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Hi I was wondering if I can get some advice. I’m starting my third year at York university in September for biomedical sciences. So I always knew I wanted to do something in the medical field but I never knew what I wanted to be for sure till this summer where I took the time to reflect and really think about what I want and have enjoyed doing during volunteer/work experiences which is to become a pediatrician. Also, I come from an immigrant family where im the first person to attend university and my parents didn’t know a lot about university and how things worked in terms of graduate schools/ work after graduation. (Also any recommended efficient study methods would be super helpful) I tried to do some research but this didn’t come till later where I realized how important your GPA really is through researching life after university.

For my first year, I ended up with a 2.3 gpa and second year I was soo lost and going through things that I ended up taking one course in one semester and two courses in another semester that year and my gpa was roughly around the same. I then decided to catch up over the summer and took organic chemistry 1 (along with calculus and cell bio) which was offered in 6 weeks (I thought it was doable considering I did the course before and dropped it before the deadline). I studied and did practice questions but I got an E in organic chemistry(as I failed the lecture component (includes midterms-did ok on one and did bad on second one, exams-did bad/participation & quizzes-did well on) but passed the lab component). I plan on retaking the course and trying to do better and hopefully getting an A as well. Calculus and Cell bio are going well tho. 

I was wondering if there’s still a chance, I wish I knew what I wanted earlier soo my gpa and my chance of getting into medical school wasn’t impacted. I was also wondering if obtaining a 3.5-4.0 gpa during 3rd/4th year would be enough along with EC’s to get in to medical school (especially in Canada). Should I consider doing a retaking courses i did bad in or do a master’s program? Also, how does doing a masters affect my application/gpa? I’m also currently doing virtual shadowing. Any advice would be much appreciated!!

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A 3.5 isn't good enough. Aim for 3.85+ (3.9+ to be comfortable).

If you can get that GPA in both 3rd/4th year with a full time course load, you have a good shot for Queens/Western!

Getting a grad degree can help you get research/publications which improves your ECs, but it won't help your GPA.

Shadowing is not valued in Canada, and may even be looked down upon.

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Hey! To add to youbesee, your best bet is to shoot for a 3.9-4.0 in the next two years and then apply to schools that only take your last/best 2-3 years. With good ECs, MCAT, etc. that hopefully will be enough to give you a shot! Masters degrees unfortunately don't help much in Canadian applications- most people give the advice to only do a Masters if it's a back-up career plan in something you're truly interested. Very few schools look at grad school grades. If you still don't have a competitive GPA after graduation, unfortunately really the only thing you can do is a second undergrad degree to boost your GPA. But like I said, if you excel in the next two years then hopefully you won't have to do that! Best of luck, I hope this helps

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Also to add: I'd start thinking about the possibility of doing a 5th year where you can have a total of 3 years of UG with a good GPA. And then apply to Ottawa after you're done 5th year. But the real thing you need to do is figure out how to manage a 3.9+ on a full course load in the next 2-3 years. 

Best of luck 

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18 hours ago, youbesee said:

A 3.5 isn't good enough. Aim for 3.85+ (3.9+ to be comfortable).

If you can get that GPA in both 3rd/4th year with a full time course load, you have a good shot for Queens/Western!

Getting a grad degree can help you get research/publications which improves your ECs, but it won't help your GPA.

Shadowing is not valued in Canada, and may even be looked down upon.

How would a fifth year work in undergrad? Would I still take 4th year courses for a year? Also, if i did a fifth year, would it open up other schools like uoft since i would have 3 years of UG?

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9 hours ago, Psych said:

Hey! To add to youbesee, your best bet is to shoot for a 3.9-4.0 in the next two years and then apply to schools that only take your last/best 2-3 years. With good ECs, MCAT, etc. that hopefully will be enough to give you a shot! Masters degrees unfortunately don't help much in Canadian applications- most people give the advice to only do a Masters if it's a back-up career plan in something you're truly interested. Very few schools look at grad school grades. If you still don't have a competitive GPA after graduation, unfortunately really the only thing you can do is a second undergrad degree to boost your GPA. But like I said, if you excel in the next two years then hopefully you won't have to do that! Best of luck, I hope this helps

What EC's would you recommend? I have been volunteering on and off at a Senior Care Home since grade 9 but due to covid, I haven't lately. Im also planning on joining the pre-med club at my school.

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19 minutes ago, Sara N said:

How would a fifth year work in undergrad? Would I still take 4th year courses for a year? Also, if i did a fifth year, would it open up other schools like uoft since i would have 3 years of UG?

https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/med_dent_admissions/medicine/admission_requirements.html#grade_point_average

This site might help you. During your 5th year, 6 of the 10 courses you take would have to be 3rd or 4th year courses. This should open up your chances at UofT, but unfortunately in order to automatically qualify for their weighted GPA, you would've needed to maintain a full course load in every year of your undergraduate studies. If you have extenuating circumstances that prevented you from taking a full course load, you can submit an academic explanation essay as part of your application asking if it'd be possible for them consider applying the weighted GPA. If not, UofT looks at your cumulative GPA, which means that they every course that you've taken in the regular academic year (and now the summer term, if taking a full course load) will count.

Hope that helps! Best of luck!

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2 minutes ago, goldenelephant said:

https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/med_dent_admissions/medicine/admission_requirements.html#grade_point_average

This site might help you. During your 5th year, 6 of the 10 courses you take would have to be 3rd or 4th year courses. This should open up your chances at UofT, but unfortunately in order to automatically qualify for their weighted GPA, you would've needed to maintain a full course load in every year of your undergraduate studies. If you have extenuating circumstances that prevented you from taking a full course load, you can submit an academic explanation essay as part of your application asking if it'd be possible for them consider applying the weighted GPA. If not, UofT looks at your cumulative GPA, which means that they every course that you've taken in the regular academic year (and now the summer term, if taking a full course load) will count.

Are there any other canadian schools that are possible if i do a fifth year?

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There is no point looking to leap when you have not even learned to walk yet. You need to actually start getting straight A's. Come back with a full year's worth of straight A and A+ grades. If this is not possible for you, then you should find another career path. As of now, you have a 2.3. Going from this to a 3.8-3.9+ will take a massive effort. Do this first before you concern yourself with anything else. 

If you are serious about medicine, you can do some research into the admissions requirements. No one here should have to tell you what even the basic requirements are as this is all things you could google. Admissions information is spelled out clearly directly on the medical school websites. Admissions stats such as these are also available online - https://applymd.utoronto.ca/admission-stats.

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14 hours ago, Sara N said:

 

What EC's would you recommend? I have been volunteering on and off at a Senior Care Home since grade 9 but due to covid, I haven't lately. Im also planning on joining the pre-med club at my school.

There really isn't any advice anyone can give you about specific ECs to do- the best advice is really just to do things you're passionate about! Even if it's something like being part of a knitting club, all med schools really care about is what you learned from the experience. Health care-related ECs don't hurt, but they aren't necessary. Overall, schools like to see you doing things that fit the CANMED roles- which are leadership, professional, communicator, collaborator, health advocate, and scholar. Aside from health advocate, there are many many non-med related ECs that can fill the other roles. Research also never hurts- research can be important in medicine and a lot of schools like to see some research experience (although again, it is still possible to get in without any). Even volunteering in a lab is fine- no need to be a first author on a paper or anything like that.

 

TLDR; It's best to just do what you're passionate about, and length of time is also good (one experience you've done for 5 years is better than 5 experiences you've done for a few months)

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