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High School Student Accepted Into Nursing, Looking To Enter Med School - Good Or Bad?

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I'm a grade 12 high school student who has always been interested in going to med school in Canada.  I recognise that I have a long road ahead of me but I just got confirmation that I was accepted into the 4 year bachelor of nursing program at a university.

 

I thought I would do this as my undergraduate degree and then apply to med school.

 

I found some very old posts on another website that said that med schools generally frown on nurses applying to med school, especially those that try to apply to med school directly after completing their nursing degree.

 

I'm just wondering if anyone knows if this is true?

 

Medicine is what I want to practise, but I need an undergraduate degree and nursing just seems so logical because I'm interested in health care and it is a good profession if something was to change in my plans down the road.  I have not accepted my spot in nursing school yet but it starts in Sept 2017.

 

Thank you

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While I don't know too much about nursing, I do know that Canadian medical schools don't discriminate against what university you completed your degree in or your degree, but take note that you should have all of your necessary prerequisite courses. Also take what you read from internet forums with a grain of salt, if you would like learning more about what the Canadian medical school are looking for I recommend looking up the medical school websites or flip through the AFMC doc with updated admissions info.

 

From the 2019 Mac med stats (http://mdprogram.mcmaster.ca/docs/default-source/admissions/classof2019.pdf?sfvrsn=2) it notes that about 3 students with a Bachelors of Nursing were accepted. So students with nursing degrees do get accepted into medical school, but not as many as people with science or health science degrees likely since less nursing students apply.

 

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide on what undergraduate degree to study for four years so it should definitely be one that you enjoy!

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Hey there!

 

Med schools don't discriminate against degrees! (At least the ones I applied to, perhaps there are other schools in Canada that require specifics)

 

- I would recommend doing a degree you know that you will EXCEL in. I know that practically nursing is relevant, but I hear that its difficult to maintain a good GPA. It's a rigorous and difficult program to do well in! Might be a difficult path since you may need to incorporate PREREQUISITES into your degree. This may need to be in the summer since nursing is pretty heavy.

- If you KNOW you ONLY want to be a doctor, I would choose the path of least resistance and choose a program that you can maintain a HIGH GPA in. But this is your call! The schools I applied to do NOT take difficulty of degree into consideration, so this may be a advantage/disadvantage.

- Having a nursing degree won't help you or hurt you in terms of how admissions perceives you. 

 

They will not frown upon your degree! I know many nursing, arts, etc students in medicine. A lot of them are doing GREAT in med!

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Just be prepared to answer why you switched from nursing to medicine when you have an interview. If you have mmi interview then you won't have to worry about it. Also the training you get in therapeutic communication will come in handy for some acting interview scenarios.

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- I would recommend doing a degree you know that you will EXCEL in. I know that practically nursing is relevant, but I hear that its difficult to maintain a good GPA. It's a rigorous and difficult program to do well in! Might be a difficult path since you may need to incorporate PREREQUISITES into your degree. This may need to be in the summer since nursing is pretty heavy.

- If you KNOW you ONLY want to be a doctor, I would choose the path of least resistance and choose a program that you can maintain a HIGH GPA in. But this is your call! The schools I applied to do NOT take difficulty of degree into consideration, so this may be a advantage/disadvantage.

 

This is my biggest worry.  I'd like to take an easy path to med school, but the chances of getting into med school are pretty low.  Like everyone else, I think I have strong work ethics, good grades and am working on my EC.  But of course, not everyone makes it in.

 

That's why I'm looking at nursing as my first degree.  At the end of the 4 years, I've got a first career.  I can't say that with some of the other degrees that are available through university.

 

I am though worried about maintaining high grades in nursing.

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This is my biggest worry.  I'd like to take an easy path to med school, but the chances of getting into med school are pretty low.  Like everyone else, I think I have strong work ethics, good grades and am working on my EC.  But of course, not everyone makes it in.

 

That's why I'm looking at nursing as my first degree.  At the end of the 4 years, I've got a first career.  I can't say that with some of the other degrees that are available through university.

 

I am though worried about maintaining high grades in nursing.

 

one thing to look at closely is the structure of that degree and how it will work with the admission's policies of the schools. For instance many nursing programs have a lot pass/fail credits - work placements really - at some point. Medical schools tend to choke on those courses because they don't fit into their expected mold - they need to compute GPA and that is done normally with straight grades in each course.

 

there are several nurses now doctors on the forum (some had to do second degrees to make it work). They would be a great resource for you (see the non trad section).

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This is my biggest worry.  I'd like to take an easy path to med school, but the chances of getting into med school are pretty low.  Like everyone else, I think I have strong work ethics, good grades and am working on my EC.  But of course, not everyone makes it in.

 

That's why I'm looking at nursing as my first degree.  At the end of the 4 years, I've got a first career.  I can't say that with some of the other degrees that are available through university.

 

I am though worried about maintaining high grades in nursing.

 

I guess take where you want to apply into consideration. Some schools are not GPA heavy, so if you were to have a below average GPA, it wouldn't affect you much. At many schools across Canada... Your GPA basically dictates a large proportion of your Pre-Interview score. (U of T, UBC, U of A, Ottawa, Mac)

 

Applying to med school is risky and kind of a gamble... But something I've learned is... Don't spread yourself too thin. Too many backup plans can really hinder your competitiveness for the program you truly want. I actually pursued a very difficult degree thinking that I had a solid backup plan, only to find it made my life a lot more difficult than it needed to be.

 

Rmorelan raises a stellar point about how some programs may affect how your GPA is calculated. Make sure you do your research on which schools you'd inevitably apply to! Because I didn't till the year I was applying. Boy did I ever regret that...

 

Keep your eye on the prize and cruise forward. (obviously this is only my opinion!)

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one thing to look at closely is the structure of that degree and how it will work with the admission's policies of the schools. For instance many nursing programs have a lot pass/fail credits - work placements really - at some point. Medical schools tend to choke on those courses because they don't fit into their expected mold - they need to compute GPA and that is done normally with straight grades in each course.

 

there are several nurses now doctors on the forum (some had to do second degrees to make it work). They would be a great resource for you (see the non trad section).

 

Should I post this in the non-trad section in the hopes of one of the nurses seeing this post?  It would mean the world to me to get some opinions of those that have gone this route before I commit.

 

It just seems a waste to have to do a second degree before being able to apply to med school and at the same time, it seems almost pointless (at least to me) to do a general science degree with few job prospects when I can enter straight into nursing which essentially is a guaranteed career if med school doesn't work out for one reason or another.

 

Thank you

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Congratulations on your acceptance! I also went into nursing for the same reasons as you; I wanted to do something hands-on in healthcare, and I thought it would give me a great back up plan if medical school didn't work out. I LOVED the patient interaction and learning the skills, but I ended up switching into a science program after first year for the reasons mentioned above (GPA and inability to satisfy pre-reqs). I also didn't see myself pursuing a career in nursing; medicine was always my goal. As the other posters have mentioned, I'd look into the courses you'd be taking in the nursing program, how many are pass/fail, and how many electives you have (you can use those to take pre-reqs). If need be, check if your university offers med school pre-reqs over the summer. Mine didn't, so that was another consideration for me. It also depends on the medical schools you'd like to apply to, as many don't have pre-requisites. Ultimately, choose a program you think you'll enjoy and do well in. If that's nursing, go for it! It's definitely doable. Just make sure you do your research on the requirements for the medical schools you plan on applying to. Best of luck! :)

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Congratulations on your acceptance! I also went into nursing for the same reasons as you; I wanted to do something hands-on in healthcare, and I thought it would give me a great back up plan if medical school didn't work out. I LOVED the patient interaction and learning the skills, but I ended up switching into a science program after first year for the reasons mentioned above (GPA and inability to satisfy pre-reqs). I also didn't see myself pursuing a career in nursing; medicine was always my goal. As the other posters have mentioned, I'd look into the courses you'd be taking in the nursing program, how many are pass/fail, and how many electives you have (you can use those to take pre-reqs). If need be, check if your university offers med school pre-reqs over the summer. Mine didn't, so that was another consideration for me. It also depends on the medical schools you'd like to apply to, as many don't have pre-requisites. Ultimately, choose a program you think you'll enjoy and do well in. If that's nursing, go for it! It's definitely doable. Just make sure you do your research on the requirements for the medical schools you plan on applying to. Best of luck! :)

 

Thank you for your response.  I have so many questions running through my mind right now.

 

1.  You mentioned that it is hard to maintain a good GPA in nursing.  Would it really be any easier to get a good GPA in Chemistry or Physics or a similar pure science or are you suggesting that I take my undergrad in something else?

 

2.  Similar to you, "medicine was always my goal" but there are so few undergrad degrees like nursing that give you an immediate career upon graduation.  When you see stats like 5,000 people applying and 200 being accepted, clearly things didn't workout for 4,800 people.  While I hope I'm never in that group, you never know and being accepted into nursing just feels so safe career wise.

 

3.  Are you sure that med schools would frown on pass/fail courses.  They have said on record that they don't give any credit to your undergrad degree.  If pass/fail courses are part of your undergrad and they frown upon them, then indirectly they are discriminating upon people based upon their undergrad degree.

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Thank you for your response.  I have so many questions running through my mind right now.

 

1.  You mentioned that it is hard to maintain a good GPA in nursing.  Would it really be any easier to get a good GPA in Chemistry or Physics or a similar pure science or are you suggesting that I take my undergrad in something else?

 

2.  Similar to you, "medicine was always my goal" but there are so few undergrad degrees like nursing that give you an immediate career upon graduation.  When you see stats like 5,000 people applying and 200 being accepted, clearly things didn't workout for 4,800 people.  While I hope I'm never in that group, you never know and being accepted into nursing just feels so safe career wise.

 

3.  Are you sure that med schools would frown on pass/fail courses.  They have said on record that they don't give any credit to your undergrad degree.  If pass/fail courses are part of your undergrad and they frown upon them, then indirectly they are discriminating upon people based upon their undergrad degree.

 

Don't know where you are getting those stats from but U of C and U of A medical school get about 1200 applicants and accept 150 of them, so its not a 4% chance of acceptance more like 18% (this is higher in some schools and is above 20% in some IP places) secondly it is not out of the norm to get in after two three or four tries, its not like all 150 accepted got in on there first try...

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Don't know where you are getting those stats from but U of C and U of A medical school get about 1200 applicants and accept 150 of them, so its not a 4% chance of acceptance more like 18% (this is higher in some schools and is above 20% in some IP places) secondly it is not out of the norm to get in after two three or four tries, its not like all 150 accepted got in on there first try...

 

I am getting the numbers from the McMaster class of 2019 stats available at http://mdprogram.mcmaster.ca/docs/default-source/admissions/classof2019.pdf?sfvrsn=2

 

Applicants 5,025

Interviewed 552

Number admitted to the Class of 2019:206

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Thank you for your response.  I have so many questions running through my mind right now.

 

1.  You mentioned that it is hard to maintain a good GPA in nursing.  Would it really be any easier to get a good GPA in Chemistry or Physics or a similar pure science or are you suggesting that I take my undergrad in something else?

 

2.  Similar to you, "medicine was always my goal" but there are so few undergrad degrees like nursing that give you an immediate career upon graduation.  When you see stats like 5,000 people applying and 200 being accepted, clearly things didn't workout for 4,800 people.  While I hope I'm never in that group, you never know and being accepted into nursing just feels so safe career wise.

 

3.  Are you sure that med schools would frown on pass/fail courses.  They have said on record that they don't give any credit to your undergrad degree.  If pass/fail courses are part of your undergrad and they frown upon them, then indirectly they are discriminating upon people based upon their undergrad degree.

 

1. In my opinion, I do believe it's easier to obtain a higher GPA in chemistry or physics, IF (and this is a big if) you typically do well in the maths and sciences.  The sciences are far more objective than many nursing courses.  With nursing, a lot of the assignments and written answers on tests are more subjective.  Keep in mind that I was only in nursing for one year.  Of course, it's certainly possible to do well in nursing, but for me, the sciences were a safer and more stable route.  I want to be clear that I'm not suggesting you do your undergrad in something else, I just wanted to share my own experience with you.  I found that I didn't really know what the nursing and science programs entailed until I actually started university.  For example, I thought that being in chemistry meant that all your classes for all four years were chemistry classes.  The reality is that in many science programs, you do have quite a bit of flexibility to choose courses you'd like to take, especially in later years.

 

2. Keep in mind that of those 5000 people who apply to McMaster, many also apply and are accepted to other schools.  I believe that in Ontario, OMSAS usually gets ~23,000 applications, from ~6000 applicants.  So, the average applicant applies to 4 schools.  The percentage of people who are accepted is still low, but not quite as low as you may think.  Further, a lot of people who continue applying do get accepted after a few tries.

 

3.  I don't feel that I know enough to answer this question.  Your best bet would be to contact the admissions offices of the schools you're interested in applying to or seeing if they have any info about how they evaluate pass/fail courses on their website.  

 

I think the bottom line is that you should choose a program that you enjoy and believe you can do well in.  That may very well be nursing, especially if you can see yourself pursuing a career in it after you graduate!  I know for certain that NOSM does accept a number of nursing graduates each year, so it depends on where you'd like to apply.  But I would be careful about choosing a program for the sole reason that it gives you a career if medicine doesn't work out.  On the flip side, you also shouldn't choose a program just because you think you'll get a good GPA in it.  Choosing something within your interests will make your undergrad far more enjoyable, and will also make it easier to do well.

 

Don't be afraid to ask all the questions you need to.  Good for you for doing that so far!  All the best! :)

 

Edited to add the OMSAS application statistics: In 2015, there were 6847 applicants, 957 of which were accepted. :)

https://www.ouac.on.ca/statistics/med_app_stats/

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I am getting the numbers from the McMaster class of 2019 stats available at http://mdprogram.mcmaster.ca/docs/default-source/admissions/classof2019.pdf?sfvrsn=2

 

Applicants 5,025

Interviewed 552

Number admitted to the Class of 2019:206

 

True but keep in mind that most of those students will be applying to multiple Ontario schools. The overall acceptance rate for the entire province for an applicant is closer to 15%. 

 

and that assumes you only apply once, which is definitely not true either - even great applicants have had to apply multiple times. That pushes the eventual rate of acceptance higher still. 

 

i mean it is still not great odds but not as terrible as 4% :)

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