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Posts posted by g4m3r2

  1. Would really appreciate any help in resolving conflicting interview times and dates :)


    school interviewing at: Saskatchewan

    specialty: Psychiatry

    current interview date: March 17

    date would like to switch to: March 24th


    school interviewing at: Dalhousie

    specialty: Psychiatry

    current interview date: March 11

    date would like to switch to: Any other date but preferably the 22rd or the 12th over the 23rd.

  2. Hi everyone,

    Currently, I'm interested in psych and derm, but I haven't completely ruled out family medicine yet.

    Reading the CaRMs website, most of these programs want diversity in their electives.

    However, how do you balance showing interest in the program by taking the max number of electives in one specialty (8 weeks) vs having diversity in electives?

    For the 20 weeks of electives we are allowed, I'm thinking of taking 6 weeks in each of psych and derm, 4 in family,  and 2 weeks IM and 2 weeks emerg, or 4 weeks emerg.

    I would still enjoy a short rotation in IM or emerg and would not be taking them just for the sake of showing diversity. I would not pursue either specialties as a career though.

    I have also thought about 8 weeks in psych and derm, and then 4 in family, but wonder how much difference two additional weeks in each specialty will make and whether it is better to use the extra four weeks to explore careers/show diversity.

    On the other hand, I would assume that for a competitive specialty like derm, schools would prefer (some more explicitly than others) that you have taken electives at their location. Taking 8 weeks in derm would let me take derm electives at more schools.

    Also, I would assume it is ideal to take an OOP elective in a specialty you're interested in applying to, but how much does it matter if you take an OOP elective in another specialty? Is taking an OOP elective at another school enough to show interest?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated!

  3. Updated the schools I am waiting to hear back from. The Excel file I used to keep track of the schools wasn't quite up to date.


    So just waiting from UBC (after interview), Kimmel and Wayne State (both pre-interview).


    Still waitlisted from Stony Brook post interview, and SUNY pre-interview

    How did you prepare for interviews? How did you feel about them coming out? As others have said this seems to be the issue- you should definitely be devoting time to interview prep as opposed to working on pre-interview stuff. 


    I read about medical ethics (CMJ, Doing Right), healthcare issues (White Coat Black Art, Canadian Health Policy in the News, books by Dr. Atul Gawande, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Dr. Mate), First Nations issues, and determinants of health (took a course). Also prepped in groups at UBC. Got like 3 sessions from friends in medicine about the interview.


    Felt okay after each time, but found that feelings do not accurately predict performance.  


    The other factor is OP is on the lower end of GPA, it takes alot of luck to get in with a low 80s gpa. So even though you make it to the interview stage, there is no guarantee of acceptance.  Definitely need to strive for at least average or above average on the interview. And just keep trying, it's a numbers game unfortunately.


    If you like research (judged by your 2 pubs you prob do), then I would go for a MSc. If you have a job you are passionate about lined up, then I would work. 


    Yep, MSc to increase GPA is something I've considered. I am trying to weigh how much the 2 years of GPA will boost my 3-4 years of crummy GPAs as well as the fact that doing an MSc doesn't necessarily guarantee acceptance vs just going to international schools. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  4. Hey everyone,


    After applying to many Canadian and US schools as a Canadian (BC resident) this year, I am back at square one to map out my future plans.


    Here are some options I have considered. Please correct if any of my pros/cons are wrong:

    1.    Work in Yukon, NWT, or Nunavut for 2 years (assuming I find a job there), become in-province for Sask, Manitoba, Ontario, and Alberta, take MCAT 2015 and apply

    2.    Go for a MSc/post-bac/second degree, increase my GPA (not guaranteed of course), apply

    3.    US DO

    a.     Pros: 70% match rate in US vs 50% match rate for IMGs

    b.    Cons: no presence in Canada, tend to be primary care doctors (I am looking at neurology/psychiatry), cost, recommended to take both COMLEX and USMLE to be competitive for MD residencies, some people may look down upon DOs

    4.    Duke-NUS

    a.     Pros: Though not guaranteed, SG poses a higher chance of landing a residency in SG and transitioning into a PR/citizen. Also, SG is a great place to live

    b.    Cons: Cost. Work-life balance seems to be poorer in SG than in Western counterparts. Higher cost of living with slightly lower wages for physicians

    5.    Australia/Ireland

    a.     Pros: would not mind living in these places

    b.    Cons: no guarantees of practicing in respective countries as non-EU, non Australian citizen or in returning to Canada. Cost

    6.    Caribbean

    a.     Pros: Easier to practice in US vs Aus/Ireland? Not sure if true

    b.    Cons: If no match in USA, then stuck in Caribbean. Cost


    Here is my position with all the schools:


    Waitlisted on: SUNY Stony Brook after interview, SUNY Upstate (yet to interview)

    Still waiting from: UBC (rejected twice, waitlisted once so far in previous years. Finished interview this year), Wayne State, Kimmel,

    Rejected from: Queen's, Sask, Boston, Dartmouth, George Washington, Case Western &Cleveland Clinic

    Cannot apply to (due to low GPA OOP and/or new MCAT requirements): Western, Dalhousie, Calgary, Alberta

    Did not apply to: Tulane, Oakland, Howard


    Full IB program grad
    cGPA: 81% including summer courses, 80.4% without; aGPA (drop lowest 30 credits): 83% with 82% without; Prereq: 83%
    (So around 3.7)
    MCAT: 28 first, 34 the second (11VR/12PS/11BS)
    Nonacademics from senior year of high school: Pharmacist since 2016 working in rural BC, 3 years in community pharmacy as an assistant, 1 month rotation in hospital under a pharmacist, 4 years volunteering at hospital, 3 years cadets -- co-led squadron band, playing in church band, martial arts for 11 years, president for a club x 2 years, vice president for student society. Toastmasters x 3 months. Duke of Edinburgh Award level gold, recognized provincially at a poster competition in senior year of high school.

    Publications: 2 as second author
    Volunteering at a crisis line 
    One award 



    Any input would be greatly appreciated.


  5. They don't have cutoffs at all for IP applicants but I think I remember people over on the MUN forum unofficially figuring out that the OOP cutoff was around 90% this year. I could be wrong, but I do know it's likely quite a bit higher than your GPA so I wouldn't recommend wasting money on the huge application fee. Call and check with MUN though, they're very helpful over the phone!

    So I called MUN the other day, and they said they still don't have strict cutoffs even for OOP. But they suggested 3.7 and 10's on all MCAT section to be competitive...But they do only take like 5 people in a 70 people class. I think the lady said 350 OOP's applied last year. Thoughts?




    Before we can give you our thoughts on your chances to either of Queens or McMaster, we will need you to convert your grades into your OMSAS GPA. Having the pure average is not good enough and it would be better to have a year by year break down of your GPA and whether each year has a full course load

    Year 1: 28 credits, 3.82/4.33 without summer, 4.33/4.33 in that summer semester summer

    Year 2: 33 credits, 77.5% without summer, about 75% that summer

    Year 3: 28 credits, 78.8 without summer, nothing that summer

    Year 4: 30 credits, 80.2% without summer, 9 credits of 94.5% average that summer

    Year 5: 12 credits and 18 P/F. The average of 12 credits = 92%, graduated

  6. Hi guys,

    How does being of a low socioeconomic status affect your competitiveness? 


    On one hand, med schools love diversity and most applicants come from middle to upper class backgrounds. But on the other hand, wouldn't the schools want to know that you can afford the education as a foreigner who's not eligible for a lot of subsidies/scholarships available to US citizens?

  7. They already have your primary, try to come up with something new to say. It can relate to something you already brought up on your primary, but I wouldn't use the exact same spin on the exact same experience.

    Thanks for your input! What do you think about the fact that they can ask you anything from the primary or the secondary application? 


    The secondary is asking what's your most significant volunteer and clinical experience. Of course, I put my most significant experiences in the primary already and even marked them as one of the three most significant experiences. So if I put some other experience that's not one of my most significant ones for the sake of putting a different experience compared to the one I put in primary, what if they ask me about this less significant experience instead and I can't elaborate on it as well as I could on a more significant experience?

  8. Hi guys,

    Are we able to reuse what we said on the primary application on the secondary application? 

    I guess ideally you shouldn't because then what's the point of having two separate applications if not for the secondary to cover what was not covered in the primary.. but it's hard to think of completely new examples from my life.

  9. Well, do you have any specialties in mind? Generally the priority should be Canadian MD>USMD>USDO>Rest IMGs. The order of priority for the IMG programs really depends on what you are looking for, and time factors. Weather or not you're fine with the high likelyhood of a US residency and less likely chance of a Canadian residency etc etc. Many variables. As well as your risk tolerances and flexibilities with where you do residency within the US etc. How flexible you are with living conditions (1st world vs 3rd world, moving around alot for clinicals etc etc)


    If you're okay with US FM for example, then theres no real reason to spend the extra time trying to go for UK programs or any other IMG programs, and just start in SGU or ROSS a.s.a.p and get on with it. You can even finish earlier than 4 years if you power through summers and take classes instead at Ross for example.  Mind you, US FM is 1 year longer than Canada.


    There is no "best" option for med outside of Canada, it is heavily dependent on the individuals specific goals, timelines and preferences. Share some of those with us, and then can get a better idea.






    Thanks for your reply :) . Yep, I'm looking at neuro or psych right now, with a small possibility of dabbling into research.



    I can speak to this as I had an interview with Duke-NUS this January.


      You are right. There is a 5 year return of service contract that you MUST do. They stress this over and over and over again in the interview and mention that if you aren't positive you want to do this, then you shouldn't apply. They seemed a little weary of North American applicants because they mentioned it wasn't as common in our culture to commit to such things for such long periods of time (for example in Singapore you have to do military service).


      While it is true a very small number of people do residency in the US, it has to be in a residency that isn't currently offered in Singapore. You also need permission from the Singaporean government and have to justify why you need to go to the US. I think one example is ophthalmology. If you are doing any of the other more common residencies, you will have to do it in Singapore.


       My understanding from the Duke-NUS interview is that if they accept you into their program, they REALLY want you to stay. Obtaining  a visa, PR, citizenship whatever is something they WANT you to do. I asked the Dean about leaving Singapore after 4 year med + 5 year ROS and he said you can leave, but they hoped by then you would be fully committed to remaining in Singapore (i.e. established roots, married a local, etc ...). Even though tuition is $56,000 a year, it is STILL somewhat subsidized by the government, so they don't want their investment running away. The class is very small (I think they said around 60 people are accepted) and they are highly invested in your future. I say this is an excellent route if a) you can actually get in (its quite competitive) and b ) you would enjoy living in Singapore for 9+ or more years (it is a very modern, clean, and green city/country). 


    Wow! Thanks for this very thorough information! Even admissions was kind of unclear regarding the visa/PR/citizenship issue LOL

  10. Hey guys,


    Just want to clarify a few things after having read through various forum posts about international schools.


    After reading Premed101 and SDN, it seems like the UK (not sure about Ireland) is the best option for an overseas medical degree for people who only have a Canadian citizenship. From what I read, it is easy to acquire a work visa/become a PR/citizen in the UK when you go to medical school there, and your residency prospects are similar to those of UK citizens. They require UKCAT, high school, and college GPAs.  


    Another option is Duke-NUS, but you have to be okay with living in Singapore. There's a mandatory 5 year service that you spend in Singapore and most people do residency there. There's still a very small chance of doing your residency in North America, but you still gotta do that 5 year service at some point.


    Australia is a nice place to live, but it seems like it's hard to find residency positions in Australia as a non-PR/citizen, and it's also hard to come back to North America. So people can be stuck in a limbo where they have a degree, but neither their home nor their new country will take them in to become residents. 


    For Caribbeans, it looks like the chance of coming back to North America is becoming smaller each year. Combined with the high fail rate, I'm not sure if this is an option that's in our best interests at this time.


    So my questions are:


    1. My biggest fear is not being able to work as a doctor anywhere after you graduate. Having said this, is it true that you're pretty much on equal footing/guaranteed a residency position without discrimination due to citizenship status in the UK? Are you really likely to become a UK PR/citizen if you go to school there?


    2. What is the case like for Duke-NUS? How likely are you to become a PR/citizen of Singapore if you go to med school there?





  11. You could also consider applying to Dal, depending on your GPA breakdown and assuming you have any maritime connection/interest in attending med school in the maritimes. Good luck!


    Edit: Actually I think Dal is only accepting the new MCAT this year so that may not be an option after all

    I'd love to apply to Dal, but I don't meet the minimum 3.7 GPA for every year requirement :(. Thanks for your input though!


    What is the MUN GPA cutoff? I thought it was 3.7?

  12. Hey all,

    Thanks for your replies.

    I've narrowed the list down to MUN, U of M, U of S, and UBC.

    *Edit: MAC as well

    U of T and McGill will obviously be reach schools.


    I can't apply to Albertan schools or Queens because of the new MCAT requirement.

    Not sure if I can apply to Western, because my two "best" years with 30 credits from Sept to April had a GPA < 3.7 (I had 28 credits for two of my years, and a year with 30 credits which had 18 credits of pass fail because it was a practicum)

    U of T I think I qualify for GPA adjustment, but even then my GPA is like 84-85 at best. 


    Side note: does anyone know how to calculate your GPA if you went to two different schools that use two different grading scales (4.0 and 4.33)?

  13. Hey guys,

    After third time of being put on WL/rejection from UBC as an IP, I'm considering applying to all Canadian schools. My question is, should I even bother applying even to the most competitive schools like Toronto or McGill? I'd greatly appreciate your feedback on how realistic my chances are in getting into those schools. Thanks!


    Full IB program grad
    cGPA: 82-83%; aGPA: 84-85%?; Prereq: 83%
    (Basically 3.7-3.8)
    MCAT: 28 first, 34 the second (11VR/12PS/11BS)
    Nonacademics: Graduated from a pharmacy program this year, 3 years in community pharmacy as an assistant, 1 month rotation in hospital under a pharmacist, 4 years volunteering at hospital, 3 years cadets (think 1 step below military reserves, and for teens. Similar idea as scouts but military based) -- co-led squadron band, playing in church band, martial arts for 11 years, president for a club x 2 years, vice president for student society. Toastmasters x 3 months. Duke of Edinburgh Award level gold, recognized provincially at a poster competition in senior year of high school.

    Publications (new this year): 2 as second author
    Volunteering at a crisis line (new this year)
    One award (new this year)

  14. Hey guys,

    So the fourth round has been announced, and I am starting to figure out my alternative plans for next year as I am still yet to hear back from UBC. 

    My question is, how likely is one going to hear back from UBC at this point (speaking realistically)?


    On one hand, judging from the posts on this thread, it seems there were only 5 or so people accepted off the waitlist (since the first movement). There were ~6 rounds last year, and so we're 2/3 way through already. 


    On the other hand, you always hear about people who were accepted like 2 days before class started.

  15. Hey guys,

    Thanks for your reply :)

    I applied to UBC only (IP) x last 3 years and been rejected x 2 and on WL x 1 this year. I plan to apply to literally all the schools in Canada this year. 

    Can you elaborate on your last category? What do you mean by "ranking students etc"?

    From what I read on SDN, I heard some schools rank students and give this info out to residencies/clerkships. So you're fighting tooth and nail to be one rank higher than your classmate, which fosters ridiculous competition (from my understanding of how the ranking system works anyways).



    Stats wise, you are average for the Canadian matriculation (ie you stand average to good shots of getting in if you apply broadly)

    So I would apply to 15-20 schools if you want a realistic shot of getting in .

    As for your list, of the 7, I would take out Boston (don't know they accepted any Canadians, if they do it's very few or they have dual citizenship) and stony brook (same). If you are not African American/Canadian descent or demonstrated a lot of experience in inner city/African American service, I would take out Howard.

    For the considering, I would add Wayne State and SUNY since they are the two most Canadian friendly schools stat wise (though SUNY is less so in recent years). I recall Loyola didn't take Canadians

    With your stats I would apply to GW. Since you did pharmacy I'm sure you can BS one of your biochem or pharmacology courses as "bio". That would meet recommendations.

    In the ruled out list, I would add Rosalin Franklin, Oakland and Kentucky, all known to take Canadians in moderate numbers in the past. As for the competitiveness. Don't kid yourself. Every school is competitive. Even though our school is Honors/Pass/fail they still kept tabs of how many Honors we had and geared our dean's letter in turn. Having % or letter system just makes it more obvious. But the US system is very ocmpetitive with USMLE being king and GPA somewhat important but not very once you reach clerkship.


    As for the competition in general, yeah I get that med schools are competitive. But it's how they grade their students. If you have H/HP/P/F, you're essentially divided into quartiles. But if you're getting ranked from #1 to #144 (or however big the class size is), getting percentages, or getting letter grades A to F, you're gonna be pretty focused on getting the last 1% of your grade to beat out the person sitting next to you. 


    Can you guys comment on living in Detroit for Wayne State? Things I've hear about Detroit weren't too positive tbh (high crime rates, bankrupt city etc).

  16. Hey guys,
    Canadian pharmacist here applying to the states for the first time.
    Would greatly appreciate some feedback on the list of schools I have narrowed down to after a lot of searching on Premed101 and SDN. Also, I read schools that rank students, give letter grades, or percentages are not as desirable because everyone's competing against each other. Can anyone comment how "bad" these schools are?

    Full IB program grad
    cGPA: 82-83%; aGPA: 84-85%?; Prereq: 83%
    (Basically 3.7-3.8)
    MCAT: 28 first, 34 the second (11VR/12PS/11BS)
    Nonacademics: Graduated from a pharmacy program this year, 3 years in community pharmacy as an assistant, 1 month rotation in hospital under a pharmacist, 4 years volunteering at hospital, 3 years cadets (think 1 step below military reserves, and for teens. Similar idea as scouts but military based) -- co-led squadron band, playing in church band, martial arts for 11 years, president for a club x 2 years, vice president for student society. Toastmasters x 3 months. Duke of Edinburgh Award level gold, recognized provincially at a poster competition in senior year of high school.

    Publications (new this year): 2 as second author
    Volunteering at a crisis line (new this year)
    One award (new this year)

    How I chose schools:
    1. Found a list of schools accepting Canadians on Premed101 (http://forums.premed101.com/index.php?/topic/19041-list-of-us-schools-accepting-canadians/)
    2. Got MSAR, and calculated # of international students/total class size for each school, compared my stats to matriculating class of 2016's
    3. Applied to all the schools with international acceptance rates >2.5% or higher

    Applying to (not sure if this is too few..):
    1. Boston
    2. Dartmouth
    3. Central Michigan
    4. Howard (must confirm whether IB transfer credits will be accepted for humanities)
    5. Kimmel
    6. Stony Brook
    7. Case Western

    Schools I am considering, if I'm gonna apply to any more (any thoughts on learning environment? Match rates? Livability?)
    1. Tulane
    2. SUNY
    3. Wayne State
    4. Loyola

    Not eligible for (due to prereq requirements)
    1. UCLA (Do not accept IB bio)
    2. Utah (no IB humanities credits accepted)
    3. George Washington (it's not RECOMMENDED to have IB bio as bio credits.. they told me I could apply technically as these are all recommendations, but may not be considered competitive... thoughts?)

    Ruled out (due to the fact that they rank students, give letter grades, or percentages -- I presume the program will be super competitive from what I read on SDN)
    1. Emory
    2. Virginia
    3. Maryland
    4. Kentucky
    5. Oakland
    6. Rosalind Franklin

    Thanks for reading clear.png

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