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48 minutes ago, multipletimeapplicant said:

I have been applying to medical school for three years now, and I have only been waitlisted or rejected after interviews at either U of A ( my top choice) or U of C.  I am currently waitlisted at U of C, and I am not sure if I will get out of the WL. My interview score has always been lower than 50th percentile, and I am not sure what I can do to fix it. I have been trying for several years, but I can't improve it. Maybe I am reaching my limit. According to last year results, I scored 17/30 at U of A, and 37th percentile at U of C interviews ( it was my second year interviewing).  I don't have any relatives in medical field as a result I am not sure what the MMIs are testing for. I am seriously considering studying medicine outside of Canada, but I am not sure which option will be the safest option. I tried applying outside of the province, but I can't get interviews. 

My overall GPA is 3.5, and my weighted GPA, when they drop one year,  is about 3.81.  My MCAT score is 516 (127 CARS). I have above average ECs at both U of A and U of C. I have been out of school for almost two years now, and I don't have academic reference letter, but I can get amazing reference letter from work or volunteer activities.

In order to get an admission offer from U of C, I need to get about 45th percentile in my interview, but I have been trying for three years and I cannot do it. That is why I am on the waiting list. I considered looking into interview preparation services, and I did one session, however, I found that it was not useful because they did not provide me with any useful feedback. 

I am not sure what options do I have in regards to studying abroad. Can someone please let me know what are my options?  Is US an option with my GPA? What about other places such as Australia or Ireland or Caribbean? My family is not rich by any means, so it will be quite a financial burden to study medicine abroad. However, it is something that I may have to consider given the rejections I have received in the past.

I am very interested in applying to masters of public health at U of A because it is quite relevant to my work, however, they require academic reference letters and I have been out of school for too long and I am not sure if I will be able to get an academic ref letter. I am not even sure if I will be competitive enough for masters of public health at  U of A. 

I would really appreciate it if someone can help me out, I am not sure what to do. 

Sounds like you are already good on paper, and I would not personally go abroad if you have been getting interviews. Focus on naturally getting better on speaking and verbalizing your thoughts, and not just practicing "interview speak". Join groups like the debate society or toastmasters to get a chance to form your own thoughts and defend it within a time limit. Work a job where you have to think and talk on the spot (customer service, tour guides, tutoring small groups). Remember that the interview is testing exactly those attributes, as you undoubtedly need them as an aspiring doc. 

Only do an MPH if that would be a career you can see yourself going into, else you would just be more miserable. If you've done research, your academic references can come from your supervisors; just remind them of your work with them. They are used to students asking for references years after--the worst they can do is say no.

Hope this helps.

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I believe there are other forums on here that speak to the advantages/disadvantages about applying abroad. 

Two of the most common issues with going abroad are tuition costs (expect to pay more than $40-60,000 CAD per year plus living expenses), and residency matching. Generally speaking, it is much harder to get a residency back in Canada if you leave. If you do decide to look at a school abroad, be sure to check out their matching stats to see whether or not you will be able to use your degree back in Canada. 

 

As for reference letters, you may be able to use an employer who can speak to your work ethic? I don't know for certain that you need academic references to apply necessarily. Maybe try to find a potential supervisor before applying formally to the program, since they would go to bat for you in case the admissions committee is worried about your aptitude?  (Granted MPH may work differently than the MSc/PhD admissions processes I am used to).

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I have two friends who have come back to Canada and becoming successful physicians after studying in the Carribean.  However, both of them no longer suggest it as a great option; primarily due to cost, (with USD-CAD conversion, now paying $80,000+/yr just for tuition) and that it is becomming much more competitive trying to get back into Canada for residency. They each know people from their respective programs that spend all the time and money going to med school, and have not been able to obtain residency positions and are now doing other things.  My understanding is also that the first year down there is treated as a way to 'weed-out' the students that aren't going to be successful.  In other words, they make first year very challenging to cause students to fail-out or give up.  

US schools might be an option for you, however, I was successful in getting into 3 canadian schools and not a single interview at 7 schools applied to in the states.  So you never know.  I know others that never got interviews in Canada and are now in programs in US.

If you are getting interviews in Canada and waitlisted, probably best advice is to just keep trying.

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multipletimeapplicant,

 

We have almost identical backgrounds...except your gpa and mcat are higher.

I can't speak much on med schools abroad, but I did just wrap up my MPH at UofA and was admitted to the UofA med program this year.
For background, it took me 4 attempts to get in and my interview score never seemed to be that good. Like <30 percentile every year. It's certainly frustrating because, as I'm sure is the case with you, I am relatively outgoing, social, and consider myself articulate and well thought-out. But hey,that's the way the cookie crumbles. 

 

Regarding MPH - as someone else mentioned, you should only be considering it if it actually aligns with your interests. There's much better ways to a year or two of time than paying for a Master's that you won't enjoy. But if you do see a discipline that strikes your fancy, I would 10/10 recommend it. I had a blast in my MPH, learned a ton, made lots of connections and gave my gpa a bump. 

As for academic references, I'd shoot admissions an email. They're pretty reasonable and I'm sure would be willling to accept letters from employers.

If you have any specific questions regarding MPH, UofA, or whatever, shoot me a message

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