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What is my best approach?

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Older non-trad here planning to apply to medicine in the next year or two.   I live in Ontario, and I’m looking for suggestions as to how I should approach things.

My educational background and career are in the arts, and I’m a successful small business owner, so I might be attractive to non-trad friendly schools, such as McMaster.  I’ve recently taken a number of science courses part-time (bio, cell bio, biochem, genetics, etc.) and got an A+ in each one, so I’m confident in my ability to excel in the sciences.  I haven’t taken the MCAT yet because I don’t want it to expire before I apply to med school.

The big problem is my undergrad GPA is about 3.65, and is pretty much the same in all four years.  I have a Masters, however, and my cGPA from all courses ever taken is about 3.70.  

As things stand I can either:

a) Do another year or two of full-time undergrad study to be competitive at Queen’s, Western, maybe UOttawa.  My work schedule is flexible and I could study full-time (perhaps through Athabasca) while      continuing to earn a good living….so this isn’t entirely unappealing.

b) Apply to the following schools with the grades I have:

1. Western (best 5 full-year courses policy means my two best years of undergrad would be 3.84)

2. McMaster (cGPA would be 3.7)

3. NOSM (my career serves the Francophone community and I am fluent in French, so this might work)


Am I missing anything important here?  Are there any other non-trad friendly schools that would be an option for me?  Any realistic options for OOP schools?


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I think you have identified the options quite well.

I think before you start doing more undergrad you should study for and give the MCAT a go. Atleast study hard and write practice tests to see where you benchmark.   You will need a fairly high score for UWO and MAC (CARs to counteract alow cGPA).

NOSM is very dependent on living in Northern Ontario or other rural isolated communities.  Where did you grow up and where do you live now ?   Francophone aspect might be leveraged, but it would likely still need Northern/rural context.   I think you should apply to NOSM for the next cycle and see how you fair for an interview.









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Thank you for your reply.  I live in Ottawa and have never lived in Northern Ontario or a rural community.  Do you know for a fact that this is a requirement even for applicants in the Francophone category?  I've looked at the NOSM website and there is no mention that Francophone applicants must also have a Northern/rural connection....but perhaps it is required.

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I think you have the right mindset and have outlined some good options. Here are a few things to consider:

While NOSM doesn't have a set amount of spots for students from Northern Ontario, around 90% of those accepted each year are from Northern Ontario and the rest come from rural and remote communities in Canada. This is something to keep in mind.


It might still be worth it to apply and see if you could get an interview. I think your GPA would be good here with 3.85 (3.65 undergrad + 0.2 graduate bonus). Worst case scenario at least it will give you experience with the application process and possibly with the interview process. 

I think it would be best to study for and write the MCAT first before completing more undergraduate studies to make sure you meet cutoffs for Western. Once you have that done you could apply there and see how that goes and then decide whether to complete further undergraduate studies. That's how I would proceed anyway, but definitely do whatever works best for you. 

Good luck! 

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