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Hi!

I'm currently in my 4th year of undergrad in Health Sciences at Western and I was hoping I could get some feedback on how to boost my chances at getting into medical school in Canada (preferably Ontario). I realize my stats are quite terrible compared to many other applicants but I've been hell bent on medicine since I experienced a disability at the age of 4 and any advice would be greatly appreciated. This whole process is confusing and it doesn't help that there aren't really any guidance counselors that will help with this process (for free). 

Age: 21, M
GPA: 3.0 from 1st to 3rd year, although my 4th year so far has been higher than my previous 3 years. 
MCAT: Abysmal, I'm redoing it this summer and giving myself much more time to prepare for it.
ECs: Fairly strong, potentially getting authorship on my first paper, research assistant for a professor, lots of martial arts experience including teaching and participating in various clubs at uwo as well as a residence mentor/volunteer for first year students + Hospital volunteer work back in high school. Some other minor stuff, 3 years doing data analytics and reporting over the summer, working at a tech company, etc.

In a previous post I made regarding whether I should go for a masters or a 5th year, nearly every comment said 5th year. I have a couple questions about that:
1) I just recently found out that some medical schools in Ontario weigh masters programs differently and they influence GPA in some cases. (UofT reduces the GPA requirements from 3.6 to 3.0), given my upward trend in GPA, do these considerations for masters make it more likely that a masters could benefit me more than a 5th year?
2) Some med schools look at cGPA exclusively, if I were to take a fifth year would that not just "dilute" my marks and potentially waste another 7k on tuition without significantly improving my grades (even if I did do really well in my 5th year?)
3) While my GPA according to the omsas calculator was 3.0, it was significantly dropped by one course I barely passed (biochem). The rest of my marks rarely went below a 75 (I realize that's still not GREAT, but the point is biochem killed the cGPA there), would this mean that some medical schools view my GPA as higher than 3.0 already? (3.0 is just what OMSAS calculator told me)

With these things considered, is a 5th year still the way to go instead of a masters? Admittedly, I would much rather pursue a masters because it feels like progression to me but I'm worried it isn't the best thing for me to do in terms of medical school. 

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. I have been in the process of finding a supervisor for a research based masters program at uwo but I'm not sure if it's best for me.

Thank you very much!

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The Ontario schools use different ways to calculate GPA (i.e. best two years, last 2 years, other special calculations)- all based the OMSAS scale though, so its definitely possible your GPA could be much higher at some schools. A 5th year could really help because it will allow some of your others years possibly not to be included at all or to be weighted for less, but its hard to know if its worth it without you actually doing the calculations. Generally, doing a 5th year is much more helpful that a masters for improving GPA, but the masters could be better if you're already at a decent GPA. Of course, its hard to comment more specifically without your mcat rewrite. Good luck! 

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5th year --- 

You need to improve your weighted wGPA in all cases.  Do some calculations for UofT (drop xx grades), Queens (last 2 years),  Western (best 2 years),  UofO (last 3 years weighted).   Check where you are now and what a +3.95 in a 5th years would be like.  If you can get a wGPA up above 3.85 using that approach then look at a 5th year.

U of T does reduce the GPA threshold if they evaluate you in the graduate stream.  That will take atleast a 2 year research-based masters including significant productively.  A one year course-based masters would still be evaluated as an undergrad.   Even with a reduced threshold, you would not be competitive with less than a 3.7 unless you were a postdoc with considerable research experience. 

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21 hours ago, Meridian said:

 Check where you are now and what a +3.95 in a 5th years would be like.  If you can get a wGPA up above 3.85 using that approach then look at a 5th year.

Hi! Thanks for the reply. Just to understand better, why did you choose 3.95 as the GPA for my 5th year, what if the wGPA was brought to 3.6-3.85, would that justify not doing a 5th year? Or do you think that would justify a 5th year and THEN doing a masters?

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