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North12

American Application Survival Guide

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Hey!

 

Last year at this time I realized that I was pretty much out of luck for Canadian Medical Schools, and started to look south to fulfill my dreams. In the states the application cycle is this giant daunting process. As Canadians we don’t have access the resources our American counterparts do. They have entire pre-med advisory committees to help them get through the season!

 

Enter premed101. This site, SDN, and (luckily) a former Canadian applicant successful in the states is where I turned for a lot of my information. I am very appreciative for their help and I want to pay it forward. So here is a place to start for all of you who are starting to think about applying to the US! I hope someone finds it helpful. I’m going to bring up some of the differences between the systems, terms you should know and a rough time-line of how things go down.

 

 

SDN: Is the american premed101 and will fill in any gaps that I miss.

 

List of specific SDN advice threads : The section of SDN were there is advice for writing your PS, filling out secondaries etc.

 

 

 

 

 

There are 12 Sections to this Guide:

 

1. Important Dates

2. Rolling Admissions

3. American Subjectivity

4. Application Overview

5. AMCAS Primary

*Side Note on Taking/Retaking MCAT

6. School Selections

7. ECs for Primary

8. Secondaries

9. After Secondaries

10. Interviews

11. After the Interview

12. Glossary

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Important Dates

 

June 1st – AMCAS can be submitted

October 15th – First acceptances are released

May 15th – Students must pick a single school to be accepted at (can be on as many waitlists as they like).

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Rolling Admissions

 

Most schools in the US have rolling admissions. This means that they

 

- will start looking at applications in June/July

- will interview candidates from late August – March

- will accept candidates from October - start of school

 

US schools interview anywhere from 400-1300 applicants in that time frame. Generally, the earlier you interview the better your chances are. I don’t think I will be able to stress this enough but APPLY AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. The competition is twice as hard every month you put it off. Pretty much the only way you’ll get by gracefully if you submit your primary after August is if you have >35 and >3.85.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Holistic Approach

 

One large difference between the two systems is that the American system is a lot more subjective. Canada, for the most part, relies a lot more on stats and MMIs. Don’t get me wrong, there are many stat-heavy schools in the states. However (10X) more schools = greater diversity. Most schools in the US use a holistic approach when comparing applicants. My strength lies in my ECs, so I applied to schools that I knew would read my application front to back before they made a decision. Its really nice to see this holistic approach in action - the interviewers will know exactly why you are there in front of them. Man were they thorough: an interviewer quoted my MCAT sub-scores to me, without my application for reference! It was awesome.

 

In the states, its not over ‘till its over. You can write the admissions office updates on your life, expressing your undying love and interest in their school. They want to know that you think their program is great and why you would be an amazing asset to their school. In the American system you don’t just submit an application and pray to the adcom gods to be kind! Its kind of fun in a competitive pre-med kind of way! With that said, it’s also a lot more intensive. So here we go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. The Application

 

What is different from Canada is that the American applications have two parts:

 

Primary Application – this is your application to AMCAS. It is kind of like OMSAS for the entire country (except Texas). It is AAMC so they already have your MCAT information right there. In it you will include:

- Schools that you will apply to

- Your Transcripts

- Your letters of reference (LORs)

- Your activities (15 with a lot of space for description, 3 you can label “most meaningful” and then get even more space! Its fantastic.)

- Your personal statement (~750-1000 words)

- Payment (Base fee + 30$ / school)

 

 

 

Secondary Application – Each individual school will send you a secondary application (some are screened, most aren’t). Essentially this is a money grab as each school will charge you an additional $60-125 to submit the secondary. Most schools will also ask you to write several additional essays in your secondary as well. Note that this is incredibly time consuming. To make it a little more stressful, it seems to be generally accepted that the faster you return the secondary application = the more interest you seem to have in their school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. AMCAS Primary

 

AMCAS applications open and will start accepting transcripts / LORs in May. Therefore in May make sure all of your references and transcripts are sent in, and write that personal statement.

 

Personal Statement - There are many other places to get advice on your PS so I wont talk about it here. Basically, make it awesome and have it read by strangers on the street before you submit it. This is the best place to sell yourself because you never know what opportunities you will have in your secondary essays.

 

Grades – AMCAS has a really sweet grade conversion which makes Canadian GPAs skyrocket (A+ = A = 4.0!) Also, most American programs live on the bell curve so only 5% of the class will ever get an A+ etc. As such, the average GPA of applicants in the US is much lower (3.65-3.7). This is a good table to refer to find out what your chances are.

 

Also, Americans make the distinction between your cGPA and your BCPM GPA. BCPM = sciences and math courses.

 

Verification - On June 1st you can submit your application. Only after submitting will AMCAS check your transcripts against your reported grades. Before submitting your ap for verification the following sections must be complete:

 

-Demographic Information

-Grades/Courses

-PS

-ECs

 

You cannot edit these sections after submitting your application.

You can add LORs and schools until October.

 

The earlier you submit, the shorter the verification process. Someone graphed, based on SDN data, how long it takes to be verified given your date of submission (graph is at the bottom of the post).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side note on Taking / Retaking MCAT

 

I have been getting a lot of questions about releasing MCAT scores and the AMCAS primary. Here is what you need to know:

 

1. There is a place on your AMCAS application to indicate that you are retaking the MCAT. Schools will hold off on reviewing your application until they receive your new score.

2. MCAT and AMCAS are both run by the AAMC, therefore you do not have to release your score. It will be automatically sent to all the schools that you applied to!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. School Selection

 

This is the question of every other thread on this site. Things to think about:

 

GET MSAR. This site has a profile for each school in the US. It reports everything you could want to know, including the tuition, the range of MCAT scores of the students matriculating, pre-requisite courses required, * how many international students they interviewed etc. The peace of mind it will bring is so worth the 15$ fee in my opinion. It saved me (valuable) hours I would have spent probing the web for questionable stats. US News is another option, but I haven’t tried it out.

 

 

ITS A NUMBERS GAME. If you are serious about getting in somewhere, I would apply to at least 10 schools. Make sure that at least 7 of these schools have average MCAT and GPA’s that are below yours. Also, don’t classify any school as a “safety school”. Only apply to schools that you would actually attend (which means you're going to have to do a whole lot of research). Most schools, especially the ones with lower stats, are going to have you write a secondary essay about “Why their school”. If you cannot sell it to yourself, you are going to have a hard time selling them that you are interested.

 

Here is a compilation of each schools' average matriculating stats. It was put together by SDN users in 2011. Download a copy.

 

 

FINANCES – Keep in mind that some American schools have escrow policies where you basically have to come up with all four years tuition up front (160-200 thousand at once - scary). The ones I know of are WashU, SLU, and NYMC. I will add any that people tell me about below.

 

 

LORs - Every school has frustratingly specific LOR requirements. Start looking into individual LOR requirements asap.

 

The worst offender for LORs I had was Harvard (a girl can dream, right?). They required 2 science profs, 1 non-science prof, and all research supervisors. I threw in a character reference and my count I think was 6 letters! Also I think it was SUNY that wanted letters from profs of two different science departments. So be sure to look into LORs!

 

 

Pre-Reqs - They vary by school, but I would say 80% of them require that you take a full year of physics, chemistry, biology, organic chemistry (all with labs) and English. Math & biochem is all over the place, especially if you are applying MD/PhD.

 

 

YOU - What kind of medicine do you want to do? Academic? Primary Care? Travel with MSF? Public Health and Policy? If you are going into academic meds look into research heavy schools (so schools high on the US News rankings bc that is based on research grants). If you want to do policy look into schools in Washington DC and maybe something in MA bc it is an atypical state. This is something no one ever asked me in Canada. They expect you to have at least thought about this in the US.

 

MD Applicants is an AMAZING resource. People willingly post their stats and info about how they did in the cycle ex. which schools there were accepted at, rejected from (before or after interviews), applications they withdrew from and why. Search your stats, search your province etc. to get a better idea about where you should apply. Keep in mind you have no idea how strong their writing (personal statements and secondaries) might be.

 

MSAR is your best bet, but in the meantime this is a pretty comprehensive and mostly accurate list of schools who accept Canadian Applications (great starting point):

 

 

AECOM

Boston U

Case Western Reserve University

Columbia

Cornell

Dartmouth

Duke

Georgetown

George Washington University

Harvard

Hawaii

Jefferson

Johns Hopkins

Loma Linda

Mayo

Michigan State University

Mount Sinai

Northwestern

NYU

NYMC

Oakland

Penn State

Rosalind Franklin U – Chicago Medical School

SLU

Stanford

SUNY Upstate (Syracuse)

Tulane

University of Kentucky

UChicago – Pritzker

University of California - there are many, each school is different.

Vanderbilt

Virginia Commonwealth University

Wayne State

Washington U in St. Louis

Yale

 

You will figure this out on MSAR but Americans have two types of schools:

 

State Schools - Generally lower averages to get in, but its like of like MUN or Dal - you have to fight your connection to the state, there are fewer spots for out of state (OOS) applicants, and it is easily twice as expensive tuition for OOS. Ex. SUNY is roughly 25k for IS and 55k for OOS / year. So dont be fooled / enticed by the lower averages.

 

Private Schools - All applicants are generally on equal ground, and overall the price is expensive (35-50k/year). I would say most Canadians have the best luck at private schools.

 

And then there are:

 

Schools with Religious Affiliations - Loma Linda and Georgetown (they will accept all applications, but your education will have religious add-ins)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Extra Curriculars

 

As stated above, you have room for 15 activities. You can divide them into the following categories:

 

Employment – Non-military

Employment – Military

Honours / Awards

Leadership

Teaching/ Tutoring

Volunteer – Non-clinical

Volunteer – Clinical

Research / Publications

Extracurricular / Hobbies

Other

 

I did this by memory so there are probably some more categories, but again, this is a good starting point.

 

 

 

The US really wants evidence that you have seriously considered medicine and understand what you are getting yourself into. Make sure you have:

 

1. Volunteered/worked with patients in some respect (at a hospital, as your schools emergency medical team, as a clerical worker in a medical office etc.)

 

2. You have shadowed a physician. Now this one is hard in Canada because it is... frowned upon / unlikely physicians who don’t know you will take you on. However, Americans have trouble with this too and they have compiled some strategies to enlist MDs for shadowing. This can be a greater challenge in Canada, but not impossible.

 

The Law edit: While shadowing is helpful, it is by no means essential. If you have some reasonable clinical experiences (ex. working at emergency room, volunteering at a long term care centre, or other related experiences), then you will have enough to talk about. They just want to see that you have some health care/clinical exposure. Shadowing will help, but it isn't necessary if you have other stuff!

 

 

 

Otherwise just show you are well rounded and try to have either

a) A long term, high level commitment (University-level athletics, Concert pianist) or

B) A gimmick ex. expert in child soldiers, or designed an (intelligent) youtube video that has had over 5 million viewers and was featured on the news type thing.

 

 

Just try to fill most categories and don’t be afraid to collapse multiple activities under one sub-heading. This is something I wish I had done more of. Think about doing umbrella headings for activities like:

 

- Undergraduate Employment – list all jobs, dates, and responsibilities

- Hospital Volunteer work – include all positions and what you learned from them

- Undergraduate Awards / Distinctions – include deans list + scholarships + awards upon graduation where applicable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. The Secondaries

 

So, you’ve submitted your Primary for verification. Good job, that was a lot of work. Picking schools, assigning LORs, hoping that that one LOR you wrangled from a Faculty of Arts prof makes it to AMCAS because of the worst-timed postal strike of your life... but that was just me.

 

Take a week off! Enjoy the beginning of summer. Because if you have a full time job, the next part becomes a little time consuming.

 

The general rule is to have your secondary back to the school within two weeks of receiving it. For some schools (Harvard – only a fee) its pretty easy. Others this can be a bit more difficult to do (NYU and MSU have about three essays each). Usually you will get about 2 secondaries before you are verified (Dartmouth and GWU) and then after you are verified about 10 will come at once.

 

So, plan ahead. This is where SDN is helpful. Most schools have the same essay questions year to year. Also, the first person to receive their secondary will usually post the question(s). Therefore you can start writing your essays before you even receive the secondary! If you do this the secondaries are a piece of cake. Edit: Below Blizzah has posted a link that shares all the secondary prompts for 2011-2012.

 

This is the "school specific" SDN forum for 2012-2013. The first post of each thread will list the secondary essay questions.

People on this site will also tell you when they were verified vs. when they received their secondary. It will give you an idea of when to expect to receive your secondary.

 

 

When writing each secondary make sure to ask yourself (thank you Joe):

 

1. "What insight will this give about me as a human being/future physician/ future med student"

 

2. "If they didn't know this about me, would it make a difference one way or another?".

 

Make sure they are immaculate. They receive 4 000-14 000 applications. They are looking for some reason to cut you out of the pool asap. So, have each secondary read by a couple other people. Rotate those people... you can only ask so much of someone!

 

My only advice here is that after about 5-10 of these bad boys, you get really good at them. There is a bit of a learning curve. I regret sending in Dartmouth as my first secondary – re-reading it now it was AWFUL. I can’t believe they kept me around until February before rejecting me. Don't make the same mistakes I did. Do not sacrifice quality for speed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Between Secondaries and Invites

 

Take a deep breath, because the fun is about to start. Welcome to land of neuroticism. You’re about to enter a love/hate relationship with “Inbox [1]”.

 

 

 

Things you can do in the meantime:

 

1. Start neurotically checking SDN school specific threads to see where you stand. Be excited – that first interview invite is really great!

 

2. Financially travelling does get expensive. To a certain degree I actually narrowed down schools by how many flights it would take me to get there. Porter’s constant sales = your new favourite airline. Sign yourself up to receive notifications about Air Canada, WestJet and Porter sales.

 

3. Start doing Canadian applications. They will seem really easy at this point: Copy. Paste. Pay. Complete.

 

4. Buy your LORs a bottle of wine for sending your letters all over North America.

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10. You got an interview!!!!

 

Congratulations – you are amazing. Have an (alcoholic) beverage of your choice. Watch Man v. Food for the city you are about to explore. Google-maps-street-view the roads you could be walking down for the next 4 years!

 

Then realize you are going to be compared to all these Americans and you don’t know the first thing about the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Here are some things you should know:

 

 

US Med School Basics to think about before your interview:

 

Heath Care System

 

Private = Insurance

 

Public = Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Hospitals

 

Medicare – Disabled and over 65

Medicaid – Low income families

Veterans Hospitals – basically the closest thing to the Canadian health care system, as far as I could tell.

 

Obamacare– aka the Affordable Care Act. People have incredibly strong opinions on this subject. Read up on it and form your own opinion.

 

Canada vs. US - This is bound to come up because no matter what, your gimmick and way to add diversity to a medical class is the fact that you are CANADIAN. A foreign entity. So, did you know that Americans pay more per capita/% of GDP on healthcare then any other country in the world? Socialized medicine IS cheaper. But at what cost? Quality? Timing of care? Distribution of resources? Be able to intelligently compare the two systems.

 

That being said, why come to the states? I want to get my MD no matter what = doesn't cut it. There are some pretty cool things about the states to get excited about. When in doubt talk about increased opportunities and exposure to technologies (be specific), the greater variety of programs available, and in particular your school's ( Insert something unique at that school ). See what I did there?

 

 

 

Licensing Exams

 

Their licensing exams are fairly different from ours. They are the USMLEs. There are 3 steps, but at this point only focus on steps 1 +2.

 

Step 1 – A written multiple choice exam that is taken at the end of second year. It assesses your book-knowledge of medicine – science and good practice. 188 is a passing score. Average score is around 220, though it varies every year. The average pass rate is 92%.

 

Step 2 – Divided into two sections. Taken during 4th year:

 

Step 2 CK – Clinical Knowledge, MC

Step 2 CS – Clinical Skills, with standardized patients and actors

 

 

 

Sports Teams

This is a more social recommendation for your interview day. This may seem silly, but when all you know about the other applicant is their name tag (name and school), everyone ends up talking about the relatively safe topic of college sports. I have to say I was so lost. Maybe look up some college football and basketball team stats or something.

 

 

Practice Interview Questions

 

If you are not sold on the awesomeness of SDN yet, here applicants have written down questions they were asked at their interview. Click on the school you are interviewing at and find the (tiny) "View Survey Results" under interview feedback. People will post their most difficult questions, most interesting questions etc. Its a great resource to use to prepare for interviews!

 

 

When to turn down an invite?

 

In my opinion, the only time you would EVER turn down an invite is after you've been accepted to a school. And even then really think about it - they offered you an invite because they think you would be a good fit at their school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. After the Interview

 

Filled with wonder – or fear now that you recognize the scope of what getting yourself into?

 

The first acceptances come out on October 15th. Some schools will call you (a very classy touch), others will email you sometime that day. After that, any time is fair game eg. Mayo who sends out emails at 1am! Yes, I'm telling you that you will be anxious, even in your sleep, for the next 10 months or so. Good luck, its going to be a long year.

 

What can you do now?

 

Thank you notes – Protocol varies at different schools and they will probably tell you at the interview what is expected and how to contact them. The only school I’ve been accepted to is the only school I didn’t send a thank you note to.... just saying.

 

Update Letter – exactly what it sounds like. Make it a legitimate update (like a publication, not an A+ on your last midterm).

 

Transcripts – In January most schools would like you to upload your transcripts from the previous term. This is to each individual school (not AMCAS) and most accept “unofficial” transcripts. My new school doesn’t have these so I just scanned copy of my “official” transcript (rendering it unofficial, I guess).

 

Letter of Interest – Usually written into the update letter, you are expressing your continued interest in the school

 

Letter of Intent – this is when you write them to say: if you accept me, I will withdraw my application from all other schools and attend. Please take this seriously and mean it – you would withdraw Canadian applications too. There is one school I would probably sell my kidney and give up my first born child to attend, and I still haven’t written them a letter of intent.

 

Acceptances

 

In the mail, usually, you will receive your acceptance contract. Sign it. Don’t forget to return it! Figure out if there is a deposit to pay and when it is due (like May 22nd; a random day, really far from now).

 

Criminal Background Check - In January you will get an email from Certiphi Screening describing the background check process. It involves faxing personal identification and an additional Canadian release form. Don’t forget to find these and send them out!

 

Second Look - most schools have "second look" days or weekends sometime in March/April. Accepted students are invited back to learn more about the school without the stress of an interview looming. It is a great opportunity to educate yourself better before you decide which school to attend, and allows you to meet your future classmates.

 

* Note on AMCAS

Edit: See below to lkthlttr's post to learn how which schools can see how your application is going at other schools.

Thanks lkthlttr!

 

 

Holds / Waitlists

 

Holds and waitlists are very different at each school. Refer to SDN to find more about the ones you have applied to.

 

Know that on May 15th everyone can only hold an acceptance to ONE school. On this day thousands of kids pull their acceptances from multiple schools. This is when the waitlists start moving.

 

In the mean time - here is a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. The Glossary!

 

PM me any terms you would like defined!

 

 

Adcom = Admissions Committee

 

BCPM = Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math

 

Committee Letter – American schools have pre-medical advisory committees which are a group of faculty that organize a comprehensive letter packet of recommendations for the student. We don't have that.

 

Escrow – a policy/account where the full four years tuition must be entered before you can matriculate.

 

FAFSA = Federal loans that American citizens can apply for. A FAFSA application is required to be eligible for institutional loans at most schools.

 

Verification – AMCAS checking to see if your transcripts match your reported scores

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus!

 

These are my favourite threads to get excited about medicine / interviews. There are some pretty hilarious gems in here. Enjoy!

 

Lessons EM docs have learned from their patients: Don't start this thread when studying...

 

Bizarre Interview stories: I hope you never have to contribute!

 

Short, funny clinical stories: Dr. Grumpy Blog

 

 

 

EDIT: You are most welcome! Im happy to do this. And Im really proud Ive been stickied.

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* Note on AMCAS (from very unreliable sources):

 

- Until March 15th schools can only see which schools you have applied to.

- On March 15th schools that have accepted you can see which other schools have accepted you.

- In May everyone can see everything. This is because after May 15th you can only hold an acceptance at one school.

 

Great series of posts. Just want to provide a bit of information on this, straight from the horse's mouth (page 12 of the following pdf: https://www.aamc.org/students/download/182162/data/2012_amcas_instruction_manual.pdf)

 

The AAMC disseminates application information to medical schools to which you have applied. The AAMC also shares acceptance information across schools in order to assist medical schools’s adherence to AAMC recommendations. This acceptance data is shared as follows:

 

a) Beginning in February of each year, a medical school that has accepted an applicant can view the other school or schools that have accepted the applicant, if applicable.

B) Beginning in April of each year, a medical school can view the school or schools that have accepted an applicant, even if that applicant has not yet been accepted by the medical school.

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Thanks guys! The feedback makes it time well wasted!

 

Many people have PMed questions, and keep 'em coming. There are some great things that I had forgotten to mention. I have been continuously updating the posts, and there is still room for improvement.

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Hey North 12,

Thanks so much for taking the time to list everything we all need to apply to the states. I'm wondering if you can provide me with some info on schools that look at the personal statement, EC's etc. It would be greatly appreciated if you can provide me with the schools you've applied to in the states based on their concentration on EC's and personal statement. Thanks so much!

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Hey North 12,

Thanks so much for taking the time to list everything we all need to apply to the states. I'm wondering if you can provide me with some info on schools that look at the personal statement, EC's etc. It would be greatly appreciated if you can provide me with the schools you've applied to in the states based on their concentration on EC's and personal statement. Thanks so much!

 

So this is where I applied/summarizes my application cycle: http://mdapplicants.com/profile.php?id=23942

 

Unlike Canada, many US schools do not advertise how they weight academics / ECs. Therefore what I am about to write is all speculation. To generalize, most US schools will look at most aspects of your application before making a decision. This means it doesn't matter so much if they look at your PS and ECs but what is in your PS and ECs and how it matches what the school is looking for.

 

Also, Its hard to comment without knowing what MCAT range you fall in. Invest in MSAR and do the research - a lot depends on what your goals are and what experiences you already have.

 

Some stat-heavy schools I tried to avoid (by reputation) were WashU, Duke, Yale, the UCs, Stanford and the like. BUT I know if you hit their MCAT range, schools like Duke and Yale are very holistic in their review.

 

I know Michigan State and VCU screen applicants, and only send secondaries to students they feel have a good chance for an interview.

 

If you can do some awesome writing/ have a cool back story then Harvard, Mayo, CWRU, VCU are some good choices. If you have the supporting ECs, and are interested in service medicine/strong social mission, then NYU, GWU, Georgetown and Boston U are good places to apply. If you are researchy then Mt. Sinai, AECOM and CCLCM will be interested in what you have to say.

 

The above schools are ones I seriously considered - I really cannot comment on other Canadian friendly schools like DMS, RFU, UK, SLU, Wayne State.

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Thanks North 12. I'm very thankful for you sharing what you know with us. I will keep what you've suggested here in mind when applying to the states this year. I was wondering if you could give me some suggestions as to which schools I should apply with my gpa and mcat score. I have 12/10/12 Q (Bio/VR/Phys) and an 3.00 (aamc converted gpa) «-- not super high :( and this is partly why I wanted to see which schools emphasize more on EC's and MCAT scores :(

 

Some EC's to list:

My extracurricular includes - 7yrs in hospital patient direct vol with children.

3 yrs at Ronald McDonald House

Working with people affected by HIV/AIDS

Team leading experience at work and volunteer and lots and lots more...

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With a 3.00 its going to be VERY hard getting into an allopathic scores. Your good MCAT score compensates somewhat but I just have trouble seeing a Canadian below 3.3 getting into a US MD school. Don't get me wrong its definitely possible but definitely rare. If everything else is sold, considering doing an extra year or do a SMP like Georgetown and you should be golden.

 

Good luck!

 

Thanks North 12. I'm very thankful for you sharing what you know with us. I will keep what you've suggested here in mind when applying to the states this year. I was wondering if you could give me some suggestions as to which schools I should apply with my gpa and mcat score. I have 12/10/12 Q (Bio/VR/Phys) and an 3.00 (aamc converted gpa) «-- not super high :( and this is partly why I wanted to see which schools emphasize more on EC's and MCAT scores :(

 

Some EC's to list:

My extracurricular includes - 7yrs in hospital patient direct vol with children.

3 yrs at Ronald McDonald House

Working with people affected by HIV/AIDS

Team leading experience at work and volunteer and lots and lots more...

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How did you guys manage to ask your science profs for reference letters?

I have always been in large classes and have not been too active in classes (i.e. I didn't go up to the prof after class, etc.). But I do have good marks in science courses. What will I need to do to get a good reference letter, even though I don't personally know them that much..?

 

Same goes for non-academic profs..

 

Thanks!

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How did you guys manage to ask your science profs for reference letters?

I have always been in large classes and have not been too active in classes (i.e. I didn't go up to the prof after class, etc.). But I do have good marks in science courses. What will I need to do to get a good reference letter, even though I don't personally know them that much..?

 

Same goes for non-academic profs..

 

Thanks!

 

You should ask profs you did honors thesis with or mass e-mail multiple profs asking for reference!

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I'm retaking my MCAT this August, so if they hold off on reviewing my application until they receive my new score, will I be heavily disadvantaged due to the rolling admissions?

 

What're my chances with the following stats:

My GPA is 3.8/ 4.3 and my current MCAT is 10 PS 8 VR 10 BS O WS

I have an NSERC, volunteer at the hospital and local family doctor's clinic, led a couple university clubs

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I am a bit confused as to when LORs are due? In one post it says by May, but in another it says you can add them until October. Are LORs part of the primary or secondary application? I can't seem to find a distinct answer on the AMCAS website.

 

Also, have you guys been sending your referees an outline to give direction with the letters?

 

Thanks

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Your LORs do not have to be in for the verification process. You can add them anytime from May until October. However, schools will not process your application without them so the sooner you get them in the better!

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I need some advice. I am currently doing a Masters degree that will be done at the end of June. The marks will likely not appear on my transcripts until mid-July. AMCAS said that I would not have a graduate GPA if my transcript did not show my completed graduate degree. If I wait, till the transcript gets there and by the time my application is verified, it could be August.

 

Or I could submit my application as soon as possible before my graduate thesis mark is on my transcript and not get a graduate GPA.

 

I am not sure what will give me the better advantage. Submitting earlier or submitting later but with a graduate GPA. My undergraduate grades are not stellar, but my graduate grades are good.

 

Thanks for any advice

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