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Excel-erate Your Breath

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  1. Like
    Excel-erate Your Breath got a reaction from soccermed123 in Rural Applicants: Did you fill all the entries?   
    CAVEAT: I am a fellow applicant and have not been accepted in the rural stream. I am merely someone who is knowledgeable of the general principles of the admissions process for UBC med. Anything I say is subject to change and is merely gathered from being a reader of these forums.
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    These sections are evaluated separately (rumored to be by completely separate committees).

    The NAQ sections (Employment, Non-Academic Activities, Awards, Research/Pubs) are evaluated to contribute to an applicant's NAQ score, which is a measure that can be interpreted as a percentile of 'how strong their resume is (in the eyes of UBC)' relative to all other applicants for that cycle. Applicants are differentiated pre-interview based on a composite score of 50% GPA, 50% NAQ. The top 680ish applicants are invited to interview.
    The Northern/Rural Training Section contributes to one's RRSS (rural and remote suitability score). The 10 activities, 3 mentors, 3 ties, rural statement, and living history that you put in this section are evaluated completely separately from the NAQ sections; RRSS does not boost or contribute to one's NAQ, and thus has no bearing on an applicant's ability to receive an interview offer. RRSS scores are used to determine if an applicant should be offered a rural/Northern seat in the program (of which there are 32 available in Prince George, 10 in Kelowna, and 2 in Victoria) should they be offered a seat.
    This means you could/should be listing activities twice on your application! (In separate sections, of course.) If you have NAQ entries that are relevant rural experience, put them in the Northern/Rural Training Section as well as the appropriate NAQ section. This is stated in the UBC med applicant help guide, which is an extremely helpful resource to check out if you have not already.
    The one exception I can think of (regarding an RRSS "helping" an applicant receive an interview) is when applicants score very highly on their RRSS but are just below the cutoff composite score required to receive an interview invite (and I mean JUST below; you would have to be really close with a very high RRSS). In this case, UBC has (in the past) implemented the practice of offering rural-only interviews to applicants. These applicants get to go to the MMI just like their 680ish peers, but are only eligible for rural seats in the program.
    Hope that helps!

    Edit: To answer your initial question, yes, most rural applicants fill all 10 activity slots (and the other slots kind of fill themselves through family/friend connections). I selected the 10 activities from my NAQ (volunteer/employment/hobby activities) that most reflected why I want to practice in/serve the medical needs of rural communities.
  2. Like
    Excel-erate Your Breath got a reaction from soccermed123 in Do most people fill out all NAQ spots?   
    We have no way of knowing, but I would hazard a guess that most people get close.

    With respect to the Diversity section, that is probably the section that people fill out the most. As you mentioned, hobbies can go in this section, which can fill out the numbers a lot.

    Personally, I'm someone that liked to jump into non-academic opportunities whenever I could; of my peers, I probably took on the most amount of "traditional" premed activities. Even with that, however, 8 of my 10 possible Diversity entries are hobbies or personal life experiences. This section is really to showcase who you are as a unique human being and not just as an applicant.

    As a counter-example, I would advise against putting a crisis line volunteer experience in this section; although UBC says there are no 'incorrect' section selections, I still think it'd be smarter to stick this in Service Ethic or somewhere else.
  3. Like
    Excel-erate Your Breath got a reaction from soccermed123 in UBC NAQ Advice?   
    Ohhh nicenicenice and okay for sure! Well here's some concrete general tips I followed as a result of scouring these forums and also having people edit mine

    Also take it w a grain of salt I'm freestyling rn if you want a couple concrete examples of actual entries that I submitted then DM me

    - details: putting in numbers in your entry (ex. I tutored students vs I tutored 15 students) will help showcase what you did better
    - character count: 350 is a very small number, so I tried to generally do 1st sentence general aim of the work (ex. I worked to improve the grades of 15 chemistry students blah blah), 2nd sentence how you did that aim (ex. Tutoring sessions consisted of working through problems together etc), and 3rd sentence outcome (ex. Each student's grades improved by 20% as a result)
    - what entries should I put? = EVERYTHING! things that might seem normal to your life could actually be a very illuminating NAQ entry. For example, are you a member (follower? idk the right term lol even though I am one) of a religion? Do you have kids/younger siblings/cousins you cared for? Did you travel to France for 6 months and stopped a man from robbing a poor old lady on the plane? (Lol you get the point)
    - embellish? = might be controversial but my opinion is a strong no, I used to think embellishing would be a good tactic but honestly if you're giving enough detail about yourself and your experiences then it'll already be so good of an NAQ section, no need to act like you did more work than you actually did
    - verbs = vary them up a bit but not to a huge level; for example I was guilty of starting like five entries with "I worked to" so I changed it up (or changed the sentence structure) to stuff like "In collaboration with 12 undergraduates, I strove to" etc
    - adverbs = can be hit or miss, it won't work for all entries but I would put a couple in here and there for flavour, not at the expense of character count tho only if you have like 10-12 characters free after writing an entry and want to throw a word in
    - review my entries? = YES YES YES my submitted application versus my first drafts back in April/May is like night and day, you want to reread each entry plenty of times you'll catch so many things you think could be said better
    - full sentences? = imo, yes - but UBC does have an Admissions Blog post saying it's okay to not. I just like how it flows better with full sentences
  4. Thanks
    Excel-erate Your Breath reacted to bearded frog in Coworker Promotion as a Reference?   
    The one who knows you the best or can give you the best reference. It's fine for them to be a former supervisor working at a new position. So in this circumstance it seems to be the former director or former coordinator, whoever can give you the best reference.
  5. Thanks
    Excel-erate Your Breath reacted to notagunner in Coworker Promotion as a Reference?   
    Agreed with @beardedfrog, and don't feel guilty about it OP. Just let them know to not refer to you as a "teammate" or "coworker" and you should be A-ok. Good luck. 
  6. Like
    Excel-erate Your Breath got a reaction from wanderforhelp in Appropriate Activity to Add?   
    I think it works for a Diversity entry. I'd include it if you don't have other things you could include other than that, that is, if you've already filled out the 9 other Diversity slots and want to fill that 10th but don't have something that comes to mind. Make sure to tick the box of "received course credit for this activity" if you choose to include it
  7. Like
    Excel-erate Your Breath got a reaction from soccermed123 in GPA vs Work & Volunteering 2   
    Who said I'm male lol 
     
    For what it's worth OP I agree with the other commenters. I was around your gpa this past cycle, and I watched people with much less valuable ECs (altho I'm biased in this regard) than you or I (ex. 10 hobbies listed) get an invite while I did not; these people had 90+ gpa. Our gpa + ECs might have been good enough to get in 10 years ago but not anymore. Improve GPA since it's objective
  8. Like
    Excel-erate Your Breath reacted to marsaturn20 in How can I improve a Below average interview   
    Sure! I will try my best to make a group and will send the link soon. I think I've seen your stats posted on this forum and I do think you have a high chance too
  9. Sad
    Excel-erate Your Breath reacted to newguy23 in 2020/2021 Decisions Countdown   
    Yeah in province LOL
  10. Thanks
    Excel-erate Your Breath reacted to bearded frog in Preventive Medicine and Mental Health in Communities   
    There's lots of paths to "preventative health" or "community health care" but if you're interested in being involved with medications you're going to be restricted to the professional fields, specifically MD, pharmacy, or nursing (I think?). If you're ok with leaving the medication side behind then that opens a lot more options from the traditional "allied health" of social work, physical/psychological therapy, nutritionist, etc. to more population based stuff with public health/health policy/community organization.
  11. Like
    Excel-erate Your Breath reacted to GH0ST in Preventive Medicine and Mental Health in Communities   
    Public health and preventive medicine for sure...
    or do an MPH or PhD in a public health discipline.... health promotion, health policy and management, health care planning, environmental health, epidemiology, etc... then work in a public health organization and climb the ranks to lead your section in public health 
    or do a Masters in Clinical Psychology, Counselling, etc if you want to practice specifically within psychology. 
     
    Note that you can do other additional training on top of what I described... I'm going for my additional training in counselling right now as well as planning to do a degree in either masters of medical, health promotion, or general education. 
    - G 
  12. Thanks
    Excel-erate Your Breath reacted to HopefulMD786 in FAQ: What are my chances?   
    EC's are excellent and so you have an excellent chance at UBC with your GPA. There is no chance at UofT with a 3.65 OMSAS GPA. You have a good CARS score so I would def shoot for Mac as well, but again the 3.65 leaves you at a very slim chance. Great chance at Queens and decent chances at the other schools as well. Good luck!
  13. Like
    Excel-erate Your Breath got a reaction from samproholdings in GPA vs Work & Volunteering 2   
    Who said I'm male lol 
     
    For what it's worth OP I agree with the other commenters. I was around your gpa this past cycle, and I watched people with much less valuable ECs (altho I'm biased in this regard) than you or I (ex. 10 hobbies listed) get an invite while I did not; these people had 90+ gpa. Our gpa + ECs might have been good enough to get in 10 years ago but not anymore. Improve GPA since it's objective
  14. Thanks
    Excel-erate Your Breath reacted to marsaturn20 in A Debate with No Right Answer (GPA vs Work)   
    I agree with @offmychestplease. Your average is already up there and if you look at the admission stats, there's a lot of people with A average that are getting in (85-89.99%). I think it all now comes down to your ECs. I think how you write your entries will make a huge difference.
  15. Thanks
    Excel-erate Your Breath reacted to teachdoc in A Debate with No Right Answer (GPA vs Work)   
    I would agree with @offmychestplease too! You have a great average that won't hold you back. Your job seems great as well so I think rewriting those descriptions and really narrowing down on what you want adcom to see will make a bigger difference. I have applied three times- twice with high 70s and now once with low 80s and managed to get an interview twice because of my NAQ. In my case, GPA definitely holds me back so if yours was as low as mine it would make more sense to get it higher but I think for you, if you can work on your NAQ, you have a solid shot!
  16. Like
    Excel-erate Your Breath got a reaction from offmychestplease in A Debate with No Right Answer (GPA vs Work)   
    I really respect your opinions on this site because you tell it like it is, blunt and with no filter. To hear you validate my thoughts on this gives me great confidence. Thank you!
  17. Thanks
    Excel-erate Your Breath reacted to offmychestplease in A Debate with No Right Answer (GPA vs Work)   
    Your GPA is 89.7%. The average accepted GPA this year 2021 will be around 90%, and next year will likely be around 90.5%.
    Therefore, your GPA will not hold you back. Don't worry about increasing it. Focusing on NAQ is way more high yield in my opinion. 
  18. Sad
    Excel-erate Your Breath reacted to zoxy in Where is the GPA Average Going?   
    GPA also correlates with SES. The only difference is that the MCAT is standardized but GPA is not, plus you can take the MCAT multiple times but a freshman year calcuclus class will stay with you for years. Plus, the best single correlate to performance in medical school is the Bio section of the MCAT according to a study done by UCalgary.
    If you were unlucky enough to do something like engineering that has grade deflation, you can kiss your chances of an interview at UBC goodbye. One of my labmates had a 525 MCAT but an 84 GPA average since he was an electrical engineer, and didn't start university with the intention of being a Doctor. He got rejected pre-interview from UBC two years in a row and his GPA was also too low for Sask and Manitoba OOP. Sure, the MCAT isn't perfect but putting so much emphasis on the GPA without taking course difficulty, degree difficulty,and institution difficulty into consideration pre-interview is asinine. And then people wonder why Mac Health Sci gets 7000 application a year. The median science undergrad GPA at Princeton is 3.4.  Is a 3.5 in kinesiology from Vancouver Island University more valuable than a 3.4 in biochemistry from Princeton? For UBC med though, the 3.5 is definitely more valuable.
  19. Like
    Excel-erate Your Breath reacted to neurologist19 in Where is the GPA Average Going?   
    That is interesting. I am skeptical a little though. Is MCAT more correlated to SES than GPA? As a poor student from a low SES background, I wished it was 100 percent MCAT honestly. With GPA, it is hard to maintain it when you need to work full time to support yourself during school for 4 years, when you have family members to take care of it. With MCAT, it can be done in a few months of concentrated studies if the student is a bright one!
  20. Thanks
    Excel-erate Your Breath got a reaction from neurologist19 in Where is the GPA Average Going?   
    Fair point, but they do have some reasoning as to why they don't I am sure (ex. MCAT is a test that lends itself to better performance for those high in SES)
  21. Thanks
    Excel-erate Your Breath reacted to t2n1n4 in Application Help Guides?   
    UCalgary application manual - https://cumming.ucalgary.ca/mdprogram/future-students/admissions/applicant-manual
  22. Like
    Excel-erate Your Breath got a reaction from wanderforhelp in Volunteers getting treated like Sh*t at VCH   
    I logged in just now to say this exact same thing. Thanks @Raincouver

    Furthermore OP, I will engage in a bit of self-disclosure here but: there are people working throughout this pandemic, as Raincouver mentioned, who are at a high risk and seeing people everyday. In my job as a counsellor at a non-profit organization that offers free services, I see people who walk in off of the street, 75% of my clients are this way. When I volunteer weekly at a homeless shelter, I don't think to myself about if the homeless peoples are wearing masks and distancing (spoiler alert: they're not). Oh, and I am on autoimmune medications, but my specific biologic didn't get listed as one of the ones that makes me 'clinically vulnerable' (which, side topic, idk why not but I'm not the one who makes the call so whatever lol).

    My point is this: you are absolutely within your rights to stop volunteering there or to speak up about feeling unsafe and to work with your boss on measures as to help you feel safer (for example, double/triple masking, using both a faceshield and a mask, etc.). I'm not sure what the situation is like where you are, but I also volunteer at a vaccine clinic and we were told from day 1 to speak up when we felt our safety was at risk. The very last thing your boss wants is for you to get COVID, believe me. Goes against the very point of the vaccine clinic existing, i.e. to help the curve bend back down and protect as many people as possible.

    We will all get our shots soon, which is amazing for us living in a first-world country like Canada.

    If you want to have a chat feel free to DM me. I would hate for you to receive hate here and on r3dd!t for expressing your concerns. The way you have worded your concerns might incite a little bit of hate from some people though.
  23. Haha
    Excel-erate Your Breath reacted to shikimate in Where is the GPA Average Going?   
    off topic, but didn't the admission GPA average for UofT go up 0.1 every year and the prediction was it'll hit 4.01/4 this year? I am disappointed to see it haven't even hit 4 yet in 2020! Was betting it'll hit 4.5/4 within my lifetime. Looks like UofT med has this grade deflation thing going on eh, talk about an attitude adjustment.
  24. Like
    Excel-erate Your Breath got a reaction from Aspiring-Doctor in Volunteers getting treated like Sh*t at VCH   
    I logged in just now to say this exact same thing. Thanks @Raincouver

    Furthermore OP, I will engage in a bit of self-disclosure here but: there are people working throughout this pandemic, as Raincouver mentioned, who are at a high risk and seeing people everyday. In my job as a counsellor at a non-profit organization that offers free services, I see people who walk in off of the street, 75% of my clients are this way. When I volunteer weekly at a homeless shelter, I don't think to myself about if the homeless peoples are wearing masks and distancing (spoiler alert: they're not). Oh, and I am on autoimmune medications, but my specific biologic didn't get listed as one of the ones that makes me 'clinically vulnerable' (which, side topic, idk why not but I'm not the one who makes the call so whatever lol).

    My point is this: you are absolutely within your rights to stop volunteering there or to speak up about feeling unsafe and to work with your boss on measures as to help you feel safer (for example, double/triple masking, using both a faceshield and a mask, etc.). I'm not sure what the situation is like where you are, but I also volunteer at a vaccine clinic and we were told from day 1 to speak up when we felt our safety was at risk. The very last thing your boss wants is for you to get COVID, believe me. Goes against the very point of the vaccine clinic existing, i.e. to help the curve bend back down and protect as many people as possible.

    We will all get our shots soon, which is amazing for us living in a first-world country like Canada.

    If you want to have a chat feel free to DM me. I would hate for you to receive hate here and on r3dd!t for expressing your concerns. The way you have worded your concerns might incite a little bit of hate from some people though.
  25. Thanks
    Excel-erate Your Breath reacted to bearded frog in Application Help Guides?   
    If you've read https://www.ouac.on.ca/guide/omsas-guide/ then that's all there is for OMSAS, in addition to each school's site. Back when I applied it was a pdf but it looks like it changes so frequently now that its not practical to do it that way. They used to change the essay prompts every year, and typically wouldn't release them until applications open, don't know if that's still the same. Otherwise as far as I know each school's site is it in terms of instructions. When I applied you only found out what the formatting requirements were once you were in the application, and they changed frequently, although they might not change as much any more.
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