5th time the charm reacted to HappyAndHopeful in Interviews 2017 Invite/reject
Date Stamp: Jan. 24 at 3:15
Current year: 4th year
ECs: Varied, both long and short term
Casper: I don't know. I felt really good for most of it, but feel like my answers could have been better for a few questions.
Good luck to all of you!!
5th time the charm reacted to rural_roots in Interview Invites 2017
Timestamp: 9:33 am
GPA: 3.75 + .2 Masters = 3.95
Context: (born and raised rural southern ontario, 6 years in Thunder Bay, 2 years in Temiskaming Shores)
ECs: Lots of travel, varied work experience, outdoorsy things, organic farming, campus first response, wilderness first aid, hospital/community health/aboriginal health/family health volunteering. Shadowed 2 NOSM preceptor family physicians at a family health team in rural North Eastern Ontario for the past three years, as well as worked on several community preventative medicine projects as a volunteer with the health team. Also worked with a local Aboriginal Organization on a community kitchen project. Experience working in traditional healing settings with residential school survivors.
Non-trad?: Oh yeah.
# of previous applications: 4
Interview Location/Date/Time: Sudbury, Saturday April 1st @ 1:15 pm.
Let's do this.
5th time the charm reacted to MDwannabe02 in Interview Invites 2017
Timestamp: 9:36 am EST
GPA: 3.79 + 0.2 Master's
Context: Born amd raised in rural, ++remote NWO
ECs: Various sports, coaching of sports, campus EMS, first aid instructor, international medical volunteer, occasional teaching and EA work in NWO, and just started working as an allied health professional in a hospital.
Non-trad?: Oh yeah. Nothing traditional about this guy
# of previous applications: 4... Fifth time's a charm, right?
Current year: Working as an allied health professional in NWO
Best of luck to old and new PM101 friends!
5th time the charm reacted to rural_roots in Interview Invites 2017
Seeing as the trend seems to be that NOSM interview invites are being released earlier and earlier each admissions cycle, I thought I would get this ready for us. This thread is for STATS only - let's keep interview discussion in another thread.
Interview: Yes or No
GPA: OMSAS 4.0 scale
Context: (What is your rural, remote or Northern Ontario connection?)
ECs: (Summation of your extracurricular activities)
# of previous applications:
5th time the charm reacted to deguy123 in Uoft Interview Invites/regrets 2017
TIME STAMP: Jan/13 @ 3:27pm
Interview Date: Feb 25 (MD/PhD), Feb 26 (MD)
cGPA: 3.97 (OMSAS)
MCAT: 520 (131/129/129/131)
ECs: 3 years research (3 1st author pubs; 3 1st author under review; conference; invitation to scientific meeting, etc.); 4 years personal training with clinical/rural/general population; designed/implemented exercise programs for rural residents and cancer survivors; VP and P of student club; managed restaurant for 2 summers; 6 years tutoring; additional volunteer, awards, and employment.
Essays: Feel I overthought them and crammed too much detail into 250 words...
Year: 5th year UG (Co-op)
Feeling good. Least expected invite of them all
Please post only invites/regrets. Discussion will be here.
It will make it easier for everyone if you guys follow this format as usual:
Result: Invite / Reject
Time Stamp: Date & Time
Year: UG, Masters, PhD
Geography : IP/OP?
5th time the charm reacted to Arztin in Started Med School - Burnt Out
Hi, there. I faced burn out too in med 1 multiple times so I can relate. I have't read replies from others but here are my own personal advice.
1- Your own health first. That includes physical (sleep, exercise, eat well) + mental health.
You can't take care of others if you don't care to take care of yourself first.
Sleep hygiene is important. Find a way to sleep more.
For mental health (not saying you are crazy in any way), have a low threshold to seek help, counsellors or ressources your school has if you need help with anxiety/depression, which is very common among med students. A few of my friends crashed and burned, and sought help and it helped them a lot. I persuaded some people to seek help, and they haven't regretted getting professional help.
2- Toughen up. It sucks to hear this, but at the end of the day, you need to find a way to toughen up.
3- Medicine is a team game. Unlike undergrad, where you don't need such a strong social network, you absolutely need one in med school. Make sure you have a support network, friends, family, partner, or people you can trust, to whom you can talk to. It's a must. You can't survive without a solid one. Solo mode is a no no.
4- Don't stress so much about lectures. It's overwheling at the beginning but you'll find a way to survive preclerkship. It took me personally about 6 months before being ''used to'' preclerkship. By the end of first year, many people were not attending lectures anymore. Preclerkship is simply a whole new experience where you have to figure out a whole way of studying. Don't stress because other people are studying for USMLE at the same time, or some people are reading extra. I personally pretty much never attended lectures, and I'm doing just fine now in clerkship. Most of my friends who went to class now realize that they probably wouldn't attend class if they could do it again. So don't feel bad for skipping.
5- don't compare yourself. There is no point. Some people will seem bright. Some people will seem to gun hard. Some people definitely will work harder than you. Some people will look better than you. Some people are more likeable than you. Some people will seem to be better in some ways than you. At the end of the day, you're you, not that xyz person who's better in you in whatsoever way. So accept yourself, and accept the fact that it's okay not to be a top student grades wise, or the best person in xyz aspect, or the best looking person. From experience, I can tell you that many students who appear "perfect" are actually not so "perfect". They might say they're not studying, but at home they're studying a crap ton. They might seem always emotional fine, but many people cry during med school at some point, including those. Many people posting stuff on facebook like #SelfieWithMyNewStethoscopeThatIDon'tKnowHowToUse are actually kind of sad inside and are looking for validation, although they might get hundreds of likes. So again, don't compare yourself. If you made it, you belong. Accept this fact, and accept yourself.
6- help your peers. I have "crashed". I have seem every single one of my closest friends during med school crash at some point, preclerkship or clerkship. (even though it's just my 9th week of clerkship). A classmate in deed is a classmate in need. Help others too!
These are the things I can think of now. Sorry this is probably disorganized. Gaah, lack of sleep
Good luck. If you ever feel like you need to PM me, feel free to.
5th time the charm reacted to bornandraised in 2017 Intake - Who's Applying To Nosm?
Trad/Non-Trad: fairly traditional, 24 years old
Degrees: B.Sc. (Honours) McGill University, M.Sc. Laurentian University
Context: Born and raised in small urban Northern Ontario
Employment/ ECs / Volunteer: Currently working at a local non-profit working with marginalized populations (drug using population, homeless, Indigenous, people at risk of HIV/HCV), two years volunteering as an outreach worker (harm reduction), two years as a Toastmaster (with leadership and communication achievements, and involvement with the executive committee), board member with Elizabeth Fry, ~10 years doing receptionist work at local walk-in clinic, two summers working at Science North, several research projects throughout undergrad and graduate degree, multiple conference presentations, volunteer medical work in Africa, and physician shadowing throughout Northern Ontario.
Really, really hoping fourth time is a charm. Good luck to everyone who is applying!
5th time the charm reacted to CanoeingEpidemiologist in 2017 Intake - Who's Applying To Nosm?
Traditional/Non-Traditional: Mature student (25), married, live permanently in NO
Degrees: BSc (Honours) Biomedical Science; MSc (thesis) Population Medicine (Epidemiology)
GPA: 3.6 GPA
Context: Born in the GTA, raised in the GTA. Mom was a fly-in fly-out nurse/wound-care specialist in Moose Factory, Moosonee, Fort Albany and other communities in NO when I was growing up (not part of my context - but where my interest started). I went to the University of Guelph for both my undergrad and masters - however, my masters research was on Acute Gastrointestinal Illness in Inuit in Iqaluit, NU and Health Knowledge translations/exchange in Inuit populations in the Circumpolar North. I worked, traveled, and collaborated with Inuit researchers and community members for the two years and spent time in Iqaluit. I now work at a Family Health Team in NO in senior management - and have lived here for just over two years. I live out of town on a private road with my husband and dog. I am also the Founder and Director of a Canadian Charity that works in a very remote region of Ghana, West Africa.
- peer-reviewed publications x2 (International, National)
- senior management FHT NO
- Shadowing as hospitalist and family MD
- research assistant - Indigenous Health research group
- Founder and Director of charity in remote Ghana, West Africa (raised >$35,000)
- president/vice president in variety of university clubs/community of interest
- medical secretary at refugee clinic + doctor's without borders
- hockey, long distance canoe racing, NO Refugee committee, dragon boating
- first aid for HCP (AED/CPR), wilderness & remote first aid, mental health first aid
Thoughts?? GPA is relatively low compared to many others - and my context score can only improve with time. This is my third time applying to NOSM - dedicated to improving the health gap with under-serviced populations specifically in Parry Sound as a family physician (and health manager).
5th time the charm reacted to rural_roots in 2017 Intake - Who's Applying To Nosm?
MDWannabe02, we are the village elders of applying to NOSM hahaha
Trad/Non-Trad: About as non trad as they come. Mature history grad figures he wants to be a doctor.
Degrees: HBA, MA (History), Lakehead University.
Starting this year: Bsc Nursing (compressed), Trent University.
GPA: 3.75 + .2 masters = 3.95
Context: Grew up in rural southern Ontario, have spent most of my adult life (8 years) in Northern Ontario (Thunder Bay and Temiskaming Shores)
Employment/ ECs / Volunteer:
Lots of travel, varied work experience, outdoorsy things, organic farming, campus first response, wilderness first aid, hospital/community health/aboriginal health/family health volunteering. Experience working in traditional aboriginal healing settings with residential school survivors.
Shadowed 2 NOSM preceptor family physicians at a family health team in rural North Eastern Ontario for the past two years, as well as worked on several community preventative medicine projects as a volunteer with the health team including a COPD prevention project in tandem with a Nurse Practitioner, and a Congestive Heart Failure review program alongside a physician that ensured our CHF patients were receiving the best possible care.
I can't believe this is my fifth year applying. A lot of people comment on my determination, but to be honest, this is what I've been doing for so long it just seems normal. I literally apply to NOSM like it's my job.
5th time the charm reacted to crazyye in 2017 Intake - Who's Applying To Nosm?
Hey everyone! I'll be applying again this year. Will be my third application to NOSM. Last year I had the privilege of receiving an interview, but sadly wasn't accepted. Hoping this is the year for me.
Trad/Non-Trad: 30 this year, non-traditional (married with kids )
Degrees: B.Sc. in Environmental Earth Sciences
Certificate in Environmental Practice
M.Sc.A in Occupational Health
B.Sc. in General Sciences
GPA: 4.0 (3.91 on second B.Sc. + 0.2 from Masters).
Context: From Greater Sudbury since birth, Bilingual (French & English) and Metis status.
Volunteer / ECs / Employment: Big Brother for Big Brother Big Sisters of Sudbury, community clean-up blitz, coach for Ontario Special Olympics, Treasurer for local Community committee, Grade 8 certification in piano, Environmental Professional certification, volunteer at Hospital in Emergency Dept, work for local mining company, and more...
I want to wish everyone good luck this year! Hope to hear from others!
5th time the charm reacted to MDwannabe02 in 2017 Intake - Who's Applying To Nosm?
Fifth time's a charm, I hope. Hoping that a year off from applying and a graduate degree bonus give me the help I need this time.
Trad/Non-Trad: 28 years old (Non-Traditional)
Degrees: B.Sc. (Hons) and MSc(PT) - graduating in the fall.
GPA: 3.79 to 3.99 with the grad bonus (yay!)
Context: Born and raised in a small and very remote town in Northern Ontario.
Employment/ ECs / Volunteer: Looking for PT jobs in the near future/Campus first response, coaching of various sports, might have a paper coming out in the next little while, etc.
As for the previous 4 applications, I've interviewed 4 times at NOSM and been wait-listed in an OK spot in the past, but went back to school to beef up the application/backup plan. Would be over the moon if I could begin my true passion though.
Best wishes to all applicants this cycle!
5th time the charm reacted to NLengr in The Tenative Psa Agreement
My short opinion: The deal is garbage. It's caving to government. The government will never share power or decision making with the OMA or physicians. That's true of any political party. It does nothing to address the root of the problem, which is lack of binding arbitration (like the majority of the provinces have). Without a clause for binding arbitration, this deal will be a failure.
The OMA has once again proven they are incompetent.
5th time the charm reacted to Lifeisawesome in Success Stories- Non Trad Style!
I wanted to post my story specifically for those non-trads with lower GPAs.
Here we go. I knew I wanted to be a doctor from a young age (so I guess in that sense I am traditional!). The battle of getting into med really started for me in first year university. I was the first one in my family to attempt a university degree, and I was from a small town, so I really had no clue about the whole “pre-med strategy”. I chose a biochemistry undergrad because I liked biology and chemistry (it seemed to be a no brainer to me). In first year I obtained As, but also Bs and Cs. The transition from small town to city life was quite the adjustment and I was proud of the fact that I was going to university in a city and doing what I thought was “well” in a difficult program. Up until this point my average was probably a solid B/B+. It didn’t dawn on me that this would be a major hurdle of getting into med until midway through 3rd year. In one of my classes a prof mentioned that if you didn’t have at least a 3.7 GPA you could kiss scholarship funding (i.e. NSERC, CIHR) goodbye. This struck terror into me. If I “couldn’t even” get grad funding with a less than 3.7 GPA, did this mean I couldn’t get into med school? Trying to find a prof to take me for a 4th year research project was when reality really started to sink in. In interview after interview profs were telling me I just wasn’t honours research material because of my bad grades.
Luckily, I found one prof who was amazing. For the first time in my life I had someone take me under their wing and mentor me. During the interview she told me she purposely didn’t look at my grades, because as an undergrad, the most important thing was whether I would “mesh” well in the lab. She was extremely kind, supported me in the lab, and handed down many many pearls of wisdom. Encouraged by my supervisor and research project, I realized at this point if I didn’t pull up my GPA, I wouldn’t get into graduate school. I threw everything I had into 4th year and with a supportive environment I was able to get a GPA of 3.85. Even with this, I only ended up with an overall undergrad OMSAS GPA of 3.2.
** This is where I have to go on a tangent. I hate that lower GPAs are somehow synonymous with laziness. For me, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I studied very hard during my undergrad and was proud of my marks, until I entered the graduate/pre-med world. Sure, I struggled with a 6 course semester load and did horribly in organic chemistry I, II, and III, but it doesn’t make me lazy. I was raised in an environment where if you couldn’t handle everything on your own you just “weren’t good enough”. This resulted in a self-imposed barrier that prevented me from seeking help from fellow classmates or professors. Asking for help was viewed as “bad and weak” because I should be smart enough to know how to do it by myself. This resulted in me throwing even more time into studying, although without guidance, my attempts were pretty futile. This lead me to believe my “low GPA” was because I just wasn’t smart enough. At least this is what people were telling me. At this point I had really convinced myself that I just wasn’t smart enough for medicine. Luckily, I thoroughly enjoyed 4th year and the awesome environment I did my research project in, so I pursued graduate studies instead. ** Tangent over.
I took a 4th year pharmacology course and LOVED it, so I applied to and interviewed at graduate schools in pharmacology in Ontario and Quebec. I was accepted into one program, but because of grades wasn’t able to find a professor willing to take me. I eventually found a prof willing to take me at another school, but was rejected by that school (grades again). I had a decision to make, abandon graduate school or take a “special” year at the school to show that I really wanted to be there. Luckily the professor was still willing to pay me a graduate stipend (even though I wasn’t in grad school) as well as allow me to work in the lab. I interviewed again the following year and was thankfully accepted into the Master’s program. For the first time, I started to thrive. Once I was in, my GPA was no longer looked at, and I felt on an even playing field with my fellow colleagues. I loved research and the hospital centre our lab was in. I was working alongside physicians and this just re-enforced to me how much I wanted to go into medicine. I wanted to do my (now) PhD proper justice though, and threw myself into my projects. I was working very hard, but was also really happy and proud of the process I was making. During my 7 year PhD I was fortunate to present my research findings at national and international conferences and to publish good quality papers.
Riding on my newly restored self-confidence I thought I would try to apply to medicine for the first time (2012-2013 cycle). Since I came from a small rural town, I decided NOSM was my best option. Again, after seeing my horrific OMSAS calculated GPA of 3.2 sitting in front of me, I was expecting a full out rejection. Many people around me also discouraged me from applying because of my “really bad GPA”. I knew deep down though I would forever feel the regret if I didn’t at least try. I applied and to my absolute shock and delight I was offered an interview. This REALLY encouraged me, someone WAS interested in me. I went to the interview and was rejected afterwards. This rejection didn’t hit me too hard because I realized:
1) My GPA was low (by pre-med standards), and I would need the GPA boost from my completed PhD
2) I didn’t have as many ECs as I could. I decided to sit the following year out to graduate from my PhD and to take time to do as many volunteer ECs as I could.
I reapplied in the 2014-2015 cycle thinking I had a much better shot (increased GPA and better ECs). Thankfully, I was offered an interview again at NOSM. I practiced the CRAP out of interviewing. I practiced at least 2 hours every other day from the time I received an interview invite until I had my interview. I knew my lower GPA would hold me back, so I had to knock the interview out of the park. But, as long as I had an interview, I had a shot, right?! I completed the interview and thought I had done really well. I figured this was my best shot. I found out that May that I was rejected. This second rejection hit me really hard.
At this point I realized I would have to face my biggest fear – writing the MCAT. After hearing so often how bad my GPA was, I actually started believing I wasn’t smart enough to do well on the MCAT. MCAT prep courses weren’t an option for me, so I would have to do the studying on my own. I threw myself into studying and set myself an ambitious 2.5 month study plan. I wrote the MCAT and actually came out of the exam, got into the car, told my boyfriend that my dream of getting into medical school was over, before bursting into tears. I fully convinced myself I had bombed the exam. After the agonizing wait I found out my MCAT wasn’t as bad as I thought it was – 128/131/127/126 (overall 512). Not amazing by many people’s standards (ouch to psych/soc), but a huge confidence boost for someone like me that had convinced myself I wasn’t smart enough. At least my MCAT wouldn’t hold me back like my GPA was.
I applied to medical schools across Canada and even Singapore this past cycle and took a second year undergrad English Lit course to satisfy the UBC pre-req, but then I started to seclude myself. Surrounding myself with negative self-thoughts and negative people, I spiraled into anxiety and mild depression. This forced me into a position that I had never been in before. I was not happy with the person I was. I realized it was the time for introspection. Negativity had convinced me I was not good enough, that I should have known I was going to do poorly in undergrad, and that I should have somehow done better. I dwelled in the “failure” of my past, fretting over how grades from 10 years ago were impacting and dictating my future. Didn't they know that wasn't who I was now? With a well-earned PhD from a respected institution, good publications, and solid ECs, it seemed I would never be able to redeem myself and crawl out of the hole of my undergrad GPA. From those around me I received remarks like, “you have a PhD, you should go into the pharmaceutical world and actually make decent money”, “your undergrad GPA isn’t competitive enough”, “its time to let your dream go, you are too old to do this now”, etc … When I finally had the courage to reach out to family, I was made to feel guilty for feeling anxious/depressed because “other people go through harder things than you and they aren’t anxious/depressed.” They also told me medicine probably wasn’t in my future and that I needed to move on, I was told “not everyone gets into medicine you know!” After battling through this for many months, I came to realize just how important a supportive and encouraging network is. My boyfriend has been amazing for this, he never once questioned my reasoning or ability and was there through every tear telling me to keep going. Also, countless “check-ins” and words of encouragement from friends got me through the darkest days. Surround yourself with people like that. I am convinced your environment will make or break you.
Also, let go of any preconceived notions you have about where you will get in. I had convinced myself NOSM was the only realistic choice for me because of where I was born and raised, my GPA, and my age. After interviewing at UBC I can now fully appreciate that UBC is a much better fit for me than NOSM. The fit of the school really is important for your future success but also for admissions. I did my UBC interview in Feb and my NOSM interview in April and I was the same person for both interviews, nothing changed. UBC accepted me and NOSM rejected me again (for a third time). Apply broadly!
I sometimes kick myself for not doing some of these things sooner (i.e. writing the MCAT, applying more broadly, getting over my insecurities). At 31, I have to remind myself that 2 years ago I wasn’t the person I am now. Suffering through the horrible downward spiral of anxiety and depression let me see life from another perspective. Again, I was raised in an environment where anxiety and depression meant something was “wrong” with you and that you just needed to “pull yourself” out of it, “other people have it much worse!” I was always told. I blamed myself for not being a mentally stronger person, and convinced myself that I didn’t belong in medicine; I was too weak to handle it. You really can be your own worst enemy/biggest hurdle. Having gone through this process though, it really taught me empathy and understanding for others. You can’t possibility know what other people go through or the demons they battle. The best thing you can do is just validate and support that person's journey. Often the person doesn't need you to solve their problems or certainly not judge them, but they just want understanding and support.
I want to stress what others on this non-trad thread have already said (wow, lots of rhyming in that sentence!). Med school admissions involve luck. First of all, to everyone that asks “am I competitive enough”? I was told repeatedly that I wasn’t. I let this get to me. Regardless of what people say, you won’t know until you TRY. If NOSM rejected me flat out in 2012, I probably would have given up hope then, but they didn’t. Second of all, what you think is your best application might not get you in, whereas your “worst” (I use that VERY loosely) application might. Lastly, if you don’t get in, try, try, try again. Continually better yourself year after year and hopefully lady luck will be on your side. I am beyond humbled and overjoyed that UBC accepted me into their program and I know that I will never take my seat for granted.
So, if you have made it this far à The main message I want to get across to you is, you are NOT your GPA, you are so much more than that! I know it is an uphill battle for us low GPAers, as well as non-trads, but please PLEASE don’t give up. Surround yourself with motivating/encouraging people, put in the hard work, and above all believe in yourself! You CAN do it! I just did J.
5th time the charm reacted to johnmccrae in Success Stories- Non Trad Style!
I’ve been following this forum for over a year now and definitely been inspired by reading many of the “non-traditional” success stories that are in this thread. As I recently accepted an offer to McMaster, I wanted to take some time to share my own story with everyone. I apologize in advance for the length of it (this is actually the condensed version, I wrote a longer version for a blog post but it’s not finished yet).
I started becoming interested in health when I was pursuing an UG in biochemistry at uOttawa (graduated back in 2006). During the degree I took up the sport of triathlon and became a bit of a health geek. I also was fortunate to get quite a bit of research experience, including 16 months of co-op, so I decided to do a M.Sc. and moved out west to Vancouver. Ultimately the program was not for me, so I withdrew after about 6 months.
In what was a hasty decision at the time, I entered in the UBC MBA program in Fall 2007. I really had wanted to work in the health industry, but I was mostly focused on triathlon racing at the time and didn’t really put as much into the program as I could have. I completed the degree in December 2008 and decided to look for something completely different to do.
So, in early 2009 I joined the Canadian Forces as an Artillery Officer (how I ended up in that particular job is a long story). I spent a year in Gagetown, NB (near Fredericton) on training and then was posted to Petawawa (west of Ottawa) in 2010. Around the same time I met my wife, and we were married in December 2011.
Army life had its challenges, but I did some really cool training! I called in hundreds of rounds of live artillery and spent many months commanding an armoured vehicle in simulated combat. I had prepared to deploy overseas but it never happened.
By mid-2013, we had our first baby. I was exhausted with the work tempo and wanted to spend more time with my daughter, so I left the full-time military and transferred into the Reserves. I spent the next year as a stay-at-home dad while working some part-time jobs: running my own coaching business part-time, teaching at a local college, and random army work.
It was during this time that I realized that I wanted to get into medicine. I met some fantastic family docs and OB/GYNs during my wife’s pregnancies that encouraged/inspired me, as well as several UG colleagues that were now practicing physicians. I decided to get back into the books and study for the MCAT. I also ended up taking a full-time army contract (in a desk job) for some financial stability as I knew applying to medical school wasn’t going to be cheap!
I applied for the first time this cycle and was extremely excited to accept an offer for McMaster. Looking forward to starting this fall as a 34 year old father of 1 and 3 year old girls!!
5th time the charm reacted to janny_jan in Success Stories- Non Trad Style!
Fellow non-trad who got into Mac!!
Took a year off after high school. Then moved all the way across the country for UG. Wrote and bombed my MCAT in 2007 which made me swear off med school. Did my Masters with the full intention of doing a Ph.D and continuing research/academia. I'll be defending that masters in about a month...wooop!
I re-wrote my MCAT in summer 2009 and did okay except for Bio. I applied to Mac to get some experience with the application process before I went full throttle the next year, with a VR=10. Wound up getting an interview and then accepted! Bonus!
I only applied to one school. It just goes to show that you only need one.
I also don't have the highest GPA. I went to the maritimes for my UG...they drink lots of beer there...my marks suffered but it was so worth it! You don't need a 4.0! In fact, I wouldnt want one unless I knew that my social life wouldnt suffer.
Congrats other non-trads!!! Well deserved!!
5th time the charm reacted to Med_Pack in Accepted/Rejected/Waitlisted??? (for current applicants)
I am sorry I could not post this yesterday. I ended up having to stay late at work for a bunch of unexpected issues that we had to fix, got home super late before I could open the email and after all that adrenaline building up and my nearly passing out, I couldn't get back on here to post. There were no groceries at home today (my fridge has never been so empty, ended up waiting till the last minute with all that's been going on) so I had nothing to eat until dinner...and we just had to be out getting food during the day so we wouldn't die of starvation...I was nearly passing out by the time I got some food in me. I am overwhelmed by the number of messages I have gotten in the day and am so sorry that others who have been conversing, posting and supporting me have been waiting for me to share my outcome. I had promised earlier regardless of outcome I would post and I hope you'll understand and forgive my tardiness!
Time Stamp: 9:36AM
ECs:I had a lot so I am just going to outline the major themes they fell into: community leadership with at-risk youth, hospital volunteerism, shadowing physicians, mental health advocacy and youth engagement. I have been leading teams of youth in social advocacy campaigns (many of which focus on issues that Aboriginal youth face) in N.O since I was 16. I did have some major awards I have won in my ABS sketch, I had some research (not very extensive, 2 summers and 1 throughout the school year in a minor role), 2 publications that was in Bio, 2 that were in youth mental health (that was a CIHR funded part community/part research based project)..I did not have any sports, and by and large the majority was youth-related volunteer work in some capacity. I filled up all the spots on the ABS, but had the same club/group/project that I had grown in (so different roles) as different items because they had mentioned to do that last summer in the info session. I did not list any short-term activities. I wasn't involved much on campus, except for being the student rep on the senate. The minimum commitment in any activity I listed was 3 years (senate) and most others were around 5-7 years, with one major leadership role in youth program development starting at age 15 to present day...so 14 years, and the exec director of this organization wrote me, from what he told me, an in depth and extensive reference letter and was my verifier for many of the ABS items since I co-founded and led a number of youth social justice programs for at-risk and aboriginal youth with this organization. I think consistency and leadership would have been what stood out for my ABS- consistency in working with youth in various capacities to increase their well-being, and leadership growth no matter what level I started at with any of the initiatives I was part of. I have tried to be as detailed as possible here in hopes of helping others but if you have more specific questions around EC's, please do not hesitate to PM me. I think we need to get away from saying simply "varied," or "diverse", or "broad," or "long-term." I know it is painstaking, but I think more details really help others (speaking from my experience for when I was trying to gauge my chances before).
Decision (will you accept your offer)? Incredibly grateful to have been extended an offer and will be accepting.
Campus: Sudbury, and this was my preferred campus.
Context: (What is your rural or Northern Ontario connection?) 11years+ cumulatively, did all but my last year of high school here (had a personal situation which resulted in a move), did undergrad in SO and returned after graduation
Non-trad?: Most definitely. I'm 27 and it's been a long personal journey to even get to the point where I was in a position to apply. I plan on sharing my whole story on the non-trad success stories thread when I can really sit down and create a proper post. There are some super inspiring people on here, their fight gave me strength and hopefully my story will help others.
Interview: As those who have been frequenting this board this year know, I had many doubts about my performance, but also in truth, I knew there were lots of positives about my interview. I didn't want to focus on the good aspects as much because I just thought it would be a lot more painful if I didn't make it. I also am prone to anxiety so it's hard for me not to second guess myself. I have been known by everyone close to me to be very hard on myself, and for the few things I could have done better, I probably beat myself up too much over the last few months. There are still stations that I think back on where the interviewer's stoicism made me think I did poorly...but maybe I didn't do as bad on those as I thought.
Undergrad program/university: Biology
# of previous applications: 0
I applied to one school (not because I wasn't competitive at others, for the most part, but because I literally could barely afford to apply to even one school while working side jobs because of some unexpected family circumstances where I needed to help financially), interviewed at one school, and was accepted at that one school. I am lucky that this is my top choice school. I am not saying this is the way to go because there is a lot more stress post-interview when you know all your hopes and dreams are riding on that one school's decision...you have no fall backs and can't say well, I interviewed at two or three schools so there's pretty a good chance I did well at least in one of those interviews or was a good fit for one of the schools...it's also good to apply to other schools because you may be a great candidate but just not a right fit for that particular school...but if you are in my position and you just can't apply to any others, realize that doesn't mean you can't do it, you only need one school to say yes.
I am sorry for those who didn't get in and it's even less transparent now that waitlist ranks aren't being shown.. I am willing to help for future application cycles to give a second opinion if you feel it will help you...I can only guess at what I did right but maybe it can still be useful for others. Please PM me if you want to talk. I am sure many of you who didn't get in would make great doctors and I'm saddened knowing that these deserving folks weren't given a seat and I'll bet this is a sentiment shared by even those on admissions boards across the country.
5th time the charm reacted to sjc2 in Accepted/Rejected/Waitlisted??? (for current applicants)
Geography: ON (I think?)
BA complete, BSc complete, MSc almost complete
Interview: To be honest, I felt like it went really bad. I beat myself up about it for a long time. I felt like I was being challenged and they were just trying to get a reaction out of me. But, I was myself and I was HONEST. What would I really do in a certain scenario, in real life? I gave some very non-med-school-interview answers and know I caught them off guard because some of the prompts they gave me assumed I would have answered questions differently.
I am so, so honoured to have been admitted to Ottawa! I went back to school at the age of 25 with the goal of working in health care and 5 years later, four application cycles later, two degrees later, I'm starting my career!
Edit: Will be declining in favour of going back home
5th time the charm reacted to hardknocklife in Accepted/Rejected/Waitlisted??? (for current applicants)
ACCEPTED!!! (St. George) 9:18AM
Interview Date: Feb 28
GPA: 3.72 (Not eligible for weighting)
MCAT: Above cuttoffs
Interview: I thought it went well overall.
IP MSc 2nd year
I am in total and utter shock!! This is my 4th time applying and 1st time ever getting an interview. It has been a long and arduous process, but I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and have learned so much along the way. Never give up people!
5th time the charm reacted to Munmed2020 in Accepted/rejected/waitlisted/deferred (Current applicants)
Third time is the charm for me as well!
Non traditional applicant
Life changing for sure!
5th time the charm reacted to mungirl2020 in Accepted/rejected/waitlisted/deferred (Current applicants)
Third time is the charm for me as well!!!
- NL Resident (previously NB)
- Currently doing MSc in Clin Epi at MUN
- GPA 4.0
- MCAT 29 (old) ; 505 (new)
SOOOOO EXCITED!!!! Cannot wait to meet everyone and begin this awesome adventure!!!!!
5th time the charm reacted to kbinners in Arts Grad With A 520 Mcat Ama
I have a BA in drama and scored 520 on the MCAT in September, so I thought I'd start a thread to encourage all you arts grads out there!!
My final score was 128 in Bio, 128 in Chem/Physics, 132 in Psych/Soc, and 132 in CARS.
To prepare for the med school applications I went back to school to take a few pre-req courses. I took:
1 FCE biology 1 FCE chemistry 0.5 FCE organic chemistry 0.5 FCE biochemistry 0.5 FCE kinesiology No physics, no psychology, and I did not take the second half of ochem I also took high school bio and chem 12, because I didn't have those (it took me 10 days each FT to do them online) After these classes I started studying for the MCAT itself. I started studying at the beginning of May and wrote the exam September 3rd. While I studied, my life looked like this:
I worked 3 days a week on an urban farm in Vancouver (to keep myself moving!) I took several trips back to Ontario to help my mom, who has a terminal illness (during which I did not study) I did a 4-day course on being a doula At first my aim was to study at least 8 hours each of the 4 days I wasn't working, but by the last month I recognized that I was more efficient if I took one day completely off each week. I would spend it hiking or sitting on the beach. Especially with the stress and sadness related to my mom's illness, it was worth taking the time to re-engergize. I used these things to study:
Exam Krackers 2015 complete study package -- I used this for content review and for practice questions Princeton Review 2015 complete -- for the 4 practice exams INVALUABLE AAMC chemistry and physics question packs Things I did that I think were a good idea:
I set a time limit for practice questions from the very beginning. I tend to like to work slowly and carefully, so I was sure timing would be a big problem. Actually, I never failed to finish a section, either on practice exams or test day. I think this is because right from the start, when I was doing content review with EK, I would set an 8-minute time limit on the 8 practice questions interspersed throughout the chapter and stuck to the 30-minute time limits on the EK practice tests. I always went back and reviewed correct and incorrect answers, but the time limit helped me learn to keep the pace up and not get stuck on questions that were hard. I alternated content review and practice questions from the very beginning. I read and took notes on an EK chapter, then I did the 3 sets of 8 practice questions within that chapter, then I reviewed material I was weak on, then I did the 30 minute test and reviewed that. Next chapter. I did 4 full-length practice exams with the correct timing and break schedule. This helped with stamina, focus and confidence, but it also helped me get my priorities in order. I found the Princeton Review exams were similar to the real exam in that they were less about testing minutia and more about your ability to read an unfamiliar passage, not panic about all the new terminology, and trust that between your knowledge and the info in the passage you will find the answer. Learning not to panic was definitely a skill worth practicing. By the way, I scored between 505 and 510 on the practice exams, but in general it seems that people scored about 10 points higher on the real exams than on the Princeton Review practice exams, so keep that in mind! I accepted that there were a few subjects I just wouldn't know. This was a hard one. I started out wanting to learn every possible fact and formula they could possibly include. But especially with the time and energy I felt I needed to process what was happing to my mom, I started to triage. I used the AAMC info on the exam content to prioritize what to drill, and what to leave. I knew the both ochem and physics, my weakest subjects, were comparatively small portions of the exam. I did study the physics, but after gaining a basic level I stopped beating myself up for not being a superstar on those passages. I rocked the first half of ochem, but after reading through the content for the second half I basically accepted that learning that material would take more time than it was worth on the exam. How I got 132s:
CARS: unfortunately I really don't have much advice here. I didn't really study for it. I didn't really take any of the advice from the prep books. I always read every passage and answered every question. On the real exam I actually went through the entire section a second time. I do not consider myself a fast reader. In middle school I had a teacher who mocked me for being the slowest person in the class. Dunno, guys. I do read a lot. I read fiction, I read non-fiction. My BA is in drama with a minor in English. Text analysis is just a thing I do. Honestly, I think the best piece of advice I read in a prep book on this section was to actually be interested in the passage -- or find a way to be interested (pretend a guy you like recommended this essay and wants to talk about it later, for example). Psych/Soc: so much of this section is just a vocabulary test. This is one part where I did use multiple companies for content review. I learned the EK terminology really thoroughly, and then I skimmed the Princeton Review material for unfamiliar words and concepts, and I also used some Kaplan flashcards (Christmas present) but in general I found them way too detailed and a waste of time. I kept a list of terms I forgot or mixed-up and review it, and added terms that appeared on practice tests. There were quite a few terms I did not know on the real exam. Just had to put my best guess. So that's a start! Feel free to ask me stuff!
5th time the charm reacted to RichardDegrasseSagan in Lost (With Updates and Acceptance)
Guess I was wrong about Queen's! Got my first interview there! Woo hoo! Thank you all for your support and kind words. I thought I'd missed my opportunity for medicine, but your reassurance and positivity made me stay the course. Even if this interview doesn't pan out, I am infinitely more confident now. Thanks to your guys' nudging, I pushed myself to get involved in a lot of clinical research, which I find I am enjoying so much, and learning so much from. I don't even feel as if I am stuck in limbo (while waiting for applications) because of it.
I remember the song I was listening to when I first posted this thread - feeling super lost. Re-listening to it right now, and I can honestly say that the non-trad forums have been the most supportive collection of people ever. I love you all.