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Question about med school eligibility - unusual undergraduate path


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Hi everyone,

I want to go to medical school. I always have. I am wondering if anyone has similar experience and if you could provide me with some insight. Next year will be my 6th and final year for my undergraduate degree. The reason for this is that I took lighter course loads for the first two years due to being in recovery from an eating disorder, and took the 3rd year off because of a relapse for which I had to seek treatment. This experience prompted me to switch majors from biology to psychology. My current overall GPA is not great (3.65) but if you look at the mark breakdown by semester I have a very strong upward trend:

Winter 2020 - 4.0 (5 courses), Fall 2019 - 4.0 (4 courses), Winter 2019 - 3.93 (3 courses), Winter 2018 - 3.8 (1 course), Fall 2017 - 3.8 (2 courses), Winter 2017 - 3.6 (3 courses), etc. 

My first and second year marks, for which I had an average GPA of 3.3 and 3.4, are really bringing me down. My issue is that I am not eligible for some of the more forgiving GPA calculations that some schools have, because I don't meet the full course load requirement for ANY year except this past semester, and the coming year. I contacted Western, and they don't make exceptions to their full-course load requirement, even for medical circumstances.

I'm essentially asking what my chances are for getting into any canadian medical schools. I have some strong ECs I believe - I have volunteered with Canadian Blood Services for the past 5 years and also worked for them for two summers, I am a student clinical research assistant at a major hospital in Toronto, I was the president of a club at my university for two years, I was a volunteer for SCOPE mental health for 1.5 years, and I have a few poster publications. I just got accepted for a practicum position for the upcoming year as a contributing writer for an online psychology magazine run by a well known trauma psychologist. Currently, I have volunteered to be redeployed from my job at the hospital to be an active COVID-19 screener for staff and patients entering the hospital. I really hate that my first and second year GPA are bringing me down so much.

Does anyone have any input or advice?

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Dal allows for exemptions to the full-courseload rule for extenuating circumstances, and I believe your situation would qualify. In this situation, Dal calculates GPA based on your most recent 60 credit hours. I’m sure other schools have similar policies.

Don’t let grades from the beginning of your undergrad get you down, it sounds like you would make an excellent candidate. Play to your strengths, and recognize how this experience has uniquely prepared you for medicine.

Good luck!

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