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(good) Dilemma: masters at UofT before med school


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Ive just graduated from my undergrad in Alberta with an Okkk GPA.. around 3.7 (first few semesters of undergrad were pretty rough since I prioritized sport but eventually got on the deans list and graduated with honours). I have 2 years of research experience, a co author publication coming in the fall, travel experience, and competitive sport background. I am due to take my MCAT this fall and I have recently been presented with a unique opportunity from a previous research supervisor to do a funded masters at UofT starting this September (most likely on the topic of cardiac oncology). 

I originally planned to take the MCAT, apply to Canadian med schools, then take the GAMSAT (Australian med school test) and apply to Australian med schools.

However, this has definitely shaken up my original plan. A part of me wonders if my EC's and a great MCAT score are enough to get an interview... another part of me wonders if I need that masters/experience to help me be a more competitive applicant not only for med school but potentially residency. 

I am also curious as to which medical schools will take into consideration my Masters and put me in this rumoured "separate pool of applicants"

A large con I have to accepting this masters is that if I don't perform well on the MCAT this fall... I will have to wait until after my two year masters to retake the test!

Would appreciate any insight and advice :)

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Would you still maintain IP status for the UofA if you did a masters at UofT? I think you'd still count as IP for Calgary but if I remember correctly, UofA requires you to live in Alberta for a year during the admission cycle.

You'd get IP status for Mac after three years in Ontario but the other Ontario schools generally don't distinguish between IP/OOP.

Also what's your GPA for the last two years(for Queens and Western) and the last three years(for Ottawa)? UofT also drops a certain number of courses if you're carrying a full course load and the Alberta schools will drop your worst year under certain conditions. If you only had a rough few early semesters, you could be in good shape for these schools with their GPA adjustment formula.

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14 hours ago, topper said:

Would appreciate any insight and advice :)

Would you do this graduate program if you weren't applying to medicine? If you already have strong ECs and research, doing a master's degree for the purpose of improving your chances to get into medicine is a relatively marginal increase, if your application's weaknesses are not in ECs/research. The good news is that most of the medical schools in western Canada, and dal I think, will use some or all of your graduate GPA in their calculations, (which usually helps since generally people get very high graduate GPAs). If you're considering it for reasons beyond just getting into medical school, such as improving chances of a compeditive residency, or are interested in research/that specific area long-term, then it's totally reasonable. There is no reason you can't write the MCAT again during your degree as well, although be weary of MCAT time limits, which can be short as three years some places.

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Thanks for all the insight!!

GPA for final two years is 3.7.

GPA is 3.61 for previous 3 years (and downhill from there ha)

If I weren't attending this masters I would take the Australian Med school test and apply to Aus schools after applying to Canadian schools.. and probably continue with my part time job.

My supervisor did say the grades in this particular masters program were quite high :')

From what I can tell, UofA defines IP as someones who has been in the province for 1 year preceding the start of class, so I guess I would be considered IP if I applied during the final year of the masters and returned home to Alberta for a year (most likely)?

I most definitely would consider this specific masters if I were not applying to medical school! I had no idea about MCAT time limits thank you for informing me about that.

 

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36 minutes ago, topper said:

Thanks for all the insight!!

GPA for final two years is 3.7.

GPA is 3.61 for previous 3 years (and downhill from there ha)

If I weren't attending this masters I would take the Australian Med school test and apply to Aus schools after applying to Canadian schools.. and probably continue with my part time job.

My supervisor did say the grades in this particular masters program were quite high :')

From what I can tell, UofA defines IP as someones who has been in the province for 1 year preceding the start of class, so I guess I would be considered IP if I applied during the final year of the masters and returned home to Alberta for a year (most likely)?

I most definitely would consider this specific masters if I were not applying to medical school! I had no idea about MCAT time limits thank you for informing me about that.

 

Grades are higher since the curve is towards B+/A- in higher level grad courses but the weighing relative to undergrad isn't the same 

For example UofC only counts grad school as one year's worth of GPA... even if you got 4.0 it wouldn't move the GPA so much. 

What's the program? Do you think you'd go into a career regarding the program. 

- G 

 

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3 hours ago, GH0ST said:

Grades are higher since the curve is towards B+/A- in higher level grad courses but the weighing relative to undergrad isn't the same 

For example UofC only counts grad school as one year's worth of GPA... even if you got 4.0 it wouldn't move the GPA so much. 

What's the program? Do you think you'd go into a career regarding the program. 

- G 

 

Thats really good insight thank you. It would be a masters of science in Kin, research thesis would probably have something to do with metabolic or cardiac health in a breast cancer population. I would most definitely get a PHD in a similar field if med school did not pan out. As for a non-academic career in this field... probably not. 

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Your GPA for your last 2 year, best 2 year, and overall seem out of favour for all schools in Canada. I would suggest looking into masters if you want to pursue a PhD if medical school doesn't pan out, and you are okay with that. Otherwise take the Aus test and go through medicine from there. 

For those that have masters degree, they aren't placed in a separate pool that's for sure, just a small bump here and there. And with the popularity of folks doing such master's increasing, it's going to be a smaller bump in the future as well. 

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