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FutureDoctor

Decision Making - Opinions?

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Hello

 

I wish to seek your opinions on my current situation and wanted to give some background info.

 

I have completed two honours degrees with the following GPAs for some of the Ontario schools. 

 

Western (Best two) - 3.85, 3.89

Queens (Last two) - 3.85, 3.89

UofT (wGPA) - 3.83

McMaster - 3.46 

Ottawa - 3.794

MCAT(2014) - 10P, 11V, 10B

ECs - Pretty good

 

I only applied to Western and McMaster last year and was rejected. Currently, I wish to enroll in a graduate program and have gained admission to MSc Global Health(1 year) and MPH( inaugural program, 16 months, practicum option) at McMaster. I am having trouble choosing the program that will help me in my medical school applications and afterwards in my career as a doctor, hopefully. On the other side, I also wish to have a graduate degree with good job prospects in Canada if my medical school dream doesn't work out. 

 

I will appreciate it if anyone can offer me some guidance. These are the major questions that concern me at the moment.

 

1) Are my stats good enough to gain admission in Canada? Will it improve with a grad degree?

2) Which graduate program would you think might serve me better in my given circumstance? 

 

I thank you in advance for your help. 

FutureDoctor

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I think you would have a good shot at Western with a MCAT rewrite - you already have the GPA, and same with Queen's - but ECs are really looked at there. Grad degree would help at UofT, with the wGPA - I think MSc would look better, but I'm not sure. Dalhousie would be an option (even oop), but ECs are also really looked at there. Best of luck!

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Unless I am completely out of the loop lately, I do not think what you have your masters in has any weight in terms of what residency you can do.

Same. I read the question and got very confused... How on earth would it restrict your residency options? Perhaps the poster is getting confused with the public health doctor residency programs, which (I think) involve family med plus an MPH.

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Thank you for clearing that up. Could someone offer me some advice as to what graduate program might prepare me better for medical school - is it an MPH (course based) or MSc (Global Health)? MPH is also offered as a thesis program (24 months), but I am concerned as it will restrict my applications to med school further due to the timeline. I am in my mid twenties and would like to utilize all possible chances to apply. Also, MPH is a new program and no reviews are available. I feel a bit iffy to be in the inaugural program and wonder if I am just being over concerned.  

 

Any suggestions will be appreciated. 

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If I were in your shoes, I would do a thesis based 2 year MPH. The added value of the course based one, in my view, would not be high enough. Because the GPA boost from a Masters is not enormous (though this varies), I would want an experience that really strengthens my application in terms of research and ECs. Yes, it delays by another year, but, really, so what? A year is minor in the long run of a career, so don't base your decision purely on 1 vs 2 years (this from a 31 year old). To me, 2 years gives you ample time to really explore the field and get involved. Developing your research skills is not a bad thing either in my view. It also likely makes you more employable if med does not immediately work out. Worst case scenario, you work another 2-3 years in public health, gain some fantastic experience, and rock your med applications.

 

In terms of preparing you for med school, which I interpret to mean helping you while in med rather than helping you get into med, I doubt there is much of a difference. Both are tangentially related to med, though an MPH might strengthen your epidemiology skills which could help in med (purely guessing). This is from someone who of course has done neither program, but has been involved in global health, so take it for what it's worth.

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I think you would have a good shot at Western with a MCAT rewrite - you already have the GPA, and same with Queen's - but ECs are really looked at there. Grad degree would help at UofT, with the wGPA - I think MSc would look better, but I'm not sure. Dalhousie would be an option (even oop), but ECs are also really looked at there. Best of luck!

 

Also, Calgary will use your graduate school gpa in calculations if you have graduated at the time of applications. This should put you over the 3.8 minimum for OOP, but you will need to write the new MCAT.

 

Your gpa and MCAT were strong enough for Queens, so I would take a look at how you're presenting or what you're presenting for your personal experiences. Both Calgary and Queens really take into consideration those experiences. Do you have any rural connection? NOSM would be a good school to look at if that's the case.

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Thank you, that's encouraging to hear. Would my wGPA of 3.83 be good enough for UofT with a masters? Do you see any chances for me there - I can definitely provide detailed information on certain extenuating circumstances that made the GPA low but don't know if it will considered.

 

I realize I meet the MCAT cut off for Queens, Dal, MAC, U of T - I don't want to risk my VR score to be honest. Would you think I should retake it now?

 

Thanks again

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I'm not sure if VR 11 plus 3.49 is realistic at Mac, to be honest. I got an interview OOP at Mac with 3.56 and VR 13, but I think it's tougher with a lower verbal and I must have done well on CASPER too.

 

For now you look competitive for Queens and Dal. Possibly try U of T.

 

Re-write? Maybe not yet, depending on when you apply... A re-write, with a great score, would get you Western interview. That's a plus. But is it worth it? Not sure...

 

I can't speak to Toronto... No experience applying so haven't scanned the forums much. Offhand I believe that a masters only really helps if it is thesis based and is tied with research productivity, so a 2 year program wins out here. Look through the Toronto forum to see how ppl with masters have fared.

 

By the way, re: 2 year vs 1 year masters... If you want to use the marks from your masters (e.g. for Dal), then you'd have to apply after completing that first year, no? Might as well have something to do during that second year, hence the 2 year suggestion.

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Agree. I realize it's a very long shot at Mac. With regards to Western though, we don't know how the new MCAT is going to compare with the old. If the new one is more difficult, wouldn't schools end up lowering their cutoffs? I have not attempted to evaluate this deeply, and am not banking on that....Just a thought !!

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Tough choice... the seems to be MPH the more recognizable degree vs the MSc GH which may help with employability. Of course as you have mentioned the MPH will take longer. I was in a similar position when I applied to GH; one of the reasons I applied was for the 1 year time frame. I did have a back up career though (nursing). If you don't have a solid back up career and medicine is the end goal, I might suggest that the MPH may be a better choice in terms of finding work after graduation. 

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Thank you for your suggestions. I believe I saw a few with less than 3.75 wGPA something that got a UofT admission, but they seem to have accomplished much in research (publications). That being said,one issue that I am facing with my choice is about MPH being an inaugural program at McMaster and I just feel a bit unsure as to how it's going to go. Also, it seems that the actual research (thesis) would only start after the first year, which makes it difficult to achieve a high research productivity. Am I overthinking? 

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