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.
5th time the charm reacted to rural_roots in Interview Invites 2016
GPA: 3.74 + .2 Masters = 3.94
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 two years, as well as worked on several community preventative medicine projects as a volunteer with the health team. Also working 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: 3
Interview Location/Date/Time: Sudbury, Sunday April 3rd @ 10am - which means a Sunday night out! ....in Sudbury......hilarity will ensue.
5th time the charm reacted to sjc2 in Calgary Interview Invites/regrets 2016
Interview Date: TBD
MCAT: 511: 129/127/129/126
ECs: Varied! Highlights include 3 years of professional work experience, traveling, tutoring (volunteer and paid), teaching undergrad lab courses. Research during both my undergrad and MSc. I have one first author paper from my MSc and am currently writing a review. A bit of hospital volunteering, physician shadowing (not much though), consulting case competitions. 20+ years of music (lessons, career, and hobby). I've also been heavily involved in student government at all of the institutions I attended.
Year: BA, BSc, MSc (writing thesis now!)
Geography : IP
I am 100% a non-traditional applicant. I decided to return to university at the age of 25 with a beautiful 3.17 GPA from my BA and the goal of working in health care as a physician. Fast forward almost 6 years and four applications, I have an interview! I never thought I'd be the one who got to say persistence pays off I know it's not over yet but getting the interview offer is such an honour. Good luck to all my fellow interviewees, and to those who will be trying again next year.
5th time the charm reacted to BirdyBirdy in Mcmaster Interview Invites/regrets 2016
Time Stamp: 11:40 am
cGPA: 3.98 ish
CARs: 128 (A bit low for Ontario schools. CARs is usually my best section but I did not deliver on the official MCAT)
Casper: I had not prepared for CASPER until the date of. I read the Wikipedia article on Doing right's method of approaching ethical dilemma, then I read the Wikipedia page on Medical Ethics. The Casper itself was a little bit sketchy as I wrote 2 sentence answers for some questions. I took all the breaks and I played loud pop music to keep myself pumped up.
Geography: In province
Current year: 3rd year UG
I think I freaked out on the bus when I got the invite. I didn't expect anything from McMaster due to my low VR score. I hope I can somehow replicate my CASPER performance next year if I have to apply again because I am not rewriting the MCAT.
5th time the charm reacted to the next Dr.L in Mcmaster Interview Invites/regrets 2016
Timestamp and Format: E-mail @ 11:41am
cGPA: 3.16 (not joking)
VR Score: 9
How you felt CASPER went: A blur, but I felt okay about it. Go with your gut!
Geography : IP/OP? IP, Hamiltonian
Current year: [uG (what year), Masters, PhD] B.Sc McMaster Class of 2015
Don't give up&Best of luck to all
5th time the charm reacted to NewDirection in Mcmaster Interview Invites/regrets 2016
Time stamp: 11:44 am
GPA: 3.31 (LOL)
Casper: Never feel good about CASPer, not even after the third time
Non-trad, finished UG and working full time
I did not see this coming with my farcebag GPA!!!
5th time the charm reacted to smaug in Accepted/Rejected/Waitlisted??? (for current applicants)
Accepted off waitlist to Hamilton
VR Score: 10
How you felt CASPER went: Thought it went really well, able to answer all the questions with time to spare
Geography : IP
Current year: 4th year undergrad
Interview: Thought it went great. Had a lot of fun doing the MMI. There were one or two stations that were iffy but the rest went well.
5th time the charm reacted to one_more_time in Accepted/Rejected/Waitlisted??? (for current applicants)
***nontrad*** I have 10 years of extensive and relevant work and volunteer experience. However, a significant portion of my application results from experiences I would not wish on anyone and give me a unique perspective of medical and palliative care.I have no idea how these experiences affected my NAQ score, but I made sure to include them within my application.
I post this information primarily to demonstrate that UBC does consider many aspects of your application and will recognize individuals who have overcome significant obstacles in their life as part of a non-academic perspective. For older applicants or those who have faced challenges, even those with lower than average GPA there is a place for you in medicine should you continue to pursue this proffesion. Nothing is guaranteed, however, there are many roads which can lead to a letter of acceptance.
For those looking for advice on improving their NAQ score, I am not an expert, nore is anyone else who does not sit on the admissions panel. However, I made sure to include significant contributions/excellence within the organizations I worked. Are you doing an activity because it will look good, or because you are passionate about it - and if you are passionate, and dedicated it should be able to show in your writing.
4th time applying, first time interviewing
EC - 36 minimum to get an interview
Interview - Felt awesome
5th time the charm reacted to Birdy in Neighbourhoods In Hamilton
Appreciate the help, everyone. Dundas definitely seems more family oriented than Westdale and since my husband and I have our own cars, we're fine transportation wise. This information is hard to find for someone who doesn't live locally so this has been very helpful!
Also, my concept of "bad traffic" is a bit skewed. I live in PEI, where a lineup of four cars is rush hour.
5th time the charm reacted to Birdy in Oldest First Year Med School Student You Know Of
Precisely, and it is an argument that has been used against women entering a variety of fields, not just medicine.
I have zero intention of going part time or not pulling my weight just because I have kids. I *like* working. A lot. I am not the domestic sort. Tried it. We were all miserable.
Also, I've known doctors who worked into their eighties. Probably not going to see a neurosurgeon do that, given, but I know family doctors whose retirement plans involved only a headstone. You don't stop being useful to society at some arbitrary age.
5th time the charm reacted to Liz30 in Success Stories- Non Trad Style!
Alright, after years of lurking around here's my non-trad story.
I started on a very traditional path, majoring in microbiology and immunology, getting straight A's but not a spectacular GPA. Once school was done, I didn't know what to do and decided to pursue a master's degree. It was two years of being utterly miserable and failing horribly. I ended up dropping out and felt like a huge failure. Fast forward a Teaching degree and some random jobs, I ended up becoming a full time programmer in the advertising industry. The hours were crazy long, the clients stressful, but I really loved creating interactive experiences and solving problems.
A few years into my new career, I ran into a guy I knew from uni who was now a doctor. It got me thinking and I decided to study for MCATs. I told myself "i'm just going to write the MCAT but never bother applying to medical school". One year later I applied to McMaster but didn't really prepare for interviews. I was rejected post interview and really spent a long time debating on whether to try again. Trojjanhorse from these forums was super helpful in encouraging me to try again, so I did. This time I applied to many more places and really worked hard on my application. The application process really forced me to be super aware of why I was applying and how committed I would be to this possible new career. Results: NOSM, UofT and Calgary rejected me, but Queens, Western and McMaster said to come on by.
Luckily I had already started studying by keeping up to date with recent events and brushing up on my ethics (just in case and all that). Knowing I had interviews coming up, I buckled down and took things much more seriously than last year.
Results: Western waitlisted me on their "high" waitlist, which really surprised me because I felt that the interview went horribly. Queens also waitlisted me (where on the waitlist, I have no idea), and McMaster offered me a spot. I'm still in a little bit of shock but am excited to start at the KW campus this fall.
For those worrying about their age, I'll be 35 this year. As the old adage goes - better late than never!
Stay motivated everyone. Took me a long time to get here but am happy to say it's possible.
5th time the charm reacted to ellorie in Mayo Medical School Or Ubc Medicine
I personally would never go to the US. I have my heart set on practicing in Canada, and even though USMG = CMG on paper in the match, having that knowledge of how the system works here, the electives, the contacts - I'd never have gone to the US.
Plus the US healthcare system is a nightmare. Even if you're healthy now, your own healthcare might become an issue if you do get sick.
Moving to another country isn't something to take lightly IMO. Even from Canada to the US can be a bit of a culture shock. I've lived in the US and I'd never go back. Ever.
5th time the charm reacted to darthvader in Accepted/Rejected/Waitlisted??? (for current applicants)
Hamilton campus (1st choice). This is nuts and I can't believe I managed an acceptance here. one of you lucky ppl will get my spot though as I've accepted at UBC (I'm IP there)
5th time the charm reacted to pablo_yike in Accepted/Rejected/Waitlisted??? (for current applicants)
TIMESTAMP: 8:18 AM
Accepted, Hamilton Campus
Interview: I felt really good about a few stations, really seconded guessed myself about a couple others.
Thank you to everyone on these forums and who joined the study/prep groups I participated in. I really feel it made a big difference in getting me ready for both applications and interviews. I hope to see some of you in the fall at McMaster, and many, many more of you down the road during CaRMS and in the field of health care.
5th time the charm reacted to Birdy in Success Stories- Non Trad Style!
Where to begin? I tend towards prolixity so go get yourself a cup of tea if you're going to read this.
I've documented this whole process in excruciating detail at my blog which, to my immense surprise, has gained a small following. I've met a lot of really wonderful people, virtually "met" even so many more, and this whole crazy journey has just come to a rather triumphant midpoint.
Like many of you, I've wanted to be a doctor since I was small.
Throughout elementary and middle school, I was a gifted, enthusiastic student. But by high school, I started struggling badly with mental health issues. My parents did not do a good job rising to the challenge I posed. At 16, I started getting real help for myself and things started getting better, but it took a lot of work. I was a terrible student in high school - I just couldn't summon the energy to care.
Still, I was accepted to U of O in grade 12, and was going to attend for physics. I was thinking I'd go on to medical physics or medicine; either field appealed to me equally.
But almost as soon as my first semester started, my parents threw a huge wrench in the works. As a parent now myself, I still do not agree with their reasoning for what they did. I cannot fathom putting one of my kids in the position that I was placed in. My mother once told me that they didn't think I could succeed at university, as if that excuses what their decisions cost me. It was ten years ago, but still stings.
I had to withdraw from U of O. One of the hardest days of my life. I got a couple more jobs pretty much immediately, and started working more than full time. I figured I could save and return to school, where I felt I belonged.
It was in November of that year that I met the man who would become my husband. We met and fell in love very quickly and were very surprised to find out in May of 2006, just a couple weeks after we had decided to get married, that we were going to be parents. We were married that summer and our oldest was born in January 2007. I was 19.
We moved to my home province when our son was a year old, and spent several years barely scraping by, working jobs in food service, manufacturing, retail, call centres. We were by times quite poor, though things had started looking up for a while before everything collapsed around us. It was my rock bottom, the day I truly felt I was failing as a mother, in the late spring of 2011. My husband went out west to work soon after, but we knew the oil fields would only ever be a temporary option for our family.
I knew I needed to go back to school so I could take care of my family properly so I applied to the local university's nursing program in 2012. I was rejected, but somehow had been accepted to the faculty of science. I wasn't thinking I would go, but my husband insisted I consider going and then apply to medicine, like I had always wanted to.
I was hesitant, but decided to go for it. Going back to school felt like coming home after a long trip. It was what I was built for. To my surprise, I made a 4.0 my first year. I wrote my MCAT the following summer and to my even greater surprise made a 11/13/10 on my first attempt.
Last fall, at the start of third year, I applied to four schools, interviewed at two, and was rejected post-interview from one. This morning, I was accepted to McMaster.
I can't even begin to describe how I feel right now. Amazed, perhaps. Surprised. This year has been very difficult for us and this is sort of the first thing to actually go right in a long time. I am so honoured that McMaster considers me someone who would suit their program.
Over the last three years, I have been the recipient of so much support from my unwavering husband, my friends, my school, my community, my workplace, and of course PM101. The support has meant the world to me. The number of congratulations I received today moved me to tears.
I am so very humbled by today, and this is a day that will live in my memory for the rest of my life.
Three years ago I told my husband that people like me don't go to med school. It seemed like a pipe dream. But here I am, and here you can be too.
5th time the charm reacted to chenoa in Accepted/Rejected/Waitlisted??? (for current applicants)
GPA: 3.97 or so (bachelors + masters)
MMI: Felt pretty good right after and didn't bomb any station in particular but those post-interview doubts creep in! Much better than my previous MMIs.... practice was key.
This is my third app cycle after never getting past the interview stage including post interview regrets from Mac last year. This year I had one app, one interview and one acceptance.... I was just about ready to give up. I consider myself a non-trad with a background in allied health and a few years work experience.
5th time the charm reacted to Jaybird in May 12 Support Thread
OMSAS Countdown Log, D-5. M1 Jaybird dictating. Applicants presenting with increasing levels of stress and fatigue. Some have reported dream-like delusional states (ref. addendum #164, applicant T. Tryptophan). Others have reported behaviour worryingly close to self-harm (ref. addendum #158, applicant P. Yike). Observed behaviour, however, indicates that the vast majority of behaviour is healthy and mutually supporting, even when harmful behaviours were indirectly suggested (ref. addendum #155) by the observer after approval by ethics board. It is the assessment of the observer that despite self-reporting negative thoughts/actions, all applicants observed are in fact psychologically healthy and highly intelligent/motivated individuals temporarily affected by stressful conditions. Current proposed plan is to issue offers of admission to all applicants. M1 Jaybird, end dictation.