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Making this post because I’m losing hope...

I’m 29 and have applied to UBC with 3 interviews in 3 years, with a 79.7% average with a 513 MCAT (130 CARS). Each time, I’ve gotten an above average interview score but despite that and my awesome experience, I cannot get over the hump. 
 

it pains me because I practiced with so many people who have great GPAs but don’t seem to actually understand social issues. Instead they can memorize whatever and get by on that because their marks are so great. And yet, I’m on the outside looking in despite the interview constantly going so well...

 

TL;DR: not sure I can take another rejection and losing hope/feeling loathsome that this year is going to be just like the last 2, and that I’ll never be able to become a doc despite the fact I know my stuff in a very deep way. I guess we’ve learned that the NAQ doesn’t matter after the interview...
 

EDIT: For those who will ask, I did a BSc, MBA, and the 1 year of data science program at UBC afterwards.

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I don't have much to offer in terms of advice or solutions, but just wanted to voice support for the idea that the GPA focus in admissions is way overdone. The admissions process often doesn't value real experience and maturity, instead focusing on minute differences in MCAT or GPA scores which mean virtually nothing compared to the softer skills which can actually make for a competent doctor/someone who knows what hey want out of the field. I know that stuff is hard to objectively assess, but that doesn't make the numeric stats a good substitute. So above all don't take this ish personally, the process in this country is inherently broken and has a terrible amount of luck involved, and I wish you the best of luck in overcoming that. Good luck mate

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Really sounds like a painful journey. How about your reference? Are you confident that they will provide very solid references?

I understand that there were rumors around saying NAQ does not matter post interview. The truth is nobody actually knows and to me it is weird that UBC does not take NAQ into consideration at all. On this forum I have seen people with 90+ GPA, good MCAT and NAQ and above average interview and yet still not accepted. So personally I always believe there are lots of subjective factors in the determination process, not simply just GPA+MCAT+interview score. If it is that simple, over this many years people would probably already figured out the formula... 

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There was a leak of their admissions criteria in 2012 to the CBC. They didn't take NAQ into consideration post interview for IMP, VFMP, and SMP back then. It was 50 percent interview, 25 percent GPA, and 25 percent MCAT. I have no reason to believe that it has significantly changed since then. Medical school admissions in Canada as a whole is garbage. It's an algorithm that struggles with edge cases like OP.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/ubc-medical-school-standards-called-into-question-1.1162992

 

58 minutes ago, MadSchool said:

I understand that there were rumors around saying NAQ does not matter post interview. The truth is nobody actually knows and to me it is weird that UBC does not take NAQ into consideration at all. On this forum I have seen people with 90+ GPA, good MCAT and NAQ and above average interview and yet still not accepted. So personally I always believe there are lots of subjective factors in the determination process, not simply just GPA+MCAT+interview score. If it is that simple, over this many years people would probably already figured out the formula... 

I'd take some of the stuff that you read on these forums with a grain of salt. Canadian school's are very algorithmic in their admissions criteria. The whole purpose of having an MMI in lieu of traditional interviews is to take "bias" out of the equation. I would be shocked if they reintroduced subjective criteria post interview for final admissions determination. It's still probably the same simple Interview + GPA+ MCAT as before.

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2 minutes ago, zoxy said:

There was a leak of their admissions criteria in 2012 to the CBC. They didn't take NAQ into consideration post interview for IMP, VFMP, and SMP back then. It was 50 percent interview, 25 percent GPA, and 25 percent MCAT. I have no reason to believe that it has significantly changed since then. Medical school admissions in Canada as a whole is garbage. It's an algorithm that struggles with edge cases like OP.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/ubc-medical-school-standards-called-into-question-1.1162992

 

I'd take some of the stuff that you read on these forums with a grain of salt. Canadian school's are very algorithmic in their admissions criteria. The whole purpose of having an MMI in lieu of traditional interviews is to take bias out of the equation. I would be shocked if they reintroduced subjective criteria post interview for final admissions determination. It probably is as simple as Interview + GPA+ MCAT.

Yes I am aware of such leaked criteria. However, it doesn't mean it was never changed afterwards. First of all, this was almost a decade ago. Secondly, UBC could very likely changed the formula since it was leaked. Of course I could be totally wrong as this is entirely speculation. But just like what you said, I also have no reason to believe that is has not changed. Also there are applicants on this forum whose GPA, MCAT and interview were all very good that got rejected. I am also confused by the fact that reference are not considered at all. I understand all reference must be highly positive so it's hard to give a score but as a person who applied many jobs that considered reference letters seriously, I just can't figure out why UBC asks for reference but don't consider them. Again, this is all pure personal thoughts.

But I agree with you that the system is quite broken. If GPA and MCAT indeed accounts for 50% of final score then I agree it is way too much. It is more than enough to use them as a criteria for pre-interview.

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1 hour ago, TheFlyGuy said:

I don't have much to offer in terms of advice or solutions, but just wanted to voice support for the idea that the GPA focus in admissions is way overdone. The admissions process often doesn't value real experience and maturity, instead focusing on minute differences in MCAT or GPA scores which mean virtually nothing compared to the softer skills which can actually make for a competent doctor/someone who knows what hey want out of the field. I know that stuff is hard to objectively assess, but that doesn't make the numeric stats a good substitute. So above all don't take this ish personally, the process in this country is inherently broken and has a terrible amount of luck involved, and I wish you the best of luck in overcoming that. Good luck mate

Thank you, that’s a very kind and I appreciate you taking the time to write that. It’s incredibly hard not to take it personally when everyone I went to school with seems to make their way in, and it makes it look like I just “wasn’t good enough” to make it in their eyes. Hard to let that go.

 

1 hour ago, MadSchool said:

Really sounds like a painful journey. How about your reference? Are you confident that they will provide very solid references?

I understand that there were rumors around saying NAQ does not matter post interview. The truth is nobody actually knows and to me it is weird that UBC does not take NAQ into consideration at all. On this forum I have seen people with 90+ GPA, good MCAT and NAQ and above average interview and yet still not accepted. So personally I always believe there are lots of subjective factors in the determination process, not simply just GPA+MCAT+interview score. If it is that simple, over this many years people would probably already figured out the formula... 

It’s a good question, but my references are definitely good! People I worked with anywhere from 3-8 years for each! 
 

18 minutes ago, zoxy said:

There was a leak of their admissions criteria in 2012 to the CBC. They didn't take NAQ into consideration post interview for IMP, VFMP, and SMP back then. It was 50 percent interview, 25 percent GPA, and 25 percent MCAT. I have no reason to believe that it has significantly changed since then. Medical school admissions in Canada as a whole is garbage. It's an algorithm that struggles with edge cases like OP.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/ubc-medical-school-standards-called-into-question-1.1162992

 

I completely agree with you here. There’s no way UBC would have done a massive overhaul of admissions, just look at the stats from year to year! The GPA just simply keeps rising higher and higher every year 

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20 minutes ago, MadSchool said:

I understand all reference must be highly positive so it's hard to give a score but as a person who applied many jobs that considered reference letters seriously, I just can't figure out why UBC asks for reference but don't consider them.

Many schools that explicitly publish their criteria use references purely as pass fail. Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and McMaster are three that come to mind. UBC might just looking for red flags to rule out applicants rather than looking to score them. Again, they want to standardize the whole process to take out supposed "bias". Reference letters are none standardized and are hard to vet.

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19 minutes ago, DayIsNight said:

Thank you, that’s a very kind and I appreciate you taking the time to write that. It’s incredibly hard not to take it personally when everyone I went to school with seems to make their way in, and it makes it look like I just “wasn’t good enough” to make it in their eyes. Hard to let that go.

 

It’s a good question, but my references are definitely good! People I worked with anywhere from 3-8 years for each! 
 

I completely agree with you here. There’s no way UBC would have done a massive overhaul of admissions, just look at the stats from year to year! The GPA just simply keeps rising higher and higher every year 

When UofA overhauled their admissions criteria to focus more on ECs, there was a marked change in their admission stats. The mean GPA dropped while average age of admissions increased by two year! UBC's admission stats have been remarkably stable except for the ever present GPA infaltion/creep exacerbated by their dropping of prerequisites. It's all speculation but nothing points to them having changed their post-interview admission process. It certainly hasn't changed pre-interview. Still the same AQ+NAQ as before.

https://www.ualberta.ca/medicine/programs/md/applying-to-medicine/before-you-apply/admission-statistics.html

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12 minutes ago, zoxy said:

When UofA overhauled their admissions criteria to focus more on EC's, there was a marked change in their admission stats. The mean GPA dropped while average age of admissions increased by two year! UBC's admission stats have been remarkably stable except for the ever present GPA infaltion/creep exacerabted by their dropping of prerequisites. It's all speculation but nothing points to them having changed their admission process. It certainly hasn't changed pre-interview. Still the same AQ+NAQ as before.

https://www.ualberta.ca/medicine/programs/md/applying-to-medicine/before-you-apply/admission-statistics.html

Yup. 100% agree with this. It’s so weird because UBC is so progressive as a whole. I don’t understand why it hasn’t translated to med.

 

 

my nightmare: they change it in 2 years when I’m long gone :( 

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5 minutes ago, DayIsNight said:

Yup. 100% agree with this. It’s so weird because UBC is so progressive as a whole. I don’t understand why it hasn’t translated to med.

 

 

my nightmare: they change it in 2 years when I’m long gone :( 

I am in the same boat. I have a low MCAT. :wacko:

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15 minutes ago, DayIsNight said:

Yup. 100% agree with this. It’s so weird because UBC is so progressive as a whole. I don’t understand why it hasn’t translated to med.

 

 

my nightmare: they change it in 2 years when I’m long gone :( 

Stone age thinking and a hold over from years gone by. For example, the use of interviews in medical school admissions has been statistically debunked since the 80's. Yet they still put a huge emphasis on it. For example, it's worth 70 percent of the admissions score at Mac. 

Even GPA is a poor correlate to performance in medical school. Best correlate has always been the MCAT, specifically the Bio section. Even then, medical school performance doesn't mean someone's going to be a good doctor. It's just a garbage process overall. I wish they'd hold up their hands and admit as much.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/363832

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35 minutes ago, DayIsNight said:

Thank you, that’s a very kind and I appreciate you taking the time to write that. It’s incredibly hard not to take it personally when everyone I went to school with seems to make their way in, and it makes it look like I just “wasn’t good enough” to make it in their eyes. Hard to let that go.

Totally feel you. I'm 29 this year too, and took 4 tries & a PhD to get in. There's a crazy amount of luck in the process, and I feel like a lot of people get in first try and never really appreciate that lol, not to mention how people around you on the outside view it not being in the thick of it. Hard to shake that feeling, especially when others just always expect you to succeed and assume it's all on you when things don't work out; but sometimes it really is just a broken process. Doesn't make it fair or easy to accept though, so kudos for sticking with it if it's what you really want. Best of luck in making it happen someday

 

  

5 minutes ago, zoxy said:

Stone age thinking and a hold over from years gone by. The use of interviews in medical school admissions has been statistically debunked since the 80's. Even GPA is a poor correlate to performance in medical school. Best correlate has always been the MCAT, specifically the Bio section. Even then, medical school performance doesn't mean someone's going to be a good doctor. It's just a garbage process overall.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/363832

Also, preach.

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I am also non-traditional with a a border line A-/B+ average and I know this is my main weakness of my application. I got invited this year (thanks to my NAQ), but with a low average, it is an extremely uphill battle, so I can fully relate to OP’s situation. Also, when I compare the stats every year, the number of applicants getting in with an A/A+ average seem to be increasing  (13% in 2010 and 34% in 2020 for A+) in while the number of admitted applicants with A-/B+ average tend to decrease (40% in 2010 and ~18% in 2020 for A- applicants). So, its very hard to stay optimistic :( However, I wish you OP all the best! I hope LUCK will be on our side this time :) 

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Hi, 

I just wanted to say that I got in at 28 with a ~82% average, and people do get in with lower than that. It is, of course, less common it seems each cycle, but you keep getting interviewed for a reason. There are students who have applied six times and then gotten in. Only you know if that's tenable for you. I also filled in my academic explanation section, so I'm uncertain if that helped or not, since it's a black box. 

I'm very grateful to be at UBC, and I hope you get good news. Either way, try to remember that they don't know you, and that the admissions process has a degree of randomness. DM me if you want to chat at all. 

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1 hour ago, TheFlyGuy said:

Totally feel you. I'm 29 this year too, and took 4 tries & a PhD to get in. There's a crazy amount of luck in the process, and I feel like a lot of people get in first try and never really appreciate that lol, not to mention how people around you on the outside view it not being in the thick of it. Hard to shake that feeling, especially when others just always expect you to succeed and assume it's all on you when things don't work out; but sometimes it really is just a broken process. Doesn't make it fair or easy to accept though, so kudos for sticking with it if it's what you really want. Best of luck in making it happen someday

 

  

Also, preach.

The luck factor is real! 3rd interview here, expecting the worst. Feels almost random post interview. 
 

Never understood how it’s possible someone would be taken on their first try over someone who has applied and interview 3+ times. But c’est la vie! 

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2 hours ago, zoxy said:

Stone age thinking and a hold over from years gone by. For example, the use of interviews in medical school admissions has been statistically debunked since the 80's. Yet they still put a huge emphasis on it. For example, it's worth 70 percent of the admissions score at Mac. 

Even GPA is a poor correlate to performance in medical school. Best correlate has always been the MCAT, specifically the Bio section. Even then, medical school performance doesn't mean someone's going to be a good doctor. It's just a garbage process overall. I wish they'd hold up their hands and admit as much.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/363832

Amusingly, Mac kind of did admit this last year, when they offered most of their spots based on a lottery, instead of bothering to move interviews to a virtual platform.

I don't think the reaction was very positive.

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47 minutes ago, Redpill said:

Amusingly, Mac kind of did admit this last year, when they offered most of their spots based on a lottery, instead of bothering to move interviews to a virtual platform.

I don't think the reaction was very positive.

Yep. I bet they did it to have the ultimate natural experiment to work with. It's gonna be fun reading the study they publish once their 2023 class graduates that concludes that their MMI is completely useless as well. I wonder what admission tool Mac will use after this.

I'd bet they'll try come up with something semi-empirical that's even dumber than Casper. I don't know what it is now but I'm sure the geniuses at Mac med will find a way to disappoint me. They've given us the MMI, CASPer, PBL, 3 year medical schools, and the Health Science undergrad. I'm sure whatever it is, I'll hate it.

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37 minutes ago, zoxy said:

Yep. I bet they did it to have the ultimate natural experiment to work with. It's gonna be fun reading the study they publish once their 2023 class graduates that concludes that their MMI is completely useless as well. I wonder what admission tool Mac will use after this.

I'd bet they'll try come up with something semi-empirical that's even dumber than Casper. I don't know what it is now but I'm sure the geniuses at Mac med will find a way to disappoint me. They've given us the MMI, CASPer, PBL, 3 year medical schools, and the Health Science undergrad. I'm sure whatever it is, I'll hate it.

Honestly, MAC has done so much to make the competition even more difficult for people in lower SES. CASPer is big waste of money. The fact that Mac claims it to have a high predictive power and yet requires you to take the exam every year makes no absolute sense to me. If the MCAT is valid for 5 years, why not implement this for CASPeR, if they claim that it truly tests your “personality,” then it should be more consistent. Also, without releasing the result (Quartile) of this annoying test doesn’t help much either. Secondly, their study  also claimed that CARS has the most “predictive” of clinical/med school abilities, which led to many Canadian schools requiring an insane cut-off. Truly, applying to med school all comes down to LUCK.  I think if we look at our neighbour down the south, I think they certainly do a better job doing a more “holistic” review of their applicants.

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18 minutes ago, zoxy said:

Yep. I bet they did it to have the ultimate natural experiment to work with. It's gonna be fun reading the study they publish once their 2023 class graduates that concludes that their MMI is completely useless as well. I wonder what admission tool Mac will use after this.

I'd bet they'll try come up with something semi-empirical that's even dumber than Casper. I don't know what it is now but I'm sure the geniuses at Mac med will find a way to disappoint me. They've given us the MMI, CASPer, PBL, 3 year medical schools, and the Health Science undergrad. I'm sure whatever it is, I'll hate it.

Not a fan of PBL/CBL? I thought it was a reasonably effective way to learn in preclerkship (supplemented with lecture material of course, idk how Mac does it without that)

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I'm in the same boat as many of you in this thread. I'm 28 this year and I've been applying for the last three years straight with a gpa of about 78/79, which finally bumped up to to a low 80ish this round. I was waitlisted in the 2018/2019 cycle with a 507 mcat and an above average interview score. Last cycle, I rewrote my mcat and got 511 but  I didn't even receive an interview. This year I feel lucky to have received an interview but as the D-day looms, I'm getting more and more anxious. Even though I am in another career and doing well, I often feel like a failure and and keep thinking about the "only ifs." Only if I had paid more attention during my undergrad, only if I had a better coping system during my undergrad, only if I had gone to a smaller university and gotten higher grades. The ifs are non-ending and I am not really adding anything of value to this thread but just sharing my frustration. I guess it gives me some solace that I am not the only one feeling this way and seeing other people with similar stats getting in gives me hope. I have my fingers crossed that we all hear good news next week and can start this chapter of our lives. 

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24 minutes ago, teachdoc said:

I'm in the same boat as many of you in this thread. I'm 28 this year and I've been applying for the last three years straight with a gpa of about 78/79, which finally bumped up to to a low 80ish this round. I was waitlisted in the 2018/2019 cycle with a 507 mcat and an above average interview score. Last cycle, I rewrote my mcat and got 511 but  I didn't even receive an interview. This year I feel lucky to have received an interview but as the D-day looms, I'm getting more and more anxious. Even though I am in another career and doing well, I often feel like a failure and and keep thinking about the "only ifs." Only if I had paid more attention during my undergrad, only if I had a better coping system during my undergrad, only if I had gone to a smaller university and gotten higher grades. The ifs are non-ending and I am not really adding anything of value to this thread but just sharing my frustration. I guess it gives me some solace that I am not the only one feeling this way and seeing other people with similar stats gets in gives me hope. I have my fingers crossed that we all hear good news next week and can start this chapter of our lives. 

This really resonates with me. It’s great (and crappy) to see so many people in the same boat who understand this challenge. 
 

I think we all know as mature adults that we need to “stop caring what people think” and not worry about whether people judge us for not getting in, but that is incredibly hard when it feels like schools are continually saying that your grades will forever trump your potential and actual depth of knowledge of healthcare 

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13 hours ago, Coviduh19 said:

Also, without releasing the result (Quartile) of this annoying test doesn’t help much either. Secondly, their study  also claimed that CARS has the most “predictive” of clinical/med school abilities, which led to many Canadian schools requiring an insane cut-off.

All the studies I've read point at the MCAT Bio section having the best correlation. I think UCalgary recently ran a study that came to the same conclusion. GPA, and other MCAT sections are much worse predictors. But ironically, UCalgary itslef only use CARS for admission themselves, similar to Mac.

I think the main reason Mac and Calgary use CARS is that it doesn't favour a particular undergrad over another. They don't actually care about its predictive value, they just don't want any "bias" in the process. Of course, while CARS doesn't favour a particular undergrad, CARS does heavily favour native English fluency. When one of my friends and I took the same MCAT, our scores were identical on everything other than CARS as we'd done all of our studying together. I outperformed him by 8 points on CARS however. Mainly because he'd moved to an English speaking country at 17 and did not have the same reading speed as I did and just ran out of time. He's just as smart as I am, maybe even smarter. I doubt that his critical reasoning skills are 35th percentile while mine are 99th. I'm just a quick reader, nothing more.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6445315/

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1 hour ago, zoxy said:

All the studies I've read point at the MCAT Bio section having the best correlation. I think UCalgary recently ran a study that came to the same conclusion. GPA, and other MCAT sections are much worse predictors. But ironically, UCalgary itslef only use CARS for admission themselves, similar to Mac.

I think the main reason Mac and Calgary use CARS is that it doesn't favour a particular undergrad over another. They don't actually care about its predictive value, they just don't want any "bias" in the process. Of course, while CARS doesn't favour a particular undergrad, CARS does heavily favour native English fluency. When one of my friends and I took the same MCAT, our scores were identical on everything other than CARS as we'd done all of our studying together. I outperformed him by 8 points on CARS however. Mainly because he'd moved to an English speaking at 17 and did not have the same reading speed as I did and just ran out of time. He's just as smart as I am, maybe even smarter. I doubt that his critical reasoning skills are 35th percentile while mine are 99th. I'm just a quick reader, nothing more.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6445315/

I’m actually not sure this is totally true! There are a number of studies showing bio section of MCAT has correlation with marks in med school, but CARS indicates actual quality of care in residency and onwards. Specifically, for clinical skills and the potential people have to improve over time.

 

CARS is the section being emphasized more and more, and honestly I think it’s the right move

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5 minutes ago, DayIsNight said:

I’m actually not sure this is totally true! There are a number of studies showing bio section of MCAT has correlation with marks in med school, but CARS indicates actual quality of care in residency and onwards. Specifically, for clinical skills and the potential people have to improve over time.

 

CARS is the section being emphasized more and more, and honestly I think it’s the right move

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22891908/

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