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FAQ: What are my chances?

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Went through this great flowchart, but since I am in a grey area for GPA and have abnormal research experience, it would be good to have some feedback before writing the MCAT this summer. I am an Ontarian who just graduated Queen's Life Sciences.

GPA (calculated with OMSAS): 3.74 (cGPA) / 3.85 (last 2 years, my best 2 years)/ 3.81 (best 2 years with UWO standards) / 3.87 (taking out the worst 8 half credits out as per U of T wGPA)

MCAT: as mentioned before, I will be writing this summer (unless my application seems too weak to have a chance)

Volunteering: 40-50 hours volunteering in a local hospital's Urgent Care Centre during my 4th year

Research: No lab research, however I have worked as a Project Assistant for a Clinical Research Coordinating Centre part-time for two school years, and full time for a 4 month summer. This has been an office job, where I have been the leader for the update of an internationally used research tool (Family Satisfaction with ICU questionnaire), took part in the auditing and closeout of a medical device trial, and assisted with the coordination of an end of life decision making study and a critical care nutrition trial. I've definitely worked more than 600 hours.

Extracurricular experience: Worked as a bartender at a student run bar in 4th year, Sponsorship Assistant for a student run Neuroscience conference in 3rd year, Brand ambassador for a nootropic in 3rd year, Water polo intramurals twice, ultimate frisbee intramurals once, Worked as a 1:1 camp counsellor for children with special needs after 1st year (my favorite job I've had)

My friends think that I'd do well on an interview, but I'd have to earn an interview first. I also feel like most applicants are either naturally good with interviews or prepare themselves thoroughly for interviews. It is true that I'm good with oral communication, confident speaking, and friendliness (I loved working as a camp counsellor, UCC volunteer and bartender) I really don't think it's something to bank my chances on.

So, with this GPA, with my abnormal research experience and with my limited volunteering, do I still have a chance for Canadian schools? Or should I do a Master's or look at alternative options to med.

Thanks for reading all this, and for offering any insight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello 

So I am currently freaking out about applying to Canadian med-schools and I know that it's only becoming more competitive so I am here to ask some questions and get a few opinions on my future steps.

I will be going into my 3rd year of undergrad in bio at UWindsor and my GPA has really take a horrible hit during second year. I know that I really need to turn things around for the next two years if I want to make Medschool happen but I feel like my chances of getting in even if I get 4.0 during my 3rd and 4th year, are really low. 

currently first year GPA: 3.67 (my GPA was dragged through the mud because of one single course in fall) second year GPA: 3.6 (I have no justification for this score, it was a horrible year) I did take two classes over the summer after my first year and got 4.0 in both of them but almost every medschool I've looked into stated that summer courses are not considered. (I had a full course load during the fall and winter semesters) 

This summer I am preparing to write the MCAT, if I still have a shot at Medschools, what score should I really be aiming for? I was thinking around 515 with a cGPA averaging at 3.84 (hopefully) will this make me competitive?

I am also very involved at the university in different leadership positions as well as research (1 year in an ecology lad and recently joined a biochem-physics lab and might get paid during the school year through a work-study program) I have also been volunteering at the hospital since I was 16 and I'm very involved with my community as well. I feel like all this involvement may only come in handy if I get an interview and does not really have a signifiant effect if my MCAT and GPA are not the greatest, is this true? 

if I do not get an interview after my 4th year of undergrad, should I be looking into improving my grades by doing a double degree program or something similar? if I were to take 1-2 extra years of courses, do they get considered for my GPA? anyone know how this would work? since this is not a traditional route, its harder to find online or on trustable resources. there are 2-3 courses I would really like to re-take to improve my grade in those classes, is it worth it or should I just look into taking different classes?

I have heard that doing a masters gives you experience in research which is really good, however it does not make a significant difference when applying for medical schools, can anyone attest to this as well?

would anyone know anything about applying to American medical schools? are their cut off GPAs and MCAT scores lower? I know that there are a lot more schools but how much "easier" will it be to get into American schools given my academic standing?

I would really appreciate any advice you have for me on how to approach this and proceed ahead 

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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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