or manitoba for 2 years to do your undergrad. Think deeply about it, because the other people were trying to give you good advice. Look at their in province stats. It is honestly your best chance, and if you are certain this is what you want to do, you should commit to it.

 

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54 minutes ago, rinzler said:

Hi David,

Firstly, good luck on your pursuit, after all, this is the community where we share common goals and support each other throughout the process. If this is truly what you wanted to do, you should pursue it without doubts and I implore you to do so with full dedication.

A lot of our peers here are trying to tell you harsh facts and you don't seem to be too receptive of it. I don't think they mean any harm, but I do think you need to think and reflect on your situation. Pre-med is a harsh route and unfortunately our previous actions are final, this isn't an industry where GPA matters little in the grand scheme of things (e.g. Computer Science). 

What I can do is help you look at it in depth and perhaps explain some of these things without the hostility, let's look your situation together:

If you were to get a perfect 4.0 in the next 2 years of undergrad (if you stay in Ontario)

Your GPA would still be below the cutoffs for UBC, Alberta, Calgary, Sask, Manitoba, UofT, Ottawa, McGill (& all of QC), Memorial. The calculation is simple, say you have 3.5x3 + 4x2, your aGPA would still only be at a maximum of 3.7, this is the best possible scenario as I've even taken out your worst year. You should investigate the statistics for each medical school to get a better idea.

This leaves you effectively with 4 schools, let's talk about 3 of them first: Western, Queen's, Dalhousie

These schools only look at your last 2 years (unsure about dal tbh). They are your best schools, if you are serious about applying, you need to have a perfect academic year, with zero missteps. Regardless of what you are claiming you can do, you haven't provided any evidence resembling you can put two school years of above 3.7 study together, I think you can be reasonable here and understand why some people are skeptical.

Furthermore, we can talk about McMaster and Western, if you look at their cutoff/entry stats, you need to absolutely ace the MCAT and CARS. Please do not assume that you will just waltz in and do well. Look around, how many of our peers have excellent achievements but yet cannot break that 128 cars block. Again, you haven't provided any evidence that you are better than 90% of other MCAT takers.

Finally, for Queen's, you need to show some excellence in your ABS entries. I am going to be frank with you, your ECs are below average. Your hours spent at each activity is very low, and the depth of your experiences are like every other traditional applicant, you simply do not stand out. Please look around on these forums, look at the successful matriculants, they have achieved great things: national level athletes, published research in high impact journals, started their own initiatives and companies. They don't even bother to list things they've done for less than 300 hours. For someone with a lower GPA, I would have expected much more out of your ECs. You need to be working on them HARD during your next two years. 

Oh and by the way, make this a 3 year endeavour, you cannot apply until the cycle after you are done your 2nd undergrad. You need all your grades to show on your transcript and you can only apply the cycle after. This includes a year of waiting around, which is why some people have suggested you go into another field that can generate some income while you are applying.

Putting it all together: 

You need to ace these last 2 years

You need to ace the MCAT and CARS

You need to continue these ECs while making great strides in other ones.

You need to commit for the next 3 years if this is what you want to do. You haven't shown any capability of doing any of these items in isolation, let alone simultaneously. Please do it properly, no slip ups, no excuses, your actions are final. Once you commit, you don't want to regret what would be 7 years of pursuit for no other job prospects. I hope this post has made you realize your situation and reflect a bit on what our peers are trying to tell you.

p.s The alternative is moving to saskatchewan or manitoba for 2 years to do your undergrad. Think deeply about it, because the other people were trying to give you good advice. Look at their in province stats. It is honestly your best chance, and if you are certain this is what you want to do, you should commit to it.

 

First of all thanks for taking the time to write all of this out, it's cool to see someone cares this much. I know I've been slacking to say the least lol, but medicine wasn't really a big goal of mine until somewhere in my final year. A big contributor to my low GPA was my lack of effort and my commute time. When I became serious, it became more about putting effort into the wrong things, I still remember I spent like 5 hours studying for a quiz that was only on 1 lecture and got a 70% in it. My commute was 4 hours in total both ways (home -> uni -> home). It sucked a lot of energy out of me and it was very hard to study after that. Eventually I started staying in the library after school, but I still couldn't stay too long because my parents had to pick me up from the station, as we didn't have enough cars, and I couldn't let them pick me up at like 1am. I have talked with a lot of people and really improved how I study and if I go to a school close to me I am confident I can do really well. Of course this is just words right now but I can't prove I'll get a 4.0 without actually getting it.

As for my MCAT the same rule applies. Since I am going to enrol in some program (idk what yet) it will likely start September 2020 and the earliest I could apply to med school is 2021. This leaves me with 2 years to excel in the MCAT, and honestly if within that time I can't get a 515 or above I'll just drop medicine because it's clearly not for me at that point. I don't really know what else to tell you other than I have the books and have been studying a few hours everyday. I seem to understand the material and am doing well on the practice questions. It won't be until I do a practice test that I will be able to concretely prove I'll do well. 

The extracurriculars are what scare me the most. You never know what opportunities will come to you in the future, but there is only so much that you can control. With GPA if you study hard you can do well and I can start that anytime, but I can't become a national level athlete over-night. Of course if I do a second undergrad I will pursue as many activities as my GPA will allow and this time around will take advantage of what the university has to offer. On the bright side I can always improve my ECs and academics are really gonna be my priority moving forward.

Finally, I am not really tied down to Canada. I know that in Canada my best bet would be a second undergrad but a masters in something would be a lot less risky, and if there are even 20 schools in America that would look at my masters GPA over my undergrad, or consider it to a point where I am competitive (all given that I do well of course), then that would open me up to more schools than in Canada. As for moving to Saskatchewan or Manitoba I am exploring post-bac options in America and if I was to move I think those might be a better option as they help pre-meds a lot more than a second undergrad and I would find a lot more people in my situation. I wanted to stay close to where I live because I have a support system that really helps me keep moving forward. If I go to another province I'd know no one and I'd be a 5th year in 2nd or 3rd year classes which would make me feel even more excluded. There are a lot of intangible factors that I am considering too before I decide what I should and should not do. The people in this forum tend to be Canadian/in Canada, and that is why I generally only talk about a second undergrad.

I hope you understand where I am coming from more clearly now, and please let me know if I am missing something. I really appreciate your concern as it has forced me to consider a lot about my strengths and weaknesses and asses how confident I am that I can do this. It's a daunting task no matter what I do, but it is what I want to do so I will keep at it!

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20 hours ago, Vivieeeeeee said:

I agree with the other comment - continue volunteering at your hospital until you have at least 100 hours but definitely focus on your GPA and MCAT first. You really don't want to do this a third time.

Yeah that's what I think as well. It would be a lot easier to get into research positions as well with my profs with a higher GPA and that would lead to better ref letters as well. So really GPA is key haha.

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52 minutes ago, David Flynn said:

First of all thanks for taking the time to write all of this out, it's cool to see someone cares this much. I know I've been slacking to say the least lol, but medicine wasn't really a big goal of mine until somewhere in my final year. A big contributor to my low GPA was my lack of effort and my commute time. When I became serious, it became more about putting effort into the wrong things, I still remember I spent like 5 hours studying for a quiz that was only on 1 lecture and got a 70% in it. My commute was 4 hours in total both ways (home -> uni -> home). It sucked a lot of energy out of me and it was very hard to study after that. Eventually I started staying in the library after school, but I still couldn't stay too long because my parents had to pick me up from the station, as we didn't have enough cars, and I couldn't let them pick me up at like 1am. I have talked with a lot of people and really improved how I study and if I go to a school close to me I am confident I can do really well. Of course this is just words right now but I can't prove I'll get a 4.0 without actually getting it.

 As for my MCAT the same rule applies. Since I am going to enrol in some program (idk what yet) it will likely start September 2020 and the earliest I could apply to med school is 2021. This leaves me with 2 years to excel in the MCAT, and honestly if within that time I can't get a 515 or above I'll just drop medicine because it's clearly not for me at that point. I don't really know what else to tell you other than I have the books and have been studying a few hours everyday. I seem to understand the material and am doing well on the practice questions. It won't be until I do a practice test that I will be able to concretely prove I'll do well. 

 The extracurriculars are what scare me the most. You never know what opportunities will come to you in the future, but there is only so much that you can control. With GPA if you study hard you can do well and I can start that anytime, but I can't become a national level athlete over-night. Of course if I do a second undergrad I will pursue as many activities as my GPA will allow and this time around will take advantage of what the university has to offer. On the bright side I can always improve my ECs and academics are really gonna be my priority moving forward.

Finally, I am not really tied down to Canada. I know that in Canada my best bet would be a second undergrad but a masters in something would be a lot less risky, and if there are even 20 schools in America that would look at my masters GPA over my undergrad, or consider it to a point where I am competitive (all given that I do well of course), then that would open me up to more schools than in Canada. As for moving to Saskatchewan or Manitoba I am exploring post-bac options in America and if I was to move I think those might be a better option as they help pre-meds a lot more than a second undergrad and I would find a lot more people in my situation. I wanted to stay close to where I live because I have a support system that really helps me keep moving forward. If I go to another province I'd know no one and I'd be a 5th year in 2nd or 3rd year classes which would make me feel even more excluded. There are a lot of intangible factors that I am considering too before I decide what I should and should not do. The people in this forum tend to be Canadian/in Canada, and that is why I generally only talk about a second undergrad.

I hope you understand where I am coming from more clearly now, and please let me know if I am missing something. I really appreciate your concern as it has forced me to consider a lot about my strengths and weaknesses and asses how confident I am that I can do this. It's a daunting task no matter what I do, but it is what I want to do so I will keep at it!

No problem, I think it was important to write it out so you can frame where you stand and what your options are. Most members here are just as supportive, I simply elaborated on what others have already mentioned.

I am afraid you still don't fully understand your situation. You mentioned that you've only thought about this in your final year, and you have a lot of research to do. 

A few points of clarity for you: without a second undergrad or more years of full time study in undergrad (minimum 2), your chances are near 0% right now. So when you apply, you need to have 2 full years of grades already. If you started sept 2020, you need your grades from 09/20-05/21 and 09/21-05/22. Effectively, your chances won't be significant until Sept of 2022, which is 3 years from today. A MSc won't help you, Queen's Western and Dal only care about undergraduate grades, most grades from the MSc don't count towards med GPA calculations.

Like others have previously mentioned, your academic record would almost exclude you from the entirety of the US, UK and Australia.If you look at the overseas list that accepts Canadians, you'll come to a realization that all of them are 3.5 and above(and that's really stretching it). You need to sit down, do some research on the statistics and cutoffs. I think you are overly optimistic about your situation, there are less than 30 medical schools that frequently intake Canadians. Not a single one of them will accept anyone with a below 3.0 GPA international student. Spots in the US are very limited for internationals as they typically favour their in-state students. A second undergrad is a huge red flag during their application process, their ADCOMs are not as forgiving as Canadian school ones. The practice of doing a masters and applying again is different in the US, as some schoo's have their own MSc program to specifically help people get into their affiliated medical school program. Most student serious about research goes directly into a PhD in the states, so the evaluation of a Canadian MSc is tricky. The Caribbean comes with enormous amounts of issues on its own, a quick search on r/premed or these forums would lead to the logical decision not to do it. If you truly value staying near your support system, I find it difficult to believe that you are unwilling to move provinces but willing to cross entire borders.

Finally, yes, it is daunting to be taking classes with people who are much younger than you, I've done it, it sucks. You feel like you don't belong there. But you have to make the most tactical and necessary decision. 

Best of luck to which ever path you have chosen,

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1 hour ago, rinzler said:

No problem, I think it was important to write it out so you can frame where you stand and what your options are. Most members here are just as supportive, I simply elaborated on what others have already mentioned.

I am afraid you still don't fully understand your situation. You mentioned that you've only thought about this in your final year, and you have a lot of research to do. 

A few points of clarity for you: without a second undergrad or more years of full time study in undergrad (minimum 2), your chances are near 0% right now. So when you apply, you need to have 2 full years of grades already. If you started sept 2020, you need your grades from 09/20-05/21 and 09/21-05/22. Effectively, your chances won't be significant until Sept of 2022, which is 3 years from today. A MSc won't help you, Queen's Western and Dal only care about undergraduate grades, most grades from the MSc don't count towards med GPA calculations.

Like others have previously mentioned, your academic record would almost exclude you from the entirety of the US, UK and Australia.If you look at the overseas list that accepts Canadians, you'll come to a realization that all of them are 3.5 and above(and that's really stretching it). You need to sit down, do some research on the statistics and cutoffs. I think you are overly optimistic about your situation, there are less than 30 medical schools that frequently intake Canadians. Not a single one of them will accept anyone with a below 3.0 GPA international student. Spots in the US are very limited for internationals as they typically favour their in-state students. A second undergrad is a huge red flag during their application process, their ADCOMs are not as forgiving as Canadian school ones. The practice of doing a masters and applying again is different in the US, as some schoo's have their own MSc program to specifically help people get into their affiliated medical school program. Most student serious about research goes directly into a PhD in the states, so the evaluation of a Canadian MSc is tricky. The Caribbean comes with enormous amounts of issues on its own, a quick search on r/premed or these forums would lead to the logical decision not to do it. If you truly value staying near your support system, I find it difficult to believe that you are unwilling to move provinces but willing to cross entire borders.

Finally, yes, it is daunting to be taking classes with people who are much younger than you, I've done it, it sucks. You feel like you don't belong there. But you have to make the most tactical and necessary decision. 

Best of luck to which ever path you have chosen,

Either way moving would be a loss of a support system, I said I liked the concept of a post-bac more because there they normally prepare you for medical school and go through the entire process with you. Some also have MCAT prep courses, and my point was they are better suited to deal with my situation than a second undergrad in Saskatchewan. I know my chances are zero right now I was just saying that the theoretical earliest date I could apply would be 2021, realistically its 2022 which means even more time for me to do my MCAT. You said that you've done it, does that mean you did a second undergrad? Do you think its more worthwhile than a masters or post-bac for America?

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