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Second degree or move to a different province?


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I am an RN based in Ontario, trying to find out the best way to get into med in (preferably) Ontario. I have read the pinned post on 2nd degree already, but didn't find answers. Any help would be appreciated. :)

I've been out of school for 5+ yrs. I'm not sure if a 2nd degree is the right way to go. Even if I do it, I don't know what I would do it in. (Seems most people on here have science/bio undergrad and they can have transfer credits easily or just do compressed nursing program.) 

 

I went to a hands-on nursing program at a university far from home, we had pass/fail courses from 1st semester of 1st yr. Didn't get to take lots of electives as a result, had to take what I wanted in the summer. The curriculum structure also disqualified me from wGPA formulae at all schools AFAIK, including Queen's due to # of courses in 4th yr. 

 

Stats, all without weighing:

OMSAS Cgpa 3.70

UBC%: 85%

UAlberta: 3.67

Year 1: 3.45 (10 courses, 8 with grades) 

Summer 1: 4.0 (1 course) 

Year 2: 3.49 (10 courses, 8 with grades) 

Summer 2: 3.95 (2 courses) 

Year 3: 3.88 (8 courses, 6 with grades) 

Summer 3: 3.93 (3 courses)

Year 4: 4.0 (5 courses, 3 with grades, some double weight) 

Mcat: 127/128/128/128 (511) 

 

Despite the clear upward trend, I was not able to stay a 5th yr (financial reasons). Looking back kinda wish I did that. 

What would be the best course of action going forward? If I do a second degree, what could I possibly do it in? 

Edited by Whattodoo
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  • Whattodoo changed the title to Second degree or move to a different province?

Honestly, I personally think you have a shot with the stats you have. You meet the Western cutoff (barely), so you could for sure get an interview there. You're in a good spot for queen's too since they take your most recent 2 year GPA and yours is good. Your cars is not bad so you have a shot at mac too- that one might be a bit tougher but with a good casper you could for sure get an interview. Ottawa I'm not sure (you'd have to figure out your 3 year GPA) but with your first year excluded you may be over their GPA threshold but you'll have to check. U of T you say you don't meet the wGPA criteria but you can always write an academic explanations essay about how your school worked and they might give you a GPA bump in which case you have a shot there too.

TLDR; I don't think I would start thinking about a second undergrad or moving provinces yet in your situation- I'd reassess my chances and apply with what I have! Having said that though, if you're in a good position to go back to school it might not hurt to start a second undergrad as a backup while you apply. As for what to do it in, there's lots of options- I know there are some schools that offer 2 or 3 year programs so look into that! It's been discussed on the forum, and you could also just research schools

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You could also consider grad school. While it may not necessarily boost your gpa for med admissions purposes, it could improve your overall academic evaluation by admissions committees. Plus a master’s degree is often a shorter route to take than doing a second undergrad. Just a thought! Best of luck 

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On 1/19/2021 at 8:59 AM, Psych said:

Honestly, I personally think you have a shot with the stats you have. You meet the Western cutoff (barely), so you could for sure get an interview there. You're in a good spot for queen's too since they take your most recent 2 year GPA and yours is good. Your cars is not bad so you have a shot at mac too- that one might be a bit tougher but with a good casper you could for sure get an interview. Ottawa I'm not sure (you'd have to figure out your 3 year GPA) but with your first year excluded you may be over their GPA threshold but you'll have to check. U of T you say you don't meet the wGPA criteria but you can always write an academic explanations essay about how your school worked and they might give you a GPA bump in which case you have a shot there too.

TLDR; I don't think I would start thinking about a second undergrad or moving provinces yet in your situation- I'd reassess my chances and apply with what I have! Having said that though, if you're in a good position to go back to school it might not hurt to start a second undergrad as a backup while you apply. As for what to do it in, there's lots of options- I know there are some schools that offer 2 or 3 year programs so look into that! It's been discussed on the forum, and you could also just research schools

 

Thanks for the reply. I think my program courseload prevents me from applying to western or Queen's. I don't qualify for most recent 2 yrs at Queen's due to my 4th ur number of courses. I don't qualify for western because they will only look at my first 2 years that are full time. I can't apply to Ottawa due to their prerequisites. I did write an AEE for uoft. 

I have applied this cycle but did not get an interview at McMaster. 

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On 1/19/2021 at 10:44 AM, MDee2B said:

You could also consider grad school. While it may not necessarily boost your gpa for med admissions purposes, it could improve your overall academic evaluation by admissions committees. Plus a master’s degree is often a shorter route to take than doing a second undergrad. Just a thought! Best of luck 

Thanks for the response. I have thought about master's degree as well but did not mention it in the post, because I feel lost about what master's to do if I am doing one, and also because it seems grad GPA won't be taken into account. 

I included my UBC GPA because I feel like if I move to BC maybe, just maybe, I'd have a shot at an interview. In Ontario I feel like my full file would not even be reviewed. 

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On 1/19/2021 at 11:19 AM, readytostresseat said:

I'm not 100% sure but I don't think your 3rd and 4th years count for the 2 year GPA calculations at Western and Queens because it's not a full course load. With that being said, Mac is a very slim possibility but Ottawa and U of T would almost definitely be out of the question.

You are right about western and Queen's. That's why I'm struggling with this reality, it seems like my 3rd and 4th yr efforts don't matter because the way our program was designed. 

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On 1/25/2021 at 7:41 AM, Whattodoo said:

 

Thanks for the reply. I think my program courseload prevents me from applying to western or Queen's. I don't qualify for most recent 2 yrs at Queen's due to my 4th ur number of courses. I don't qualify for western because they will only look at my first 2 years that are full time. I can't apply to Ottawa due to their prerequisites. I did write an AEE for uoft. 

I have applied this cycle but did not get an interview at McMaster. 

Personally, I would reach out to Western and Queen's if I was you to make sure you don't meet their courseload criteria- I'm pretty sure Queen's counts a full course load as only 3 courses a semester (this is what it says on their website), so I think you do actually meet their criteria. And for Western- I'm not as familiar with their criteria but I know some schools (ottawa for sure does this) count courses done in the summer so there is a chance you qualify there (at Western) as well. But I'm almost positive you meet the criteria for Queen's :)

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7 hours ago, Psych said:

Personally, I would reach out to Western and Queen's if I was you to make sure you don't meet their courseload criteria- I'm pretty sure Queen's counts a full course load as only 3 courses a semester (this is what it says on their website), so I think you do actually meet their criteria. And for Western- I'm not as familiar with their criteria but I know some schools (ottawa for sure does this) count courses done in the summer so there is a chance you qualify there (at Western) as well. But I'm almost positive you meet the criteria for Queen's :)

So I did email them, and their generic response was to refer to their website. 

The problem is they count courses' weight by length of study. Even though my course was double weight by MY school, because it's a semester course, Queen's treats it like other semester courses. Not to mention 2 of my 5 courses are P/F by design. So my 4th yr double weight courses unfortunately will all be reduced, which is why I don't meet their criteria. 

My situation is very sad. The years I do well don't count, trending doesn't count, summer doesn't count, bunch of P/F, lack of electives allowed. I don't know how to proceed lol. (If I have a 3.0 or something at least I'd be able to decisively say yes let's do another undergrad degree. But I'm stuck with an avg mcat, below avg gpa for Ontario, and no IP status....

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