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FAQ: What are my chances?

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I was thinking, maybe we should update that flow chart on the first page of this thread? It's over 10 years old at this point, and the grades you need to be competitive now are appreciably higher than they were in 2008. 

I'm going into my fourth year of undergrad, and I'm planning on applying only to the Northern Ontario School of Medicine this year because I haven't written the MCAT yet and I want to take some time after I graduate to prepare for it. I'm doing a nursing undergrad at Ryerson, so I didn't take the bio/chem/organic chem/math/physics courses, needed for it, and I need to go through those on my own if I'm going to have a shot at this thing. On the other hand, on the off-chance that I could get in at NOSM, that wouldn't be an issue, so I figure it's worth a shot. 

I'm not from Northern Ontario. I grew up in Toronto, although I did live in Sudbury from late 2012-mid 2014 to go to college (I have an electrical technician diploma from Cambrian College). My French is absolute entry-level. It's something I'm working on everyday, but right now I couldn't carry on a conversation in French. 

GPA (all numbers are using the OMSAS scale): cGPA is 3.88. Without summer courses it's a 3.87. First year GPA was a 3.78, 2nd year was a 3.95, 3rd year was a 3.91. In my upcoming 4th year I'll only have 6 courses because the last year of nursing school is focused mainly on clinical placements, so I don't anticipate that my GPA will change much either way; I'll probably be finishing my degree with a mid-high 3.8 on the OMSAS sale. 

ECs :

  • 100+ hours volunteering in Long Term Care
  • Since January of this year, I've been working part-time as a Personal Support Worker for a home care agency in downtown Toronto (12 hours/week). Care is usually monitoring, helping with transfers, housekeeping/organizing, reminders for things like medications, morning/personal care, etc. 
  • Director of Community Outreach for the Canadian Nursing Student's Association at my school (I help organize events for students related to career development and academic success, doing things like event planning, room booking, and fundraising).
  • Anatomy and Physiology Tutor (I create mock-exams and run sessions where we'd go through the content as a group).
  • Member of UHN's Learner Leadership Committee (we participate in focus groups and conferences directed at raising the quality of education at UHN facilities). 

This year I also won a student election to sit on the school's student senate for the following academic year, but that hasn't started yet. The student senate makes decisions related to curriculum changes, academic policy, accreditation requirements, etc. 

 

Research: No current publications, but I'm working with a prof on a few studies related to the impact of gun violence on homicide co-victims. She said she expects a few publications out of the work she's done, but no word yet on when that may happen. In addition, for this summer I've been working at a summer job with the Ontario Nurses Association, a provincial union. We're doing research on creating an evidence-based delivery model for the services they offer to their members. These are qualitative and administrative nursing research, not biomedical or clinical research. 

Does it sound like I have an outside chance? 

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Hello peeps! Long time lurker here:)

Im already halfway through my undergrad and will be entering 3rd year this September and I am terrified since I am losing hope to getting into medical school. I started first year really really bad and I’ve never felt so disappointed to myself. I couldn't even stare at my transcript because of my low gpa.

Here’s the breakdown of my GPA for the first 2 yrs of undergrad using OMSAS scale:

1st Year: 2.0 (2.0, 2.0)

2nd Year: 3.0 (2.7, 3.7)

 

Hopefully I can improve my gpa for 3rd and 4th year. I am also starting to get really interested in research, but becoming a doctor is my ultimate goal.

 

Current ECs:

Volunteering in a Research Lab

Executive of an Academic Club

Campus Ambassador

Orientation Week Volunteer

Outreach Volunteer to elementary and high school students by inspiring them and give more information about STEM.

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5 hours ago, thehopefulundergrad said:

Hello peeps! Long time lurker here:)

Im already halfway through my undergrad and will be entering 3rd year this September and I am terrified since I am losing hope to getting into medical school. I started first year really really bad and I’ve never felt so disappointed to myself. I couldn't even stare at my transcript because of my low gpa.

Here’s the breakdown of my GPA for the first 2 yrs of undergrad using OMSAS scale:

1st Year: 2.0 (2.0, 2.0)

2nd Year: 3.0 (2.7, 3.7)

 

Hopefully I can improve my gpa for 3rd and 4th year. I am also starting to get really interested in research, but becoming a doctor is my ultimate goal.

 

Current ECs:

Volunteering in a Research Lab

Executive of an Academic Club

Campus Ambassador

Orientation Week Volunteer

Outreach Volunteer to elementary and high school students by inspiring them and give more information about STEM.

Uhh. Don't worry about anything else until you bring your GPA up. Focus on getting those A's. You have basically one more year to bring your GPA up if you want to apply in your 4th year. If you can't bring your GPA up then you will likely do a pHd or 2nd undergrad. Hope this helps! 

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I just finished my 2nd UG, and I’m about to start a course-based master’s in the fall. But after flipflopping a bit, I’m starting to seriously consider medicine again. Realistically, I’d only have shots for Queen’s, or McGill if I redid some prereqs.

Queen’s (2 year GPA): 3.87, IP

McGill (2nd degree GPA): 3.93, OOP

Currently studying for MCAT, but aiming for 510+

I’m a bit concerned for my EC’s; I know that Queen’s focuses on this, and I’m worried that I’m lacking, especially in the typical “mentor/tutor/advocacy” activities.

·         (570 hours) UX researcher/product design lead on innovation projects at an education technology incubator

·         (130 hours) Medical illustrator for web apps for school’s courses

·         (170 hours) Medical animator

·         (220 hours) Hospital volunteer

·         (40 hours) Student newspaper illustrator

·         (100 hours) Student event photographer

·         (50 hours) Concussion education & baseline testing

·         Illustration blog for 4 years

·         Founded a health tech conference at school

·         Pretty much been running everyday for the past 10 years

·         Couple of awards for art, half-marathon running, typical grade-based/Dean’s list

·         No pubs yet, but hopefully one soon from my thesis course

 

I have the option to potentially TA at some point, but I'd ideally want something a bit more unique to my skills/interests that helps me stand out.

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On 5/20/2019 at 5:15 PM, Curveball said:

I was thinking, maybe we should update that flow chart on the first page of this thread? It's over 10 years old at this point, and the grades you need to be competitive now are appreciably higher than they were in 2008. 

Can't believe it's been that long already...

Barely recognize the medical school admissions process anymore. Anyways, I'm happy to refresh it, if someone would work on it.

I don't even know where to start... I don't even recognize how the MCAT is scored

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On 5/27/2019 at 3:55 PM, maverick5 said:

I just finished my 2nd UG, and I’m about to start a course-based master’s in the fall. But after flipflopping a bit, I’m starting to seriously consider medicine again. Realistically, I’d only have shots for Queen’s, or McGill if I redid some prereqs.

Queen’s (2 year GPA): 3.87, IP

McGill (2nd degree GPA): 3.93, OOP

Currently studying for MCAT, but aiming for 510+

I’m a bit concerned for my EC’s; I know that Queen’s focuses on this, and I’m worried that I’m lacking, especially in the typical “mentor/tutor/advocacy” activities.

·         (570 hours) UX researcher/product design lead on innovation projects at an education technology incubator

·         (130 hours) Medical illustrator for web apps for school’s courses

·         (170 hours) Medical animator

·         (220 hours) Hospital volunteer

·         (40 hours) Student newspaper illustrator

·         (100 hours) Student event photographer

·         (50 hours) Concussion education & baseline testing

·         Illustration blog for 4 years

·         Founded a health tech conference at school

·         Pretty much been running everyday for the past 10 years

·         Couple of awards for art, half-marathon running, typical grade-based/Dean’s list

·         No pubs yet, but hopefully one soon from my thesis course

 

I have the option to potentially TA at some point, but I'd ideally want something a bit more unique to my skills/interests that helps me stand out.

Those ECs look good for Queens. I've seen the ABS of many other students while I was prepping for the Queens panel, and my observations were that none of us really had the traditional premed profile, but a baseline of clinically/medically related stuff with other interesting stuff on the side.

As for "mentor/tutor/advocacy", these are always things you can choose to emphasize on in the activities listed. Founding a health tech conference? That could be advocacy since it can make students more aware of tech. Similarly, many leadership opportunities can also be mentorship and tutoring in their own light. Its up to you to arrange the qualities you want to show in each ABS entry. However, avoid going for very farfetched and unrealistic stretches. I'd say give Queens a shot!

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Hi everyone,

 

TLDR: UAlberta, low grades, second year done. Is Med even possible?

 

I'm going into third year undergrad at the UofA. I'm in the specializations biochemistry program.

I only very recently became interested in medicine after my PI mentioned that she was surprised I hadn't considered it (based on my interest in her project, and my performance so far - I asked her for more info and she helped me find some shadowing opportunities with some local physicians and I am interested in pursuing a rural or emergency medicine type of career, ideally in northern-ish Alberta so I can be close to family but I can move anywhere in Canada to study).

Unfortunately, I have been unsure about what to do with my life (lol) and mostly went to university because my parents said they would pay for three years, and I got scholarships that covered my first year based on my high school marks so my undergrad is covered financially (so far). I have a very low GPA so far: 3.0 in first year, 2.8 in second year (though I did poorly because I took MATH214 and got a D in Fall term (I took MATH214, CHEM263, BIOCH200, CHEM211, and PHYS281). My Winter term classes (BIOCH320, 330; CHEM213, PMCOL200, and CELL201) are all above B. If you get rid of the intro calc/chem/phys classes, my GPA increases dramatically, which is kind of pathetic tbh). Even if I get a 4.0 in third and fourth year, my cumulative GPA would still be WAY less than what anyone here posts about.

I just want to ask: is it even possible to pursue medicine with these grades so far?

Prior to shadowing and working with my supervisor this summer (who is quickly becoming an incredible mentor for me!), I was planning to apply to grad school, since I know I will do better on my future courses (all my pmcol and bioch courses taken in second year (PMCOL200, BIOCH200, BIOCH320, BIOCH330) are above B+) and I enjoy doing research.

I haven't really explored the ECs/MCAT side of applying, but I am heavily involved in research (my funding this summer was given to me by my PI, but I have done a lot of research in previous summer / fall / winter terms through courses and volunteering) and I've worked for the past two years at a fast-food job off campus. I was also in air cadets, and am currently a cadet instructor in a local squadron. I'm also actively involved in seven student groups on campus, and currently in a leadership position in two of them.

Obviously, to get a better GPA, I am willing to stop doing all of ^ (except the part-time job) and study hard.

I haven't really looked at the MCAT yet - I mostly want to know if I should even think of applying to medicine, based on my grades.

Thanks!

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I need some help...

I moved to Canada a couple years ago, and completely unaware of absolutely anything university related, I started my BSc in Edmonton.

Absolutely bombed my first 2 years, many reasons behind it (including serious family illnesses such as cancer & tumours, as well as my own health issues), plus many personal reasons.

Year 1: FALL 2017 (took 2 courses - 2.35 GPA) / WINTER 2018 (took 4 courses - 2.4 GPA)

Year 2: FALL 2018 (took 4 courses - 2.6 GPA) / WINTER 2019 (took 5 courses - 2.95 GPA)

Definitely back on track with my mental and physical health, as well as my family's health. I'd say that I am finally properly informed in regards to the GPA & credits system, and what's necessary in order to get into med school. I am definitely afraid that it might be too late for me to do anything to get into med school at this point. I am confident I will score high on mcats, as I already started studying, and that I will be able to achieve a 3.9-4.0 in my next 2 years. I have background in working in medical field for the past 3 years, and I am currently getting lots of volunteer work in.

I would love some advice, as I am really feeling discouraged at the moment..

 

Thank you!
-AW

 

 

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GPA: 3.73 OMSAS / 3.83 wGPA UofT / 3.83 wGPA for Ottawa so I can't even apply / 3.83 Queen's 2BY / can't apply to UWO this year and I'm a pharmacy student so I have to contact them to see how they would even calculate my 2 best years 

MCAT: rewriting soon, previous MCAT (from 2015) was 128/127/129/130 

ECs: pretty generic, lots of hospital volunteering, some leadership at hospital, on-campus emergency response team member in undergrad + leadership role, part time work history >6 yrs (2 yrs medical receptionist, 2 yrs pharmacy assistant), >300 hrs of pharmacy student placements with direct patient care, research assistant for a few years in undergrad, 1 publication (2nd author) and 1 poster presentation, started a pharmacy student job in late Aug so it'll be more direct patient care/counselling, starting a leadership position with the aforementioned emergency response team in Sept. Only "unique" hobby is 2 yrs interest/practice in scrapbooking/calligraphy

References: current pharmacist colleague, former MD boss from medical clinic, prof I published with

I've been struggling to improve my GPA for years and even though it seems ok now, it's not good enough by any means. I'm going into third year of pharmacy now and it's my last year to improve grades so of course it's not going to make a huge difference. I'm applying this year (UofT, Mac, Queens) but I feel really dejected about it.

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I am a more out-there candidate. Looking for advice, based in Ontario.

GPA: 3.77 OMSAS cGPA with all 5 years included. I had the following grades -

Y1: full course load (5 FCE) 3.91
Y2: full course load (5 FCE) 3.95
Y3: full coarse load (5 FCE) 3.96

[Summer course, 3.7 in 1 FCE]

and then I experienced a very traumatic situation in December and I basically had to withdraw from all my courses. It happened in the middle of December during my exam week. This was after I had lost a close relative (also right before exams) and gotten into a major car accident within a month. I was forced to withdraw from half my courses, wrote the other half and got a 3.5 and then the following year I took the other half got 3.6. The whole time I was struggling with my traumatic situation (I was recovering from very well-document sexual assault/abuse). After I withdrew from my courses, I thought my med school dreams were over. I had no one to really lean on and my parents had basically disowned me. I really needed to find either another route quick so that I wouldn't end up struggling. I wrote the LSAT, scored really well on it (177) and basically flew into the best law school in the country. I went and am completing my last year and have an articling job lined up. I've spent two summers in in full-service law firms which is usually "the dream" for a law student. I have full-time, "real job" corporate experience. I also am almost done a Masters degree in economics (will be done within a few months). I also have a slew of law school and Masters level activities on my resume, I have been a very active person. If I do ask for references, they will be from the General Counsel of a prominent financial services company, maybe the dean or a highly acclaimed professor, etc., a supervisor from a non-for-profit I volunteered with, a professor I was a research assistant for. I am currently a research assistant in both for a legal professor and a hard-science related professor, and a TA from a graduate and undergraduate stats class. My goal is publish but that might be unlikely. I have received 3 honors through my law school and graduate degree, and was on the deans list in undergrad. I've worked with medical start-ups through my graduate studies as well.

My law grades are graded on a honours/pass/fail basis - there is no GPA equivalent. I have not failed any classes and have achieved honors multiple times, including the dean's list once (huge honor because law school is graded on a curve, only 20 people make the list each year). As for MCAT, I got 129/129/128/130.

I realized I really don't want to do this and it never was the right fit for me. I get extremely emotional sad that I gave up my opportunity to go to medical school whenever I am around hospitals, etc. I don't like what I am doing now. I feel like it isn't the right fit and it is something I settled on because of my circumstances. I don't feel like I ever really fit in here. Everyone's parents were lawyers or doctors, meanwhile my parents didn't even graduate high school in their countries. So right off the bat, I just really didn't feel like I was going to get an opportunity to give back to the community. Under-represented, impoverished people are more prone to being sexually assaulted like I was, and going to law school i thought that I would get an opportunity to help directly with that, at least through pro-bono work, but opportunities are few and far in between.

Applying is kind of a huge deal to me. I am 26. I am open to re-writing the MCAT. I'm honestly worried about my age and the fact that the people in my personal life will look down on me for switching out of law for medicine. 

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1 hour ago, jdmbatomd said:

I am a more out-there candidate. Looking for advice, based in Ontario.

GPA: 3.77 OMSAS cGPA with all 5 years included. I had the following grades -

Y1: full course load (5 FCE) 3.91
Y2: full course load (5 FCE) 3.95
Y3: full coarse load (5 FCE) 3.96

[Summer course, 3.7 in 1 FCE]

and then I experienced a very traumatic situation in December and I basically had to withdraw from all my courses. It happened in the middle of December during my exam week. This was after I had lost a close relative (also right before exams) and gotten into a major car accident within a month. I was forced to withdraw from half my courses, wrote the other half and got a 3.5 and then the following year I took the other half got 3.6. The whole time I was struggling with my traumatic situation (I was recovering from very well-document sexual assault/abuse). After I withdrew from my courses, I thought my med school dreams were over. I had no one to really lean on and my parents had basically disowned me. I really needed to find either another route quick so that I wouldn't end up struggling. I wrote the LSAT, scored really well on it (177) and basically flew into the best law school in the country. I went and am completing my last year and have an articling job lined up. I've spent two summers in in full-service law firms which is usually "the dream" for a law student. I have full-time, "real job" corporate experience. I also am almost done a Masters degree in economics (will be done within a few months). I also have a slew of law school and Masters level activities on my resume, I have been a very active person. If I do ask for references, they will be from the General Counsel of a prominent financial services company, maybe the dean or a highly acclaimed professor, etc., a supervisor from a non-for-profit I volunteered with, a professor I was a research assistant for. I am currently a research assistant in both for a legal professor and a hard-science related professor, and a TA from a graduate and undergraduate stats class. My goal is publish but that might be unlikely. I have received 3 honors through my law school and graduate degree, and was on the deans list in undergrad. I've worked with medical start-ups through my graduate studies as well.

My law grades are graded on a honours/pass/fail basis - there is no GPA equivalent. I have not failed any classes and have achieved honors multiple times, including the dean's list once (huge honor because law school is graded on a curve, only 20 people make the list each year). As for MCAT, I got 129/129/128/130.

I realized I really don't want to do this and it never was the right fit for me. I get extremely emotional sad that I gave up my opportunity to go to medical school whenever I am around hospitals, etc. I don't like what I am doing now. I feel like it isn't the right fit and it is something I settled on because of my circumstances. I don't feel like I ever really fit in here. Everyone's parents were lawyers or doctors, meanwhile my parents didn't even graduate high school in their countries. So right off the bat, I just really didn't feel like I was going to get an opportunity to give back to the community. Under-represented, impoverished people are more prone to being sexually assaulted like I was, and going to law school i thought that I would get an opportunity to help directly with that, at least through pro-bono work, but opportunities are few and far in between.

Applying is kind of a huge deal to me. I am 26. I am open to re-writing the MCAT. I'm honestly worried about my age and the fact that the people in my personal life will look down on me for switching out of law for medicine. 

I wish you luck. I just want to point out three things. The title/prestige of the person who writes your medical school reference letters does not matter in any way. In fact, schools state that the referee's name/position is purposely removed. Average age at the start of medical schools in English medical schools in Canada is 24-25 (I know for a fact at UofC, UofA, UBC, Dal) to name a few. Thus, your age is not a factor. Lastly, if you want to do something; do it. As cliche as this sounds, you only have one life to live and do not do things/avoid things because you think "people in your personal life will look down on you." 

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Currently living in Ontario.

cGPA: ~3.75-3.8 (1st year: 3.4, 2nd: 3.71. 3rd: 3.89, 4th: 3.92, 5th: ~3.95)

MCAT: 128/124/127/126 (will be rewriting this summer, was averaging much higher but choked the day of)

ECs: Nothing amazing. Couple years of hospital volunteering, volunteering with kids, Mentoring, Fitness (running half-marathons/marathons/weightlifting/sports - all recreational), university ambassador (workshops), lots of research (worked in many different labs) with a couple of pending publications (a couple 2nd/3rd author and more 4th+, should be published by the end of this year) and 1 presentation, working retail job and doing website design for a couple of years.

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It's a long shot I know, but it's a life long dream. Currently pursuing a 5th year to improve my gpa - hopefully should have 3.60 cgpa and 2 year gpa (3rd + 4th year) is 3.63.

I have over 5 years volunteering at a hospital, a few research volunteer positions, shadowing at a hospital, shadowing with physiotherapist, and a research project 

MCAT - 512

How do my chances look? 

(looking for Ontario university)

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It's a long shot I know, but it's a life long dream. Currently pursuing a 5th year to improve my gpa - hopefully should have 3.60 cgpa and 2 year gpa (3rd + 4th year) is 3.63.

I have over 5 years volunteering at a hospital, a few research volunteer positions, shadowing at a hospital, shadowing with physiotherapist, and a research project 

MCAT - 512

How do my chances look? 

(looking for Ontario university)

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Pretty slim, unless you're Indigenous/French/Northern. What's your CARS score?

For Ottawa your GPA is below the cutoff, for Toronto you're far below competitive, for Western your GPA is below the cutoff, McMaster would be a longshot unless you have 130+ CARS. Queens may work, but you're on the edge there. 

So to recap, unless you have a great CARS score, you're limited to Queens, which depending on your subsection scores, may autoreject you. 

Your best course forward is to up your GPA or consider backups. 

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2 minutes ago, MedicineLCS said:

Pretty slim, unless you're Indigenous/French/Northern. What's your CARS score?

For Ottawa your GPA is below the cutoff, for Toronto you're far below competitive, for Western your GPA is below the cutoff, McMaster would be a longshot unless you have 130+ CARS. Queens may work, but you're on the edge there. 

So to recap, unless you have a great CARS score, you're limited to Queens, which depending on your subsection scores, may autoreject you. 

Your best course forward is to up your GPA or consider backups. 

Hi thanks for the quick reply!

My CARS is 124. What do you mean by subsection scores? 

 

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Your B/B, CARS, C/P, and P/S scores are your subsection scores. 

If your CARS score is a 124 you have essentially no schools. Queens will outscreen you, and McMaster is essentially impossible. 

Your only course of action is to rewrite the MCAT and significantly up your GPA, following weighting rules. This will take awhile, so you'll need to decide if you want to spend the time going back to school for just a chance to get in. 

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On 2/12/2020 at 3:57 PM, MedicineLCS said:

Pretty slim, unless you're Indigenous/French/Northern. What's your CARS score?

For Ottawa your GPA is below the cutoff, for Toronto you're far below competitive, for Western your GPA is below the cutoff, McMaster would be a longshot unless you have 130+ CARS. Queens may work, but you're on the edge there. 

So to recap, unless you have a great CARS score, you're limited to Queens, which depending on your subsection scores, may autoreject you. 

Your best course forward is to up your GPA or consider backups. 

Hey just curious, but how does being french help you get into Ontario med schools?

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