Time Stamp: 9:00 am
Interview Date: N/A
wGPA: 3.97 (last two years of undergrad)
Year: finishing masters at harvard
MCAT: 509 (128/126/128/127) <- probably the issue
ECs: executive on same clubs for 4 years, president of 2 clubs, founded not for profit, 1 first author publication and 1 co-authorship under journal review, work study research position in undergrad, various other miscellaneous activities in student society and clubs, I think I had strong referees? (had Rhodes interview based on them so don’t really think it could’ve been an issue with the letters...)
Ive never posted on forums before because I really struggle with imposter syndrome and am super self conscious comparing myself against all the amazing candidates here. However, since Queens makes the application process extra difficult by not posting any statistics/criteria I thought I would contribute in case it could help someone. I also just wanted to say that I have a few friends that didn’t get any interviews for 2 years in a row and then managed to gain admission to multiple medical schools in their 3rd attempt. A lot of these admission processes can be quite flawed and may take students that may not make the best doctors while missing out on those that would. Even this year I know of someone who received an interview invite who not only failed a class due to a breach of academic integrity but also obtained a few publications in their name because their uncle was a surgeon. I’ve personally found it difficult to reconcile feeling like I’m not good enough in the face of knowing of cases like this. At the end of the day though what keeps me going is that (hopefully) hard work will pay off and things will work out for the best. I hope we can all take invites and rejections with a grain of salt, and continue to be kind to ourselves during this process.
Wish you all the best :)
This thread inspired me and gave me hope to pursue my medical school dream. Thank you to all that have posted on here before. You have all truly touched my heart.
It is because of your stories, that today, I also have the pleasure of posting here and sharing my own journey.
When I was younger and about to head to university, I had a tough time choosing between pursuing a business degree or a science degree. At that time, I knew my interests were in biology and psychology, but seeing my parents labouring hard on the farm, I felt pressured to help support the family and make money fast. So, I decided to pursue a finance degree, work in investment banking, and provide enough money to make my family comfortable, then pursue my interests afterward.
It was a naïve and misguided plan.
From the first moment in business school, I already felt like I didn’t fit in.
This feeling got worse 4 years later when I began working in investment banking. The hours were grueling, and I was completely uninterested in what I was doing. I kept at it for 2.5 years because it helped me pay my debts, supported my family, and made my parents proud.
But one day, I reached my breaking point.
I was out of shape, burnt out, and depressed. I woke up dreading the new day to begin. So, I finally quit, at the shock of my parents. They didn’t understand why I would give up a lucrative and prestigious career. I didn’t know how to explain it to them either.
So, I decided to travel. Backpacked by myself across Southeast Asia for 6 months. When I was in Cambodia wandering the night markets, I walked past a bookstand selling novels for $1 USD. Not sure if it was fate or intuition, but I chose to buy the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
It was a book that changed my life.
It helped me rediscover my passion and interests in life. I started focusing on things that I loved to do. Travel. Eat. Exercise. Health. Science. Languages. During this process of self-discovery, I developed a strong interest in healthcare and medicine. However, I was still too afraid to pursue it. The time, the commitment, and the financial burden all seemed too daunting. I also convinced myself that I wasn’t good enough to be a doctor. That I wouldn’t be able to handle the responsibilities that came with life and death.
So, I became a travel agent instead.
I had a lot of fun, met many amazing people, and excelled at the role. I traveled to over 35 countries. Life was exciting, and I felt content. However, the idea of medicine never left my mind. It kept gnawing at me every day and I eventually began to feel too comfortable at my job. It was at this time I met my fiancée (on Tinder, lol.) He was in his 3rd year of pharmacy and applying to medicine at the same time. His mother was a nurse. His grandmother was a military doctor.
I was suddenly immersed in a world of healthcare.
Watching my fiancée work hard and challenge himself every day made something click in me. I started to think that I might still have a chance at medical school.
Couple months later, I went on a Mediterranean cruise with my family. I was sitting in the hot tub and decided to strike up a conversation with the person next to me.
We talked, and he asked me what I did. I'm not sure what came over me, but for the first time in my life, I told someone out loud, "I'm going to become a doctor."
It was a liberating moment. Everything suddenly felt real and achievable.
And fate would have it, the person whom I was talking was an army doctor who graduated from McGill Medical School.
He was traveling with his wife in Europe before beginning his next station in the UK.
He said, "Go for it!" And I did.
I quit my job in December 2016 and began studying for the MCAT full time.
I also enrolled in 2 semesters of English to obtain enough credits to meet the UBC admission requirements.
After 5 years without reading a textbook, it was a brutal transition.
And with zero science prerequisites under my belt, it was so much harder than I thought.
Furthermore, some of my friends and family did not take me seriously and discouragingly told me not to "waste my time."
It was a challenging few months. Many days, I felt overwhelmed.
But, I survived due to a wonderful support network. I listened to those who believed in me and ignored the ones who were negative.
I acknowledged my weaknesses and sought help and advice.
I studied 8-10 hours a day, 6 days a week, for 7 months and self-taught myself the sciences.
I took the exam in July 2017 and achieved a score of 508.
It was below the average admission score, but good enough to give the application a try. I applied widely to as many schools as I could.
5 schools rejected me.
3 schools interviewed me.
And a miracle happened.
I got an acceptance.
It was an unbelievable moment. I felt all the worry, pain, and doubt just wash away. All the time I spent, all the risks I took, all the sacrifices I made, paid off.
Everything was worth it and I was the happiest girl in the world.
Finally, at 27 years old, I will begin medical school in Fall of 2018.
The moral of my story: Don’t ever let anyone tell you what you can or cannot achieve. Only you can decide that for yourself.
Also, remember that:
"We are, at any moment, capable of pursuing our dreams... And, when you want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."
- The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
If medicine is your dream, don't give up. Never, ever give up.
I sincerely wish you the best of luck on your journey.
Only 18 days to go... I tend to do this thing where I think about something I remember doing that was about 18 days ago, and use that time period to gauge how quickly the next 18 days will fly by
I disagree with most people on this thread. Having interviewed multiple applicants for medical school admissions, I can say that the preparation people speak of is completely blown out of proportion. You can learn all the "mandatory" knowledge you need for interviews within a weekend. Figure out how the Canadian Healthcare System is set up and read the first paragraph of Doing Right and your pretty much set. The rest of it is about self reflection and light practice on delivery of content. I would say light practice for 2-3 weeks would be as much as you need. Your interview performance is mostly about showcasing yourself. As much as this sounds cheesy, but your interview preparation is your life experience.
Emails are sent as well. The email should be simultaneous with your OAS status being updated.
Just a heads up that the decision last year was in the subject title of the email, for those who may be wanting to delay reading it until after!
I understand how you feel as I feel I kinda screwed up bad in a couple stations myself.
However, I usually find those who are harshest critics of themselves performed better than they thought.
I’m in the emotional rollercoaster with you all the way!
Wishing you all the best!
Interviews: McMaster, UofA, UBC