Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
dreamergirl

Don't Know Where To Go From Here

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone,

 

Does anyone have some advice on what my next steps should be or other universities that I might have a realistic chance of getting into. This was my third application to NOSM (wait listed twice, however rejected post interview during this cycle).  I have only applied to NOSM because of their second degree policy (My first degree in Nursing has a very low GPA 2.7 and my second degree I completed in Psychology with a GPA of 3.85) I have not written the MCAT but am considering to do so if there is anywhere I can even apply to with my second degree. Something to know about my second degree is that I only needed 5 full new credits to complete it as the rest of the credits were transferable. Im not sure how this works with some of the other universities…. I have a Masters in Public Health and have completed the Nurse Practitioner Program with great marks. It is this first degree that is haunting me. Can I overcome this? Or do I move on? I don't want to give up….

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok so after some long thinking I have decided I'm not ready to throw in the towel. Here is what I'm thinking of doing.

1. Finish another degree (my third) . It will take me two years to complete a biology or psychology of science degree. I'm hoping I can use these two years if I do well to open the doors to other schools. Up until now because of my poor planning I have only been eligible for NOSM

 

2. Write the MCAT next year. I'm hoping my science based courses will help me prepare for this.

 

3. Reapply at NOSM in between and hope for the best.

 

4. Work hard and not give up until I know I have done everything possible. At that point I think I will know if I am ready to move on.

 

Any advice or thoughts ?? Please I'm looking for honest feedback

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok so after some long thinking I have decided I'm not ready to throw in the towel. Here is what I'm thinking of doing.

1. Finish another degree (my third) . It will take me two years to complete a biology or psychology of science degree. I'm hoping I can use these two years if I do well to open the doors to other schools. Up until now because of my poor planning I have only been eligible for NOSM

 

2. Write the MCAT next year. I'm hoping my science based courses will help me prepare for this.

 

3. Reapply at NOSM in between and hope for the best.

 

4. Work hard and not give up until I know I have done everything possible. At that point I think I will know if I am ready to move on.

 

Any advice or thoughts ?? Please I'm looking for honest feedback

Hey! You are clearly determined to make this happen so don't give up! I'll answer in the same format.

1) It would really help to have a breakdown of your GPA year by year. You said in your original post that your 2nd degree only required 5 courses. Does this mean that you only took 1 semester or did you complete a full year. Look at other schools and see what is required (there is a thread on here with second-degree policies) and target those schools.

 

2) I would definitely suggest writing the MCAT as it opens up a lot of doors. Study hard/do well and it can compensate somewhat for GPA. 

 

3) It can't hurt if you don't mind spending the money. 

 

4) That's the proper attitude!! 

 

From your original post, it looks like you have some great life/work experience to write about why you want to be a physician.  

 

Best of luck! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the encouragement!

 

To answer your question I completed 4 courses per semester from Sept-April and 1 summer course to obtain my second degree (5FCE total). My GPA from my final year of my Nursing degree was 2.78 (the previous years were not any better except for a 3.0). So even for those schools that take my two best years it will still not be competitive enough.  I really don't think I have any other choice but to complete more years for 3rd degree.  Im definitely up for the challenge though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just my two cents based on your background. If you're an NP and have an MPH, doing another 2 years of undergrad seems like a step backwards for you. It sounds like you have already accomplished so much! Have you considered doing a PhD in nursing instead of doing another 2 years of undergrad? It would build on your background, you would get paid a stipend, and it may actually give you a larger benefit. You may get a modest GPA boost, but it would be the extra points for having a PhD that would help your case most. It would only be 2 years past the partial BSc. you're planning- I would give it some real thought if you are at all interested in research. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the encouragement!

 

To answer your question I completed 4 courses per semester from Sept-April and 1 summer course to obtain my second degree (5FCE total). My GPA from my final year of my Nursing degree was 2.78 (the previous years were not any better except for a 3.0). So even for those schools that take my two best years it will still not be competitive enough.  I really don't think I have any other choice but to complete more years for 3rd degree.  Im definitely up for the challenge though!

Yeah, that could be the situation. What was your average during your MPH? Some schools take masters as one year of undergrad. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I have been doing everything backwards. Knowing what I do now I would have done things differently from the start of this journey . I guess I'm destined to take the long path to medicine if it is even meant to be. To be honest I never really considered the PhD route.  I did not think PhD credits could be applied to my undergraduate GPA calculations? I know some schools do add extra points for PhD/Masters but since I already have a masters would the PhD boost give me more of an advantage then completing 2 more years? I guess I need to look into this option more and weigh the pros and cons. As for my Masters GPA was 3.75. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I have been doing everything backwards. Knowing what I do now I would have done things differently from the start of this journey . I guess I'm destined to take the long path to medicine if it is even meant to be. To be honest I never really considered the PhD route.  I did not think PhD credits could be applied to my undergraduate GPA calculations? I know some schools do add extra points for PhD/Masters but since I already have a masters would the PhD boost give me more of an advantage then completing 2 more years? I guess I need to look into this option more and weigh the pros and cons. As for my Masters GPA was 3.75. 

Well, it sounds like you are from Ontario so this may not be useful for you, but I can tell you what I know about Alberta schools. 

 

Research oriented grad degrees count towards your GPA as equivalent to 1 undergrad year. For example, I have to complete 3 courses in my PhD, which will count as 1 undergrad year in Calgary. 

In terms of extra points, you get 1 extra point for a masters, and 3 for a PhD at the University of Alberta. I'm not sure if it would be cumulative (i.e. 4 points if you completed a PhD) but the extra 3 points would be a great help either way (would be a 2 point increase from the masters alone). It is likely that Ontario schools take grad studies into account in similar ways?

 

Either way, definitely something to consider I think! I 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it sounds like you are from Ontario so this may not be useful for you, but I can tell you what I know about Alberta schools. 

 

Research oriented grad degrees count towards your GPA as equivalent to 1 undergrad year. For example, I have to complete 3 courses in my PhD, which will count as 1 undergrad year in Calgary. 

In terms of extra points, you get 1 extra point for a masters, and 3 for a PhD at the University of Alberta. I'm not sure if it would be cumulative (i.e. 4 points if you completed a PhD) but the extra 3 points would be a great help either way (would be a 2 point increase from the masters alone). It is likely that Ontario schools take grad studies into account in similar ways?

 

Either way, definitely something to consider I think! I 

I believe that Mac does it this way (point system). 

Dalhousie does it the same way as Calgary if you are thinking about schools outside of Ontario.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're only thinking about Ontario, adding to your undergrad degrees is by far the best option. Graduate school does not really benefit you for Ontario medical school admissions. Don't feel as if you're taking a step back. You're not. You have a goal and you're giving yourself the best shot at it. That's progression. Not regression. And your jump in marks show that.

 

I am not sure how multiple degrees work for these schools, but the schools you have a shot at are:

 

Western - takes your best two years

 

Queen's - takes your last two years

 

Ottawa - takes last 3 years, with an emphasis on your recent years. Formula: (3x most recent years GPA + 2x second most recent + 1x third most recent) all divided by 6.

 

I do want to add that you're going to need to take your academics to a whole new level to crush your next degree. Aim for 100s and don't be satisfied with anything less. And find a program you're interested in (physiology is always a great option, albeit potentially difficult). The MCAT will also be an important stepping stone. Good luck!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for sharing your advice with me! I definitely have a lot to think about.  I am leaning towards doing 2 additional years to complete yet another degree.  At this point I am unsure of whether I should complete a "easier degree" or finish my next degree with mainly science based courses. I think taking organic chemistry and biology courses will give me more options to apply more broadly across Canada and the US if needed.  However, I guess I'm nervous about taking these courses and not doing as well as I would like and possibly making things worse….

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,

 

I looked into taking audit courses, however the courses that would be of the most benefit are not available this summer.  I started watching the Khan Academy videos and reading EK Chemistry in preparation for the MCAT I have scheduled for later this summer.  Learning the content so far does not seem to be a problem but I am feeling overwhelmed at everything that I need to cover in all subjects…. My plan was to take the MCAT for the first time this summer knowing that I will need to re-write it next year. I have also decided to register in Biology and Chemistry courses as part of an additional degree which will start in September.  My dilemma is whether I put off writing the MCAT for the first time until after this year of courses or do I prep, learn the content as best as I can and write it this summer. My thoughts are that the preparation for MCAT will give me a head start going into my courses in September as well a good idea of what to expect from the actual MCAT.  I plan on writing the MCAT regardless following completion of the Chem/Bio courses, but would doing poorly on this now effect how I'm viewed as an applicant in the future even if I do well? Any thoughts on this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,

 

I looked into taking audit courses, however the courses that would be of the most benefit are not available this summer.  I started watching the Khan Academy videos and reading EK Chemistry in preparation for the MCAT I have scheduled for later this summer.  Learning the content so far does not seem to be a problem but I am feeling overwhelmed at everything that I need to cover in all subjects…. My plan was to take the MCAT for the first time this summer knowing that I will need to re-write it next year. I have also decided to register in Biology and Chemistry courses as part of an additional degree which will start in September.  My dilemma is whether I put off writing the MCAT for the first time until after this year of courses or do I prep, learn the content as best as I can and write it this summer. My thoughts are that the preparation for MCAT will give me a head start going into my courses in September as well a good idea of what to expect from the actual MCAT.  I plan on writing the MCAT regardless following completion of the Chem/Bio courses, but would doing poorly on this now effect how I'm viewed as an applicant in the future even if I do well? Any thoughts on this?

I would heavily advise against this. Take the time and get it right the first time. Prep courses typically teach you how to write the test and focus less on content. That is left to you. Doing poorly on your first attempt isn't necessarily viewed as a detriment if you do much better on a second attempt. Most schools take your best score when reviewing your file but they do have access to all of your scores. It is still better to crush the test the first time around by taking the necessary time you need to focus on doing well and learning the material. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it sounds like you are from Ontario so this may not be useful for you, but I can tell you what I know about Alberta schools. 

 

Research oriented grad degrees count towards your GPA as equivalent to 1 undergrad year. For example, I have to complete 3 courses in my PhD, which will count as 1 undergrad year in Calgary. 

In terms of extra points, you get 1 extra point for a masters, and 3 for a PhD at the University of Alberta. I'm not sure if it would be cumulative (i.e. 4 points if you completed a PhD) but the extra 3 points would be a great help either way (would be a 2 point increase from the masters alone). It is likely that Ontario schools take grad studies into account in similar ways?

 

Either way, definitely something to consider I think! I 

I believe it's cumulative at Mac, as their formula of 32+32+32 is still 4 points away from 100, which a masters+PhD would give you. Unless you're intent on going to these schools though, I'm not sure if I'd recommend doing a PhD, as it's your undergrad GPA that's holding you back from most other schools, and they may or may not count your PhD GPA toward that.

 

As for what to take for your second degree, I would strongly recommend taking a science degree, and choose one whose required courses are essentially those subjects covered in the MCAT, and maybe enough elective space to cover the other prereqs of the schools you want to apply to, eg. English for UBC, anatomy for some US schools (your Psychology degree probably gave your more than enough Humanities credits). If you're worried about the more difficult courses pulling your GPA down, consider taking those in the summer, where it will count for credit toward your degree but whose grades won't be counted by most admissions. Moreover, as you would likely not be taking a full course load during the summer, it would give you more time to focus on that material. Doing this would qualify you for more schools that ask for prereqs (eg. UBC, Manitoba, McGill) and also help you get a better score on the MCAT (I do not recommend trying to teach yourself Org or Biochem, and physiology textbooks aren't fun or easy to read). Make sure that doing just 2 years and using transfer credits for your degree will still qualify your third degree for consideration though, you may have to double check with admissions.

 

Or, maybe your next application to NOSM will be successful! You've consistently made it to the interview stage, so they do really like your application, perhaps another option is to focus on targeted interview practice to take you all the way next time?

 

Best of luck :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow such a wealth of information! Thanks for all the advice!  I am going to postpone the MCAT until next summer. I think the science courses will be very helpful with helping me prepare for the MCAT. I am unsure as whether I should take a first year physics course (non-calculus). I am not sure about the degree of difficulty for this class as math is not my strength….If I take physics it will also prepare me for the MCAT and also open the door to Mcgill. Can I teach myself the physics required on the MCAt? Or should I include this in my course selection? As for my weakness in math, this summer I plan to take a refresher course on basic algebra and trigonometry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On May 9, 2017 at 1:26 PM, dreamergirl said:

Hi Everyone,

 

Does anyone have some advice on what my next steps should be or other universities that I might have a realistic chance of getting into. This was my third application to NOSM (wait listed twice, however rejected post interview during this cycle).  I have only applied to NOSM because of their second degree policy (My first degree in Nursing has a very low GPA 2.7 and my second degree I completed in Psychology with a GPA of 3.85) I have not written the MCAT but am considering to do so if there is anywhere I can even apply to with my second degree. Something to know about my second degree is that I only needed 5 full new credits to complete it as the rest of the credits were transferable. Im not sure how this works with some of the other universities…. I have a Masters in Public Health and have completed the Nurse Practitioner Program with great marks. It is this first degree that is haunting me. Can I overcome this? Or do I move on? I don't want to give up….

Don't give up on NOSM! I applied 3 times. Was waitlisted the first year, rejected post-interview last year, and accepted this year! I know how crushing it is to get that rejection, especially after having been previously waitlisted. Don't give up. Apply again, and continue doing what you are passionate about over the course of the next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make sure you look carefully at the requirements for weighted GPA at each school.  

At UWO each of the years must be full course load and summer courses do not count.  You may not have been full course load in your 2nd degree.  UWO also has a high MCAT CARS cutoff.

    https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/medicine/undergraduate/future_students/admission/requirements.html

U of T also has a weighted wGPA, but again requires full course load in all undergrad years to use it.  Otherwise it uses cGPA (all years).

    http://md.utoronto.ca/gpa-and-gpa-weighting

MAC is cumulative undergrad cGPA.  It would be difficult to prop up your first undergrad GPA.

Queens and U of O are possible, but  have very high GPA expectations

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/05/2017 at 11:14 AM, dreamergirl said:

Ok so after some long thinking I have decided I'm not ready to throw in the towel. Here is what I'm thinking of doing.

1. Finish another degree (my third) . It will take me two years to complete a biology or psychology of science degree. I'm hoping I can use these two years if I do well to open the doors to other schools. Up until now because of my poor planning I have only been eligible for NOSM

 

2. Write the MCAT next year. I'm hoping my science based courses will help me prepare for this.

 

3. Reapply at NOSM in between and hope for the best.

 

4. Work hard and not give up until I know I have done everything possible. At that point I think I will know if I am ready to move on.

 

Any advice or thoughts ?? Please I'm looking for honest feedback

Hi,

You and I are in slightly similar situations. I completed one degree with around a 3.6 cgpa. I am about to complete nursing as a second undergrad currently sitting at a 3.7 cgpa. I also did not always have a full course load and prereqs due to transfer credits and pass/fail clinical courses. I am also debating whether or not to complete a 3rd undergrad or pursue a graduate degree. 

I arrived at a similar conclusion. I don't want to give up. The third undergrad seems to hold the best option for me since it will allow me to complete prerequisites and carry a full course load without pass/fail courses that don't really help gpa. 

Have you decided what your plan is?

 

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...

×
×
  • Create New...