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Posts posted by TRU1243

  1. @Fromage let me start off by saying that I feel you. It can make you feel bad when you realize that there are people out there applying to med with 90+ grades and have seemed to have figured out life at such an early age. I know that I personally didn't know what the heck I was doing when I started undergrad, and I made mistakes (which is normal for most 18-19 year old kids). I think its important to try your best to not compare yourself to others but rather to just keep comparing yourself to who you were yesterday (soooo cheesy but its true). 

    I also think that everything you see online needs to be read with a grain of salt (even what you are reading right this second :P). Most people that I've talked to, which include doctors sitting on the interview committees and med school students who have gotten in with lower grades, have said that it is 100% possible to get in with low to mid 80s. You have to work on your ECs which should be viewed in a positive light! You can do all those other things that you might have thought in your head are second fiddle to med, but are, in fact, pretty cool. And the experience you will receive from doing those other things will help you in some way for a med school application. 

    Life is long. In addition to what appears to be a positive trend in GPA, it also looks like the average age of students entering med school is increasing. Grades are definitely important, but so are experiences. I know people who have taught english for 4 years in Japan, biked around Europe to raise money for cancer research, received further education and had full on careers before starting Med school. 

    Something that I have seen in this forum that I followed up with was to read "The Alchemist". I recommend you read it if you're looking for a bit of motivation. It's a short book but has some powerful messages. If Med is something that you really want, there is definitely a way. That way might be a bit longer than you like, but you gotta believe you can do it. 

  2. Thanks for your comments frenchpress! Ya i suppose it just feels weird to be leaving school and finding activities to fill my time up outside of a job. But you're right, getting employed in a health related job would be good not only for med applications but just a good experience to have (obviously haha, we all need to get jobs). 

    I guess I'm just feeling this doubt like I haven't done enough in my masters. I'm writing a primary article (which turned into an eleven month study) and a review article, and then I've got one lower authorship already and probably can count on another 2 lower authorships. But is that good? I've heard mixed things. I've heard that you need to publish as much as possible, where people get 4 primary authorships in two years which I found to be crazy (but is also probably because they're doing shorter term experiments). But then I've also heard that it really doesn't matter if you have 2 or 8 authorships, its more about the experience you've learned. Plus you can't really compare between an 11 month animal project that turns into a paper vs a cell-based paper that took 2-4 months to crank out data. 

    Part of me wants to extend my masters and try and pump out one more project. The other part of me thinks that I haven't enjoyed my lab environment and should just go get a job in healthcare and build up another experience. If I end up realizing that I want to be an academic or want a PhD to get further ahead in industry, I can start a PhD after working for a year. 

    I guess at the end of the day it all comes down to how you sell yourself in the apps themselves. 

  3. Hello everyone, 

    I've read a bunch of your stories and I have to say that reading about your journeys has kept me motivated knowing that I have a shot at becoming a doctor here in Canada. I was hoping to get some feedback on my application and also to get some feedback on what I should be doing next. 

    A bit about myself: I am 24 years old (turning 25 in a couple months), and I will be finishing up my Masters degree in April/May. My aGPA for UBC is ~85-86%, my best two year gpa is 3.81, and then my overall four year gpa is like ~3.5 (it took me a couple years to figure my shit). I am in the midst of publishing a primary author paper, a co-author review paper, and then probably around 2-3 lower authorships coming in the next 1-2 years. I also had a couple conferences that I was going to go to but then COVID (lol). I wrote the MCAT but unfortunately bombed CARS despite consistently scoring in my practice tests around a 126 (i even got a 127 once so I know I can meet the Western cutoffs). I got a 508 overall (126 C/P, 123 Cars (lol), 129 Bio and 130 Psych). So I know in the short term I have to write the MCAT again but I am feeling confident that I can improve my score. I also know now that I don't personally need to study bio or psych as much and that I can focus the majority of my studying on CARS and a bit of Chem/Physics. Definitely getting a score above 513 will help me I think. 

    In terms of ECs I only really started to find my passions in 3rd and 4th year of undergrad. I have been involved with the Special Olympics and motoinball for 5 years straight now, serving on multiple committees. I created an intramural league that provided Special Olympic athletes with a more consistent social community. I also served as an Event coordinator for Let's Talk Science and have organized a couple of events. Unfortunately, Covid messed up most of my ECs this year but I am continuing to be involved in both of these organizations in an online capacity. I've worked as a camp counsellor for 5 summers, having taken groups of eleven year olds on 10 day canoe trips. And then the rest of my ECs are the hobbies that I am passionate about: solo traveller, overnight hiker, guitar player, nature photographer, competitive soccer player, fluent in french, etc. 

    Again, in the short term, I am finishing up these papers and graduating from my masters. I will probably write the MCAT in July and will start studying CARS in January doing passages every day or something like that, and reading more books on topics that I am not particularly good at (philosophy, art, all the fun stuff...). 

    However, I have been getting pretty stressed and have been debating on what I want to do in the meantime between applications. I am decently exhausted from academia and am more inclined to pursue a job in either provincial healthcare or some biotech company. I also have the option of doing a Phd, and now that I will have finished my masters, i understand what to look for in a lab. At the moment, I feel like I would rather get a job in provincial healthcare, and build work experience that I could then have the option of pursuing an MBA as a back up. More school is always an option but the PhD route just seems like a scary path with you narrowing down your field and spending another 4-5 years of not getting paid...

    Any thoughts on how useful working in provincial healthcare could be to boost the ECs compared to doing a PhD, or any other suggestions? 

    I'm very fortunate that I have options but as other non-traditional applicants can probably speak to, it can be pretty stressful seeing other people that you know get in and realizing that you are getting older. 

    If anyone can speak to this kind of situation or provide me with some feedback on my application that would be great! Even suggesting what ECs I should be doing next. Seeing your stories keeps me inspired and motivated, knowing that people like me can get in and that they just need to work hard to continue building that application. 

    Thank you in advance for any replies and sorry for the novel, sometimes I feel like just writing out your situation can help clear your mind :D

  4. For athabasca ENG 211 and 212, they are both self-directed courses which means that you can finish them at your own pace. However, I found that they are not "easy" courses workwise and you actually need to put in a lot of effort to get a decent grade. They give you 6 months to finish the course (which you can finish earlier if you want to) and you also have the option of extending your course for a fee (no penalty on your transcript though). I personally had a really busy year when i was completing my Athabasca english courses and you definitely need to put in time in order to get a good grade. You also need to actually read the novels that they assign you in Eng 211 but the final itself is a joke if you even put in just a little bit of effort. 

    Because it is self-directed, i don't think there is a limit on the number of students who can take the course but take that with a grain of salt. 

    Also, I would consider taking Eng 255 instead of Eng 212, unless you are a big fan of plays and stuff. Eng 255 was super easy and I just didn't want to read shakespeare in Eng 212. 

    Best of luck 

  5. Hello all, 

    I am trying to decide what is the best route to take my English requirements to be eligible to apply for UBC med. I have to choose between TRU, Athabasca or UBC. I am a masters student so I could technically do my full year of English during the year but I have some other courses I am interested in and I hear that English can be annoyingly difficult to get a good mark in so I would rather just focus on that in the summer. 

    TRU Open learning is only $900 to take the two English courses, Athabasca is close to $2,000 (yikes). 

    Has anyone taken these courses and how possible is it to get over an ~%85, or is ~%80 more realistic? Also, how would I find the averages for these courses? 

    I am also planning on applying to other schools in Canada and if people know how a summer course impacts things that would be great. 

    Thanks for your input. 

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