Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
Sign in to follow this  
mononoke

Uoft's Free Mcat Course

Recommended Posts

https://www.utoronto.ca/news/u-t-launches-free-mcat-prep-course-students-financial-need

 

I think it's the right way to go but I don't know how they're going to select 30 students. What do others think?

 

Seem like a good thing for the students, and the school. We have to start putting some back pressure ha on all this prep course companies if for no other reason to keep thing costs in line. 

 

If I was in U of T that is the kind of thing I would try to help out with. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.utoronto.ca/news/u-t-launches-free-mcat-prep-course-students-financial-need

 

I think it's the right way to go but I don't know how they're going to select 30 students. What do others think?

 

Seem like a good thing for the students, and the school. We have to start putting some back pressure ha on all this prep course companies if for no other reason to keep thing costs in line. 

 

If I was in U of T that is the kind of thing I would try to help out with. 

 

This is something that I personally wish my school will do in the future. It will be super awesome to have mentors and free MCAT student support program to help out other students who are pre-med. I know that there are some mentorship programs where I go but getting help from the MCAT is just an amazing opportunity to have.

 

I do agree that they are going in the right direction but I personally think that it will all come down to the GPA and the Financial need that the students have. 

If a student has a very high GPA and needs quite a lot of financial need then they may have a very high chance of getting picked as one of the 30 students who can participate. 

However, my question is this,

What will they do to other students who may have struggled during their first and second year of Undergrad but are now trying to bounce back up? Do these students with low GPAs because of their first and second year struggles not get a chance to participate even if they also do require financial needs like the other students who has high GPAs?  :confused:

How about other non-traditional students who have already graduated and may want to change career path? Are they also considered in this program or are they completely ignored since they no longer go to the U of T's school.  :confused:

 

In my personal opinion, I think that one of the selections that they need to have in their application process is for students to be able to write a short personal statement as to why they deserve to be given a chance to participate in this program. I was going to suggest having an interview but I figured that may be too much of a hassle for the committee. Furthermore, I think that reserving some seats may come in handy for some students. It may go something like this:

-12 seats for students who has a current cGPA's >3.5 and also require Financial needs*

-12 seats for students who has a current cGPA between 2.0 - 3.4 that shows an upward trend in their GPA with a Financial needs*/**

 

-6 seats for non-traditional students who wish to change career path and are older than 25yrs old that has a cGPA >3.0. *

*some priorities given to those who meets the underrepresented population. [i feel like this is something that they can figure out on their own]

**priorities given to students who are in their 3rd and 4th year of Undergrad.

 

Now, this is just my 2 cent so please take that into consideration.  :)

 

This is a very interesting topic indeed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah I would agree picking based on GPA is hard, those who might have higher GPAs to begin with might end up doing better on the MCAT regardless of if they took a course or not. I don't know what they mean by 'high potential' as a criteria but I do think it's important for it to include upward trend

 

mcat courses and even those med applications consulting services are getting ridiculously expensive, it's definitely important to have initiatives like these to level the field for everyone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a nice idea and good for UofT for implementing this, but I do agree with many of the concerns above. Not to play devil's advocate too seriously - but MCAT prep over a summer say costs much less than 3 or 4 years of tuition and living expenses especially. If the main purpose of an undergraduate degree is to get into medicine, MCAT (and prep) is much, much less than the actual degree.

 

UofT is pretty GPA heavy at the moment, I don't think that'll change, but I think the US is sometimes too MCAT heavy. MCAT feeds into the basic science curriculum of US med schools, I suppose.

 

Main difference with francophone schools, is they put a lot of emphasis on related training for admission (e.g. OT, physiotherapy, pharamacy, nutrition) - essentially by increasing GPA for those programs... It can get a little cynical - people going into those programs for a stepping stone with no intention of staying, but sometimes I wonder if the education is more pertinent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can answer some questions about this prep course. I got accepted into it a few days ago.


So this program is open to everyone. PhD students, Masters students, graduated students and undergraduates. There is no selection for a particular cohort though they may have quotas. Not sure.

 

 

My cGPA wasn't spectacularly high. It's below 3.9 so I don't think they emphasize the GPA aspect of it a lot. I think what got me in though was my personal statement. The personal statement is there for you to talk about your interest in medicine, the program and any other things they should be aware of in 250 words. I think my response really made up for the fact that I didn't have an excellent GPA. Also, there may not have been a competitive cohort applying. I did struggle in my first and second years in undergrad so the fact that I got in must mean that they are considerate of my GPA. 

A lot of it is self-prep. Prep companies provide you with their books and tools to get ready but here (or from my understanding of it) it is you bringing questions to the group or material to the group. Prep is done through suggestions between the group. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a nice idea and good for UofT for implementing this, but I do agree with many of the concerns above. Not to play devil's advocate too seriously - but MCAT prep over a summer say costs much less than 3 or 4 years of tuition and living expenses especially. If the main purpose of an undergraduate degree is to get into medicine, MCAT (and prep) is much, much less than the actual degree.

 

UofT is pretty GPA heavy at the moment, I don't think that'll change, but I think the US is sometimes too MCAT heavy. MCAT feeds into the basic science curriculum of US med schools, I suppose.

 

Main difference with francophone schools, is they put a lot of emphasis on related training for admission (e.g. OT, physiotherapy, pharamacy, nutrition) - essentially by increasing GPA for those programs... It can get a little cynical - people going into those programs for a stepping stone with no intention of staying, but sometimes I wonder if the education is more pertinent.

 

If you come from low SES you get OSAP to help out with tuition and living expenses as well as bursaries from the school as well as going into debt with LOC. MCAT prep courses are added costs that people from low SES can't fathom paying after paying for tuition, living etc. So I don't agree with your point. Reading into this a bit: by this statement if you can't afford to go to University you shouldn't try to get into medicine..? This is one of the reasons why there is not a lot of SES diversity in medical school classes because there are so many barriers to those who can't afford things such as private tutors, MCAT courses, etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a great start. While it does not solve the the entire problem, it helps with a part of it.

 

How many successful applicants took a MCAT course? Is there actually a correlation between taking a MCAT course and a good MCAT score (which by itself doesn't mean much in a school like U of T) and ultimately higher chance of acceptance?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you come from low SES you get OSAP to help out with tuition and living expenses as well as bursaries from the school as well as going into debt with LOC. MCAT prep courses are added costs that people from low SES can't fathom paying after paying for tuition, living etc. So I don't agree with your point. Reading into this a bit: by this statement if you can't afford to go to University you shouldn't try to get into medicine..? This is one of the reasons why there is not a lot of SES diversity in medical school classes because there are so many barriers to those who can't afford things such as private tutors, MCAT courses, etc. 

 

I think you took my point a little too seriously - it was meant to be a little tongue in cheek.  But to elaborate - University as a whole is very expensive (I agree).  Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying as an attack on SES - far from it (if you look at any of my previous posts, you will see this is the case).    

 

Sometimes, people go to university only for going for medicine.  It's much more cost efficient to simply have one test to take (saves time & money).  I agree there is a cost, but with self-prep and possibly finding books in a library, it costs much less than the university experience.  You could look at as prepping for one test, at one's own pace vs spending years going into debt, with part-time jobs to become a competitive candidate. 

 

Although University on the whole is a great success story, it's not a unique problem that people go to university and then have to retrain in colleges for jobs.  Universities are not always connected to the job market.

 

My second point was taking the reasoning further - some programs like OT, Physical therapy... actually are connected to the labour market and in some situations are actually advantaged for entry into medicine, which kind of makes sense.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a great start. While it does not solve the the entire problem, it helps with a part of it.

 

How many successful applicants took a MCAT course? Is there actually a correlation between taking a MCAT course and a good MCAT score (which by itself doesn't mean much in a school like U of T) and ultimately higher chance of acceptance?

Anecdotal but the highest scores amongst my friends were all from people who didn't bother with prep courses. IMO strong students from a science background (i.e. those who are motivated & know "how" to study) don't gain anything from it—it probably hurts them since it wastes time and money. Probably best for those who come from a non-traditional background or individuals who need something to keep them motivated & on track.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...