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Hello all,

So I'm in a position where I don't know what the best choice is forward. To make this fun maybe consider it like a mmi question?

I want to go to medical school but haven't made it to even the interview stage in Ontario.

Here is information about me but please feel free to ask for more if relevant in what you suggest:

Graduated June 2018, went back to take prerequisites like Organic Chemistry for American medical schools the 2018-2019 school year.

cGPA: 3.9+ (still waiting on a few courses, but my degree cGPA ended up being 3.92)

MCAT: 129/129/128/130

 

Volunteer:

Thousands of hours for one NPO over many years. Yes, I know this is somewhat a crutch because it lacks diversity. Basically what happened was I moved up in the organization, realized its dependence on me for success now, not trying to be like some others and just leave things in mess, I have been working the last 2ish years to create a sustainable way for my exit.

4 summers administering an exercise program and helping collect data on participants for research on optimizing the program.

~15 hours athletic testing that was used for research but again data collection like this doesn't lead to authorship.

Tutor in a student club for 1.5 years.

3 different hospital volunteer positions spanning 4 semesters. While I was an unessential cog in the machine, I believe I was helpful in improving the patient experience.

~20 hours helping a club that fundraises for an NPO.

 

Research:

The exercise program and athlete testing that is not "productive" research I suppose. 

Volunteered in a lab->my undergraduate thesis being in this lab->helped work on another related project while I was in this lab->2nd author publication.

 

Awards:

Only academic I have is for my annual renewable entrance scholarship (not full ride).

An athletic one I received around 16 and stopped playing at 17 (wanted to take my studies more seriously and never got back into it yet). 

Piano grade 8

 

Anyways, the path forward was always sort of clear for me the previous times I hadn't gotten in, but not so much this time.

For 1 year it was getting some more research experience and extra-curricular activity->convinced to do a thesis and tutor

Then it was improve my MCAT scores: 126 CARS->129 CARS

Then it was take the courses you need to apply to the US because Ontario is crazy and seats are reserved for in-province places elsewhere.

 

Now I'm here finishing my 5th year and can think of the following options considering their pros and cons. I should note that I submitted my US application very late, so I'm hoping being early with my personal statement and references all ready to go, I will be helped by the rolling admissions system and not hurt by it this time around.

 

Research-Based Masters:

Pros: Highly likely to get productive research done.

Can move to another province and hopefully will help with the application selection.

Cons: 2 years (as far as I know open right now to apply to).

 

Specialized Masters Program:

Pro: If do well get assured an interview to a medical school.

1-year investment.

Con: Just 1 guaranteed interview if you do well as far as I can tell, and I have heard they are very difficult. An additional difficulty is the fact that an 80 in the US is a 2.7 on the GPA scale.

Only useful in the US.

 

Work as a research assistant for a year:

Pro: 1-year investment with a chance of productive research.

Can move to another province and hopefully will help with the application selection.

Con: Might not get productive research. No credential after completion opening more general opportunities in the research field like a masters would.

 

What do you guys suggest?

Sorry, this was a really long post but I think the information will help give better-informed advice.

 

 

 

 

 

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Agree - stats look great.  Improving your non-academics should be more of your focus.

 I'd only do grad work if it's something you're really interested in - the general payoff for med school admissions isn't super high, but it doesn't hurt either.  It helps for some schools more than others, like UofT.  Doing a grad degree won't generally give you new IP status, however.

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Stats and ECs are adequate for admission. 

Would probably benefit from a review of how you're writing about your experiences in your applications.

Go to your university career centre and sit down to do a review. Essentially highlight the applicability of your experiences to the canmeds roles and try to quantify your impact in your experiences where possible.

That should be enough.

Keep building ECs around canmeds roles in the meantime.

I wouldn't move anywhere but if you did Alberta would likely be your best bet.

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4 hours ago, Bambi said:

Move to Montreal. Become IP @ McGill. You will be good to go. :P

During the year, learn French, do what interests you, perhaps get a part time job.

Tried McGill last year no dice, but yeah I guess things will be different if I try to get residence status in Montreal. Think my best bet is: "Situation 6. You resided in Quebec for one year and did not study full-time at a Quebec educational institution."

However, those stats don't look great even for locals.

That said, do you know if you can be a resident in multiple places at once. Would kinda hate to give up the in-province status in Ontario where there is more schools i can apply to for just 1 school or something.

 

Thanks for the reply though.

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1 hour ago, JohnGrisham said:

Any work experience? If not get some. Keep building your nonnacademics through paid work. Apply both USMD and USDO? Whats your school list?

Full load all years? What's your Canadian school list?

Ah I forgot to list it.

I've been a clinical assistant part-time the last ~2 years where I triage, take blood,  take some health-related measurements, complete health assessment forms, and manage patient reports.

 

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36 minutes ago, tere said:

Agree - stats look great.  Improving your non-academics should be more of your focus.

 I'd only do grad work if it's something you're really interested in - the general payoff for med school admissions isn't super high, but it doesn't hurt either.  It helps for some schools more than others, like UofT.  Doing a grad degree won't generally give you new IP status, however.

Residence gives IP status generally though, doesn't it? I figure doing productive research in the meantime would be a good use of the time and make me a better applicant in general.

I feel like I have quite a bit of clinical with the part-time job (see post above), so is there anything more specific that you think would be best to pursue for me at this point?

Thanks for the response.

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26 minutes ago, Thisisathrowaway said:

However, those stats don't look great even for locals.

That said, do you know if you can be a resident in multiple places at once. Would kinda hate to give up the in-province status in Ontario where there is more schools i can apply to for just 1 school or something.

Your GPA is above avg for IP admits (3.92 vs 3.89) at McGill - so good territory (may be higher with McGill GPA convert).

https://www.mcgill.ca/medadmissions/applying/admissions-numbers

ON gives very little IP advantage, some regional based on where you went to high school so doesn't change if you leave the province.  
 

12 minutes ago, Thisisathrowaway said:

Residence gives IP status generally though, doesn't it? I figure doing productive research in the meantime would be a good use of the time and make me a better applicant in general.

I feel like I have quite a bit of clinical with the part-time job (see post above), so is there anything more specific that you think would be best to pursue for me at this point?

Thanks for the response.

Grad studies for residence - tricky, depends on the province.  Won't work at McGill, but may work out West (AB and BC).

If you could build on your experience to incorporate more canmeds roles like leadership, scholar/research, etc.. could really help.

 I agree that revising how you're describing your experiences could really be beneficial.  

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2 hours ago, JohnGrisham said:

Any work experience? If not get some. Keep building your nonnacademics through paid work. Apply both USMD and USDO? Whats your school list?

Full load all years? What's your Canadian school list?

Full load all years.

Applied only USMD.

School list:

Albert Einstein College of Medicine 

Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science 

New York Medical College 

Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine 

Saint Louis University School of Medicine
State University of New York Upstate Medical University
Stony Brook University School of Medicine <-this one I screwed up I think cause the 2ndry probably went to spam and I didn't catch it
Tulane University School of Medicine
University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine
The University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine

University of Maryland School of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

 

I was put on hold for an interview for quite a few schools and interviewed for 1, but the primary application wasn't processed until September 14, so I think I got really hit on the rolling basis system. The goal this year is to be ready to submit primary by the end of May if not earlier (just gotta get the reference letter forms out and sent).

 

Canadian schools:

All the Ontario ones + McGill. No interviews at all.
 

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26 minutes ago, freewheeler said:

Stats and ECs are adequate for admission. 

Would probably benefit from a review of how you're writing about your experiences in your applications.

Go to your university career centre and sit down to do a review. Essentially highlight the applicability of your experiences to the canmeds roles and try to quantify your impact in your experiences where possible.

Yes, I think the way I write certainly doesn't do my favours but I have found it difficult to get significant improvements in it. I tried BeMo in 2nd attempt and it really wasn't a leap there. I do wonder though about the substantialness of what I've done sometimes comparatively but yeah I still feel my presentation isn't the best. Unfortuantely, all the non-premeds I have reviewed parts of my applications with (including going to the writing centre to review my personal statement) lack understanding of the modern medical lens useful for my specific case. My career centre only does resume and cover letter review I think, but I feel how I write my ABS is the most lacking maybe. Unfortunately, the other pre-meds I have met, I worry about being snaked by them.

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31 minutes ago, tere said:

Your GPA is above avg for IP admits (3.92 vs 3.89) at McGill - so good territory (may be higher with McGill GPA convert).

https://www.mcgill.ca/medadmissions/applying/admissions-numbers

ON gives very little IP advantage, some regional based on where you went to high school so doesn't change if you leave the province.  
 

Grad studies for residence - tricky, depends on the province.  Won't work at McGill, but may work out West (AB and BC).

If you could build on your experience to incorporate more canmeds roles like leadership, scholar/research, etc.. could really help.

 I agree that revising how you're describing your experiences could really be beneficial.  

Do you have a good way to get to improve my application writing process (other than spending thousands and thousands on these application review programs that I don't even know are effective)?

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5 minutes ago, Thisisathrowaway said:

I figure actually giving a writing sample might be useful here.

image.png.3f8b67295d590978c8dbc46a014e7519.png 

If this one example is indicative of everything you’ve written, I think that answers it. Align your descriptions/responsibilities with the CanMEDs roles (advocate, leader, communicator, etc) as opposed to a verbatim description of your duties on the job. 

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29 minutes ago, Thisisathrowaway said:

I figure actually giving a writing sample might be useful here.

image.png.3f8b67295d590978c8dbc46a014e7519.png 

That’s a lot of medical tests to be performed on patients by a 3rd year BSc. Wouldn’t you need to be at minimum a med lab tech or a RN to be legally puncturing people for blood? 

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1 minute ago, lefnalex said:

That’s a lot of medical tests to be performed on patients by a 3rd year BSc. Wouldn’t you need to be at minimum a med lab tech or a RN to be legally puncturing people for blood? 

Venipuncture is not injection which is the protected act you would need the qualifications you mention as far as I know. We do get have quite a bit of training for the job though.

But yeah apparently I have been doing these applications too literally.

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On 4/22/2019 at 11:04 AM, Thisisathrowaway said:

I figure actually giving a writing sample might be useful here.

image.png.3f8b67295d590978c8dbc46a014e7519.png 

The doctor running the clinic should be investigated. A 3rd year BSc should not be allowed to triage patients, practice phlebotomy, order or interpret ECGs.

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On 4/22/2019 at 2:33 PM, lefnalex said:

That’s a lot of medical tests to be performed on patients by a 3rd year BSc. Wouldn’t you need to be at minimum a med lab tech or a RN to be legally puncturing people for blood? 

I wonder if this clinic is the Grace Health Centre in Toronto (https://www.gracehealthcentre.ca/volunteering). The volunteering description on their site seems to have a lot of medical responsibilities, some of which I question the legality of (e.g. "Performing medically-related duties such as taking vital signs, organizing and ordering medications, maintaining a vaccine inventory, and administering vaccinations and other injections").

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