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May 12 Countdown Thread 2020

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Thought I’d throw in another data point: 

button 

3.92/130

 

honestly I don’t think the button means anything but y’all have done some great work trying to figure it out!! Cheers!

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Slight Deviation Guys - 

How much of an advantage does a high GPA give you at Ottawa post-interview for acceptance/good wait-list purposes? Let's say 3.97 - their average acceptance GPA last year was 3.94 which is almost close to U of T's 3.96, where U of T allows you to drop courses through their formula.

 

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8 minutes ago, med97 said:

Slight Deviation Guys - 

How much of an advantage does a high GPA give you at Ottawa post-interview for acceptance/good wait-list purposes? Let's say 3.97 - their average acceptance GPA last year was 3.94 which is almost close to U of T's 3.96, where U of T allows you to drop courses through their formula.

 
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I've heard it's just used as a tiebreaker, and interview is what matters. But since interviews are put into discrete bins, these ties are fairly common so it actually is a reasonable advantage to have a high GPA

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5 minutes ago, med97 said:

Sorry could you please give an example if you don''t mind, thank  you!!

This is just what I've heard second-hand, but each interview is ranked out of 4 in 0.5 increments. So your interview may be ranked 4.0, 3.5, 3.0, 2.5 and on...

All 4.0 interviews will be accepted. Probably all 3.5 interviews will be accepted. Then when looking at 3.0 interviews, those with the highest GPAs will be accepted (if that's the lowest interview bin they have to dip into to fill their class)

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20 minutes ago, med97 said:

Slight Deviation Guys - 

How much of an advantage does a high GPA give you at Ottawa post-interview for acceptance/good wait-list purposes? Let's say 3.97 - their average acceptance GPA last year was 3.94 which is almost close to U of T's 3.96, where U of T allows you to drop courses through their formula.

 
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This is from the admissions website:

Following the interview, preliminary rank order lists are prepared based on a combined score using the WGPA and the interview performance (a poor interview may not be ranked). In the event of ties in the final scores, candidates with the highest WGPA will be ranked higher. The admissions committee may take other factors into consideration when ranking each candidate.”

So it appears that GPA is not only used as a tie-breaker!

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Yeah, that's such a confusing part on their website - it almost seems like they add up scores and in instances where there is a tie, take the higher GPA person. But then how does one explain the way wailist moves at Ottawa as it has been noted in the forum in regards to the "bins".

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Regarding McMaster, I know that a lot of people are saying that anyone in the top 550 can be a good physician and is well qualified to do so, but I want to argue this point.

Just because someone has a high GPA, CARS, and/or CASPer, does that really make them a good physician? People are arguing that out of the 550 interviewees, it doesn't matter who you pick because they are all great candidates, but I disagree. I think it does matter who you pick for your class among the 550 interviewees. Great numbers do not = great physician.

Mac doesn't look at ABS. Mac doesn't look at references. I don't think Mac actually knows who you are as a person before interviews. Yes, there will be many good, qualified people amongst the 550 interviewees, but there will also be some bad apples. And when Mac uses a lottery to select its class, you will inevitably have some bad apples slipping through and gaining offers they might otherwise not have through an MMI process.

Yes, I know that MMIs aren't perfect and that they have their own flaws. I know that people can practice for them and become good at them, but I still think that they are better than nothing. I firmly believe that selecting physicians without speaking to them, either online or in-person, is not the way to go.

Anyways, my point is that justifying a lottery system with the argument "anyone in the top 550 would make a good physician" is not right. Again, great numbers do not = great physician. I do not believe that everyone in the top 550 would make a good physician.

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27 minutes ago, med97 said:

Yeah, that's such a confusing part on their website - it almost seems like they add up scores and in instances where there is a tie, take the higher GPA person. But then how does one explain the way wailist moves at Ottawa as it has been noted in the forum in regards to the "bins".

I would imagine they move through the interview bins (4, 3.75, whatever it is) from the highest to lowest GPA, kinda like this explanation which makes sense to me:

 

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7 minutes ago, pureblue said:

there are a number of discrete "bins" you can be placed into based on how interviewers rate the applicant. Say you did VERY well, and got a 4/4 interview score (we don't know how they decide what the interview score is between the 3 interviewers, only that it is out of 4 at the end) - that means that you are in the highest bin and you are ranked within that bin based on your wGPA. So somebody who has a 4.0 wGPA and a 4.0 interview score will be #1 in the bin, followed by maybe 3.97, 3,95, 3,94, 3.92, 3.91 etc etc. That being said, anybody with an interview score of 4.0 is probably getting in regardless of GPA.

It gets trickier when go down the bins - we don't know the exact intervals that the interview bins differ in (do they go down by 0.25? 0.33? 0.5?), only that it caps at 4. We also don't know where the waitlist typically starts/ends. Let's say that the last ranked person who received a DIRECT offer of admission on May 12 had an interview score of 3.25 (if that interview bin exists) and their wGPA is 3.92.. then the first person who will receive an offer of admission off the waitlist will have a wGPA of less than 3.92 and an interview score of 3.25. If there isn't anybody else in that interview bin, they move down to the next interval of interview bin and the first person who will receive an offer of admission will be whoever has the highest wGPA in that interview bin (typically a 4.0). I hope that makes sense, it's hard to explain with the little information and hypotheticals we have lol

I'm not sure if it even has to be that elaborate. Here's the thing: the difference between candidates is a lot larger in terms of their interview scores (ranging from 4 to say 2), whereas the difference between WGPA post-interview is likely to be 0.15 between each other. And that's why the waitlist movement seems to be down a WGPA gradient before going back up because the difference in the interview scores has a larger impact on the ranking. 

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16 minutes ago, MedGoldfish said:

Regarding McMaster, I know that a lot of people are saying that anyone in the top 550 can be a good physician and is well qualified to do so, but I want to argue this point.

Just because someone has a high GPA, CARS, and/or CASPer, does that really make them a good physician? People are arguing that out of the 550 interviewees, it doesn't matter who you pick because they are all great candidates, but I disagree. I think it does matter who you pick for your class among the 550 interviewees. Great numbers do not = great physician.

Mac doesn't look at ABS. Mac doesn't look at references. I don't think Mac actually knows who you are as a person before interviews. Yes, there will be many good, qualified people amongst the 550 interviewees, but there will also be some bad apples. And when Mac uses a lottery to select its class, you will inevitably have some bad apples slipping through and gaining offers they might otherwise not have through an MMI process.

Yes, I know that MMIs aren't perfect and that they have their own flaws. I know that people can practice for them and become good at them, but I still think that they are better than nothing. I firmly believe that selecting physicians without speaking to them, either online or in-person, is not the way to go.

Anyways, my point is that justifying a lottery system with the argument "anyone in the top 550 would make a good physician" is not right. Again, great numbers do not = great physician. I do not believe that everyone in the top 550 would make a good physician.

CASPer is basically like a MMI, and it's used pre-interview to select those 550 interviewees. It's not just GPA and MCAT that are needed to get the interview. Plus, it's perfectly possible to practice for both and do well, which means the bad apples can get in easily even with MMI. I knew of people who enjoyed mocking and making other students literally miserable in my undergrad classes and they got in UofT of all places. I know of someone who has lied on all his application and offered to do the same thing for me (he had connections that could support his claims). He has received 6 interviews this cycle, including UofT and UBC. This whole process, can and does select for good actors/well connected applicants/liars no matter how many MMIs/CASper and other things you use. At least with GPA/MCAT you know there couldn't have been much cheating happening and again CASPer is doing the job of MMI for all the selected interviewees. 

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Thank you so much! I am just confused then, how does the bin theory explain the part where when there is a tie when adding GPA + Interview Score, Higher GPA will be ranked higher. Because from what you explained, I cannot imagine that instance happening. For example, someone with lower interview score + higher GPA would be ranked higher than someone with higher interview score + lower GPA in comparison, if they tie according to their website. So where would this fit in the bins' theory.

Does my question make sense? Thank you for your reply.

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5 minutes ago, med97 said:

Thank you so much! I am just confused then, how does the bin theory explain the part where when there is a tie when adding GPA + Interview Score, Higher GPA will be ranked higher. Because from what you explained, I cannot imagine that instance happening. For example, someone with lower interview score + higher GPA would be ranked higher than someone with higher interview score + lower GPA in comparison, if they tie according to their website. So where would this fit in the bins' theory.

Does my question make sense? Thank you for your reply.

See my above post about an alternative explanation to the bin theory. I do think that they simply add the 2 numbers (both out of 4) and then simply rank people. So a person with a 4 WGPA and a 3.75 interview score will rank higher than another with a 3.85 WPA and a 3.9 interview score. 

It's just that a 4 WGPA is not going to salvage say a 3 interview score because everyone would be within 0.15 of your WGPA but can be a whole unit better than you in their inverview score. Hence, the zigzagging in the waitlist movement. 

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25 minutes ago, MedGoldfish said:

Regarding McMaster, I know that a lot of people are saying that anyone in the top 550 can be a good physician and is well qualified to do so, but I want to argue this point.

Just because someone has a high GPA, CARS, and/or CASPer, does that really make them a good physician? People are arguing that out of the 550 interviewees, it doesn't matter who you pick because they are all great candidates, but I disagree. I think it does matter who you pick for your class among the 550 interviewees. Great numbers do not = great physician.

Mac doesn't look at ABS. Mac doesn't look at references. I don't think Mac actually knows who you are as a person before interviews. Yes, there will be many good, qualified people amongst the 550 interviewees, but there will also be some bad apples. And when Mac uses a lottery to select its class, you will inevitably have some bad apples slipping through and gaining offers they might otherwise not have through an MMI process.

Yes, I know that MMIs aren't perfect and that they have their own flaws. I know that people can practice for them and become good at them, but I still think that they are better than nothing. I firmly believe that selecting physicians without speaking to them, either online or in-person, is not the way to go.

Anyways, my point is that justifying a lottery system with the argument "anyone in the top 550 would make a good physician" is not right. Again, great numbers do not = great physician. I do not believe that everyone in the top 550 would make a good physician.

An interview is not an accurate screener for "great physicians", nor one for "bad physicians". Regardless of what measures you're using to define a great physician. 

You may not want to accept this, but the reality is that most of the 550 would make fine physicians. Will there be some people who slip through who should not be physicians? Yes. This is true with Mac's 2020 selection strategy, and is also true with any other current selection strategy. You are also not inherently born with traits that destine you for medicine. A lot of what goes into being a good physician, you will learn while in medical school (+residency and practice). Shocking, I know. 

 

Let me be clear: I agree with you that an interview is better than nothing. But not because it'll separate the "good" from the "bad". Because it requires you to put in work and learn to think in a certain way. But to suggest that an interview will accurately let you determine who will be good and bad physicians is ludicrous. 

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13 minutes ago, MedGoldfish said:

Regarding McMaster, I know that a lot of people are saying that anyone in the top 550 can be a good physician and is well qualified to do so, but I want to argue this point.

Just because someone has a high GPA, CARS, and/or CASPer, does that really make them a good physician? People are arguing that out of the 550 interviewees, it doesn't matter who you pick because they are all great candidates, but I disagree. I think it does matter who you pick for your class among the 550 interviewees. Great numbers do not = great physician.

Mac doesn't look at ABS. Mac doesn't look at references. I don't think Mac actually knows who you are as a person before interviews. Yes, there will be many good, qualified people amongst the 550 interviewees, but there will also be some bad apples. And when Mac uses a lottery to select its class, you will inevitably have some bad apples slipping through and gaining offers they might otherwise not have through an MMI process.

Yes, I know that MMIs aren't perfect and that they have their own flaws. I know that people can practice for them and become good at them, but I still think that they are better than nothing. I firmly believe that selecting physicians without speaking to them, either online or in-person, is not the way to go.

Anyways, my point is that justifying a lottery system with the argument "anyone in the top 550 would make a good physician" is not right. Again, great numbers do not = great physician. I do not believe that everyone in the top 550 would make a good physician.

The whole point was they "CAN' and "Have the potential" to be a good physician if they are in the top 550(or higher!).  The person that starts medical school and the person that ends medical school are often two very different people, so even if they won't make a "great" physician at the start, but somehow got in, they very likely do have the "potential" to become a "GOOD" or "better" physician...after going through 6-9 years of medical school/residency training, at the very lease become "competent".

They have the requisite ability to work hard, and have achieved decent metrics.  Hence why I think that IF you CANT Interview them, then its only fair to just do the lottery approach. Since simply using the pre-interview rank would not acknowledge that #550 could have done better on the interview then #110 and secured the seat etc.

As for interview, that is just one step as well. You can get a decent idea  and yes can weed out the ones who may rub you the wrong way, or lack certain social qualities that physician would require, but its not perfect either.  Plenty of people in my medical school class clearly had strong grades, cause otherwise some of them were insufferable people. Sure enough, at least a few of those after the years of medical school, had a bit of real life and humble pie kicked into them, and were more fit to be truly released amongst the general public.  I agree there will be a few in the top 550 that probably shouldn't be doctors, but then again, that really depends on perspective. There is a wide variety of fields within medicine, and often people can tend to self-select towards their interests and strengths.  So aside from narcissistic tendencies and downright asocial individuals, i think most that put in the hard work required to get strong grades, have a semblence of non-academics etc, are probably capable of ticking the right boxes to eventually become competent - and interview or not, is unlikely to truly figure that out. You have to also go through the process to realize that.  One colleague, who was likely a top ranked applicant, interviewed well and was very sociable - eventually realized they weren't cut out for medicine at all, and simply did not apply for residency. They went off in a different direction, still using some of what they gained with the MD.

The whole point with the lottery is that from 100-500, they were similar in chance of getting a seat with or without the interview. So at least making it random, you have a more fair approximation of getting the "right mix" that the interview *MAY* have provided, versus the alternative of just using the pure number/metrics approach instead.

Of course, I agree wholeheartedly that interviews are much better than the lottery system, but compared to the alternative of just using pre-rank scoring only, I think its better than that in the context of your arugment.

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Maybe I’ll be the bad guy for this, but is anyone else getting a tad bit irritated by how much this thread is being dedicated to just one school? This thread is meant to be a place for all schools and it sucks that it gets spammed with dozens of pages that we have to read through in case there’s anything relevant to everyone. Not saying to not discuss it here at all, but 80% of this thread is about McMaster rn- I know for individual schools there’s separate threads. Idk I think it may be worth moving some discussions there so this remains a place for general OMSAS applicants. 

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I think that the arguments presented above are valid, and I do see where you are all coming from.

I noticed that some of the replies to my post are from current medical students. I think it is easier to justify the lottery system as someone who is already in medical school, but it is a harder pill to swallow as an applicant. 

As an applicant, I feel like it is tough to not have any control in this process. At least with the interview, you feel some control over the process.

Anyways, I get your arguments above. And if you are a current medical student, I do think it is harder to see it from your point of view when the rest of us are applicants who are currently experiencing this whole lottery process. Keeping in mind the arguments above, maybe this sheds a light on the medical admissions system in general.

Regardless, it kinda sucks to go through all of this. But c'est la vie!

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38 minutes ago, DrOtter said:

I'm not sure if it even has to be that elaborate. Here's the thing: the difference between candidates is a lot larger in terms of their interview scores (ranging from 4 to say 2), whereas the difference between WGPA post-interview is likely to be 0.15 between each other. And that's why the waitlist movement seems to be down a WGPA gradient before going back up because the difference in the interview scores has a larger impact on the ranking. 

Smart thinking. gives me a tiny 0.15 bit of hope 

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14 minutes ago, MedGoldfish said:

I think that the arguments presented above are valid, and I do see where you are all coming from.

I noticed that some of the replies to my post are from current medical students. I think it is easier to justify the lottery system as someone who is already in medical school, but it is a harder pill to swallow as an applicant. 

As an applicant, I feel like it is tough to not have any control in this process. At least with the interview, you feel some control over the process.

Anyways, I get your arguments above. And if you are a current medical student, I do think it is harder to see it from your point of view when the rest of us are applicants who are currently experiencing this whole lottery process. Keeping in mind the arguments above, maybe this sheds a light on the medical admissions system in general.

Regardless, it kinda sucks to go through all of this. But c'est la vie!

I absolutely agree. If I were in your shoes, I would be very devastated. As an applicant, having interviews be replaced by Mac's system does feel as if you have had your agency taken away from you (regardless of the chance-based processes that an interview presents). Things are out of your control, and you can't say you gave it your all because you weren't given that chance. Objectively, Mac's method does make sense on a macro level, even if it might not feel fair on an individual level. And any of the 550 of you would be fine choices. That's all I was trying to say.

 

It does suck though. For what it's worth, COVID-19 is painful at every stage of the medical journey. Medical students are off of clerkship rotations, which will impact their residency applications, and residents are facing their own obstacles as well (e.g., final year residents can't write their licensing exams right now).

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21 minutes ago, Yippe said:

Maybe I’ll be the bad guy for this, but is anyone else getting a tad bit irritated by how much this thread is being dedicated to just one school? This thread is meant to be a place for all schools and it sucks that it gets spammed with dozens of pages that we have to read through in case there’s anything relevant to everyone. Not saying to not discuss it here at all, but 80% of this thread is about McMaster rn- I know for individual schools there’s separate threads. Idk I think it may be worth moving some discussions there so this remains a place for general OMSAS applicants. 

Good point. Mac talk/gossip/full-blown fistfights can be moved to this thread below.

 

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