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I am applying to university soon and I would like to stay in Toronto as much as possible. For all my life, I have always been considering the traditional route of taking Life sciences to go to Med school, but my options have opened ever since I started to play the harp.

I am graduating from the IB program and I want to avoid workload stress however, I do understand that taking music as a major will require a lot of my time, I heard, double the amount as normal undergrads do. Despite that, I also play music as a form of de-stressing and I go to it when I don't want to study. I also heard that there are a lot of advantages with being a music major, with it improving your likelihood in getting into university because of uniqueness, dexterity, reflectivity etc. I want to become a coroner so I definitely have to take Med school. 

I'm not actual sure how university works with all the majors, minors, specialists, degrees etc.

So considering that I want to have the minimum amount of stress while still having the required courses for Med school, what would be the best options for me?

  • Major in music and take bio courses during summer school? (yikes)
  • Take Life sciences and somehow find a way to do music (um?)
  • or are there any options?

If I take music as a major, would I have to take a gap year before I get into med school?

Thank you so much!

Edited by strawberryturtle501
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OP, I must disagree with @YesIcan55, if you are set on going for medicine than either major is acceptable. I'd probably choose music if you enjoy it, but just choose whatever you think you can do the best in. Getting into medicine is indeed difficult, but please do not overestimate the difficulty either. As long as you believe you can be competitive, you will have a pretty high chance of getting in within a couple of application cycles. Persistence and stamina is the key. From what I have seen, for the vast majority of cases, you can get in within a couple of attempts unless one part of your application is grossly weak or unless you're an extreme outlier with terrible luck. 

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The ultimate goal in my opinion should not be to see which option has the least amount of stress, as no matter what major you choose there are going to be times you wish you'd given up on everything!! and also the medical profession itself is very stressful at every step, which means getting some practice in dealing with stress and time management etc. could be very valuable for your future. The goal should be to find what you like the most, and follow your passion, even if that means some more work, or sacrificing some stuff. The likelihood of success (i.e. a good GPA, good relationship with profs for reference letters, more deep and valuable experience to write about on your med school applications etc.) and the likelihood of not getting burnt out increases dramatically if you like the subject you're majoring in. As it appears, you seem to know that you definitely don't need to follow a traditional life sci path to go to med school, and there are certainly uniqueness and other perks in choosing a music --> medicine path. Overall, find which one you're more interested in and don't detest spending considerable amounts of time working at! 

P.S. Don't let anyone discourage you from following your passion (if either of these are your passion) or from applying to medical school. Dedication always pays off.

Good luck

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@YesIcan55 I can kind of see what you mean by the limited working opportunities. I have decided already though that I want to go into the medical field as a coroner, with being a performer as my backup. Thank you anyway :)

@clopidogrel do you mean that if I choose music as a major, I will most likely need to apply more times than if I have biology as a major?

@Moonlight2 Hello, I totally agree with what you said about how time management and stress is good experience. I already have a pretty decent work ethic from IB and that is definitely not something I would want to disappear however, I'm just reluctant with possibly having significantly more stress than bio majors due to rehearsals and practices and on top of that, doing bio/chem course work while studying for MCAT. I'm not really sure how the whole thing works, but I just don't want to have a disadvantage when applying because of the stress that can possibly put me down.

I will check that YouTube out!!

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1 hour ago, YesIcan55 said:

I'm on my fifth attempt right now and I don't have any part of my application that is "grossly weak".....I'm not an outlier as I know 10+ people who took 4+ attempts to get in. Ignorance is bliss buddy. 

Hmm that is quite interesting. Because I don't know anyone that took more than 3 attempts tbh with you. I'm not sure what accounts for this discrepancy between what you're saying and what I'm saying. 

What are your stats? Something about your application has to be weaker than the average applicant, just speaking from a statistics point of view. 

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@strawberryturtle501 sorry for the lack of clarity my friend. I meant that regardless of which major you choose, you'll be fine. The major won't make a real difference. Just pick any major that you find interesting and that you think you'll excel in. At the end of the day, your main goal should be to maximize your GPA in order to improve your chances of getting into medicine. 

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46 minutes ago, YesIcan55 said:

do you want me to link an official statement/stat from the director of admissions of UofC Med who said the average med student applied 3 times? I'm not pulling random numbers up. I am also not going to share my stats but I will see my stats are not below the average at where I applied. Just because those that you know were the lucky ones does not change reality. Check this forum itself for the multiple people in each school's acceptance threads who applied 4+ times....

Yeah you're probably right. Maybe everyone I know just got "lucky" and got in lol 

Just a last word of advice before I disengage, perhaps maybe pursue a masters or PhD. Ucalgary gives significant preference to that. I've seen people with below 3.6 get in with a masters. Good luck on your application! 

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Strawberry,  you will find that most people in medical school did come through the life science path.  The logic being that you learn the basic science required for the MCAT and may have access to research opportunities or other ECs that align well with medical school applications. You may also attract a bigger support network for preparation among your school peers as many of them are also thinking medicine.  

That said, there are many in medical school that came from different undergrad paths.  Maybe the uniqueness of some applications stand out among the sea of candidates.

Some undergrad programs can be more difficult to transition to medicine. Engineering tends to have heavy workload leading to overall lower GPA.   Some nursing programs present specific issues due to many pass/fail courses and terms that are all clinical that make it hard to meet some med school application requirements.

A high undergrad GPA is fundamentally the first requirement for med school applications.  You need a +3.85 (or +3.90) GPA to be competitive.  Pick an undergrad that you think you can do well in.  It may be because you are "good" at it or you like the topics.  If you are thinking Music, check with the programs you are considering and understand what they consider full course-load and that there is course grading that meets the 10 half-courses a year profile.   You need to take full course-load through your undergrad to keep weighted wGPA available as used by some schools.  You also may need to learn how to study and prepare much more efficiently than you did in  high-school to achieve those marks.

Are you applying to University for next year ?   Suggest you give MacMaster Health Science a shot.  Do some searching on here to understand why.



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6 hours ago, YesIcan55 said:

no, their goal should be to pick a major that leads to a decent job...considering most that apply never get in....and those that do normally get in after a few tries (ie...what are you gonna do in the meantime?)...while of course trying to get the highest possible GPA. I know far too many people who majored in things like life science who are left miserable after realizing that they can't do anything after graduation...

Brutal truth but hey life's too short to not take the chance I guess (with reasonable risk of course, don't neglect achieving high stats). 

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@YesIcan55 I am sorry to hear that this is your 5th cycle, I 100% agree with you that luck is a massive factor in admissions. I also agree that it would be beneficial for someone to do a degree that leads to a job so that they have a good backup incase medicine does not work out. For e.g. some people that I know did a nursing or engineering degree before medicine so they have something to fall back on incase med doesn't work out for them. This is great advice for high-school students currently looking to go into undergrad. That being said, might I ask why you don't consider applying in the US for medicine? 

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