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Success Stories- Non Trad Style!

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Really enjoying reading everyone's stories. Such vim, vigour and courage on here. I am a non traditional applicant giving Mac another go this year. I applied to Mac back in 2011, got an interview, got on the wait list, didn't get in, then had an "unexpected" little one and decided recently to try again. Am nerve wracked over writing another MCAT in September. Scored an 8 on the old MCAT and must score at least a 123 on the new one, hopefully higher. Not sure if I am starting to study early enough but plan to re-write and re-apply again at least a couple of more times. I'm 41, a clinical social worker, with 15 years of experience working in health care. Recently I've worked in the hep c and HIV fields and am aiming to get in for the same reason as last the try: family medicine with marginalized communities. Wondering if it's much too late in life to be going at this again but feel it's worth the work and effort at least one more time. I have a graduate degree in social work (an MSW) and cGPA is 3.76. Hoping to get a more competitive MCAT score than last time and hoping to do decently again on the CASPER (although I don't know how I scored a lot of the content and thought processing came quickly to me during the CASPER due to my daily work in the social determinants of health). All the best to everyone on here.  

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Really enjoying reading everyone's stories. Such vim, vigour and courage on here. I am a non traditional applicant giving Mac another go this year. I applied to Mac back in 2011, got an interview, got on the wait list, didn't get in, then had an "unexpected" little one and decided recently to try again. Am nerve wracked over writing another MCAT in September. Scored an 8 on the old MCAT and must score at least a 123 on the new one, hopefully higher. Not sure if I am starting to study early enough but plan to re-write and re-apply again at least a couple of more times. I'm 41, a clinical social worker, with 15 years of experience working in health care. Recently I've worked in the hep c and HIV fields and am aiming to get in for the same reason as last the try: family medicine with marginalized communities. Wondering if it's much too late in life to be going at this again but feel it's worth the work and effort at least one more time. I have a graduate degree in social work (an MSW) and cGPA is 3.76. Hoping to get a more competitive MCAT score than last time and hoping to do decently again on the CASPER (although I don't know how I scored a lot of the content and thought processing came quickly to me during the CASPER due to my daily work in the social determinants of health). All the best to everyone on here.  

 

Best of luck! And, it's never too late in life to go after what you want!

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Thanks. I'm a single parent and am having serious second thoughts about leaving my home city where my support network is. Especially come clerkship. Am re-thinking a second degree (BSc) to allow me the option of applying to University of Ottawa. That option seems wisest but also like the time it will take to complete isn't feasible given that I'm 41. Not sure. Any non-trads on here with children?

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I'm currently pursuing my MBA but am considering a career in Medicine afterwards. As I was researching applicant anecdotes online, I found some interesting articles that might interest others like myself who are thinking about medical school as a non-traditional applicant: http://guidetomed.com/6-1-engineering/. This one is about a current resident who completed both a Bachelor's and Master's in Engineering before moving to the Medicine track; impressive! (The article is from some free admissions guide material I found online and none of the content belongs to me.)

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Hello,


I would appreciate some advice on studying for the MCAT and eventually applying to Med school.


I was an international student from Africa to the US. Studied Nursing because it was more affordable; as an international student, one has to pay tuition and fees from personal savings , so applying to Med could only be a dream. l Moved to Canada  after obtaining my Canadian PR. Nursing is my second degree.  I have a BSc. in Biochemistry from my country.


I currently work as an RN in Long Term Care. I have always wanted to study medicine but have had to overcome many roadblocks. I have thought of the NP, MPH+++ route but I know I won’t be fulfilled doing something other than Med.


I want to try applying to medical school next year but have to write the MCAT.   My Bio Chem degree was in 2002, Nursing degree 2011.  It’s been many years since I took the science courses.


Can I get a decent MCAT score from taking one of those prep courses offered by eg. Kaplan, Princeton? If there is anyone out there who has been out of school for a long time and did Ok (fairly) on the MCAT , I really would appreciate knowing how.


Thanks

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Really enjoying reading everyone's stories. Such vim, vigour and courage on here. I am a non traditional applicant giving Mac another go this year. I applied to Mac back in 2011, got an interview, got on the wait list, didn't get in, then had an "unexpected" little one and decided recently to try again. Am nerve wracked over writing another MCAT in September. Scored an 8 on the old MCAT and must score at least a 123 on the new one, hopefully higher. Not sure if I am starting to study early enough but plan to re-write and re-apply again at least a couple of more times. I'm 41, a clinical social worker, with 15 years of experience working in health care. Recently I've worked in the hep c and HIV fields and am aiming to get in for the same reason as last the try: family medicine with marginalized communities. Wondering if it's much too late in life to be going at this again but feel it's worth the work and effort at least one more time. I have a graduate degree in social work (an MSW) and cGPA is 3.76. Hoping to get a more competitive MCAT score than last time and hoping to do decently again on the CASPER (although I don't know how I scored a lot of the content and thought processing came quickly to me during the CASPER due to my daily work in the social determinants of health). All the best to everyone on here.  

 

Hello NRE,

 

I hope you did better on the MCAT. I would like to know how you studied for the MCAT. Did you go back to school to take the science courses? (You can read my post to learn a little about me). I am soon to be 37, and really want to give medical school a shot. I have always wanted to do this.

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I wanted to post my story specifically for those non-trads with lower GPAs.

 

Here we go. I knew I wanted to be a doctor from a young age (so I guess in that sense I am traditional!). The battle of getting into med really started for me in first year university. I was the first one in my family to attempt a university degree, and I was from a small town, so I really had no clue about the whole “pre-med strategy”. I chose a biochemistry undergrad because I liked biology and chemistry (it seemed to be a no brainer to me). In first year I obtained As, but also Bs and Cs. The transition from small town to city life was quite the adjustment and I was proud of the fact that I was going to university in a city and doing what I thought was “well” in a difficult program. Up until this point my average was probably a solid B/B+. It didn’t dawn on me that this would be a major hurdle of getting into med until midway through 3rd year. In one of my classes a prof mentioned that if you didn’t have at least a 3.7 GPA you could kiss scholarship funding (i.e. NSERC, CIHR) goodbye. This struck terror into me. If I “couldn’t even” get grad funding with a less than 3.7 GPA, did this mean I couldn’t get into med school? Trying to find a prof to take me for a 4th year research project was when reality really started to sink in. In interview after interview profs were telling me I just wasn’t honours research material because of my bad grades.

 

Luckily, I found one prof who was amazing. For the first time in my life I had someone take me under their wing and mentor me. During the interview she told me she purposely didn’t look at my grades, because as an undergrad, the most important thing was whether I would “mesh” well in the lab. She was extremely kind, supported me in the lab, and handed down many many pearls of wisdom. Encouraged by my supervisor and research project, I realized at this point if I didn’t pull up my GPA, I wouldn’t get into graduate school. I threw everything I had into 4th year and with a supportive environment I was able to get a GPA of 3.85. Even with this, I only ended up with an overall undergrad OMSAS GPA of 3.2.

 

** This is where I have to go on a tangent. I hate that lower GPAs are somehow synonymous with laziness. For me, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I studied very hard during my undergrad and was proud of my marks, until I entered the graduate/pre-med world. Sure, I struggled with a 6 course semester load and did horribly in organic chemistry I, II, and III, but it doesn’t make me lazy. I was raised in an environment where if you couldn’t handle everything on your own you just “weren’t good enough”. This resulted in a self-imposed barrier that prevented me from seeking help from fellow classmates or professors. Asking for help was viewed as “bad and weak” because I should be smart enough to know how to do it by myself. This resulted in me throwing even more time into studying, although without guidance, my attempts were pretty futile. This lead me to believe my “low GPA” was because I just wasn’t smart enough. At least this is what people were telling me. At this point I had really convinced myself that I just wasn’t smart enough for medicine. Luckily, I thoroughly enjoyed 4th year and the awesome environment I did my research project in, so I pursued graduate studies instead. ** Tangent over.

 

I took a 4th year pharmacology course and LOVED it, so I applied to and interviewed at graduate schools in pharmacology in Ontario and Quebec. I was accepted into one program, but because of grades wasn’t able to find a professor willing to take me. I eventually found a prof willing to take me at another school, but was rejected by that school (grades again). I had a decision to make, abandon graduate school or take a “special” year at the school to show that I really wanted to be there. Luckily the professor was still willing to pay me a graduate stipend (even though I wasn’t in grad school) as well as allow me to work in the lab. I interviewed again the following year and was thankfully accepted into the Master’s program. For the first time, I started to thrive. Once I was in, my GPA was no longer looked at, and I felt on an even playing field with my fellow colleagues. I loved research and the hospital centre our lab was in. I was working alongside physicians and this just re-enforced to me how much I wanted to go into medicine. I wanted to do my (now) PhD proper justice though, and threw myself into my projects. I was working very hard, but was also really happy and proud of the process I was making. During my 7 year PhD I was fortunate to present my research findings at national and international conferences and to publish good quality papers.

 

Riding on my newly restored self-confidence I thought I would try to apply to medicine for the first time (2012-2013 cycle). Since I came from a small rural town, I decided NOSM was my best option. Again, after seeing my horrific OMSAS calculated GPA of 3.2 sitting in front of me, I was expecting a full out rejection. Many people around me also discouraged me from applying because of my “really bad GPA”. I knew deep down though I would forever feel the regret if I didn’t at least try. I applied and to my absolute shock and delight I was offered an interview. This REALLY encouraged me, someone WAS interested in me. I went to the interview and was rejected afterwards. This rejection didn’t hit me too hard because I realized:

 

1) My GPA was low (by pre-med standards), and I would need the GPA boost from my completed PhD

2) I didn’t have as many ECs as I could. I decided to sit the following year out to graduate from my PhD and to take time to do as many volunteer ECs as I could.

 

I reapplied in the 2014-2015 cycle thinking I had a much better shot (increased GPA and better ECs). Thankfully, I was offered an interview again at NOSM. I practiced the CRAP out of interviewing. I practiced at least 2 hours every other day from the time I received an interview invite until I had my interview. I knew my lower GPA would hold me back, so I had to knock the interview out of the park. But, as long as I had an interview, I had a shot, right?! I completed the interview and thought I had done really well. I figured this was my best shot. I found out that May that I was rejected. This second rejection hit me really hard.

 

At this point I realized I would have to face my biggest fear – writing the MCAT. After hearing so often how bad my GPA was, I actually started believing I wasn’t smart enough to do well on the MCAT. MCAT prep courses weren’t an option for me, so I would have to do the studying on my own. I threw myself into studying and set myself an ambitious 2.5 month study plan. I wrote the MCAT and actually came out of the exam, got into the car, told my boyfriend that my dream of getting into medical school was over, before bursting into tears. I fully convinced myself I had bombed the exam. After the agonizing wait I found out my MCAT wasn’t as bad as I thought it was – 128/131/127/126 (overall 512). Not amazing by many people’s standards (ouch to psych/soc), but a huge confidence boost for someone like me that had convinced myself I wasn’t smart enough. At least my MCAT wouldn’t hold me back like my GPA was.

 

I applied to medical schools across Canada and even Singapore this past cycle and took a second year undergrad English Lit course to satisfy the UBC pre-req, but then I started to seclude myself. Surrounding myself with negative self-thoughts and negative people, I spiraled into anxiety and mild depression. This forced me into a position that I had never been in before. I was not happy with the person I was. I realized it was the time for introspection. Negativity had convinced me I was not good enough, that I should have known I was going to do poorly in undergrad, and that I should have somehow done better. I dwelled in the “failure” of my past, fretting over how grades from 10 years ago were impacting and dictating my future. Didn't they know that wasn't who I was now? With a well-earned PhD from a respected institution, good publications, and solid ECs, it seemed I would never be able to redeem myself and crawl out of the hole of my undergrad GPA. From those around me I received remarks like, “you have a PhD, you should go into the pharmaceutical world and actually make decent money”, “your undergrad GPA isn’t competitive enough”, “its time to let your dream go, you are too old to do this now”, etc … When I finally had the courage to reach out to family, I was made to feel guilty for feeling anxious/depressed because “other people go through harder things than you and they aren’t anxious/depressed.” They also told me medicine probably wasn’t in my future and that I needed to move on, I was told “not everyone gets into medicine you know!” After battling through this for many months, I came to realize just how important a supportive and encouraging network is. My boyfriend has been amazing for this, he never once questioned my reasoning or ability and was there through every tear telling me to keep going. Also, countless “check-ins” and words of encouragement from friends got me through the darkest days. Surround yourself with people like that. I am convinced your environment will make or break you.

 

Also, let go of any preconceived notions you have about where you will get in. I had convinced myself NOSM was the only realistic choice for me because of where I was born and raised, my GPA, and my age. After interviewing at UBC I can now fully appreciate that UBC is a much better fit for me than NOSM. The fit of the school really is important for your future success but also for admissions. I did my UBC interview in Feb and my NOSM interview in April and I was the same person for both interviews, nothing changed. UBC accepted me and NOSM rejected me again (for a third time). Apply broadly!

 

I sometimes kick myself for not doing some of these things sooner (i.e. writing the MCAT, applying more broadly, getting over my insecurities). At 31, I have to remind myself that 2 years ago I wasn’t the person I am now. Suffering through the horrible downward spiral of anxiety and depression let me see life from another perspective. Again, I was raised in an environment where anxiety and depression meant something was “wrong” with you and that you just needed to “pull yourself” out of it, “other people have it much worse!” I was always told. I blamed myself for not being a mentally stronger person, and convinced myself that I didn’t belong in medicine; I was too weak to handle it. You really can be your own worst enemy/biggest hurdle. Having gone through this process though, it really taught me empathy and understanding for others. You can’t possibility know what other people go through or the demons they battle. The best thing you can do is just validate and support that person's journey. Often the person doesn't need you to solve their problems or certainly not judge them, but they just want understanding and support.

 

I want to stress what others on this non-trad thread have already said (wow, lots of rhyming in that sentence!). Med school admissions involve luck. First of all, to everyone that asks “am I competitive enough”? I was told repeatedly that I wasn’t. I let this get to me. Regardless of what people say, you won’t know until you TRY. If NOSM rejected me flat out in 2012, I probably would have given up hope then, but they didn’t. Second of all, what you think is your best application might not get you in, whereas your “worst” (I use that VERY loosely) application might. Lastly, if you don’t get in, try, try, try again. Continually better yourself year after year and hopefully lady luck will be on your side. I am beyond humbled and overjoyed that UBC accepted me into their program and I know that I will never take my seat for granted.

 

So, if you have made it this far à The main message I want to get across to you is, you are NOT your GPA, you are so much more than that! I know it is an uphill battle for us low GPAers, as well as non-trads, but please PLEASE don’t give up. Surround yourself with motivating/encouraging people, put in the hard work, and above all believe in yourself! You CAN do it! I just did J.

thank you for this, currently having a bit of a meltdown over my chances of receiving an interview (same story, low GPA but great research and people who were willing to give me a chance) and you give me hope!

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Hello,

I would appreciate some advice on studying for the MCAT and eventually applying to Med school.

I was an international student from Africa to the US. Studied Nursing because it was more affordable; as an international student, one has to pay tuition and fees from personal savings , so applying to Med could only be a dream. l Moved to Canada  after obtaining my Canadian PR. Nursing is my second degree.  I have a BSc. in Biochemistry from my country.

I currently work as an RN in Long Term Care. I have always wanted to study medicine but have had to overcome many roadblocks. I have thought of the NP, MPH+++ route but I know I won’t be fulfilled doing something other than Med.

I want to try applying to medical school next year but have to write the MCAT.   My Bio Chem degree was in 2002, Nursing degree 2011.  It’s been many years since I took the science courses.

Can I get a decent MCAT score from taking one of those prep courses offered by eg. Kaplan, Princeton? If there is anyone out there who has been out of school for a long time and did Ok (fairly) on the MCAT , I really would appreciate knowing how.

Thanks

 

 

Hello Breah,

 

I can give you some info on what my background is and what my process is. My last biology and chemistry courses were in 2005-2006. I never took any biochemistry, psychology or sociology classes. From 2007 to 2011, I did an undergraduate program in mechanical engineering (absolutely nothing related to biology or organic chemistry and very little general chemistry) and worked in the industry a total of 16 months as part of internships. All of this was in French mind you, my native language. From 2012 to now, things were a little bumby... I started a master's degree again in engineering, did great and got about 20k in scholarships the first year, second year went ok but I was starting to loose my motivation, some aspects of the project were looking more and more scientifically useless as it progressed, some things were becoming hard to deal with in my personal life. The third and fourth years were very hard personally, didn't do much in terms of my masters because of this. I think I entered a serious depression from mid 2014 all the way up to the beginning of 2016. I completely and suddenly dropped out from everything social and academic I was doing, including my masters, for about 10 months. My director was very understanding, and thanks to him, I was able to make a comeback and finish my work and write my final essay by December 2016.

 

I wrote the MCAT on January 28th 2017, having prepared (very seriously though!) for a little more than a month with no books or courses, just KHAN Academy videos on accelerated playback. My score isn't outstanding, but it's ok : 503 and above the 50th percentile in every section, some above the 85th. 

 

I don't feel that it's quite enough for medical school, but it has given me confidence that I can probably do better! After having gone through all those tumultuous years, I didn't know if my mind was still sharp enough to get a good score on the MCAT. Now I feel confident that I can with more study (3-4 months will be plenty I think) and an even stricter MCAT-mimicking routing on the days leading up to the test. Indeed, I realized on test day that the test is VERY long, and you can't stand up, you can't walk for 30 seconds, the chair might be uncomfortable, and you ABSOLUTELY have to stay focused, more so than in any other test. Also, you probably have to wake up at about 6 AM. I will mimic this routine of waking up early and solving passages for several hours for several days before the test. the official AAMC resources (question packs and practice tests) are great for that.

 

I hope this has given you some motivation to keep going. I'm not saying that you will get 503 by watching videos for a month, but if you're really dedicated and motivated, just take the time and do it. If you feel that you need to get a broader overview before studying specifically for the MCAT, there are some great free online courses given by the best universities in the world. Here are some examples: psychology (MIT), Introductory biology (MIT), etc. I'm not saying these are the best or needed, but you can certainly learn all there is to learn freely, online and at your own pace before reviewing intensely for the MCAT.

 

Best Regards

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I am so grateful for all of your stories! I am 24, and finishing an undergraduate degree  (BA Hons. Music) this spring and I am about to embark on a long non-traditional pre-med journey... 

All of your patience and perseverance is so inspiring!

 

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Applying to med school at 38. Have 3 daughters aged 21, 17 and 11. I have my own plumbing business and specialise in technical and troubleshooting jobs. I feel that my skill set and life experiences will serve me well in my quest to practice medicine. My dexterity, steady hands and level headedness are being wasted building other people's dreams when I could instead be contributing to saving others. I have a couple of friends in medicine and I've had clients that are MD's and theyve all shared similar stories of regret with their choice. They all went into medicine for the money. No doubt they do well, but the "grass is greener on the other side" adage is part of their lament. The common thread, in my opinion based on what they've shared with me, is that they missed out on life during formative years. I've worked backwards in many regards. Life started early with kids and helping my wife get through law school. A couple of kids later, almost mortgage free, and in a position of not needing onerous student loans....I find myself at my "mid life crisis" phase. Any advice or and guidance is great. This post was primarily about putting pen to paper, so-to-speak; in an effort to validate my thoughts.

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I am so grateful for all of your stories! I am 24, and finishing an undergraduate degree  (BA Hons. Music) this spring and I am about to embark on a long non-traditional pre-med journey... 

 

All of your patience and perseverance is so inspiring!

 

 

 

Best wishes to you. If you require any help let me know and I'll try my best.

 

 

Applying to med school at 38. Have 3 daughters aged 21, 17 and 11. I have my own plumbing business and specialise in technical and troubleshooting jobs. I feel that my skill set and life experiences will serve me well in my quest to practice medicine. My dexterity, steady hands and level headedness are being wasted building other people's dreams when I could instead be contributing to saving others. I have a couple of friends in medicine and I've had clients that are MD's and theyve all shared similar stories of regret with their choice. They all went into medicine for the money. No doubt they do well, but the "grass is greener on the other side" adage is part of their lament. The common thread, in my opinion based on what they've shared with me, is that they missed out on life during formative years. I've worked backwards in many regards. Life started early with kids and helping my wife get through law school. A couple of kids later, almost mortgage free, and in a position of not needing onerous student loans....I find myself at my "mid life crisis" phase. Any advice or and guidance is great. This post was primarily about putting pen to paper, so-to-speak; in an effort to validate my thoughts.

 

First off it's never too late. Despite the long journey, your family will be able to help support you during the tough times. Although I'm unsure of specific advice to give, I can give you and your family some best wishes.

 

It's nice to be able to come back to the non-trad success forum having posted my own story two years ago. I stand by to help however I can.

 

Take care,

 

- G 

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Best wishes to you. If you require any help let me know and I'll try my best.

 

 

 

First off it's never too late. Despite the long journey, your family will be able to help support you during the tough times. Although I'm unsure of specific advice to give, I can give you and your family some best wishes.

 

It's nice to be able to come back to the non-trad success forum having posted my own story two years ago. I stand by to help however I can.

 

Take care,

 

- G 

 

 

GH0ST, your caring attitude inspires me :)

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Hey everyone,

 

Thought I would share my story to inspire hope to others (especially those with lower MCAT scores). 

 

I was your typical pre-med throughout university, although I didn't really know what it took to get into medical school when I started (no one in my family comes from a science/medical background). I started university thinking that a B would be a good average, I had this idea that getting an A in university was this esoteric idea and that I would never really be able to attain those types of grades (although I was a 90 student in high school). I compared myself to my brother who was naturally smart, whereas, I was dedicated, hard-working, yet never as smart as him (still not!). My first year of university I achieved a 3.41 (on a 4.3 scale!). I wasn't too disappointed in myself, however, this was around the time I found these forums - saw the 4.0s and knew that I had to do better. So I changed my view and study habits completely come 2nd year. 

 

In my 2nd year, it was tough, I barely got out, my life was dedicated to my studies and spent in the library, however I quickly realized that I enjoyed what I was studying (anatomy, physiology) and I knew that medicine would be the only career path that I could find myself in (due to my passion for the sciences and my relentless work-ethic). I continued to push myself everyday, I studied day in and day out, volunteered as much as I could. I think this year was the biggest year of my intellectual growth -- but I only netted a 3.78 GPA. However, this year was my stepping stone to success, I had jumped from a B+ --> A- and knew that I could jump again.

 

In 3rd and 4th year I became really good at time managing (balancing both my academic and social life). I now was enjoying school and enjoying what else university had to offer - I also got a job these two years because of family/financial issues at home. Despite the unfortunate circumstances at home, I was happy - I loved academia, what I was studying and I continued to push myself. I knew I could be that 4.0 student I never thought I could be. My 3rd year GPA ended up being 3.91, and 4th year == 4.0! My studies were a sort of safe haven for me, because despite what was happening at home I was excelling and getting myself where I wanted to be.... except...

 

The MCAT.. I wrote my first exam in my summer after 2nd year of university.. I thought by throwing myself in MCAT study mode, studying everyday and doing what I had done in university would work for me, that I would get a good score. After writing my exam, I was ambivalent, I thought all that studying would at least turn out OK... But when I got my score back, this was not the case -- I scored a 26. This was probably the lowest I had ever felt in my life. All my friends had killed the exam, but I was falling behind and failing. Although I wallowed in sorrow for a bit, I didn't let the number define me. I wrote the exam again the following year, scored a 28.. Again the exam had beaten me, but at least it was an improvement. After 4th year I knew I was not going into medical school, my 1st year marks had ruined my chances at schools like Toronto/Ottawa (the only schools I would have had a shot at) and my MCAT was holding me back from the rest. I decided to pursue a MSc and take 1 year off from the MCAT.

 

In my summer after my 1st year of my MSc, I attempted the new MCAT. Studying was going pretty well, I had learnt new approaches to learning in my MSc and I think just my continued persistence in academia and shaping my way of learning had improved my scores on the new exam, I was achieving pretty great scores (for myself) getting around 512+ to 517 on my AAMC final practice test. I wrote my exam that summer and got my score back (510), I was happy about my overall score, I had finally cracked the 80th percentile, but knew it would still hold me back, and I knew I could do better. However, I decided not to re-write and give applications a shot. 

 

I applied to Dalhousie, Queen's, Toronto, Ottawa, UBC (as an OOP applicant). I was utterly shocked to get my first interview invitation to UBC in December. My dreams were finally becoming a reality, I was on my way! Shortly after, I received invitations to Ottawa and Toronto. I would never have thought that I would EVER get an invitation to Toronto... I always used to do research there in my summers but I never thought I was good enough. 

 

Long behold, Toronto was my first and only acceptance (thus far). So I guess I just want to say one thing for future applicants and those aspiring to do medicine. Never doubt yourself. Ever. If you really put your mind to something, and never let anything hold you back, you will get there..eventually.

 

I will never take for granted how lucky I was to achieve an acceptance letter.

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Applying to med school at 38. Have 3 daughters aged 21, 17 and 11. I have my own plumbing business and specialise in technical and troubleshooting jobs. I feel that my skill set and life experiences will serve me well in my quest to practice medicine. My dexterity, steady hands and level headedness are being wasted building other people's dreams when I could instead be contributing to saving others. I have a couple of friends in medicine and I've had clients that are MD's and theyve all shared similar stories of regret with their choice. They all went into medicine for the money. No doubt they do well, but the "grass is greener on the other side" adage is part of their lament. The common thread, in my opinion based on what they've shared with me, is that they missed out on life during formative years. I've worked backwards in many regards. Life started early with kids and helping my wife get through law school. A couple of kids later, almost mortgage free, and in a position of not needing onerous student loans....I find myself at my "mid life crisis" phase. Any advice or and guidance is great. This post was primarily about putting pen to paper, so-to-speak; in an effort to validate my thoughts.

I don't know where you are on this journey. Age is just a number, relatively unimportant, although you bring to the table your life experience, being level headed and having your priorities straight. All you need, which you have already, is discipline, focus and persistence to succeed. I wish you every success and our membership are here to support you in this journey.  

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Six years ago I embarked on a journey to fulfill my dream of becoming a doctor and I'm thrilled to say that in another six years, this dream will become a reality. 

A month ago I was accepted to medical school and in two and a half months I will be starting.

Background:

I was a 26 year old, married mother of one and a CPA. I had graduated with honors from the Richard Ivey School of Business (Western) and had a very good GPA. I immediately started working for PricewaterhouseCoopers (now just known as PwC) and started working towards my CPA designation.

I knew almost immediately that this was NOT the career for me, however I had just started so decided to make a go of it. But after 5 years of it getting worse and worse, as well as some personal issues, I had  deep look at my life and realized that I wanted to become a doctor.

I was incredibly lucky to have a very supportive family and husband - I quit my job to focus on getting in but I made some big mistakes.

First of all, I tried to take some shortcuts - I wanted to apply right away because I had a strong GPA so I went all in for Mac. I took an MCAT prep course and hoped my GPA was strong enough to get me through. Unfortunately, my MCAT was not good enough (9, 9 10) the first time around and I decided to try again - however just before I wrote my second attempt, I discovered I was pregnant with my 2nd child. It threw me and I did worse my second time around. Then I decided to pause my attempts at med school - I second guessed myself as to whether this was a good idea or not.

Then we had an opportunity to move to New Zealand and I again discovered that one of the med schools there had an alternative pathway for non-trad students and I really thought I had a chance. I even took a university level chemistry course to prove I can do the sciences (I got a 98% in the course) however, there too it wasn't enough. While we were in NZ, I also had our 3rd child. 

When I didn't get in yet again, I decided to throw in the towel and focus on something else. I knew I couldn't go back to the world of public accounting but started to look into what I could do. I considered law school. I looked into opening up a shop. But everything felt half-hearted. I knew deep in my soul that medicine was all I wanted to do.

Luckily my amazing husband knew too and suggested I try in Poland. I am a Polish citizen and am fluent in the language and had lived there before. I had briefly considered it in the past, but was put off by having to do the 6 year program. But now I just look at it as a good thing. It takes 6 years because it starts with a lot of basics and there is a LOT of clinical time, plus three months off over the summer. When I mentioned our idea to my parents they too were incredibly supportive and sweetened the deal for us - they said that we could live in their house (they go back and forth between Canada and Poland for their work) if I got in, completely for free. They had been trying to sell it with no luck (the political situation isn't great there at the moment) but had been paying a full time house keeper to live their in their absences. They said it would be a win-win because they would no longer need to pay someone to live there and care for the house and we would get a place to live for free.

So I decided to go all in for the University of Warsaw's English language program for HS graduates, which is a 6 year program. There is also a 4 year program, but you have to have a BSc to apply, which I didn't have. To get in you need to pass their entrance exam in Chemistry, Biology and Physics. 

I had some major bumps in the road, but I managed to pass their exam and got accepted.

It is an incredible feeling. YES, I know that as an international med school graduate I may not get a residency spot in Canada. But for me, becoming an MD is more important than the ability to return to Canada. However, I'm pretty sure I want to do family medicine, and if I do a residency in Ireland, Scotland or England (which will be possible for me as an EU citizen, though Brexit may have made it a bit tougher for UK) which is what a lot of the grads from this program end up doing, I may be able to practice in Canada and for sure in New Zealand (my husband is a citizen and I have permanent residency status there). Worst case scenario, I will just end up in Poland, but luckily as a citizen and graduate from a Polish med school I'd have no problems.

I actually know a lot of people who graduated from this program and they all have the best things to say (about the quality of teaching, though dealing with the admin side is brutal). One guy went on to become a radiologist and do a fellowship at Cambridge and is now working on his PhD in radiology in DC. Another couple work as ER docs in Arizona. Another one is finishing up her residency in Scotland and loves in. 

I realize though that I'm incredibly and uniquely lucky. I have SO MUCH support from my friends and family, both in the form of encouragement and financially. My husband moved to a country where he doesn't speak the language and has little opportunity for work (though at the moment is able to work remotely) but told me he will do what he needs to do to make it work. My parents have saved us a TON of money by providing free housing. We have enough savings to pay for my tuition and costs without us needing to take on any debt. 

In some ways, I do wish I had gone the traditional route for non-trad students - I should have started from scratch and gone back to school and gotten a BSc OR simply tried Poland from the beginning. I'd likely be done by now and starting residency. But that said, it many ways I'm so glad it worked out the way it did. I have three beautiful children, with whom I've been able to spend a lot of time and my family is complete. I will be able to focus my efforts on med school and residency and not have to worry about my fertility or relationship status. I'll still be in my 30's when I graduate (I'm now almost 33 and will be a month shy of my 39th birthday when I graduate). But what kept me going was the thought that "well, I'll be 35, 40, 45 ANYWAY...at least I'll be 35 and a med student, 40 and a resident, 45 and an MD."

That said, this is really just the beginning. This program has about a 25% attrition rate after the 1st year so I need to make sure I stay on top of my game.

If anyone, particularly moms, is interested in my story, I've had a blog documenting my journey of the past six years at my blog, mdorbust.blogspot.com and I will continue to blog about my life as a medical student and mom and how I balance it.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my very non-trad story and pathway to an MD. Please feel free to get in touch but please be patient as I don't check my inbox too regularly. 

Good luck to everyone!

Edited by Kasiunut
spelling and grammar

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I typed this really long post but was almost going to delete it. I felt like it sounded so silly. But I will keep it in the hopes that some of you find it helpful/encouraging because I've always enjoyed and was motivated by reading this thread. I tried injecting some context into this, so hopefully it doesn't bore you guys too much with being somewhat long.

 

I grew up in a relatively rough neighbourhood. I'll give you an example to highlight the point: in grade 7 while my friends and I were going trick or treating, we ran into three of my older brother's friends profusely bleeding from stab wounds. Turns out they had been ambushed by a group they had bad blood with. Anyway, one of them had a pretty bad gash in his neck, close to his jugular, but thankfully none of the major vessels were cut. My friends and I had to help them to a nearby clinic (which was thankfully open). Scary stuff, but it was the reality of the place.

 

My parents worked really hard to provide for my siblings and I (I have two older brothers - let's call them Alpha and Bravo). They tried their absolute best to keep us shielded from the bad stuff, but there's always an inevitable influence by the environment. Being males in a rough neighbourhood meant keeping up a “macho” facade. You definitely didn't get overly sentimental, and so my brothers and I were walled off emotionally not only from friends, but each other as well.

 

So what was the culmination of these early childhood experiences? The "climax" of it all came during my senior year of high school. Well, I should say my SECOND senior year. At this point in my life, I had never had the experiences to develop an appreciation for education and knowledge. I would skip classes to go play sports. There was a point in grade 12 where I had skipped more classes than I had actually attended. This meant that I was forced to do an extra year in high school to try and salvage my marks enough to try and apply to postsecondary.

 

This extra year was tough. You question the decisions you’ve made so far, you watch all your friends move on to the next stage of their lives, and you're in classes with kids younger than you. Unfortunately, this wasn't even the tip of the iceberg. Within the span of 3-4 months, my life literally spiraled out of control. My high school sweetheart (who had started university at this point) had just broken up with me. I already mentioned how I came from a background where I was extremely insular about keeping my feelings to myself. My girlfriend was a sweetheart - I could open up emotionally to her and it was a welcome change. Losing her in an already difficult time was tough, and unfortunately things kept getting worse. Soon after the breakup, I injured myself playing sports, effectively ending my entire sports year and requiring surgery. Sports had always been that one pseudo-emotional outlet of mine, so removing it was definitely a huge emotional hurdle. I even started losing my hair from stress (this is a contentious topic haha, but I genuinely believe acute stressors can potentially act as a trigger). Unfortunately, I would soon realize that all of these challenges would pale in comparison to what was to follow.

 

I will never ever forget this day. It still seems so vivid. I came home from school one day to see my brother, Bravo, in our driveway with this very confused/sad look on his face. He was very inebriated, but that confused/sad look still haunts me. He looked so vulnerable. He was being arrested for drug charges. It was heartbreaking. We would later find out that he had been battling severe mental health issues and masked them through substance abuse. Being arrested wreaked even more havoc on his mental health. We couldn't bail him out because my other brother (Alpha) had already tried. The first time he was bailed out, Bravo's mental health lead to him acting very erratically. He broke his bail conditions and disappeared. We were able to track him down after a friend of Bravo’s contacted the family. So I had to watch from afar, yet again, as my brother got arrested. My mom was with me this time. We later learned from the friend that Bravo had been really hungry, yet we saw him get arrested as he about to take the first bite of his food. My mom started getting very frequent panic attacks soon after this incident.

 

I remember visiting him in jail on multiple occasions, only to be received by non-nonsensical and hysterical laughter. This was absolutely brutal for me. I grew up always being Bravo’s sidekick. I followed him everywhere he went, being that annoying little brother. He really was my role model. So to see him there, unrecognizable, was very gut wrenching. We were unable to convince the penal system of the clear mental issues he was exhibiting and he was retained in a normal jail. His condition worsened and he was eventually placed in solitary confinement due to bad behavior. He stayed there for 2-3 weeks. Being a witness to this and unable to help was absolutely excruciating. Like, the breakup, surgery, extra year of high school seem bad right? They genuinely felt like a walk in the park compared to this. 

 

It was during this ordeal that I had made up my mind to commit myself to working hard, getting into university, and getting into the field of psychology so that I might help others that had gone through similar situations as my brother. Thankfully, after a few months convincing, we were finally able to get through to the courts. We had been able to convince the judge to transfer Bravo to a mental treatment facility as opposed to a jail. I still remember the day we found out that they would transfer him: June 12th, 2009. It is probably on the top of the happiest days of my life. Getting into medicine definitely pales in comparison to that day. Anyway, he received a diagnosis and began treatment, which he has continued to this day. 

 

I started university soon after. Motivated with my desire to pursue psychology, I had a relatively strong start. However, I was faced with quite a few additional hurdles on the way that reflected in my GPA trends. Beyond the typical academic struggles (taking time to find field of interest) and personal struggles (breakups, dealing with limitations after surgery etc.), helping Bravo navigate his mental health condition and potential substance relapses was quite challenging. Additionally, my other brother (Alpha) also developed a very bad substance abuse problem due to the stress of the events surrounding Bravo. It's been an ongoing thing for a few years and still continues to this day. This caused my mom's panic attacks to become even worse/frequent. However, Alpha has significantly improved in recent months. But to tie in an earlier theme, I strongly believe that there is a component of emotional support to this. My siblings and I were raised to be very insular about our feelings, and substances may be seen as an easy “alternative” to having to deal with these emotions. That’s why I think it's so important to cultivate the ability to share your emotions with others, and make others feel comfortable in sharing their emotions with you. Especially so as a physician.

 

So that's my journey to med in a nutshell. It took me 5 years to do a 4-year high school degree, 6 years total to do a 4-year BSc, three MCAT writes, and three additional years off. But I've always been one to challenge myself and improve after every failure. I've been fortunate enough to have amazing parents (though we might not agree on everything) and lucky enough to find amazing professors/mentors in my life. I owe literally all of my successes to these people.

Although I continue to be faced with some of the same challenges that seemed completely insurmountable before, I really believe I am stronger than ever, not only individually, but also because of the social support network I’ve been able to establish. I understand the responsibilities I carry because of these events, but believe me, that doesn’t stop me from being the silliest and happiest person that I can possibly be. I hope to carry these experiences into the field, and hopefully make a positive impact.
 

Here is a thread to some of my more CV-like details: http://forums.premed101.com/topic/69931-lost-with-updates/ if you’re curious about what type of stats, ECs etc. I was working with.

 

Good luck everyone!

 

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On 2017-08-17 at 1:46 AM, RichardDegrasseSagan said:

So that's my journey to med in a nutshell. It took me 5 years to do a 4-year high school degree, 6 years total to do a 4-year BSc, three MCAT writes, and three additional years off. But I've always been one to challenge myself and improve after every failure. I've been fortunate enough to have amazing parents (though we might not agree on everything) and lucky enough to find amazing professors/mentors in my life. I owe literally all of my successes to these people.

Although I continue to be faced with some of the same challenges that seemed completely insurmountable before, I really believe I am stronger than ever, not only individually, but also because of the social support network I’ve been able to establish. I understand the responsibilities I carry because of these events, but believe me, that doesn’t stop me from being the silliest and happiest person that I can possibly be. I hope to carry these experiences into the field, and hopefully make a positive impact.
 

Here is a thread to some of my more CV-like details: http://forums.premed101.com/topic/69931-lost-with-updates/ if you’re curious about what type of stats, ECs etc. I was working with.

 

Good luck everyone!

 

Even when I only knew a small part of your story, I knew you as someone who refused to give up. I am so, so happy that you reached your goal in medicine. Your perspective and the compassion you so obviously have for populations that are so often marginalized and villainized by others will undoubtedly be a gift to not only your patients but your colleagues. 

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On 09/07/2017 at 9:44 AM, Kasiunut said:

Six years ago I embarked on a journey to fulfill my dream of becoming a doctor and I'm thrilled to say that in another six years, this dream will become a reality. 

A month ago I was accepted to medical school and in two and a half months I will be starting.

Background:

I was a 26 year old, married mother of one and a CPA. I had graduated with honors from the Richard Ivey School of Business (Western) and had a very good GPA. I immediately started working for PricewaterhouseCoopers (now just known as PwC) and started working towards my CPA designation.

I knew almost immediately that this was NOT the career for me, however I had just started so decided to make a go of it. But after 5 years of it getting worse and worse, as well as some personal issues, I had  deep look at my life and realized that I wanted to become a doctor.

I was incredibly lucky to have a very supportive family and husband - I quit my job to focus on getting in but I made some big mistakes.

First of all, I tried to take some shortcuts - I wanted to apply right away because I had a strong GPA so I went all in for Mac. I took an MCAT prep course and hoped my GPA was strong enough to get me through. Unfortunately, my MCAT was not good enough (9, 9 10) the first time around and I decided to try again - however just before I wrote my second attempt, I discovered I was pregnant with my 2nd child. It threw me and I did worse my second time around. Then I decided to pause my attempts at med school - I second guessed myself as to whether this was a good idea or not.

Then we had an opportunity to move to New Zealand and I again discovered that one of the med schools there had an alternative pathway for non-trad students and I really thought I had a chance. I even took a university level chemistry course to prove I can do the sciences (I got a 98% in the course) however, there too it wasn't enough. While we were in NZ, I also had our 3rd child. 

When I didn't get in yet again, I decided to throw in the towel and focus on something else. I knew I couldn't go back to the world of public accounting but started to look into what I could do. I considered law school. I looked into opening up a shop. But everything felt half-hearted. I knew deep in my soul that medicine was all I wanted to do.

Luckily my amazing husband knew too and suggested I try in Poland. I am a Polish citizen and am fluent in the language and had lived there before. I had briefly considered it in the past, but was put off by having to do the 6 year program. But now I just look at it as a good thing. It takes 6 years because it starts with a lot of basics and there is a LOT of clinical time, plus three months off over the summer. When I mentioned our idea to my parents they too were incredibly supportive and sweetened the deal for us - they said that we could live in their house (they go back and forth between Canada and Poland for their work) if I got in, completely for free. They had been trying to sell it with no luck (the political situation isn't great there at the moment) but had been paying a full time house keeper to live their in their absences. They said it would be a win-win because they would no longer need to pay someone to live there and care for the house and we would get a place to live for free.

So I decided to go all in for the University of Warsaw's English language program for HS graduates, which is a 6 year program. There is also a 4 year program, but you have to have a BSc to apply, which I didn't have. To get in you need to pass their entrance exam in Chemistry, Biology and Physics. 

I had some major bumps in the road, but I managed to pass their exam and got accepted.

It is an incredible feeling. YES, I know that as an international med school graduate I may not get a residency spot in Canada. But for me, becoming an MD is more important than the ability to return to Canada. However, I'm pretty sure I want to do family medicine, and if I do a residency in Ireland, Scotland or England (which will be possible for me as an EU citizen, though Brexit may have made it a bit tougher for UK) which is what a lot of the grads from this program end up doing, I may be able to practice in Canada and for sure in New Zealand (my husband is a citizen and I have permanent residency status there). Worst case scenario, I will just end up in Poland, but luckily as a citizen and graduate from a Polish med school I'd have no problems.

I actually know a lot of people who graduated from this program and they all have the best things to say (about the quality of teaching, though dealing with the admin side is brutal). One guy went on to become a radiologist and do a fellowship at Cambridge and is now working on his PhD in radiology in DC. Another couple work as ER docs in Arizona. Another one is finishing up her residency in Scotland and loves in. 

I realize though that I'm incredibly and uniquely lucky. I have SO MUCH support from my friends and family, both in the form of encouragement and financially. My husband moved to a country where he doesn't speak the language and has little opportunity for work (though at the moment is able to work remotely) but told me he will do what he needs to do to make it work. My parents have saved us a TON of money by providing free housing. We have enough savings to pay for my tuition and costs without us needing to take on any debt. 

In some ways, I do wish I had gone the traditional route for non-trad students - I should have started from scratch and gone back to school and gotten a BSc OR simply tried Poland from the beginning. I'd likely be done by now and starting residency. But that said, it many ways I'm so glad it worked out the way it did. I have three beautiful children, with whom I've been able to spend a lot of time and my family is complete. I will be able to focus my efforts on med school and residency and not have to worry about my fertility or relationship status. I'll still be in my 30's when I graduate (I'm now almost 33 and will be a month shy of my 39th birthday when I graduate). But what kept me going was the thought that "well, I'll be 35, 40, 45 ANYWAY...at least I'll be 35 and a med student, 40 and a resident, 45 and an MD."

That said, this is really just the beginning. This program has about a 25% attrition rate after the 1st year so I need to make sure I stay on top of my game.

If anyone, particularly moms, is interested in my story, I've had a blog documenting my journey of the past six years at my blog, mdorbust.blogspot.com and I will continue to blog about my life as a medical student and mom and how I balance it.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my very non-trad story and pathway to an MD. Please feel free to get in touch but please be patient as I don't check my inbox too regularly. 

Good luck to everyone!

Your persistence is SO inspiring. You can do this!!

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hey all
i just had to share my experience because i am a non-traditional non-traditional non-traditional medical student! or future medical student - i got my acceptance a month ago and i'm starting this fall.

i am 39 years old, a parent, a PhD graduate who did a humanities PhD (and a humanities masters, and a humanities undergrad). I've been working as a postdoctoral researcher for 3 years, and got myself into some occupational health and safety research, but otherwise i've entirely been a theorist whose focussed more on philosophy than on data.

i bombed my first two years of undergrad, dropped out for 3 years, and then went back to school. after my masters i worked internationally at women's rights organisations for a couple years, then with women's organisations in canada for a couple years, then a PhD (in philosophy of technology, basically).

throughout my phd i felt uncertain about what i was doing. i wanted to go back to working in women's organisations and internationally, but felt like i didn't have much to offer without specific training. i love research, but missed working with people. i have NEVER, EVER, in all my years of post secondary education, taken a science course. NONE. 

i began studying for the MCAT in 2015, entirely self taught. bought a book called Organic Chemistry as a Second Language which I cannot recommend enough. i did abysmally on my first MCAT and wasn't invited anywhere for an interview. I did better on my second MCAT, got an interview, and just received my acceptance.

 

seriously - i self-taught myself science, while working full time on research and raising a kid. i have mediocre cGPA because of two bad years in undergrad. i have no science back ground. i am (relatively) old. AND I GOT IN!

 

if i can do it you can.

i am so excited. this is a dream come true. every day i pinch myself because i feel like i am so lucky to be allowed to study medicine and one day be a doctor and care for patients and do meaningful work that incorporates both research and working with people. 

 

seriously: if any of you out there doubt yourselves please contact me because i got in and so can you! 

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I am not sure how to start this post.
I have read this thread over a hundred times.
And it always end with : I never thought I would be writing this.
And I would always think : Sure, you're non-trad, but you have better stats than me.

My story

I started university knowing one thing : I would become anything but a doctor. Too much hype I thought and I wanted to be different from all my sciences friends. After a year into my major, I had applied for an administrative job in a real estate company. I was assigned to the reception desk of a building that hosted a lot of large corporations. As days passed by, I would become friends with some of the employees, since they would see me every-time before getting into the elevator. At some point, some employees invited me for a lunch since they saw that I was eating alone. Their 'company' was not a 'company', it was one of the world's largest medical NGO. They were not 'employees', they were all humanitarian workers that had been on the field in the most extreme conditions. So they started telling me about their stories. And I simply got hooked. And I thought : that's what I want to do in the very few years we have to live on this earth. Not just become a doctor. Become a doctor that makes an impact in the world.

After switching out of my major and completing a first degree with terrible grades, I was lucky to perform well in a masters I enjoyed. Following the realization that it wasn't enough, I read about 2nd undergraduate options.

With motivation and simple hard work, I redid almost all of my prerequisites and completed a second undergraduate degree with over-loaded semesters. I also didn't take any semesters off and was a full time (15 credits) student even during the summers.

This year, I applied with a bit of fear. I feared that a rejection would crush me. I applied to 4 schools in Québec and was rejected in 3 of them. A few days later, my dream school, McGill University, invited me for an interview. I was very happy but I knew that it didn't mean anything. It's just a step, nothing more, nothing less. Everyone is different but I did not preparation for the interview at all. What I did instead was rent a cottage in the woods and have friends and family over to spend time with them.

That made me forget all that process because I was simply happy of spending time with people I love. And it kind of reminded me that no matter what would happen, I am the luckiest person on this planet for having them in my life. The morning of my interview, I realized that I had one interview, only one chance. I thought to myself that I must be the luckiest person on this planet. Last week, I received my acceptance. I still believe I am the luckiest person on this planet.

My statistics :

  • B.Sc #1 : 2.90 GPA, only did one year.
  • B.Sc #2 : 3.10 GPA with a few Fs and Ds.
  • B. Sc. #3 : 3.85 GPA
  • M. Sc : 3.97 GPA

Warning about second-undegrad :

A second-undergrad is the option I aimed for because all other options were not viable. It shouldn't be the first move of someone that has average stats or a poor CV.

We read a lot about fairy tales stories of second-undergrads making it to medical school but I wanted to make sure that I was making the right decision : why did I perform poorly in my first undergraduate degree and what will I do differently this year? I spent a whole summer trying to think about that aspect because completing a degree is not hard, dreaming is not hard, but actually growing and learning from your mistakes is. You not only have to do well, you have to do better than the others because you aren't new to this university game.

The hardest part of the process : 

The hardest part for me was doubting : what if I don't get in? what if I am delusional ? what if I'm dreaming for nothing?

I am very much into literature and I find that some quotes are wonderful because they can give us hope.
'Being a candle is not easy. In order to give light, one must first burn.'

Since the last couple of days, all I wanted to do is give hope to individuals that are chasing the same dream as I do. 
I hope my story can help motivate you because when I was feeling exhausted, I would come here and read the posts.
The way I was raised to live was to work as hard as I could but always follow my heart.
Looking back, the worst feeling is not a rejection knowing that you did your best.
The worst feeling is regretting not working hard enough or not giving yourself a chance to make a dream come true.
To all of you I say : don't give up.

I never thought I would be posting this.

Good luck to all of you :)

 

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On 29 March 2018 at 10:53 AM, nontradmunmed said:

hey all
i just had to share my experience because i am a non-traditional non-traditional non-traditional medical student! or future medical student - i got my acceptance a month ago and i'm starting this fall.

i am 39 years old, a parent, a PhD graduate who did a humanities PhD (and a humanities masters, and a humanities undergrad). I've been working as a postdoctoral researcher for 3 years, and got myself into some occupational health and safety research, but otherwise i've entirely been a theorist whose focussed more on philosophy than on data.

i bombed my first two years of undergrad, dropped out for 3 years, and then went back to school. after my masters i worked internationally at women's rights organisations for a couple years, then with women's organisations in canada for a couple years, then a PhD (in philosophy of technology, basically).

throughout my phd i felt uncertain about what i was doing. i wanted to go back to working in women's organisations and internationally, but felt like i didn't have much to offer without specific training. i love research, but missed working with people. i have NEVER, EVER, in all my years of post secondary education, taken a science course. NONE. 

i began studying for the MCAT in 2015, entirely self taught. bought a book called Organic Chemistry as a Second Language which I cannot recommend enough. i did abysmally on my first MCAT and wasn't invited anywhere for an interview. I did better on my second MCAT, got an interview, and just received my acceptance.

 

seriously - i self-taught myself science, while working full time on research and raising a kid. i have mediocre cGPA because of two bad years in undergrad. i have no science back ground. i am (relatively) old. AND I GOT IN!

 

if i can do it you can.

i am so excited. this is a dream come true. every day i pinch myself because i feel like i am so lucky to be allowed to study medicine and one day be a doctor and care for patients and do meaningful work that incorporates both research and working with people. 

 

seriously: if any of you out there doubt yourselves please contact me because i got in and so can you! 

My goodness! Inspiration galore 

I am so excited for you. Which school did you get into?

hope to post here one day.

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