Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
JustSoYouKnow

Rejection Year Advice?

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone long time lurker, but first time posting.
I am in my 5th year of university and I applied to Ontario schools (except NOSM and Western) this year but got rejected pre-interview. Still waiting on uofT but probably a rejection anyways. I was wondering if anyone had any advice regarding my next steps so I can at least think of a plan for next year. 

This cycle's GPAs:

  • Uoft: 3:88
  • Ottawa wGPA: 3.914
  • Queens: 3.97

Next year (After including my this years GPA cause it looks strongly like I'm getting a 4.0 for this winter term)

  • UofT: 3.91
  • Ottawa wGPA: 3.986
  • Queens: 3.985

MCAT: 127/125/130/128 

ECs - lack of ECs.... the list below were really the main ones that stand out in my ABS (all long-term commitments)

  • UG program representative (2 years; 100+ hours)
  • Research assistant; 2X USRA recipient; 2X conference proceedings; will be submitting a paper as a co-first author this summer. (3years - ongoing; 1100+ hours)
  • Teaching Assistant; Tutoring (1 year 120+ hours)
  • Hospital Volunteer which includes time in Surgery Department and Overnight Emergency Department (2 years; 300 hours+)
  • Intramural sports; competitive sports outside of school (2 years; ~ 100-200 hours - hours does not include high school contributions)
  • Charity marathon runner (3 years; 250 hours)
  • Club executives, event organizers, etc (hours vary depending on club - average ~10-20hours per term - hours does not include high school contributions)
  • Summer counselling for children (3 years; 1200 hours)

 

Any advice? I personally think I might be lacking in diversity of my ECs. I am heavily involved in research and thus, more than half my time goes into it every week (~25-30 hours per week on top of my full course load). Should I take the gap year to improve my ECs or do my Masters? The original plan was to do my MSc next year if I didn't get into med because of my love for research. Moreover, I do intend to approaching a career goal in academic medicine and I heard a relevant MSc is important. However, I personally think the lack in my application may not simply be "saved" by an MSc. I don't know enough about the interview selection process and thus, I'm open to any type of critical feedback from the community. Thanks !

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, biochem4 said:

did you include the activities since the age of 16?

@biochem4, a majority of the stuff I did at age 16 was just sports competitions and diversity groups in high school, it wasn't too substantial compared to what I did in University. I generalize my highschool stuff above. 

18 minutes ago, JohnGrisham said:

Go all out on ECs and life experience. Zero point in a masters. Have you never had a job? Thats a good start. Get one. Any kind in customer service.

 

Put rough hours beside each activity and time frames so we have a better idea.. 

@JohnGrisham, Updated with an approximate estimates, those values are true to what's specifically put on my application this cycle. My TA'ing, my summer counselling, and USRAs were jobs I held during my university career. All my activities were long term, but I think I've put in too much towards a certain aspect that I neglected activities that may of benefit my community more... would you agree? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JustSoYouKnow said:

Hey everyone long time lurker, but first time posting.
I am in my 5th year of university and I applied to Ontario schools (except NOSM and Western) this year but got rejected pre-interview. Still waiting on uofT but probably a rejection anyways. I was wondering if anyone had any advice regarding my next steps so I can at least think of a plan for next year. 

This cycle's GPAs:

  • Uoft: 3:88
  • Ottawa wGPA: 3.914
  • Queens: 3.97

Next year (After including my this years GPA cause it looks strongly like I'm getting a 4.0 for this winter term)

  • UofT: 3.91
  • Ottawa wGPA: 3.986
  • Queens: 3.985

MCAT: 127/125/130/128 

ECs - lack of ECs.... the list below were really the main ones that stand out in my ABS (all long-term commitments)

  • UG program representative (2 years; 100+ hours)
  • Research assistant; 2X USRA recipient; 2X conference proceedings; will be submitting a paper as a co-first author this summer. (3years - ongoing; 1100+ hours)
  • Teaching Assistant; Tutoring (1 year 120+ hours)
  • Hospital Volunteer which includes time in Surgery Department and Overnight Emergency Department (2 years; 300 hours+)
  • Intramural sports; competitive sports outside of school (2 years; ~ 100-200 hours - hours does not include high school contributions)
  • Charity marathon runner (3 years; 250 hours)
  • Club executives, event organizers, etc (hours vary depending on club - average ~10-20hours per term - hours does not include high school contributions)
  • Summer counselling for children (3 years; 1200 hours)

 

Any advice? I personally think I might be lacking in diversity of my ECs. I am heavily involved in research and thus, more than half my time goes into it every week (~25-30 hours per week on top of my full course load). Should I take the gap year to improve my ECs or do my Masters? The original plan was to do my MSc next year if I didn't get into med because of my love for research. Moreover, I do intend to approaching a career goal in academic medicine and I heard a relevant MSc is important. However, I personally think the lack in my application may not simply be "saved" by an MSc. I don't know enough about the interview selection process and thus, I'm open to any type of critical feedback from the community. Thanks !

 

With a GPA like that I’m surprised youre seeing rejection letters... you make my 3.8 cGPA look pathetic 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Queen's is a black box, although they definitely like EC's that distinguish you from all the other 4000 or so applicants, hence contributing life experience and diversity. That CARS might have been below the cut off.

Ottawa is definitely reliant on GPA, but I may be thinking what did you in is CASPer more than the slightly below competitive GPA (3.93-4ish), as it could have been a high cut off like last year ( about 70th percentile as what DonaldDuck mentioned last year). They were supposed to maybe use ABS pre interview, but perhaps after CASPer. Who knows? Your next year's projected GPA will definitely not be the problem.

Toronto you're still waiting.

One thing would be to take a look at how you wrote your ABS, because some people can have some stellar ones but not really sell the ABS items and hence no interviews. CANmeds roles are important in guiding how you write these, but also just being able to describe the most pertinent things, or what you learned or how you changed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, JustSoYouKnow said:

@biochem4, a majority of the stuff I did at age 16 was just sports competitions and diversity groups in high school, it wasn't too substantial compared to what I did in University. I generalize my highschool stuff above. 

@JohnGrisham, Updated with an approximate estimates, those values are true to what's specifically put on my application this cycle. My TA'ing, my summer counselling, and USRAs were jobs I held during my university career. All my activities were long term, but I think I've put in too much towards a certain aspect that I neglected activities that may of benefit my community more... would you agree? 

I would say, that your activities thus far are good, but below average unfortunately from a medical school applicant pool perspective. Spend this summer and next year beefing up your application, outside of the research realm. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your ECs actually look really good to me!

You have relevant work experience, good extracurriculars, research is strong, prestigious awards, if anything, maybe beef up volunteering with some other diverse activities. 

I would think CASPER may have done you in for Ottawa, CARS/CASPER for McMaster, and CARS for Queens/Western

Probably have a good shot at UofT though! Good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, JustSoYouKnow said:

Hey everyone long time lurker, but first time posting.
I am in my 5th year of university and I applied to Ontario schools (except NOSM and Western) this year but got rejected pre-interview. Still waiting on uofT but probably a rejection anyways. I was wondering if anyone had any advice regarding my next steps so I can at least think of a plan for next year. 

This cycle's GPAs:

  • Uoft: 3:88
  • Ottawa wGPA: 3.914
  • Queens: 3.97

Next year (After including my this years GPA cause it looks strongly like I'm getting a 4.0 for this winter term)

  • UofT: 3.91
  • Ottawa wGPA: 3.986
  • Queens: 3.985

MCAT: 127/125/130/128 

ECs - lack of ECs.... the list below were really the main ones that stand out in my ABS (all long-term commitments)

  • UG program representative (2 years; 100+ hours)
  • Research assistant; 2X USRA recipient; 2X conference proceedings; will be submitting a paper as a co-first author this summer. (3years - ongoing; 1100+ hours)
  • Teaching Assistant; Tutoring (1 year 120+ hours)
  • Hospital Volunteer which includes time in Surgery Department and Overnight Emergency Department (2 years; 300 hours+)
  • Intramural sports; competitive sports outside of school (2 years; ~ 100-200 hours - hours does not include high school contributions)
  • Charity marathon runner (3 years; 250 hours)
  • Club executives, event organizers, etc (hours vary depending on club - average ~10-20hours per term - hours does not include high school contributions)
  • Summer counselling for children (3 years; 1200 hours)

 

Any advice? I personally think I might be lacking in diversity of my ECs. I am heavily involved in research and thus, more than half my time goes into it every week (~25-30 hours per week on top of my full course load). Should I take the gap year to improve my ECs or do my Masters? The original plan was to do my MSc next year if I didn't get into med because of my love for research. Moreover, I do intend to approaching a career goal in academic medicine and I heard a relevant MSc is important. However, I personally think the lack in my application may not simply be "saved" by an MSc. I don't know enough about the interview selection process and thus, I'm open to any type of critical feedback from the community. Thanks !

 

Make sure you explain your ECs well. You can have great ECs, however convey them poorly on your ABS. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GPA is excellent - no need to improve it.   MCAT re-write to boost CARS to open up MAC/Western/Queens.  Masters will not really help your Med application. Only do that path if generally interested in the program (not as a time-filler).  Maybe work for a GAP year and focus on 1-2 new ECs.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/6/2018 at 7:52 AM, IMislove said:

Queen's is a black box, although they definitely like EC's that distinguish you from all the other 4000 or so applicants, hence contributing life experience and diversity. That CARS might have been below the cut off.

Ottawa is definitely reliant on GPA, but I may be thinking what did you in is CASPer more than the slightly below competitive GPA (3.93-4ish), as it could have been a high cut off like last year ( about 70th percentile as what DonaldDuck mentioned last year). They were supposed to maybe use ABS pre interview, but perhaps after CASPer. Who knows? Your next year's projected GPA will definitely not be the problem.

Toronto you're still waiting.

One thing would be to take a look at how you wrote your ABS, because some people can have some stellar ones but not really sell the ABS items and hence no interviews. CANmeds roles are important in guiding how you write these, but also just being able to describe the most pertinent things, or what you learned or how you changed.

@IMislove thank you for the key information! Often when people are talking about the CANmed roles, are they ensuring their activities match closely to each point mentioned under the major subsections of the competencies framework or are they simply ensuring that they meet the generic section?

On 2/6/2018 at 10:52 AM, JohnGrisham said:

I would say, that your activities thus far are good, but below average unfortunately from a medical school applicant pool perspective. Spend this summer and next year beefing up your application, outside of the research realm. 

@JohnGrisham, thank you for your honesty. I'm looking to get more involved with my community maybe some coaching with youth sport teams and an environmental initiative with my community. Maybe a casual job at a cafe so I won't go broke in gap year.  I do must say it sucks to give up one of my interests (i.e. research) in order to cover other aspects of my extracurriculars, but understanding the competition these days, an overall applicant definitely triumphs one who only has experiences in one area of life.

On 2/6/2018 at 5:13 PM, brady23 said:

Your ECs actually look really good to me!

You have relevant work experience, good extracurriculars, research is strong, prestigious awards, if anything, maybe beef up volunteering with some other diverse activities. 

I would think CASPER may have done you in for Ottawa, CARS/CASPER for McMaster, and CARS for Queens/Western

Probably have a good shot at UofT though! Good luck

@brady23, thank you for your kind words. Would you recommend a biomedical ethics course, i simply just read the first chapter of doing right since my friends (who are at mac med) told me it was pointless in using Doing Right to prepare.

 

On 2/6/2018 at 9:32 PM, Meridian said:

GPA is excellent - no need to improve it.   MCAT re-write to boost CARS to open up MAC/Western/Queens.  Masters will not really help your Med application. Only do that path if generally interested in the program (not as a time-filler).  Maybe work for a GAP year and focus on 1-2 new ECs.

 

@Meridian. thank you for your advice. It seems that you and @JohnGrisham both agree that a MSc will not do me any good in this case. I am currently leaning towards a gap year as it will 1) let me refocus on an MCAT rewrite and 2) provide flexibility to improve my overall applications without being committed. As mentioned above, I do must say it sucks to give up one of my interests (i.e. research) in order to cover other aspects of my extracurriculars, but understanding the competition these days, an overall applicant definitely triumphs one who only has experiences in one area of life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, JohnGrisham said:

@JustSoYouKnow there is no reason you need to stop your research. You can still continue your research and do other things on top of that.

Unfortunately after my fifth year I'll be moving away from my university back to my home in Ottawa, so it'll be unlikely I can continue on in my lab...unless I make a commitment to stay (e.g. a master's program)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, JustSoYouKnow said:

Unfortunately after my fifth year I'll be moving away from my university back to my home in Ottawa, so it'll be unlikely I can continue on in my lab...unless I make a commitment to stay (e.g. a master's program)

That makes sense, perhaps other research opportunities more locally. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys,

Similar situation here. gpa 3.9+, MCAT 515+ . no interviews.

Is doing a 2 year masters (research based) at U of T a waste of time? would I be better off working for the year and just reapplying?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, yellow123 said:

Hi guys,

Similar situation here. gpa 3.9+, MCAT 515+ . no interviews.

Is doing a 2 year masters (research based) at U of T a waste of time? would I be better off working for the year and just reapplying?

Just need to work on your ECs, personal statement etc. With that GPA (assuming it's overall OMSAS GPA) and MCAT, it's a matter of time before you get interviews. I won't do a 2-year masters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, yellow123 said:

Hi guys,

Similar situation here. gpa 3.9+, MCAT 515+ . no interviews.

Is doing a 2 year masters (research based) at U of T a waste of time? would I be better off working for the year and just reapplying?

Move to Montreal for a year and become IP @ McGill where, things being equal, you will be interviewed. Take some French courses, work on your ECs and if you find employment, great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really surprised at the advice you are getting in this thread. Your ECs are totally fine and well above average. You have much more ECs than half my 3rd year class. 

In Canada, ECs are not worth that much IMO and its all GPA/MCAT. Your 125, especially if its in CARS is holding you back. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, dk3what said:

I'm really surprised at the advice you are getting in this thread. Your ECs are totally fine and well above average. You have much more ECs than half my 3rd year class. 

In Canada, ECs are not worth that much IMO and its all GPA/MCAT. Your 125, especially if its in CARS is holding you back. 

At any school that looks at ECs strongly, it is below average. 

 

But yes re-taking the mcat due to the 125cars is also something that should be done in parallel.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, JohnGrisham said:

At any school that looks at ECs strongly, it is below average. 

 

But yes re-taking the mcat due to the 125cars is also something that should be done in parallel.

 

ECs are something that you try to improve once you have decent mcat/gpa. You can get in with 0 ECs and high scores. But you cannot get in with amazing ECs and bad scores. Therefore getting the best marks/mcat gives you the highest chance of getting in.

 

Queens/UofT which are EC heavy schools, will not even look at you if you dont have the minimum scores. It is a myth that in Canada you need "ECs".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, dk3what said:

ECs are something that you try to improve once you have decent mcat/gpa. You can get in with 0 ECs and high scores. But you cannot get in with amazing ECs and bad scores. Therefore getting the best marks/mcat gives you the highest chance of getting in.

 

Queens/UofT which are EC heavy schools, will not even look at you if you dont have the minimum scores. It is a myth that in Canada you need "ECs".

Of course, this is true - but ECs take time to improve. 

You can have a perfect GPA and MCAT, and still not get into EC heavy schools.  Queens and UofT are in the mid-ground in terms of being EC heavy, queens being bit of a black box. 

Calgary and UBC is what I would call EC heavy schools, where they play a numerical factor into getting the interview. The OP for example, I can confidently(not 100% gaurantee) say, OP would likely barely make it to the interview stage at those two programs if they were IP status, with equally decent odds of not even getting an interview in the first place.  There are just many applicants who have just as strong GPAs AND stronger ECs.

But I agree 100% that OP would need an MCAT rewrite due to the 125 CARS, that is a given. 

The original point was weather or not a Masters was going to be useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×