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estrel

Need Advice as I am considering Ireland

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Hi all. I'm a fairly new pre med working towards my BA in psych and am starting my 3rd year of undergrad. My GPA right now is average and definitely below what is expected to get into a Canadian med school. By the end of my undergrad I project my GPA to be around 3.7-3.8 and that is if I work hard to get high grades. I want to become a psychiatrist, I think, but I am increasingly having doubts about my ability to get accepted here seeing as how it's so competitive, and to an extent do very well on the MCAT. I have never taken physics, not even in high school, have no organic chem or bio chem background. In all fairness I have not formally started studying for it but I have only taken general bio and general chem (Both A-'s for reference). I have an EU passport and am considering a 5 year med program in Ireland which does not require the MCAT. I'm wondering if anyone here has any advice for what I should focus on for the upcoming academic year and if I should just pursue an Irish med program. 

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12 minutes ago, estrel said:

Hi all. I'm a fairly new pre med working towards my BA in psych and am starting my 3rd year of undergrad. My GPA right now is average and definitely below what is expected to get into a Canadian med school. By the end of my undergrad I project my GPA to be around 3.7-3.8 and that is if I work hard to get high grades. I want to become a psychiatrist, I think, but I am increasingly having doubts about my ability to get accepted here seeing as how it's so competitive, and to an extent do very well on the MCAT. I have never taken physics, not even in high school, have no organic chem or bio chem background. In all fairness I have not formally started studying for it but I have only taken general bio and general chem (Both A-'s for reference). I have an EU passport and am considering a 5 year med program in Ireland which does not require the MCAT. I'm wondering if anyone here has any advice for what I should focus on for the upcoming academic year and if I should just pursue an Irish med program. 

Given that you do not have physics, orgo nor biochem background, it may be difficult given that many med schools in Canada have some sort of prereqs requirement for those courses. You will be restricted from an eligibility perspective already. A few Cdn schools are very lenient in that they do not have such requirements - McMaster comes to mind and appeal to many non-trad applicants like yourself.

I am not sure how the admission process works for Ireland, but wouldn't you need to do physics in high school at the very least?

Since you have an EU passport, the whole $$$ argument does not apply. You won't be paying enormous international fees like some Canadians studying abroad at Irish med schools who do not hold EU citizenship.

I really urge you to think from an eligibility standpoint before you look at competitiveness. Very few Cdns schools do not require some form of phys/orgo/biochem. Also check with Irish med schools - I imagine some will need you have taken physics in high school since med is a direct-entry program in the UK/Ireland.

GPA of 3.8 is not bad, but you will need strong ECs. Depending on which province you are residing right now, you may have some in-province advantage.

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Just now, qnzjlo said:

Given that you do not have physics, orgo nor biochem background, it may be difficult given that many med schools in Canada have some sort of prereqs requirement for those courses. You will be restricted from an eligibility perspective already. A few Cdn schools are very lenient in that they do not have such requirements - McMaster comes to mind and appeal to many non-trad applicants like yourself.

I am not sure how the admission process works for Ireland, but wouldn't you need to do physics in high school at the very least?

Since you have an EU passport, the whole $$$ argument does not apply. You won't be paying enormous international fees like some Canadians studying abroad at Irish med schools who do not hold EU citizenship.

I really urge you to think from an eligibility standpoint before you look at competitiveness. Very few Cdns schools do not require some form of phys/orgo/biochem. Also check with Irish med schools - I imagine some will need you have taken physics in high school since med is a direct-entry program in the UK/Ireland.

GPA of 3.8 is not bad, but you will need strong ECs. Depending on which province you are residing right now, you may have some in-province advantage.

 

Hi. I have an EU passport but I would not be eligible for EU fee's. I have enough to finance half, the other half would come from a line of credit from Scotiabank. And a 3.8 is what I project. It could be a little lower no way to tell yet. The classes I have so far left for my degree are not extremely rigorous though and the electives I am taking all interest me so hopefully I do well enough to manage a 3.8. I'm IP for UBC. I don't think physics in high school is required. The 5 year programs are open to people who are currently in the process of working towards a degree according to the Atlantic Bridge site. 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, estrel said:

 

Hi. I have an EU passport but I would not be eligible for EU fee's. I have enough to finance half, the other half would come from a line of credit from Scotiabank. And a 3.8 is what I project. It could be a little lower no way to tell yet. The classes I have so far left for my degree are not extremely rigorous though and the electives I am taking all interest me so hopefully I do well enough to manage a 3.8. I'm IP for UBC. I don't think physics in high school is required. The 5 year programs are open to people who are currently in the process of working towards a degree according to the Atlantic Bridge site. 

 

 

Hmm in that case, I would not give up on Cdn schools just yet. You're only going into year 3 so you have ample of time ahead of you. I am sure you have heard of the IMG v. CMG arguments for doing med at a Cdn med school versus abroad. It makes coming back to practise in Canada more difficult if you do med abroad. If you desire to practise in Canada, then I would strongly advise you plan out your next two years to maximize your chances of getting into a Cdn med school. 

If possible, do you think you can take some prereqs? Like physics, biochem and orgo? If you feel the remaining 2 years will not be too strenuous, why not increase your eligibility at various Cdn med schools and take the prereqs? I know you want to boost your GPA and avoid these potentially GPA-drag courses, but in the grand scheme of things med school isn't going to be a walk in the park either and you need to have good stress management and studying habits. Take the prereqs during terms where you feel will be more "bird" so you can dedicate more time to them. For physics, you might find it helpful to see if you can take a non-credit physics course - some universities offer them for students who did not take high school physics. I would look into that. Going straight into Year 1 physics may be a shock. 

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Just now, qnzjlo said:

Hmm in that case, I would not give up on Cdn schools just yet. You're only going into year 3 so you have ample of time ahead of you. I am sure you have heard of the IMG v. CMG arguments for doing med at a Cdn med school versus abroad. It makes coming back to practise in Canada more difficult if you do med abroad. If you desire to practise in Canada, then I would strongly advise you plan out your next two years to maximize your chances of getting into a Cdn med school. 

If possible, do you think you can take some prereqs? Like physics, biochem and orgo? If you feel the remaining 2 years will not be too strenuous, why not increase your eligibility at various Cdn med schools and take the prereqs? I know you want to boost your GPA and avoid these potentially GPA-drag courses, but in the grand scheme of things med school isn't going to be a walk in the park either and you need to have good stress management and studying habits. Take the prereqs during terms where you feel will be more "bird" so you can dedicate more time to them. For physics, you might find it helpful to see if you can take a non-credit physics course - some universities offer them for students who did not take high school physics. I would look into that. Going straight into Year 1 physics may be a shock. 

 

Thank you. The thing is I can't take the pre requisites you mentioned at my university because there are certain mandatory courses I need for my degree which take up most of my course load. But I am thinking I can take them online through Thompson Rivers University Open Learning which will also let me do it faster. I know that those courses transfer to UBC but I am not sure if they satisfy the requirement for all the other medical schools. Does anyone know about this?Thanks

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Just now, JohnGrisham said:

Many schools in Canada do not even have strict science pre-reqs anymore, for example UBC OP, your presumed home school.

 

You're right but I mean they still need the MCAT which requires all the physics/orgo/bio chem. I'm just so torn on how to prepare for it best. I realistically don't think I can self learn it all through khan academy or anything. 

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1 hour ago, estrel said:

 

You're right but I mean they still need the MCAT which requires all the physics/orgo/bio chem. I'm just so torn on how to prepare for it best. I realistically don't think I can self learn it all through khan academy or anything. 

If your goal is just to prepare for the MCAT and you feel uncomfortable with self-studying, you can always look into an MCAT prep course. They will cover the necessary information, provide you with textbooks, and give you practice tests. These resources should be enough for you to do well on the MCAT provided you put in the effort and time (I would recommend dedicating a summer for this - doesn't have to be full time studying, you can do other things as well).

All that being said, I still think it's a good idea to get your prereqs nailed down to widen your school options across Canada (at least to Ontario where there is barely any provincial bias), and potentially to the US if you would entertain that option in the future and have the funds.

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13 hours ago, Monkey D. Luffy said:

If your goal is just to prepare for the MCAT and you feel uncomfortable with self-studying, you can always look into an MCAT prep course. They will cover the necessary information, provide you with textbooks, and give you practice tests. These resources should be enough for you to do well on the MCAT provided you put in the effort and time (I would recommend dedicating a summer for this - doesn't have to be full time studying, you can do other things as well).

All that being said, I still think it's a good idea to get your prereqs nailed down to widen your school options across Canada (at least to Ontario where there is barely any provincial bias), and potentially to the US if you would entertain that option in the future and have the funds.

 

Thanks I probably will later down the line. Out of curiosity do you know if I take 4 courses at my university + 1 online class through Thompson Rivers Open Learning it will count as a full course load for certain schools that look at that? 

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Hey, 

I recommend that you continue working towards your degree. You still have time and with hard work you can increase your GPA. Also, you don't need to take physics, I haven't taken physics in university. As for the prerequisites I would recommend getting them done ASAP. You can always write the MCAT more than once. I think that you should for sure try to get into Canadian med schools.

Best! :) 

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1 hour ago, estrel said:

 

Thanks I probably will later down the line. Out of curiosity do you know if I take 4 courses at my university + 1 online class through Thompson Rivers Open Learning it will count as a full course load for certain schools that look at that? 

Most schools will accept an online course as part of your full course load as long as it starts and completes within bounds of the Sept-April school year.  make sure you also meet the expectations for course levels  (ie 3rd years courses or higher in 3rd year)

<snip> from U of T FAQ as example

Online degree-level courses completed at accredited universities are acceptable in order to fulfill degree and prerequisite requirements.  Additionally, if the online course(s) is/are started and completed during the regular academic session from September-April they are eligible to contribute to course load to fulfill the course load requirements for the weighted GPA. 

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I'll chime in on your struggle with the MCAT prep. I know someone with no background in science and they tried to use a prep course and found it extremely difficult. My two cents is to go to Langara in the summer and do some science pre-reqs. Not all the stuff you'll learn will be directly MCAT applicable, but a lot will and it will make your life a LOT easier when it comes to MCAT prep. The prep courses are meant to be a review. 

I want to encourage you though, because you can do it. You're young, have lots of time ahead of you and if you finish your degree and work for a bit while you upgrade your science stuff you're definitely not losing out. Your NAQ score will most likely be higher (you'll have more time for life experiences/volunteering/whatever) and you'll be able to focus on improving your current GPA. Good luck!

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I second what a lot of others are saying - don't give up on Canadian medical schools before even trying! 

I have a 3.69 cGPA, had to write the MCAT twice, just barely made Western's MCAT cut offs for this past cycle, and I just finished my second day of medical school at Western today :) 

Just do as well as you can in your remaining courses to aim for as high a GPA as possible. Then take a look at the GPA requirements for each school you are eligible to apply to and see if you meet them. If not, consider taking a fifth year to boost your GPA and/or taking org chem, biochem, etc. to increase the number of schools you can apply to (either in the summer or during an extra year if you can't take them during your degree). 

For the MCAT, if you are serious about doing well and getting in somewhere in Canada, I recommend taking as long as you can to study (for example, if you want to write next summer, consider starting now with small amounts of studying during the year and then spending the entire summer studying before writing in August) - you're only starting your 3rd year so you've got plenty of time if you need to rewrite, no rush to get in to med school right away (I graduated from my undergrad 3 years ago!). Get your study info from a variety of sources - I have a science background but by the time I was studying for the MCAT, it had been years since I had done the basic sciences so I did prep101 (and found their free repeat policy very helpful, as I had to write twice so I took the course twice), watched several of khan academy's MCAT prep videos, and did lots of practice questions. 

It is totally possible for you to get into medical school in Canada so don't get discouraged, it will likely just take a lot of hard work and potentially more than one try! But if it's what you really want, you can make it happen. I would make at least a couple of attempts here before trying to go abroad. 

 

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