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doctorbetty

trying again

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I gave up on pursuing medicine in 2007, but that little voice inside my head will not give up… I keep coming back to this goal of becoming a doctor even after all these years. (I am 37 now)....

 

In 2007, I applied to U of C and U of A. Interviewed at U of A and didn’t get in… Since then, I’ve gotten a second degree in nursing. I graduated nursing in 2013 and have been working as an RN for almost a year. Medicine keeps calling my name, especially since I can’t stop thinking about the biochemistry, chemistry, and physics of health and disease…. I also think that I would be in a better position to help my patients as a physician.

 

In my first Bachelor of Science degree (Molecular and Microbiology), I earned a 3.84 GPA. In my second Bachelor of Science degree (Nursing), I earned a 3.74 GPA. My first MCAT was in 2006 and was not the best (30M). Certainly not as good as it would have been if I would have applied myself more.

 

I want to apply for 2016 entry, so I will be writing the 2015 MCAT and studying my butt off for it! I have been looking for volunteering opportunities, but with a full-time RN job (in which my schedule changes from week to week), this is not easy…. Will a lack of volunteering hurt my application? How do my chances look?

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I gave up on pursuing medicine in 2007, but that little voice inside my head will not give up… I keep coming back to this goal of becoming a doctor even after all these years. (I am 37 now)....

 

In 2007, I applied to U of C and U of A. Interviewed at U of A and didn’t get in… Since then, I’ve gotten a second degree in nursing. I graduated nursing in 2013 and have been working as an RN for almost a year. Medicine keeps calling my name, especially since I can’t stop thinking about the biochemistry, chemistry, and physics of health and disease…. I also think that I would be in a better position to help my patients as a physician.

 

In my first Bachelor of Science degree (Molecular and Microbiology), I earned a 3.84 GPA. In my second Bachelor of Science degree (Nursing), I earned a 3.74 GPA. My first MCAT was in 2006 and was not the best (30M). Certainly not as good as it would have been if I would have applied myself more.

 

I want to apply for 2016 entry, so I will be writing the 2015 MCAT and studying my butt off for it! I have been looking for volunteering opportunities, but with a full-time RN job (in which my schedule changes from week to week), this is not easy…. Will a lack of volunteering hurt my application? How do my chances look?

 

It's obviously hard to say from my lack of experience, but I don't think lack of volunteering will hurt your application. I'm sure whatever you've done during university could still count to an extent but more importantly, you've gone out and experienced life. You've gone through more things than a 20-something year old applicant would. You've worked as an RN for so long so you have clinical experience and potentially greater depth in your view of the world.

 

It's not like your marks are terrible, you still might have a good chance. Good luck!

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If your VR is good (9 or higher) I would say try U of C this year! I'm around your age range and Calgary definitely takes a holistic approach to assessing your experiences. You don't need to volunteer or travel overseas for example. Dr. Walker has been clear the last two years that supervising at a McDonalds while managing a full time course load is just as valid (if not more so) at demonstrating your leadership skills then a two week stint in Africa. You obviously have way more experience then that so I wouldn't let lack of volunteering stop you. Some people just can't afford to do it and Calgary admissions respects that.

 

Worst case scenario you throw away the admissions fee, but you wouldn't believe the diversity in our current class and you might have a pleasant surprise!

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Thank you for the hope ~ It is really good to hear that I might still have a chance. And Calgary will definitely be at the top of my list.

 

I wish I could try for this year, but I need to be in a better financial position before I commit to years of school with little to no income... which is why I've chosen 2016.

 

Does anyone know of good MCAT 2015 prep?

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Betty I think it's a mistake not to apply due to financial reasons. There are several reasons for this:

 

1) UofC has a bursary that cuts the tuition by 50% and it is based on current debt load. I received it this year and it's been a huge help.

 

2) The large banks offer the Medical Line of Credit for professional students and they can go as high as $275,000 Unsecured.

 

3) This is probably the most important one - it can take many tries to get in, and this is just due to chance. Calgary is highly subjective and getting a decline may have nothing to do with your stats, it could just be how you write your application. If you apply and get in, you can sit down with the admin people and work through your options which even include deferring your start date by one year.

 

Dr. Walker has also stated that finances should NEVER be in the way of anyone wanting to go to med school. They will help you out to make sure you can go. I urge you to try just because I know how it feels to be in your late 30's and worried about time!

 

Good luck!

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Yes, your financial situation is not relevant and definitely not a reason to defer applying. When I applied, I had student loans, no assets, and as a med student, I receive financial support from my province and with my bank LOC. I now have a car, more debt, better vacations and have not worked in summer since being a med student, as not only do I need the R & R, but earning money in summer would reduce what the province gives me.

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Thanks for the encouragement. It's especially hopeful hearing from other older med students :) However, I think 2016 will be the first application cycle for me.

 

My fiancé has finally agreed to support me in pursuing this dream, but he would like to have a "break from school" until at least 2016. I, of course, would love to apply before 2016, but school is a huge stress for him too. The whole application process is also very time consuming, and he wants me to be free from all of that for at least one more year.

 

I also have a lot of student debt that I want to pay off, but I'm not sure I would qualify for any of the bursaries you mentioned as my fiancé makes too much $$ in the oil field....

 

I plan on applying to more schools in 2016 (rather than just two like I did in 2006), so hopefully this will also increase my chances.

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Just a quick note, the tuition bursary is based completely on accumulated debt. My husband also works in a field making decent dollars and they don't look at that at all. The LOC are available to everyone. Opportunity cost is always something to consider as well.

 

Remember if you apply and are accepted you can always defer for one year or simply turn down the offer.

 

In the end you have to do it when you feel right, but the stress from med school and residency drags out for years to come.

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That's a great question Betty, I would probably send Adele a quick email asking her about deferrals from 2015 to 2016 so I don't steer you wrong.

 

Here's my understanding though: Deferrals do not "reopen" your application so to speak. Essentially once you are in, you are in. In a similar example, some students complete one year and then need to defer their second year due to family or health reasons. In that case the funding for their position is simply "held" until they return. For students admitted in 2015 that defer, they are guaranteed their spots for 2016.

 

I hope I'm not sounding too pushy. But one thing I experienced myself was the true subjectivity to the admissions process. It's amazing how competitive it is becoming and I think if you don't mind throwing away the admissions fee this year, then why not give it a shot. The feedback on your application is helpful for 2016 and if you get an interview (but not offer of admission) then you have some nice practice for future MMIs. :)

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Thanks for all of your advice... It has caused me to think carefully about my plans, and I really appreciate hearing from you since you are an older student yourself :):)

 

After giving this some more thought, I have decided that it is best for me to apply for 2016 entry.

 

My fiancé has not always been keen on the idea of me attending medical school because of the huge time commitment. Now that I have his support, I don't want to lose it by not agreeing to our original compromise. (2 years off; MCAT in 2015.)

 

Also, according to the MD Applicant Manual, "deferrals will not be granted for circumstances or opportunities which were foreseen at the time of application... Individuals should not apply if they are not prepared to begin the MD program in [the July of the following year.]".

 

The application process itself will be very time consuming and possibly take away some valuable time that I could spend improving my CV and studying for the MCAT. By focusing on 2016, I think my overall application will be even better. I think I will also have more time to get to know some of the physicians I work with... which might be beneficial.

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