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Posts posted by ER_Mike

  1. I also did a BScN and am now going into my first year of medical school. Making sure you get the GPA up there is key. Otherwise, take summer courses to hit prereqs/do your MCAT sciences. If you can get your GPA to where it's competitive -- which, yes, can suck and be especially annoying because nursing has a lot of subjective grading -- you will be extremely well-suited as an applicant. You'll already have patient care experience, you'll have a better idea if the profession is right for you after all, and you'll hopefully have MDs/RNs who can give you a letter or two. Plus, all the ethical business will be second-nature to you. And, yeah, being able to work and make good money right after school is nice for while you're applying.

    So yeah, recommended but ONLY if you can ensure your GPA is competitive. If you can't achieve the grades, being a nurse won't matter. Plenty of NPs out there whose GPA isn't quite good enough and find themselves as out-of-luck as anyone else, after all.

  2. Improving diversity in medicine generally is how you improve diversity in some areas specifically, I'll assert. One way you improve diversity in medicine is by removing barriers that disproportionately stand in the way of minority applicants. For example, we might want to do something about racist school boards that automatically shunts many non-white kids into college/trades streams (https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2020/03/22/peel-school-board-report-leaves-readers-devastated-now-its-up-to-the-education-minister-to-fix.html). Or police services that unjustly target and brutalize minority communities (https://globalnews.ca/news/7048298/policing-in-canada-colonialism-anti-black-racism/). Or a society overall which for centuries has discriminated against and attempted to marginalize non-white people (https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/five-charts-that-show-what-systemic-racism-looks-like-in-canada-1.4970352). And how about the legacy of colonialism and the generational trauma of residential schools (http://www.trc.ca/about-us/trc-findings.html)?

    If we want to increase diversity in medicine, we need to address the racism in our country that still, to this day, right now, works to keep minorities in the margins. Otherise, ensuring the incoming cohorts have some diversity can help, as a more diverse medical profession will itself engender a more diverse profession.

    In the meantime, addressing poverty through a more robust social safety net or universal basic income. And we have more unoccupied homes than homeless people. Both of those issues -- poverty and homelessness -- similarly affect minorities at a greater rate (https://www.homelesshub.ca/blog/what-are-stats-racialized-homelessness). Both are issues within our power to solve and which will help more people in these communities reach their potential, which can include medical school. To say nothing about the humanitarian rightness of it/social determinants of health angle.

  3. Nursing isn't an easy job and it pays a lot less than what you make. But if your job satisfaction is this low, I'd say go for it. I was an RN myself, and I, like you, didn't want to do floor nursing and just wanted to go work in an ER. I couldn't get hired in any ER I applied to without floor nursing experience, so I ended up doing that for a year. And... I actually enjoyed it. Of course, I knew as a student I didn't mind it because we had to do floor placements as part of the degree. But it wasn't time wasted, by any means. A lot of the skills you learn as a nurse will go to waste in the ER compared to working, as I did, a surgical in-patient floor.

    That said, I'm curious how certain you are primary care is for you. Have you had an opportunity to shadow an NP? I'd hate to see someone go through a BScN and ~4000 hours of RN work only to find you can't stand patients in that context.


  4. Unless your part-time job doubles as legitimate leisure, or you can effectively study during much of the time you're doing it, working during medical school would seem unwise. You still need to succeed in your classes. Not everyone does. You still need to get into the residency program that works for you. Not everyone does that, either. After all, if your part-time job isn't going to help you do either of those things, what is it going to help you to do? Avoid a little extra debt, perhaps? Is that really the priority right now?

  5. On 7/19/2020 at 3:37 PM, DF2 said:

    Couple quick questions for anyone who’s been accepted to NOSM or applied a few times!
    1. I applied to NOSM last year and was waitlisted and didn’t end up getting in. I’m applying again this year and it looks like the ABS questions are the exact same as last year. Is it appropriate to use the same answers as last year or very similar ones? Kinda feels wrong but if I’m being honest then my answers haven’t really changed.
    2. I’m starting a 2 year MPH this year as well. I realize I won’t be eligible for the 0.2 GPA bump On this application but OMSAS won’t let you submit an academic background item that you’re currently working on unless you’ll be done by some time in 2021. My question is where should I list my MPH in the ABS. Even without the 0.2 bump I imagine it’ll still look good on my app. 

    Thanks in advance!!

    1. If they were going to penalize people for reusing questions from prior years, they'd let you know with a warning somewhere. They aren't out to trick you. 

    2. Definitely put your master's progress in your sketch. I embellished upon my own educational entries in this way, e.g. listing specific areas of the hospital/community I did placements in as a nursing student if I thought they were worth extra note. At the end of the day, unless you run out of entries (unlikely unless you include a lot of chaff) I can't see any harm in adding these additional details. If you think an aspect of yourself isn't being represented, include it in your sketch somewhere. You are selling yourself, after all.

  6. I'd done in-person interviews in prior years and did an online one this year. I thought it went pretty much the same as in-person interviews in terms of my performance. Having an interviewer in front of you can be more engaging, but fortunately I was able to talk about some issues that I will get fired up discussing whether I'm speaking into a microphone or not. I don't know. I was sceptical at first, but I ultimately got accepted, so I guess it didn't go as poorly as I imagined.

    That said, I'll add that NOSM handled it pretty flawlessly. I found it very straightforward and everything went without a hitch.

  7. Thanks. I'm actually an RN myself, so hopefully my experience can help you. I put the clinical placements in but in my case I grouped all the sort of mundane ones (regular floor nursing) under a single entry and then picked out my community placements or otherwise interesting placements as separate entries to differentiate them and show the breadth of experience. Not everyone knows what nursing students get up to, so I think it helps to be a bit more descriptive. With that in mind, one thing to consider for your 4th year placement, if you can, is the option of going up north for your placements. I went to Moose Factory for my 360-hour consolidation and it was both a really cool experience, and no doubt was well-received on my application. I had a classmate go to Sioux Lookout and she had a really good experience too, as I recall. This is of course me assuming you're not from a northern/rural community already. I am also just kinda assuming whatever RN program you're in works the way mine did.

    The GPA isn't stellar but if you peruse the thread somewhere around here about people posting their stats having been accepted to NOSM you'll see there's a fairly wide range, including some 3.5s. As well, if you show an upward trend in your GPA that can ameliorate the impact lower GPA during the first year or two, as I understand it. So I'd recommend taking a gander at some of the other folks who have GPAs on the lower side and seeing if their application looks like it could be you in a year.

    As for a master's, there are some that you could crank out in a year or so, but depends on whether you are able to do more schooling or if you need/want to work for a bit, or try to do both. I think Athabasca does some distance master's degrees, like "health sciences" or something not really nursing specific, that could be of interest. It's harder to go the NP route because you'll need several years of full-time work experience first. And frankly, there are some very good jobs you can get with a non-nursing related master's degree in whatever health topic.

    In terms of whether to apply, I would consider it, partly because applying this year can help you maintain those contacts you have in your nursing education. It's easier to get good references if you're still fresh in the mind of that prof, or that clinical educator, or etc. you had a good relationship with. Hardly the end of the world to defer a year or two, of course, but just something to consider. That said, there's no limit on how often you can apply, so my knee-jerk reaction is "yes, apply" because you don't have anything to lose from the attempt.

    Hope some of this was helpful. Best of luck!

  8. To that I'd speculate probably it's better to be from the north no matter what with respect to context, if only because the classes are typically ~90% Northern Ontarian, despite rural Southern Ontario having a population much more proportional to all of Northern Ontario, I believe. So I'd expect a much higher percentage of people from the south if being rural and being northern were roughly of equal weight, because there are only 750k of us northerners.

  9. I wanted to be more involved in my patients' care and able to do more for them as well as, I hope, society more generally. I also think MD work will groove more with the kind of person I am. And being an RN definitely helped me get accepted, of that I have no doubt. I have worked up north in places like Moose Factory and Attawapiskat as a nurse. Being able to speak directly to one's own experiences when elaborating on various medical/N.Ont.-specific topics during the application and interview is helpful. As well, nurses are concerned with the exact same ethical issues that MDs are. So, similarly, being able to talk about situations you actually were involved in and what you did is perhaps more impactful than speaking in hypotheticals or analogies. Being able to work alongside NOSM students/faculty where I was employed here at HSN in Sudbury also helped, as I was able to benefit from some of these great folks in terms of references and advice.

    Nursing is more difficult to get your prerequisites in for if you're applying for more than just NOSM, however. In my case my paramedic diploma gave me a ton of transfer credits so I didn't have any course-mandated electives, but for more traditional applicants you may find the logistics difficult and have to do summer classes or otherwise.

    But I can't recommend nursing enough. At the end of the program, you have actually worked in direct patient care and you've seen the real side of medicine, and can better say more certainly whether MD is right for you -- because for some medical students, it won't be. And you have a very marketable degree you can use to do all sorts of well-paid work anywhere in the world, too. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. 

  10. I'm living in Sudbury and starting at NOSM here this fall. What up. I've not had much success myself in finding a BLS course near Sudbury, and assume those of us who don't want to travel a long ways for a short course may have to wait for the COVID business to settle down a bit more. I'm an RN and checked with HSN, where I normally do BLS here in town, and was told that they won't even be running these courses for staff until at least 30 Sep. So it may be that we end up relegated to a date closer to 2 Sep.

    That said, good luck in getting your private course organized.

  11. It's not exclusive to rural folks. Around 90% of its students tend to be from Northern Ontario, and there are cities like Sudbury and Thunder Bay in Northern Ontario. The remainder tend to be from rural/remote locations elsewhere in Canada. That having been said, one would assume the odds are against you if you're from a non-rural locale that is also not in Northern Ontario.

    This page may be helpful: https://www.nosm.ca/education/md-program/admissions/class-profiles/

  12. I went from PCP (in Ontario) to RN and have interviewed two years so far. Having all As in the PCP diploma gave me enough transfer credits that I didn't have to take any electives during my degree. None of my PCP-specific courses gave me any transfer credits though, only my generic courses like math or English or what have you. I believe I had around 30 transfer credits in total.

    I tried a non-healthcare degree at first but found my motivation flagged quickly, so I switched to a BScN and was much happier. After finishing a nursing degree you're left with a highly marketable skill that you can travel internationally with and can work in various areas with. You also get to work very closely with MDs, which can give you a lot of insight into the career (including possibly whether it's even the right choice for you) My recommendation would be to go the nursing route, but at the end of the day whatever gets you a suitable GPA is the correct choice. Beyond this I'm not sure what advice I can give you.


    Oh, I totally just thought of a caveat. So if you do what I do and utilize your transfer credits to avoid electives, you will need to be aware that this may disqualify you from the GPA calculation formula of certain schools. In my case I wasn't explicitly trying to get into medical school when I did my degree, but now I am somewhat limited in my choices. If you want to keep your options open, be mindful of this as well.

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