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Posts posted by wjl123

  1. On 2/19/2020 at 11:05 AM, StStPVM said:

    1. Get your P.Eng, 99% of applicants don't have it, practicing engineering is similar to practicing law and med - quit calling yourself an engineer before that

    2. Do a grad degree, it will lower the cut off, broaden your options

    3. Study for MCAT

    4. Stay in Alberta longer to be considered IP

    5. 79 is around a 3.2 ? 

    I'm pretty sure if you graduate from an engineering program, you can call yourself an "engineer". You just can't call yourself a professional engineer.

  2. Hey guys,

    I'm currently preparing for the mcat exam in the August of 2020 while working full-time right now. I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed with the amount of content I have to cover for the exam, and the fact that I need to learn all of them from scratch since I have not taken a single course covered in mcat...

    I have the Kaplan prep books, but I've been told that it's too light on the content, and that TPR is the way to go if you're learning from scratch. Is this true? Any recommendations? I'm just afraid of wasting time by using the wrong prep books to study. 

    I have around 3 months to learn (hopefully) 60+ % of the content, mostly during evenings and weekends. I'm hoping to cover the rest and do practice exams starting in May next year when I have the summer off. 


    Any advice is welcome! Thanks!

  3. On 7/10/2019 at 8:15 PM, batmanisthebestsuperhero said:

    Competitive cumulative GPA for med school in Canada is 3.9+, the closer to 4 the better, but if you're above 3.9, which you are, you're in good shape. Also I just wanted to add that that is a phenomenal GPA considering your at Waterloo Engineering!!! Its a damn shame that Canadian medschools don't factor in the difficulty of one's coursework, by far the biggest hole in the current admissions process imo, there's no way in hell your 3.91 is equivalent to a mac health sci 3.91, and I say that as someone who was in health sci before medschool. Good for you man. Most important thing is for sure to maintain that GPA, try to increase it if you can, every little bit helps, but ultimately a 3.91 isn't going to hold you back. For MCAT CARS, the key is practice, consistent, spread out and TIMED practice. For the science sections, it's a matter of sitting down and learning the material and then again doing a good amount of timed practice. You can self study everything for the MCAT, you don't need to take first year bio, biochem etc. for the MCAT, but you do need some of those courses as they are prereqs for certain medschools (UofT and Ottawa both require something like 4 courses in bio/biochem + 2 courses in social sciences, check their websites, Mac, Queens and Western had no prereqs at least when I applied). In terms of non-academic requirements they're looking for you to demonstrate the CANMED roles, refer to the table here: http://www.applymd.utoronto.ca/non-academic-requirements. You can demonstrate these character qualities through your coop experiences, it does not need to be cookie cutter president of the premed club type of stuff, if anything reviewers love stuff that is unique. Maintain that GPA above all else. As others have said, other mistakes are fixable, but it's near impossible to recover from a hit to your GPA. 

    Also don't be discouraged at all by having a non-traditional path, you're bringing unique experiences and skills to the table that others don't have. For example theres a really famous opthamologist at UofT who did eng before medschool, theres also a new concurrent MEng program at UofT specifically for med students, the point being that your eng background can actually work to your advantage depending on how you spin it in your application. Reviewers love things that make applicants unique.



    Hey thanks for the response man, I really appreciate it. Yeah for now my main focus is the GPA. Trying my best to raise that up to 3.95+ cgpa for year 3 and 4 but it's so hard :/ 

    Also I've recently secured a research position at the SickKids hospital so I'm really looking forward to it! 

    Do you have any good resources for CARS practice? As you've said, I think I can self-study the rest of the MCAT content but the CARS section seems the most difficult to me. I already do online daily passages but haven't been helping very much. 

    Thanks a lot :) 

  4. On 1/16/2019 at 8:01 PM, mcpremed97 said:

    Use the free j westin daily passages and go back and do the old ones. I did 3 per day during my 2 months studying for the MCAT as my only real CARS resource and ended up with a 131 on the section!



    That's amazing dude! By any chance did you have a solid reading/writing background? Or were you more on the average side of the spectrum? 

  5. 5 hours ago, dreng12 said:

    I also did engineering at UW and now am in my second year of med at Western. Definitely not the easiest route to medicine, but definitely doable! Also, just to make you feel better, I decided I wanted to medicine at the of 3B... So you're definitely doing ok!

    1) For sure! That's a great GPA, especially for engineering (as everyone has said).

    2) If possible, I would try to get an extracurricular with a bit more of a leadership role and/or some research (research co-op definitely counts). Though don't knock yourself out too much, having varied work experience from co-op is valuable and you don't want to stretch yourself too thin. Also, if you don't have a lot of people around you applying to med school, try to read some books/listen to some podcasts/watch videos/etc. about the process and med school itself. That's something that really helped me!

    3) It depends on your study style and what courses you've done, but I studied in the evenings over a co-op term and that was enough for me. That being said, one of my friends in engineering took a co-op term off to study for the MCAT. Really depends on what you think you'll need! In turns of extra courses, it probably depends a bit on the type of engineering and your electives whether. A number of med schools don't care about your courses, but for UofT and UOttawa they have more specific requirements.

    4) Stick to whatever you're doing now! You've got a great GPA and good extracurriculars, and obviously are thinking and planning in advance. While engineering is directly helpful in the application process, it was definitely a great talking point in interviews, and gives you a unique mindset in medicine which I think can be quite valuable. Also, regarding co-op - depending on your stream and how your terms work out, you might end up having an "academic year" that only has one school term, which technically isn't counted a full course load. I had that, and it ended up being fine, but I ended up writing a decently long explanation on some of my apps to make sure they would take Waterloo's crazy co-op schedule in to consideration.

    All the best!!

    Thank you so much for your response! Do you mind if I dm some other questions I have? I'm actually aiming for Western myself as well and would love to get to know more about your experiences on preparing for it :) 

  6. 5 hours ago, reticularlamina said:

    Jesus.... you put me to shame. I’m not a med school student but judging by the fact that I was impressed with that and embarrassed with myself tells me you have a solid chance. The fact that it’s engineering too....probably just continue to get 3.9+ and for mcat you’ll need to review organic chem and bio and some social science such as psych (there’s courses you can take or you can just by the books and of course khan academy) you’re good on the physics it’s probably baby work to you but you should review it because baby work can sometimes be the thing that messes you up. If you want to go to Ottawa or Mac you need CASper and for that you just need to practice; I’ve heard from people that reading doing right and looking at MMI scenarios really helps. But yeah honestly just keep it up and you’re competitive. Good for you and good luck :)

    lol thanks man. Well i have to say engineering so far has been pretty shit. Pointlessly hard. I'd definitely not recommend taking my path to medicine :P I will definitely grind all the sections of the exam, but from what I heard CARS is probably the most important, so I'll get started with that soon. 

    You also aiming for medicine?

  7. 9 hours ago, Edict said:

    The central dogma of premed in canada is GPA > MCAT > ECs. GPA is the hardest to fix, a bad GPA can cost you years and thousands of dollars to fix, which is why if you need to choose, always choose coursework and exams over the rest. The MCAT is incredibly important, some medical schools don't look at your ECs, like Mac for example. MCAT is fixable in Canada, since they look at the latest, but in the US they look at all your scores. Pound for pound though, prioritize the MCAT, it really is a snapshot in time, you could focus on the MCAT, get a good score and spend all your other time on ECs. 

    Honestly, research isn't mandatory to get into medical school, there is a section for it, but it should take about the same priority as your other ECs. If you have the time, consider it, but it isn't a priority. 

    If you have a year, i'd start with reading a lot. Reading novels, more challenging magazines like the Economist etc., would really help. CARS is a longterm game as opposed to something you can cram, so it is really important that you start now. 


    Thanks for the insight! I will absolutely focus on school the most. The current plan is to do biomedical research my next coop (which is more relaxed than a regular coop job), so that I can focus on studying MCAT as well as on volunteering. Again, thanks a lot I really appreciate it! 

  8. 22 minutes ago, Edict said:

    You will get in for sure, your GPA is great, keep that up. Just study for the MCAT, do well, get some ECs, you are probably lacking a bit on the volunteering/service side of things, so that is where I would start, but you will likely be able to get into med school in your 4th or 5th year. You should write your MCAT whenever you have the chance, your co-ops don't really give you a summer off right? I'd probably write it whenever you can get a more relaxing semester or work placement to study. MCAT is very important, so give it your full attention, it is more important to do well on the MCAT than to do ECs actually. 



    Thanks man, really gives me a lot of hope. Yeah I really don't breaks longer than 2 weeks because of school & coops. Do you think doing a research is worthwhile? Also do you have any tips for preparing for CARS section of MCAT? I have roughly a year, so would like to tackle the fundamentals. 

  9. 20 hours ago, RicardoKaká said:

    Id do a low-yield practice test and check your baseline then go from there. As an engineer I'm certain you favour efficacy. Why do more work if you have to? If you have a high baseline, chances are you dont need to overprep for the CARS section.

    Some other resources to help practice and stimulate the CARS mentality are things like Khan Academy. There are lots out there. If you have extra $$ you can also look into NextStep, Kaplan, TPR, Prep 101 and buy some of their passages/tests.

     Id try not to use AAMC material and too many practice exams though. But doing 1-2 low-yield ones may help establish your baseline and future planning.

    Hope that helps - I did my MCAT years ago so I apologize if there are better prep companies out there these days


    Thanks a lot man! I'll try one first then go from there :) 

  10. Hey guys,

    I'm planning on writing my MCAT in about a year (currently 2nd year here). I've heard lots and lots about CARS being the hardest section on the exam, and that it's also the hardest section to improve on. 

    Here's a bit about me:

    I simply don't read a lot of books (and have not in the past). Given the nature of my undergrad (engineering), I was also not forced to read a lot of textbooks. 

    Are there any advice that you guys could give me in order to get myself ready for the CARS section of the exam? Would doing lots of CARS example questions be enough, or should I work on polishing the fundamentals (and start reading humanities passages from now and on). 


    Any tips are welcome :)

  11. 15 minutes ago, Meridian said:

    Your GPA is good (especially for Engineering course load).  That has typicality been the problem for Engineering students wanting to apply to medicine. 

    Med schools account for Co-op term cycles in the application process so that is not an issue.

    For MCAT, you have the physics already.  Your Chemistry from yr 1 is more likely industrial (aka stack gases) than medical chemistry.  You can pick up the chem and Bio background probably via self-study over a work term.

    You don't have to have research -  but your thoughts of bio-med research is good thinking.

    Read up about Can-Meds and think about ECs that could be leveraged in those ways.



    Thanks for the response!

    Is my GPA competitive the way it is, or is it only competitive for students with engineering degree? I'm hoping the GPA will improve over the years as I put more effort and time (and also from the trends I've seen from my seniors). As well, how long would you say it will take to study MCAT from scratch? (I guess it depends on many factors, but just a rough estimate from your/other people's experiences). 

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