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garceyues

Unsure if I should keep applying

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Hey all, I am just trying to get as much feedback as possible on where I stand and should go from here. I recently graduated and did not receive any interviews this past cycle.  

Albertan resident, wGPA would be a ~3.87 for U of C and a ~3.83 for U of A (~3.8 when I applied to both schools last cycle). GPA would vary for OOP schools but considering how competitive things are my chances would be practically zero at any OOP school. MCAT: 512 (126 CARS).

E.Cs : Construction/warehouse/shipping job, paid oncology research summer position (presented results at several conferences orally and via poster), award to intern at a hospital clinic and some related inner city/rural organizations specialized for vulnerable populations, designed original lesson plans/experiments/exercises as an after school teacher for both general science and programming classes respectively, employment as the lead researcher on a study to develop healthcare information dissemination tools for vulnerable populations (got to see an entire study through from start to finish, first author publication currently being typed up), developed and sold an original product through a business team composed of high school students back in the day, later mentored several teams of students in developing their own respective products/businesses, leadership role for a student mental health initiative/film, primary event organizer for a registered charity where I lead multiple executive teams and several hundred volunteers in collaboration with stakeholders in the private and public sectors, student group executive position, drug and injury awareness program volunteer, first aid responder, psych lab researcher with experience across 3 different studies (1 publication submitted for review, 2 unfinished lit reviews & a conference presentation), part of a student led research initiative (also seeing this study through from start to finish, should result in another publication),part of an interdisciplinary leadership initiative, big brothers and sisters, two long term sports activities with evolving roles, music, international mission trip. Most of my activities have been going on for 2-3 years, with a couple exceptions on both ends of the spectrum. 

Honestly, I am not too sure where to go from here. I didn't really have anyone to talk to/compare applications with going into last cycle so I felt a bit unprepared and isolated in hindsight. There have been a couple of people who have reached out to me in the last month to offer their thoughts and support which I am extremely grateful for. Consulting these forums has been super helpful, and I think receiving as much feedback and input as possible would be extremely valuable. Would it be worth it to try my hand again? Should I take the time to do a masters to improve my application and get more ECs/hours under my belt and a slightly boosted GPA? Should I through in the towel? I am worried that not having 1000s of hours in each activity and ~5+ years per entry is holding me back, as well as mediocre grades.  

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My god your ECs sound incredible. Your MCAT and GPA are also great for Alberta Schools. It blows my mind that you weren’t able to get and interview this year. I think with those stats and experiences you should really apply again and try to write about these experiences more as reflections than description to add some depth to your applications. Also make sure all your verifiers are willing to verify your hours just because UofA contacts everyone of then. The casper is also important for UofA and some other OOP schools so maybe invest more time on it next time to be more confident in your application. 

 

I think you have a very strong application for IP schools and I don’t think you should give up just yet. Especially if this is only your first cycle. If you think you’d enjoy a masters then maybe pursue that while working on your current commitments. But maybe taking a year off and just work on enhancing your experiences and just relax before applying again.

I wish you all the best with whichever path you pursue. I can see you are a dedicated individual and hopefully you reach your goals. 

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I'm gonna throw in my two cents but please remember to take everything on this form with more than a grain of salt. There's a huge bias in the reporting here that often makes it feel like it's impossible to get in without a perfect GPA and MCAT. 

I would say if you truly want to become a physician, you should keep applying. Many people take multiple applications to get accepted, so while it's disappointing to get rejected, you shouldn't lose hope now (It took me three applications). 

It seems like you have pretty great ECs, a good GPA and MCAT. From what I know about UofA and UC, they have essays and written components. It could be worth it to reevaluate what you submitted and making sure you're putting the best version of yourself out there and truly reflecting the value of your ECs. Another element is CASPER to prep for that as well. 

I absolutely think you should apply again, focus on what you can change, and don't be too hard on yourself. I wouldn't pursue a master's degree unless it's something you're genuinely passionate and would enjoy. Grad school can be brutal if you're only doing it as a means for medical school. 

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Dont give up!!!! Do something in the mean time that would be fulfilling to you (maybe make a bit of cash too LOL) and keep applying :) so many people take multiple tries before getting in. Also, I might be wrong here, but wont you be solid for queens? I'm not sure about how they take OOPs though. 

Also, I'm finishing up an MSc right now and I feel like I'd have a much better time if worked a cool job instead. The MSc was great at the beginning but man it gets stressful and I wish I found a more enjoyable job throughout the years. Also, a masters can range from 1-3 years depending on the type of masters and the field of research. It might not be worth the time investment. Just my two cents. You can put together a great application with or without a degree. Just do something you enjoy and the passion will show on your app!!

Best of luck 

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2 hours ago, starmay said:

My god your ECs sound incredible. Your MCAT and GPA are also great for Alberta Schools. It blows my mind that you weren’t able to get and interview this year. I think with those stats and experiences you should really apply again and try to write about these experiences more as reflections than description to add some depth to your applications. Also make sure all your verifiers are willing to verify your hours just because UofA contacts everyone of then. The casper is also important for UofA and some other OOP schools so maybe invest more time on it next time to be more confident in your application. 

 

I think you have a very strong application for IP schools and I don’t think you should give up just yet. Especially if this is only your first cycle. If you think you’d enjoy a masters then maybe pursue that while working on your current commitments. But maybe taking a year off and just work on enhancing your experiences and just relax before applying again.

I wish you all the best with whichever path you pursue. I can see you are a dedicated individual and hopefully you reach your goals. 

I thought my ECs would surely be able to secure me an IP interview, but I actually scored a point below average for the U of A IP EC interview invite score. I think I struggled to write about my duties/achievements while also reflecting upon them. I obviously don't want to leave out a significant achievement like a publication, but I also don't just want to essentially write out my CV. I will definitely be careful with how I choose my verifiers- it is haunting to think that one verifier can essentially jeopardize an entire application. I felt good about my CASPer and I did some light preparation, but it sucks to know that you essentially can't evaluate whether you are improving.

I have always been kind of on the fence about a masters. It seems like a decent way to allow myself to increase my ECs and take my research further. I enjoy research, but it seems like almost a bigger commitment than undergrad and I ultimately can't see myself working in academia.

Thank you for the kind words- I have been feeling pretty discouraged coming out of this cycle so it means a lot :)


 

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2 hours ago, SquirtleMD said:

I'm gonna throw in my two cents but please remember to take everything on this form with more than a grain of salt. There's a huge bias in the reporting here that often makes it feel like it's impossible to get in without a perfect GPA and MCAT. 

I would say if you truly want to become a physician, you should keep applying. Many people take multiple applications to get accepted, so while it's disappointing to get rejected, you shouldn't lose hope now (It took me three applications). 

It seems like you have pretty great ECs, a good GPA and MCAT. From what I know about UofA and UC, they have essays and written components. It could be worth it to reevaluate what you submitted and making sure you're putting the best version of yourself out there and truly reflecting the value of your ECs. Another element is CASPER to prep for that as well. 

I absolutely think you should apply again, focus on what you can change, and don't be too hard on yourself. I wouldn't pursue a master's degree unless it's something you're genuinely passionate and would enjoy. Grad school can be brutal if you're only doing it as a means for medical school. 

Haha I think the reporting definitely serves to exacerbates feelings of imposter syndrome ;) At the end of the day though this community is overwhelmingly helpful so it is nice to see people contributing so much

Becoming a physician is absolutely what I want to do, but for me things are starting to get really overburdening. Pursuing this has quite literally left me without any free time outside of the holidays for the past few years, and I am not really sure what more I can do to improve things. I feel like the rest of my life is on hold without gaining admission. You can never really have enough hours or do enough MMI prep. Even with covid I am still pretty occupied with activities and I don't really know how I could fully pursue medicine while easing my commitments. 

It seems to be the sentiment amongst the few people I have consulted with and those in this thread that I should look into how I write and frame my activities. I would by lying if I said I wasn't super disappointed with my EC score this cycle though. 

A a master degree wouldn't really be something I would pursue for its own sake (outside of some course-based programs potentially), but I was thinking it might be a viable route to give me that last push I need. I think I will seriously need to weigh things should I choose to pursue that route. 
 

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On 6/8/2020 at 8:24 PM, premed72 said:

Dont give up!!!! Do something in the mean time that would be fulfilling to you (maybe make a bit of cash too LOL) and keep applying :) so many people take multiple tries before getting in. Also, I might be wrong here, but wont you be solid for queens? I'm not sure about how they take OOPs though. 

Also, I'm finishing up an MSc right now and I feel like I'd have a much better time if worked a cool job instead. The MSc was great at the beginning but man it gets stressful and I wish I found a more enjoyable job throughout the years. Also, a masters can range from 1-3 years depending on the type of masters and the field of research. It might not be worth the time investment. Just my two cents. You can put together a great application with or without a degree. Just do something you enjoy and the passion will show on your app!!

Best of luck 

I have actually been struggling to do so! I was hoping that maybe I could travel a bit or get back into the gym with all of my free time but covid sent that out the window lol. Thankfully I still have a full time research job which I am super grateful for :) I guess the purpose of my post was to see how feasible it is to keep trying more than anything, as I personally don't think I could put an alternate career on hold to apply 6 times over for example. I think you are right about Queens, except I am not sure how they would view my MCAT considering they are the quote "black box." I don't think my MCAT is doing me any huge favours, and I am not sure if Queens would screen me with that CARS score (also holding me back from western :().

I definitely enjoy my research job now, but pay is only so high as someone fresh out of undergrad. I feel like I would need another degree to get any sort of sustainable job, which could potentially jeopardize my chance at med in itself. Did you find that your MSc cut into your other activities and consumed your life to a much larger extent than undergrad did? Regardless, I hope that I can get a bit of relaxation in this coming year and continue to work in some capacity- I just don't think I am ready to go back to school right now if it isn't med  :lol:

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Hey there! I'm pretty sure queens consistently has a 126 cut off for CARS. If you check the queens thread many people get in with 126! 

You make a good point about a masters opening up other career doors and I totally agree. I guess choose a degree wisely is better advice I can give you. For example, I think I'd much rather have done a masters in public or global health than my basic science research. I just feel like the jobs coming out of those degrees would be much more appealing to me. Which leads me to my next point: doing research in basic sciences has waves of being extremely busy to having nothing to do at all. I worked with animals so I'd have weeks of doing a tone of experiments and then weeks where I felt I was really useless and going to the lab was a waste of a bus ticket haha. Interesting enough, the weeks where I had absolutely nothing to do I felt way more stressed because I felt like I was not contributing or working toward anything and it just did not vibe with me. And you feel this subconscious pressure that your PI thinks you're loafting around all day which isnt a good feeling. But I also tried to keep myself busy by latching on to other projects within the lab. I definately had more free time on my hands during my MSc compared to UG. You'll definitely have more of a life during an MSc but the MSc offers different types of stressors.

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1 hour ago, garceyues said:

Becoming a physician is absolutely what I want to do, but for me things are starting to get really overburdening. Pursuing this has quite literally left me without any free time outside of the holidays for the past few years, and I am not really sure what more I can do to improve things. I feel like the rest of my life is on hold without gaining admission. You can never really have enough hours or do enough MMI prep. Even with covid I am still pretty occupied with activities and I don't really know how I could fully pursue medicine while easing my commitments. 

In my opinion, you should definitely try again. I would not worry so much about your grades because I know a ton of people with worse grades (myself included) who got in, and your ECs are very well-rounded and interesting. I didn't have any ECs that were 1000 hours other than my full time work. I pretty much have the same GPA and a lower mcat score, and I was finally accepted this year. What you said definitely resonated with me - I felt the same way and I got in after multiple cycles. I didn't get any interviews when I applied in my fourth year and so I graduated feeling lost and not knowing what to do next. Meanwhile, everyone I knew was moving up in life, getting accepted, getting engaged, etc. It was a hard pill to swallow. I had spent every summer since my second year of undergrad writing the MCAT. I ended up working in the same type of job for the next three years. I would urge you not to go into a Masters for the purpose of just boosting your app in some way (waste of money and time and commitment) - but if it's something you'd actually wanna do as a plan B then go for it! And don't feel peer pressured by people who tell you otherwise because half of them don't know what they're talking about. Someone told me to do an MBA because they knew someone who did an MBA and then got into med, but everyone's story is different. I also had no interest in doing an MBA so why would I do it just for the purpose of MAYBE getting into med. There is 100% A LOT of luck in this process so don't feel so defeated after one cycle - it's very subjective - especially for Calgary! If you ever need any help or advice, please feel free to PM me. 

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On 6/8/2020 at 9:46 PM, premed72 said:

Hey there! I'm pretty sure queens consistently has a 126 cut off for CARS. If you check the queens thread many people get in with 126! 

You make a good point about a masters opening up other career doors and I totally agree. I guess choose a degree wisely is better advice I can give you. For example, I think I'd much rather have done a masters in public or global health than my basic science research. I just feel like the jobs coming out of those degrees would be much more appealing to me. Which leads me to my next point: doing research in basic sciences has waves of being extremely busy to having nothing to do at all. I worked with animals so I'd have weeks of doing a tone of experiments and then weeks where I felt I was really useless and going to the lab was a waste of a bus ticket haha. Interesting enough, the weeks where I had absolutely nothing to do I felt way more stressed because I felt like I was not contributing or working toward anything and it just did not vibe with me. And you feel this subconscious pressure that your PI thinks you're loafting around all day which isnt a good feeling. But I also tried to keep myself busy by latching on to other projects within the lab. I definately had more free time on my hands during my MSc compared to UG. You'll definitely have more of a life during an MSc but the MSc offers different types of stressors.

That is definitely good to hear! To be frank I would apply to all Ontario schools simultaneously even if my shot is slim outside of Queens. Just seems like a waste to write up all of my activities and then not at least take a stab at some of the other schools. 

I would much rather have a job in public health or something along those lines than a basic science job. I think clinical trials could be interesting as well, but I will need to examine what the job market is like. I really enjoy when I can directly see how science and evidence-based practices benefit people directly. I just know that I could never see myself in a cold dark wet lab for life :unsure:

Thank you for the input on what life looks like for a masters student! I guess not having to worry about exams outside of a few courses makes things a lot different for thesis-based masters. I would realistically want to spend as much time as possible in the lab to speed things along, but balance is key too though and perhaps I could restore some semblance of that during a masters. 

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On 6/8/2020 at 10:36 PM, gniyonna said:

In my opinion, you should definitely try again. I would not worry so much about your grades because I know a ton of people with worse grades (myself included) who got in, and your ECs are very well-rounded and interesting. I didn't have any ECs that were 1000 hours other than my full time work. I pretty much have the same GPA and a lower mcat score, and I was finally accepted this year. What you said definitely resonated with me - I felt the same way and I got in after multiple cycles. I didn't get any interviews when I applied in my fourth year and so I graduated feeling lost and not knowing what to do next. Meanwhile, everyone I knew was moving up in life, getting accepted, getting engaged, etc. It was a hard pill to swallow. I had spent every summer since my second year of undergrad writing the MCAT. I ended up working in the same type of job for the next three years. I would urge you not to go into a Masters for the purpose of just boosting your app in some way (waste of money and time and commitment) - but if it's something you'd actually wanna do as a plan B then go for it! And don't feel peer pressured by people who tell you otherwise because half of them don't know what they're talking about. Someone told me to do an MBA because they knew someone who did an MBA and then got into med, but everyone's story is different. I also had no interest in doing an MBA so why would I do it just for the purpose of MAYBE getting into med. There is 100% A LOT of luck in this process so don't feel so defeated after one cycle - it's very subjective - especially for Calgary! If you ever need any help or advice, please feel free to PM me. 

Your vote of confidence is super reassuring. I have definitely been questioning everything after thinking I built myself up to be a competitive applicant- I just don't know what else I could realistically do. I saw in the U of A accepted/rejected thread that you had 5-7 years of clinical/medical work experience- this would confer a ton of hours which is very commendable and shows dedication. Do you think that could have made a big difference for yourself in terms of your EC score? Getting that amount of hours for employment alone would take me forever even though I am currently working full time. I really tried to explore areas I was passionate about, develop within my roles, and ultimately make a tangible impact. About 3 quarters of my activities were ongoing during school so there was just no way I could get more hours than I did without sacrificing my grades.  

A user on an accepted/rejected thread just prior to emails being sent out said something to the effect of "this is it- all those years of hard work for a high GPA, studying for the MCAT, curating unique and impactful ECs, and rigorously prepping for the interview comes down to tomorrow." It definitely struck a chord with me. I was so excited to show the interviewers who I was and what I was passionate about, only to not even get that opportunity. I feel like I have learned a ton of lessons and experienced immense personal growth, but at the cost of extensive personal sacrifice and no real jobs prospects. I don't really know how to feel about that. 

A masters is something I have always been hesitant about. I know that it gives you a slight boost at schools such as U of A and U of T, and it would give me time to acquire additional hours and some additional publications. It is definitely unfortunate that people project unidimensional ideas of success onto others as per your MBA example. There are many routes to medicine, and everyone’s journey looks different. 

Uncertainty and luck is absolutely involved as much as I wish it wasn't so :unsure:  I think I will try my hand again given everyone’s thoughts in this thread. I think some advice/help was definitely something I was ultimately lacking last cycle. If you don’t mind me reaching out for some help with writing/framing my activities later on, that would be much appreciated.

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19 hours ago, garceyues said:

Your vote of confidence is super reassuring. I have definitely been questioning everything after thinking I built myself up to be a competitive applicant- I just don't know what else I could realistically do. I saw in the U of A accepted/rejected thread that you had 5-7 years of clinical/medical work experience- this would confer a ton of hours which is very commendable and shows dedication. Do you think that could have made a big difference for yourself in terms of your EC score? Getting that amount of hours for employment alone would take me forever even though I am currently working full time. I really tried to explore areas I was passionate about, develop within my roles, and ultimately make a tangible impact. About 3 quarters of my activities were ongoing during school so there was just no way I could get more hours than I did without sacrificing my grades.  

A user on an accepted/rejected thread just prior to emails being sent out said something to the effect of "this is it- all those years of hard work for a high GPA, studying for the MCAT, curating unique and impactful ECs, and rigorously prepping for the interview comes down to tomorrow." It definitely struck a chord with me. I was so excited to show the interviewers who I was and what I was passionate about, only to not even get that opportunity. I feel like I have learned a ton of lessons and experienced immense personal growth, but at the cost of extensive personal sacrifice and no real jobs prospects. I don't really know how to feel about that. 

A masters is something I have always been hesitant about. I know that it gives you a slight boost at schools such as U of A and U of T, and it would give me time to acquire additional hours and some additional publications. It is definitely unfortunate that people project unidimensional ideas of success onto others as per your MBA example. There are many routes to medicine, and everyone’s journey looks different. 

Uncertainty and luck is absolutely involved as much as I wish it wasn't so :unsure:  I think I will try my hand again given everyone’s thoughts in this thread. I think some advice/help was definitely something I was ultimately lacking last cycle. If you don’t mind me reaching out for some help with writing/framing my activities later on, that would be much appreciated.

I'm not sure how much it could have affected my score - it's hard to say. Obviously for 4 of those years, I was in school, so I had a lot less hours then, but I worked at the same place for 6-7 years so I think the long-term commitment came through. I think having 75% of your activities during school would be understood by any committee. My score was 7/17 last year, and I changed my application a little this year. I understand the hurt of not getting an interview even when you feel like you're a competitive applicant. Last cycle, I had an interview at Calgary - and this year, I gave pretty much the same application with longer hours, and my scores went down to the point where I didn't interview there this cycle. It's a subjective process in a lot of ways. And yeah feel free to reach out and I can try to help.

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17 hours ago, gniyonna said:

I'm not sure how much it could have affected my score - it's hard to say. Obviously for 4 of those years, I was in school, so I had a lot less hours then, but I worked at the same place for 6-7 years so I think the long-term commitment came through. I think having 75% of your activities during school would be understood by any committee. My score was 7/17 last year, and I changed my application a little this year. I understand the hurt of not getting an interview even when you feel like you're a competitive applicant. Last cycle, I had an interview at Calgary - and this year, I gave pretty much the same application with longer hours, and my scores went down to the point where I didn't interview there this cycle. It's a subjective process in a lot of ways. And yeah feel free to reach out and I can try to help.

Thank you, I will be sure to reach out once applications start opening up in July :) 

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On 6/8/2020 at 7:16 PM, garceyues said:

Hey all, I am just trying to get as much feedback as possible on where I stand and should go from here. I recently graduated and did not receive any interviews this past cycle.  

Albertan resident, wGPA would be a ~3.87 for U of C and a ~3.83 for U of A (~3.8 when I applied to both schools last cycle). GPA would vary for OOP schools but considering how competitive things are my chances would be practically zero at any OOP school. MCAT: 512 (126 CARS).

E.Cs : Construction/warehouse/shipping job, paid oncology research summer position (presented results at several conferences orally and via poster), award to intern at a hospital clinic and some related inner city/rural organizations specialized for vulnerable populations, designed original lesson plans/experiments/exercises as an after school teacher for both general science and programming classes respectively, employment as the lead researcher on a study to develop healthcare information dissemination tools for vulnerable populations (got to see an entire study through from start to finish, first author publication currently being typed up), developed and sold an original product through a business team composed of high school students back in the day, later mentored several teams of students in developing their own respective products/businesses, leadership role for a student mental health initiative/film, primary event organizer for a registered charity where I lead multiple executive teams and several hundred volunteers in collaboration with stakeholders in the private and public sectors, student group executive position, drug and injury awareness program volunteer, first aid responder, psych lab researcher with experience across 3 different studies (1 publication submitted for review, 2 unfinished lit reviews & a conference presentation), part of a student led research initiative (also seeing this study through from start to finish, should result in another publication),part of an interdisciplinary leadership initiative, big brothers and sisters, two long term sports activities with evolving roles, music, international mission trip. Most of my activities have been going on for 2-3 years, with a couple exceptions on both ends of the spectrum. 

Honestly, I am not too sure where to go from here. I didn't really have anyone to talk to/compare applications with going into last cycle so I felt a bit unprepared and isolated in hindsight. There have been a couple of people who have reached out to me in the last month to offer their thoughts and support which I am extremely grateful for. Consulting these forums has been super helpful, and I think receiving as much feedback and input as possible would be extremely valuable. Would it be worth it to try my hand again? Should I take the time to do a masters to improve my application and get more ECs/hours under my belt and a slightly boosted GPA? Should I through in the towel? I am worried that not having 1000s of hours in each activity and ~5+ years per entry is holding me back, as well as mediocre grades.  

OP - tldr, do not give upYear application is amazing. I've met a lot of premeds during my application journey and throughout undergrad (n>100) and most have matriculated and your ECs are 90-95th percentile. Improve CARS and practice CASPer.

The application process is legit building a computer, you need every single bit otherwise it won't run. But once you have all the parts, I'd be surprised if you don't interview. If you have good parts, you'll sweep interviews. I know of a couple close friends with ECs that are similar to yours (yours tbh may be better if you spend some time and wrote them out) that went 9/10 pre-interview. Then had a CaRMS tour across Canada but for med interviews, wild right? My biggest suggestion here - improve your CARS score (my friends all had 128+ plus), you do research still? ask for feedback for your application from your PI, if you know of residents or current med students on research projects, ask them! Practice CASPer! GPA - hmm, most of my friends had 3.9X on the OMSAS scale but a) you're IP for Alberta which helps a lot b) You can still sweep interviews with a 3.8X, I know people that did, as long as you maximize the other aspects of your app which you easily can do!. 

As for applying OOP, 3.8X is fine for Ontario. If you're 3.9X with UofT's scheme, GPA shouldn't be a concern. It'll be the other aspects of your application, likewise for Ottawa. 3.8X is fine for McMaster, Queens, and Western. GPA isn't as make or break as people make it to be. I know tons of people with <3.9X that had numerous interviews in Ontario. Finally - you don't need 10 interviews, you don't need 5 interviews; all it takes is 1. You have so much going for you, don't give up. 

Feel free to message if you want to chat further.

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On 6/16/2020 at 10:36 PM, scholar_and_benchpress said:

OP - tldr, do not give upYear application is amazing. I've met a lot of premeds during my application journey and throughout undergrad (n>100) and most have matriculated and your ECs are 90-95th percentile. Improve CARS and practice CASPer.

The application process is legit building a computer, you need every single bit otherwise it won't run. But once you have all the parts, I'd be surprised if you don't interview. If you have good parts, you'll sweep interviews. I know of a couple close friends with ECs that are similar to yours (yours tbh may be better if you spend some time and wrote them out) that went 9/10 pre-interview. Then had a CaRMS tour across Canada but for med interviews, wild right? My biggest suggestion here - improve your CARS score (my friends all had 128+ plus), you do research still? ask for feedback for your application from your PI, if you know of residents or current med students on research projects, ask them! Practice CASPer! GPA - hmm, most of my friends had 3.9X on the OMSAS scale but a) you're IP for Alberta which helps a lot b) You can still sweep interviews with a 3.8X, I know people that did, as long as you maximize the other aspects of your app which you easily can do!. 

As for applying OOP, 3.8X is fine for Ontario. If you're 3.9X with UofT's scheme, GPA shouldn't be a concern. It'll be the other aspects of your application, likewise for Ottawa. 3.8X is fine for McMaster, Queens, and Western. GPA isn't as make or break as people make it to be. I know tons of people with <3.9X that had numerous interviews in Ontario. Finally - you don't need 10 interviews, you don't need 5 interviews; all it takes is 1. You have so much going for you, don't give up. 

Feel free to message if you want to chat further.

Thank you for your encouraging words. I was definitely questioning whether my ECs were any good considering I scored below average with them. I was thinking that most of my activities not having met the 1000-hour threshold was perhaps to blame, or maybe the activities themselves just weren't good enough.

That is a good analogy- any one component could stop an otherwise competitive applicant from succeeding. Do you think my CARS might be holding me back across Canada? I spoke to an admissions advisor prior to invites coming out about concerns with CASPer, and the person said my CASPer was fine. Of course, that is not to say I won't do everything I can to prep for it. I am currently involved in several labs and research projects, so I will be sure to reach out PIs and lab members for support. I unfortunately don't know a ton of med students (wish I had those connections :/ ), but there are a couple who have tried to help me out recently which I am truly appreciative of. Lol the OMSAS scale definitely doesn't help, although Western and Queens might give me a chance if I can fix my MCAT. Most people I know who interviewed or got in at U of A & U of C had ultra high GPAs and MCATs which doesn't bode well for me, but again my sample size is small.

I don't see a ton of people with lower GPAs interviewing at Ottawa, U of T or Mac, but I will definitely take a stab at them regardless. Just looking at the admission stats and the posters on this forum for those schools is quite eye opening. I personally don't know anyone who had Ontario interviews with less than a 3.9 wGPA. You are right though, the admissions process is very subjective; all it takes is one yes. Hopefully I can put my best foot forward this cycle.

As I start to craft my applications, any support would be appreciated

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1 hour ago, garceyues said:

Thank you for your encouraging words. I was definitely questioning whether my ECs were any good considering I scored below average with them. I was thinking that most of my activities not having met the 1000-hour threshold was perhaps to blame, or maybe the activities themselves just weren't good enough.

That is a good analogy- any one component could stop an otherwise competitive applicant from succeeding. Do you think my CARS might be holding me back across Canada? I spoke to an admissions advisor prior to invites coming out about concerns with CASPer, and the person said my CASPer was fine. Of course, that is not to say I won't do everything I can to prep for it. I am currently involved in several labs and research projects, so I will be sure to reach out PIs and lab members for support. I unfortunately don't know a ton of med students (wish I had those connections :/ ), but there are a couple who have tried to help me out recently which I am truly appreciative of. Lol the OMSAS scale definitely doesn't help, although Western and Queens might give me a chance if I can fix my MCAT. Most people I know who interviewed or got in at U of A & U of C had ultra high GPAs and MCATs which doesn't bode well for me, but again my sample size is small.

I don't see a ton of people with lower GPAs interviewing at Ottawa, U of T or Mac, but I will definitely take a stab at them regardless. Just looking at the admission stats and the posters on this forum for those schools is quite eye opening. I personally don't know anyone who had Ontario interviews with less than a 3.9 wGPA. You are right though, the admissions process is very subjective; all it takes is one yes. Hopefully I can put my best foot forward this cycle.

As I start to craft my applications, any support would be appreciated

CARS is definitely a big factor - the cutoff for Western and Queens this year was 127, just hitting those two scores would've added two schools to your application pool. Furthermore, your ECs are fine. I think the thing that really held you back this application cycle was inexperience writing your app, (maybe) CASPer, and CARS. Send me a message if you want to discuss further about them. 

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On 6/8/2020 at 5:16 PM, garceyues said:

Hey all, I am just trying to get as much feedback as possible on where I stand and should go from here. I recently graduated and did not receive any interviews this past cycle.  

Albertan resident, wGPA would be a ~3.87 for U of C and a ~3.83 for U of A (~3.8 when I applied to both schools last cycle). GPA would vary for OOP schools but considering how competitive things are my chances would be practically zero at any OOP school. MCAT: 512 (126 CARS).


Honestly, I am not too sure where to go from here. I didn't really have anyone to talk to/compare applications with going into last cycle so I felt a bit unprepared and isolated in hindsight. There have been a couple of people who have reached out to me in the last month to offer their thoughts and support which I am extremely grateful for. Consulting these forums has been super helpful, and I think receiving as much feedback and input as possible would be extremely valuable. Would it be worth it to try my hand again? Should I take the time to do a masters to improve my application and get more ECs/hours under my belt and a slightly boosted GPA? Should I through in the towel? I am worried that not having 1000s of hours in each activity and ~5+ years per entry is holding me back, as well as mediocre grades.  

I would definitely keep applying if I were you. I was lucky enough to get interviewed at UofA this year with similar stats, and imo, weaker ECs... I think there is a major subjective component in the way they assess applications. I would keep being involved in your current ECs, and move on with life... Don't live your entire life centered around waiting to get into med... keep being involved in things that interest you. If you want to do a master's sure why not! But please don't do it just to improve your application, I (personally) don't think it's necessary.

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I'm in the same situation as you, no interviews this cycle, unsure if I should be continuing to apply.  I might just go to the US and get over with the Canadian admissions, screw debt :(.  I think there is too much hype on CARS and the way you're ABS/essay is structured (outside of GPA). You could have amazing impact in your EC's but if they are not worded the way adcoms want to see it it doesn't matter. I had the same issue, had no medical students look over my essays (all 4 medical students said they were busy, what are the odds...). I'm probably going to get a professional medical application editing service next time (although I'm low SES) cause that's the way it is if you don't have the connections for support during this life changing application process. 

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On 6/20/2020 at 4:04 PM, petitmonstre111 said:

I would definitely keep applying if I were you. I was lucky enough to get interviewed at UofA this year with similar stats, and imo, weaker ECs... I think there is a major subjective component in the way they assess applications. I would keep being involved in your current ECs, and move on with life... Don't live your entire life centered around waiting to get into med... keep being involved in things that interest you. If you want to do a master's sure why not! But please don't do it just to improve your application, I (personally) don't think it's necessary.

There is absolutely a subjective component surrounding how ECs are interpreted. Its always worrying though, as there is the very real prospect that my ECs don't have whatever "x-factor" they might be looking for. Regardless, I am moving forward with my ECs and looking for a couple new ones to pick up as well just to further diversify.

 I really struggle with the moving on portion though. IMO its very difficult to try and be a competitive med applicant while not putting every last hour you have into it, unless you maybe have perfect grades or something that could provide some amount of flexibility in other areas. There is always another activity I could take on, and more hours that could be gained in my existing activities. I have found that the process has eroded my interest in some things I originally enjoyed. Doing an activity that I enjoy but can't be verified, isn't unique/impressive, or that I am not particularly skilled at almost seems redundant in my mind. I actually got into dancing during Uni, but I knew it would take forever to become really good at it and it wasn't very long term despite my immense interest in it. I ultimately dropped it as it didn’t seem conducive to my goal of pursuing med.

 I need to take this setback in stride and persevere hopefully. I will be careful about the prospect of starting a masters. I know I can't see myself in academia for life, so it doesn't really make sense to pursue it just for the sake of a different goal. 

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On 6/20/2020 at 9:29 PM, Medase said:

I'm in the same situation as you, no interviews this cycle, unsure if I should be continuing to apply.  I might just go to the US and get over with the Canadian admissions, screw debt :(.  I think there is too much hype on CARS and the way you're ABS/essay is structured (outside of GPA). You could have amazing impact in your EC's but if they are not worded the way adcoms want to see it it doesn't matter. I had the same issue, had no medical students look over my essays (all 4 medical students said they were busy, what are the odds...). I'm probably going to get a professional medical application editing service next time (although I'm low SES) cause that's the way it is if you don't have the connections for support during this life changing application process. 

I absolutely share your sentiment. It feels pretty terrible to put your heart and soul into this process for years on end and to not even receive an interview. If I recall correctly, there is currently only one study demonstrating that CARS is correlated with better clerkship performance (someone correct me if I am wrong!). Seems like insufficient grounds on its own for schools to base their admission criteria off of, but at the end of the day we have to do our best to navigate the circumstances of the admissions system. I am pretty sure some med students actually get to contribute to the admissions process, which is something I would like to pursue should I ever gain admission given how stressful things have been for myself and so many others.

I looked at your profile briefly and your stats are definitely competitive- especially your GPA. I think its definitely worth it to try your hand again. American schools aren't a terrible route either, as you would avoid most of the issues that come with being a typical IMG. However, Canadian med is very much within your reach as well. I think is clear from my post that there are a lot of people on this site willing to help out of pure goodwill. Applying to med has taken its toll on me, but it always comforts me to see how supportive some of the community members are here. Please don't feel obligated to pay for an editing service, especially if finances are an issue. Who better to help you than people going through this process or those who have already succeeded? This site has plenty of those :)

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On 6/20/2020 at 11:29 PM, Medase said:

I'm in the same situation as you, no interviews this cycle, unsure if I should be continuing to apply.  I might just go to the US and get over with the Canadian admissions, screw debt :(.  I think there is too much hype on CARS and the way you're ABS/essay is structured (outside of GPA). You could have amazing impact in your EC's but if they are not worded the way adcoms want to see it it doesn't matter. I had the same issue, had no medical students look over my essays (all 4 medical students said they were busy, what are the odds...). I'm probably going to get a professional medical application editing service next time (although I'm low SES) cause that's the way it is if you don't have the connections for support during this life changing application process. 

I’ll help this coming cycle. :P

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6 hours ago, garceyues said:

I absolutely share your sentiment. It feels pretty terrible to put your heart and soul into this process for years on end and to not even receive an interview. If I recall correctly, there is currently only one study demonstrating that CARS is correlated with better clerkship performance (someone correct me if I am wrong!). Seems like insufficient grounds on its own for schools to base their admission criteria off of, but at the end of the day we have to do our best to navigate the circumstances of the admissions system. I am pretty sure some med students actually get to contribute to the admissions process, which is something I would like to pursue should I ever gain admission given how stressful things have been for myself and so many others.

I looked at your profile briefly and your stats are definitely competitive- especially your GPA. I think its definitely worth it to try your hand again. American schools aren't a terrible route either, as you would avoid most of the issues that come with being a typical IMG. However, Canadian med is very much within your reach as well. I think is clear from my post that there are a lot of people on this site willing to help out of pure goodwill. Applying to med has taken its toll on me, but it always comforts me to see how supportive some of the community members are here. Please don't feel obligated to pay for an editing service, especially if finances are an issue. Who better to help you than people going through this process or those who have already succeeded? This site has plenty of those :)

Old VR (now CARS) had a study associated with higher score showed less likely to have Malpractice suits as well, but yeah the MCAT at a certain point is tenuous and not really correlated to much hah.

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