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Hi

I am a first year kinesiology student in Canada and I plan to apply to medicine in 2 years.

For my application, I have quite a bit of volunteering but I was wondering if there are any key activities/volunteering I should do that would stand out/really boost my chances? Also how would I go about doing so?

Happy New Years by the way!

Thank you

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Anything that you're really interested in and make you genuinely grow as a person would be great. 

A few pointers if you're a bit lost in terms of interests, though:

- Research. Always looked upon favourably by med schools, although some schools might have requirements that you publish something before you can even list it as a "research" experience. 

- Leadership roles. Not everyone can get this point but if you can get involved in some ways that can speak to your leadership and teamwork, that'd be great. 

- Possibly clinical shadowing, but this seems to be less of a prerequisite in Canada but will definitely benefit you if you want to speak about your experience dealing with patients. 

With all that said, I perused interview/admitted/regrets threads from many schools for a while and can tell you that the actitivities that will make the most difference are the ones that you can genuinely and effectively describe in your entries and/or essays. Some even went overseas to disadvantaged nations on missions without getting in, while others managed with just working and cookie-cutter volunteer roles. 

Best of luck in the new year!

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 Possibly clinical shadowing, but this seems to be less of a prerequisite in Canada but will definitely benefit you if you want to speak about your experience dealing with patients. 

This may be beneficial to you as an applicant exploring medicine, but is not at all whatsoever a prerequisite in Canada. In fact, some schools like UBC actively discourage applicants from shadowing due to patient privacy concerns.

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I am not sure I agree with the "you're really interested in and make you genuinely grow as a person would be great." While this is important, and helps you stand out, it should also be said that with almost everyone having 90th percentile MCATs and crazy high GPAs, you need to show competitive long-term involvement in high ranking ECs to help you stand out. For example, being part of a club as a member vs the founder makes a difference, you could grow in both positions and show passion and interest, however one is much more prestigious and reflects better. Same thing, playing squash once a week because you're passionate about health and fitness vs. being on the provincial team for squash and winning gold is very different. Perhaps I could be wrong, I am also applying this year, but the upper years I know that get into EC heavy schools all have done a lot more than being in clubs and volunteering at hospitals. But the above posts are right, start with something you enjoy and try pushing as far as you can in the activity throughout your UG.

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2 hours ago, RaptorsFan123 said:

with almost everyone having 90th percentile MCATs and crazy high GPAs

Don't get me wrong, ECs are definitely important, though I think this is quite the exaggeration. For example, almost 40% of UofT's applicants did not get their applications looked at, i.e., did not meet the 3.6/3.0 GPA and 500 MCAT minimums, or were missing prereq/degree requirements. This makes 90th percentile MCATs and 3.9 GPAs a notably small subset.

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4 minutes ago, DispIay Name said:

Don't get me wrong, ECs are definitely important, though I think this is quite the exaggeration. For example, almost 40% of UofT's applicants did not get their applications looked at, i.e., did not meet the 3.6/3.0 GPA and 500 MCAT minimums, or were missing prereq/degree requirements. This makes 90th percentile MCATs and 3.9 GPAs a notably small subset.

Where did you hear this? Did that 40% not read U of T's website? Seems like a large percentage!

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2 hours ago, Fortissimo502 said:

Is research really seen as an EC? Or is it kinda in the grey area due to its academic nature? I'm leaning towards using research as my longterm commitment standout EC because that's where my strength lies. Then I'll mix it up with the cookie cutter hospital volunteering, tutoring and maybe society membership.

It's not so strictly considered EC because a lot of schools these days have an entire separate sections for research alone. With that said, UBC for example still considers research in their NAQ scores. And for Ontario, OMSAS still allows you to list research as a part of the ABS, alongside other forms of ECs such as Employment. So I think your application can be "research-heavy" as long as you make sure to diversify your commitments.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Best to have long term involvement and show progression :D one person mentioned being a member vs founder in prestige and which reflects better, and that's true! You want something that shows leadership and committment, but even if you started as a general member and moved your way to progressively more responsible roles that would be excellent too! Find causes you're passionate about and put in some good time and effort into them to grow 

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