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  1. Honestly I don't think GPA is a huge deal once you're over the cutoff- especially once you get an interview, GPA is only used to tie-break between interview scores
  2. Makes sense! Honestly I think OP would be fine in either program, like I said I think most people give the advice that best program and school to choose is just the one that you think fits your needs and personality the best. I just wanted to make it clear to OP that Queen's is at the very least not more difficult than Western med sci and class sizes aren't any larger (and are probably smaller), since they seemed to have the idea that it was
  3. I totally agree that it's possible to do well (it is in any program), but I also don't think it's fair to say that it's "not difficult" to do well. I've talked to probably 20-30 students in western med sci (many of them in my class) and they've all said that it is a very difficult program. It's good to know that you found it relatively easy, but many didn't! Just something for OP to keep in mind. Of course, it is a fair point that you can do well in any program if you're motivated and interested in the subject material. Many people give the advice that the best program is just the one that you
  4. Hey! I responded to you in another thread as well, but I just wanted to let you know that it is super not true that a high GPA and being involved in ECs is hard in Queen's life sci. I know a lot of people from Western med sci and it is a pretty much universal opinion that Western med sci is actually super hard to do well in. Med sci also has larger first year classes than Queen's. Basically your cons about Queen's are actually the cons about Western med sci haha. From the many many people I've talked to, Western med sci is much harder than Queen's life sci and first year classes are definitely
  5. There is absolutely enough time to be involved in ECs- I did lots and still had plenty of time to hang out with friends and do things for myself while doing well academically. I'm sure this depends somewhat on you as an individual and what your study habits are like, but I didn't find the workload too bad. It's definitely not as difficult as u of t life sci from what I've heard anecdotally. At Queen's we do a general science first year, so all science students take the same classes, and this year is pretty light and a lot of high school review depending on where you did high school and wh
  6. In my experience I found it quite easy to do research at Queen's! Queen's is medium size university, so getting to know professors is definitely doable. If you just email professors, most are happy to take you on for research or chat during office hours. Personally I was able to get two research positions during the school year just by reaching out. Queen's also has lots of NSERC positions available in the summer, and they also have a summer work program called "SWEP" that has a ton of research positions available (I did one of these in the summer after third year and it was great). As well, t
  7. I did life sci! I found it relatively easy to do well, but I will say I think it does depend if you specialize or major. Queen's allows you to "specialize" in life sci where you take about 90-100/120 credits in life sci, whereas a normal "major" is 72/120 credits in life sci. Most other universities don't know the difference between the two so there's no real benefit to specializing in that sense, the only difference is that in fourth year specialization you can do a year long thesis/research project that majors don't do, BUT you can still do a thesis as a major student under a different cours
  8. 10/10 recommend having roommates- I love mine, you have someone to talk to about school who understands, you can study together, etc. Especially in COVID, a lot of people in my class are feeling lonely and isolated and having roommates really helps with that. Also, most med students are respectful, kind, and easy to live with so we basically never have issues (although I'm sure some people are exceptions to this rule). Not to mention, having roommates saves you a lot of money. I'm super happy I decided to live with roommates, I honestly think I would've been so lonely and depressed living on m
  9. I'd recommend Queen's but I am biased as I went there I can only speak from my experience but I had a great experience, it was easy to get a high GPA, and I believe we have the most clubs of any university. Everyone I know who went to u of T said it was very hard to get a high GPA and it was more of a competitive and less collegial atmosphere, but of course I can't speak from experience on this one
  10. I do agree with you, I just think for OMSAS at least the categories are pretty arbitrary and it probably doesn't matter what section they put it in. There are obviously some examples that are clearly not research, but personally I think writing research articles could count as research (even if it's not peer-reviewed). And if a school doesn't agree, they can still make that determination themselves just from reading the ABS
  11. I think it completely depends on your school and program. I have no doubt that at many schools, grade inflation and cheating is leading to higher averages. However, at many schools this is not the case. I have a sibling in undergrad right now and I have seen first hand how difficult it is- at their school profs are not understanding, evaluations are difficult, everything is proctored online so no way to cheat, etc. To be fair, I don't think it's any harder than it normally would be (not including the mental health impacts of the pandemic), but it's certainly not easier.
  12. The above advice here is all good, but I just wanted to confirm that you do not need a reference letter from a prof! I didn't, and I was completely fine. As mentioned, it just has to be academic or employment related so it could be a boss at work, someone academic-related who is not a prof, etc. There are lots of options for this category, not just profs
  13. Hi! I don't know your personal situation, but as someone who went to Queen's I found the atmosphere super welcoming and great, and really not that different from my friends at other universities. It also depends on your program, and health sci (and really any arts and science program) is one that tends to be quite diverse. Kingston on its own is also a great city! No matter where you go, you'll find your people. I'm honestly not sure what you mean by the "general student body atmosphere" because that differs really widely, and personally my experience with people was great. The stereotypical "
  14. Personally I think any research can be added to the research section, it's up to your discretion. Lots of people have volunteering in research labs in that section for example, which technically isn't "peer reviewed research" either. As premed72 said, the categories are kind of arbitrary anyways and it really doesn't matter what section you put it in, the reviewers will be able to read it and decide themselves if they consider it research or not
  15. It depends on the school! My Mac offer was on OMSAS at midnight but my Ottawa one didn't show up until much later (after the email). So you really never know, and it totally depends on the school- you won't know for sure until you get the emails!
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