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So I'm in a bit of rut here and I would love some advice from you guys! I'm a 4th year health sciences student at uOttawa who doesn't know what route to take after graduation to apply to medical school. Right now I'm sitting on a low cGPA and I'm planning to retake my MCAT in the upcoming summer- my last score was 500. I also feel like my ECs could use some work (not much commitment shown?).

GPA:

1st year = 3.08

2nd year = 3.83

3rd year = 3.52

4th year (not completed but a hopefully projection of 3.8-4.0)

cGPA = 3.48 (Projected 3.61 after fourth year)

My General ECS/ Hobbies from Gr.10 and on include:

- Playing piano and guitar/ running/ painting

- Baby sitting (4 years)

- Serving at a Retirement Home (1.5 years)

- Hospital Volunteer (playing piano and interacting with patients) (2 years)

- Volunteering running basketball games (3 months)

- Worked at a home improvement store (4 months)

- Museum Youth Council Member (8 months)

- Fundraising Assistant at the Canadian Cancer Society (4 months)

- Shadowed an ISU Doctor (12 hours)

- Leadership Committee at the Kidney Foundation (9 months - continuing)

- Facilitator/ Presenter for Students Offering Support (11 months- possibly continuing)

- Volunteer Research Assistant (10 months- continuing)

- TCPS 2: CORE Certification

- St. John Ambulance Leadership Certificate Level I

- AODA Certification

My plan is to ace my final year, possibly complete a fourth year research project (combined with possible research publications from my lab position), and definitely get some more shadowing experience. I was also thinking of getting a job/ internship during my last year either working in public health or for the government, starting a blog for students, and learning coding (HTML/JAVA/Python).

I strongly doubt that I am a competitive applicant right now so I was planning to complete a master's degree to help my application but in a field where I could still get a fulfilling job if medical school doesn't pan out (ex: Medical biophysics, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine)

I would love any advice on what I should do or any master's degree with good career opportunities because I am feeling super demotivated and stressed! Thanks in advance :)

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If you want medicine I would suggest really focusing on that MCAT. Right now, a great MCAT would make you competitive at Mac (longshot even if you ace CARS), Queens (after a great 2nd year, ideally with a 3.8+ 2 year GPA since that seems safe as far as their cutoffs go), and Western (best two years need to be 3.7+). Unfortunately you would need to add 2 more great years (after your 4th) to beat Ottawa's English stream minimum, and unless your wGPA is way higher, the UofT is likely out. Worry less about ECs and more about improving your GPA first, once you have a great semester on the way you can add ECs. Don't worry about shadowing, definitely get a job, and make sure you do some backup planning and don't fall into a "Masters for Med" trap. 

EDIT. Make sure your Western 2 year GPA includes only years that meet their weighting rules (on their website).

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I agree you will need a solid MCAT to help you out for Western/Mac/Queens. UoT may become slightly more possible after a MSc if your wGPA is ~3.8. 

Have you considered at all doing a 5th year? 

ECs generally wont matter unless you have the stats so focus on school and balance what you can, obviously dont do nothing but dont go overboard on the ECs either. 

Study hard this year and best of luck!

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1 hour ago, RicardoKaká said:

I agree you will need a solid MCAT to help you out for Western/Mac/Queens. UoT may become slightly more possible after a MSc if your wGPA is ~3.8. 

Have you considered at all doing a 5th year? 

ECs generally wont matter unless you have the stats so focus on school and balance what you can, obviously dont do nothing but dont go overboard on the ECs either. 

Study hard this year and best of luck!

I was considering just jumping into a masters after I graduate but completing a 5th year seems to be the popular advice and it does seem more appealing. Thank you for the tips! :)

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