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Success Stories- Non Trad Style!

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@Mathtomed - thank you for sharing such a touching story. I truly wish you all the success in the future - and it seems like you have a great mindset at the present with the exciting opportunity that lays in front of you.

I really admire this "but instead to provide my family and children with the ability to follow their dreams ". My parents were in that boat, and I am truly indebted to them for it. 

I am sure later in life, if you still have an itch for medicine, you will be able to pursue it - but i have a feeling you are going to make a wonderful life and career for yourself in your field. And it seems you already well ahead of the learning curve as to what is important in life, our relationships with those we care about. 

Please don't be a stranger, the world needs more individuals like you. 

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Mathtomed - thank you for sharing.  It sounds like you have had a great deal of adversity to overcome.  I wish there were a way to account for this, but unfortunately there really doesn't seem to be.  It's clear that you are a gifted individual with a lot to offer.  I am sure that if you really wanted to make medicine a reality, you could.  However, it seems like other important priorities like family are taking precedence.  I am sure no matter which career path you choose, you will still be able to make a great difference in people's lives.  As you mention, success on your terms is really all that matters.  Best of luck in the future!

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I'm speechless. MathtoMed, your perseverance and humble dedication to life is admirable.

 

There is no special formula that creates the perfect "doctor". So don't think of yourself as a non matching "algorithm" for this med school lottery. It is mostly a numbers game. People like you become good people, that's all that matters. Being a doctor doesn't make you the best version of yourseld, you ARE the best version of yourself. You just have to direct yourself in any direction you see fit, and make the most out of that. You will be victorious (you all ready are - congrats)

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I am not going to lie. M2M's story brought an equal mix of tears to my eyes and anger. Ok, maybe more tears than anger lol

 

Nothing but best wishes for you.

 

"Honor means that a man is not exceptional; fame, that he is. Fame is something which must be won; honor, only something which must not be lost." - Arthur Schopenhauer

 

 

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Where to begin? I tend towards prolixity so go get yourself a cup of tea if you're going to read this.

 

I've documented this whole process in excruciating detail at my blog which, to my immense surprise, has gained a small following. I've met a lot of really wonderful people, virtually "met" even so many more, and this whole crazy journey has just come to a rather triumphant midpoint.

 

Like many of you, I've wanted to be a doctor since I was small.

 

Throughout elementary and middle school, I was a gifted, enthusiastic student. But by high school, I started struggling badly with mental health issues. My parents did not do a good job rising to the challenge I posed. At 16, I started getting real help for myself and things started getting better, but it took a lot of work. I was a terrible student in high school - I just couldn't summon the energy to care.

 

Still, I was accepted to U of O in grade 12, and was going to attend for physics. I was thinking I'd go on to medical physics or medicine; either field appealed to me equally.

 

But almost as soon as my first semester started, my parents threw a huge wrench in the works. As a parent now myself, I still do not agree with their reasoning for what they did. I cannot fathom putting one of my kids in the position that I was placed in. My mother once told me that they didn't think I could succeed at university, as if that excuses what their decisions cost me. It was ten years ago, but still stings.

 

I had to withdraw from U of O. One of the hardest days of my life. I got a couple more jobs pretty much immediately, and started working more than full time. I figured I could save and return to school, where I felt I belonged.

 

It was in November of that year that I met the man who would become my husband. We met and fell in love very quickly and were very surprised to find out in May of 2006, just a couple weeks after we had decided to get married, that we were going to be parents. We were married that summer and our oldest was born in January 2007. I was 19.

 

We moved to my home province when our son was a year old, and spent several years barely scraping by, working jobs in food service, manufacturing, retail, call centres. We were by times quite poor, though things had started looking up for a while before everything collapsed around us. It was my rock bottom, the day I truly felt I was failing as a mother, in the late spring of 2011. My husband went out west to work soon after, but we knew the oil fields would only ever be a temporary option for our family.

 

I knew I needed to go back to school so I could take care of my family properly so I applied to the local university's nursing program in 2012. I was rejected, but somehow had been accepted to the faculty of science. I wasn't thinking I would go, but my husband insisted I consider going and then apply to medicine, like I had always wanted to.

 

I was hesitant, but decided to go for it. Going back to school felt like coming home after a long trip. It was what I was built for. To my surprise, I made a 4.0 my first year. I wrote my MCAT the following summer and to my even greater surprise made a 11/13/10 on my first attempt.

 

Last fall, at the start of third year, I applied to four schools, interviewed at two, and was rejected post-interview from one. This morning, I was accepted to McMaster.

 

I can't even begin to describe how I feel right now. Amazed, perhaps. Surprised. This year has been very difficult for us and this is sort of the first thing to actually go right in a long time. I am so honoured that McMaster considers me someone who would suit their program.

 

Over the last three years, I have been the recipient of so much support from my unwavering husband, my friends, my school, my community, my workplace, and of course PM101. The support has meant the world to me. The number of congratulations I received today moved me to tears.

 

I am so very humbled by today, and this is a day that will live in my memory for the rest of my life.

 

Three years ago I told my husband that people like me don't go to med school. It seemed like a pipe dream. But here I am, and here you can be too.

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Where to begin? I tend towards prolixity so go get yourself a cup of tea if you're going to read this.

 

I've documented this whole process in excruciating detail at my blog which, to my immense surprise, has gained a small following. I've met a lot of really wonderful people, virtually "met" even so many more, and this whole crazy journey has just come to a rather triumphant midpoint.

 

Like many of you, I've wanted to be a doctor since I was small.

 

Throughout elementary and middle school, I was a gifted, enthusiastic student. But by high school, I started struggling badly with mental health issues. My parents did not do a good job rising to the challenge I posed. At 16, I started getting real help for myself and things started getting better, but it took a lot of work. I was a terrible student in high school - I just couldn't summon the energy to care.

 

Still, I was accepted to U of O in grade 12, and was going to attend for physics. I was thinking I'd go on to medical physics or medicine; either field appealed to me equally.

 

But almost as soon as my first semester started, my parents threw a huge wrench in the works. As a parent now myself, I still do not agree with their reasoning for what they did. I cannot fathom putting one of my kids in the position that I was placed in. My mother once told me that they didn't think I could succeed at university, as if that excuses what their decisions cost me. It was ten years ago, but still stings.

 

I had to withdraw from U of O. One of the hardest days of my life. I got a couple more jobs pretty much immediately, and started working more than full time. I figured I could save and return to school, where I felt I belonged.

 

It was in November of that year that I met the man who would become my husband. We met and fell in love very quickly and were very surprised to find out in May of 2006, just a couple weeks after we had decided to get married, that we were going to be parents. We were married that summer and our oldest was born in January 2007. I was 19.

 

We moved to my home province when our son was a year old, and spent several years barely scraping by, working jobs in food service, manufacturing, retail, call centres. We were by times quite poor, though things had started looking up for a while before everything collapsed around us. It was my rock bottom, the day I truly felt I was failing as a mother, in the late spring of 2011. My husband went out west to work soon after, but we knew the oil fields would only ever be a temporary option for our family.

 

I knew I needed to go back to school so I could take care of my family properly so I applied to the local university's nursing program in 2012. I was rejected, but somehow had been accepted to the faculty of science. I wasn't thinking I would go, but my husband insisted I consider going and then apply to medicine, like I had always wanted to.

 

I was hesitant, but decided to go for it. Going back to school felt like coming home after a long trip. It was what I was built for. To my surprise, I made a 4.0 my first year. I wrote my MCAT the following summer and to my even greater surprise made a 11/13/10 on my first attempt.

 

Last fall, at the start of third year, I applied to four schools, interviewed at two, and was rejected post-interview from one. This morning, I was accepted to McMaster.

 

I can't even begin to describe how I feel right now. Amazed, perhaps. Surprised. This year has been very difficult for us and this is sort of the first thing to actually go right in a long time. I am so honoured that McMaster considers me someone who would suit their program.

 

Over the last three years, I have been the recipient of so much support from my unwavering husband, my friends, my school, my community, my workplace, and of course PM101. The support has meant the world to me. The number of congratulations I received today moved me to tears.

 

I am so very humbled by today, and this is a day that will live in my memory for the rest of my life.

 

Three years ago I told my husband that people like me don't go to med school. It seemed like a pipe dream. But here I am, and here you can be too.

Who the hell is cutting onions around here?? :')

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Where to begin? I tend towards prolixity so go get yourself a cup of tea if you're going to read this.

 

I've documented this whole process in excruciating detail at my blog which, to my immense surprise, has gained a small following. I've met a lot of really wonderful people, virtually "met" even so many more, and this whole crazy journey has just come to a rather triumphant midpoint.

 

Like many of you, I've wanted to be a doctor since I was small.

 

Throughout elementary and middle school, I was a gifted, enthusiastic student. But by high school, I started struggling badly with mental health issues. My parents did not do a good job rising to the challenge I posed. At 16, I started getting real help for myself and things started getting better, but it took a lot of work. I was a terrible student in high school - I just couldn't summon the energy to care.

 

Still, I was accepted to U of O in grade 12, and was going to attend for physics. I was thinking I'd go on to medical physics or medicine; either field appealed to me equally.

 

But almost as soon as my first semester started, my parents threw a huge wrench in the works. As a parent now myself, I still do not agree with their reasoning for what they did. I cannot fathom putting one of my kids in the position that I was placed in. My mother once told me that they didn't think I could succeed at university, as if that excuses what their decisions cost me. It was ten years ago, but still stings.

 

I had to withdraw from U of O. One of the hardest days of my life. I got a couple more jobs pretty much immediately, and started working more than full time. I figured I could save and return to school, where I felt I belonged.

 

It was in November of that year that I met the man who would become my husband. We met and fell in love very quickly and were very surprised to find out in May of 2006, just a couple weeks after we had decided to get married, that we were going to be parents. We were married that summer and our oldest was born in January 2007. I was 19.

 

We moved to my home province when our son was a year old, and spent several years barely scraping by, working jobs in food service, manufacturing, retail, call centres. We were by times quite poor, though things had started looking up for a while before everything collapsed around us. It was my rock bottom, the day I truly felt I was failing as a mother, in the late spring of 2011. My husband went out west to work soon after, but we knew the oil fields would only ever be a temporary option for our family.

 

I knew I needed to go back to school so I could take care of my family properly so I applied to the local university's nursing program in 2012. I was rejected, but somehow had been accepted to the faculty of science. I wasn't thinking I would go, but my husband insisted I consider going and then apply to medicine, like I had always wanted to.

 

I was hesitant, but decided to go for it. Going back to school felt like coming home after a long trip. It was what I was built for. To my surprise, I made a 4.0 my first year. I wrote my MCAT the following summer and to my even greater surprise made a 11/13/10 on my first attempt.

 

Last fall, at the start of third year, I applied to four schools, interviewed at two, and was rejected post-interview from one. This morning, I was accepted to McMaster.

 

I can't even begin to describe how I feel right now. Amazed, perhaps. Surprised. This year has been very difficult for us and this is sort of the first thing to actually go right in a long time. I am so honoured that McMaster considers me someone who would suit their program.

 

Over the last three years, I have been the recipient of so much support from my unwavering husband, my friends, my school, my community, my workplace, and of course PM101. The support has meant the world to me. The number of congratulations I received today moved me to tears.

 

I am so very humbled by today, and this is a day that will live in my memory for the rest of my life.

 

Three years ago I told my husband that people like me don't go to med school. It seemed like a pipe dream. But here I am, and here you can be too.

 

Congratulations Birdy! I'm so happy for you.  :)  Interestingly enough, I already had my tea ready. 

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Thank you, guys. It's sinking in now. Everyone at the blood clinic where I volunteer was congratulating me and several donors were calling me "doc" jokingly. My friends are just over the moon for me and I've received so many messages. It's just absolutely incredible. :)

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Thank you, guys. It's sinking in now. Everyone at the blood clinic where I volunteer was congratulating me and several donors were calling me "doc" jokingly. My friends are just over the moon for me and I've received so many messages. It's just absolutely incredible. :)

 

enjoy :) a lot of work to get where you are after all! 

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Where to begin? I tend towards prolixity so go get yourself a cup of tea if you're going to read this.

 

I've documented this whole process in excruciating detail at my blog which, to my immense surprise, has gained a small following. I've met a lot of really wonderful people, virtually "met" even so many more, and this whole crazy journey has just come to a rather triumphant midpoint.

 

Like many of you, I've wanted to be a doctor since I was small.

 

Throughout elementary and middle school, I was a gifted, enthusiastic student. But by high school, I started struggling badly with mental health issues. My parents did not do a good job rising to the challenge I posed. At 16, I started getting real help for myself and things started getting better, but it took a lot of work. I was a terrible student in high school - I just couldn't summon the energy to care.

 

Still, I was accepted to U of O in grade 12, and was going to attend for physics. I was thinking I'd go on to medical physics or medicine; either field appealed to me equally.

 

But almost as soon as my first semester started, my parents threw a huge wrench in the works. As a parent now myself, I still do not agree with their reasoning for what they did. I cannot fathom putting one of my kids in the position that I was placed in. My mother once told me that they didn't think I could succeed at university, as if that excuses what their decisions cost me. It was ten years ago, but still stings.

 

I had to withdraw from U of O. One of the hardest days of my life. I got a couple more jobs pretty much immediately, and started working more than full time. I figured I could save and return to school, where I felt I belonged.

 

It was in November of that year that I met the man who would become my husband. We met and fell in love very quickly and were very surprised to find out in May of 2006, just a couple weeks after we had decided to get married, that we were going to be parents. We were married that summer and our oldest was born in January 2007. I was 19.

 

We moved to my home province when our son was a year old, and spent several years barely scraping by, working jobs in food service, manufacturing, retail, call centres. We were by times quite poor, though things had started looking up for a while before everything collapsed around us. It was my rock bottom, the day I truly felt I was failing as a mother, in the late spring of 2011. My husband went out west to work soon after, but we knew the oil fields would only ever be a temporary option for our family.

 

I knew I needed to go back to school so I could take care of my family properly so I applied to the local university's nursing program in 2012. I was rejected, but somehow had been accepted to the faculty of science. I wasn't thinking I would go, but my husband insisted I consider going and then apply to medicine, like I had always wanted to.

 

I was hesitant, but decided to go for it. Going back to school felt like coming home after a long trip. It was what I was built for. To my surprise, I made a 4.0 my first year. I wrote my MCAT the following summer and to my even greater surprise made a 11/13/10 on my first attempt.

 

Last fall, at the start of third year, I applied to four schools, interviewed at two, and was rejected post-interview from one. This morning, I was accepted to McMaster.

 

I can't even begin to describe how I feel right now. Amazed, perhaps. Surprised. This year has been very difficult for us and this is sort of the first thing to actually go right in a long time. I am so honoured that McMaster considers me someone who would suit their program.

 

Over the last three years, I have been the recipient of so much support from my unwavering husband, my friends, my school, my community, my workplace, and of course PM101. The support has meant the world to me. The number of congratulations I received today moved me to tears.

 

I am so very humbled by today, and this is a day that will live in my memory for the rest of my life.

 

Three years ago I told my husband that people like me don't go to med school. It seemed like a pipe dream. But here I am, and here you can be too.

Such an amazing story! Congratulations on your acceptance!!

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Alright, after years of lurking around here's my non-trad story.

 

I started on a very traditional path, majoring in microbiology and immunology, getting straight A's but not a spectacular GPA. Once school was done, I didn't know what to do and decided to pursue a master's degree. It was two years of being utterly miserable and failing horribly. I ended up dropping out and felt like a huge failure. Fast forward a Teaching degree and some random jobs, I ended up becoming a full time programmer in the advertising industry. The hours were crazy long, the clients stressful, but I really loved creating interactive experiences and solving problems.

 

A few years into my new career, I ran into a guy I knew from uni who was now a doctor. It got me thinking and I decided to study for MCATs. I told myself "i'm just going to write the MCAT but never bother applying to medical school". One year later I applied to McMaster but didn't really prepare for interviews. I was rejected post interview and really spent a long time debating on whether to try again. Trojjanhorse from these forums was super helpful in encouraging me to try again, so I did. This time I applied to many more places and really worked hard on my application. The application process really forced me to be super aware of why I was applying and how committed I would be to this possible new career. Results: NOSM, UofT and Calgary rejected me, but Queens, Western and McMaster said to come on by.

 

Luckily I had already started studying by keeping up to date with recent events and brushing up on my ethics (just in case and all that). Knowing I had interviews coming up, I buckled down and took things much more seriously than last year.

 

Results: Western waitlisted me on their "high" waitlist, which really surprised me because I felt that the interview went horribly. Queens also waitlisted me (where on the waitlist, I have no idea), and McMaster offered me a spot. I'm still in a little bit of shock but am excited to start at the KW campus this fall.

 

For those worrying about their age, I'll be 35 this year. As the old adage goes - better late than never! 

 

Stay motivated everyone. Took me a long time to get here but am happy to say it's possible.

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Alright, after years of lurking around here's my non-trad story.

 

I started on a very traditional path, majoring in microbiology and immunology, getting straight A's but not a spectacular GPA. Once school was done, I didn't know what to do and decided to pursue a master's degree. It was two years of being utterly miserable and failing horribly. I ended up dropping out and felt like a huge failure. Fast forward a Teaching degree and some random jobs, I ended up becoming a full time programmer in the advertising industry. The hours were crazy long, the clients stressful, but I really loved creating interactive experiences and solving problems.

 

A few years into my new career, I ran into a guy I knew from uni who was now a doctor. It got me thinking and I decided to study for MCATs. I told myself "i'm just going to write the MCAT but never bother applying to medical school". One year later I applied to McMaster but didn't really prepare for interviews. I was rejected post interview and really spent a long time debating on whether to try again. Trojjanhorse from these forums was super helpful in encouraging me to try again, so I did. This time I applied to many more places and really worked hard on my application. The application process really forced me to be super aware of why I was applying and how committed I would be to this possible new career. Results: NOSM, UofT and Calgary rejected me, but Queens, Western and McMaster said to come on by.

 

Luckily I had already started studying by keeping up to date with recent events and brushing up on my ethics (just in case and all that). Knowing I had interviews coming up, I buckled down and took things much more seriously than last year.

 

Results: Western waitlisted me on their "high" waitlist, which really surprised me because I felt that the interview went horribly. Queens also waitlisted me (where on the waitlist, I have no idea), and McMaster offered me a spot. I'm still in a little bit of shock but am excited to start at the KW campus this fall.

 

For those worrying about their age, I'll be 35 this year. As the old adage goes - better late than never! 

 

Stay motivated everyone. Took me a long time to get here but am happy to say it's possible.

Congratulations! Can you elaborate at all on your MCAT prep strategy?

 

I am also a non-trad with a science background. I took all of the courses that would help with the MCAT, but I am having trouble envisioning a way to re-learn the science material and score well on top of my existing career. I applied to only Mac this cycle and I only wrote the verbal section of the MCAT for this. I scored an 11, which I am happy about, but it took hardly any prep time compared to doing the entire test, for obvious reasons!

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Congratulations! Can you elaborate at all on your MCAT prep strategy?

 

I am also a non-trad with a science background. I took all of the courses that would help with the MCAT, but I am having trouble envisioning a way to re-learn the science material and score well on top of my existing career. I applied to only Mac this cycle and I only wrote the verbal section of the MCAT for this. I scored an 11, which I am happy about, but it took hardly any prep time compared to doing the entire test, for obvious reasons!

 

Sure. Some background: the type of job I have means that sometimes I don't have much going on, other times I can easily be working an 80 hour week. I had tried to prep for the MCAT on my own, but work kept getting in the way and it was super hard staying disciplined. I'd keep whining about how I should be studying, but would never really do so. Add to that the fact that I had never taken physics (what can I say, I managed to avoid it), the MCAT seemed super daunting. Finally I got frustrated with myself and found a Kaplan course that was delivered online. The key for me was that it had live lectures and strict deadlines. Now I can't say I was really impressed with their materials. There were a lot of errors and general lack of polish. That said, their cue cards were super helpful. Though I did end up with one of those long workweek type projects, I would try to take my studying wherever I went. Walking - cue cards. Working out - cue cards. For the drive, I found the exam krackers audio lectures to be somewhat helpful. Their attempts at humour were not the greatest, but hey, at least I stayed immersed in the content.

 

Finally, I took vacation time a week before the exam and really focussed on keeping everything straight. I made myself use a timer to study - one hour study, ten minute break, and repeat. Though most of Kaplan worked for me, their VR strategy just got me worse marks, so I threw it out the window for when I wrote my actual exam. Also, though I did super well with the writing for the practice tests, I managed to get a super bad score on the actual test. Yay for no more writing component.

 

I ended up with a 9 in physics, 12 in verbal and 12 in bio. All in all, I found studying to be quite boring, a bit of a drain and the process made me wonder if going back to school was right for me. Thankfully Mac isn't utterly didactic so I think it'll be much better.

 

Hope that helps.

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