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30+ and applying to McGill Med


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Hi all,

Any older (30+) applicants here can offer some emotional support hah

My dream has always been to go to McGill med school. I'm applying for Fall 2022 admission and as I complete my CV, workbook, and prep for casper, it makes me question my initial confidence. I reflect on my past experiences, and ask myself whether I am too old to go for this? It's become so competitive that I feel like that all of this may lead to a disappointing and inevitable rejection. That rejection does take a toll, and it won't be fun to go through that all over again. I  say this because I know the feeling. Was rejected from McGill during the 2017-2018 admission cycle.

I'm a QC resident (raised in the south shore). Have a great health informatics career in the public sector, decent research experience, been volunteering at hospice for the past decade (still am), and I got your typical extra curriculars. Currently, I'm a second degree applicant with gpa of 3.81. Yr1: ~3.67, Yr2: ~3.95  During the 2017-2018 cycle, I applied with a 3.2 and got shot down pre-interview (no surprise). Although, this was when McGill did provide rankings on Casper, CV. Surprisingly, I ranked 170s/800s on the non-academic but got destroyed in the academic portion (700s/800s). I always was happier doing my extra curricurlars than trying to succeed in academia. However, I still don't feel motivated going into this cycle because I'm back at this, 4 years later, and feeling like it's going to be another inevitable rejection. Any one got advice for applying the second time, especially at an older age?

Putting aside my gloomy rant, want to say best of luck to other applicants this cycle :)

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Hi @FutureYodaMD!

Honestly, if its your dream, the only way to have no regrets is to apply! Your application seems pretty good to me! You can always apply to the french schools also (but I understand the McGill med dream!)! Every cohort is different and your gpa is higher now! I you don't apply, then you don't have a shot.

I absolutely encourage you to go for it! 

If it does not work, you can go from there,  and you will no ask yourself "what if I applied" 10 years from now!!

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There are a number of people in my class (myself included) in their late 20s and 30s. I was rejected after my first undergrad due to GPA, but admitted after my second one. I don't really have much in the way of deep insight or inspirational advice, but I think you owe it to yourself to keep applying until you're satisfied with the outcome, one way or another. It sounds like you still do want to do medicine, so give it another shot! It sounds like your CV will be great and that you'll have a lot of experience to draw on for CASPer, so idk I feel like you'll probably have as good a shot as any of us (not that much) older folk. 

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15 hours ago, MaudeB said:

Hi @FutureYodaMD!

Honestly, if its your dream, the only way to have no regrets is to apply! Your application seems pretty good to me! You can always apply to the french schools also (but I understand the McGill med dream!)! Every cohort is different and your gpa is higher now! I you don't apply, then you don't have a shot.

I absolutely encourage you to go for it! 

If it does not work, you can go from there,  and you will no ask yourself "what if I applied" 10 years from now!!

Thank you so much! :)

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3 hours ago, Vons said:

There are a number of people in my class (myself included) in their late 20s and 30s. I was rejected after my first undergrad due to GPA, but admitted after my second one. I don't really have much in the way of deep insight or inspirational advice, but I think you owe it to yourself to keep applying until you're satisfied with the outcome, one way or another. It sounds like you still do want to do medicine, so give it another shot! It sounds like your CV will be great and that you'll have a lot of experience to draw on for CASPer, so idk I feel like you'll probably have as good a shot as any of us (not that much) older folk. 

Thanks, Vons! Glad to hear it worked out for you as well! Got a bit of my motivation back ;)

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3 hours ago, hopefulcanadian said:

Genuinely don't think that age matters except for the opportunity cost lost of doing other things during that time or having a family etc. At least not until you hit 40. Go for it. If it helps my father was in med school and had a classmate who was 56 at the time.

Great point! Luckily, I got a supportive partner, family and friends. There is definitely an opportunity cost (time, building a family, money, career development, etc). Thanks for the encouraging words. Wow, 56! I have lots of respect for that. Shows that no matter the age, it's never truly too late to go for it.

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1 hour ago, FutureYodaMD said:

Great point! Luckily, I got a supportive partner, family and friends. There is definitely an opportunity cost (time, building a family, money, career development, etc). Thanks for the encouraging words. Wow, 56! I have lots of respect for that. Shows that no matter the age, it's never truly too late to go for it.

My friend is at Ottawa right now and has a 50 year old in his class. I think the key thing at that age is you kind of focus on specialties that typically have a shorter residency and what not but again number one thing is do you want this and then what is your path to get in. Then just go for it and get in. If you are serious about it and willing to make the sacrifice then it is possible. You just need one yes. The question of whether its worth it or not depends on the person. For many above certain ages or windows it is tough. For others, that window is much wider. Whether it be support from family, friends, etc etc etc.

 

 

So yeah just make sure you have a plan, and back up plans. If you are doing this later on, you have less chances to make mistakes and recover. Do not rush any point of the process. So for example if you feel like you want to get a good mcat score and you think it will take longer and risk pushing the application by a year. Just push it.

 

 

IF you can honestly see yourself doing something else though and being happy, it's worth it to explore that first. This game is a long, expensive, and tiring game. Most won't understand. Some will. Many don't make for a ton of reasons. The one thing you can control is how bad you want it.

 

Best of luck.

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On 9/14/2021 at 4:37 PM, FutureYodaMD said:

Hi all,

Any older (30+) applicants here can offer some emotional support hah

My dream has always been to go to McGill med school. I'm applying for Fall 2022 admission and as I complete my CV, workbook, and prep for casper, it makes me question my initial confidence. I reflect on my past experiences, and ask myself whether I am too old to go for this? It's become so competitive that I feel like that all of this may lead to a disappointing and inevitable rejection. That rejection does take a toll, and it won't be fun to go through that all over again. I  say this because I know the feeling. Was rejected from McGill during the 2017-2018 admission cycle.

I'm a QC resident (raised in the south shore). Have a great health informatics career in the public sector, decent research experience, been volunteering at hospice for the past decade (still am), and I got your typical extra curriculars. Currently, I'm a second degree applicant with gpa of 3.81. Yr1: ~3.67, Yr2: ~3.95  During the 2017-2018 cycle, I applied with a 3.2 and got shot down pre-interview (no surprise). Although, this was when McGill did provide rankings on Casper, CV. Surprisingly, I ranked 170s/800s on the non-academic but got destroyed in the academic portion (700s/800s). I always was happier doing my extra curricurlars than trying to succeed in academia. However, I still don't feel motivated going into this cycle because I'm back at this, 4 years later, and feeling like it's going to be another inevitable rejection. Any one got advice for applying the second time, especially at an older age?

Putting aside my gloomy rant, want to say best of luck to other applicants this cycle :)

You're definitely not too old.  

I understand that you were disappointed with you rejection last time, but you've been able to achieve a solid GPA in your second degree which should give you a chance at medicine with a good CaSPER.  

I don't think age should really factor in your thinking at this point except in terms of opportunity cost as mentioned above.  But as IP, med school tuition is probably the best in the country in QC and you will have good career choices through medicine.   

I was well into my thirties and I was able to go back to undergraduate, getting a good GPA, doing the MCAT..  but I did struggle to learn in a different language environment (French).  So if you were suggesting going to a French med school then I might warn against, but otherwise I think there shouldn't be much of an issue.  I think my language issue was multifactorial (not much background or exposure, the lack of formal teaching during pre-clerkship), but I do think having developed and crystallized my academic abilities in English made it even harder to switch learning languages at an older age.  

The only issue with age might be looking well down the road (i.e. when to retire).  As far as I know, there's no formal restriction with age in any specialty.  But, I think procedural specialties especially could be harder to practice competently as an older clinician. 

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18 hours ago, indefatigable said:

You're definitely not too old.  

I understand that you were disappointed with you rejection last time, but you've been able to achieve a solid GPA in your second degree which should give you a chance at medicine with a good CaSPER.  

I don't think age should really factor in your thinking at this point except in terms of opportunity cost as mentioned above.  But as IP, med school tuition is probably the best in the country in QC and you will have good career choices through medicine.   

I was well into my thirties and I was able to go back to undergraduate, getting a good GPA, doing the MCAT..  but I did struggle to learn in a different language environment (French).  So if you were suggesting going to a French med school then I might warn against, but otherwise I think there shouldn't be much of an issue.  I think my language issue was multifactorial (not much background or exposure, the lack of formal teaching during pre-clerkship), but I do think having developed and crystallized my academic abilities in English made it even harder to switch learning languages at an older age.  

The only issue with age might be looking well down the road (i.e. when to retire).  As far as I know, there's no formal restriction with age in any specialty.  But, I think procedural specialties especially could be harder to practice competently as an older clinician. 

Thanks for the reassurance! Great point on IP QC med tuition. One of the reasons why I'm grateful to be a QC resident. At work, I speak both English and French, however my French is intermediate level and I doubt I can do med entirely in French. I know McGill does require some working level French, which is fine in my case. Sorry to hear that you had to struggle at a French med school. If you don't mind me asking, do they offer language training at the university? How was your experience so far?

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4 hours ago, FutureYodaMD said:

Thanks for the reassurance! Great point on IP QC med tuition. One of the reasons why I'm grateful to be a QC resident. At work, I speak both English and French, however my French is intermediate level and I doubt I can do med entirely in French. I know McGill does require some working level French, which is fine in my case. Sorry to hear that you had to struggle at a French med school. If you don't mind me asking, do they offer language training at the university? How was your experience so far?

No worries!  I believe part of the problem is that I wasn't from Quebec which made me a little naive with respect to the language issue.  Although I had decent conversational French, I didn't have academic level French (e.g. strong reading comprehension, etc..).  You have good insight in recognizing your own intermediate level of French and comfort.  I unfortunately also received some bad advice with respect to the issue from people that I highly trusted.

Generally, the language issue wasn't well-understood - although I completed some supplementary French courses through the university in my first year, this wasn't nearly enough.  The curriculum involved individual study rather than language immersion so my French only really improved during day to day use in clerkship.  I had significant setbacks which created major downstream problems for graduation and CaRMS.

For instance, one early clerkship rotation at my "home school" the preceptor said that my French was essentially insufficient - and I had to eventually repeat the rotation.  This was despite a difficult, prolonged pre-clerkship and having done very well on early English electives (including at McGill).  I characterized the whole experience as mildly traumatic and am glad I am no longer in that environment.   I found it did greatly limit my professional and personal growth.  I use French infrequently, but will occasionally read news in French (as my reading comprehension and other aspects of French did significantly improve).   

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10 hours ago, FutureYodaMD said:

Thanks for the reassurance! Great point on IP QC med tuition. One of the reasons why I'm grateful to be a QC resident. At work, I speak both English and French, however my French is intermediate level and I doubt I can do med entirely in French. I know McGill does require some working level French, which is fine in my case. Sorry to hear that you had to struggle at a French med school. If you don't mind me asking, do they offer language training at the university? How was your experience so far?

You'll be fine. Just keep improving the next few years and you'll be just fine. We've had some OOP with no knowledge of French at all and they did med school just fine.

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On 9/18/2021 at 2:37 AM, Arztin said:

You'll be fine. Just keep improving the next few years and you'll be just fine. We've had some OOP with no knowledge of French at all and they did med school just fine.

From what I understand, McGill has previously been flexible with respect to French for med students who have also had access to translators during clerkship.  

I believe the Montreal training sites are still all in English (although Gatineau and rural sites are in French).  

This is very different of course than French medical schools that the OP was referring to.  

On 9/18/2021 at 2:20 AM, who_knows said:

Oh, that's a nightmare. How did you deal with that, if you don't mind me asking?

You're right - It was one of a series of very difficult experiences.  I'm not going to say it was easy, but putting aside emotions is exactly what one has to do.  It helps to try to focus on new and upcoming tasks rather than dwell in the past.

 Over time, I've come to see the particular preceptor who wrote most of that evaluation as probably projecting as a defense mechanism in dealing with their own challenges in fitting into the environment (actually was an anglophone in a French work-place).     

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9 hours ago, indefatigable said:

Over time, I've come to see the particular preceptor who wrote most of that evaluation as probably projecting as a defense mechanism in dealing with their own challenges in fitting into the environment (actually was an anglophone in a French work-place).     

Transference at its finest lmao :lol:

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