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Am I not intelligent enough for medical school? Should I keep going even though my first 2 years are trash? and am I calculating wGPA right?


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Hello there!

In terms of your grades, although your earlier years aren't particularly competitive, having achieved a 3.9 during your first semester means that you have the ability to handle academically challenging material. I would say that it isn't terribly uncommon for students to have weaker marks during their first two years at university, so again your not alone in this area of your application.

Although medical school admissions are hilariously competitive, each school has their own method of selection, and place emphasis on different aspects (and years) of an application. To you're point about you wanting to be a good doctor - you're right in that being an knowledgeable doctor is important, but there are other characteristics (i.e. compassion, empathy) that are just as important to the practice of medicine, many of which come from your life experiences.

I would also say that as tempting as it is to be on this forum to see what is considered as competitive, you should try and avoid this forum during your academic year. University is challenging enough , and having that added stress won't help your mental health. It may help to view the pre-med path as a marathon, not as a sprint (how I've heard it described) - in that, focus on the challenges that are immediately ahead of you, and think about the next few miles when they appear.

(I'm not saying this next part to detract from your goal of medicine, but just to help shed some light on potential options - not just MPH) there are also the many allied health profession programs (i.e. physiotherapy, occupational therapy, audiology, speech-language pathologists, pharmacy, optometry), and professional programs (i.e. Law, Dentistry).

I hope that I was able to help with some of the uncertainty, but if in the likely event that I haven't, I would suggest that you reach out to someone you're close with (i.e. family member, friend) and share how you're feeling. You're mental health is important during this process. If one day you hopefully do get accepted, having that social support is just as critical in medical school as it was before. Burnout is a serious problem and you have to be mindful to take care of yourself.

and all the best with your second semester =)

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Don't give up <3! 

I did two undergrads, started a masters and re-did my cegep classes (I'm a Quebec applicant) and finally got in. There was never a plan B. I applied 5 times at Mcgill, interviewed twice. It's brutal yes, but you can do it and I regret nothing, I am seriously happy now and kind of proud of my path. Some schools will not look at the grades of your first undergrad, only the last completed one (I'm pretty sure  UOttawa is also like that). I had the wrong studying techniques in my first undergrad and even though I spent most of the time at the library, my grades were not reflecting it. Find a study buddy with the same high academical goals as you and it will help you! 

I went through that black cloud (and yes it's especially hard during interview season). Was constantly thinking about moving to a new country and not know anyone. A lot of people are in your situation, find someone to talk to that understands your situation. It gets better (especially when you will get that acceptation letter :) ) 

And stop thinking you are not smart enough!!

PM me if you have more questions, or just if you want to rant about this stooopid medical entry system. 

 

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Being a good student or good doctor has little to do with intelligence. Sure, you can't be dumb, but it's a myth that significant intellectual ability is required to be effective. Other traits and qualities are arguably equally important, if not more so. In your case, I would say that working a job while studying is probably your biggest contributor to poor results. Anyone who is truly serious should ideally be dedicating themselves full time to their studies, but understandably this scenario isn't possible for many people. Having a job is not unlike having a major extracurricular activity, and if someone isn't doing well in school, then cutting back on ECs is always the first conventional wisdom.

Good study habits and test taking skills (including management of test anxiety) are really things that should be developed by the end of high school. Trying to develop them in university isn't ideal, because your objective has actually switched from learning to performance, at least with regards to gaining admissions to professional schools. 

Stay focused on your goal, but explore alternatives too. It's unlikely that you would have zero interest in other careers, and people who express this sentiment usually haven't sufficiently broadened their knowledge of other possibilities. Having backup plans will also take some psychological pressure off yourself, such that occasional setbacks won't make you question your entire self worth every single time.

Good luck.

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It is incredibly common to need several years of practice to develop your study skills in university. Learning how to learn well is a life skill that you will constantly develop. Contrary to the point in the post above, many, many people do not have good study skills by the end of high school. The idea that you “should” have some particular set of skills by university is unrealistic and unhelpful - forget it.
 

I worked in post secondary education and advising for many year and I have seen many smart and motivated students struggle with the transition, some for years. High school courses vary immensely in difficulty, and not everyone is focused on or even needs good study skills in high school. I know many people, myself included, who excelled in high school simply because it was easy and they could memorize their way through. Topics you could spend and entire semester on in some high schools might be covered in a week in some intro university courses. University courses are a different beast, and university spans such a range of disciplines that what works for you in one course (like computer science) won’t work at all in another (like biology). 
 

It sounds like you’re on track and improving all the time. Keep at it. Keep reflecting on what you’re doing so you can study more efficiently and effectively - I.e. if you need to spend 9 hours everyday, maybe not all that time is well used.

But most importantly try to find a way to balance your life and school (and work, eventually) so you can maintain your relationships and not give up all the things you enjoy. You need to be able to enjoy the life you’re living now while you’re on the path to medical school. Because then it won’t matter quite so much how long it takes you to get in (or even if you never get in or eventually decide you’re more interest to do instead). It’s so common in our society for people to feel like they can’t start their adult life unless they finish their degree or degrees, and then get a job, buy a house, etc. So it can feel so important to get into medical school as soon as possible and do everything the right way so you don’t waste time. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

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6 hours ago, Hunnicutt said:

Hello there!

In terms of your grades, although your earlier years aren't particularly competitive, having achieved a 3.9 during your first semester means that you have the ability to handle academically challenging material. I would say that it isn't terribly uncommon for students to have weaker marks during their first two years at university, so again your not alone in this area of your application.

Although medical school admissions are hilariously competitive, each school has their own method of selection, and place emphasis on different aspects (and years) of an application. To you're point about you wanting to be a good doctor - you're right in that being an knowledgeable doctor is important, but there are other characteristics (i.e. compassion, empathy) that are just as important to the practice of medicine, many of which come from your life experiences.

I would also say that as tempting as it is to be on this forum to see what is considered as competitive, you should try and avoid this forum during your academic year. University is challenging enough , and having that added stress won't help your mental health. It may help to view the pre-med path as a marathon, not as a sprint (how I've heard it described) - in that, focus on the challenges that are immediately ahead of you, and think about the next few miles when they appear.

(I'm not saying this next part to detract from your goal of medicine, but just to help shed some light on potential options - not just MPH) there are also the many allied health profession programs (i.e. physiotherapy, occupational therapy, audiology, speech-language pathologists, pharmacy, optometry), and professional programs (i.e. Law, Dentistry).

I hope that I was able to help with some of the uncertainty, but if in the likely event that I haven't, I would suggest that you reach out to someone you're close with (i.e. family member, friend) and share how you're feeling. You're mental health is important during this process. If one day you hopefully do get accepted, having that social support is just as critical in medical school as it was before. Burnout is a serious problem and you have to be mindful to take care of yourself.

and all the best with your second semester =)

Thank you very much for the support. 

A big thing for me is  I do not really have a support system. My family does not really know the extent of applications and just think that I am going to get in. And none of my friends are in the premed path: my "premed" friends are people who got 4.0's from year one : so I avoid interaction in the fear of judgment. 

You're 100% right with me browsing through this forum. It was just that with interviews (people already talking about it during school) I let curiosity get the best of me. It was seriously discouraging.

 

I will try looking for social support - I am not quite sure who to go to at this very moment : but people on this forum have been very kind overall and I really appreciate the advice and wisdom they've given me. 

 

But thank you again, I appreciate the advice a lot. I will try not to linger on this  I need motivation in order to do well this semester and I guess looking at stats isn't the best idea.. Have no idea what my plan B is but hopefully I will figure it out!

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3 hours ago, frenchpress said:

It is incredibly common to need several years of practice to develop your study skills in university. Learning how to learn well is a life skill that you will constantly develop. Contrary to the point in the post above, many, many people do not have good study skills by the end of high school. The idea that you “should” have some particular set of skills by university is unrealistic and unhelpful - forget it.
 

I worked in post secondary education and advising for many year and I have seen many smart and motivated students struggle with the transition, some for years. High school courses vary immensely in difficulty, and not everyone is focused on or even needs good study skills in high school. I know many people, myself included, who excelled in high school simply because it was easy and they could memorize their way through. Topics you could spend and entire semester on in some high schools might be covered in a week in some intro university courses. University courses are a different beast, and university spans such a range of disciplines that what works for you in one course (like computer science) won’t work at all in another (like biology). 
 

It sounds like you’re on track and improving all the time. Keep at it. Keep reflecting on what you’re doing so you can study more efficiently and effectively - I.e. if you need to spend 9 hours everyday, maybe not all that time is well used.

But most importantly try to find a way to balance your life and school (and work, eventually) so you can maintain your relationships and not give up all the things you enjoy. You need to be able to enjoy the life you’re living now while you’re on the path to medical school. Because then it won’t matter quite so much how long it takes you to get in (or even if you never get in or eventually decide you’re more interest to do instead). It’s so common in our society for people to feel like they can’t start their adult life unless they finish their degree or degrees, and then get a job, buy a house, etc. So it can feel so important to get into medical school as soon as possible and do everything the right way so you don’t waste time. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Honestly I did get stuck on this path.

University for me personally was a huge transition : my high school  experience was not the best:  (I used to think that if I got 85's I was doing good, I wasn't an "I need a 96" high schooler), so as long as I finished with 85+ I would be happy. And there wasn't a need to study too much for me to achieve that. And 100% on the content, a whole high school exam was like 2 chapters in university haha; I also didn't go  into university right after highschool. So I forgot some things. There are so many factors to this but I will save the sob story lol. 

 

Admittedly I have a huge fear of judgment. I have purposely avoided getting into relationships in the fear that when I am with that person, and they stay long enough for me to apply, they'll see my rejections and judge me. Like "oh you cannot even accomplish what you said you were going to accomplish", 

 

I know a part of it is illogical as people that care and love about you should support you no matter what, but it's this really big fear I have. 

 

I am already older than my university peers (turning 23 in march) so I feel like that alone gives me judgment. average acceptance age is 21-23; so when I apply I'll already be older than that.

It's just hard not feeling like a failure when you are surrounded by so many successful people. 

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4 hours ago, Intrepid86 said:

Being a good student or good doctor has little to do with intelligence. Sure, you can't be dumb, but it's a myth that significant intellectual ability is required to be effective. Other traits and qualities are arguably equally important, if not more so. In your case, I would say that working a job while studying is probably your biggest contributor to poor results. Anyone who is truly serious should ideally be dedicating themselves full time to their studies, but understandably this scenario isn't possible for many people. Having a job is not unlike having a major extracurricular activity, and if someone isn't doing well in school, then cutting back on ECs is always the first conventional wisdom.

Good study habits and test taking skills (including management of test anxiety) are really things that should be developed by the end of high school. Trying to develop them in university isn't ideal, because your objective has actually switched from learning to performance, at least with regards to gaining admissions to professional schools. 

Stay focused on your goal, but explore alternatives too. It's unlikely that you would have zero interest in other careers, and people who express this sentiment usually haven't sufficiently broadened their knowledge of other possibilities. Having backup plans will also take some psychological pressure off yourself, such that occasional setbacks won't make you question your entire self worth every single time.

Good luck.

I dont know: I did what wa expected of me in highschool (homework) , studied for tests, I wouldn't call my study habits bad in highschool; they just weren't over the top (more of a high 80 student than a high 90 student) but university for me requires a lot more work, maybe my highschool was just easy :(

But honestly you are 100% correct with the working. I know the people who are serious don't work. 

 

But unfortunately it is not an option for me not to work; I wish I could quit my job  but my family is in a really bad financial situation (due to some poor financial decisions they made) to the point where I should be helping them but I cant because of what I want to pursue so this work provides for my bus fare, food, cell phone bill and living, things I wouldnt be able to afford with just OSAP. That along with cost of MCAT and applications is what this job provides for. I wish I could quit to be honest: I do feel like it puts be at a disadvantage, but then again I would still be at disadvantage if I quit (wouldnt be able to take the bus.. afford applications etc).. 

I understand people get help from parents but I actually am in the opposite scenario; and the thing is that I dont help them as much as I should be (but they understand- they feel ashamed for putting me in this situation so I do not blame them at all) 

 

I hope I find other career alternatives that interest me (the issue is that the more I try the more I realize I am just doing it because I dont think I can get into medicine : essentially 'settling' for something I honestly dont want to do or have a passion in) : I hope I find a passion for something else, as of right now I fall short of that. 

 

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4 hours ago, 20206111 said:

Don't give up <3! 

I did two undergrads, started a masters and re-did my cegep classes (I'm a Quebec applicant) and finally got in. There was never a plan B. I applied 5 times at Mcgill, interviewed twice. It's brutal yes, but you can do it and I regret nothing, I am seriously happy now and kind of proud of my path. Some schools will not look at the grades of your first undergrad, only the last completed one (I'm pretty sure  UOttawa is also like that). I had the wrong studying techniques in my first undergrad and even though I spent most of the time at the library, my grades were not reflecting it. Find a study buddy with the same high academical goals as you and it will help you! 

I went through that black cloud (and yes it's especially hard during interview season). Was constantly thinking about moving to a new country and not know anyone. A lot of people are in your situation, find someone to talk to that understands your situation. It gets better (especially when you will get that acceptation letter :) ) 

And stop thinking you are not smart enough!!

PM me if you have more questions, or just if you want to rant about this stooopid medical entry system. 

 

Wow I always root for people like you: that is amazing!!!!! I will definitely be PMing you thank you so much for the offer !!!! Honestly the idea of maybe possible getting an acception after how much I have struggled in the beginning is the only thing keeping me going. 

 

Honestly you should be proud of your path, like I said I always admire stories like that. They're so motivational and prove the perseverance is key! 

 

Thank you so much for your response! 

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