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Any advice would be appreciated!


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Hi there,

I am just stuck with options and I am not sure which way might be an idea path for me.

Currently, I am an international (I know that international students are not welcomed to medical school, but I am receiving my PR pretty soon) and I graduated from U of T as a science major. I graduated with 3.17 cGPA with last two years averaging 3.8GPA. I have graduated and worked in a clinic for a year with several extracurricular activities such as clinical/non-clinical volunteering + military service back in South Korea. Now, I know foreign military service will not be considered significant, but it is one of the significant life even for me that I decided to dedicate myself to medicine path. (and after returning from military, I received 3.8 GPA for the last two years).

So I think my GPA is still weak. I have not calculated with other GPA calculators yet, but I believe there are some improvements I can make. However, I need your help in advising me forward. I am planning to return to school for about 2 years to take courses and boost up GPA. There are three options for me that I can currently think of:

1. Try for Master's degree? - not really sure since I heard a lot of people and read some schools don't really consider the graduate GPA so I am still stuck with low GPA.

2. 2 years of non-degree study with high level courses

3. second degree - I honestly don't think I can manage this as this will take 3 years to complete mostly...

I have already inquired most medical schools about extra years studying GPA, but haven't received anything yet. I just want to hear you guys and how I should direct myself for a future MD student.

Thanks for any advice!

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  • latemornin changed the title to Any advice would be appreciated!

Welcome to the forum. 

Is there a reason why two years is reasonable for you but three years is not manageable? Genuinely curious. 

I'm a firm believer that if you were to do additional study, it should be in an area that is your plan B in life and would be ok with doing that as a career. Nothing is as disappointing as doing years of study for no reason other than medical school admission, with the potential for that to blow up in your face. 

Some people consider a MPH as there are many courses and it may count towards GPA that way. 

Some schools may consider 2 yr GPA though. 

In the meantime I'd consider trying to apply with what you have to at least gain the experience. 

I'll let my colleagues weigh in. 

- G

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Hi,

Thanks for the comment. It is not manageable, but for personal reasons like financial problem, I am not too sure if I can handle 3 years. If it is needed and help my chances for applying medical school, then I will sacrifice for it.

I do believe in some part that I need a 'backup' plan which doesn't mean it would be an easy path as well. I just read a lot of comments and forums about doing graduate studies, but those do not significantly contributing in admission process or 'replace' the undergrad GPA.

I may consider at least an year study in school, in case of diverting my path to a different one. I'll definitely try applying with my application once I receive my PR.

Thank you for the advice.

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I'm going to be honest, you're not in a great position.

12 hours ago, latemornin said:

1. Try for Master's degree? - not really sure since I heard a lot of people and read some schools don't really consider the graduate GPA so I am still stuck with low GPA.

Some schools do consider masters degree GPA, or give a bonus to undergrad GPA. It's typically not more than 1 year equivalent in the past, but policies change, and you'll have to look into how each school considers graduate GPA. Regardless of GPA, having a masters degree and research will not overcome your significant undergrad GPA issues as you'll see below.

12 hours ago, latemornin said:

2. 2 years of non-degree study with high level courses

This may have been a reasonable option if your GPA was borderline, but its not. with a 3.17, two more years of 3.8 leaves you with a cGPA of 3.38 which is still too low for acceptance anywhere in Canada. Even 2 years of 4.0 is only 3.52.

12 hours ago, latemornin said:

3. second degree - I honestly don't think I can manage this as this will take 3 years to complete mostly...

Your best best is to look at each school's GPA adjustment policies and see what you qualify for now, and could qualify for in the future. Unfortunately, there is a trend away from GPA weighing to using cumulative GPA, and Queen's just got rid of their weighing policy which puts people who had already set off on a second degree in limbo, I think having to rely only on Western at this point. The point is, you're going to need to do 2 more years, and probably at least 3 or 4 if you are really serious about medicine in Canada, and probably in a field that you could see yourself doing if medicine ends up not being the path for you. But you need to really be honest with yourself because your non-cGPA options will be limited, and even with 4 more years of 3.8 your cGPA will only be 3.49.

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