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Found 21 results

  1. Hello! A massive chunk of my life has been dedicated to my sport, so I have like 20 entries relating to it (lol). I definitely don't have the typical premed profile so if there's anyone willing to help I'd massively appreciate it! I want to do my experiences justice and would appreciate any guidance for writing my entries. Please message me if you have experience listing sports on the ABS
  2. I am in a graduate research thesis program and have presented my research at 6 different regional and international conferences. Although the title of my poster is the same, there are slightly variations in data presented. However, my main concern is if I should group all 6 poster presentations as one single "Research Entry". This would be ideal HOWEVER the "100 Character Limit" for entry description makes grouping next to impossible (For perspective, the name of a single conference takes up 70 Characters). The only way (i see for now) is to list all 6 presentations as individual entries. However, I fear the risk of putting nearly identical experiences and may not look very good to adcoms. What are peoples suggestions, and for those who faced similar issues, how did you go about proceeding it? Thanks a lot!
  3. TLDR: Application —> follow structure of keeping it very very simple Essays —> follow the structure they give you in the question. Make it as simple to follow as possible! CASPer —> Simple structure. Make it easy to read. Throw in some easy points to get you points on the CASPer (listed below). Practice typing. Practice scenarios. Interview —> Confidence and practice. DM me for my Anki deck to practice key topics for interviews. Find ppl to practice with, there’s a discord and a facebook group. I apologize for the delay, I promised multiple users online/friends/pals that I would write out something to hopefully help with med school applications and interview prep. Also, forums like this have helped immensely throughout my prep and ultimately what got me accepted, so thank you and I hope this helps y’all out. My info here guess this could apply for general school apps but mostly for UBC and Ontario schools. Credentials: Have had three cycles. 8 interviews. 4 acceptances. 4 “good” wait lists. Most important: I don’t have the strongest GPA or MCAT (3.9 507 —> 514 with a 125 CARS l m a o) but these are by far the most important in at least getting your application viewed. Schools are becoming more holistic and taking more considerations than before BUT these are by far the biggest indicators in whether you will get to the interview stage/even getting your app reviewed. Do your best to make these the best possible, it sucks but it’s the truth :/. And you CAN get in without stellar scores here (just less likely). But don’t not try and don’t give up. There were so many days/months/years where I didn’t think I would make it. And yet, they messed up and let me in !! Applications: - ABS - Try to fill this out as much as possible without including unimportant/redundant things. This really isn’t as much of a big deal as you might think. The best way my friends and I thought of this was: - 1. Put what makes you unique (e.g. for me it was starting a service or running for a cause). This is what is MOST important. Nearly everyone has research and the entrance scholarship and something to do with good grades. But when someone is reading your application they’re going to remember “oh that person is a competitive ballerina and started curing people with signing songs” or if you’re less impressive like me “starting a local community donation during covid” something like that is more unique than your cookie cutter premed stuff! They’re still important and shows that you’re well rounded but you have to be MEMORABLE :-) - 2. Put what you’re passionate about (e.g. research or soccer for me) - 3. Anything impressive (e.g. an award) - Then fill it up with other things you have dedicated TIME and effort for (e.g. a club you’ve been volunteering for and have had decent experiences but meh) - This sets you up as an interesting, impressive, candidate and also prepares you for the inevitable interview! Because you listed things you’re passionate about! In many interviews I had the opportunity to talk about “making movies with my friends” and that was definitely something they remembered when they revisited my app and thought “hmmm what do we know about these candidates? Oh ya that guy made movies which is cool” usually something different/unique sticks out - The description and hours idk if they matter. Throw in some nice descriptive and impressive words (don’t be afraid to brag!) and try to show you put in a decent amount of hours for things (of course if it’s a one day event you can’t do that but you know what I’m getting at) - Essays - Try to start these early but you probably won’t - 1. Brainstorm - Start by thinking what ABS activity you can relate this to (yes even the BPEs from u of T). I think it shows that you have real life experiences that align with “empathy” or whatever Can of Med they ask about - Rough draft it. KISS. Keep it simple stupid. Think about the person reading the essays (especially for Western, wow a ridiculous amount of essays). Literally write simple sentences at like a grade 10 level with a flow that is easy to follow. For example the Western essays, they tell you to give 3 examples from “research” (for example) of how this idk makes you a better candidate. List the activity “i did research in blah blah blah for blah blah blah years…” Tell them how it taught you “persistence” or “collaboration” whatever. Then say something like “I will bring this into my career and school”. The more simple you make it for them to read, the easier the essay is to follow the better your chance will be. - 2. Rewrite your rough draft! Read it out loud and ask yourself is it easy to follow? Can I improve it? Does it sound genuine? ETC - 3. Get your friends/family/peers/past teachers/profs/whoever to review it and give you feedback! You might think it’s the best in the world but when someone else reads it, it comes off pretentious or makes no sense - 4. Make sure YOU are happy with it. Don’t completely change it because feedback was negative. Be true to yourself and if you are a little cringe like myself when it comes to writing about yourself maybe that’s the best way to go. Balance the constructive feedback with your own thoughts! The feedback is to open your perspective to different ways of knowledge. CASPer - Very very similar to the essays. KISS - Keep it simple stupid. First, you only have 5 min for 3 questions, it will help you with writing more in the short period of time AND it will help the HUMAN BEING evaluating you like your responses bc they’re clear and concise! - Follow a simple structure! Here is mine :-) I took it from someone else on the internetweb and added a little of my personal flavour (shoutout to that person can’t find it rn but huge shoutout!) - This is fantastic for interview prep and for casper prep but definitely a little more medical than CASPer —> https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQtNq3XP0-lOUlIASR3cr1T5ARcCZI13F - Oh yeah it’s the PPRDJ technique except I added an F on the end - PPRDJF —> Problem, Perspective, Responsibility, Decision, Justify, Future - Can’t remember if I typed this or found it somewhere but yeah follow this: 1. Identify the MOST important problem! - Think about what would happen if you did absolutely nothing ○ If someone is indeed drunk and you let them drive away - This will bring you to the most pressing issue 2. Explore the different perspectives of each individual - Reserve judgement, we do not have all the information - Gather all the facts - E.g. student not contributing to group work ○ Private non-judgemental conversation, where both parties are comfortable, with the two team members to gather more information - Determine who is directly and indirectly involved, exploring their perspectives ○ E.g. you are disclosing information to a patient ○ Directly, only you and the patient, but indirectly can be affecting the patient's family, coworkers, friends, other potential patients etc. The doctor's colleagues, entire medical profession etc etc ○ Must be able to identify grand implications of decisions 3. State your responsibility ○ As a citizen, I want to ensure that Bill is not driving under the influence and is not possibly endangering other civilians as well as himself 4. Decide the best SOLUTION based on sound rationale, ethical, legal, and scientific reasoning using if/then - MUST report to authorities when public safety Is endangered or vulnerable individuals may be in harm's way - IFTTT (if this then that) formula 5. Add in what you would do in the future/what you learned from the situation E.g. - Surgeon, arrive at the hospital at 7:30 AM, fellow surgeon enters the room and acts strange. Smelling of slight alcohol when they come close. They are next in line to take over for the Dep of Surgery and will make important decisions about funding and operating room time. You have never seen them act this way before. What do you do? ○ The surgeon will not be able to do his job correctly if he is under the influence of alcohol, and this will not make him a good representative for the future of the hospital, the unit, and all other future practicing surgeons if this is the case. However, just because a situation appears like this does not mean it is valid, perhaps the surgeon had some rubbing alcohol spilled on him or is diabetic and is just hyper to begin surgery because he is excited to start his day. Without all the facts I would not make any quick judgments or assumptions because from his perspective he might be ignorant to the fact that he smells like alcohol and is acting unusual. However, being a representative of the hospital and wanting the best outcomes for my patients it is my duty to ensure exceptional healthcare is provided and the safety of patients is taken into account. I would have a private conversation that is comfortable for the surgeon and is not filled with judgments or assumptions but simply just stating my perception and being curious coming from a place of genuine concern. If the surgeon is in fact under the influence, then I would encourage him to be honest and take time off and look for a replacement. If he is not, however, then the conversation we had mitigated the issue at hand and ensured that it was just a misunderstanding without blowing things out of proportion. Providing the means for the surgeon to explain him/herself. In the future, I would want to create an environment where colleagues feel comfortable talking to me about issues like this. I think I wrote this out in 5 min or whatever ^ but you can try to fit aspects of this into all of the questions! If you’re kind of stuck or not on a CASPer Q/scenario these are easy phrases to include that will score you points (and you can think of more on your own) LOL: Easy things to say to hit Casper's core competencies: - Work in a team to solve something --> lead the team ○ Work together ○ Collaborate ○ Get diverse perspectives ○ Diverse mental models on a situation - Compromise, win-win situations, collaborate on a unique solution - Putting myself in another's situation (empathy) - Understanding how they may feel being singled out - Instinct to help those in need Professional - Private convos instead of publicly shaming someone - Reminding ppl of our expectations and how we represent the company/organization Being self-aware --> being aware of my own judgements and biases - Trying to keep an open mind Resilience and motivation - I didn't get this far to only go this far! When I have failed I have pushed past (running marathons riddled with injuries/soccer games) and when I've succeeded e.g. multiple research rewards I kept pushing to be consistent instead of being complacent Communication = every one of these --> - Being curious and not judgemental, - coming from an area of concern and curiosity rather than judgement and accusation - Open, honest, and comfortable environment (setting up a time) where you are not making the individual feel awkward unless impossible to do so - Talk slowly with explaining, but most importantly actively listen, repeat points made by others to show they are listening and to also better understand the conversation e.g. as a distress centre volunteer this is how we show support and we show that someone is being heard. I also do think that adding your own experiences to answers gives A LOT. It adds colour to your answers and shows that you have actually experienced things like this you’re not just answering questions on a test (well you are but from experience rather than just saying what is right and wrong and how you “would” act. YOU DID act like this). Practice CASPer scenarios so you don’t get stuck. I would open up OneNote copy and paste a scenario from online, read it, then time myself about “what I would do” rather than answering questions. Worked great for me imo. Practice typing so you can type on the day of the exam! (Other students will probably type faster than you and you are competing against them!) Interview 1. Don’t pay for interview prep unless you have nobody to practice with, even then there are a lot of discord’s and facebook groups where ppl practice with others. I was blessed with friends that were willing to interview with me! 2. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE - even before you start/finish your “prep”. This is a facebook group that schedules practices https://www.facebook.com/groups/263776044319283/ (shout out to who created this wish I could praise you more <3). There is also a discord which you can search up on here! 3. Grab your ABS and write out a highlight, a lowlight, and a conflict you had at each of these experiences (at one of my interviews they would just pick out a random thing and ask my about my highlight, lowlight, and a conflict that happened there) I remember not being prepped for it and just felt awful delivering it! 4. Watch videos by this dude - Olly Burton deserves a huge shout out. Most well delivered interview guide and the topics are so so helpful. Watch them, take notes, throw them into Anki whatever will help you remember key point about each topic! 
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQtNq3XP0-lOUlIASR3cr1T5ARcCZI13F 5. At the beginning of your interview - SMILE, EXUDE confidence in the nicest way possible, show them that you’re SUPER happy to be there, and that YOU’RE HUMAN. That was my biggest praise through med school and also during interviews that it was fun conversing with me either in interview or with a standardized patient. Keep things light. I know it’s tough to do during the stressful environment and you’re thinking “all my hard work comes down to this!” But know that if you don’t try and be confident you won’t make it (that helped me in some weird twisted way) 6. Prepare answers to “Tell me about yourself”, “Why medicine” and “do you have any questions for us?” “What are your strengths (3)” “What are your weaknesses?” 
- (Have actual strengths and weaknesses - not “I’m a perfectionist etc)
- Tell me about yourself - keep it quick and fun, three points with a little bit of colour. Don’t talk about your schooling and what your undergrad was, tell them who YOU are. “I’m ___, the best way to describe myself would be curious, hardworking, and easy- going. I have been a part of a Neuro-oncology lab for about 3-4 years and it’s super interesting because there is so much unknown about the brain and cancer which keeps me curious and I have loved it so far. I’m also hard working as I love soccer….” 
Notice how I made it easy to follow and nothing too boring. 
Try to speak like a public speaker when thinking about your emotion during the interview! You have to read the room and be able to keep THEM interested. Sometimes different interviewers will have different tasks like acting uninterested but you have to try your best to regain their attention with the stories you tell and how you tell them. 
- Why med, try to be as honest as possible and give a little story to keep it interesting! Something like a turning point about what made you decide. For me it was basically - these life experiences and my personality aligned with medicine and drew me heavily towards this career. 7. The interview is the make it or break it. It’s the toughest part! If you’re ever discouraged, look at me! I had to interview 4 times in 2 years get waitlisted on all of them before I interviewed 4 times again in my last application cycle only to get into all 4 schools! It’s not easy and I definitely didn’t know all of this my first or second time! 8. If you’re having trouble prepping for interviews and remembering what to say, throw it into Anki and it’ll help you memorize the details of your story. Anyways I have a whole anki package about how to answer all these types of questions so you can memorize it and many different helpful question types. And even my own personal example for personal questions!!! Please DM me for it :-) Different Question Types: - Ethics - watch those vids I linked - and read what I wrote about CASPer - https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQtNq3XP0-lOUlIASR3cr1T5ARcCZI13F - Most pressing issue - Responsibility - Deliberately show empathy “I would like to empathize with this person…” - Investigate, empathy, counselling, teaching a patient something, offering resources, try to get more help from colleagues/history/resources like literature - IFTTT - Decide - In the future I would … - Policies - Write out a bunch of pros and cons for common policies like medical marijuana, opioids, etc (I might have an anki deck for all of these made up so I can send it to y’all - i found it) Personal Questions - STARF Technique - Situation, Task, Action, Result, Future (how will you bring what you learned into medicine/med school) - included one of my examples in the anki + make your own obviously for each ABS —> then you won’t be stuck when they inevitably ask “tell me about a time … (you had a conflict at work or trouble with integrity etc)” Bioethics - No you probably don’t need to know everything I have in my anki deck, but all of UWash Bioethics are in there with the questions and how to structure the answer. Enjoy. - https://depts.washington.edu/bhdept/ethics-medicine CanMeds - Included in ANKI deck, went through a whole module on each from a canadian medical school, so they literally can’t be wrong bc a medical school gave me that info! Enjoy x2. Acting - mostly broken down into breaking bad news - included in anki deck omg you put everything into an anki deck?! Yes, it was my ‘lazy’ way of studying for an interview and it helped me feel confident! No you don’t HAVE to do all of this to be successful in an interview and the most important part is how you make your interviewers feel and the energy you bring to the interview rather than the content of your questions. Most people will follow the structures and have similar answers, but the colour YOU add to your answers and how you speak will make you more memorable! Also is this all perfect information? No. It helped me a LOT. Use what you chose from this. Hate it. Love it. I just wanted to give back to this community that helped me!
  4. Hiya everyone, I have been receiving PMs about my approach to Western's aABS essays, so I decided to write a blog post recounting my personal approach (https://philomd.blogspot.com/2021/05/cramping-fingers-my-approach-to.html). Hopefully it is useful for someone on their application journey. Wishing all of y'all the best! Cheers, Philo
  5. Hey guys, does anyone have any insight on how the top 3 activities of each section will be used? Will these be the only activities screened pre-interview, and used to allocate interviews? Any insight is welcomed thanks!
  6. Hello all, Anyone wiling to review my Western ABS essays? Preferably an accepted/interviewed UWO applicant, but I would be grateful if anyone else can too! Thanks
  7. Hi guys I had a question for those who have been able to secure a two+ consecutive interviews at UOttawa. Assuming you were not successful with your interview the first time around, when you reapplied... 1) Did you guys change your application significantly or was it more or less the same 2) What do you think your chances are of securing an interview the following year? 3) Are there individuals who had an interview one year and was not able to get one the next year? Thank you guys very much for your help. If you guys know anyone who might not be on these forums but have been in a similar situation, feel free to share!! Thanks again
  8. I recently followed this doctor's instagram for the financial tips and saw that she posted some tips from her experience as a file reviewer that differentiated a stellar essay from an average essay. Thought it might be helpful for you guys to check out - link below Good luck guys, be sure take time to relax after you hit the submit button!
  9. For one of my ABS items, I am speaking about my involvement in orchestras. I've participated in a number of different orchestras since I was 12, and there is no one single person who can verify that I've participated in all of them except one of my parents. Would this be acceptable? Western doesn't say anything on their website about who the verifier should be.
  10. Hey guys, I'm working on my ABS and it seems like I might be missing a few things: 1. Personal activities --> I draw a lot and also paint but I don't have anyone other than my family members/friends to verify them. Does anyone have suggestions on who would be able to verify these activities or what else I could do? 2. Medicine related activities --> I volunteer at a hospital and work at a clinic. What other activities could I do to make it seem like I'm interested in medicine? I thought the ABS didn't need to reflect medical experience, just things that I'm passionate about (and demonstrate leadership roles in)? Thanks a lot for your help!
  11. Hi, I'm applying to the French stream at uOttawa this coming semester. Is anyone willing to look over my ABS (in french) in the next few days please? Thank you!
  12. Hey friends! I'm finishing off my ABS, would anyone that has positive experience with the OMSAS apps want to look over mine and give feedback? I'm sending it to a bunch of my friends as well but I thought that asking for more help wouldn't hurt! I have yet to start formally writing my UofT essays/ABS entries but I would love help with that as well :)!
  13. Hi guys, I was wondering whether or not to include the TRAINING I received to become a volunteer as a separate entry in ABS or not. The reason I am asking, is because I have two volunteer positions, one in hospice and one as a research assistant, and both required I complete very lengthy online training and online certifications. For example, for hospice, it was a 13 hour online training that required tests, small essays on a range of topics ranging from palliative care, infectious diseases, caregiver stress, ethics and so on. Likewise for the research assistant position, because it is connected to a long-term care facility, all volunteers had to undergo training on how to care for elderly patients, modules on ethics etc even though my position doesn't have anything to do with that. I am wondering if it's worth making separate entries for these things, or if it is self-explanatory that all volunteer positions must have included training? Thank you!
  14. Hey guys! I'm wondering what I should do about a long-term activity for the ABS. I have been playing two instruments for about 9 years now and I would like to include it on my sketch. My question is since we are only allowed to include activities from the age of 16 and onwards when I tally up the hours for this activity, should I just calculate it from age 16 and on or should I put the actual amount of hours invested in this activity since I was 10 years old? If I do this from age 10, the total amount of hours will be over 2000. Is this fair game for the ABS or will adcoms look at this suspiciously since the number of hours seems (at least to me) unusually high? Thank you SO much to anyone who replies and so sorry if this thread is in the wrong spot (not a frequent poster)! :)
  15. How do we include the numbers for activities in the ABS Statement? The issue I am having is that I am writing about a research experience that involved (1) 8 months volunteer work followed by (2) summer paid employment (3) publication (4) presentation (5) award for presentation I wanted to mention all of these components to cover the "scholar" component of the clusters, but do I have to include the activity number for each? and if the verifier is all the same, do I have to keep putting (1) to show the same verifier? I want it to be clear what I am mentioning, but also don't want so much of my word count to be devoted to numbers in brackets
  16. Hi everyone, currently trudging through the long-winded ABS section and was wondering if anyone has a link to where it says that submitted papers shouldnt be included in the research section (i vaguely remember something to this effect last year). It says that submitted (not accepted or published) publications should be included, on the uottawa page, so I am inclined to report them, but if there is info from OMSAS that says I shouldn't I would like to contact OMSAS for clarification. They cant comment on how to write ABS of course, but if there is a written contradiction between the uottawa site and the OMSAS site then they might be able to help! Thanks!
  17. How should one enter (if at all) a multi-year, discontinuous extra-curricular/job (e.g. summer employment at the same company for 3 summers or sport seasons that span multiple months but aren't connected from year to year)? Enter it as 3 separate entries from May to September for the three years? Or just enter the most recent? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  18. How many times can you use a verifier for activities? Is there like a limit? Reason I'm asking is that I have about 12 activities since the age of 16 from high school, and it'll probably be easier to use one high school teacher who's known what I've done through out high school (since you know, teachers come and go in the education system).
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